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BMW M5 on the Nürburgring: from the M1 engine to the V10

Anniversary: ​​25 years of the BMW M5 at the Nürburgring
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U Originally, everything with him was understated embossed: the debut, his appearance, the accompanying documents. In February 1985, the official press release from BMW read: “Based on the tried and tested BMW 5 Series, the engineers at BMW Motorsport GmbH developed a new, independent automobile, the M5.” And further: “Outwardly almost compared to the basic model unchanged, the M5 offers high performance and superior driving potential. ”

M5 principle: inconspicuous and superior

Apart from the fact that the current M5 is not quite as far with the visual restraint is ago, so it is recognizable as such from a distance, everything remained as it was outlined at the beginning of the M5 Vita: The performance is still superior, and the driving potential was so far developed at all times that it was in the scene was always and everywhere seen as a benchmark.

The M5 founded a new class in 1985

In terms of its character, the BMW M5 can be granted a little more than just being able to set standards in terms of performance. After all, he has established a new class that has never existed in this form before - that of the four-door sports sedans, equipped with engines that are genetically much closer to racing than most engines used in thoroughbred sports coupés.

The godfather of the first 286 hp M5 model was none other than the legendary BMW M1, whose 3.5 liter six-cylinder in-line engine with four-valve head met all the criteria of a thoroughbred sports machine. Which, however, was never allowed to prove its superiority in this original form, because the racing career of the M1 was already over for regulatory reasons before it had even really started. The engine-technical work of art first gave wings to the M 635 CSi in 1983, only to cause a sensation two years later in the first M5.

Comparison of the generations

That the test drivers of that time with respect and praise In view of this muscular man disguised as a limousine, it has lost none of its plausibility even a quarter of a century later: “If you wish, it can travel at top speeds without any aerodynamic crutches, without frightening the driver, with remarkably stable straight-line stability, full and lying quietly on the lane even in fast bends in the motorwayMost other cars are not perceived as such. ”If one did not know which M5 this test result was based on, it would be easy to find a Solomonic answer: The statement applies to all model years of the M5. The intergenerational contract seems to be working well in this case.

Assuming a little empathy with the technology, the proverbial joy of driving in the M5, built in 1985, is achieved after a few hundred meters, even on the demanding Nordschleife, to a degree that differs little in quality from the one what can be experienced in the current M5. The low belt line and the associated airiness and transparency of the cockpit, on the other hand, are extremely different from the almost fortress-like appearance of the (barely) current M5 of the 21st century. The 25-year-old test person even found rolling the body in curves to be entertaining, despite the fact that it was in mint condition, and the handiness was outstanding. Malicious driving dynamics such as treacherous tail swings are as hidden as the complete range of electronic helpers that were officially implanted from the E39 onwards, even well over 20 years after its manufacture.

Ten-year-old M5 as up to date

The second big surprise at the ring was the M5 version of the, which was delivered for the first time with a 4.4 liter eight-cylinder Born in 1998, which tackled the generation comparison with an almost virginal mileage: If you hadn't known that it was a ten-year-old M5, you would have come to the conclusion that you were dealing with a state-of-the-art sports sedan.


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