The BMW M5 was first unveiled by the BMW M division at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1984, representing the next modified version of the BMW 5 Series to replace the M535i. While it was the third car to be released by the division, it was the first to be mass produced, as BMW only produced limited numbers of the previous two M cars for racing. The manufacturer hand-built the M5, just as it did the M535i, using the chassis from the 535i.

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About the BMW M5

With each change in platform for the BMW 5 Series, there has been a new M5 as well, for a total of five generations. The market has a significant demand for a car that offers the carrying capacity of a sedan and the performance of a sports car, and the M5 aims to meet this demand. When BMW launched the first M5, in 1984, it was the fastest mainstream, mass-produced sedan in the world. Although the M5 has been through several iterations, the designers of BMW have stuck to the original concept of continuing to produce a midsize luxury sedan that has the speed and handling of a track car.

BMW M5 Features

BMW launched the fifth and latest generation of the M5 at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011, and the cars went on sale in November of that year for the 2012 model year. This version of the M5 comes with a 4.4-liter V-8 twin-turbo engine, with a power output of 560 horsepower, a top speed of 190 mph, and even 28.5 miles per gallon combined. The transmission is a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and a six-speed manual transmission will be available in the North American market for 2013 model-year cars.

M-specific design features have also been added to this new version. Nineteen-inch M light alloy wheels and the curving form give the car a much more dynamic feel. The interior enhances the sporty image of the latest M5 with M sports seats and Merino leather upholstery. Buttons on the steering wheel allow the driver to configure the car into a sport or comfort setup.

BMW M5 Evolution

When the first generation of the BMW M5 was launched in 1984, it came in four different versions based on the intended market for the car. As well as being produced in left-hand drive and right-hand drive versions, the specifications for the cars also differed. For the North American market, the new M5 has a modified engine that includes a catalytic converter, which reduced power compared to the other three versions. All of the North American M5 cars hailed from the 1988 model year and were built between 1986 and 1987. They all had a black exterior and tan interior, except for a few that came with a black interior.

The second generation of the BMW M5 was unveiled for the 1989 model year. It stayed in production from 1988 to 1995, but only sold in North America from 1990 to 1993. As with the first generation, this generation of the M5 was hand-built: a team of employees at the M plant took up to two weeks to build each car. For the North American market, it came equipped with a 3.5-liter, six-cylinder engine that includes a catalytic converter and has a power output of 307 horsepower, and only came with a five-speed manual transmission.

1998 saw the launch of the third generation of the BMW M5 and a change from hand-built vehicles to factory-produced ones, to increase production numbers. The four-door sedan came equipped with a V-8 engine and a six-speed manual transmission. Initially, the engine had a power rating of 282 horsepower, but when Mercedes and Jaguar released cars in the same class with higher power, BMW modified the engine to produce 394 horsepower.

With the launch of the fourth generation of the BMW M5 in 2005, the engine received another upgrade to a 5.0-liter V-10, making the M5 the first production sedan in the world to be powered by a gasoline-driven V-10 engine. While BMW offered a four-door sedan and a five-door wagon style, only the sedan is sold in the U.S. Also for the North American market, a six-speed manual transmission fit onto the base model, and the seven-speed, semi-automatic transmission came as an option. For other markets, only the semi-automatic transmission was available. To date, this has been the most successful M5, even though it sold for a shorter amount of time than previous generations.

Select a BMW M5 Year

2019 BMW M5

Luxury, Sedan

2016 BMW M5

Luxury, Sedan

2015 BMW M5

Luxury, Sedan

2014 BMW M5

Luxury, Sedan

2013 BMW M5

Luxury, Sedan

BMW has redesigned the M5 for 2013, and the all-new model is a picturesque balance of beauty and performance.

2010 BMW M5

Luxury, Sedan

2009 BMW M5

Luxury, Sedan

The 2009 BMW M5 is the rear-drive high-performance sedan based on BMW’s 5 Series.

2008 BMW M5

Luxury, Sedan

The 2008 BMW M5 represents a classic player in the field of performance sedans; it also remains the fastest, strongest, and sharpest four-door vehicle BMW has ever produced.

2007 BMW M5

Luxury, Sedan

The 2007 BMW M5 is the performance sibling in the 5 Series stable.

2006 BMW M5

Luxury, Sedan

When the BMW M5 debuted in 1972, the automaker had spent all of the previous three decades creating a sedan to suit many purposes.

2003 BMW M5

Luxury, Sedan

BMW releases another fine performer with the 2003 BMW M5.

2002 BMW M5

Luxury, Sedan

The 2002 BMW M5 provides a high-performance version of the BMW 5 Series, but it only comes as a four-door sedan.

2001 BMW M5

Luxury, Sedan

The 2001 BMW M5 marks the pinnacle of BMW power and style.