The M5 has always been as teutonic as the original Terminator: unassuming, lethal and methodical. It has always excelled in every detail of its many aspects: this is the uber BMW, the one that can drive you to work, take your kids to the school and still do a decent time at the Nurburgring in between. However, that M badge is what makes this saloon the kind of car which is right to be obsessed about: it’s the unassuming lunatic, the wrestler in disguise, the one browler that you’ll know will always lay down a serious beating. If it were a person, the M5 would be probably a patient in a psychiatric hospital, under serious therapy for personality disorder.
Jokes aside, we had the opportunity to spend a whole day with possibly one of the rarest M5s ever produced, one of only 300 the “30 Jahre M5” Edition. Based on the F10 series, the 30Jahre is a more beefed-up version of the regular M5, boasting 600 hp, a whopping 700 Nm of torque and fine-tuned suspension. Could ever such a car be on even more steroids?! For every car enthusiast, the M5 is still “the daddy”, the do-it-all Autobahn stormer capable of humiliating many supercars and accommodating a whole family.
It is a very emotional tool, a working man’s instrument, a sort of high-output companion to the successful petrolhead, the one car that won’t bother in accompanying you from your daily commute to the office and to some proper driving. The M badge says clearly from which kind of people this limited edition M5 comes from: it is made by petrolheads for petrolheads. Whether you like sedans or not, the package has always been a very effective one right from the beginning. With its boosted performance and finished in the unique and utterly gorgeous Frozen Dark Silver Metallic paint color, the M5 30 Jahre M5 is for the driver collector who would love to be thrilled on his daily routine.
Since we’ve been granted some days with this rare gem, currently listed for sale at Nanni Nember BMW in Brescia, we tried to bring back the sort of ideal routine for the typical non-Russian M5 enthusiastic owner. With the incredible amount of torque available, this M5 is a relatively under-stressed motorcar, meaning it can cruise relentlessly at high speeds for as long as there is petrol in the tank. On your way to an important meeting, the M5 cruises elegantly with a remarkable supple ride, allowing you to relax and travel in complete comfort without any stress. This is the sort of car that will take you from Munich to Milan to Monaco and to Paris while you make countless phone calls in multiple languages without any stress.
Perhaps the best feature of this particular generation of M5 is the fact that all the controls for the chassis are individual and therefore it is easy to custom-tailor your preferences without going through pre-set modes. Travelling with the suspension and transmission in comfort and with the engine on full power is a pleasure of which we are robbed today.
This remarkable feature is very handy when driving on B-roads as you can fine-tune the car to your needs. With a remarkable agility for a saloon weighing 2 tonnes, the M5 rockets down the road with true sports-car behaviour. Remember: it is still 2 wheel drive and it is simply impressive for the amount of traction and friendly-like behaviour. With the lively character of the power delivery, it is very easy to spin the rear wheels even with the traction control on it scares you at first, but then thanks to the long wheel base and perfect suspension geometry it becomes easy to play with. On a windy road it feels like playing tennis with a bear, or doing aerobatics with a B52 Stratofortess. None of its main drawbacks ever seem to influence its behaviour in a bad way: simply, the dynamic development of the M5 is the best one could ask for such a remarkable motorcar. When the car is set in full-attack mode you easily forget to be driving a family saloon: the rapid and blistering shifts ensure you a thrilling experience and the ever-so-swingy back end is the most satisfying feature of every proper BMW. The immediate response from the throttle ensures almost instantly and the steering is incredibly precise and well balanced: if all of this would be average for a supercar, it is exceptional in the M5.
Even more than the savage power of the engine, it is how the car drives which makes you fall in love with this excellent BMW. It is as mad a supercar, civilized as a British bobby but still has the utmost thoroughbred behaviour you’re looking for in a M Division car. I am glad such a department exist: the satisfaction you get in driving the M5 in every possible scenery is immense. Driving through Milan at night in the traffic is no bigger deal than imagined.
The M5 still proves the same point it did when it came out in 1987: supercars like the Huracan and the 488 GTB are ever more useless. In an era when Lamborghinis and Ferraris are constantly advertised as daily drivers, the M5 wipes them away with its blistering performance and practicality, making itself as the unassuming supercar-daily-driver. It also has the undisputed quality of making you forget about all that whining about manual transmissions, air cooling and “purity” obsession that has seemed to have taken on the car world in the past 5 years. Drive one and you’ll feel as excited as you should be…in a family saloon!
After all, we’re petrolheads. The M5 is the kind of car that reminds us why we love driving and be in a car rather than anywhere else.
Many thanks to Nanni Nember