The BMW M5 is an icon. The sports sedan has been around since 1985, and just recently the Bavarian automaker has introduced its most powerful version yet. But before the 600-horsepower (447-kilowatt) super sedan was four-wheel drifting its way into our hearts, BMW left behind an impressive lineage. Our friends at Cars Evolution on YouTube take us through the history.
The four-minute video, entitled "The Evolution of the BMW M5," takes us on a virtual journey through the history of the sedan, from 1985 until its latest iteration in 2018. The original, a 1985 E28, came stocked with a 286-hp (213-kW) engine and a price tag of $45,500 when new. At the time, it was the fastest production sedan on planet Earth.
Fast forward a few years to 1989, and BMW introduced the E34 M5. That particular model came fitted with a 314-hp (234 kW) engine, a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 kmh), and turbine wheels that allowed 25-percent more airflow to the brakes. Brand new, the sports sedan would set you back $58,700.
Production of the E34 lasted just seven years before production of the E39 kicked off in 1998. The E39 M5 would be the first example with a V8 engine, delivering 394 hp (294 kW), and paired to a six-speed manual transmission. Most enthusiasts would agree that the E39 remains amongst the most desirable of all the generations.
In 2005, the M5 made a dramatic transformation. Now equipped with a 5.0-liter V10 and a radical new design, the M5 produced 500 hp (373 kW) and 380 pound-feet (520 Newton-meters) of torque. Again the M5 would evolve in 2012 with the introduction of the F10, and the latest model, the F90, made its introduction earlier in the year, complete with the aforementioned 600-hp (447-kW) V8 making it the fastest M5 yet.