Practical: Monster – BMW E39 M5
0-60 in less than five seconds while still having room for 4 passengers and a set of golf clubs. This E39 BMW M5 has a serious split personality. The owner, Jeremy, explains it best. “With a family coming soon, I needed something more practical but still a little fun.” Boasting a 394 BHP 4.9 Litre V8 monster under its hood, its plenty fun!
There’s only a few subtle differences to distinguish the M5 from a run-of-the-mill 540i of that generation. Quad exhaust tips connected to a Super Sprint muffler and a slightly different rear bumper to house them; 18″ Parallel Spoke M wheels and 3 “M5” badges, two on the side mouldings and one on the trunk. The ride height is less than one-eighth lower than the 540i!
Behind the wheel of the M5, you see the distinct aluminum bezels with the red needle as well as a 300km/h reading on the speedometer. The //M badge shines proudly by the gauges as well as on the steering wheel. Step on the accelerator and you’ll really get a feel of why this was once the fastest production sedan on the market at the time.
Press the M/Sport button and the electronically controlled throttle bodies open up. Coupled with the VANOS variable valve timing and dual air induction systems, the engine produces 394bhp and 369 ft-lbs of torque! The power is transferred to the wheels with a GETRAG six-speed reinforced transmission with a E60 short shifter kit. Corners? No problem. The M5 comes equipped with a limited-slip differential, thick anti-roll bars and the first of BMW M’s traction and stability control systems.
Jeremy previously had a 1995 240sx with an S15 front end conversion, but always loved the E39 M5. He regarded it as the next classic BMW since the E30 M3. He spent months searching and eventually found one catered to his specific criteria in Seattle; less than 65000 miles in LeMans Blue with the Black Interior.
In Jeremy’s words: “I got the car just over 1.5 years ago with 100K KMs on the clock. It currently has 124K KMs since it’s been my daily driver. Besides consumables such as brakes and oil, I’ve probably spent about a grand total of $500 in maintenance thus far, pretty good for a 9 year old M car. The drive itself is definitely different than any other car I’ve driven, the low end grunt and high end pull from the 394hp V8 is addictive, and almost a waste until you find a proper stretch of highway or track. The obvious downside is the 16L/100KM milage that I get, which is pitiful at best.”
Jeremy does not plan to modify his car, not even wheels or suspension. I mean, why mess with perfection? Its the pinnacle of German engineering. If the mod bug does bite, you will probably see him in a project S14 or Miata.