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by Brett Davis

The highly engineered, hugely-praised BMW M5 has just ended production. Not for good though, just the fifth generation; the E60 V10 model (2005-2010).

A BMW M5 is about combining luxury and performance at the most extreme levels. BMW M Division also focus on reliability and durability, providing full warranty like any usual car. Exotic engine materials, fine-tuned throttle bodies and indestructible drivelines are also a strong characteristic that make up an M5. The E60 combined all these ingredients but also added a huge amount of technology, including an F1-inspired 5.0-litre V10 engine, seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox and one of the most comprehensive user interfaces to be used on any car like it.

The E60 generation has been the most successful (in terms of outright sales) model M Division has ever made. M produced a total of 20,548 units, 8800 of which were sold in the American market. Just 1647 units were sold in Germany, funnily enough, though, the wagon version was the most successful in its home country, where 302 of them were sold.

Enthusiasts will always bang on about how the M5 created the segment of the seriously fast, large sedan. And there are elements of truth in that. Even Mercedes-Benz followed in its footsteps and brought out its own ‘M5′, the E55 AMG. Critics largely pointed to the BMW though when it came to ‘driver’s cars’ – ‘a Mercedes was for being driven in while a BMW was to be driven’ was and still is the common argument BMW enthusiasts like to make.

Even though the production of the current M5 may have ceased, it heightens anticipation as we await the arrival of the new model.

Due to be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show next year, the new generation leaves behind the M tradition of incorporating a high-revving, normally aspirated engine, and adopts a new twin-turbo V8 for its performance. Definite numbers haven’t been clarified but speculations suggest over 420kW and some 650Nm of torque will be available; much more powerful than any M car ever produced.

Pedigree performance and utter versatility continues to drive one of BMW’s trademark cars. Since the first version in 1985, BMW and M5 have celebrated over 25 years of five-seat performance.

  • ox

    What an aswome car it was, a V10 technical tour de force. It’s gonna be interesting to see how the new F10 M5 stacks up against this legend. IMO the E60 is the better car.

    • Mitchell Oke

      Bit hard to call it the better car when the new one isn’t even out yet…

      Always liked the E60 M5, sounded great on song and was quite a fan of its design.

  • Radbloke

    ‘…seven-speed double clutch automatic’
    Incorrect. It had SMGIII, which is just a manual gearbox with hydraulic servo actuators for the (single) clutch. The M-DCT gearbox in the E90 series M3’s is completely different.

    • Devil’s Advocate

      Looks like they edited it for you and changed it to “seven-speed semi-automatic”!

  • TomJ

    Despite being the ‘ugly’ 5 series, i can’t help but feel the new model strays further from its core philosophy. They are just becoming too big and too bloated, also, being the first forced induction M powered sedan, it really does look and feel like a high powered 5 series variant rather than a true new “M5″.

    So while the new model may be technically faster, i cant honestly imagine it being purer or ‘better’. Especially with an additional 200kg of weight to an already heavy car.

    • Dave

      TomJ, what you want is an E90/E92 M3. Around the same size as an E28 or E34 M5, but with as much power as the revered E39 M5. Coupe or sedan, manual or dual clutch thingy… Can’t go wrong!

  • TomJ

    Also BMW, instead of letting this brilliant engine go the way of tasmanian tiger, why not use it in a high powered M3 CSL variety car?

    It seems absolutely out of this world to even consider BMW sticking 500hp in a 3 series, but why not? Tuners have already done it with high levels of success, there is even a 335i m5 powered drift car getting around. This engine is just begging for a lighter body, it may very well be BMW’s greatest motor ever.

  • brp

    e60 M5 has a sequential manual gearbox, not a “double-clutch automatic” (even a double-clutch gearbox is not ‘automatic’).

  • c3vzn

    Wow check out the E60 with its predecessors. It really did revolutionise things in the design and technology department and was certainly a good looking car compared to the stock 5 series. Really doubting that the new one will be able to improve significantly on this great car.

  • Jimmy

    This is still my ultimate car. Hearing that V10 scream like some kind of possessed banshee robot is unlike anything else. Thanks for the memories E60 M5, I just hope your upstart of a younger brother can do your memory justice.

  • http://caradvice OSU811

    I prefered the previous gen M5, with is glorious sounding high revving V8, behind a proper slick shifting MANUAL gearbox!! you felt more at one with the car than the distant feeling V10 with SMG!

    • Al Juraj

      The US version had a 6-speed manual option, but it was slower.

  • Shak

    Long Live the king of the Hyper-Sedan’s!

  • Al Juraj

    Only the number of cylinders is the same as the F1 car’s. The 5-litre V10 had no relationship at all to the one in Montoya’s former ride. Fuel consumption was quite excessive even for a super sedan (the X5M does better), but in all other aspects, it’s just magnificent. The new car will strip a couple of cylinders and be turbocharged, so it’s a whole new ball game for the M5. Driving experience in the F10 should be significantly different from the E60, but all the fun should still be there. This and the M3 never went wrong no matter which generation.

  • Able

    BMW Australia where was the manual M5 (sold in the US only – the SMG is that awful for a manual to be developed for a largely auto tranny country) and the M5 Touring!? The Touring was the best looking by far!

  • john

    IMO M cars have always been about high revving N/A motoring. This philosophy has now changed mainly because of fuel consumption and emissions. The next M5 will have considerably more power and torque but should have much better fuel economy and emissions, but will it be a better car? Only time will tell, on another note even AMG’s fabulous 6.2l is going the way of the dodo). 2 of the best engines the world has ever seen will be no more.
    Some M5 5l V10 awards:
    International engine of the year 2 years in a row
    Performance engine of the year 3 years in a row
    Performance engine of the year over 4L 4 years in a row until the AMG 6.2L took these awards off it.
    What an achievement when you consider the engines the world has had too offer over the years this engine has been in production from ferrari, lambo, merc, audi, porsche etc. RIP 5L V10!

  • The Realist

    I love my E60 M5, but the E39 M5 is my alltime favourite car!

  • Elfin

    I still loves E39 M5!!

  • Blues

    If someone gonna ask me to choose one between Bimmer M5 and HSV GTS, I’ll definitely take HSV GTS rather than M5

    • The Realist