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.