Home / Auto News / News article: Top 10 Cars Every Car Guy Needs to Know - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Nov 07 2012, 4:32 PM

1985 BMW M5

Original BMW M5

It’s been almost 30 years since the first BMW M5 hit the street. Now in its fifth generation, the car follows exactly the same formula it did back in 1985.

The magical elves at the company’s Motorsports subsidiary figured out a way to put howitzer-grade firepower under the hood of an everyday car. In the process they invented a brand-new vehicle segment, the high-performance sedan.

With five seats, four doors and one mission, the M5 was a highly focused automobile, but one that buyers could drive every day. That first-generation car, internally referred to as the E28, churned out 286 horsepower from a competition-grade inline-six that was borrowed from the BMW M1. From a standstill the sprint to 100 km/h took just 6.5 seconds, warp-drive for the era.

The M5 may have been the fastest sedan of its day but power is not the only part of the performance equation. A vehicle must have control, especially at Autobahn speeds. Fortunately the M5 was more locked down than a North Korean election. Burnishing its allure, it featured improved brakes, a beefed-up five-speed manual transmission and road-clenching suspension. Add it all up and the car stopped and turned every bit as well as it accelerated.

But the first-generation M5 also benefitted from a healthy dose of subtlety. With the exception of badging, the car was almost indistinguishable from a standard 5 Series sedan, making it a true sleeper.

  • be34st

    BTW, that is not a 1985 M5 pictured. The car pictured is actually not an M5 at all. It’s likely a 1991-1993 525i or 535i. Not having an M-Technik bumper gave it away. In 1985 The M5 was the E28 chasis, not the E34 chasis pictured. The E34 M5 (1991+) waas the best M5 ever btw.

  • James K

    Looks like they fixed the pic. Personally I’m a fan of the E39. The E60 was the worst.

  • Guest

    No Porsche 959?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Miller/743275334 Matt Miller

     +1 for the e39, but the e34s and e28s are raw too. The E60 just seems like it’d be a pain to own.

  • James K

     Seriously. Or how about ANY Porsche?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1521322033 Nate Kippert

    top ten? It cant be done…..too many choices, because i disagree with em all except the Buick grand national

  • Jwebb

    Your list is pretty shit, No F1, E30 M3, any Porsche, Jag XK220 or even VW GTI? but you have a BUICK, GT40 & UR Quattro? Your Petrol Head status revoked.

  • spacecadetglow

     Not just any Buick, the GNX was the fastest production car in the US, quite an accomplishment.

  • Guest

    I dont fully agree with this article, however, some people need to look beyond their personal favorites. Look at what each of these cars did for autos as we know it…

  • Jameswill

    Seriously? You’re hating on the GNX. Dude. You’re stuuuuuuupid.

  • Kmr0102

    nor 911! ridiculous 

  • James K

     The XK220 as a pile of crap. Beautiful… but crap.

  • Leo Rando

     Smoke any stock car made…..6 cyl Ta boot……..

  • colin judd

    I
    havea 2012 m bedmnz BN180 amnd it has terrible noisy fron wheel brakes wjhemn reversing it sounds like thefront end is falling out