Okay, would you deduce, he not only drives an M1, but possibly an M1 Procar. I’m still not sure exactly what caused such nervous, concentrated elation on my part from this slow, gentle, waking journey back in time, but it wasn’t just that the E28 M5 is iconic and ours for the afternoon. I loved driving Porsche’s own 356 Speedster and it doesn’t get much more special than that, and yet this relatively ordinary sedan just drew me in.
The energy of the M88 inline six engine (evolved from that of the M1), the charming luxury sports cabin, the sensational good visibility, the utmost subtlety of the body, the transparency of the steering, the nonchalance. And the sense of history; the rough precedent. I think, essentially, every petrolhead knows when they’re experiencing a legend.
Matt Saunders, BMW M5 E60
There was indeed something very special about the 5.0-litre engine in the E60 M5. To be fair, there had to be. This was a BMW that looked a little too much like Dame Edna Everage than any super-sedan should, remember – and it had a pretty crappy SMG gearbox with paddle shifters, not to mention just 383 lb ft of torque at a time when Mercedes-AMG was shelling shaft-breaking torque-monster rivals for it like peas.
This car’s V10, when revving, was the heart and soul of its appeal. A naturally aspirated engine developed using know-how from BMW’s time as an engine supplier to the Williams F1 team, it was and remains the only V10 engine BMW has ever built. He was the father of the V8 for the E90 M3, but the 10-cylinder version was much more memorable, revving all the way to 8000rpm and developing a prodigiously round 500hp from 7750rpm.