The BMW M5 reaches the ripe old age of 35 this year, so its maker has concocted a special edition to mark the occasion called – logically – Edition 35 Years.
It’s based on the existing M5 Competition, complete with that car’s stonking 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8 motor. It produces no less than 616bhp and 553lb/ft – well over twice the power and torque of the original M5.
That grunt is corralled via an eight-speed automatic gearbox to xDrive four-wheel-drive. But you can switch to rear-wheel-drive if you want to detonate the tyres.
Performance is supercar-worrying – the 0-62mph sprint zaps by in 3.3secs, in a car that weighs two tons with a driver on board. As usual, top speed is limited to 155mph.
The Edition 35 gets a smattering of unique design touches to mark it out from lesser M5s. It comes finished in matt-finish Frozen Dark Grey, with model-specific 20in Y-spoke wheels in Graphite Grey.
Inside, there’s black Merino leather upholstery with beige contrasts, and gold adonized carbonfibre trim adorns the instrument panel, centre console and door trims.
Door sill finishes bear a “M5 Edition 35 Jahre” inscription, while a “M5 Edition 35 Jahre 1/350” plaque sits on the centre console cupholder lid.
350 will be built. Expect prices to be somewhere above the £96,205 needed to buy a M5 Competition.
According to BMW, it invented the sports saloon when the original M5 was launched in 1984. It looked pretty much exactly the same as any other E28-generation 5-Series, but it packed a 286bhp, 3.5-litre straight-six engine lifted from the M1 supercar.
Subsequent generations became bigger, more powerful and better handling, ending up at the current F90 generation which is the most powerful BMW road car ever.
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By Graham King