BMW Celebrates 30 Years of the M5

What am I looking at?

The array of vehicles above represents the evolution of BMW's M5 Q-car over the last 30 years - or, to BMW fans, the E28, E34, E39, E60 and the current F10 M5.

Front and centre is the new limited edition M5 to celebrate this milestone - the M5 30 Jahre.

What's new?

Essentially the car represents the best an M5 can be right now, so you should think of it as a regular M5 with many of the options list boxes ticked for you.

For starters each M5 30 Jahre is painted in the "BMW Individual" shade Frozen Dark Silver, with black chrome finished exhaust tips, 20" wheels and oodles of model-specific badging. On the inside you get the expected M Sport multifunction seats and steering wheel, clad in the appropriate amount of leather and Alcantara. A 16 speaker Harman/Kardon surround-sound audio system provides such aural pleasures if the engine isn't enough for you.

It's under the skin though where the most important extras lurk. The 30 Jahre is based on the Competition Package M5, providing a firmer spring/damper setup and a 10mm drop in ride height. The steering is tweaked for more directness and there's enhancements to the M differential and DSC to keep a check on the extra power.

What powers it?

The same 4.4 litre V8 as every other M5 but, as hinted above, turned up somewhat.

A remap unleashes 592hp from the 30 Jahre, with 516lbfft of torque, making it the most powerful production BMW ever. With a 0-60mph sprint clocked out in 3.9s, it's also the quickest - and with the primary 155mph limiter removed it'll hit 190mph (unrestricted we estimate a Vmax of 214mph).

The extra 40hp doesn't harm the environment any though - the 30 Jahre actually manages to squeeze 1g/km less than the regular M5 and return the same 28.5mpg combined, sitting in the same VED Band L.

Anything else?

There will be only 300 of these cars produced in total and, appropriately, only 30 of those will be coming to the UK. Grab yours quickly...

How much will it cost me?

Though there's further options you can tick - there's anAkrapovic titanium sports exhaust system for a shade under seven grand - the basic M5 30 Jahre will put you out 91,890. That's around 11,000 more than the 567hp M5 Competition Pack.

Any alternatives?

You can't have a German performance car without two immediately obvious rivals and here they are the Audi RS6 and the Mercedes E63 AMG. The former only comes as an estate but is already every bit as quick as the M5 30 Jahre - with a rumoured Plus edition in the works to make it exactly as powerful too. The latter is available as saloon or estate and, though a little slower even in 585hp S trim, is a reasonable chunk cheaper.

If you're feeling a little more patriotic, keep the Jaguar XFR-S in mind too. It's only fractionally off the 0-60mph pace of the competition, but it has an intoxicating supercharger whine and its limiter doesn't kick in until 186mph - showing the continentals a clean pair of heels on their own Autobahn.

In a line...

One for the car collectors - the regular M5 is plenty good enough.

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