When the E60-gen BMW M5 came out in 2004, with its menacing naturally aspirated V10, many thought that sports sedans couldn’t get more exciting.
The 5.0-liter engine, which was shared with the M6, developed 500 HP and 384 lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque, for a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) of 4.7 seconds and a 155 mph (250 km/h) electronically limited top speed.
Unlike the AWD modern M5, the range-topping E60 was rear-wheel drive. It was offered with an optional six-speed manual gearbox in North America, and with a seven-speed SMG semi-automatic in the rest of the world, although the latter did not do justice to an otherwise great sedan.
Made during the Chris Bangle era and criticized for the controversial looks, it has nevertheless aged quite nicely inside and out. Moreover, even after more than a decade of constant use, this 2008 example, bought three years ago for around $34,000, feels robust. The high quality interior is still in very good position despite sitting in the sun for 12 years, and that’s one of the things that matters.
Another one is that, in the right setting – and the M5 E60 has 279 powertrain and chassis combinations to choose from – it is surprisingly comfortable. It was built as a highway cruiser, but it doesn’t disappoint on a twisty road either. Sure, the steering ratio needs more finesse and the inflatable seat bolsters will kick you in the ribs every time you turn the steering wheel, but the M5 really comes to life at higher speeds.