Five iterations of the ultimate performance sedan are coming up for grabs.
The BMW M5 is, without a doubt, one of the finest performance sedans on the market – and it has been for six generations now. Putting one in your driveway would be the dream of almost any enthusiast of German engineering. The toughest choice, then, might very well be deciding which one to get.
Fortunately, RM Sotheby's has five examples of the ultimate four-door driving machine, spanning three decades of evolution, lined up for its upcoming sale in Germany during the Techno-Classic show in Essen. And we'd be hard-pressed to choose between them.
Part of the Youngtimer Collection spread out across numerous auction events, the compilation starts with a rare first-generation E28 model – one of only 2,191 examples made, from 1988 (its final year of production). In the nose sits a 3.5-liter straight six that (in European spec) produced 286 horsepower – a good 34 horses up on the North American version.
Skipping the second-gen E34 – the one iteration missing from this collection – next up is a cherry-red 1999 E39, representing the first M5 with a V8: a naturally-aspirated 4.9 shared with the Z8 roadster, kicking out 394 hp.
Equally tempting may be pair of E60s: a white 2008 (apparent) US model with the six-speed manual, and a blueish-silver 2010 model with the seven-speed semi-automatic – both packing Munich's screaming 5.0-liter V10. Last but not least (in terms of outright performance) is the dark-silver 2015 F90, which ditched the ten-cylinder engine in favor of a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 553 hp and (crucially) much more torque at 502 lb-ft to its predecessor's 384.
They'll all be up for grabs on April 11-12. The question is, which one would you be bidding on? (Photos by Tom Wood for RM Sotheby's.)