NA V8. Six-speed manual. Classic good looks. What more could you want?
Built from 1998 until 2003, the E39 BMW M5 has properly earned its rightful place in high-performance sedan history. For many of us who grew up during that time, it was the E39 M5, with its 5.0-liter, naturally aspirated V8 and six-speed manual, that made us realize it’s possible to combine brilliant performance with the comfort and convenience of a family sedan. Its design may look a bit understated, but it’s aged absolutely beautifully.
The same isn’t always said regarding its successor, the flame surfacing, Bangle Butt E60 (though it had that monstrous V10, so there’s that).But it many still regard the E39 M5 as one of the best – if not the – of all of the M5s for its ideal combination of authentic BMW design, engineering, and performance.
It’s really one hell of a package, and now Matt Farah gets behind the wheel of an only slightly modified one for his latest test drive video. The car’s owner clearly appreciates and understands just how much BMW got right from the get-go, and therefore kept modifications fairly light. Just some coil overs, a short-throw shifter and a few other bits were added. Of course, today’s M5, and its soon-to-be-revealed successor, are exuberant displays of technology, such as dual-clutch gearboxes and iDrive, and high performance. But sometimes going back to BMW basics is where all of the real fun is at.