M5

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2020 BMW M5 Overview

Three and a half decades ago, BMW created the definitive luxury super sedan with the M5. To celebrate the model’s 35th birthday, BMW debuts the limited-production “Edition 35 Years” M5 for 2020.

Based on the high-performance M5 Competition, the Edition 35 Years distinguishes itself with special Frozen Dark Grey II paint, 20-inch alloy wheels finished in Graphite Grey, high-gloss black brake calipers, and badge delete on the trunk. There are more special touches on the inside, such as black leather M Sport seats with contrast beige stitching, “M5 Edition 35 Jahre” engravings on the door sill plates and center console, and a gold anodized finish on the center console, door trim, and instrument panel. The Edition 35 Years also comes standard with the otherwise optional Executive Package and M Driver’s Package. Production is limited to 350 units worldwide. The rest of the M5 lineup consists of either Standard or Competition trim.

All M5s come with a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. In the standard car, the engine makes 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque and pairs with an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission. The Competition features the same engine but with 617 hp and 553 lb-ft. An M Driver’s Package, which comes standard on the Edition 35 Years trim, raises the electronic speed limiter from 155 mph to 189 and includes a voucher for an M Driver’s School session at one of the BMW Performance Centers in the US.

Although the M5 is a large, comfortable sedan, it’s also track-capable with a transmission oil cooler, an active M differential, and optional carbon-ceramic brakes. The M5 Competition sits about 7 millimeters lower than the standard car and has stiffer suspension. The EPA rates the M5 at just 17 mpg combined.

The base version gets wireless-device charging, a Harman Kardon stereo, leather upholstery, and 20-way power heated front seats. The Executive Package, which comes standard on the Edition 35 Years M5, dresses things up further with soft-close doors, a power rear sunshade, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, 4-zone automatic climate control, and a surround-view camera. The M5 comes with BMW’s latest iDrive 7 operating system as well as a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch center display.

The M5 hasn’t been crash-tested on its own, but the standard 5 Series, on which the M5 is based, gets the highest available Top Safety Pick+ status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The M5 also comes standard with blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, and a head-up display (HUD). Adaptive cruise control and adaptive lane control are optional extras.

The Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG S and Porsche Panamera Turbo are both equally ferocious 4-doors that compete with the M5.

Updated

Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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