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BMW announces 30th anniversary M5

Birthday boy: The BMW 30 Jahre M5 features an uprated version of the 4.4-litre V8 engine producing 441kW/700Nm, pushing it from zero to100km/h in 3.9 seconds.

Uprated M5 confirmed to celebrate 30th anniversary of BMW performance sedan

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BMW logo7 May 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

BMW has announced a more brutal limited-edition version of its M5 performance sedan to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the German car-maker's executive express.

Dubbed the 30 Jahre M5 (30 years of M5) the special version will be limited to just 300 examples globally and will feature a power and torque boost over the existing fifth-generation model.

BMW claims the new variant will not only be the most powerful iteration of the M5 in the badge's 30-year history, but that it will be its most powerful production vehicle in the Bavarian brand's history.

The 4.4-litre TwinPower turbo V8 engine has been uprated by 18kW/20Nm from 423kW/680Nm in the regular Australian-spec M5 that comes standard with the Competition Package to 441kW/700Nm for the 30 Jahre M5, improving the 0-100km/h sprint time from 4.5 seconds to a blistering 3.9 seconds.

A performance figure like this sees the BMW dash past its arch rival, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG that can cover the same distance in 4.1 seconds, while matching the time of Audi's stonking V8-powered RS6 Avant.

While fuel use is rarely a concern for people with the money to purchase such a rare beast, BMW says it has maintained the official 9.9 litres per 100 kilometre fuel consumption figure of the regular M5.

To achieve the extra power and torque, BMW engineers made “carefully calculated tweaks” to the engine management system as well as an increase in pressure.

The competition package is standard on the 30th anniversary edition and includes a revised chassis with a firmer spring and damper tune and a 10-mm lower ride height. Other enhancements include more direct steering mapping, while the stability control system has been tweaked for sportier handling.

Cosmetic changes to differentiate it from the standard M5 include the Frozen Dark Silver metallic paint finish, dark kidney grille surrounds, 30 Jahre M5 badges, black chrome finish on the twin tail-pipes and door handle inserts and 20-inch light-alloy wheels with 265/35 ZR20 front and 295/30 ZR20 rear tyres.

The cabin provides a number of reminders that the occupants are in a special car, with 30 Jahre M5 branding on the sills, embroidered into the backrests of the sports seats and a plaque referencing the number of vehicles built on an aluminium panel on the passenger side of the dash.

Elsewhere in the cabin, the multifunction seats are made of a combination of alcantara and leather while the centre console, door panels M sports steering wheel feature alcantara anthracite trim.

A 16-speaker sound system is also fitted, and buyers have a choice between a 600-watt Harmon Kardon unit or a 1200-watt Bang and Olufsen surround-sound system.

BMW Group Australia product communications manager Scott Croaker said the local allocation of 15 vehicles out of the 300 being built is reflective of the high proportion of M vehicles sold in Australia and that the price would likely carry a premium over the regular M5 that retails for $229,900 plus on-road costs.

“Given the limited and exclusive status of this model plus higher level of specification and increased performance there will be a premium in cost versus the standard model, but one that I think will pleasantly surprise.” BMW says it created the high-performance sedan segment in 1985 with the first M5, before launching the second-generation version in 1988, the third-gen 10 years later in 1998, followed by the fourth-generation in 2005.

The current fifth-generation M5 launched in 2011 reverted back to a V8 after using a V10 engine previously.

Since the launch of the first-gen version, BMW has sold 55,248 M5s globally to the end of 2010.

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