The story of the creation of the third BMW M5 generation (1998-2003) is less well known, making it even more interesting. Alexander Hildebrandt, Head of Product Marketing at BMW Germany, was the Marketing Director at BMW M until 1998. He was also the Project Leader responsible for the BMW M5 (E39). “I well remember the discussions about the BMW M5, and how – in the eyes of some M fans – it still had a flaw,“ he said. It concerned the V8 engine, which ended the era of the six-cylinder for BMW M5. The wistfulness of the fans was understandable: after all, the engine that saw its premiere in the in the legendary BMW M1 was being discontinued. But that didn’t change the fact that the new BMW M5 was expected to once again set new standards, and for that it had to have serious power under the bonnet.