BMW M5 E28 front view

BMW M5 E28.

Dynamics and luxury in timeless harmony.

BMW M5 E28.Dynamics and luxury in timeless harmony.

The first BMW M5, produced from the end of 1984 and presented to the press in early 1985, was the segment founder for a hitherto unknown type of car: luxurious high-performance limousines with a marked dynamic character. But first things first: In 1980, BMW brought out the BMW M535i E12, a vehicle that really packed a punch. At 160 kW (218 hp) the model caused a stir among those who wanted to drive a limousine, but didn’t want to forego a higher level of driving pleasure. BMW had been offering “motor sport versions” of the BMW 525i and 528i in the late 1970s, but the performance aspect wasn’t pursued rigorously until the BMW M535i E12. And what was then the top model of the BMW 5 Series was merely a precursor of what BMW M had up their sleeves: Launched in early 1985, the BMW M5 E28 clearly indicated the intended direction. With it, BMW M GmbH presented a new class: the high-performance sedan.

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  • 01 Max. output: 210 kW (286 hp)
  • 02 Max. torque: 340 Nm
  • 03 Displacement: 3453 cm³
  • 04 0-100 km/h in 6,5 seconds
  • 05 Max. speed: 245 km/h
BMW M5 E28 Front und Niere


No question: The first BMW M5 was a milestone in the history of BMW M. At the same time, it was a benchmark for all the high-performance sedans of the competition. That’s revealed by a few bare figures: With a power output of 210 kW (286 hp) at 6,500 rpm, acceleration of 6.5 seconds to 100 km/h and a top speed of 245 km/h, more than 35 years ago the model was one of the fastest street-legal cars available. In terms of torque too, the M5 set the bar high: The inline-6-cylinder engine develops 340 Nm from its 3.5 litre capacity. Figures that still make enthusiasts’ hearts beat faster today.

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The M88 inline-6-cylinder engine of the BMW M5 E28

Originally developed for motor sport: the M88/3 in the BMW M5 E28.

The enormous performance potential of the engine with the internal designation M88/3 was not a matter of chance: The four-valve engine was originally developed for the legendary BMW M1 mid-engined sports car. The changes in comparison to the M88 of the BMW M1 are minimal: The M5 engine has so-called “shims” for valve clearance adjustment instead of hydraulic tappets – which facilitated maintenance. The unique engine sound that made the car a piece of motoring history remained. And in three real classic cars: Besides the BMW M1 and M5, the engine was also used in the BMW M635CSi.

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At first glance, the classically split notchback of the first high-performance 5 Series is little indication of its extraordinary performance. While the BMW M5 does have a spoiler lip on the boot, the overall impression is one of understatement. Certainty is provided by the well-known M5 emblems, which have graced the boot and grille ever since the first generation.

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The BMW M5 E28 was developed as a fully-fledged limousine with sporting aspirations. Its length of 4.62 m and width of 1.70 m represented the popular size for this class in the mid-1980s. The dimensions didn’t diminish the sporting side: Precisely because of its comparatively small wheelbase of 2.65 meters, the BMW M5 E28 is agile and dynamic in curves – and in this area too was well ahead of the competition.

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BMW M5 E28 leather seats and interior

Comprehensive leather features: The interior of the BMW M5 is exclusively high quality..


The exclusive fittings and features made with high-quality materials have always been an important characteristic of the BMW M5. Thus, if desired occupants could find themselves in a complete leather interior, right up to the roof spars. And the optional sports seats deserve a special mention: They’re electrically adjustable and bear an embroidered M logo on the back rests. Chunky lateral bolsters give a sporty feeling of security – especially when taking bends at speed.

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BMW M5 E28 steering wheel, insruments and centre console

The dashboard of the BMW M5 E28 is dominated by the typical BMW slanted middle console. This contains all the important controls for audio and air conditioning. Yes, you read that right: Even 35 years ago, full-featured air conditioning was available. The on-board computer of the time is to the right beside the rev counter. Unmistakeably M is the stubby gear lever for the manual 5-gear transmission and the sports steering wheel, complete with M emblem on the lower spoke. Both elements stand for maximum dynamics and add to the driving pleasure typical for the marque.

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BMW M5 E28 steering wheel, insruments and centre console


What has for several years been a given for the BMW M3 E30 of 1986, also applies to the first generation BMW M5: This BMW M automobile is a sought-after classic car with rarity value. One reason is the low production figure for the M5 E28: Just 2.241 vehicles were ever made.

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BMW M5 E28