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3/4 Front Glamour 2016 BMW M5
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In 1988, BMW wedged an engine loosely derived from the company's 1970s M1 supercar in a commonplace 5 Series sedan. Ever since, the M5 has been the quintessential sports sedan: a seemingly ordinary luxury car that delivers extraordinary performance on the autobahn.

A third-generation M5 brought V8 power in 1999, and a fourth generation in 2006 introduced the thunderous V10 with more than 500 horsepower. In its current fifth-generation iteration, V8 power has returned to the M5—but it's now twin-turbocharged to return 560 horsepower and mated to a dual-clutch transmission to deliver lighting-quick shifts.

Despite its astonishing performance, the M5 remains a five-passenger luxury sedan with almost as many gadgets as the Pentagon. The M5 truly is truly the family man's—or woman's—supercar.

2012 - 2016 BMW M5

3/4 Front Glamour 2016 BMW M5

Major changes included:

After sitting out a year, the current M5 reemerged from the BMW performance shop in 2012 on the all-new 5 Series platform. Powered by a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, it's the fastest M5 ever thanks to 560 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of torque. Drivers can now choose how their car behaves through a series of presets for the suspension, throttle and transmission. It's a clever way of harnessing the M5 for daily driving without removing any of its bite.

See Year: 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016

2006 - 2010 BMW M5

3/4 Front Glamour 2010 BMW M5

Major changes included:

Deciding that the next M5 needed more distinction, BMW dropped a 5-liter V10 under the hood good for an even 500 horsepower. All that power was funneled through a new seven-speed manual with sequential-shift feature, which permitted clutchless shifting through paddles mounted on the steering wheel. This setup was too raucous for some drivers, and a regular six-speed manual became available starting in 2007. In terms of handling, the M5 lacked some of the technological wizardry found in the regular 5 Series in favor of traditional high-performance suspension tuning.

See Year: 2006 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010

2000 - 2003 BMW M5

Main Photo

Major changes included:

After several years lying dormant, the M5 returned in 2000 carrying a 4.9-liter V8 with a stunning (for the time) 394 horsepower. All previous models had been inline sixes. Offered only with a six-speed manual transmission, the M5 wore 18-inch wheels and upgraded braking and suspension hardware. It faded away again, after 2003, but many BMW performance fans consider this the best-ever M5.

See Year: 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003