Here’s an anniversary that really snuck up on us: Hard to believe, but it’s now been 35 years since BMW first released its M5 sport sedan. That was back in 1988, when the first M5 was created using BMW’s E28 platform architecture, fitting it with a 3.5 DOHC straight-six engine from the M1 supercar that produced 256hp. This was very strong stuff at the time. If you’re into car chases, you can see an M5 in very visceral action by checking out the film Ronin.
Since then, five more iterations of the M5 have been rolled out, as the sedan’s horsepower rating galloped toward 600. To mark the production anniversary, BMW has unveiled a 2020 version of the M5, built now on its F90 platform. Output of the new M5 will be limited to 350 units worldwide, with just 35 copies being certified for sale in the U.S., those cars being built in September and October. This take on the M5 is the most powerful and road-capable that BMW has ever unleashed. The 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8 will be rated at 617hp, with 533-lbs.ft. of torque available at up to 5,860 RPM, giving the M5 a limited maximum speed of 189 MPH. All-wheel drive is standard, operating through an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, which offers three different driver-selectable driving modes. Suspension is double wishbones up front with five locating links at the rear. The brakes are understandably robust, with six-piston calipers and inner-vented discs all the way around. A full slate of convenience, navigation and appearance upgrades are on board. Interested? Better get on line fast, even with an MSRP of $128,995, which does include the federal gas-guzzler tax.