2002 BMW M5

Started on Oct. 14 by Keith Tanner

Ride Rating


A 540i Sport with the 6-speed is a good car. Quick, quiet, athletic. But what happens when the BMW engineers are told to turn it up to 11?

The M5 happens.

Four doors. Fine Germanic leather. Alcantara headliner. And, of course, 400 horsepower.

It's the Real Car of the family. Not some over-engined mutant or anorexic athlete. It's low-key menace that coddles us in luxury and packs a mean right hook.

I haven't come up with this many transparent excuses to take a car for a ride in decades.

8 comments on this ride

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Oct 14, 2009 8:09 p.m.
I know it's an overused phrase, but this car is best described as an iron fist in a velvet glove. Nice Bimmer!
Oct 15, 2009 12:18 a.m.
Cool. Perfect colour for it, too.
Nov 4, 2009 8:17 p.m.
So when are you starting the Targa Nfld transformation on it?
Nov 5, 2009 2:49 p.m.
bluej (Forum Supporter):
whoah! why isn't it on your cars site? sweet ride :D
Nov 5, 2009 7:20 p.m.
Keith Tanner:
It's not on my slowcarfast.com site yet because I'm keeping it a secret from my parents :) They're coming to visit in a few weeks, and I want to blow their minds. Then the documentation begins. I can't imagine hustling this guy through some of those narrow Targa stages...
Apr 13, 2010 1:36 p.m.
Bought a miata in 2007 and found all the info I ever needed for it on your sites. Bought an e39 (wanted an M5 but had to settle for a 530i) in July 2009 and lo-and-behold guess who else I discover today has an e39? Those cars seem to complement one another's strong points and make good stable mates! Now I'm just waiting for you to release a shop manual for this one : )
Apr 14, 2010 12:14 a.m.
One day I hope to own an E39 540i with a 6-spd. And the only gadgets I'll care about keeping alive are my ABS, A/C, power mirrors, windows, locks, sunroof, and radio. That will be my grown-up car for when I'm 40. You have a beautiful car.
Mar 7, 2013 9:47 p.m.
In 2002, I was driving a Stealth RT/TT, and found myself on an on-ramp in front of a new M5 (in Le Mans Blue, if memory serves). Seizing the opportunity, I banged down a gear and planted the Go pedal, just to see if Mr. E39 could keep up. He did. He gained a little ground. I've been impressed with these cars ever since.

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