The E39 M5 was introduced in 1998 as the successor to two previous generations of fast BMW sedans. The new M5 was faster and more powerful than the E55 AMG & Jaguar XJR and cost over $70k when new but today is a bargain for a used 5 person rocketship. This silver 2000 M5 is for sale in Woodland Hills, CA for $12999 via craigslist might be the ticket for…well…tickets.
The E39 M5 had all the right ingredients for a fast sedan: warp-speed capable engine in front, manual transmission only and limited slip in the rear. It is a good looking vessel- with classic BMW short front overhangs, hofmeister kink, and pre-Bangle styling.
For the under $15k price range few cars come with nearly 400 hp from the factory – and the S62 4.9 liter V8 produces 394 horsepower and 364 ft-lbs of torque. The power is connected to a 6 speed manual transmission and factory standard limited slip differential to ensure you leave dual black stripes on the pavement – no peg-leg burnouts for this car! Engage the rear tires and you will be warped to 60mph in 4.5 seconds.
The interior of the M5 was a nice place to be in the early 2000s but does feel quite dated when compared to modern cars – especially the stereo/nav setup that looks like something Uhura would use to translate a rare dialect of Bavarian-Klingon. The seats are well worn and the wood (faux wood?) trim looks well…lamer than 1960s haircuts. The steering wheel is nice and thick – but it is attached to a steering box (only the lesser 525 inline6 models got rack-and-pinion) and steering feel/feedback makes you wonder if the tie-rod-ends are made from live rattlesnakes.
Quad exhaust tips and a M5 specific faux-diffuser round out the styling in the rear. Today the prices for E39 M5s continue to fall (cheap salvage titled M5s are appearing like tribbles at the moment) but its a good time to pickup a nice low mile stock one before they all get wrecked.
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