BMW M5: Sleeper Once More?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

A major complaint about the current BMW M5 was that it traded its walk-softly-and-carry-a-big-stick cachet for muscle-bound advertisement of its steroidal abilities. The New York Times‘ reportage on the European tradition of badge deletion concludes that Americans simply don’t appreciate a good Q-ship the way they do on the continent. And the thesis is probably correct. When was the last time you saw a BMW that didn’t advertise its cubic centimeter displacement (or something like it) on its rear trunklid? Probably not since the last time you saw an out-of-place “M” or “AMG” badge on an obviously downmarket model. Fine, so the American super-sedan buyer wants some badge for their buck. It’s understandable. All I ask for is the option of making an M5 look indistinguishable from a grandfatherly 528. And BMW’s decision to downsize the M5 from a V10 to a turbocharged V8 makes the next M5 the perfect opportunity to do so. As the muted engine note in this video reveals, if nothing else, the option still exists.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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4 of 12 comments
  • SupaMan SupaMan on Oct 12, 2009
    doctorv8 Seriously? Aside from bigger wheels, quad pipes, badges, mirrors, and a couple of side vents, it’s indistinguishable from a 535i. Same recipe as the E39 M5 from 99-03. And all of those subtle changes are good enough for me. Unless you know what to look for, the M5 looks like any other 5 Series...and that in itself is appealing. Works for me...keep the distinctiveness of the next M5 quiet BMW. Only those in the know, well, need to know.
  • DearS DearS on Oct 12, 2009

    Well maybe someday I'd appreciate such a car enough to buy one. I do like the new look of this car, I think. Still I lik3 NA goodness, even if its an I6. I love the Alpina B5S' distinctive styling. That is beautiful.

  • Gling98 Gling98 on Oct 13, 2009

    I have a 2005 C230 Kompressor sedan that I debadged a few years ago. I also put a Mercedes Benz of London (UK) dealer sticker on the top of the rear window. I can't imagine being any more "Euro" without driving on the other side of the road. Too bad I don't have a C55 to debadge.

  • Brak Brak on Oct 13, 2009

    My Z4M Coupe doesn't advertise its displacement, it's only foul in that regard is too many M badges. I removed the ones on the fenders and only the one on the rump remains. The main problem with the M5 (and virtually the entire product line at this point) is that it's littered with FAR too much technology that gets in the way of the driving experience (not to mention the fact that this crap breaks down far too often). A 7-series practically requires lessons to operate, and the 5ers are just about as bad.