BMW M5 E60: the sedan with the heart of Formula 1

In the early 2000s, the world was entering a new order after the 9/11 attacks in New York, while Spain was enjoying apparent economic grow

In the early 2000s, the world was entering a new order after the 9/11 attacks in New York, while Spain was enjoying apparent economic growth that would end with the bursting of the real estate bubble. Spain would also be the scene of the most tragic attack that Europe has known to date: 11-M. Back then, some brands were still doing crazy things like the BMW M5 E60, the sedan with the heart of Formula 1.

Probably the E60 generation is not the most graceful in the history of the BMW 5 Series. when the car was introduced in 2003received numerous criticisms because the design, the work of a young David Arcangeli, moved away from what was usual in the brand. However, the new 5 Series seemed to give continuity to a new stage in the Bavarian brand, started with the also controversial 7 Series a couple of years earlier. However, the M5 quickly became a object of desire for many fans, thanks to its incredible naturally aspirated V10 engine.

BMW M5 E60: the sedan with the heart of Formula 1

When the new generation E60 appeared, BMW was in Formula 1, producing engines at Williams. Specifically, the Bavarians provided a 3.0-liter V10 atmosphere around the 1,000 horsepower and was capable of turning more than 18,000 laps. A propellant considered one of the best and most powerful on the grid.


German engineers started from this block to develop the engine that powered the M5 E60 (and also the M6 ​​that came later). Said engine was developed specifically for this model, using the same V10 architecture as the Williams. The cylinder blocks came from the same light alloy facility that the brand had in Landshut, where the F1 engines were built.

A prodigy of 507 hp at 7,500 laps

The engine used the code S85 B50 and had ten individual throttle bodies, one for each cylinder, four valves per cylinder, a system M Double Spans variable valve timing and a lubrication system consisting of four oil pumps and two sumps. Atmospheric and with a displacement of 5.0 liters, it delivered 507 CV of power at 7,500 laps and 520 Nm of torque at 6,100 rpm.

For more excitement, such mechanics could be associated with a six-speed manual transmission, although only in the United States, where customers demanded the manual transmission due to the poor performance of the automatic. Only 1,364 copies They left the assembly line with a manual gearbox, which explains why these few units are highly valued today.

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In Europe, you could only choose with automatic transmission. Precisely, the main drawback that the M5 E60 had was the change. It was about a SMG III seven-speed robotic gearbox and a single clutch, sending power to the rear wheels via an M limited-slip differential. This box reported many failures and breakdowns and, without a doubt, reduced the potential of the V10.

Custom configuration

BMW M5 E60

In those years, electronic charging was already becoming important in luxury models like the BMW M5. The German brand was developing numerous advanced and very complex devices that allowed the driver to configure the car at will. The aforementioned SMG III transmission alone could be configured in up to 11 ways. The parameters were managed from the famous rotary knob located on the center console.

If we leave aside the aesthetics and the malfunction of the automatic gearbox, the BMW M5 E60 is one of the most special of all there has been, thanks to its V10 engine from F1, a prodigy of automotive engineering. Without forgetting details such as its spectacular 18-inch wheels, its widened bumpers and the double real exhaust outlets that gave it a really sporty rear.