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BMW M5 (E39)

Year (of specifications) 1999 - 2003
Engine 4.9 litre V8
Transmission 6-speed manual RWD
Max speed 155 mph limited
0-60 mph 4.9 seconds
Horsepower 394 horsepower
weight 1826 kg / 4026 lbs

Unlike previous M5's, the E39 M5 was not handbuilt at BMW's M division, instead it was produced alongside the normal E39 5-series at the Dingolfing factory in Germany. BMW had originally decided not to produce an e39 M5, believing that the 282 hp BMW 540i offered enough performance. But when Mercedes and Jaguar unveiled their 350+hp super saloons in the forms of the XJR and E55, BMW developed the M5 in retaliation.

The E39 brought V8 power to the M5 and made the car a whole second faster to 60 mph over the previous M5 model.

Powering the e39 M5 was a 4.9 litre V8 which threw out nearly 400 horsepower. This was mated to a six-speed manual Getrag gearbox.

The car's discreet styling meant the e39 M5 could hide its massive performance potential under a cloak of sophistication until it was needed.

Compared to the standard 5-series, the M5's steering ratio was faster. It also featured a Servotronic speed-sensitive power steering system which provided two levels of resistance controlled through a console mounted 'Sport' button. The Sport button also adjusted the electronic throttle butterflies for faster throttle response. The E39 M5 is equipped with four-wheel vented disc brakes measuring 345 mm (13.58 in) in diameter in front and 328 mm (12.91 in) in diameter in the rear. On European-specification models, the rotors are of a "floating" two-piece design for reduced risk of cone distortion. Their lower unsprung weight improves ride quality and traction on bumpy surfaces as well.

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