Even though BMW unveiled an M535i in 1979, the sedan we know as the M5 didn’t go into production until 1984. With the M1’s inline-six under the hood – and a throttle body on each cylinder – putting out 282 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque, Hemmings wrote that the M5 “all but embarrassed every other car available, at any price.” BMW has decided to celebrate the 35th anniversary of what would become a growing dynasty with the 2020 BMW M5 Edition 35 Years.
Based on the M5 Competition, the M5 Edition 35 Years produces the same 617 hp and 553 lb-ft torque, along with the same 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds and top speed of 189 mph.
The changes are visual, provided by BMW Individual and exclusive to this car. The exterior is painted with Frozen Dark Grey II metallic paint infused with pigments that create a silk matte look. The wheels are 20-inch M light alloy Y-spoke in Graphite Grey, the M brake calipers are high gloss black instead of the usual blue, and there’s no badge on the trunk.
The cabin gets M Sport seats in Merino black full leather with beige stitching. The center console’s been dressed in carbon fiber mixed with gold anodized aluminum, which can also be found on the instrument panel and door trim. Sill plates read “M5 Edition 35 Jahre,” which would be “35 Years” for those who sprechen sie Deutsch. The new Live Cockpit Professional sits behind the steering wheel, replacing round dials with a speedo and tach angled around a new geometric shape. The normally optional Executive Package and M Driver’s Package come standard. That latter inclusion means an automatic ticket to an M Driver’s School in either Spartanburg, S.C., or The Thermal Club in Thermal, Calif, outside Palm Springs.
Those lucky enough to sign on the dotted line will need to pony up $128,995, which includes destination and gas guzzler tax. That’s $17,000 more than the M5 Competition, but that’s not an outrageous premium for a unicorn: BMW is only making 350 of the M5 Edition 35 Years for global consumption. A mere 35 of them will be coming to the United States.