The current F10 generation M5 is fast approaching the end of its production life, and will be replaced by an all-new model sometime next year. To celebrate the current car, BMW has launched two special versions, the Competition Edition, limited to 200 units worldwide, and the US-only Pure Metal Silver Limited Edition, limited to just 50.
Here’s our pick of some of the best special edition M5s from different generations.
1976 BMW 530 MLE BMW
Started assembling cars in South Africa in 1971, and found success in the local motorsport scene with the first-gen E21 5 Series — to homologate the car for racing and with M GmbH’s support, BMW SA built just 200 road-going 530 MLE (Motorsport Limited Edition) cars with wide bodies, Chaparral wheels, and an incredible 275bhp, much more than a period 911 Carrera. The MLE came about a decade before the official M5 and four years before the M535i.
1991 Cecotto Edition
If you ever find one of these grab it and never let it go, because BMW produced only 22 of these Cecotto Edition M5s in 1991. When it was winning everything in touring car racing Munich asked its factory race driver, Venezuelan Johnny Cecotto, to dream up his ultimate M5, and he just loaded the thing to the hilt with luxury kit…
1991 Winkelhock Edition
Cecotto’s teammate Jo Winkelhock on the other hand, decided to prepare his Winkelhock Edition M5 (51 built in 1991) stripped bare with all the luxury items removed. Good man, and this lightweight M5 even featured a smaller racing battery, Recaro bucket seats and red seat belts.
1992 M5 Touring
One of the rarest M5s is the E39 series M5 Touring in an estate body style. This was also the final car hand-built by M’s small team of experts in Garching, before M became the marketing machine it is today. Less than 900 E39 M5 Tourings were ever made and wheels toured in BMW Museum’s example for five days around the Alps last year.
1999 ACS5 Sport
One of the few companies that did full modifications with the E39 M5 was BMW’s old works’ racing partner AC Schnitzer that did the ACS5 Sport, complete with unique suspension featuring electronic on-the-fly adjustment with digital control from inside.
2007 NA M5
BMW’s E60 was one of the most technically advanced sports saloons ever at the time, featuring a racing-derived V10 screamer of an engine full of F1 know-how, and mated to a complex seven-speed sequential transmission. The Yanks, however, moaned so much that just for the North American market, BMW did a batch of manual E60 M5s that were supposed to be impossible to engineer with the V10…
2014 30 Jahre M5
To celebrate 30 years of the legendary nameplate BMW released 300 special-edition cars globally each with 600bhp, 700Nm of torque, and unique Frozen Dark Silver metallic paint plus, of course, ’30 Jahre M5’ badges everywhere.