BMW has announced a new version of the F90 M5, intended to celebrate 35 years of executive mid-size performance sedans that have perennially bested competitors with more cylinders, fewer doors, and higher price points. Officially referred to as the M5 Edition 35 Years according to BMW, the new model displays the phrase “35 Jahre” in a number of places, and follows the BMW trend of commemorating milestone anniversaries with special editions of already excellent models. 350 units are planned, and that figure includes a small allotment for the U.S. market that should ensure rarity and value.
The M5 35 Jahre is based on the M5 Competition—the fastest and most potent road-going BMW available right now—which means it comes with an 4.4-liter S63 V8 making an advertised 617 horsepower. The power plant, in chorus with with the first-ever M xDrive system in an M car, is good enough to propel the super-sedan from a standstill to 60 mph in a mere 3.1 seconds according to BMW, or in the high two-second range as per real-world tests.
The M5 35 Jahre is more than a limited-production edition with visual enhancements though. Although hardware remains nearly identical to that of the M5 Competition upon which it is based, there are a few incremental, evolutionary changes that those well-versed in modern BMW technology will appreciate.
The largely superficial modifications that set the anniversary M5 apart from the Competition do make for a nice collection though, with a number of elements that are exclusive to the model, courtesy of BMW Individual. One rather obvious aspect is the finish, which is BMW Individual Frozen Dark Grey Metallic II with a special pigmentation to promote the look of a silk, matte texture.
Twenty-inch M light alloy Y-spoke wheels resemble those of the regular M5 Competition, but are finished in a special shade of Graphite Grey that makes them unique to the M5 35 Jahre. Keen eyes will notice M Compound brakes that use calipers which wear high gloss paint finish as well, while the M5 Competition badge has been deleted from the trunk lid to keep the general public guessing.
Added contrast over the regular M5 and M5 Competition interior upholstery and trim choices is made possible by the use of the full black Merino leather with beige stitching that stands out nicely. Trim constructed of aluminum anodized in an eye-catching gold with a carbon substrate continues the effort, and creates a shimmering effect that will likely be very impressive in person. The panels cover all of the conventional trim sections, while door sills and lid of the forward storage compartment and charge port in the center console display special engraving that reads, “M5 Edition 35 Jahre.”
The distinct gold trim isn’t the only noteworthy change to the interior though, as the M5 35 Jahre also comes with the latest version of BMW’s all-digital instrument display, or Live Cockpit Professional. The new digital gauge cluster screen works hand in hand with iDrive operating system 7, which also comes with the largest display yet. The F90 M5, which is based upon the G30 5 Series that debuted for 2017, has been limited to a previous version of iDrive up until now, which was starting to show its age in comparison to the digital gauge clusters and large screens of other competitors and newer BMW models and refreshes, a problem that has been solved by the 35 Jahre.
Other optional packages, such as the executive package and M Driver’s Package, have been made standard on the 35 Jahre, the latter of which raises the speed limiter from 155 mph to a blistering 189, with a voucher for an M Driver’s School at either of the BMW Performance Center locations.
Standard equipment has also been extended to include an M Sport exhaust system, which becomes impossible to ignore as the incredibly powerful S63B44T4 V8 is put under load and wound out to high revs. The exhaust, which visually differentiates itself by the use of black chrome finish on the quad pipes, has some variability thanks to flaps controlling flow and back-pressure, while the sound can be manipulated by the driver via selection of various drive modes.
In total, 350 units of the 2020 M5 Edition 35 Years will be made, while 35—just 10%—are intended to be shipped over to select U.S. dealers.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW NA.]