BMW E12 5 Series

BMW is well known for making cameos in various video games. There are the array of clearly BMW-inspired models in the Grand Theft Auto series, and who could forget the E46 M3 GTR in Need for Speed: Most Wanted? Microsoft’s Forza series always tilted a little bit more towards reality, allowing players to customize and even tune different aspects of their cars like the suspension, and the games have long included a strong selection of BMW models. Starting in 2012, The Forza franchise was split into two titles, with Forza Motorsport assuming the role of the more traditional racing simulator, and Forza Horizon offering players an open-world sandbox to explore. Slated to arrive next week, Forza Horizon will be available in its fifth installment, and the main car used in a trailer entitled The Getaway Driver is none other than a BMW E12 5 Series.

Although often overshadowed by the likes of the E21 3 Series among others, the E12 5 Series is of pivotal importance for the BMW brand. It was the first model to use the then-new naming scheme starting in 1972, and the series carries on today in the form of the G30, the seventh generation. The E12 also served as the basis for the precursor to the modern M car in the form of the M535i, was even raced (quite successfully) as the 530 MLE, and although they’re something of a rare sight today, their importance is nonetheless diminished. The E12 is an integral part of BMW’s modern lineage, and things haven’t stopped evolving since.

We won’t spoil the contents of the riveting three-minute Forza Horizon 5 trailer for you, but it goes without saying that the clip offers a glimpse of a modern classic BMW doing what it does best: showing off its split personality, and being driven in such a way few cars from its era could handle. Of course, being a trailer for a video game, not everything is real, but we still love seeing an old BMW being put through its paces.—Alex Tock

[Photo courtesy BMW AG. Video courtesy Xbox on YouTube.]

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