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Automotive Monomaniac
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saturday morning, I was fortunate enough to get a long test-drive in a 2001 E39 M5 without the salesman. The car was used, with about 19,000 miles on the clock (to me, that was good - it was broken-in).

First of all, I have a lot of seat time in the E39 540i (6-speed), and I just sold my E46 330i (5-speed), so I am used to quick BMW's. The M5 makes both of those seem docile.

The car was morning-cold when the manager threw me the keys, so it took a good 5 minutes before I could redline and hear the engine sing. Once it did, I was in heaven. Unfortunately, the city was unfamiliar to me, and at first, I was unable to find any real place to open her up. Stoplights were frustratingly all green (wouldn't you know it), and traffic was heavy...so I searched for an open road. Minutes later, I found a side street next to a business park (it was Saturday) that was long, flat and desolate.

I pulled over, shut off DSC, turned on SPORT, and let her rip. The tires spun for what seemed like minutes... then I shifted to second. THE TIRES SPUN AGAIN for about three more seconds and the car twitched left and right. Redline in second and I swear I got another chirp into third... the tach climbed, then I ran out of room. Wow!

On the road, with the car in second gear at 4000 rpm, nothing can touch you. It really is a beast. The engine sounds beautiful (like the 540i - which already has a wonderful exhaust note - on steriods)

Turn the SPORT button on while cruising, and the car lurches forward. I am not kidding, it is like switching on more horses. It is frightening.

Anyway, it was the most powerful car I have ever driven, and I was very impressed. The transmission is different from the 6-speed in the 540i, it has wonderfully shorter throws. The suspension is tight, yet not jarring.

In case you are wondering, it does feel like a big car, so the M3 still would be my choice on the track. However, give me an M5 to slaughter people on the freeway, or from stoplight to stoplight.
 

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I like cookies.
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18,102 Posts
Yea, it does spin the tires going into 3rd and can even activate DSC on the 3-4 at 110 :bigpimp:

M5s are great. I'll probably get to take one on the track this summer. I had an ungoverned one to 6500 rpms in 6th with the speedo reading 187 :yikes:
 

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Ex-Dictator
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That's why I avoid testing cars like these :D After testing the Alpina B3 I didn't want to get behind the wheel of my car again :)
 

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Alex Baumann said:
That's why I avoid testing cars like these :D After testing the Alpina B3 I didn't want to get behind the wheel of my car again :)
Exactly why I've never driven a 330i. :) I need a wagon and don't want to actually feel the power of a 3.0.
 

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Nick325xiT 5spd said:


Exactly why I've never driven a 330i.
Drove, lusted, bought a 330i. :bigpimp:

M5, would drive, would lust, couldn't buy. :cry:
 

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Automotive Monomaniac
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cal said:
That's great, Emission.

Now how do you convince the salespeople to give you an M5 to test drive all alone? They must know you quite well.
We were there buying a new 2002 E39 540-6.

When I negotiated the deal a few months ago, I asked if I could have a test-drive in an M5. He said "yes"... and kept his word.

It helped that the 'salesman' was really the General Manager and the car was his 'used' daily driver.

Here is a pic of the 540i 6-speed we picked-up. (Sterling over Black leather, Nav, PDC, M5 Spoiler).
 

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Automotive Monomaniac
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is the pic.
 

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Automotive Monomaniac
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10,706 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Those are the stock 540i 6-speed wheels. Most people buy the optional wheels. I like these much better.
 

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Grumpy and Cynical
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nate328Ci said:


Looks nice...

The M5 is much more agressive looking :yikes:

Black Plastic trim rocks! :thumb:
In Canada, we can buy the M Sport option for the 5 series. Makes the 530i/540i looks very much like the M5, and adds a more aggressive suspension. Too bad I can't afford it!

Ed;)
 
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