Insideline Drives the 1988 E28 M5

If you ‘ve been reading BimmerFile for awhile you probably know that we have a soft spot for the E28. Specifically the 535is (which your author currently owns) and of course the M5. What made the E28 such a great driving car was amplified in the hand-built M5 of the period. With a modified inline six straight from the M1, the E28 M5 was the blueprint for all other fast four door executive saloons that followed.

There are many that argue there has never been a greater M5 than the first. While number have gone up in terms of power and down in terms of 0-60 times, the E28 M5 has a purity that has never and will never be matched.

Insideline had a chance to drive one of BMW ‘s museum cars while at the Monterey historics (apparently you ‘ve got to drag something out of storage from time to time) and has an interesting look at the car through the eyes of a modern day automotive writer. Here ‘s an excerpt:

The first thing that strikes is the light effort of all the major controls. The steering is light. The clutch takeup is light. The shifter for the five-speed manual transmission is light moving through the gates. The whole car feels light (and small) around us. Also, the seating position is high and bolt-upright in an old-fashioned way and we can easily see out around the skinny pillars and across the flat hood. Ah, sweet visibility.

By the way, light doesn ‘t mean overboosted or imprecise or flimsy. This car just doesn ‘t weigh much nor is it coping with modern-day performance car torque loads, so it doesn ‘t take as much effort to change direction or change gears. Response to inputs are direct in a way that modern BMWs can ‘t (and maybe wouldn ‘t want to) replicate. When you turn the steering wheel or lay into the (cable) throttle, you know deep down that you ‘re taking responsibility for what happens next. It ‘s a neat and liberating feeling.

You can read the entire review here. And if you want our take on the E28, check out our review of my own ’88 535is.

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