Autoblog Reviews The 1988 ///M5

1988 BMW M5

Our friends over at Autoblog were part of a small faction of the media that had the honor of driving a pristine example of the original ///M5. If you are a fan of classic BMWs or stand by the belief that the feel of the drive is something only 20 year old BMWs have you should definitely click the above link and read the review in its entirety. We are a bit partial to the E28 here at BF and hold it on a pedestal of sorts, so the reviewers opinion came no surprise to us.

To wet the palate here is a small excerpt:

Twenty-three years after it left the factory floor, I ‘m sitting behind the wheel of a 1988 BMW M5 cruising up Pacific Coast Highway. Unlike most cars with two decades under their floor pan (and the mileage to accompany it), this particular example is in pristine condition having just over 12,000 miles on its odometer. Owned by BMW Classic, the division tasked with restoring and maintaining historic BMW vehicles, and on loan to BMW ‘s press fleet, we ‘ve been handed the keys of this museum piece to partake in a caravan heading up the coast from Santa Monica to Monterey. Full disclosure insists that I admit to having a serious soft spot for the E28 and the M5 in particular, so bear with me. As a teenager, my father had a 1984 E28 533i with a five-speed manual transmission. I learned how to drive stick shift on that car – and I took it to more than a few high school formals. The 533i was quick (181 horsepower), but it was no M5. When the M5 debuted, the posters went up on my wall, but I never had the chance to sit behind the wheel or take one for a spin. Until now… Inserted into the door slot, a twist of the M5 ‘s illuminated key activates all four of the loud servo-driven door locks. The driver door opens smoothly, and I settle my six-foot two-inch frame into the front seat. Immediately, I am overwhelmed by the smell – older BMW ‘s have a very characteristic rustic leathery odor. It ‘s not offensive, but it brings back a flood of old memories that catch me off guard. I like it already.

Photo: Autoblog

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  • Dylan

    What a great article. I think it would be neat to own one of these cars…another example of a less-expensive, slightly slow “old” car that manages to deliver happiness on par with a modern BMW.

  • Erik R

    Great article, but the numbers are all off! Just goes to show BMW has always understated acceleration figures. Just had my ’88 ///M5 at a local car show, so I have all the original articles in front of me. The slowest 0-60 time was Car and Driver with a time of 6.3 and I also have one without name of magazine showing 5.8. These were amazing for the day, but don’t tell the whole story. The car has no power until 4,000 rpm, but drive this car on the highway, most cars can’t touch it today. With typical mods (chip, exhaust, cam gear) this car can pull away from my wife’s 2008 535xiT, manual with Dinan engine software, without breaking a sweat. Even if it is a little slow compared to the new ///M’s, it just feels SO much better. I can also attest that it can bury it’s 170mph speedometer, not sure how accurate at that speed, but it was so much fun.