Consistently the best fast saloon, the BMW M5 is now 25. David Vivian from EVO drives all four generations and gives us his impressions. It ‘s a great look back as we get ready to look forward.

1988 BMW M5

But then not recognising the M5 for what it was quickly became part of the mystique. Essentially it was a Q-car, an ordinary-looking executive saloon powered by an extraordinary, race-derived engine. As the first true supersaloon, it sparked a power struggle that has lasted a quarter of a century and seen four generations take the fight to the opposition it created. Next year, the most powerful and advanced M5 yet looks set to push the bar higher still. For now, though, let’s rewind to the M5’s 25th birthday bash late last year. Based at the M division’s long-established Nürburgring test centre a five-minute walk from the Ring pit lane, it provided the perfect opportunity to chart the evolution of a modern motoring icon. Four generations of M5 are lined up in the pale autumnal sun. The Green Hell beckons.

But while the E60 is the fastest and most impressive M5, it isn’t the most likeable. It lacks the easygoing simplicity of the E28 and E34 and the perfectly blended attributes of the one I’d want to drive home from the Ring…

Click on over to EVO for the entire piece.