• Aug 21, 2008


Click above for hi-res gallery of the '89 BMW M5 cabrio

These days BMW's M division is pretty busy, cranking out all manner of sport-tuned models in every form. You can get an M3 as a coupe, convertible or sedan, the M5 in sedan or wagon form, and the M6 as either a coupe or a convertible, in addition to M versions of the Z4. But back in the late '80s, the selection of M cars was much more limited. Not that the engineers in the sporting division weren't trying, though. Case in point is this M5 cabrio prototype that almost made it into production, but was canceled at the last minute.

Starting with an E34-generation M5 sedan, engineers in Munich chopped off the roof, strengthened the chassis and replaced the four doors with two longer ones. (If you think the idea is entirely absurd, just look at the Audi A4 cabrio and its quattro GmbH-tuned versions.) The resulting M5 convertible prototype was actually scheduled to debut at the 1989 Geneva Motor Show and even priced at £50k for the British market, but fearing that its addition to the BMW line-up would create demand for a conventional 5-series convertible and subsequently harm sales of the existing 3-series cabrio, BMW executives decided to kill the project. Only one prototype of the M5 convertible was made bearing ZS license plates from the BMW Individual program, as you can see in the gallery below.


[Source: BMWBlog.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      OMFG ! this car > any bimmer on the road right now
        • 6 Years Ago
        It does look damn good doesn't it. This car just looks awesome, I couldn't imagine seeing this sleek machine going down the road in 1989.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just when I think you guys can't get any stupider than the Viper ACR spotted at the 'Ring story, you pull something like this and...

      (wait for it)

      TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF! Man I want one of those!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Every time I see clean, older BMW's, my hate for Chris Bangle is renewed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It doesn't look that bad, but why would they use the E34 5er, when they had the E24 6er coupe to work with.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The e24 was on the way out (discontinued in 89, the year this would have debuted) whereas the e34 had just dropped in 87. Put the newest chassis not the one that's been kicking around since 76. Also, it looks a lot better with the even hood/trunk proportions, the e24 would have been all hood and no trunk (which, don't get me wrong, look amazing in coupe format but probably would have looked funny in cabrio).

        Focus: Who can I pay to make me one?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love it, it's amazing.

      I'm sure it would run with a current or last gen 3 series cabrio more then then any current M car though.

      In short, I love it and I want it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm thinkin' maybe they killed it because it looks almost exactly like the 3 series convertible of that vintage. I have one, and from these photos, it's almost like lookin' in my garage!
      • 6 Years Ago
      this looks awesome... but imagine how the modern (e60) equivalent would look -- *barf*
      • 6 Years Ago
      wow that looks GOOD
      • 6 Years Ago
      that rear fender is ridiculous!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks a lot better than the current 6-series. I used to have an '87 325i... God I loved that car!
      • 6 Years Ago
      It looks really good as a coupe. Must be a blast to drive.
      • 6 Years Ago
      BMW should have just continued with the 6-series if they were thinking about selling a M5 convertible.

      speaking of which, when will we get a 6-series with the twin-turbo in-line six cylinder? that would be a great addition to the U.S. market
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