• Oct 29, 2009
BMW E34 M5 Convertible - Click above image for high-res gallery

Amongst M Division cognoscenti there rages an eternal debate concerning what's the best ever BMW M car. To the casual Bavarian-enthusiast the answer is quite simple: E39 M5. However, strong cases can be made for both the E30 M3 and the OG E28 M5, which featured the M1's race-bred 3.5-liter straight-six. In fact, there's a whole subculture of folks that feel a car's not really a BMW (let alone an M) without an inline-six. With that said, the E34 M5 is a pretty compelling candidate for best ever M car, as is the M1. Oddly, no one ever advocates in favor of the E60 M5. Moving on...

Think about it now -- the E34 M5 is the last of the totally hand built M cars. Sometimes one worker made an entire car, though usually the cars were built by specific teams. In fact, BMW test engineers could tell which person (or people) had built each individual car. That's pretty nifty. Only thing is, all those doors. And that roof! Who needs it? Sadly, it was only with the introduction of the E63 M6 that the big M cars got back to just two doors and a drop top. Or was it?

Turns out that back in the late '80s BMW built a convertible E34 M5 and they've kept it under lock and key for the past 20 years until showing it to a select group of journalists during a 25 years of M5 celebration. Based of the E34 chassis, the convertible version featured lengthened doors and was actually all set to go into production.

But then, just one week before its introduction at Geneva (they'd booked space for the car and everything), BMW pulled the plug and canceled the M5 convertible, fearing demand for non-M5 convertibles would cut into the highly profitable 3 Series convertible sales. Too bad, as this thing looks sweet. Also, if BMW pulls the long-rumored-though-(maybe)-never-built M8 out from some dark corner of the storage bin, well, we'll be pretty upset. Yet thrilled at the same time.



[Source: Autocar]


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  • 26 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      i just dont care for BMW's, I know they are good cars, but there is so many of them on the road, its no different from Camry's.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sweet. Yeah, if they pull the M8 out of the shed, Jonny, be ready with your "CHECK M8!" headline.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd rather see the M8 prototype. That car was beautiful. They can't have just destroyed it...
      • 5 Years Ago
      The E34 M5 wagon is still on my list of 10 best cars ever.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just love those seats.

      I miss fancy retrograde and/or multicolor shading/striping that plays with car trim. Now everything is all about pure contrast and intricate perforations which, while nice, doesn't have the same visual pop.

      That and the whole "crap, where do we put the three-point belt without that pillar there!?" "uuum.... HERE... in the post for the headrest!" seems like it shouldn't work... but it does.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Used to own an e28 M5. Slightly built engine by Midwest Motorsports. It was nearly perfect inside and out and had thin tasteful hand painted ///M stripes. That was indeed a FANTASTIC car and still one of my all time favorite M cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I could have sworn I have seen this before.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      That thing just LOOKS like pure sex and coke!
        • 5 Years Ago
        yeah, that would've kept Miami Vice on the air for at least another 5 years ;)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damn, that thing would have sold like crazy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, that car is really sweet, the E34 M5 is really classy, not like the E60 M5.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have a different theory as to why this never saw the light of day. If this was a 1989 model, it would take AT LEAST until the 1991 model year for this to come to market. With the new (and very altered) 3-series coming out in 1994, it would making this look slightly obsolete after only 24 months. So the business case said no.
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