Introduced in 1998 at the Geneva Motor Show, the E39 M5 had a highly tuned V8 engine based on the M62 engine called the S62, which displaced 4.9 litres and produced 294 kW (400 PS; 394 bhp). The engine featured a 7,000 rpm redline, Double-VANOS, which varies the intake and exhaust valves timings for both cylinder banks, and individual throttle butterflies for each of the cylinders, allowing for a much faster engine response time.
All E39 M5s were equipped with a Getrag Type D six-speed manual transmission. The E39 M5 suspension shared its basic aluminium-intensive MacPherson strut/multi-link design of the V8 engined E39 5 series. However, several changes were made by BMW M. Reduced spring height, 23 mm (0.9 in) lower. A specific shock valving, thicker front and rear anti-roll bars, polyurethane auxiliary springs, and steel balljoints.
Source: Wikipedia, 2012