A true beauty, crafted from one of BMW’s greatest hits.

The E39 BMW M5 was one of the great cars that the Bavarian manufacturer ever made. It produced a great noise, still had an optional manual gearbox, and could kill tires on command. While the M5 was a sedan, what could it have looked like had designers also made a coupe variant?

TheSketchMonkey stopped wondering and created a rendering. Along with subtracting two doors from the sedan he adds the flame surfacing design style; something introduced by Chris Bangle in 2001. Although it received mixed reviews with the “Bangle Butt” on that year’s 7 Series, it had a heavy influence on modern BMWs.

While redesigning the car, the video provides us with excellent supplemental information on how the flame style came to be. Its genesis was a secret brainstorming project within BMW called “deep blue”. In short, it was a 1996 project where designers were cooped up in a California beach house for six months looking at old models and coming up with something fresh. We wonder if the project would have taken less time had designers not been in a beach house.

They failed multiple times to come up with a new style until they had the idea of drawing inspiration from fire. The dynamic nature of the flame proved to be satisfactory enough to ditch the boxy design.

In adding the flame style to the E39 M5, TheSketchMonkey didn’t completely redesign the car. Rather, he made a point of altering the car’s flavor rather than the car itself. In the video he expertly sculpts the flat surfaces of the Bimmer to produce a chiseled and aggressive look. He also erases elements like the unwieldy plastic trim on the doors and bumpers, and after breaking some of the straight lines seen in the original car, it looks a lot more contemporary.


After working his magic, the final product is something with a modern flare that keeps the ethos of the original car alive.  We like the subtle touches that TheSketchMonkey adds to the M5, but what do you think?


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