When the latest M5 came out in 1998, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar were caught completely off-guard. The automotive community uniformly agreed that the wizards from Bavaria had pulled another rabbit out of a hat – beautifully balanced, stunningly pretty, yet insanely fast, there was literally nothing with four doors on the road that could touch it. What ensued was a sports sedan war that continues unabated and, at last count, has BMW pitting its V10, 500+ horsepower E60 M5 against a 600-horsepower V12 from Mercedes. For many enthusiasts, however, it was this particular generation of 5-series that offered the last, most elemental BMW driving experience – a proper six-speed gearbox, classic BMW styling and a naturally aspirated, high-revving 400 bhp M-Power V8 (the most technically advanced road car engine of its day) that could propel this sedan to 60 mph in only 4.7 seconds.

As a model year 2002, this M5 benefits from the mid-series improvements implemented on the E39 M5, including revised headlights with illuminated incandescent rings, park distance control sensors, thicker steering wheels, revised navigation and audio unit.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in June of 2010 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, San Diego, California.

400 bhp, 5.0-liter DOHC 32-valve V8 with double VANOS variable valve-timing, six-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 111.4"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

Gallery: BMW M5