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Is the E39 M5 still considered Fast?

  • Yes

    Votes: 112 86.2%
  • No

    Votes: 18 13.8%
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Simple question. Yah or Nay? It was disturbing to see Motor Trend's latest "world's greatest drag race" episode in which the only cars in the 13 sec range were a pair of front wheel drive econo boxes, yet in the right hands in real life the E39 M5 can be a potent package. What's your perspective?
 

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Take your pick:

It's a supercar /thread

BMWs aren't designed to drag race /thread
 

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Here in the UK at least, it seems that the M5 badge still earns a lot of respect. Basically the petrolheads know what it is and treat it accordingly, while the other plebs just see it's got big tyres and 4 exhausts. They see this, of course, because it's in front of them...

I admit mine doesn't feel as fast as it did, but that's more down to my day to day transport having about 600bhp/ton..and my track toy having something over 1000bhp/ton :D

YG
 

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I've driven a fair amount of sports cars, but my M5 experience comes down to this.

350Z daily driver. One nice weekend afternoon, I help my buddy (Jon. on the forums) detail his 02 Carerra and then take it for a spin. Later in the week my coworker takes me for a ride in his E39 M5....a week later, the 350Z gets sold and I have a good ol E39 sitting in my carport.

Funny thing, I let Jon drive the beast and now he's got his own. So personally, I still think its a "fast" car, but it definitely has all the attributes I need/want in a daily driver. :cheers:
 

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Still fast (and remains deceptively so), just more cars that can keep up with it from a straight line speed point of view. Oh, and that assumes you leave it stock..........:cool:

Regards,
Jerry
 
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Is it usually the fastest car on the chunk of road you are on within a few miles? Most of the time yes.

Are there faster cars around town that could get to the next stop light faster than you? These days, many times yes.

Do these other cars have the comfort, luxury amendments, refinement, build quality, and command respect from most car enthusiasts? Usually not.

Factor in that the e39 M5 is a luxury sedan with power and handling. Try to think of an equivalent from a Japanese company and im sure you wont find one on the same level (especially one from the early 2000s). Then compare the other German competitors like Audi and Mercedez. Talk to any previous e39 M5 owner that has left to go to these brands and they will, more times than none say that it was a mistake to leave for those brands.

If you understand that your car is not, and never will be the fastest on the road, then you can start focusing on all the good things that this car has to offer. Then, the next time you are on the freeway and drop into 4th and have fun with other purpose built sports cars (not luxury sedans) and find that you can keep up or sometimes walk over then, you will know why you chose this car.
 

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E39 is fast, but compaired to todays offerings ($70K - $100K) it is pretty slow. My 2014 M5 when it was bone stock was faster than any modified E39 M5 times I have seen.
 

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Still fast (and remains deceptively so), just more cars that can keep up with it from a straight line speed point of view. Oh, and that assumes you leave it stock..........:cool:

Regards,
Jerry
Agreed, I wasn't going all out but a Genesis was keeping up with me. Thought that was ridiculous until I researched the Genesis' specs.
 

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I've driven a fair amount of sports cars, but my M5 experience comes down to this.

350Z daily driver. One nice weekend afternoon, I help my buddy (Jon. on the forums) detail his 02 Carerra and then take it for a spin. Later in the week my coworker takes me for a ride in his E39 M5....a week later, the 350Z gets sold and I have a good ol E39 sitting in my carport.

Funny thing, I let Jon drive the beast and now he's got his own. So personally, I still think its a "fast" car, but it definitely has all the attributes I need/want in a daily driver. :cheers:
Yeah, I just sold my 996 Carrera and picked up an E39 M5. While it's not nearly as fast as the Carrera, I think SidekickChuck summed it up nicely. As a complete package I enjoy the car more. It's fast...enough. It's comfortable and more luxurious and still has incredible styling IMO, which also played a factor into my decision for the car to replace my 911.

So is it fast? You bet, but there will always be faster cars out there.
 

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It's fast. It feels fast too, nice and torquey. I think no matter what it's always going to be hard to make a car that does sub-5 seconds 0-60 and has a top speed of over 180mph. That's always going to be an engineering challenge for a production car and will keep cars that can do that in a premium, somewhat supercar category for a long time. I think that's what's kept this M5 relevant speed-wise.

That said, to run with the 5 to 6 second-to-60 pack these days, which seems to be almost any sporty modern car, takes work and skill. To get that sub-5 second 0-60 I've got to launch the car perfectly and shift perfectly, really ripping into the car and driving it well, particularly if that's what C&D editors were getting back in the day. So on a good day, with my fairly normal/standard manual trans and launching skills and my adversity to abusing my car, what am I going to get with this car? 5.5? A lot of normal or mildly sporty cars these days can get sub-six-second 0-60 times and all it takes is mashing the right foot down. As such I'd have to do hard work to smoke a fairly quick, consistently 5-6 second car off the line. Right? Maybe that phenomenon is the source of the question? Essentially the sub-5-second club may not be growing that fast but the sub-6 second crowd of cars seems to be growing quite a bit.
 

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I think in a straight line it'd hold its own, but as soon as curves come out, the Carrera was much more nimble and quick.

The M5 also is heavier, and feels heavier...I didn't own them at the same time so I can't say for certain. Both cars are fast, but the 911 just felt quicker from my perspective.
 

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Yeah, I just sold my 996 Carrera and picked up an E39 M5. While it's not nearly as fast as the Carrera, I think SidekickChuck summed it up nicely. As a complete package I enjoy the car more. It's fast...enough. It's comfortable and more luxurious and still has incredible styling IMO, which also played a factor into my decision for the car to replace my 911.

So is it fast? You bet, but there will always be faster cars out there.
regular Carrera? I'd say those are equal in straight-line performance to the E39 M5. assuming both stock.

Decade in Review: Performance Then and Now - Feature - Car and Driver

Shows a 1999 Carerra runs 4.6 in the 0-60 and 13.2 in the 1/4mi which is pretty dang close to a E39 M5 other than off the line the 911 probably can leave a bit harder with less tq and a rear weight bias, so that accounts for the couple of tenths in the 0-60 time, but other than that in most acceleration ranges both cars would be pretty equal.

Unless you had a turbo or GT2 or something of course!

Now, my Corvette C6 is noticeably faster, but those are good for mid 12's in the 1/4mi which is starting to get into "fast" territory.
 

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regular Carrera? I'd say those are equal in straight-line performance to the E39 M5. assuming both stock.

Decade in Review: Performance Then and Now - Feature - Car and Driver

Shows a 1999 Carerra runs 4.6 in the 0-60 and 13.2 in the 1/4mi which is pretty dang close to a E39 M5 other than off the line the 911 probably can leave a bit harder with less tq and a rear weight bias, so that accounts for the couple of tenths in the 0-60 time, but other than that in most acceleration ranges both cars would be pretty equal.

Unless you had a turbo or GT2 or something of course!

Now, my Corvette C6 is noticeably faster, but those are good for mid 12's in the 1/4mi which is starting to get into "fast" territory.

Pretty much what I stated above :grinyes:

Also FWIW that was 996.1, which had a little less output than the 996.2 (02+). They added about 20 hp with the mk2 996.
 

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I think in a straight line it'd hold its own, but as soon as curves come out, the Carrera was much more nimble and quick.

The M5 also is heavier, and feels heavier...I didn't own them at the same time so I can't say for certain. Both cars are fast, but the 911 just felt quicker from my perspective.
oh well sure, in the corners! Can't really account for the extra 1K lbs of mass - physics is a *****!
Can't really compare performance on a curvy road between a sports car and a sedan!
But the M5 corners pretty good for a 4-door sedan, and it's still very fun to drive on a curvy road, IMHO.
 

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oh well sure, in the corners! Can't really account for the extra 1K lbs of mass - physics is a *****!
Can't really compare performance on a curvy road between a sports car and a sedan!
But the M5 corners pretty good for a 4-door sedan, and it's still very fun to drive on a curvy road, IMHO.
Of course not :haha: overall, the package the M5 brings is more enjoyable for me at this point, but I hope to get back into a pcar again in the future.
 

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've had a discussion with a friend recently and that though the recorded times are close, I think the car still feels really fast. My thought is this: with a manual shifter, we're losing a lot of time in shifts vs. paddle shifters/automatics. Automatics and DCT systems with launch controls have come a long way and contribute to a lot of the faster 0-60 times. I've noticed that it takes less horse power and torque to get faster/quicker numbers these days than the cars with manual transmission.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is this. If the E39 came equipped with a DCT and launch control, what times do you think would be recorded? It'll be much faster, I'd reckon. So, a car may have similar times and specs as the E39, I'm thinking that it wouldn't feel nearly as fast or powerful when stepping on the gas.

What do you guys think?
 

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've had a discussion with a friend recently and that though the recorded times are close, I think the car still feels really fast. My thought is this: with a manual shifter, we're losing a lot of time in shifts vs. paddle shifters/automatics. Automatics and DCT systems with launch controls have come a long way and contribute to a lot of the faster 0-60 times. I've noticed that it takes less horse power and torque to get faster/quicker numbers these days than the cars with manual transmission.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is this. If the E39 came equipped with a DCT and launch control, what times do you think would be recorded? It'll be much faster, I'd reckon. So, a car may have similar times and specs as the E39, I'm thinking that it wouldn't feel nearly as fast or powerful when stepping on the gas.

What do you guys think?
doesn't take as much time as you might think. With a pro driver it's maybe a matter of a tenth or two 0-60 in the shifts.
Launch is another thing maybe, but a RWD V8 front engine car is always going to be traction limited anyway, so the computer won't do things much better if at all vs. a really good driver. What makes the difference is the newer DCT or AT will more consistently run those numbers.

I have plenty of drag racing time under my belt with 12 second cars with manual trans btw, and I guarantee I wasn't giving up much if anything once I was dialed into a certain car, track condition etc. Launched around 3K rpm and barely let up on the gas on the shifts, but did use the clutch. It's hard on equipment to drive a car that way, but so is traction control - DCT still uses clutches and those wear out just like anything.
 
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