I think the M5 E39 was very well received all over the world in the press. However this M5 marks a larger change, the E60 M5 is changed alot more than the E39 M5 was. Remember , there was not a plan to build an M5 when the E39 5-series was launched. With the success of the E39 M5 the E60 M5 got a go ahead and "carte blanche" from BMW board before the E60 5-series generation was launched.
I think the E39 really opened up the marketplace's eyes to the potential of a high power sedan. There were others, notably the preceding M5s and a Lotus and previous Mercedes and Maseratis, etc, but I think the E39 really showed what a sedan like this (sporting and luxurious with an exquisite balance of these attributes) could do sales wise. From that standpoint I think the E60 is continuing the trend, but the E39 represented the big taking off point. I don't think MB sold nearly as many E55s of the previous generation. The new E55 seems to be selling quite well. The E39 also dovetailed into the increase in market the E36 M3 created in the USA. Before the E36 M3, I think BMW M's largest markets were in Europe. Now 50% of M cars are sold in the US. I believe the E36 really opened up the US market for M. And I think there were many of us, myself included, who were asking- we've seen the M3- what about the M5? Initially the word was the M5 would be a very limited edition- my dealer said no more 400 cars! I even emailed with Gustav on this back in 1997-1998. I guess that limited edition turned out to be the Z8. When the M5 appeared, it was a hit- but we did not know the new M5 was coming years in advance. Now the market assumes a M5 is coming.
On the flip side, what Gustav says is true- it appears they planned the E60 M5 from the onset, whereas they did not plan on the E39 M5 from the onset- they thought the 540i/6 speed was more than enough for the market. My own pet theory is they saw the specs for the upcoming E55 and decided they needed a M car to compete. The timing for a car like the E39 could not have been better- it hit the market in the peak of the dot com boom.
But I think this goes to show that the E39 had a big impact on BMW too since this time there is seemingly no debate to do a M5.
So on balance I think time will show us that the impact the E39 had on the motoring world would be greater. None of this is to diminish the E60 M5. My sense is its abilities are higher and its duality is greater. It may even be a better car.
I can't wait to give the E60 M5 a good test drive in a few weeks! :M5launch: :flag:
I am not sure if the E60 platform is as good as the E39. It is a very different car. The car size is a little too big but hides it very well. Why make it more bigger? I hope the M5 can fix all of the issues with the E60 platform. Here are some of the issues with pre-M5 545i sport.
Active steering - great technology but numb as numb can be.
ARS - handles like a sports car but the ride is very rough.
SMG - Awesome yet boring to drive.
Size - very comfortable to passengers, but who cares about them. You loose the feel of the smaller E39.
I think BMW made a car so that it would appeal to more people.
Active steering is now an option. Wheww!!
Sport suspension - pass if you can
SMG - personal preference. I will go back to manual
Size - get used to it....
I will say the car has a better quality that the E39.......