Easily the first BMW M car that wasn't universally loved, as of today the current M5 has become the old M5, with production of the V10-powered monster selling 20,548 worldwide. That number includes 1,025 Touring (wagon) models sold in Europe. As the most successful M5 yet, the U.S. market played a huge role in its success with 8,800 M5s sold over six years, compared to just 1,647 units in the car's second largest market, Germany.
The M5 gained fame for its high-revving but torqueless and gas-hungry 500+ horsepower V10 engine, 7-speed sequential transmission, launch control, excessively complex electronics and an M button that brought power from just 400-hp to its full 500+ potential.
And yet for all the car's successes, BMW will move in a distinctly different direction with the next M5 rather than build on what the current model offers – an indication of its inherent weaknesses. The next M5 will do away with a low torque V10 in favor of a more efficient and more powerful twin-turbo V8 engine. It will also dump the sequential transmission for a dual-clutch unit. And based on the current 5 Series it will also seek to move past a much derided Chris Bangle design era.
More: BMW M5 Ends Production as Best Selling, Least Loved, Version Yet