Retro Review: Top Gear’s original review of the E61 BMW M5 Travel


If you look at an advertisement for an E61 BMW M5 Touring, the most obvious thing to come up is its reliability. Because of their poor reputation for reliability, E60/E61 BMW M5 owners have lined the walls of BMW independent mechanics. The E61 BMW M5 Touring will be a vehicle that will entice enthusiasts to risk their money because it is so special. Top Gear’s retro review explains why.

Two TG journalists drove the E61 M5 Touring from London to Retorbido in Italy back when it was brand new. They wanted to see the Brasilia plant and get a machine. They drove over 820 miles in thirteen hours just to get one coffee machine for the TG offices. It sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t?

They had the opportunity to get to know E61 BMW M5 touring through France. They also had the opportunity to compare it with the E39 M5 which was a distant memory. Both the praises and critiques were interesting and showed just how far this current crop of M5s have come.

For instance, the 5.0 liter naturally-aspirated V10 obviously stole the show but not so much for its 500 horsepower. Instead, its silky smoothness, fantastic noise, and ease of use made it a star. Nowadays, we talk about the frankly absurd performance of modern M5s but we don’t talk so much about actually using the engine itself because it just feels like an extremely competent workhorse and not something truly special, as the V10 did.

It’s not perfect. We found the six-speed SMG semiautomatic gearbox to be as frustrating as ever. It had no Goldilocks configuration. The gearbox also had far too many techno-gadgetry features that weren’t ready.

The E61 BMW M5 Touring, a special car that was still in production today, is still a remarkable vehicle. If you see one while browsing classifieds, you might want to pause a little longer. It is still a special car and will be even more so with hindsight. Prepare your wallet.

Source: Top Gear

Publited Fri, 30 July 2021 at 13:02:03 +0000


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