BMW E34 M5

The BMW E34 M5 was manufactured as a 4 door saloon / sedan and 5 door station wagon estate produced from 1989 to 1995 of in which time 12,254 units were manufactured in Garching, Germany and were hand built as were its predecessors. The cars were fitted with 3.6 litre S38B36 and 3.8 litre S38B38 straight-6 cylinder engines coupled to 5 and 6 speed manual gearboxes. The wheelbase 2761 mm and length 4719 mm, width 1750 mm, height 1392 mm and a dry curb weight of 1670 kg.

The BMW E34 M5 is a continuation of BMW's M5 series, based on the 5-Series cars. It was produced from September 1988 to 1995, but sales in USA only started in 1990 and ended in 1993. It was produced at BMW 'M' GmbH and like the previous M5, was entirely hand-built. It utilized the 535i chassis which was produced at BMW's Dingolfing plant in Germany.

The early BMW E34 M5 used the 24 valve straight-6 engines found in the BMW E28 M5 and E24 M635CSi/M6 cars which already had proven track records. The engines were designated the engine code S38B36 with a bore of 93.4 mm and stroke of 86 mm with the sum total capacity of 3535 cc. The added stroke is due to a new forged steel crankshaft. The head and pistons were modified slightly to increase compression ratio to10:1 versus the old 9.8:1 compression figures.

Other adjustments made included an electronically controlled butterfly valve in the intake plenum, which provided better low rpm and mid-range power. The engine also featured an improved flywheel design, Bosch Motronic fuel injection and equal length stainless steel exhaust headers. Originally it was a 3.6 litre engine capacity which produced 232 kW or 311 bhp and 360 N.m of torque at 4,750 RPM.

In second half of 1991, the engine displacement was increased to 3.8 litres with the S38B38, except in North America and South Africa, which continued with the 3.6 litre engine and power was increased to 250 kW or 335 bhp.

The E34 M5 Touring was the world's fastest wagon when it was introduced. It was BMW’s M Division first wagon, but at the same time the last hand built M car made. Its 3.8 L straight six was also the largest displacement six cylinder engine of BMW's modern era. 

In racing circles the BMW E34 M5’s have never been the choice for motorsport racing enthusiasts due to its size and weight but M5’s have been contenders in endurance racing, where weight is less important than in sprint car racing. These cars feature engines which are based upon the 3.8 litre S38 which produce almost 260 kW or 350 horse power and racing in the Belgium Belcar Championship finished second in 2001 and in the Australian Bathurst 12 Hour Production Car Endurance Race finishing 2nd overall in its class.

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Performance
 

  • 1989–92 (Euro spec.) straight-6 cylinder engine 24v 3.6 L
    • 0-100 km/h in 6.3 sec.
    • Top speed: 250 km/h (electronically limited)
    • 92–95 (Euro) straight-6 cylinder engine 24v 3.8 L
    • 0-97 km/h in 5.9/5.7 sec
    • Top speed: 280 km/h (electronically limited)

  • 1991–93 (USA spec.) straight-6 cylinder engine 24v 3.5 L
    • 0-100 km/h in 6.4 sec.
    • Top speed: 250 km/h (electronically limited)