BMW Australia Adds E34 M5 to Heritage Fleet

In Industry by fullboost

  • Australian-delivered Alpine White 1990 BMW M5 acquired ahead of all- new 2018 M5’s local introduction
  • One of 14 Alpine White E34-series M5s delivered new to Australia, out of a total 90 built
  • E34 was first M5 generation to be officially available in Australia, and was the last BMW M vehicle to be hand-assembled by the BMW Motorsport engineers
  • Powered by a late development of the legendary M1 supercar’s DOHC 24- valve straight-six
  • Naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre power unit generates 232kW at 6,900rpm and 360Nm at 4,750rpm
  • Will form a significant part of latest M5’s market introduction, and expands the BMW Group Australia Heritage fleet to seven vehicles

10th January 2018: BMW Group Australia is proud to announce its latest Heritage Fleet acquisition – a 1990- build BMW M5 which will play a central role in celebrating the sixth-generation M5’s imminent arrival.

The E34 BMW M5 was the second generation of the legendary M5 series, and the first to be officially imported for the Australian market.

“BMW’s heritage is vital to the brand’s strength,” said BMW Group Australia CEO, Marc Werner.

“With these vehicles we can showcase the pinnacle of engineering and innovation for that point in time, demonstrating that BMW is always at the forefront of the driving experience.

“A passionate group of BMW Australia employees has worked hard to unearth this original, Australian-delivered E34 M5. It will be a regular presence at our 2018 events for the latest M5, which will arrive in April. Both cars are game-changers, 18 years apart.”

The latest Heritage Fleet acquisition will be made available for dealer, club, communications and marketing events throughout 2018.

A thread of history

Significantly, the E34 BMW M5 was the last M car to be hand-finished by the BMW Motorsport engineers, in a process separate from the regular Dingolfing production line.

Launched to European markets in 1988, the E34 M5 continued a theme established by the first-generation E28 – that of an executive express.

Subtle differences to the acclaimed ‘regular’ E34 5 Series included specially-designed ‘M System’ 17-inch light alloy wheels (another BMW first) that enhanced airflow to the braking system, and a 20mm ride-height drop to improve handling and response. Discreet M5 badging, and a large twin exhaust outlet provided a further taste of the M5’s potential.

BMW Group Australia’s vehicle, chassis GA25246, was produced in July, 1990 as one of 90 to be built to Australian specification.

This particular M5 is one of only 14 Australian examples delivered in Alpine White. The hue was made famous by the E34 M5 that took part in the first-ever Targa Tasmania, as well as the Bathurst 12 Hour, in 1992.

Driven by the late World Champion Denny Hulme and co-driven by respected motoring journalist Angus MacKenzie, an Alpine White E34 M5 finished second outright at Targa. Another world champion – Australia’s Alan Jones – also shared second place at Bathurst with Tony Longhurst, who will campaign a BMW M4 GT4 at the 2018 Bathurst 12 Hour.

A comprehensive history file accompanies GA25246, showing its pre-purchase inspection was carried out at BMW Australia’s Mulgrave head office, right where it sits today.

Fitted as standard with electric sunroof and electric sports seats in combined Anthracite cloth and black nappa leather, the Australian-specification M5 also featured a standard HiFi Loudspeaker system and automatic air-conditioning.

Highly original, the car is receiving light recommissioning work, having been in storage since 2012.

An engine for the ages

The subtly-styled E34 M5 housed a late development of the BMW M1 supercar’s DOHC, 24-valve naturally-aspirated straight-six. Displacing 3,535cc, the 10:1 compression six was fed by six individual throttles to generate 232kW at 6,900rpm and 360Nm at 4,750rpm.

These outputs were fed via a five-speed manual gearbox and 25 per cent limited-slip differential to the rear wheels, enabling the M5 to hit 100km/h from rest in 6.3 seconds before heading to a limited top speed of 250km/h.

Sportscar handling, sedan shape

Under the skin the E34 M5 displayed the latest chassis technology for the time, with items such as anti-lock brakes and self-levelling rear suspension at the forefront.

Those airflow-optimised wheels were wound in 235/45/17 rubber (a wider rear wheel with 255-section rubber was optional) and covered all-round ventilated disc brakes, measuring 315mm up-front and 300mm at the rear.

As well as the 20mm ride height reduction the E34 M5 features 25 per cent stiffer spring rates than the 535i, firmer dampers and thicker anti-roll bars to the front and rear axles.

Independent MacPherson struts comprised the front suspension layout with an independent semi-trailing arm rear setup employing actuators to ensure the rear ride height was level, regardless of load.

Power-assisted steering used a 13.5:1 steering ratio for the recirculating ball system, ensuring a more direct response than standard.

BMW Group Australia’s Heritage Fleet – the overall picture

Alongside the E34 M5, the BMW Group Australia Heritage Fleet includes six additional slices of BMW history. These vehicles regularly travel Australia, providing dealers with unique promotional opportunities and fascinating fans while attending key events such as Motorclassica.

1938 BMW 327 Cabriolet 1989 BMW Z1
1999 BMW Z8
1999 Mini Cooper S 2003 BMW E46 M3 CSL 2016 BMW M4 GTS