The BMW 5 Series and X5

A History of Production Cars and Tuner Specials, 1972–2008


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About the Book

BMW is a company associated with motoring firsts. The very idea of a sports sedan was merely a novelty until BMW introduced the 5 series in 1972. As BMW’s “middle child,” the 5 series has drawn features from the company’s smallest and largest models, establishing a reputation for performance and practicality through multiple generations.
This book covers the history of the 5 series midsize sedan and the related X5 SUV from September 1972 to the e60’s major makeover for 2008 and the development of the e70 X5. Specific mechanical, electronic and cosmetic changes are described, including the time of and reasons for their introduction. Several aspects of BMW’s corporate history and technically related models such as the 6-series are also described, as are aftermarket modifications by Alpina, Hartge, and other specialist BMW tuners and speed shops. The book includes more than 200 photographs.

About the Author(s)

Marc Cranswick is an artist and historian with a history of involvement with car clubs and the hobby of classic car ownership. He has written extensively on high performance German cars.

Bibliographic Details

Marc Cranswick
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 293
Bibliographic Info: 242 photos (29 in color), appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4351-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8005-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

1. Triplanes, Trucks and Eggmobiles: BMW’s Rocky Road to the Top      3

2. The Original BMW 5 Series (e12)      11

3. The e12 5 Series Motorsport Creations and Tuner Versions      44

4. The 5 Series’ Second Coming: The e28 Chassis      60

5. Fast Shoeboxes: The e28 Motorsport and Tuner Variants      91

6. The e34 5 Series: A Time to Be Bold      108

7. The Flying Bus: The e34 Motorsport and Tuner Variants      137

Between pages 162 and 163 are 12 color plates containing 29 photographs

8. The e39 5 Series: The Conservative One      163

9. BMW in Flux: The 1990s      184

10. Tuning the e39: Motorsport and Tuner Choices      193

11. The e60 5 Series: The Mold Breaker      210

12. Living in a Niche: X5, M5 and Tuner Fives      232

Appendix: The Fastest and Slowest Fives      261

Chapter Notes      265

Bibliography      267

Index      269

Book Reviews & Awards

“Cranswick has crafted a very thorough global history of this beloved notch”—Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.