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Auto blogThu, 04 Sep 2014
If you only look at the videos from BMW, it appears that the best way to celebrate the 30th birthday of the M5 is some smoky drifting, and it sure looks like a great way to mark the occasion to us. Now that the Bavarian brand's new 30th anniversary special edition is all set to hit the road, the most powerful M5 ever is getting it own chance to roast its tires on video, as well.
The M5 30th Anniversary Edition shouldn't have any problem hanging its rear end out, really. Under the hood, its twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 is turned up to 600 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque and can allegedly sprint to 60 miles per hour in a scant 3.7 seconds. That's pretty impressive for any sports car but especially for a sedan that can still carry four passengers comfortably cosseted in leather and Alcantara upholstery.
BMW is making just 300 of these celebratory models worldwide, and appropriately for the anniversary, only 30 of them are going to be available in the US. If the special M5 doesn't make your heart race, the video basks in a little nostalgia, as well, by showing off the original model for some historical context.
It may be early in the morning here in the US, but in Germany, the first day of the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show is in full swing. BMW took advantage of the early start and showed off its long-awaited i8 plug-in hybrid sportscar, a two-plus-two, swan-wing-doored coupe, to the Frankfurt crowd.
We drove a BMW i8 prototype back in August, so many of the things we're reading today are clarifications on our initial suspicions or speculations. Underhood sits a 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine. On its own, it churns out a respectable 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, which is then channeled to the rear wheels by way of a six-speed automatic transmission. An electric motor, meanwhile, sends 131 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque through a two-speed automatic to the front wheels.
With all-wheel drive at its disposal, the total system power sits at 362 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque, and allows the i8 to scamper to 62 miles per hour in just 4.4 seconds. That excellent performance is offset by an estimated fuel economy figure of 94 miles per gallon, though, making this a fast and efficient vehicle. Charging is impressively fast on the i8, with a full charge coming from a 110-volt outlet in under four hours. A BMW Charging Station will trim the charge time down to 1.5 hours.
BMW's performance division has been run by Dr. Friedrich Nitschke since 2011, developing, among other products, the new M3 and M4. But soon the good doctor will be retiring, and BMW has just named his successor.
Taking Nitschke's place as chairman of BMW M GmbH will be Franciscus van Meel (pictured at right), who until recently served as managing director of Audi Quattro GmbH - the rival outfit that makes Ingolstadt's performance models, including the R8 supercar and RS line of performance models.
Van Meel will join BMW on October 1, presumably to learn the ropes from Nitschke before the 59-year-old executive steps down at the end of the year. Back in January, Audi named Heinz Peter Hollwerweger as head of Quattro GmbH and reassigned van Meel to its Beijing R&D center, a role which evidently didn't suit him as well as creating Autobahn-storming German muscle cars.