You know that old saying about how we’re all equal, but some are more equal than others? It’s tough to call this “battle” in favor of the winner if said winner was…always meant to win.
Sure, listening to four (seemingly) stock BMW M5s rev their engines is truly delightful, especially since the environment is the same and the test conditions are the same.
We can hear each engine give it its best across the rev range and it all starts with the legendary E34. In its day, this thing was seriously quick. Now, it sounds a lot like an angry hot hatch, but back in 1989 when it first came out, oh boy.
I’m going to skip the E39 so I can talk about it last and jump straight to the E60 and the F10 M5s. We’ve got two completely different engines, free-breathing V10 vs. V8 twin-turbo, and hands down, this battle isn’t even close. The E60’s V10 sounds a heck of a lot better than the F10’s V8 unit, and I doubt anybody out there would call it any differently.
As for the E39, it’s the “clear winner” here because that is one seriously monstrous noise! Though it is possible that it’s been straight piped, because personally I don’t recall it being that loud. It would be a pretty silly thing to cheat at.
Either way, odds are that hardcore BMW fans will always point to the E39 when discussing their favorite M5 model. It’s lighter than the E60 and a lot lighter than the F10 which weighs almost two tons.