Here’s A Love Letter To The BMW E60 M5’s Epic V10 Engine

Just in case you needed a reminder of how incredibly awesome the 5.0-liter V10 engine in the BMW E60 M5 was, here’s a little something that should bring back those memories.

Codenamed S85, the naturally aspirated 10-cylinder engine was designed specifically for this M5 (and its two-door counterpart, the M6), producing 500hp (507PS) and 380lb-ft (520Nm) of torque.

The US-spec E60 M5s were the only ones in the world to be offered with a manual six-speed gearbox, as the rest of the world got a seven-speed SMG automated manual transmission only, which is easily the weakest link in a car that’s been universally praised for its performance and handling.

Featuring a compression ratio of 12.0:1 and able to rev up to 8,250rpm, the S85 makes the E60 M5 a true screamer, giving the four-door super-saloon a proper supercar-like soundtrack that is so missing from cars these days.

In the following video, Carwow has a go in a BMW E60 M5, reminding us of its epic engine and the beautiful music it made.


  • Bo Hanan

    The E39 M5’s S62-V8 is the best M-Car engine. 5.0, 400HP and 369 lb ft torque. The V10 may have an extra 100HP, but it only has an extra 15 lb ft torque. The E39 hits her max torque at 5800RPM. The V10 at 8250. An E39 can match/exceed an E60 all the way to 145MPH. especially if that E60 hasn’t downshifted. And lets not even start on the V10’s repair bills.
    Oh, and the E60 is 300+ lbs. heavier.

    • europeon

      True, but a V10 engine has something special.
      I’m not a fan of BWMs, quite the opposite, but the E60 M5 is the only BMW that I enjoyed driving. This car was launched just at the right time when mechanical bits were refined enough and the electronics and safety nannies weren’t as bad as they are nowadays, so it’s the perfect blend for a normal driver.

    • Vassilis

      First of all you have your numbers wrong. The V8 hits max torque at 3,800 rpm, the V10 at 6,100. The rpms you mentioned are max power rpms. Second, it’s not a diesel for the torque numbers to count. It’s an F1-inspired, high-revving V10. It blows the E39’s V8 out of the water. Also, a metric of a great engine is it’s specific power output. 100 hp per litre is better than 82. I love the E39 M5, it’s a great car. The E60 though was truly special.

  • And you can get the Touring version with it. I think it’s one of the M greatest hits.

  • Vassilis

    Best M5 ever!

    • Stigasawuswrecks

      I owned one and i wish I could agree. It’s a great drive, if you get the manual version, but it’s a costly nightmare. I spent $12k for a complete valve job. Then again mine was tuned to 600 hp with a red line around 10k.

      • Vassilis

        Yeah I wonder why you had to get a complete valve job 😀

        • Stigasawuswrecks

          The engines are prone to problems and failure because of their design. I made sure everything was strengthened and lighter so it could rev freely. It was glorious though to here that motor wail. Now you’re making me me miss it.

  • smartacus

    thiis is a bay-m-dobleyew M fuhyv.
    cost winnyew 86,000 yoreaus.

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