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Lessons In Excessively Boastful Automotive Advertising: Bimmer Edition

Bradley Brownell January 5, 2012 In General 40 Comments

Is it 1986? Do you have a passion for speed? Do you also need to carry a full family and all of their things? Enter BMW’s “fastest sedan in the world”. The E28 Chassis M5 began a tradition of high speed sedan-ery that persists through to today.

While the high speed sedan was limited to 1200 copies, and it only ran for three model years 1986-88, but all the cars were labled as 1988 model year, it is still remembered as a cult classic. American BMW enthusiasts should still be ruing the day BMW decided on the North American specification of the hyper sedan, however. We, unfortunately, were burdened with catalytic converters, and compression ratios lowered from 10.2:1 to a lowly 9.5:1. While ROW residents reveled in 282 horsepower, a top speed north of 150 miles per hour, U.S. citizens and Canuckians alike, lived in forced complacency with only 256 horsepower and 148 miles per hour.

Additionally, Our German overlords also decided that we were not capable of deciding on our vehicle colors, as the USA market M5 was only sold in “Schwarz”. While most had cream-colored interior, there were a few cars with black leather too.  How boastful can they be? As if that weren’t enough, here is a video demonstrating just how conceited and arrogant BMW’s Motorsport division is.

  • This reminds me (again) to write up the story of my own E38 M5. the two of them. Sort of.

    • E38 is a 7-series

      • D'oh! Typo, E28. I never had the balls to buy an E38.

  • dukeisduke

    Best of all, it couldn't be ordered with iDrive.

    • M44Power

      Or run flat tires. And it had a dipstick.

      • PotbellyJoe

        …that wasn't the driver.

  • So is the proper nomenclature Bimmer or Beemer?

    I want to be sure I get it right.

    • dukeisduke

      I've always seen it spelled Bimmer in the car mags, but is it pronounced Beemer? Or is that just a yuppie thing?

    • I thought that Beemer was for the motorcycles, and Bimmer was for the cars. But I am no Bi(ee)merphile.

      • Scandinavian Flick

        That's the impression I always had as well. However, is the pronunciation supposed to be the same? I always referred to my car as a "Beemer" (Heh… Chrome tried to correct that to "Reamer") but spelled it Bimmer.

      • IronBallsMcG

        That's my understanding also. I have heard that Beemer was a derivation of the practice of referring to a BSA as a Beezer.

    • Generally, I've seen Bimmer for cars and Beemer for bikes, but it's far from concrete. When we raced our LeMons car, I went with the safer option.

      <img src=";

      • Paint it yellow and shunt in some LeMons events. The Killer ZomBeemer will be a shoe-in for next COTY.

      • vwminispeedster

        Due to this particular car I now call all BMWs Porcubimmers. Thanks you Scott for enriching my life.

        • My pleasure!

    • BradleyBrownell

      Bimmers are cars. Beemers are motorcycles.

    • M44Power

      Beemers are bikes, bimmers are cars, and if you make a fuss over how someone else says either you are probably the kind of a-hole that gives modern BMW drivers such a bad image.

      • Thanks everybody, I think this answer is my favorite! Next up, Porsche vs. Porsch-ah!

        • vwminispeedster

          THERE'S NO "A" IN PORSCHE!!

          • BradleyBrownell

            There is no "silent E" in the German language. Por-sche is a two syllable word!

  • JayP2112

    What other sedans came close to the factory built M5 circa late 80's, early 90's?
    Lotus Carlton and the AMG Hammer were not exactly factory cars.
    The Audi 200 turbo quattro was only 225hp factory.

    • Scandinavian Flick

      The Carlton and the Hammer are two cars that I love getting an occasional reminder that they exist…

      <img src="; width="500"/>
      Farking huge version: …

      That said, yeah, I can't think of anything else either. The M5 was something of a pioneer in the sedan market. Currently, we have more options in that class, but in the 80s nothing really came reasonably close.

    • PowerTryp

      1971 had it better.
      <img src="; width="500">
      (Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III)

      • tonyola

        Sure, but that was pre-fuel crisis and pre-Malaise. If we're going there, we could find all manner of 1960s American sedans equipped with hot big-blocks from Ford (406, 427), Chevy (396, 409, 427), Pontiac (421, 428), and Mopar (413, 426, 440). There are others, too.

        • PowerTryp

          We sure could, but that thing held the "fastest 4 door production car in the world" title and I just really wanted to put a picture of it up.

          • tonyola

            "Fastest 4 door production car in the world", hmm? I don't deny that the Falcon GTHO was super fast and the "fastest" rule might have applied for the year 1971, but I can't see it being faster than a late-'60s Dodge Coronet or Plymouth Belvedere sedan with a 426 Hemi (rated at 425 hp but actually well over 500 hp) and 4-speed/3.23 axle. It wouldn't have been much heavier than the XY Falcon.

    • PotbellyJoe

      It's astounding how close the SHO was to the BMW in performance numbers. Obviously not the same when it came to cache, but the SHO was a true marvel in a lot of ways.

      I would still much rather rock the Bimmer.

      Funny thing with the SHO was the engine was limited to 7000 rpm when it could 'easily' handle over 8000 rpms, but it was the Ford components attached to the motor that couldn't handle the speed.

      • hwyengr

        Internet legend has it that the boys in the lab put the Yamahammer on the test stand and rev'd it up to 10,000RPM, then went to lunch. It was still running like a charm when they got back.

        How many stock Ford parts were on that engine? The water pump certainly wasn't.

        Me: "I need a water pump for a '92 Taurus SHO"
        Parts guy: "Okay, that's $75. Wait, did you say SHO? That'll be $242."

        • PotbellyJoe

          I don't know the specifics, but apparently any of the shared components from the Vulcan block were designed to work up to 7000 RPM, after which a few of them started to malfunction.

          I am not a mechanic, nor have I owned a SHO to talk about this first hand.

          Hell of a motor though.

    • P161911

      The Maserati Quattroporte III came with 252-296HP and was built from 1977-1990. A little upmarket from the M5 though.
      By 1993 Northstar equipped Caddys had 295HP all were FWD though.

      • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

        I've always loved that gen Quattroporte.

        A beautiful sedan, IMO.

    • OA5599

      Dodge Spirit R/T had fewer ponies under the hood in stock form, but it was quicker than an M5 0-60 because it was also lighter.

      • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

        I drove one of those when a still good friend was shopping new cars. He wound up with a Stealth twin-turbo.

        The Spirit R/T still appeals to me 'cause it doesn't look like it can/should do want it can.

        Yes, it's got scary vehicle dynamics, but it was also the early-90's.

        In fact, I couldn't help but look at CL.

        I'm continuing my hold out for another really reasonably-priced '98 Grand Cherokee 5.9L, however. I need a different vehicle to tow behind the motorhome.

        • OA5599

          What do you consider reasonable? …
          <img src="; width=500>

          It's the same price as the car you linked above. On one hand, the Spirit is more than a half-ton lighter than the Jeep and should be 4-down capable as a toad. Better MPG, too. On the other hand, you should be able to buy parts for the ZJ at any podunk auto supply store or junkyard.

          • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

            Whoa! Dude!

            That's the EXACT ONE I've been searching for, 'casue it's been out there for at least three months.

            Damn you…. (but you da man)

            C'mon federal tax stuff, hurry the hell up and get to me, already!

            Mass doesn't matter when connected to the Freightliner chassis, and I'm a bit crippled, as is my wife, so we pretty much have to work with an automatic. "N" in the T-case = towable

            What's funny about toad-shopping is, 1K lbs. is the same as the fresh water tank being full. With the 3,500 lb. Grand Vitara connected to it, I literally could not tell a difference in performance, and I tried.

            I don't want to know what the difference is in MPG, but I know the Jeep is 11/16. Ugh.

            Spirit = 22/29

            Um, yeah. Well, my wife's fused left ankle, and my multiple old compound breaks writes off clutch use for extended periods.

            Plus, off-road is fun.

            I think, preventing this truck from selling, is it's out in Weatherford, or some other place "out west".

            • OA5599

              I got 1 to 2 mpg better than the EPA sticker in my 5.2 AWD ZJ, more or less stock with 100K on the odometer. Synthetic gear oil in both differentials brought it up another 0.3 mpg. I'm sure the long tube headers on this CL one would help, too; the passenger side headpipe is pretty restrictive on the stock exhaust.

              My CAI actually cost me some fuel economy and was worthless performance-wise below about 2200 RPM. I had the K&N FIPK, which is the same as the Mopar Performance one. The plastic on it was a bit brittle, too.

              If you really like the one in the ad, you might consider offering the seller a nonrefundable deposit to hold it until the taxman and the mailman play nice.

              • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

                I'm with you, I regularly beat the EPA's figures…something like 18 as an average, though it was mostly highway driving.

                Although… Said highway had a 4K foot climb, daily. Yeah, you get some of that back going downhill, but not all of it.

                CAI kills me 'cause all vehicles I've seen since 1980 have CAI as OEM. It helps with emissions. Sure, it's not even remotely like a straight shot, or anything, but it's something I'd not pay for. The only reason I'd even consider it is if it were a snorkel, or resulted in intake roar at WOT.

                Keep the loud exhaust, intake noise is where it's at (when done properly).

                I may have to e-mail this dude, put my W124 back on the block for next-to-nothing, and see what happens. This price is a bit high, but it's been for sale since at least October of last year.

  • alain

    oooo new background for my macbook as its res is 1280×800. i always loved e28s

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    Easily my favorite BMW of all time, with the period 6-series coming in a close second.

    Then, I still love the W126's shape/style and the W124's, too. I still have one of the latter. Need to put some of it straight, though…

  • Nater

    Just willed my dream into reality and bought an E28 M5… it's about as much fun as i can handle. Any time I'm not in it, I'm thinking about the next time I can be. That ad is hilarious, and I appreciate its addition to my random-ass-car-picture collection!

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