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BMW 5-Series History
This covers all the 5 series worldwide. These numbers come from all sorts of disparate literature, so there will be inconsistencies, especially from market to market. As you can see it's under construction. I've also averaged over model years when specs were similar over the years with the earlier body styles.
1972 to 1981: 518, 520, 520i, 520-6, 525, 528, 528i, 530i, M535i
The first version from 1972 to 1981 was the E12 body style. It was styled by Paul Bracq.
The "i" signified fuel injection. Early models without the "i" were carbureted. Today all cars from every maker are injected.
The 520 and 520i were 4 cylinders. The 520-6 had the same displacement with six cylinders. Power is about the same in all of the 2.0 litre engines.
The 518 had 90 HP, the 2.0s had about 120 hp, the 525 had 150 HP, the 528s and 530 had about 170 HP and the M535i had 218 HP.
Not all these cars came to the USA.
1982 to 1988: 518, 518i, 520i, 524d, 524td, 525e, 525i, 528i, 533i, M535i, M5
The second version was the E28 body style. It introduced the fuel consumption gauge and service interval indicator in 1982.
1989 to 1995: E34
The third body style was called the E34.
** Diesel. not sold in US
There was no 1996 model year 5 series in the USA.
BMW upped the 4.0 litre V8 to 4.4 litres, but kept the model numbers the same for some unknown reason. Thus the 1996 and newer 540i, 740i and 840i were really 545i, 745i and 845i.
The previous and best version was the 1997 - 2003 E39.
** Diesel, not sold in US
2004 - 2010 E60
The current version since 2004 is the E60.
I have yet to meet anyone, except for my wife only drives an automatic and who feels no difference between a rental car and a real car, who likes anything about the appearance, handling, iDrive, or or anything about the E60.
Consumer Reports, who rated the E39 as their best car ever tested, put the E60 530i on top of their list of most disappointing new cars in 2005, I think the October issue.
2010 - F10
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