It's been 30 years since BMW rolled out the first M5, and while displacement and cylinder count may have fluctuated over those past three decades, output has only increased. The first-generation E28 M5 packed a 3.5-liter inline-six with 252 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque. The second-gen E34 model that followed added an extra 100 cc (and later 200 more) to produce 310 hp and 266 lb-ft. The E39 followed with a 4.9-liter V8 churning out 394 hp and 369 lb-ft, replaced by the award-winning 5.0-liter V10 in the E60 with its 500 hp and 380 lb-ft before BMW rolled out the latest model with a 4.4-liter V8, its twin turbos making up for the two dropped cylinders and 600 cc of displacement to produce 560 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. But even that's being left in the dust by the new special edition you see here.
The 30th Anniversary Edition BMW M5 packs that same 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, but cranks the output up to a nice, round 600 horsepower and a solid 516 lb-ft of torque to go with it. That makes it more powerful, not only than any M5 that's come before it, but also any of its rivals. The Jaguar XFR-S and Audi RS6 Avant (the latter only available as a wagon and not in North America) both lag behind this ultimate of Ultimate Driving Machines; only the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG trumps it on torque (but not on power), with 531 lb-ft in stock form and 590 in the S-Model.
As a result, the 0-60 time drops from a quoted 4.2 seconds in the stock M5 to a scant 3.7 in the 30th Anniversary edition (just one tick behind that twistier E63 S). The special M5 also comes with the Competition Package as standard, as well as a dedicated control module for the Active M Differential, a special Frozen Dark Silver matte finish, 20-inch alloys and black chrome badges. Special badges abound inside as well, where you'll also find black leather and Alcantara upholstery and aluminum trim. There'll even be a dedicated one-day course offered to owners at The Thermal Club in Palm Springs, CA, to further sweeten the deal.
Try not to get too excited at the prospect of owning one, though: BMW will only offer 300 examples worldwide, and only 30 of them will be coming to the United States to be offered at an as-yet undisclosed premium that surely won't deter customers from snapping them all up in an instant. The Bavarian automaker is setting up a dedicated hotline, the number to be released on Instagram five days before orders open up on a first-come, first-served basis on May 21.
BMW celebrates 30 years of M5 with 600-hp super sedan; http://www.autoblog.com/2014/05/07/bmw-m5-30th-anniversary-edition-official/. May 13, 2014.