The BMW M5 is the ultimate sports sedan, and it will cost you a minimum of R2,328,224 to buy a new one in South Africa.
If you want one of these impressive cars, but this is out of your budget, the second-hand market presents several opportunities to own one of its older siblings.
We therefore endeavoured to find out just how little you need to pay to get into a BMW M5 in South Africa.
The answer: a 1991 E34 BMW M5 with 303,000km on the clock going for R149,900.
For a car that recently celebrated its 30th birthday, this BMW M5 carries its age rather well.
On the outside, the grey metallic paint looks clean – with no scrapes or panel cracks when looking at the photos.
From certain angles, the paint does show hints of degradation and sun damage, but this is minimal, likely due to the sedan spending a majority of its life sleeping under cover at night.
The main exterior bits that then set this high-performance 5 Series apart from its siblings in 1988 were the M5 logos, larger exhaust outlets, boot spoiler, and 20mm lower ride height – which are all present and unchanged.
“[These] were pretty much the only outward signs that here stood the über 5 Series,” said BMW, when it celebrated the 30th anniversary of the M5.
An important factor to note for the enthusiast is that this M5 comes with aftermarket rims and not the original 17-inch alloys – which were the first wheels of this size fitted to a BMW.
On the inside, the E34 M5 made its sporty personality known thanks to the fitment of front sports seats and individually-moulded rear seats.
It also came with a comprehensive equipment list, which included luxurious features for the time – such as all-round electric windows, a sunroof, and a manual air-conditioner with rear vents.
Somewhere during the past 30 years this BMW lost its original radio and cassette player, however, leaving a large hole in the centre of the front fascia.
The steering wheel also shows wear-and-tear, but for a wheel with 303,000km below the belt, it could have looked much worse.
The same goes for the leather gear lever, plastic buttons, and slightly worn panels.
The leather seats and bolstered door inserts on this M5 then stand out as being the most pristine parts of the car, as there are no cracks or scratches where the driver has gotten in and out over the years, and the rear bench looks as if it has never had a passenger on it.
This is emphasised by the fresh look of the floor carpeting at the back.
Fast even for today
Under the hood of this unassuming BMW M5 lies a 3.5-litre, six-cylinder engine that developed 232kW when it was new.
The motor pairs to a five-speed manual gearbox and sent the M5 to 100km/h in 6.3 seconds – and to a limited top speed of 250km/h.
The 3.5-litre model on show here is also one of the rarer examples on the market, as only 8,079 units of this vehicle were ever made before BMW switched over to a stronger 3.8-litre motor towards the end of 1991.
The engine bay follows suit with the rest of the car by looking clean and rust free. The mechanical risks involved when buying a 30-year-old performance sedan must then be assessed in person.