Between 1995 and 2003, the BMW 5 Series E39 had no fewer than three different V8-powered versions. They all had different variations of the M62 engine family, with the most powerful of the family being the S62 of the M5 with an output of 394 bhp. On the other side of the spectrum, the 535i had a 3.5-litre eight-cylinder unit delivering 232 bhp until 1998 when the engine was replaced by a slightly more powerful version of M62.
Despite being the least powerful of the V8 range, the 535i was still a pretty capable machine. Case in point, this video courtesy of the TopSpeedGermany channel on YouTube, which shows us a 5 Series 535i from 1996 unleashing its full potential on the German Autobahn. This particular example is fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox, sending power exclusively to the rear wheels.
Even by today’s standards, this premium saloon looks pretty nimble. Sure, it’s not a rocket from a standstill, but it shows its real qualities from 62 mph above. 124 mph is definitely not a problem for the revvy engine, and the highest velocity we saw in the video is around 155 mph when the engine is at approximately 6,000 rpm.
One thing we find very interesting is the fuel consumption of that engine. While we can’t see the readings of the onboard computer, we can see the fuel level gauge. At the start of the video, the car has approximately a quarter of a tank and by the end of the clip, the needle shows almost no fuel available. It turns out that nine minutes flat out on the Autobahn are a costly experience behind the wheel of a V8-powered E39.