The second generation five series BMW (1981-1989) was essentially a major revamp of the first generation E12 model, the notable visible differences being a much squarer tail with larger rear lamps, body-coloured vertical vent covers in the C-Pillars and a subtly changed front end. Aerodynamically it was improved too, with the co-efficient of drag reduced from 0.44 to 0.38.
Inside there was a new and greatly improved dashboard design and across the range weight was reduced by around 200lb. Front suspension was similar to the 7-Series, and the rear improved over the E12.
The most notable model in the range surely has to be the M5, launched in February 1984 at the Amsterdam Motor Show. The 286bhp hand-built BMW Motorsport engine making it the fastest saloon car in the world at the time - in a body shell that to the untrained eye looked virtually identical to the bottom-of-the-range 518.
Models in the range include the 518, 518i, 520i, 525i, 525e, 528i, 535i SE, M535 and M5.
In 1982 BMW listed the following paint colours for the 5-Series: 146 Alpineweiß - 147 Safaribeige - 052 Hennarot - 187 Savannabeige - 180 Basaltblau - 173 Lapisblau - 086 Schwarz - 194 Pußtagrün - 143 Kaschmir-metallic - 170 Bahamabeige-metallic - 199 Burgandrot-metallic - 060 Polaris-metallic - 184 Delphin-metallic - 087 Graphit-metallic - 149 Saphirblau-metallic - 178 Balticblau-metallic - 045 Arktisblau-metallic - 171 Opalgrün-metallic - 177 Achatgrün-metallic
BMW say that their cars should be new, but not primarily look new. So the new 5-Series car, just launched in Germany, appears to be very similar to its predecessor, yet incorporates many new parts and improvements including a new type of rear suspension and a unique service indicator.
Alpina. A name synonymous with the most exclusive in high performance saloon cars. One of Alpina's foremost dealers or 'Partners' as they are called, is Sytners of Nottingham. The only people in the world (apart from Alpina themselves) allowed to build complete Alpina BMWs. Sytners are behind the latest offering, the spectacular B2.8. We test the car.