The city of angels has suffered from earthquakes, fires, riots and mudslides. But when you can pick up a 470-bhp Dinan M5 there for under twenty grand, Nice Price or Crack Pipe says viva la ciudad de Los Angeles!
Yesterday's candidate showed that Gibraltar wasn't the only interest Great Britain had in the Mediterranean. That twee Capri garnered a 60% Nice Price vote, despite having a ten grand point of entry. Today, we're moving to drama-filled LA, and are looking at something the whole family can enjoy- well, at least you'll keep telling yourself that.
When BMW introduced the first E28-based M5 at the '84 Amsterdam Auto Show, it made the Dutch drop their hash pipes and prostitutes, and sit up and take notice. That car's M1-based 3.5 litre six, nestled in the engine bay of the roundel-brand's mid-sizer took the ‘60s American muscle car recipe and added 4 doors worth of schnitzel to it.
The M5 was a hit in the U.S. as well, expanding the M brand to BMW's mainstream models along with the smaller M3. The E28 car was followed by the E34 in 1989, still with the six, but eventually bumped to 3.8 litres. Nine years later saw the arrival of a new M, and one that was powered for the first time in M5 history by something other than the traditional and venerated straight six. The E39 car rocked a V8 behind its iconic twin kidneys. Based on the M62 motor - and designated S62 - this 394-bhp aluminum-block monster elevated the M5 from very fast to holy crap! and kept the car competitive with the E55s and XJ-Rs that were thrown into battle against it.
Offered up by a dealer in the Los Angeles suburb of South Gate is this 2002 M5, in cobalt, with just shy of rolling six on its clock. These had an original MSRP in the U.S. of $69,900, but time and depreciation have taken their toll, and you can now pick up this clean example for $19,995. For that price, you're getting a 4-door family sedan with the performance of a Porsche 911. Stock, 60 is only 4.6 ticks away, but this car isn't stock- it has been breathed upon by Dinan, with the S2 package giving you a 76-bhp gain through air management and computer re-noodling. Speaking of noodles, the Dinan headers are a thing of beauty on these cars, although the seller didn't bother to snap a shot for our benefit. Other Dinan modifications include a shorter final drive (3.45:1 versus 2.81:1), stiffer springs and shocks, unique forged alloy wheels, wider tires, and front brake cooling ducts. There's also a lightened flywheel between the engine and the slick 6-speed transmission, and some bling for the trunk lid. All these mods (with the exception of the bling) worked to shave a half-second off of the zero-60 time, and were good for a claimed tsunami-outrunning 191-mph top end. Shee-it!
Back in 2002, this Dinan S2 package added $35,000 to the price of the already $70-grand M5, but today you can get the whole shlemiel for less than the cost of a non-leather equipped Accord. Sure it's an RCH away from one hundred grand on the odo, but it's also no longer a hundred grand out of your bank account.
So, what do you think of this budget super car? Is $19,995 enough of a deal to make you brave all the threats LA can dish up? Or, for that price, is it an unnatural disaster?
UPDATE: I was contacted by a Dinan dealer (try saying that five time fast!) who ran the VIN on this car, and it appears that it's not rocking the S2 package, but just the cold air intake and strut brace. Now, those alone were several grand new, and this car remains on the low end of the KBB spectrum, but you might want to reevaluate your vote.
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