Over the years the cylinder count of BMW’s M5 models has risen like the encroaching sea. None however has had as many as today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Canadian E34, for which you'll still need to decide whether its price needs to ebb somewhat.
The M in BMW's M GmbH Group stands for Motorsport. Of course it could also stand for 'More,' as in more of everything. The first car to carry the M badge was rightfully branded the M1 and carried a hot mama version of the company's straight six, the twin-cam M88/1.
With few modifications that engine found its way under the hood of the 5-series mid-sized sedan, creating of course the M5. A hot sedan version of the 5-series has been a staple of the marque ever since, and with the exception of the latest - the F10 - each successive generation has increased in both performance and cylinder count. Well, I'm sure the newest M5 will out perform all its predecessors, but it does so with a lessor cylinder count than the last gen, breaking the cycle.
Six, eight, ten, and then back to eight, no matter what kind of pot head you are, over the years the M5 has offered enough pots to satisfy, that is with one exception. If you happened to be a confirmed dodekaphile then the M5 may have always been a disappointment to you. . . that is until now.
Today's 1993 BMW E34 M5 - in Euro form no less - has had its 311-horse S38B36 six unceremoniously ripped from its bosom, and replaced by an even bosomier S70B56 V12, late of an 850 CSi. Hee, hee, hoo, hoo, ha, ha, oh my!
The 5.6-litre twelve is in fact two sixes married by a communal crank, all the way to having an ECU dedicated to each six cylinder bank. This is one rare motor, with only about 1,500 ever being produced for the '92-'96 E31. It also served as the base for the engine that powered McLaren's F1. Bow your unworthy heads!
Along with the extra cylinders this E34 also gets some added gears. Backing up the 380-bhp, 410 lb-ft motor is a 6-speed manual - probably a Getrag - that sends power back to a Quaife LSD. The whole thing is said to have been built by Brett Anderson from Koala Motorsport in Cleveland OH, and to have but 76,000 miles on the car. No word on how many are on the mill, but it's unlikely that it's been anywhere near wrung out.
The rest of the car is as you might expect of a Euro E34 M5, with leather-cover sport seats and wheel inside, and the satin grey airdam and rocker extensions on the outside. It all looks perfectly serviceable and in need of nothing other than maybe tossing out that goofy cup holder. Nobody should be big gulping in a car like this.
I know that the general consensus when considering 'someone else's project' is to stay away as confidence is almost always lacking in the work done, and it's unlikely that the builder's needs and desires would be the same as yours; but in this case, screw that! Yeah the burly V12 likely throws the handling all out of whack - the self leveling suspension notwithstanding - but it's a freaking M5 V12 with a six speed manual.
I mean, the only thing that could make this car more awesome is if it came with a trunk full of blow and an amnesia-suffering Sofia Vergara in the passenger seat. It's so amazing that probably the most astonishing thing about it is that it resides in that bastion of civility and modesty, Canada. Oh and I was kidding about the trunk full of blow, don't do drugs, kids.
Another astonishment may be the price which at present is $20,000 Canadian. Now before you start joking about that being 'what, $2.43 American?' understand that Canada's economy is presently stronger than that of the U.S. and their government presently not being a joke makes that fact pretty likely to continue for some time.
That doesn't mean that U.S. voters can't participate in deciding if that twenty grand price is a fair deal for this v12-rocking M5, you just need to do a better job than you did electing Congress.
Regardless of nationality, what do you think about $20K for this custom M5? Is that a price that proves the maxim that its cheaper by the dozen? Or is this an M with a price that's M-barrassing?
H/T to Automatch for the hookup!
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Hey, you can read another take on this majestic beast over at our friends at the German Cars for Sale blog!