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It’s rare to be given the opportunity to pilot a pack of legends one right after the other, so when I discovered that each and every generation of the BMW M5 was represented in the parking lot at Portugal’s Circuito Estoril where we were testing the redesigned 2018 BMW M5 model, I was completely OK with trading turbocharged track time for street encounters with these stunning sedans.

Not everything went according to plan of course, as few things do when you’re dealing with classic automobiles. The E28 generation M5 — the one that started it all in North America — had its alternator fail after someone played a little too hard with it the previous day. BMW quickly replaced with a pleasant surprise in the form of the E12 M535i, the quickest version of the original 5 Seriesand one of the very first cars to wear an M badge of any kind. On the more modern side of the spectrum, for reasons that remained opaque, we weren’t allowed to pilot the outgoing M5 model, which I was told was there for 'static display purposes only.'
Read more about M5 Inception: We Drive Each Generation of BMW M5 Back-to-Back-to-Back at
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