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BMW celebrates 30 years of M5 with smoking tires … and a surprise

What do you get one of automobiledom’s most iconic cars for its 30th birthday? How about a new set of tires.

BMW decided to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the M5 sports sedan in very appropriate fashion. Its M Power blog will recount each generation of M5 in a series of posts, while the latest model creates enough smoke for 1,000 birthday candles on YouTube.

After it’s done looking back at the previous five generations of this superlative sedan, BMW says it will “end with a surprise.”

That surprise could very well be a special-edition model, although the changes may not go beyond special paint, wheels, and badges.

The new 2014 M3 and M4 may be grabbing all of the limelight, but the M5 has anchored BMW’s M lineup since it debuted in 1984.

That first-generation E28 model featured a racing-derived inline-six engine taken from the M1 supercar, literally making the M5 a four-door sports car.

Each succeeding generation has moved a bit further away from those hairy, racing roots, which inevitably angers purists. However, each new M5 has been a better-performing car than the last.

Take the current F10 M5. It may be so quiet that BMW needed to pipe artificial engine noise into the cabin, but its 4.4-liter twin turbocharged V8 produces 552 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque – more than the previous M5’s naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V10.

Apparently, growing up has its benefits.

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