Were you wondering which BMW models come with that glorious V10 engine?
If so, you came to the right address!
We’re about to tell you everything about BMW’s one and only V10 engine – the S85.
Let’s dive right in!
Overview: A complete list of V10-powered BMWs
BMW equipped the E60/E61 M5 and E63/E64 M6 with a S85 V10 engine between 2005 and 2010.
For an overview of all BMWs with a V10, take a look at this table:
|Model||Engine||Engine Code||Production Years|
|E60 M5 (5 Series Sedan)||Naturally-aspirated V10||S85||2005-2010|
|E61 M5 (5 Series Touring)||Naturally-aspirated V10||S85||2005-2010|
|E63 M6 (6 Series Coupe)||Naturally-aspirated V10||S85||2005-2010|
|E64 M6 (6 Series Cabrio)||Naturally-aspirated V10||S85||2005-2010|
Reader’s tip: If you’re also interested in all BMW models equipped with a V8 engine, you’ll find our list here!
An in-depth look at BMW’s V10 engine and models
Alright, let’s get up close with the BMW S85 engine.
Born out of BMW’s participation in Formula 1 during the mid-2000s, it’s almost like they took the adrenaline of the racetrack and crammed it into an engine you could drive on regular roads.
The S85 was introduced in 2005. It’s a 5.0-liter powerhouse producing a whopping 500 horsepower!
Not to mention, it could rev up to 8,250 RPM, giving you a taste of what it must feel like to be behind the wheel of a real race car.
A cool thing about the S85 is that it was one of the last naturally aspirated engines from BMW.
This means it didn’t rely on turbochargers or superchargers to boost power.
Instead, it got all its grunt the old-fashioned way – from the size and efficiency of its cylinders. This allowed it to provide instant power without delay, a feature that made it a favorite among driving purists.
It also won multiple International Engine of the Year awards, which is a big deal in the automotive industry. Picture it like the Oscars for car engines!
And not just once.
The S85 V10 engine won the ‘International Engine of the Year’ award in its category (above 4 liters) from 2005 to 2008. That’s a four-year winning streak!
But it wasn’t just power and performance that made the S85 special. It was also the way it delivered that power.
The S85 has a linear power delivery, meaning it keeps providing more and more power as you rev higher and higher. This is unlike many modern engines that give you maximum power at mid-range revs and start losing steam as you approach the redline.
And let’s not forget the sound!
The S85 has a unique, thrilling roar that is pure music to the ears of any car lover.
In a nutshell, the S85 is more than just an engine. It’s a masterpiece of engineering, a symbol of BMW’s commitment to performance, and a throwback to an era when driving pleasure was all about raw, unadulterated power.
It’s no wonder that it has won so many awards and is loved by so many enthusiasts around the world.
BMW E60/E61 M5
So, we’ve told you about BMW’s S85 V10 engine, but in which exact models is it fitted?
It finds its home in two BMW models that have reached near-legendary status among car enthusiasts – the E60/E61 M5 and the E63/E64 M6.
Let’s start with the E60/E61 M5.
Now, this isn’t your average luxury sedan or wagon. Oh no, this is an absolute beast in a very refined suit.
Whether cruising in the sedan or the far rarer Touring version (that’s BMW-speak for wagon), the M5 equipped with the S85 engine turns every drive into an unforgettable experience. It’s like having a racetrack champion disguised as your daily driver!
Fun fact: BMW only made 1,025 units of the M5 Touring with the S85 engine. That makes them quite the collectors’ items today. So, if you ever come across one, know that you’ve spotted a rare gem.
BMW E63/E64 M6
Then there’s the E63/E64 M6.
Whether you prefer the hardtop coupe or the wind-in-your-hair convertible, the M6 is where high-performance meets high-class luxury.
It’s like a grand tourer but with a little – okay, a lot – of extra oomph, thanks to the S85 engine. Can you imagine taking a weekend road trip in one of these?
BMW E60/E61 M5 vs. E63/E64 M6: Which is best?
So, what if you had to choose; the BMW M5 or the M6?
Both are powered by the splendid S85 V10 engine; both offer an exhilarating driving experience.
The M5 and M6 share many attributes, including the same powerplant and similar performance metrics, so picking a clear winner isn’t straightforward.
However, one does emerge at the front if we consider all factors, including versatility, popularity, and the raw driving experience.
In the world of high-performance luxury vehicles, the E61 M5 is a standout for its combination of power and practicality.
With the space and comfort of a luxury estate, combined with a racing-inspired V10 engine, it’s a vehicle that can wear many hats.
You can comfortably drive it to a business meeting and then unleash its full potential on a track day!
The M6 is a beautiful car, no doubt, but it’s less versatile compared to the M5.
Also, the M5’s appeal seems to resonate with a larger audience, making it a more iconic figure in the auto industry.
Considering these aspects, while it’s a close race, the E61 M5 is the best V10-powered BMW. Its power, practicality, and popularity give it an edge over the M6.
Fun fact: We’ve even ranked the E60 BMW M5 in first place in our list of the best years and models of BMW!
What makes the S85 V10 a special engine?
By now, we’ve delved into the details of the S85 and its impressive feats.
But let’s step back momentarily and ask ourselves: what makes this engine so unique? Why does it hold such a special place in the hearts of auto enthusiasts worldwide?
Is it just about the horsepower, the high revs, or the prestigious awards? Or is there something more to it? Let’s find out!
1. Superior performance and high-revving nature
To start with, the S85 is an absolute power beast.
With a power output of 500 horsepower and a sky-high redline of 8,250 RPM, it delivers an adrenaline rush that’s hard to match.
It’s not just about the raw power but how it’s delivered. The S85’s high-revving nature allows for linear power delivery, ensuring a consistent surge of acceleration that keeps on giving to the top of the rev range.
2. Unique sound
If you’ve ever heard the S85 V10 engine, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.
The deep growl at idle, the sonorous howl at mid-revs, and the spine-tingling scream at full throttle – it’s a symphony for the senses.
The S85 has a distinctive, captivating soundtrack that sets it apart from almost every other engine. And let’s not forget the driving experience. With the S85 under the hood, every drive becomes memorable.
3 Impact on the M brand
The S85 profoundly impacted the M brand, BMW’s performance division.
It redefined what was possible in a high-performance luxury vehicle, setting a new benchmark for the competition.
The engine’s success contributed significantly to the prestige and allure of the M5 and M6 models, bolstering their status as high-performance icons.
Furthermore, even though the S85’s production ended in 2010, its legacy lives on. It remains a favorite among BMW enthusiasts and has earned a place in the annals of automotive history as one of the most exceptional engines ever.
In essence, the S85 is not just an engine – it embodies BMW’s driving philosophy, a symbol of its motorsport heritage, and a testament to its commitment to delivering the ultimate driving experience!
So, there you have it, the journey through the life of BMW’s sole V10 engine, the S85.
It’s not just about the technical specs, though they are undoubtedly impressive.
What makes the S85 truly special is the unforgettable driving experience it delivers. The power, the sound, and the thrill of pushing that engine to its limits are something that every car enthusiast should experience at least once.
BMW may have moved on to other engines, but the S85 remains a shining star in its history.
Have you ever experienced it? Let us know in the comments below!