You’ll struggle to find a more desirable association of BMW terms than “M” and “Touring.” About 12 years after discontinuing the V10-powered M5 Touring (E61), BMW revived the super wagon formula in 2022 with the first-ever M3 Touring (G81). Come 2024, its bigger brother – the M5 Touring (G99) – will see the light of production day. However, it all started with this – the M5 Touring E34.
It’s the rarest of the M estates since only 891 units were made between 1992 and 1995. Since there was no available assembly line for the M5 Touring at the time, these fast wagons were largely assembled by hand at BMW M’s Garching factory near Munich. An impeccably maintained specimen is the subject of a new video review that tries to find out whether the long-roof M5 E34 is worthy of the accolades.
Putting an evolution of the M1 supercar’s engine in a family wagon was a wild idea, and the S38B38 helped BMW create one of the most desirable wagons ever. With 340 horsepower and 400 Newton-meters (295 pound-feet) of torque routed to the rear wheels, this was no ordinary grocery-getter. Jack from the Number 27 channel on YouTube finds the 3.8-liter unit to be a real gem, an engine that represented the final evolution of the S38.
He also praised the rock-solid build quality, and this particular M5 Touring E34 in mint condition also had the extended leather package making it even nicer. Decades later, the interior oozes high quality without looking flashy. Despite its venerable age, the adaptive suspension – introduced in 1992 together with the larger-displacement engine – is still working as advertised by diminishing body roll.
It’s not perfect though as Jack wasn’t enamored with the handling, mentioning the steering isn’t communicative or quick. That’s not to say the M5 Touring E34 performs poorly in a corner as it’s still a real hoot when tackling twisty backroads, especially for a big (well, at least by 1990s standards) wagon.
As a final note, we should point out the Touring wasn’t the rarest M5 E34 flavor since BMW also made a one-of-a-kind convertible.
Source: Number 27 / YouTube