BMW's M5 was a simple concept: a production 5 Series saloon re-developed for high performance by the Motorsport division. The M5 was the car that really initiated the legend of the M-cars from BMW. The letter M has been applied to a high-performance BMW as early as 1978, but that year's M1 was an exotic supercar. It had the right image, but the M1 was never going to bring in major profits. The M5 was much simpler in concept. It was and remains a production 5 Series saloon, redeveloped for ultra-high performance. Manufacturing costs were minimized, allowing BMW to price the car more attractively and still bring in healthy profits.
After graduating from Oxford and pursuing further academic studies at Reading, James Taylor spent 12 years working in central government. However, the lure of writing about cars – which he was doing in his spare time – proved too great and he decided to turn it into a career. James has now written well over 100 books in all, and among them have been several definitive one-make or one-model titles. He has written for enthusiast magazines in several countries, has translated books from foreign languages, and even delivers effective writing training in both the public and private sectors. He spent the best part of ten years as the editor of Land Rover Enthusiast magazine and has always counted the products of the old Rover Company and of Land Rover as his favourite subject. He also co-organised the “15 Years of Rover V8” event at Donington in 1982.