1987 BMW E28

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By 1987, the BMW E28 5 Series was nearing the end of its production run. However, the innovative spirit that had driven the series since its inception in 1981 was still very much alive.

Design and Aesthetics

The design of the 1987 E28 maintained the distinctive look that had become synonymous with the series, characterized by the twin-kidney grille, four round headlights, and clean, aerodynamic lines. The design was both sporty and elegant, reflecting BMW’s dual focus on performance and luxury.

Inside, the driver-focused philosophy remained evident, with the cockpit layout and ergonomically positioned controls contributing to an engaging driving experience. The interior was also a testament to luxury, with high-quality materials and finishes, while models like the M5 and M535i featured sportier elements.

Engine and Performance

In 1987, the E28 offered a diverse range of engine options to cater to different performance needs and preferences:

  • The 518i continued with the 1.8-liter M10B18 inline-four engine, producing 105 horsepower.
  • The 520i featured the 2.0-liter M20B20 inline-six engine, delivering 129 horsepower.
  • The 525i had a 2.5-liter M30B25V inline-six engine with an output of 150 horsepower.
  • The 528i was equipped with the 2.8-liter M30B28V inline-six engine, generating 184 horsepower.
  • The M535i, a high-performance model, came with a 3.5-liter M30B34 inline-six engine, producing 218 horsepower.
  • The iconic M5 model continued with the 3.5-liter M88/3 or S38 (for North American models) inline-six engine, with these engines delivering an impressive 282 horsepower (256 horsepower for the North American S38).

All engines were coupled with either a manual or an automatic transmission, depending on the model and market.

Innovative Features

BMW’s dedication to innovation was evident in the advanced features offered on the 1987 E28. In addition to the standard safety equipment, ABS was included across the range, highlighting the focus on safety. The “check control” vehicle diagnostic system was still a part of the E28’s feature list, helping to ensure optimal vehicle condition and performance.

Performance and Reception

The E28 series was highly regarded for its blend of performance, luxury, and advanced features. The M5 and M535i models, in particular, received praise for their exceptional driving dynamics, powerful engines, and comfortable interiors. The M5 continued to redefine the concept of a high-performance luxury sedan with its exhilarating performance and driving dynamics.

The E28’s build quality was notable, reinforcing BMW’s reputation for durability and reliability. The range of models and engine options allowed for a broad appeal, with models to suit different customer needs, from the economical 518i to the high-performance M5.


By 1987, the BMW E28 5 Series had left an indelible mark on the automotive industry. The series had played a crucial role in defining the mid-size luxury sedan segment, offering an unmatched blend of performance, luxury, and technological innovation.