We’re quite fond of the E39-generation BMW M5 here at CarScoops, and there are quite a few pristine examples hitting the used car market and fetching nice prices. So what makes the E39 M5 so special?

During a recent review of the super sedan, Doug DeMuro says that many BMW enthusiasts consider the E39 the pinnacle of the M5 family. Not only is it one of the best-looking sedans that BMW has ever produced, but it is also a solid performer. This particular example has also been beautifully maintained and looks almost new, despite having more than 210,000 miles (~338,000 km) on the clock.

Powering the E39 M5 is a naturally aspirated 4.9-liter S62 V8 that produces 394 hp at 6,600 rpm and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque at 3,800 rpm. This engine features BMW’s VANOS variable valve timing (similar to Honda’s VTEC technology) but, more impressively, has individual throttle bodies, not something you see very often nowadays. Mated to the gem of an engine is a Getrag six-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential.

If you’ve sat behind the wheel of an E39 M5, you’ll undoubtedly agree that it is a fun car to drive, and DeMuro echoes this sentiment in his review, saying the overall driving experience is “great” and adding that even though it ‘only’ has 400 hp, it’s still very fast.