BMW is very proud of the M5. And it ought to be. The car didn't invent the concept of a performance saloon - European manufacturers had been merrily homologating four-door models for motorsport long before 1984 - but the idea of combining it with the comfort and elan of a top-of-the-range model was still fairly novel at the time.
Of course the idea of having a 5 Series powered by the same straight-six which had originally featured in the mid-engined M1 didn't put people off. Nor did the fact that, at launch, the 286hp E28 was considered the fastest saloon in the world. Pile the sales of every subsequent generation on top of that, and BMW grades the M5 as the 'world's most successful high-performance sports sedan', too.
Whether or not that's actually true, Munich clearly feels like 35 years is a milestone worth marking, and - much as it did for the model's 30th anniversary - has celebrated the occasion with the announcement of a special edition variant enterprisingly titled the BMW M5 Edition 35 Years. Or the M5 Edition 35 Jahre, to you and me. Limited to just 350 examples, the car will go on sale in July - for a no doubt terrific sum yet to be confirmed.
So what do you get? Well, anyone hoping for bragging rights over M5 Competition owners will be slightly dismayed to learn that you 'only' get the same 625hp from the same turbocharged V8, transmitted to the road via the same xDrive all-wheel-drive system. BMW concedes that the Competition is very much the 'point of departure' for the Edition 35 Years, although given that car's startling 3.3-second-to-62mph performance, it's hard to feel shortchanged - even allowing for the fact that it was more power that distinguished the F10 30 Jahre M5 in 2014.
Instead - and rather inevitably - it is in the fixture and fitting department that the manufacturer has gone to town. The new model sports special Frozen Dark Grey II metallic paint, which has a special pigmentation to create that silk matt look. In addition, you get newly designed - and Graphite Grey - 20-inch M light alloy wheels in Y spoke design with gloss black callipers (or gold, if you go for the optional ceramics).
Open the door to climb in and you'll find sill finishers bearing the inscription "M5 Edition 35 Jahre", as well as "M5 Edition 35 Jahre 1/350" on the cupholder cover in the centre console. But the real 'exclusive interior flair' is summoned up by those extensive trim finishers, which are presented in gold anodized aluminium carbon structure for the first time ever.
This, plainly, is meant to be as showy as a Super Bowl winner's signet ring, and looks to have succeeded. BMW will be hoping that it goes someway to lessening the disappointment that buyers won't be getting the 'most powerful serial production automobile ever to be built by BMW M GmbH' (the 30 Jahre's boast at the time). Expect the anniversary edition to sell out immediately, regardless.