The BMW 5-Series in general is a lineup of top-performing and premium sport sedans. It is remarked for making excellent combinations of performance, luxury, and comfort. Included in the lineup is the BMW 540i which had been introduced the year 1993. Since then, it attracted various consumers and car enthusiasts because of its excellent handling and speed. Also notable in the whole existence of the model is its sports packages that came twice in five years. The model was discontinued in 2003 after only ten years of production, but it had a decent run in the market and on the road.
1993: A mix of performance and comfort
The BMW 540i emerged as one of the BMW models that carried its 4.0-liter M60 V8 engine offering it a speed of up to 149 mph. It is also very much noted for its unbelievable accelerating powers, being able to reach 60 mph from flat zero in just 6.2 seconds. The driving was even made better with its upgraded brakes, 5-speed automatic transmission, and rich interior features. It showcased a cassette player with 10 speakers, 10-way adjustable front seats, leather seats, and power windows.
1995: The M-Sport package
Come 1995, the BMW 540i became available in an M-Sport package, exciting many performance aficionados everywhere. The package did not come cheap as it was worth $8,000 on top of the BMW 540i price. However, it was able to reinforce the true BMW handling by adding self-leveling rear suspension, sport seats, and some other parts from the M5 model. There were 200 BMW 540i M-Sports sold in the US.
1997: Splashes of luxury
When the 5-Series entered the E39 line in 1997, the BMW 540i underwent outstanding improvements both in functions and comfort. Its engine upgraded into the 4.4-liter M62 V8 which allowed 155 mph top speed. It also had ABS brakes, electronic brake assist, traction control, and stability control system. Also integrated is the Adaptive Transmission Control system which recognizes and adapts to various driving styles.
The premium performance was matched with luxurious features such as more spacious interior, leather steering wheel, genuine wood trim, separate driver and front passenger climate controls, and rain-sensing wipers above all. During this time, the BMW 540i was thought of as a dream car that did not need any more upgrades. This is until the second sports package came.
1998: The second sporty turn
In 1998, the BMW 540i offered the second sports package in its lifetime, simply called the BMW 540i Sport. What made it distinguishable at one glance is its black trim, setting it apart from the standard BMW 540i that had chrome trims by the window. It also had 4-wheel power disc brakes, speed-sensitive power steering, and 17-inch wheels and tires. The most noted feature of the package is its sports-tuned suspension which was regarded as one of the world's greatest touring suspensions.