The Good Oil: Three decades of sheer grunt

BMW M5. Photo / Supplied
BMW M5. Photo / Supplied

The mighty BMW M5 has long been a favourite of The Good Oil, but even we didn't realise for quite how long. Thirty years, it seems, is the amount of time the grunt-tastic super sedan has been doing big, lurid smokey slides through our subconscious. That makes us feel very old indeed.

BMW M5. Photo / Supplied
BMW M5. Photo / Supplied

Still, BMW's M Power blog ( is celebrating the Fantastic 5's big three-oh by taking a look back at all of its equally awesome iterations, starting with a short video of the current version doing a lovely big, smokey burnout.

The first proper M5 appeared at the Amsterdam motor show in February 1984, although there had been two previous generations of M535i before that. At the time of its official launch in 1985, the hand-built M5 was not only the most expensive BMW in the range, it was also said to be the fastest production sedan in the world. Both things that have also applied to several of the four successive generations of the car.

Having gone from an inline six-cylinder engine to a V8, to the mighty V10 in the 2005 E60, then back to a twin-turbo V8 in the current car, the M5 has never been short of sheer grunt. And The Good Oil loves it for that. Happy Birthday!

We are the world

*A mother and her two children were at the Longleat safari park in the UK when their people mover burst into flames. They escaped unharmed, but unfortunately all the smoke and flames proved to be rather interesting to the inhabitants of the enclosure they were driving through at the time. Yes, that's right, this unfortunate family had their car burst into flames in the middle of the lion enclosure. Quick-acting rangers kept the intrigued lions at bay while the family were rescued.

*A helpful mother in Brooklyn recently inadvertently stole a car while doing a good deed. Cheryl Thorpe was dog-sitting and house-minding for her daughter while she and her friends were on holiday. She had been asked to move three cars as the street was being cleaned, one of which was a Honda Accord, which she duly moved. Except that particular
Honda Accord belonged to another resident. It seems the key Thorpe had been given not
only opened the other car's door, it also started it. The neighbour assumed their Accord had been stolen, the other Accord was towed because it hadn't been moved. The whole thing was sorted out when the owner returned and noticed that it wasn't her Accord.

What the ... oh just a flying truck

In January, a company called Advanced Tactics said it was going to build a truck/helicopter hybrid for military use, which sounded like pretty much the best thing ever.

Black Knight Transformer. Photo / Supplied
Black Knight Transformer. Photo / Supplied

But you couldn't help but think ''Yeah, right. That is too awesome to ever happen. Stop playing with our emotions Advanced Tactics, whoever you are ...''

But it seems they weren't just saying awesome things at random to get our hopes up - they have actually built and tested one.

And given it an appropriately awesome name - the Black Knight Transformer.

The Black Knight Transformer can be dispatched when needed and take off and fly itself autonomously to its destination, where the engines and rotors can be stowed and it can be driven wherever necessary.

Advanced Tactics are aiming the Black Knight at situations where an evacuation is necessary and ground transport is needed.

A flight crew need not be risked, thanks to its autonomous nature, and troops on the ground can easily operate it in truck mode.

But who cares about that?

It is called the Black Knight Transformer and is a flying truck. That is all you need to know.

Odd SUV convertible now only a memory

Nissan is on something of a product roll at the moment, particularly in the SUV segment
where it is busily releasing all kinds of remarkably similar looking vehicles in a range of sizes. The Pathfinder, X-Trail, Qashqai and Juke have all had refreshes or all-new versions released and now it is the turn of the Murano.

Why is this of interest to The Good Oil, I hear you ask? Well, because the release of a new
Murano is actually a very sad occasion, as it sees the demise of one of our favourite weirdo cars - the Murano CrossCabriolet.

The CrossCabriolet is a car that looked utterly ridiculous and made absolutely no sense.

What kind of demented mind thought, ''Hmm, I really want a big, soft, practical SUV like the Murano, but I wish I could could do away with all that silly practicality and get it as a two-door convertible.''

It was incredibly expensive for Nissan to design and build (it had completely different sheet metal from the A-pillar back), which translated into an expensive car that sold in very small numbers. So it is no surprise that the CC will not be back in the new Murano line up.

Which is a shame really, because it was so utterly useless, weird and unnecessary that it was completely awesome.

From one star to another ...

In a classy move that is often sorely lacking in the US auto industry, General Motors has
wished the Ford Mustang a very public happy birthday to celebrate its 50th anniversary last week.

Chevrolet Camaro's cheeky 50th message. Photo / Supplied
Chevrolet Camaro's cheeky 50th message. Photo / Supplied

Chevrolet released the above picture and a press release to send the Camaro's fiercest rival its best wishes. GM executive vice-president Mark Reuss said: ''For five decades, the Camaro and the Mustang have been battling it out in every possible setting. These two cars have been striving to beat each other on the track, on the drag strip and on the
streets. That competition is a big part of why both cars are so amazing, and so popular, today.''

When the Mustang was launched in 1964, it created a brand new niche - quickly
dubbed the ''Pony Car'' after the Mustang's logo.

The Camaro was GM's effort and while, like the Mustang, things went wobbly in the 80s and 90s, the Pony Car is well and truly alive and healthy today.

Number Crunching

210 Kilowatts The power produced by the first BMW M5's 3.5-litre inline six-cylinder engine.

294 Kilowatts The power produced by the 1998 E39 M5's 4.9-litre V8.

373 Kilowatts The power produced by the 2005 E60's 5.0-litre V10.

412 Kilowatts The power BMW currently squeezes out of the F10 M5's turbo 4.4-litre V8.

- NZ Herald

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