In 1991, BMW asked two of its racing drivers, Johnny Cecotto, who has a dedicated version of the BMW M3 e30, and Joachim Winkelhock, to design their own ideal version of the BMW E34 M5. Joachim Winkelhock, who had won the Nürburgring 24 Hours in the 1990 and 1991 editions of the race for Schnitzer Motorsport, the official team of the German BMW brand, driving an E30 M3, was responsible for this version, which bears his name.
The task was not an easy one, to improve an already competitive M5, so Winkelhock proposed a lightweight version, stripping the car of most of the standard comfort features and adding only a few elements aimed at improving safety and performance.
Production of the BMW M5 E34
BMW produced a total of 51 BMW M5 Winkelhock (50 production and one pre-production version) during the spring of 1991, all of them painted in Jet Black with contrasting leather interior trim panels and silver metal metallic elements. Each was fitted with an electric sunroof, velour fabrics, wider 255 / 40ZR17 rear tyres with 17-inch rear wheels and a BMW Bavaria C Business radio with hi-fi speaker system. In order to reduce the overall weight of the car, it was also fitted with a smaller 66 amp battery compared to the standard 85 amp battery, a smaller 80 litre fuel tank and the rear window electrics, rear headrests, vanity mirrors and even the fog lights were removed. All these changes succeeded in reducing the curb weight of the M5 Winkelhock M5 by around 50 kilograms compared to the standard BMW M5.
Distinguishing features of the BMW M5 Winkelhock
Distinctive equipment items were Recaro front sports seats in Anthracite cloth with Black Nappa leather bolsters and red seat belts and rear seat belts. In terms of extra equipment, the list was quite small, with only a rear lion, air conditioning or climate control (which required a change of battery to a larger one), and CD radio with CD changer.
What is the market price of an M5 Winkelhock? Due to the small production run, there is not enough data to be able to value a unit. For reference, a production BMW M5 E34 from 1991 in very good condition can fetch up to €40,000, so it seems reasonable to assume that the exclusivity of this model will push its selling price up.
Venezuelan BMW driver Johnny Cecotto took over the other version of the BMW M5, which we talked about in the article BMW M5 E34 Cecotto Edition.