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The BMW E28 M5 Is An Excellent Sleeper Car You'll Never See Coming - HotCars

In the 1980s, BMW M was at the forefront of performance car development, with the BMW E28 M5. BMW took an already excellent executive class sedan and unleashed it on the road, with a power output of 286 hp at 6,500 rpm, acceleration of 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds, and a top speed of 156 mph, which in the 1980s was supercar fast. Even by today's standards, that is still fast. It meant that cars like the understated executive saloons could hang with sports cars like Porsche and Alfa Romeo, which was, at that time, ridiculous.

The M5 was one of the fastest street-legal cars available at the time, and it had all the swagger to back it up. But there's more to this car than just its performance – it also looked great. With its low-slung bodywork, large wheels, and muscular stance, it looked every bit as good as any Italian supercar from the era. The interior was also well appointed, with high-quality materials used throughout, along with a luxurious interior design that would put many modern cars to shame.

Learn why the BWM E28 M5 is one of the most understated sleeper cars that will burn rubber like a sports car.

Related: 10 Japanese Sleeper Cars That Are Surprisingly Cheap To Own And Maintain

The Majestic M88/3 Engine

BMW M88/3 Engine outside of the car.BMW

The BMW M5 came with the M88/3 engine, which was originally developed for the legendary BMW M1 mid-engine sports car and produced up to 280 hp from its naturally aspirated engine. The unique engine sound that made the car a piece of motoring history is still remembered today as one of the most distinctive notes ever to come from a BMW.

The reason for this is simple. Unlike any other single-cam engine at the time, it was using two sets of camshafts to operate four valves per cylinder and create a powerful yet smooth power delivery. The result was an output of 281 hp at 6,500 rpm and a maximum 251 lb-ft of torque. At that time, it was one of the fastest cars on the market, and appreciated by enthusiasts as well as professionals all around the world. Even today, these impressive figures would be enough to excite any driver.

The M88/3 engine produced 286 hp in stock form, but it also has the capacity to be easily modified to increase its output. There are a few ways to alter your engine's performance, but the most common and effective way is to change the camshaft profile. The camshaft profile determines how much air can flow through your engine at any given point in its rotation, as well as how quickly it can get there. Airflow determines how much fuel can get added, and this determines how much power your engine makes.

The basic principle of altering valve timing is simple – by making the valves open or close sooner or later than they normally would, we can increase or decrease airflow into and out of the cylinders. Altering your M88 cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine power band because a higher performance cam profile raises the power band, which means that more torque is available from lower RPMs than with a stock camshaft profile. This makes for a faster car off the line and on corner exits when compared to a standard camshaft profile.

Engine Swap Options

Engine of BMW M6 CoupeBMW

The original M88 engine has been out of production since 1989, so finding one that runs well will be difficult. Even if you do find one, it will likely need a rebuild at some point, so you will need to consider if you want to get another one or do an engine swap. Since it was a relatively affordable car when it was new, the E28 M5 is a great car to modify and use as a daily driver. There are tons of ways to make it faster with minimal effort and money.

The first thing you'll want to do is get rid of the stock engine and transmission and replace it with any 1JZ, 2JZ, LS or N54, which can easily fit in there with tons of reliable power too. The only problem is finding one that hasn't been too modded by now. If you're looking for something different from an inline-six engine swap, then consider going with a turbocharged inline-four or even a rotary engine instead.

Related: This 2JZ-Swapped BMW 325is E30 Is An 800-HP Monster That Flies Completely Under The Radar

Classic Looks And A Highly Balanced Chassis

1988 E28 BMW M5 sideVia Bring a Trailer

The BMW E28 M5 is a classic sports sedan that looks good enough to be a luxury car, but has the power to back up its aggressive/humble styling. These days, many people consider the E28 M5 one of the greatest sleeper cars ever made. It looks like your typical 1980s sedan, but under that bland exterior lies a highly balanced chassis that can compete with modern sports cars. The E28 M5 will run 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds flat and reach 156 mph without breaking a sweat. This combination makes it perfect for cruising around town or taking on long road trips without drawing unwanted attention from law enforcement officers or other motorists.

Sources: Acceleration Times

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Google Street View car spotted in Nuevo Laredo - Laredo Morning Times

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Nuevo Laredoans outside of their houses might have noticed that they were being photographed this week by one of the biggest companies in the world. 

Numerous individuals from the sister city have stated that they've seen a Google Street View car around the area taking pictures. The images are used for Google Map’s street view feature.

Multiple locals took to social media to share what they thought about the car that was seen driving through the Granjas Regina area of the city. 

One Nuevo Laredoan, Jose Montoya, told LMT that they are glad to see the car as they hope it helps capture a better and more updated image of the city. He said that he's noticed many of the photos currently are not up to date. 

“I think it is impressive to see the Google Street Car in our city, and hopefully it captures a better look at the city,” Montoya said. “The only thing I'm worried about is that many streets are still under construction and that might stall the car or not allow the car to take full pictures of all the city. However, it seems to be going to more rural areas of the city, so hopefully it takes of those new places and makes us better appreciate how big Nuevo Laredo has gotten.”

Others joked that it might be time to wash the car and clean the front lawn to make sure the map image looks good, as the image may be there for years.

Google Street View cars are important for Google Maps Street as it allows people to select any city from around the world and view the streets and even homes near the selected addresses. This helps significantly with navigation, but it also serves many other smaller benefits such as providing prospective home buyers from further away a clearer image of the surrounding area.

However, Google stated in a recent press release that it is not easy. They require a 360-degree camera to take all angles as the car passes by. 

“Gathering imagery is no small task.” Google said in a statement. “It can take anywhere from days to weeks, and requires a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible. These cameras are athermal, meaning that they’re designed to handle extreme temperatures without changing focus so they can function in a range of environments. Each Street View car includes its own photo processing center and lidar sensors that use laser beams to accurately measure distance.”

Although the Google Street View car has been spotted in the sister city, Laredoans should be ready as well as the car might be headed this way as the company continues to update its content on Google Maps. 

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Ford Mustang Barn Find Is Filled With Rotting, Busted Classic Cars - Motor1

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There's a niche on YouTube of videos from people exploring abandoned buildings. However, it's uncommon for someone to stumble upon an empty barn that is full of forgotten cars. In this clip, Ethan Minnie uncovers a collection of decrepit Ford Mustangs, in addition to a few other interesting vehicles.

According to the video's title, this collection belonged to someone who won the lottery in the 1980s and later went bankrupt. Judging by the vehicles, this person had a preference for Fords and Mercurys but wasn't against owning a few GM products, either.

As soon as Minnie walks into the barn, he immediately discovers several cars. The first one he sees is a seventh-generation Mercury Cougar from the early 1990s. Unfortunately, people already damaged quite a few of the vehicles by breaking windows and spray painting them.

A 1980 Chevrolet Camaro is next to the Cougar. The owner's manual is even still in the glove box.

Ahead of the Camaro, there's a 1960s Ford Mustang Convertible. It's in the worse condition of any vehicle in the building. With no roof in place, water and debris have been able to fall into the exposed interior.

A first-gen Ford Falcon from the early '60s is in the back corner. All of the glass is intact, and there's no sign of rust. It looks like the car might clean up nicely.

The next room is a Fox body Mustang fan's dream, or perhaps a nightmare because of the cars' condition. They're all from before the 1987 model year refresh where the front end becomes smoother.

A pair of '60s Mustangs are in a corner. They're both in rough shape and have lots of missing parts.

A Chevy Caprice wagon from the late '80s takes up the center of the room.

There's still one more room to visit. An early '80s Cadillac Seville is against one wall, and other than a broken window, it seems to be in good condition. A mid-'60s Ford Galaxie convertible is in rougher shape. A Fox body Mercury Capri and a '60s Mustang round out the collection. 

Just because a building is abandoned, doesn't mean no one owns it. The video offers no clues about anyone cares about these forgotten cars.

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The Bolt EUV’s (& Many Other Cars’) Secret Cell Phone Super-Antenna - CleanTechnica

A couple months ago, I found out that a seemingly pointless On* (the vehicle service formerly known as OnStar) feature can actually be extremely useful.

On a trip to the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona (near Portal, AZ), I found myself looking for food. The local café had closed earlier than I thought, and we were pretty far south of I-10. So, we needed to look and see if we could find any nearby restaurants or break out the rations. But, even Verizon’s great cellular service wasn’t working, so we couldn’t access Google Maps to check restaurant hours or even call them.

But, I noticed that on the top of the infotainment display, there was a signal strength meter showing that the car’s infotainment was getting a weak but usable signal. But, the wifi hotspot doesn’t serve a phone if it’s connected via wireless Android Auto (note to Chevrolet: this would be a good thing to change if possible). So, I turned Android Auto off in my phone, connected to the phone’s hotspot, and was able to get the information I needed.

It turned out that we needed to eat crackers to hold us over for dinner in Lordsburg, but it was good to be able to get some mobile data in an area where it otherwise wouldn’t work.

Since then, I’ve used the feature several times on rural drives. Once, I was in an area that technically should have some cell signal, but I was between two small hills with enough vegetation to block a handheld cellular signal. Worse, I was stuck in deep sand that I had unexpectedly run into. As with the last time, I disabled Android Auto, connected to the hotspot, and was able to get pulled out. I decided it was time for a tire upgrade and some recovery gear, but that’s another story I’ll tell soon once testing is complete.

But, on my most recent trip out of town, I figured out that wireless Android Auto, at least on the Chevrolet infotainment system, kind of sucks. Around town, I have very little problem with it. But, on road trips, the connection to the phone keeps dropping out and it can’t recover without a complete power cycle of the vehicle. This often meant going without Android Auto for an hour or more because I didn’t want to pull over for a reboot. (Another note to Chevy: this should be fixed or an easy reboot option is needed.)

But, I figured out something cool. When I connect the phone with a cable, the hotspot data kicks back in, giving the phone full access to the data while using Android Auto, even in areas where the phone loses signal and the car still has it. So, for local drives, I’m going to stick with wireless Android Auto, but for long drives (especially in rural areas), I’m going to start using the cable, both for reliability and to get a signal in many dead zones.

Why The Car Gets A Cellular Signal When Phones Don’t

If you’re not a radio technician or a ham radio fanatic, it may seem weird that a connected car would get a 4G data signal when your smartphone gets nothing. After all, they’re connecting to the same towers and using the same kind of signal, right? But, there’s a little more to it than that.

A car is actually a kind of Faraday cage, or basically a steel cage. With all of the metal around you, it can be very hard for radio signals (including cellular phone signals) to get in and out of the car. So, when you’re at the edge of normal cellular coverage or in a low spot, a phone inside the car will lose signal.

Add to this that smartphones have relatively small and weak antenna systems, and it’s not hard for the vehicle’s roof-mounted antenna to get a serious edge over the smartphone. With a better antenna outside of the vehicle, and possibly with a stronger transmitter, coverage areas are far better for the car’s antenna.

OnStar has a map showing its coverage, and like most connected vehicles, it’s excellent compared to handheld coverage maps for all of these reasons, plus it says they work with multiple cellular carriers for maximum coverage.

But, There Are Still Holes In That Map!

All that green coverage probably covers just about everything most readers would ever need, but if you’re like me and you want to intentionally go see nature (and do it on electric power), you may just actually go into those zones. Three big adventure plans I have for the next few months go straight through the heart of three of them.

The Bolt EUV’s small sharkfin antenna probably isn’t the greatest, and it may be possible to upgrade it for a longer “whip” antenna of some kind. But, that’s probably only going to shrink the dead zones a little around the edges. Cellular signals can’t penetrate mountains or go over them, no matter how much power or how good the antenna is.

The obvious one people will mention if I don’t mention it is satellite communications, including Starlink. That’s a great option, and can even be put on vehicles if you don’t mind the relatively large antenna. Or, if you carry it as a kit, you could set the thing up in an emergency. There are also satellite phones, including various options that are going to be built into phones starting next year.

But, those things require a monthly fee, and they aren’t good for talking to someone just a few hundred yards away unless they also have a satellite device of some kind. So, I like to have two-way radios. With a powerful vehicle-installed radio and a few cheaper handheld ones, it’s possible to call out for help if needed in a dead zone or just call a family member nearby on hikes, etc.

But, either of those options require expense and possibly vehicle modification. If you go with ham radio for two-way radio, you’ll also need to pass a test (which isn’t super hard with online study tools). So, for most people, it’s probably just a lot easier to use a connected vehicle’s cellular antenna for 95% of your travels!

Featured image: a screenshot from OnStar’s website.




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Free Review:

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Pinnacle Auto Appraisers prides itself on quickly handling large amounts of vehicles. We routinely handle fleets for: vans, trucking, limousine, shuttle, buses, SUV, corporate, taxi, dealership, clubs, rental, and delivery companies. We handle large national chains, small family businesses, and car club appraisal(s).

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Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Offers Quality Fleet Appraisals!


If you were involved in an accident and the insurance company deemed your vehicle a total loss, we can help.  If you don't agree with the insurance company's offer, you have the right to hire an independent certified appraiser to determine the actual cash value of your vehicle.  Our certified appraiser will go to the vehicle location, conduct the inspection and complete a certified total loss appraisal on your vehicle.  Total loss claims do require a negotiation phase which we will take care of for you at no additional charge!

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Our Appraisers are repair shop and car club fanatics! We enjoy when local and national clubs invite us out to their local gatherings. We offer an appraisal discount that lasted all month. We love everything that has an engine and drives on the road. We do our best to help everyone in need of an appraisal!

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