BMW has always said that the first model in its history belongs to it get the famous Motorsport label was the legendary M1 coupe, which was released in 1978. However, the sports department of the Bavarian brand seems to have previously worked on another model, which was published in 1976 and baptized 530 MLE.
An M535i ahead of time
This version is based on the first generation 5 Series (E12) especially for the South African market and delivered a six-cylinder in-line three-liter engine, which was under development 197 hp and 277 Nm, This 530 MLE developed a good 20 horses more than the 530i of its time and appeared as a prelude to the first M535i, which came on the market in 1980 (218 hp).
The performance was respectable for a saloon of that time, with a top speed of 208 km / h and an acceleration of 0 to 100 km / h
9.3 s. All models received a white color and a special body kitincluding wing extensions, a wrap-around front bumper and a spoiler on the trunk.
530 MLE was created at the base to participate in the base station Tourism championship in South Africaa competition in which the car was even victorious. For the registration then two small series were produced, including 110 copies in 1976 and 117 copies in 1977and very few would have survived.
The car we can see in the photos is one of the few
530 MLE survivorsthat BMW is just being restored. This carries the chassis number 770100, which would mean that it is the 100e The brand should then report regularly on the progress of this project.