Spotted in China: E34 BMW 540i

Published on August 9, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Spotted in China: E34 BMW 540i

An absolutely perfect E34 BMW 540i, seen on a second hand car market in Beijing by the same shop that had also had a perfect E38 740 iL in exactly the same color. The E34 5-series was made from 1988 until 1996 and was never officially exported to China. Some cars came in via the gray market, some are ex-diplomat or ex-foreign company. Chinese BMW buyers in the 1990’s however usually went for the 7-series, the E38 Five is extremely rare on Chinese roads.

Spotted in China: E34 BMW 540i

The 540i arrived in 1992 and was made until the end in 1996. Power came from a 4.0 V8 that pooped out 282hp and 400nm, good for a 230km/h top speed. It was the first time BMW offered a V8 in the 5-series. This green example in Beijing looked factory fresh with the original large-size tires and sporty alloys.

Spotted in China: E34 BMW 540i

Interior very good as well. Leather and wood need some work. Check built-in phone!

Spotted in China: E34 BMW 540i

Calling the 1990’s…

Spotted in China: E34 BMW 540i

Seller asked 125.000 yuan or almost 20.000 USD, and that is a bargain compared with the 31.000 USD he asked for the 740. Maybe two for forty grand..?


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  1. AK- August 9, 2012 Reply

    Wow…just wow

  2. Hoch- August 9, 2012 Reply

    Though I think those V8’s had Nikasil problems with the cylinders depending on fuel quality.

  3. schaminski- August 9, 2012 Reply

    although…if i’d like something with a sluggish 4-speed automatic gearbox, i’d go for a mercedes. in case of a bmw, might as well make use of the possibilities and go for a manual transmission (same for the e38 btw). a beemer of considerable age basically mandates daily hoonage anyways.

  4. Dennis- August 10, 2012 Reply

    Tempting … I consider extending the collection anyways …do you know about the registration? Everything in order?

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