I might still go check it out - I'm hoping either they labeled the colour wrong or the pictures just made it look like a different colour. The only reason I'm really considering this car right now is the rare colour - if it doesn't work out I will continue driving my current E34 for another year or so and then shop for an E39.
I have heard good things about all three models I am considering (530i M-sport, 540i M-sport, and M5) but it seems like the 530 is the best all-round car. If I go to check out that 530, there is another dealer right beside them that has a 540 M-sport that I'll try to drive to get a back-to-back comparison. If the 540 is way better, I'll wait a year and shop for one of those instead.
I've driven both, my seat o the pants says the 530 feels better handling wise after all it is lighter up front but once the road straightens up the 540 will more than make up for the little it lost in the curves. It comes down to what you want out of the driving experience... .
Edit: There is a reason that there aren't many red e39s around... .
Yeah, that is generally the opinion I have heard - 530 has decent power and handles great, 540 has great power and handles decent. M5 blows them both away but is way more expensive.
Part of the reason I like the 530 is the maintenance and gas costs should be cheaper, not to mention insurance.
As for the colour... I think there is a variety of reasons that there aren't many red E39s around. One of them being that the red colours available on the E39 weren't really perfect for a 4-door sedan (I personally love imola and japan red, and chiaretto is OK, but your average E39 buyer probably wouldn't agree). Personally I think BMW made a big mistake in not having calypso red as an option on the E39.
To Junaid: If it's really out of your way don't worry about it - but if you get a chance to check it I really would appreciate the feedback.
I've just been looking at the pics again... it looks like it might have had an accident at the front driver's side. Looks like the headlight, hood, and fender just don't quite line up right... anyone agree, or am I seeing things? Large pics attached.