Nowack M5 5.7
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
5.7-liter V10, dohc, 40-valve. Cosworth steel billet crankshaft, Pankl forged pistons, Auto Verdi connecting rods, ARP fasteners, custom camshafts, enlarged valves, modified airbox with high-flow filters, Nowak sport headers, 200-cell cats and exhaust, ECU remap
Seven-speed SMG with twin plate clutch
H&R race-style coilovers, custom front strut brace, adjustable anti-roll bars
Eight-piston Brembo calipers with 405mm cross-drilled rotors (f), OEM assemblies (r), braided stainless lines
Wheels and Tires
Nowak alloys, 9x20 (f), 10x20 (r)
Avon ZZ3, 255/30 (f), 285/25 (r)
Recaro sport seats
Peak Power: 628 hp @ 8000 rpm
Peak Torque: 620 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
0-62 mph: 4.1 sec.
Top Speed: 186 mph
Large displacement, naturally aspirated motors and their governing electronics are Oliver Nowack's speciality. Although his tuning activities had been bubbling away in the background before then, it was only in 2000, when he launched his treatment for the E39 M5, that the world sat up and took notice.
While the engine retained its stock displacement, Nowack's work on the induction, cylinder heads and exhaust extracted 500 hp from the M-Power V8, a conversion that became a legend in its own time.
He sold more than 20, and an early car that went to Singapore is still being used daily by its wealthy owner, who has a big supercar collection that includes two McLaren F1s and the first RHD carbon-finish Pagani Zonda. Even with all this exotica, he says the Nowack M5 is his favorite.
In 2005, Nowack Tuning dropped off the radar. The reason was a chance involvement in motorsport that gave Nowack the opportunity to build race engines for a German VLN Championship race team. The Z Racing Team was looking for a BMW race engine specialist, and it was something Nowack had always wanted to do.
"Race engine building is harder as you have a firm deadline to meet, and no time for things like problems with component suppliers," he says. "Either you're ready in time to race or not, and you win or you don't."
While race activities didn't take him entirely out of the tuning scene, the commitment certainly took him a big step away from it. The counterpoint was that some of the engineering techniques learned during the course of his race preparation would be filed away for later use.
Nowack returned to street tuning after the 2008 racing season. In April 2009, he changed his company's name from Nowack Auto + Sport to Nowack Motors, to better reflect his engineering speciality. Since then, he has perfected a small number of large-displacement engine developments, notably the 4.4-liter E92 M3 and E60 M5.
"Things have changed a lot in the last decade," he says. "Back in 1998, an M5 cost 85,000 euros, but today you pay that much for an M3. Development work has also become more expensive because on-board systems are more sophisticated.
"As a tuner, you spend more money now for the same solution you had with the previous generation car. So you can only afford to do two or three projects a year now, and can't earn the same money as 10 years ago." -IK