The fastest naturally aspirated four-door in the world, the E60 BMW M5 packs a powerful punch. With a rated 500 hp from just five liters of displacement, few manufacturers have attempted such a feat without forced induction. Costs are high when trying to make reliable power at high revs, especially at this level. Companies that have accomplished this are usually called Ferrari and Lamborghini. But BMW has also figured it out and its new S85 V10 is superb. Yet surprisingly, this engine has shown room for improvement by responding well to basic performance upgrades.
A fact Joseph Walewangko knew when he took delivery of this white example. His shop of choice, iCS Performance, ran it on its own Dynojet dynamometer for an accurate reading. the rear wheels thrashed out 412 hp, indicating about a 17.6 percent loss through the drivetrain. The plan for upgrades began with K&N air filters followed by improved flow with Evosport ceramic-coated, five-into-one headers, Meisterschaft mid-pipes and a Dinan free- flowing exhaust system. An Evosport power pulley replaced the crank pulley. then came an upload of turner Motorsport performance software. Back on the dyno, the car registered a nasty 474 wheel-hp-about 575 hp if the same drivetrain loss is factored in. To take it further, a Dinan differential with a 3.91 gear replaced the factory 3.62 unit, giving this torque multiplier a gain of over eight percent (there's also a nitrous bottle in the trunk, but it's only used for visual effect when purging the system at car shows and not currently routed to the intake).
With this newfound power and gearing, the driving experience is comical. From standstill, i turned off the DSC traction control, pushed the tranny lever to the forward position and smashed the throttle. This 4,200-pound sled launched into a jaw-dropping fishtail, a wail coming from an engine that bounced off its rev limiter at nearly 8600 rpm. i pulled the shift paddle with my right index finger. With a head-jerking crunch, i was catapulted past 65 mph, the car's rear still dancing. An instant shift to third and the tires finally hooked up. Before i could wipe away tears of laughter, the speedo was reading over 100 mph. At redline, each shift of the sevenspeed SMG transmission in Sport mode is violent, slamming my noggin into the headrest. Gear selection is unlike anything i've felt before: raw, yet with necksnapping authority. But take it out of Sport mode and the action reverts easily to a docile automatic.
The full engine-back exhaust is responsible for unleashing most of these angry ponies, but it's also made the car one of the loudest i've ever driven on the street. Sound waves bounce off buildings. it's an in-your-face exhaust note, but like an exotic, it's not obnoxious-at least to a real enthusiast. With the same displacement and cylinder count as a Lamborghini Gallardo, there's nothing else the pitch comes close to. think about that: a sedan, powered by an engine that behaves and even sounds like a Gallardo, only a little louder and with 75 hp more.
Keeping the car planted while cornering is what started off as a Dinan stage two suspension: springs, shocks and anti-roll bars, then iCS swapped in h&R sport springs. This street-friendly suspension transfers weight evenly across the t1S toyo tires, which wrap around 20-inch Radenergie R20 powdercoated wheels. A hamann full body kit includes a front lip spoiler, side skirts, rear diffusers and roof spoiler. Vorsteiner adds the finishing touches with a VRS vented hood and carbon fiber rear spoiler.