The Lamborghini Murcilago LP640 is seriously fast. With 640 hp, it blasts to 60 mph in threeand- a-bit seconds and covers the quarter-mile about eight seconds later at 126 mph. Any driver of this $300,000 exotic would think nothing could ruin his (or her) Sunday drive. Unless George Kakaletris and his twin turbocharged BMW Z3 M Coupe were also out on the road. this happened to one unsuspecting LP640 owner; when hustled into a quick highway run (an arena where the Lambo would be the favorite), the BMW left the raging bull snorting in its tracks. Experiencing this M Coupe takes a strong stomach and quick reflexes. Power is violent, sending this 3,100-pound hunk of metal toward triple-digit speeds while spinning 295-mm wide Kumhos into a frenzy. Slam into fourth gear at 100 mph and the tires grab, with the exhaust pushing out a hurricane-like wake that disrupts even a Lamborghini's sleek aerodynamics.
At first glance, there's not a lot separating this car from any factory example. it has a nice set of tRMotorsport Mt1 wheels stopped by Stoptech's 14- inch rotor, four-piston big brake kit up front. there's a cylindrical Magnaflow muffler... and that's about it. Most won't think to look for an intercooler, let alone notice it. the idle is a little louder than stock, but nothing crazy. One might surmise that maybe it has an extra 20 hp or so, but pop open the hood and a few milliseconds will be all it takes to multiply that estimate by 20.
Immediately noticeable are two quick-spooling Gt28RS turbos, internally wastegated as well as water- and oil-cooled. Regulated by an Eboost2 electronic boost controller, the snails pressurize 18 psi of air into a stock S52 3.2-liter engine whose only modification is a retro M50 intake manifold for increased flow and a thicker Cometic multi-layer steel head gasket that lowers compression to a boostfriendly level. the exhaust pulses through a pair of custom manifolds, through the turbos and into dual downpipes that merge to a single 3.5-inch exhaust. To match flow from the turbos, the fuel system was upgraded with a Walbro fuel pump feeding stock fuel lines into 660cc injectors. the air/fuel ratio is monitored via an AEM UEGO gauge. After extensive tuning of the stock OBD-ii computer by technique tuning, the result is a rubber-hating 604 wheel-hp at 6400 rpm on 93-octane with a few gallons of race fuel for added safety (the coupe's current methanol injection system wasn't part of this equation at the time of writing).
At the time of the photo shoot, the driveline was left mostly stock, including the transmission and the rear end. the only change was a street-friendly Clutchmasters FX700 clutch that wasn't any harder to drive with than stock, but it transferred the 550 lb-ft of torque to the wheels without a hiccup. Handling has not been ignored. to minimize squat and improve overall feel, a set of h&R coilovers give it just the stiffness it needs without shattering teeth. A Dinan strut bar and anti-roll bars further inch the car toward the goal of achieving a kartlike feel during cornering.
Although the cooling system was meant for a vehicle originally designed for one third the horsepower, all its components have been left stock; water and oil temps remained stable after repeated dyno pulls. With a twin-turbocharged engine, this BMW is the only one of its kind. to quiet the project's doubters, Kakaletris fitted BF Goodrich drag radials and took the car to the local drag strip. On his first try, he set boost to 12 psi-about 540 wheel-hp's worth-and, with a 1.98-second 60- feet time, turned in an 11-second pass at 133.7 mph. Stock head, stock block, stock ECU, stock cams and pump fuel.