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.
The interior houses a world of style, comfort and executive-style travel. A custom two-tone leather interior pleases eyes and backsides, while aural senses are pampered with an incredible sound system of JL and MB Quart speakers and subwoofers, controlled by Mcintosh amps and Audio Control digital equalization. An intel Mobile 1.8 Ghz dual core processor computer with a wireless internet router was also installed for full-time web surfing. And Slingbox streaming technology allows passengers to watch regular or cable tV. Grand touring doesn't get any better than this.
2006 BMW M5
Longitudinal front-engine, rear-wheel drive
5.0-liter V10, Evosport ceramiccoated headers and power pulley, Meisterschaft sections one and two mid-section pipes, K&N air filters, turner Motorsport software, custom-painted engine plenum and air intake boxes
Dinan shocks, carbon fiber strut brace and anti-roll bars, h&R springs
F: Powder-coated BMW twin-piston calipers with 14.7-inch cross-drilled rotors
R: As above, except for 14.6-inch cross-drilled rotors
*Wheels and tires
Radenergie R20, 9x19 (f), 10.5x19 (r) toyo t1-S, 245/35 (f), 275/30 (r)
Hamann front lip spoiler, side skirts, rear diffuser and roof spoiler, Vorsteiner VRS vented carbon fiber hood and carbon fiber rear spoiler
Two Mcintosh MCC406 1200 watt 6-channel amps, Audio Control DQL-8 digital equalizer, JL W7 10-inch subwoofer, seven-channel MB Quart two-way speakers, two eight-inch under-seat subwoofers, Nav-conversion system, Dynamat and Dynapad sound damping
*Performance (measured at the wheels)
Peak Power: 474 hp @ 7950 rpm
Peak torque: 355 lb-ft @ 5900 rpm
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.
On the second pass, the overboost protection feature kicked in at 19 psi, which it hit by second gear and killed the power. he didn't get a chance to fix it there, but Kakaletris plans to return in hopes of some mid-10-second runs. A month on and the M Coupe's 3.23 rear end was swapped for a taller 2.93 final drive with more lock-up, putting more power to the ground and loading the turbos harder in each gear. A Getrag six-speed tranny also found its way in. the next LP640 owner will be flabbergasted when this little coupe rockets ahead at over 210 mph.
ICS BMW Z3 M Coupe Twin Turbo
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
3.2-liter inline six, 0.14-inch Cometic low-compression head gasket, twin Gt28RS turbos with internal wastegates, iCS custom manifolds with t25 flanges and 3.5-in turboback exhaust, Clutchmasters FX700 clutch, Walbro fuel pump, Aquamist hFS-5 methanol injection, technique tuning/iCS software package, stock OBD-ii computer
Euro-spec six-speed manual, 2.93 limited-slip differential
H&R coilover kit, Dinan strut and anti-roll bars
F: Stoptech 14-inch big brake kit
R: Stoptech slotted rotors
*Wheels And Tires
TRMotorsport Mt1 8.5x18 (f), 10x18 (r)
Kumho Escta 225/40 (f), 295/30-18 (r)
Eboost2 electronic boost controller,AEM air/fuel gauge
*Performance (measured at the wheels)
Power: 604 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 607 lb-ft @ 4850 rpm
Quarter-mile: 11 seconds at 133.7 mph
1998 BMW E36 M3 Supercharged
Back in the day, 350 wheel-hp was a big deal for an E36 M3. Dave Vilanova's M3 power output was in that neighborhood when it went to iCS. When the shop was done, it was laying down 516 wheel-hp. Even more incredible, the car retained its factory OBDii computer.
The heart of the system is a Vortech V2 t-trim centrifugal supercharger, pumping out 17 psi near redline. Pressurized, heated air goes through an RMS aftercooler with heat exchanger, then cooled further by an AA water and methanol injection system before reaching the Dinan big-bore throttle body. From there, air pushes through an M50 manifold to a Schrick 264-degree intake cam. Once combusted, the Schrick 256-degree exhaust cam lets the gases flow into a Supersprint engine-back system. A larger-capacity Fluidyne radiator lurks beneath a pair of custom louvers in the factory hood.
Drivetrain-wise, this car gets the best of both worlds. the Rogue-finned 3.38 limited-slip differential helps the engine whip to redline and peak boost much quicker, and the Eurospec Getrag six-speed transmission not only keeps its highway cruising revs at lowerthan-stock levels, but increases top speed to around 190 mph. This is where the Stoptech 13-inch big brake kit comes in handy.
The M3's wing and adjustable front splitter-BMW Motorsport's own factory aerodynamic package originally offered on the CSL only-loads the Ground Control coilover kit and keeps the car stable at high cornering speeds. there's an hMS roll bar behind the Recaro SRD seats, in case of a mishap.
This is the setup for those who desire a steadily climbing torque curve. Over 300 lb-ft of torque starts at 3700 rpm and increases to 385 lb-ft by its 7000 rpm redline. While a centrifugally supercharged car probably isn't ideal for a straight-line shooter when compared to a properly sorted turbo system, it's the linear power delivery that Vilanova was after. Still, an 11.9-second quarter-mile run at 116 mph on hoosier drag radials (although Vilanova's seen 120-plus mph traps on street tires) commands respect.
1995 BMW E36 M3 turbo
This turbocharged M3 is vicious. the engine is a fully built S50 3.0-liter with CP 8.5:1 compression pistons and Pauter connecting rods. the head was ported and polished, then modified with ICS valve springs, retainers and custom-ground cams; all for the cyclone rush of air the massive Garrett Gt40-94R dual ball bearing turbo forces through.
To match the 24 psi pressure controlled by the Super itS 50-mm wastegate and Eboost2 boost controller, an Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator dictates flow to the 750cc injectors. The resulting clash of air, gas, Electromotive tEC3R-controlled coils and injector pulses can mean only one thing: power. Step on the throttle and, by 4450 rpm, the tires experience a frightening 631 lb-ft of torque that spins the wheels in any of the first three gears. Stay on it a little longer and-unlike most turbo cars that lose significant torque at high revs-the Gt40's large twin-scroll 0.95 AR turbine housing breathes enough to register a massive 663 wheel-hp at 6500 rpm on the dyno, with just 93-octane gas. The spray of methanol in the intake tract is used for reliability insurance.
In a car that weighs only 3,100 pounds, this kind of performance is phenomenal. Luckily, a set of four-pot Stoptech 13-inch brakes stop the front tires, although a 14-inch, six-piston kit would be more suitable.
Handling all that torque is a custom iCS clutch kit transferring power to a taller 2.93 limited-slip differential, maintaining a bigger load on the turbo. Shifting through the factory ZF five-speed, this monster will reach its new 180 mph top speed in a rev limiterbouncing hurry that's screaming for an extra gear. Keeping the frequently worn-out toyos planted is a streetable set of Bilstein PSS9 adjustable coilovers. An OEM BMW lightweight wing-like the one on the silver car but without risers-keeps the car from taking flight.