V8

Features

Jim Herrold's E39 M5

Photography by Dan Wagener @dan_wagener

When you think of the BMW M5, what do you think of? I think of the greatest sports sedan to come out of Germany. I think of sophistication blended with luxury and performance. It's the vehicle that embodies everything someone could ask for. Four door convenience, check. Creature comforts, check. Seductive sounds, check. Exhilarating performance, check.

It's the best of the best to be expected from BMW. It all started in 1984 with the first generation M5, known as the E28. Due to the demand for a vehicle with the carrying capacity of a sedan, but the appearance of a sports car. At the time of its launch, the E28 M5 was the fastest production sedan in the world. They were all built by hand and are still one of the rarest regular production BMW Motorsport cars with a total production of 2,191 units.

The next generation M5, the E34 had stepped up the game even more. New luxurious features and better performance was created. I believe this was the most motorsport inspired generation for the M5. More time and thought seemed to be spent on engineering this thing to be able to perform like a true race car on the street. It was the last M car to be hand-built, as well as the last M5 to use a BMW Motorsport racing engine.

Now this is just my opinion, but with the exception of the 1980's for their motorsport period, I think the late 90's / early 00's was the pinnacle of BMW's car production. Perhaps it's because that's the time when I grew up that I have a bias towards them. But I still think that's when BMW hit their stride with delivering what their enthusiasts truly wanted out of a production car. The E39 M5 checked every box and then some you didn't even know about. I don't even know where to start with this car... I love the look of it, the interior, the motor; it's just perfect.

I guess I'll start with the heart of it. The 4.9L S62 V8 is the high-performance version of the M62 V8 engine that came on the non-M 5 series. It was BMW's first V8 to have variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts (double-VANOS). Producing 394 hp at 6600 rpm and 369 lb·ft at 3800 rpm with redline at 7000rpm and capable of achieving 0-60 in under 5 seconds. It remains to be one of the top 10 greatest sounding BMW engines (in my opinion). One of my favorite things about the E39 M5 was that they all came equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. They forced drivers to experience the car how it was meant to be.

Jim of Kassel Performance picked up this 2002 Le Mans Blue with 48k miles. After a detail from Urban Werks it almost felt like we traveled back in time, driving around a brand new $70k+ car straight out of the showroom. I don't know, when I see most of the new M cars of today they don't feel quite as prestige as this for some reason. When we pulled up to the country club during this photoshoot, the car turned heads like it was an exotic car. A few older gentlemen couldn't help but come over and share their stories of admiration or lust for the car remembering when it first came out. I noticed the same thing happened with 3 original E39 M5's at The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. The BMW E39 M5 simply gets respect from all age groups. You know it's something special at first glance even if you're not a car enthusiast.

Although the M5's developed after the E39 are far superior on paper, this chassis will always be the one to beat in my book.

Features

Robin Gunnarsson's E31 840Ci

In September of 1989, one of the most unique BMW's to this day was unveiled to the world. The E31 8 Series was created to be a flagship model that would surpass the E24 6 Series and to directly compete with the Mercedes Benz S-class coupes. It was a car that looked like nothing else in BMW's lineup, yet it fit in perfectly. There were so many distinct features like pop-up headlights, narrow grills, M-style mirrors and those boxy fenders that slightly resembled those on the E30 M3. We can't forget the V8 and V12 engine options either. It's like a drivable time capsule containing some of the greatest things found on BMW's produced in the late 80's through early 90's.

Even as a kid, Robin took notice to the uniqueness of this vehicle. A friend of his father's stopped by their house with his 850i, Robin ran out to the car and yelled "Look daddy! It has four exhaust pipes!" His dad got him a yellow 850 CSi in 1:18 scale for a birthday present that year. That was one of his favorite, most memorable gifts ever. 

Robin saw a photo of two 840's in a magazine when he was about 16-17 years old. They looked exactly like his yellow 850 (with the CSi-package) but they were red. Both were equipped with a V8 and a manual transmission. Even though at that time he was really into the muscle car scene, he found himself locking onto a new dream car.

He bought an E36 325 coupe with M-package when he got his driver's license. After he got a job and had put away some cash for something more fun, he started to search for a mint M3. He looked at several but none were up to his standard. So he started to think of the red 840's again, he found the old magazine with the picture and eventually got in contact with one of the owners. He let Robin come over to check the car out, even though he didn't want to sell it. There were only 479 E31's made equipped with a V8 and manual transmission, (1510 made of the CSi in comparison). The two from the magazine were the only ones in Sweden. He went home, feeling the same way he did as a kid. They were simply dream cars.

Eventually that 840 was sold back to the original owner in Germany. So only one was left in Sweden. Robin called the owner, who just laughed at him when Robin told him that he wanted to buy the car. The man was a BMW collector, a true enthusiast with many nice models. He wanted to let Robin come take a look at it knowing how badly he wanted the mint 840. After the collector sold his E28 M5 he no longer owned any more M-cars, so the only model he would consider swapping his 840 for was of course the CSi. He knew of a CSi that might be for sale and luckily it was. So he bought it and Robin was finally able to buy his dream car. 

2016 is the 5th summer of Robin owning the E31. He just drove it as is the first two summers. It previously sat on H&R lowering springs with hand polished one-piece AC Schnitzers (18x8.5/10). Then the stance scene had affected his opinion of the setup and left him with a desire for larger wheels. Robin found a guy that restored 3-piece wheels and wanted to order a set of Hartge Design C's. He didn't have any, but he did have a set of AC Schnitzer Type 1's in 18" that needed some love. Over the winter, the car had to go lower so Robin swapped the H&R's for KAW springs. It still wasn't low enough, but it was never an option to drive it as low as he really wanted because of the risk of damaging the car. With the CSi bumper it's like a sitting duck, so air suspension came to mind. However he figured that would be very expensive, especially the systems with height sensors that he would want. After a few months of searching he found a guy that had the parts he needed. Air Lift Performance universal struts, bellows for the rear and an Accuair system, all of which weren't even unpacked yet and he only asked for half of retail price. With the welding expertise of his brother in law, a lot of measuring and custom made parts, he suddenly had a bagged E31. The response he received at shows and meetings was crazy. 

The wheels were still not wide enough, so he ordered wider lips for the rear wheels and took the old rears and moved them up front. They're now 18x9.75/11.75". He didn't like the big license plate holder on the front bumper so he removed it and made a mold in the cnc at work and cast a strip out of fiberglass. It took a lot of sanding and a couple layers of paint then mounted it on the car. The overall look of the front was much cleaner. A custom stainless exhaust with x-pipe was made so the V8 under the hood could be heard better.

Besides upgrading the sound system, the only other thought he's considered was an S62 taking the place of the old M60. Other than that, Robin's very satisfied with the car.

But whatever happened to that yellow CSi he received as a kid? Well it's long gone but now he has a replica of his own 840 in 1:18 scale. He even painted the interior black and mounted the wheels. You can check out more of Robin's E31 on his instagram: @keckonen

BMW News

2017 BMW Alpina B7

  • Unique combination of high-performance drivetrain with 600 bHP and xDrive all-wheel drive system provide a 0-60 mph acceleration time of just 3.6 seconds.

  • Most advanced suspension and chassis technology with ALPINA calibration including for the first time Integral Active Steering for ultimate dynamics and comfort.
  • Carbon Core body in conjunction with ALPINA specific suspension geometry and MICHELIN® Pilot Super Sport tires lead to high agility, direct handling and precise steering.

  • Special ALPINA Sport+ Mode adjusts all vehicle, drivetrain and suspension settings to maximum dynamic performance lowering ride height by 0.8 inches at the touch of a button.
     
  • The ALPINA design and aerodynamic elements underscore the elegant and athletic appearance of the new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive.


New generation 4.4 liter V8 engine with twin-turbo charging.

The new 4.4 liter 8-cylinder engine with twin-turbo charging, gasoline direct injection and Valvetronic delivers an impressive output of 600 bHP between 5750 rpm and 6250 rpm, while the maximum torque of 590 lb-ft is available from 3000 rpm. The resulting performance figures are remarkable – the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive accelerates in just 3.6 seconds from 0 to 60 mph, 0.8 seconds faster than its predecessor while reaching a top speed of up to 193 mph (preliminary figure).The power output of this smooth high-tech engine unfolds with impressive emphasis across the entire rpm range. Excellent throttle response and high torque ensure that even at low engine speeds driver inputs are immediately transformed into forward acceleration.

In addition, to ALPINA’s engineering expertise, a number of significant technical details are responsible for this engine’s power output and performance characteristics – particularly the air intake system, the intercooler and turbocharger configuration and the high-performance cooling system. The twin-turbo charging system comprises two specially developed turbochargers positioned in the V of the 8-cylinder engine. These feature twin-scroll turbochargers with enlarged inlet and outlet diameters. This configuration ensures optimal use of exhaust gas energy even at low engine speeds. The result is a fast power build-up and more torque at low engine speeds for overall exceptional engine response. At 2000 rpm the ALPINA’s V8 twin-turbo engine already produces 494 lb-ft of torque ensuring optimal performance .

The overall aim during the development of the components of the ALPINA air intake system - from the air intake ducts to air filter housings and clean air intake manifold - was to achieve maximum airflow. All components of the high-performance cooling system are designed to remove bottlenecks and maximize effectiveness – special large-volume coolers are interconnected by large diameter hosing for maximum throughput. An indirect intercooler system (air to water) facilitates the implementation of short charge-air intake paths. Combined with additional external water coolers and a transmission oil cooler, the system ensures the thermodynamic stability of the V8 twin-turbo engine at all times, even under the highest loads and ambient air temperatures.

Inside the engine special Mahle pistons and NGK spark plugs are designed to deal with the temperatures and loads associated with 20 psi of boost pressure and a compression ratio of 10.0:1.

The stainless steel ALPINA sports exhaust system is responsible for a reduction in back pressure and weight. Active exhaust valves allow the driver to influence the sound experience by switching the Driving Dynamic Control switch between Comfort and Sport Mode. In typical ALPINA fashion: the two twin tailpipes of the exhaust system are integrated elegantly and aesthetically into the rear apron.

Most advanced suspension and chassis technology with characteristic ALPINA dynamics.

The all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive features cutting-edge suspension technology, offering its driver an exceptional range of driving experiences. The focus to retain the exceptional long-distance cruising comfort of the predecessor while at the same time significantly sharpening the agility, handling and lateral dynamics commensurate to the power output of the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive.

The 2-axle air suspension system combined with Dynamic Damper Control and Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview guarantees the very highest level of driving comfort at all times while the Active Roll Stabilization minimizes body roll during cornering. The rear wheel steering of the Integral Active Steering system gives the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive a level of dynamic performance and light-footed handling, typically associated with sports cars. The Driving Dynamics Control switch serves as the central control over which to select the various parameters of all the systems that influence the driving dynamics of the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive. It also features an Individual Mode, which can be used to combine specific settings independently and in accordance to the driver’s preference.

With the Driving Dynamics Control used to select the appropriate mode, the 2-axle air suspension system is primarily responsible for the exceptional level of ride comfort. It also enables ride height to be changed up or down which in combination with the other suspension systems facilitates the choice of a decidedly comfort or sport orientated chassis set-up. Overall, a maximum ride height adjustment range of 1.6 inches is available. At speeds above 140 mph the ride height of the BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive is lowered by 0.8 inches. This operating state, which can be activated manually to be effective regardless of the speed by selecting the special ALPINA Sport+ Mode, results in a lower center of gravity thereby increasing agility and high-speed stability. The lower ride height results in increased front wheel camber for even more direct turn-in when cornering. When needed, the ride height can also be raised by 0.8 inches up to a speed of 20 mph in order to increase ground clearance.

The settings of the Electronic Damper Control, which influences both rebound and compression, are also selected using the Driving Dynamics Control. A broad range of ALPINA damper set-ups are available ranging from Comfort+ Mode for effortless and relaxed cruising to ALPINA Sport+ Mode for maximum dynamic performance.

For the first time, the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive features Integral Active Steering, which in conjunction with the high-performance drivetrain and the all-wheel drive system, offers a dynamic driving experience par excellence. The Integral Active Steering combines a variable ratio electric steering system at the front axle with active steering on the rear axle whereby the wheels can turn a maximum of 3 degrees. Specially attuned to the ALPINA suspension and MICHELIN® performance tires, the rear axle steers opposed to the front axle at low speeds for increased agility and dynamic handling, while steering with the front axle at higher speeds for maximum high-speed directional stability.

The all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive is fitted with MICHELIN® Pilot Super Sport tires measuring 255/40 ZR20 at the front and 295/35 ZR20 at the rear, mounted on 8.5 x 20 and 10 x 20 ALPINA CLASSIC wheels. New lightweight 21 inch forged wheels take the traditional 20-spoke ALPINA CLASSIC design into a new minimalistic and technical direction. Forging results in high-density and high-strength aluminum alloy which enables a weight-optimized construction that saves 5.5 lb of unsprung mass per wheel. The MICHELIN® Pilot Super Sport tires are specifically designed to meet the demands of high-performance sports cars. They contribute directly to the precise steering feel and handling of the new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive while foregoing run-flat technology in the interests of improved ride comfort.

Comprising blue painted 4-piston fixed calipers and 15.5 in x 1.41 in discs on the front axle and floating calipers with 14.5 x 0.94 in discs on the rear axle, the high-performance brake system provides outstanding stopping power and deceleration.

BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system with ALPINA calibration

The all-wheel drive system builds upon the technical potential of BMW’s xDrive system and its intelligent and dynamic distribution of drive power which continuously and fully variable distributes torque between the front and rear axle within milliseconds for maximum traction and control. The programming of the torque distribution control, which is interconnected with the Dynamic Stability Control and the engine management system, is performance-oriented and it increases driving agility and dynamics markedly – especially under lateral acceleration – while maintaining balanced and neutral handling. Besides allowing optimum traction under acceleration by eliminating slip induced losses, the system continuously monitors a wide range of sensory inputs – for example steering angle, lateral acceleration, yaw angle and speed – to distribute torque so as to achieve maximum safety in challenging conditions or when encountering sudden changes in road surface friction. The DTC Mode of the Dynamic Stability Control offers a more rear wheel drive bias torque distribution for even more dynamic handling.

Automatic 8-speed Sports Automatic with ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC.

The BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive utilizes a new generation of the excellent 8-Speed Sport Automatic Transmission with ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC. Further refined and adapted to the performance characteristics of the high-torque V8 twin-turbo in collaboration with ZF, the transmission offers exceptional driving comfort in all situations.Close gear ratios and a total spread of 7.81:1 improve shift comfort and efficiency. In Automatic Mode the combination of eight gears and high engine torque makes for relaxed, luxurious cruising at low engine rpm even when travelling at higher speeds.

In Sport Mode the shift points have been optimized for improved driving performance and are considerably more dynamic with the option to activate the Launch Control function. For maximum dynamic performance, the driver selects the Manual Mode thereby actuating gear changes manually by using the SWITCH-TRONIC buttons on the back of the steering wheel or via the gear selector switch on the center console. In addition to lightning quick gear shifts (approximately a tenth of a second), this mode also holds the selected gear even when the engine hits the rev limiter.

All components of the transmission such as the torque converter with lock-up clutch, the planetary wheel sets and the inner cooling are designed to specifically cope with the high torque output of the V8 twin-turbo engine. This means that no torque reduction is necessary during upshifts when selecting the Launch Control or when using the sportiest configuration of the Manual Mode. This contributes significantly to the striking longitudinal dynamics of the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive and allowing it to sprint from 0 – 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. The transmission features the latest Comfort and Efficient Dynamics functions such as ConnectedShift (use of navigation data for an anticipatory shift strategy based on traffic routing) and Coasting (decoupling of the engine and transmission when coasting).

Athletic and elegant design throughout the B7.

The appearance of the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive is defined by athletic flair and elegance. The ALPINA design and aerodynamic elements emphasize its performance character, with the front and rear spoiler striking a harmonious balance and highlighting the powerful presence of the 2017 BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive. The design blends form and function – the aerodynamic components reduce lift on the front and rear axles to almost zero for maximum driving stability at all speeds. Openings at the front of the vehicle allow the precise and effective flow of air to the individual components of the high-performance cooling system. The iconic BMW kidney grille is fitted with an integrated air flap control system that adapts to the BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive’s cooling needs: when closed it further reduces the level of aerodynamic drag.

The 20 inch ALPINA CLASSIC wheels with twenty spokes and concealed air valves give the powerful BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive a touch of elegance and lightness. In the interests of weight reduction and a striking technical appearance, the optional 21 inch ALPINA CLASSIC forged wheels with visible wheel bolts do not feature concealed air valves and wheel caps.

The ALPINA sports exhaust system features two elliptical twin tailpipes that reflect the performance of the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive and its powerful V8 engine. They are precisely integrated in the rear apron and give the rear a smooth, elegant look.

The exclusive paint finishes in ALPINA Blue metallic and ALPINA Green metallic are a hallmark feature reserved solely for BMW ALPINA automobiles. Other BMW and BMW Individual paint finishes are also available for the 2017 BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive.

Interior and Equipment. 

An extensive range of standard equipment ensures maximum well-being and comfort, including high-end Nappa leather, comfort seats, a leather-covered instrument panel, ceramic inserts on selected control elements and soft close doors. Equipment features that enhance effortless driving also come as standard in the new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive, such as a full-color Head-Up Display, a rear view camera, the latest BMW navigation and communication and infotainment systems.

ALPINA details add exclusivity and individual style to the interior. Hand-finished using exceptionally high-quality LAVALINA leather, the sports steering wheel with blue and green stitching is captivating at the very first touch due to its gentle feel. Timeless Piano lacquer or classic Myrtle Luxury Wood - the ALPINA interior trim, door sills with blue illumination, ALPINA B7 model inscriptions and an individual production plaque are further examples of exclusive equipment features in the new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive.

Another exclusive ALPINA design is the full-color digital instrument panel in LED technology. In Comfort Mode it offers a classic look featuring round instruments with blue background and red needles. In Sport Mode the display changes to a more dynamic design with blue and green drag indicators and a focus on primary information, such as the centrally positioned permanent digital speed read-out.

Features

Jay Belknap's E53 X5 4.6iS S3

Photography by Dan Wagener & Ryan Lee

Traditional love stories typically begin with "once upon a time" and end with "and they lived happily ever after." Most people would hope that held true for every relationship, but through past experience we all know it to be an unrealistic expectation. Some relationships can start out as planned, but take a turn for the worst. Others may start out rough, but were all worth it in the end. For Jay Belknap and his 2003 X5 it was the latter.

Ever since Jay had a daily driver it's been some sort of truck/utility vehicle. It was something cheap and paid off which allowed him to sink money into his 1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4. Well, once he was satisfied with how the VR4 turned out, he figured he'd get the truck he had always wanted—a Range Rover Sport (Supercharged). So he went on the forums and asked the owners how they liked them… half said they were awesome, and the other half didn't know because they were always at the dealer for service. He then started researching the runner-up, the E53 X5 (keep in mind this is before the X5M had made its debut). Jay found that the 4.6iS could be supercharged through Dinan for a modest cost (much more affordable than what G-Power wanted to supercharge the 4.8iS for) so he decided to look for a clean one in black. Months of searching showed no luck and he eventually gave up.

One day about half a year later he randomly browsed for X5's on the market and found a one-owner 4.6iS (with 85k on the clock) for sale in Texas. It just so conveniently happened to be Black Sapphire, supercharged, and come with Brembo brakes and an E46 M3 wheel already installed. Skeptical that it had to be some sort of scam, additional photos proved it was in fact the real deal. He took a flight out to Houston a few days later with a check in hand. 

As he walked out of Houston International the black X5 whistled down the arrival ramp. It was freshly detailed and ready for him to take on a road trip back to Virginia Beach. He got in, exchanged pleasantries, got the paperwork done, and proceeded to drive to drop the previous owner off at his work. But as soon as they left the airport, boom, check engine light. The previous owner said he had a guy who was an old BMW master that did all the previous work and that he would have it fixed, right then. So they headed over to the shop and found a boost leak from a clamp that wasn't tightened down all the way. Already 4 hours behind schedule, Jay was ready to head home. When he finally got onto I-10 East, he punched it and the supercharged M62B46 said let's do this. He was instantly hooked; forgetting that the Range Rover Sport even existed. 

After about an hour into Louisiana though, the supercharger belt decided it was no longer going to be friends with the engine. It took out every other belt and the A/C tensioner on its way off the motor. Jay shut the truck down and got a tow back west to Texas. That tow truck broke down so another tow truck took him the remainder of the distance West on I-10 to a hotel in Beaumont, Texas, two blocks away from Beaumont BMW. He figured he'd be the first one into BMW the next day, get it fixed and be on his way. Well, he was the first one onto the lot, but the secretary arrived and informed him that their service shop is closed on Saturdays. She invited him inside to call yet another tow truck, to get him further West to Momentum BMW in Houston. It was at that time the service manager, who was coming in to do his end of month reports, had overheard Jay's situation and started calling his techs. One was awake and said he'd be right in. They got him back on the road with just a new main belt (no A/C belt/tensioner or S/C belt). The previous owner called back and paid BMW for the work. Jay thanked him and said if anything else happened on the way home that he'd take care of it from there (nothing more did happen though). He later found out that the blower bracket tensioner needed an alignment.

Needless to say it was not a desirable first 24 hours of ownership. On a good note though, Jay later established a relationship with Dinan's after-sales support team. They got him set up with the parts needed to fix the tensioner rod, belt, etc. Like any machine, it needed maintenance, even the supercharger stuff.

Now to the untrained eye Jay's X5 may appear as if it came this way from the factory, but the finer details tell all to this rare beast. If you're not familiar with the 4.6iS model, it had a very short 2002-2003 production run. BMW had injected the standard X5 model with steroids metaphorically speaking, just like they do with the ///M models. These factory enhancements included larger fenders flares, massive 20" wheels, larger/louder exhausts, a unique variant of the 5HP24 transmission, aggressive camshaft profiles, the high flow intake manifold from the older M62 cars, bored, stroked and compressed to a 10.5:1 ratio producing 342hp/354lb·ft. What makes Jay's X5 even more rare is that it's 1 of 27 Dinan supercharged X5's in the world. The Dinan Signature 3 package consists of a Vortech V-2 S-Trim Supercharger (5.5psi), MAF, throttle body, DME flash, EGS flash, Delphi 37lb injectors, and E39 M5 fuel pump.

 One common goal of any true performance-oriented enthusiast is to put as much tire on the road as possible. With that in mind, the weight of the vehicle, the additional power and simply because he wanted the ability to rotate tires, Jay sourced another pair of 20x10.5" OEM Style 87 rear wheels. He then got a fresh set of four Bridgestone Dueller HP Sport 315/35/20's. The improvement in grip from the 12.4" wide tires up front was night and day. The concave design of the Style 87 rear wheels barely cleared the eight piston Brembo calipers but didn't require a spacer like previously needed with the 9.5" fronts. To accommodate the lower offsets, he also added the X5 LeMans edition front fender flares. The rear wheels were spaced out 25mm with H&R DRA style spacers to help balance the front-to-rear track width. A Dinan strut bar and camber plates were also added to help brace the seam welded chassis for the twisties. The Brembo GT brake system 380mm (15") front, 355mm (14") rear helps bring the tank to a halt on demand, without a hint of fade. 

At around 107k miles the supercharger's high speed bearings on the impeller shaft got a little noisy. With  help from friend & mentor, Tony Acker, they had sent the blower off to Vortech, and performed the M62 timing guide & valley pan job at the same time. Vortech returned the supercharger with a newer Si-Trim impeller which meant more mid-range power than before.

During the summer of 2011 Jay decided it was far too hot out and had lost trust in his OEM water temp gauge. He also wanted to be able to read and clear codes on the fly so he removed the cluster (fixed the infamous pixel problem while in there) and integrated a PLX Devices DM-100 into the cluster. In addition to OBD date, the DM-100 was installed with PLX Boost, EGT, dual WBO2, and oil pressure modules. Other installed electronics include a Tekonsha P3 trailer brake controller, and a hardwired K40 Dual front/rear RADAR detector and front LASER jamming system.

With the 107k refresh and monitoring equipment fitted, everything was working tip top. Then one day as he came up a steep on-ramp that had a sharp crest to it, the X5 got airborne for a split second. Unluckily for Jay, he was at the top of the engine's 6600 rpm range when it happened. Inertia took over and all the exhaust valves slightly mushroomed—two cylinders were bad enough to notice under load. Making matters worse, the intake cam gears spun about the cams slightly. With Tony's help, they did compression, piston height, and leakdown tests. They removed the heads and sent them off to VAC Motorsports for a Stage 1 upgrade including Stainless Steel Intake valves and Inconel Exhaust valves. While the truck was down, he got bored and looked for other parts. He happened to find a very rare, new 4.6iS Tubi Rumore catback exhaust with serial number 9 stamped on it. Tubi is mostly known for making exhausts for exotic cars so he was surprised to discover that they even made one for the X5. After receiving and installing the original heads, now blessed by VAC, a huge improvement in power and efficiency was found.

All told, this X5 produces around 475bhp. Although Jay's never taken it to the drag strip, he'd like to think it's possible to break 12's in the 1/4 mile. Not bad for a 10 year old German tank, which is the reasoning behind the name "Panzer".

Today, Jay’s 4.6iS S3 has 135k miles on it, and has been supercharged for 133k of those miles. He would like to thank Dinan Engineering for their outstanding after-sales customer support. Jay would also like to send a huge thanks to Tony Acker for his knowledge and time spent keeping this X5 running so strong. Stronger, in fact, than the day he first got it, many years and many miles ago. So does a bad start have to equal a bad finish to a relationship? In this case, it most definitely did not.