BMW tuners unveil ferocious M5 and 8 Series beasts
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We haven't even seen — let alone driven — the new BMW 8 Series, and already the nutcases at AC Schnitzer have laid into it with their angle grinders and canard-filled parts bins.
Ahead of this week's Essen Motor Show, the BMW tuning specialists have revealed not one, but two new performance packages; one for the 8 Series and the other for the M5 sports sedan. One is a design study, the other is very real indeed.
Now, these aren't just ballistic visual kits (although usage of that word to describe how they look would be justified indeed). In typical AC Schnitzer fashion, the visual aggression on both models has been backed up with some mechanical aggression, too.
For the 8 Series (which abandons some of its more subtle and svelte styling in the pursuit of a wings and vents Guinness World Record), power upgrades come in two forms. Tuned models based off the 4.4-litre bi-turbo V8 M850i xDrive will have their output boosted to 440kW of power and 850Nm of torque.
AC Schnitzer also do packages for the 3.0-litre twin-turbo I6 840d xDrive diesel variant, which see power and torque increased to a respectable 278kW and 780Nm.
These changes under the bonnet are complemented by bigger 'zorts out the back for more audible banging action, as well as various handling changes. These are kicked off by a new suspension set-up that lowers the front of the big eight by 20-25mm and the rear by 10-15mm (creating a bit of rake action, to boot).
All of this is sadly tarred with the 'design study' brush. AC Schnitzer is just probing market interest with this kit, to see whether it would be a viable product down the road.
The same can't be said for their new M5 package, however.
Click here to read Driven's full BMW M5 road test
The M5 is already a rather quick thing. But, many have pointed out that it's not quite as maniacal and raw as previous variants. This is something AC Schnitzer have tried to change.
It's no surprise therefore to see a power increase. BMW's 4.4-litre V8 has 73kW more power and 100Nm more torque than standard; making for a total output of 514kW and 850Nm. AC Schnitzer have said that their new M5 will lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7min 29.5sec — nine seconds quicker than the regular M5.
Of course, BMW already do a souped up version of the M5 themselves called the M5 Competition. It boasts 19kW more power and an altered torque curve, among other changes. AC Schnitzer (naturally) are working on an even-more-hardcore package for that M5, too.
Like Schnity's 8-Series study, the M5 also has other changes on top of engine alterations. Each corner gains a KW V4 coil-over suspension set-up that provides adjustable functionality to drivers hoping to fine-tune the way their M5 rides bumps. AC Schnitzer say they can also help lower the M5 (20-25mm at the front, 10-15mm at the rear a la the 8 Series above) with the addition of their own in-house spring kit.
The issue of weight is at least partially tackled by the addition of light-weight forged Evo rims (they're centre-locking examples too, so the lads at the track day can know you mean business). They're supported by high-performance tyres, and the aforementioned carbon-clad body kit.