Dinan Showcases Both the Quirks and Potential of the New BMW M5
Dinan says new BMW M5 twin-turbo V8 engine easily capable of 700 WHP, and that this test car is ‘scary fast.’
The SEMA show is a curious thing in the automotive world. It’s filled with cars that are so extreme, and so far removed from anything that you would ever actually drive. The effect of this is that the extreme becomes ordinary, and, instead, makes the subtle cars stand out more. Case in point, here’s a gray BMW family sedan that’s hiding in plain sight.
Of course, that’s actually Singapore Gray Metallic 2019 BMW M5, a 600 horsepower, twin-turbocharged V8-powered family sedan that can lap the Nurburgring much faster than it has any right to. Except it isn’t, because this particular BMW M5 is Dinan‘s new test development vehicle, and it’s knocking on the door of 700 wheel horsepower.
Nathan Fette, Dinan’s Marketing Director, is on-hand to walk me around the car and explain what the big deal is. First off is the car itself, which, as Fette explains, has some unconventional obstacles and design challenges baked into the package. Certainly, the twin-turbo V8 mill is understressed in stock form, and has a lot of overhead left in it, in terms of power, but BMW hasn’t exactly made it easy to access.
ALSO SEE: Dinan BMW M550i Review: Luxury Land Speed Missile
Cracking BMW’s proprietary ECU hardware proved difficult when Dinan’s end goal is an OEM-level of integration and implementation. Then there are some M5-specific hardware difficulties that have to be designed around. Take, for example, the air intake. Dinan has long offered carbon fiber air intakes and airboxes for BMW models. The new M5 makes this a bit more challenging to do by implementing chassis bracing into the factory intake system.
Then there is the general market shift that vehicles like the M5 represent. Dinan has long used piggyback style tuning solutions, that plug-and-play into the factory ECU. These systems offer quick and easy reversion between full stock and tuned, but can be limited in how much control over the ECU they actually have. Fette says that Dinan has noticed the market shift to ECU flashes, instead. These flashes tend to involve using proprietary software on a laptop, and reflashing the car’s ECU via the OBD-II port. This complete rewrite of the car’s brain allows for more control, especially over ‘features’ and factory-programmed, none-performance-related things. A well-written flash can allow the user more in-depth customization, for things like cold start delete, burble tunes, and unlocking certain features that the car may have, but are market-specific.
Needless to say, development is on-going, but Dinan expects that with just an intake, exhaust and tune upgrade, that the new M5 will be knocking on the door of 700 WHP. Initial testing has shown figures around 675 WHP, and over 700 lb-ft of torque to the tires. Fette described the car, in it’s current state as “scary fast,” in the way it builds speed, which is almost unassuming, because of the large tires, and all-wheel drive traction.
ALSO SEE: Dinan BMW M4 S2 Review: 550 Horsepower of Rowdy Fun
Of course, speaking of large tires, Dinan isn’t just a horsepower factory. After all, the brand got it’s start with chassis and suspension development. This BMW M5 is no exception, as it features a very similar list of upgrades to the Dinan M550i I drove in May of this year. Namely, it features Dinan’s coil-over suspension, upgraded sway bars, upgraded toe links (for improved stability) and a monoball conversion kit, in lieu of conventional bushings and ball joints. It also rides on the same 20-inch Dinan forged wheels.
Last but not least is that aforementioned subtle exterior treatment. That subtle paintjob also has a very technical-looking, geometric wrap applied over it, and it signifies something important for the brand: global expansion. Dinan is expanding it’s dealer and installation network across the globe with an initiative called Dinan Global (it’s written all over the car, so you don’t forget). It seems now BMW enthusiasts worldwide will be able to get their go-fast fix from Dinan.