The F10 generation BMW M5 is one of the best performance deals on the market right now for anyone seeking that perfect match of practicality and pure, unbridled speed. Overshadowed by the all-new edition of the car that was unveiled just last year, and too often ignored by enthusiasts due to its four-door form factor, this under-the-radar stealth fighter easily eats sport coupes for breakfast, even in stock form. Ravi Dolwani's 2015 BMW M5, however, is anything but out of the box.
"When I set out to find this car at the end of 2017, I had already owned a lot of two-door coupes and I was really looking for something I could daily and still enjoy," he says. "It took me quite a while to find an Imola Red example—so many M5s are white, black, blue, or silver—and they only made a few through the BMW Individual program for each model year."
Once acquired—through a friend of a friend who was selling to fund a new business venture—the goal was simple: turn up the fun without sacrificing the reliability required from a daily-driven vehicle that would also double as the development car for the Racing and High Performance division of Dolwani's company, CSF.
With that in mind, work got underway in the engine bay with a set of CSF x Pure Turbos liquid-to-air charge coolers (custom painted in hammer-textured fire engine red), matched with an RK Autowerks cold air carbon fiber intake system (again, color-keyed to the Imola red with black exterior). Together with an FI Exhaust cat-back system and a set of Evolve Automotive cat-less downpipes, a VF Engineers stage 2 HEX tune was able to squeeze 628 horsepower and 617 lb-ft of torque to the wheels from the BMW's 4.4-liter V8 engine—a healthy step up over the 560 crank ponies it boasted from the factory.
"It's got plenty of power and it starts every time I turn the key, which is important to me because I drive it more and more often," Ravi says. "A car that's down isn't much fun because you don't get to pilot it, and while you can always go faster and add more boost, it's already so quick that I'm not sure where I'd ever get to use that extra speed—and I certainly don't want to deal with the issues that come with walking that path." It's a path that Ravi is well aware of, being the owner of multiple vehicles, including a purpose-built Mitsubishi Evo that appeared at SEMA a few years ago and, more recently, in the cover of our sister brand, pbskids Magazine
With the wick turned up on the M5's turbocharged power plant, it was time to ensure that control went hand-in-hand with the sedan's formidable straight-line potential. To that end, it was outfitted with a HAS kit from KW Suspensions and 21-inch 6Sixty Design monoblock wheels measuring 9.5 inches up front and 11 inches in the rear. The latter are wrapped in 305/25 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber, with the fronts sized at 255/30.
On the aero side of the equation, the 2015 M5 has had its at-speed stability enhanced by way of a full carbon kit from PSM dynamic with the front lip specifically designed for 1/2 mile racing (admittedly its his 3rd lip, the prior two falling victim to Socal concrete). Style is further boosted by a carbon fiber vented hood from Agency Power, gold-trimmed Iconic R40 open end racing lug nuts produced by Project Kics and a chrome delete with black-outs on the BMW's roundel badges made by IND Distribution. Needless to say, the car is impossible to ignore—and gets a strong reaction wherever it goes.
"It's probably one of the most stand-out F10s you'll see, because of how clean it looks," Dolwani explains. "Personally, I prefer the 'OEM-plus' look, which is what I went for with this car—modified, but tasteful, and far from over-the-top. I'm still getting great comments and emails about the car even after the release of the new F90 M5."
Beyond its great reception, the best part of the car for Ravi is how well it fits into his lifestyle. Even with a carload of passengers, this particular M5 isn't one to be trifled with. "I went to Mammoth [California] with it a month ago, and it's all two-lane highway, where you really have to work to pass people. With this beast, I can take eight cars at a time if I need to, which is a big plus—and I love the engagement with the M Performance electronic steering wheel and the 3D design billet paddle shifters I had installed." An advanced radar detection system and laser jammer offers 360 degrees of protection and is discreetly installed.
"I can go anywhere with it, I can take as many people as I want with me, and I can stuff all of their luggage in the trunk, too," he says, laughing. "Then I can turn around and do a half-mile race with it, if I want to. It's so fast and comfortable at the same time, like a sports car with all the comforts of a luxury sedan." Ravi certainly the found that balance of performance and practicality he was after.