BMW 540i Touring: Dinan-tuned, ‘Suburban Lunatic’ Edition

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Sober-looking BMW 540i Touring is hiding a supercharged V8 and enough mods make it an M5 wagon clone.

BMW considered building an M5 version of the E39 Touring, and on the 25th Anniversary of the M5 they actually showed off a prototype. It never made it to market for financial reasons, but that hasn’t stopped people from putting together their own take on an M5 Touring model. We came across this one on Bring-a-Trailer and love the considered lunacy it brings to the table. We also like that the “5” next to the M badge is upside down as a little troll for the M5 badge police.

The 4.4-liter M62 V8 from the 540i Touring has a VF Engineering Stage 2 supercharger strapped to it along with a six-speed manual gearbox swap from another E39 to give it that real seat of the pants driving experience. At the back, this E39 Touring now has a limited-slip differential with a 3.46:1 gear ratio. No dyno figures are given, but we’ll happily speculate that the supercharger should have it close to the horsepower of the E39 M5 and a shovel full of extra torque. On top of that, the engine also has a Dinan high-flow throttle body and custom long-tube headers.

540i Touring M5 conversion.

Of course, a take on the M5 needs more than extra power and an LSD. The chassis rigidity has a little tweak in the form of a Dinan strut tower bar over the engine, and the suspension is modified with adjustable sway bars, polyurethane bushings, and KW coilovers all around.

There are a few things that are in the eye of the beholder. But, the beauty of a build like this is you can tone it up or down easily. To take it down to true sleeper status it would only need a change in the exhaust to lose the metallic raspy sound in the listing’s video, lose the M badge, and take the wheels back to the OEM color. To go the other way… Well, the sky’s the limit.

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Ian Wright has been a professional writer for two years and is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum, Jaguar Forum, and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

His obsession with cars started young and has left him stranded miles off-road in Land Rovers, being lost far from home in hot hatches, going sideways in rallycross cars, being propelled forward in supercars and, more sensibly, standing in fields staring at classic cars. His first job was as a mechanic and then trained as a driving instructor before going into media production.

The automotive itch never left though, and he realized writing about cars is his true calling. However, that doesn’t stop him from also hosting the Both Hand Drive podcast.

Ian can be reached at [email protected]

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