After seeing the Cars and Bids E38 BMW 7 Series with an E39 BMW M5 heart transplant, my mind began to race, filling up with other fantastic BMW combinations. Admittedly, an E38 7 Series with an E39 M5 engine is about as perfect as it gets, but it’s always fun to play around with different combinations. So I thought it’d be a fun exercise to try and create more exciting Franken-Bimmers.
I’ll go first and create my perfect Franken-Bimmer and you readers can follow, leaving your perfect BMW builds in the comments below. There really aren’t any rules except that all parts of the build have to be road-legal and come from BMW. Not necessarily a BMW model but they need to be made by BMW. For example, a McLaren F1 engine counts, as it was a BMW engine, just not from a BMW vehicle. It also has to be at least semi-realistic, so something like an F1-powered BMW 2002 doesn’t really work, as that engine flat-out wouldn’t fit. So let’s begin.
My perfect Franken-Bimmer would have to start with my favorite BMW chassis — the E46 M3. Not only is its chassis balance, handling, and feel still unmatched in any modern BMW, it’s also one of the best looking BMWs of all. So that would be my starting point. However, as good as the E46 M3’s 3.2 liter inline-six is, I’d gut it and swap in the E92 M3’s 4.0 liter naturally-aspirated V8.
The idea is to sort of recreate the E46 BMW M3 GTR for the road, as that GTR race car used a P60B40 4.0 liter naturally-aspirated V8 for racing. It was barely legal in the racing series it competed in, so it’d never be legal on the road, therefore it’s excused from this exercise. However, the E92’s 4.0 liter free-breathing V8 is still a sensational engine and probably the best one ever fitted to a road-going M3. Plus, I’d know it would sorta fit (at least close enough for this exercise), being that the M3 GTR’s engine was the same displacement and it fit, with modification of course.
Combine that engine with a six-speed manual transmission and one of BMW’s clever electronically-controlled rear differentials, and my Franken-E46 M3 would be essentially perfect. I’d also want it in Dakar Yellow, with black interior, and E46 M3 CSL wheels.
So that’s my Franken-Bimmer, now it’s your turn to create your own in your head and share it with the group.