Awhile back, we learned of the absolutely gorgeous Smit Oletha, a sort of love-letter to the best era of BMWs, built by two California, Willem and Kaess Smit, of Smit Vehicle Engineering. What the Smit brothers did was pull all of the best bits of BMW from the late ’90 and early ’00s to create quite possibly the most perfect BMW product ever. And Autocar’s Matt Prior was fortunate enough to drive it, in this latest video.
So what is the Smit Oletha? It starts out as a first-gen BMW Z4 but then the Smit brothers give it a completely custom-designed carbon fiber body that’s absolutely breathtaking. It takes all the best styling bits from the Z4 and the BMW Z8 and combine them to make what would easily be in the two or three best-looking BMWs of all time, if it was an official Bimmer. Inside, it’s essentially a Z4 but complaining about that is like complaining that Ana de Armas farts in her sleep.
Under the hood is the stroked S65 engine from the E92 BMW M3 GTS, so it’s a 4.4-liter naturally aspirated V8 that revs past 8,000 rpm. More importantly is the incredible noise it makes. There’s a muscle car tone to it, low in the rev range, but once its revs climb, you get that whiff of motorsport and it’s brilliant. All that fury is sent through a six-speed manual transmission to the rear-wheels, via a mechanical limited-slip diff.
It rides on KW two-way coilovers, though Smit and KW are working together to revise them, so it handles like a sports car, even if it sounds like a muscle car.
Yes, it’s expensive, at around $350,000-$450,000, depending on if you get the V8 or an I6, but it’s a super special machine and one that will likely make you happy for as long as it’s yours.