BMW only put four- and six-cylinder engines in the first-generation Z4 Coupe but this E86 has had an unexpected heart transplant. Under that long hood rests a V8 with a massive 5.7-liter displacement and built by Hendrick Motorsports for NASCAR duties. The man behind this wild project originally bought a regular road car before converting it strictly for track use with an unexpected engine.
Jimmy, the owner of G&H Racing from South Africa, is the mastermind behind the V8-powered Z4 with a sequential gearbox replacing the original transmission. As a refresher, depending on the version, E85/E86 with five- and six-speed manuals, along with five- and six-speed automatics, plus the dreaded SMG automated manual.
The bonkers Z4 Coupe has been fitted with traction control following a less-than-ideal run last year at the Simola Hillclimb event where the car was all over the place. In addition, it has also gained launch control as well as a comprehensive aerodynamic package with a prominent front splitter and a massive rear wing proudly carrying an “M Power” logo. The hood bulge is a telltale sign there’s something massive hiding underneath those vents.
The rear-wheel-drive machine can rev up to a screaming 10,000 rpm but is currently limited to 7,500 rpm. The plan is to push the redline to somewhere in the region of 9,000 rpm. As it stands, the 5.7-liter V8 produces a meaty 590 horsepower (440 kilowatts) and 635 Newton-meters (468 pound-feet) of torque. The eight-cylinder powerhouse benefits from fuel injection after ditching the original carburetor of the crate engine.
Interestingly, this Z4 is technically mid-engined since the V8 has been pushed to the back and now sits behind the front axle. Some of the drivetrain components were borrowed from an M5 while the exhaust system was developed in-house specifically for the car. As for the genuine GT3 body kit, it was sourced from Germany-based Flossmann. Additional changes were made to the suspension, wheels, and brakes to turn it into a proper track weapon.
Source: Cars.co.za / YouTube