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Improving Perfection

Published on May 10, 2013 by in Uncategorized

How do you take one of the best modified E90 M3s ever created, and make it even better? How do you add to a car nearly any enthusiast would call perfect, without taking the project too far? These are the questions we had to ask ourselves at IND when Felix’s amazing Dakar Yellow BMW Individual M3 arrived at our facility. Although we have all seen photos of this M3 before, and even provided many of the parts already on the car, my heart skipped a beat when this car rolled off of our car transport. Felix is a man of excellent taste, and has already created one of the best machines in the US, in terms of performance, feel, and of course it’s striking appearance.

Adding to this BMW Individual M3 without diluting it’s already spectacular presence and truly completing this M3 was our task. We knew that just a few missteps, a few custom parts too many would take this car too far, and that it would be crucial to proceed with good taste.

Enhancing the car’s details was our ultimate plan of attack, and to that end we addressed the exterior, interior, and engine bay with hopes of taking this M3 from amazing to world-beating.

We started outside the car by adding one of it’s key show pieces- the original carbon fiber mirrors from the BMW Motorsport program. Coupled with the car’s Varis diffuser and IND carbon roof, these mirrors perfectly enhance the personality of this Dakar beast. The remainder of the exterior of this car was already stellar, with BBS FI wheels, Brembo brakes, a Vorsteiner GTS-V front lip, a rear diffuser from 3D Design, and even the rare E90 M3 carbon roof conversion from us at IND, we knew that the exterior could be left well enough alone.

After installing the BMW Motorsport mirrors, we moved on to painted details, and addressed what felt like hundreds of small items. From the gloss black painted fasteners holding the Varis diffuser together, to the gloss black painted hose clamps in the engine bay, to the gloss black painted speaker surrounds inside the car, no stone was left unturned in creating a perfectly finished feel. The engine bay saw a comprehensive refinish with Carbon Fiber strut bars by Dinan, textured black powdercoated valve covers, Dakar yellow ignition coil covers, and painted ESS supercharger and diverter valve. The ESS intake manifold got a coating of Lamborghini’s Grigio Estoque paint, with a special addition of pearl coat from IND.

The bulk of the effort was spent on perfecting the car’s interior. The already fantastic BMW Performance seats were disassembled completely and re-stitched with Dakar Yellow thread in both the seat’s perimeter and BMW Performance logo located in the headrest. The seat backs were repainted in a high gloss black with yellow flake, designed to match the custom IND painted interior trim already in the car. The trim pieces in the seats were refinished in a simpler gloss black to give the seats an overall subtle look that could have come directly from BMW.

The dash was removed and reupholstered in black leather, again giving the work an original BMW Individual feel that would not detract from the rest of the car. To coordinate with the car’s headliner, the door panels were subtly split and their upper half was refinished in alcantara fabric, while leaving the lower half in original BMW leather to resist wear and maintain the car’s daily usability. A genuine M3 GTS center arm rest was obtained through German contacts at BMW. From the arm rest the eye will travel back to the show piece of the interior- a custom built roll bar, welded in place as one piece by Fall Line Motorsports and finished in Dakar Yellow by IND. A rear closeout was built to resemble the M3 GTS as closely as possible, while adapting the closeout to the different dimensions of the sedan. Finally, yellow seat belts were added to the front of the car, and may be my personal favorite single piece on the car.

We hope that coupled with the parts we’d already provided for this E90 prior to it’s visit to IND, the work we’ve done over the past month and a half makes this Dakar Yellow E90 one of the best in the US. Enjoy the photos!

powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-2 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-3 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-4 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-5 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-6 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-7 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-8 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-9 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-10 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-11 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-12 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-13 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-14 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-15 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-16 powerbeast-dakar-yellow-m3-17

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A clear signal


Our Portfolio program once again proves my long-held belief that the folks we get to meet through our time at IND are the absolute best single perk of this job. To earn and modify a BMW M3 is no easy task and takes effort and dedication. Each of our clients has an amazing story to tell, and the opportunity to tell their story through their M3 is unique to our industry.

We are pleased to present Jason’s interpretation of the perfect M3. This BMW Individual Signal Green M3 is a reflection of Jason’s passions, experiences, and life, and his personality is clear in every part added.
Jason is no stranger to modified cars, having previously owned a number of great sports cars, including most recently a 911 Porsche extensively modified with many GT3 suspension and body components. The journey of creating a great modified car is part of the appeal for Jason, and so unlike most IND Portfolio projects, every single component seen on this E92 M3 was installed in Jason’s own garage. Although IND provided consultation throughout the process, Jason installed each and every part by hand, pouring his own blood and sweat into his M3.

Jason’s experience as a pilot for the Marine Corps contributed to his willingness to take on an ambitious project like this, with the patience and discipline learned in the Marine Corps allowing him to tackle the installation of the KW ClubSport coilovers, the ESS VT2 kit, Brembo brakes, and exterior components seen on the car.

This M3 takes a “less is more” approach to tuning in many ways, with Jason opting for a smaller selection of the best possible parts, rather than replacing as much of the original M3 as possible. The car was originally ordered in Porsche’s striking Signal Green color directly from BMW Individual with as few options added as possible, including BMW’s excellent speed cloth interior. With no additional luxury features, this M3 was destined to be a serious sports car from the moment it’s build order was signed.

Continuing with the plan of adding as few parts as possible to create his desired effect, this M3 forgoes many of the “go-to” modifications often seen on cars of this caliber- no painted ESS intake manifold, the original orange reflectors, no rear diffuser. These components were skipped intentionally, forcing the eye to focus on the amazing components that did make it on the car. The M3 is a showcase of nothing but the best from each manufacturer- RKP’s amazing GT4 style front lip, a GT wing from Varis, and the original exhaust system from the M3 GTS as built for BMW by Boysen.

More than any other item seen on this M3, the car’s focal points are surely the mirrors. The full carbon fiber mirrors bolted to the doors of this M3 were a key aspect of the build from the beginning, and Jason knew that acquiring a set directly from BMW Motorsport would perfectly suit the car’s aggressive appearance. Designing the custom bases required to mate the BMW Motorsport mirrors to the M3 was an amazing journey in itself, as seen in our thread here:

I believe that Jason has succeeded in creating his perfect M3- a striking mix of dramatic race-inspired looks, supercar performance levels, and enough comfort to continue driving the M3 on weekend journeys.

This weekend two members of the IND team flew to beautiful San Diego to review the car, get feedback on all of the parts, and document the car in its element in the city and mountain roads of southern California.

Enjoy the photos!

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Limited Production 311RS at iND

Published on April 9, 2013 by in Uncategorized

Although we love, live, and breathe BMW here at IND, we can appreciate any and all type of car. The amazing Evo X seen here is no exception. The 311RS project was envisioned by professional racing driver Ryan Gates to take an already excellent performance platform and transform it into a true sports car for the enthusiast by addressing critical details of the car’s suspension, drivetrain, and braking systems. The car seen here is the first of 11 examples that will be built under the 311RS moniker, and is a sign of what’s to come. This car boasts 440 wheel horsepower, JRZ suspension tuned specifically to Ryan’s personal settings, and a brake package from Girodisc, among a host of other more secret details that create a true sports car



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iND/AMS Alpha F10 M5 Tuning Program Testing and Datalogging Update. 1,000+ HP Goal!

Development of IND’s M5 continues, and in this week’s update we find our M5 within the bowels of AMS’ dyno room. Having logged over 20 hours on the dyno since the installation of a host of AMS-supplied testing and datalogging equipment, we’ve started to build a knowledge base that will help to make key decisions and allow us to take steps toward our ultimate power goal.

Our M5 was wired with a complete sensor package including:

  • intake air temperature sensors before and after the coolers
  • boost pressure sensor at the intake manifold
  • ambient temperature sensors
  • intercooler water temp pre and post intercooler
  • boost pressure pre and post intercooler
  • oil temperature

An AIM digital dash recorded these and a host of OE BMW vital signals during the testing process, and while we cannot yet share this data with the M5Post community I can say that the datalogging process has been very informative. Although the F10 M5 is a formidable package as sold by BMW, we’ve found that some of the hardware is not built for tremendous overhead, and that conversely some of the components are impressively under-stressed.

Unfortunately we can’t elaborate just yet, but will strive for extreme transparency in the long-term, once the parts are developed.

In the interim AMS has helped us to generate some eye candy for the M5 enthusiast community by digitally mapping every millimeter of the F10 M5’s downpipes along with the engine bay they fit within. By digitizing the downpipes themselves, the turbochargers, the firewall, and all of the other components in proximity, the engineers at AMS will be able to design our performance downpipes in CAD to take full advantage of the available packaging as well as the benefits available from CFD analysis.

Below are photos of the original components found in the S63tu engine, including the piston, connecting rod, wrist pin, rod bolts, and piston rings. These components will be measured, digitized, and evaluated by ourselves and the engineers at AMS Performance in an effort to gauge their upper horsepower limit. As opposed to diving into the quest for maximum power completely blind, this knowledge will enable us to understand what the S63tu engine is capable of right out of the box, and where to stop before things get expensive.

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Good news for F12/F13 M6 owners! (GruppeM fitment confirmed)

Published on January 4, 2013 by in Uncategorized

We just had the chance to confirm that the F10 M5 GruppeM intake fits perfect on the F12/F13 M6! Here are some photos of the kit + installed shots. Next downpipes and tune….

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Christmas modding

During the Christmas break we had a client make the long drive to Chicago from Toronto for some holiday goodies. The wife was not so happy that the crew here had to work over the holiday but it was sure worth it

Thanks again for making the drive to iND Karim! You have one nice looking Beast!

iND Gloss black front and side grilles
iND front painted reflectors San Marino Blue
iND Gloss black M6 emblem
Painted door handles San Marino Blue + Gloss black
Akrapovic EVO with carbon tips
Gloss black wheels (winter setup)
Calipers painted Lamborghini orange (3-stage) + Brembo logos
3D Pedal kit
20″ HRE P40SC Gloss Charcoal + San Marino Blue HRE logo + Blue and Red HRE center caps (Summer)

Coming soon-
AMS downpipes
ESS tune
GruppeM intake


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Photo Shoot: IND’s F10 M5 vists EAS in California

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IND F30 328i


A little surprise from the guys at 3D Design Japan. Originally they planned on sending our first batch of F30 kits August 27th, but a box arrived with a pleasant surprise 

Upon opening the box you can quickly deduce that this is a piece with every detail taken into consideration. The front lip comes with two retaining brackets for mounting on the inner wheel well. The retaining brackets are used to provide additional strength all the while placing less stress on the urethane bumper. The lip comes with perfect instructions albeit in Japanese, but also have very useful photos. The lip also features a aluminum L bracket on the inner bottom portion of the front lip to increase rigidity preventing sagging of the material in the front air dam. The lip is constructed of urethane and is a breeze to paint.

Full photo shoot to come when the remainder of the kit arrives, but in the meantime here are some images of the front lip. Enjoy

Imperial blue BMW (Sport)

iND Gloss black front grilles
iND painted front reflectors
iND gloss black lower whiskers
H&R Sport Springs

- 3D Design front lip
- 19″ BBS CH-R wheels [19x8.5 ET32/19x9.5 ET35]
- Yellow M Performance Brakes



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One Owner, 2 shades of grey – F10 M5 and E92 M3 Builds by iND

“Our clients are our best asset” has been repeated here at IND for so many years that it has become a sort of mantra for all of us here. Clients like Louis are proof of our consistent good fortune.

Louis approached us in need of consultation for his E92 M3. Although initially we were talking some small steps to improve the M3, the car eventually transformed into the beast seen in these photos. We are fortunate to work with a client like Louis because he allows us creative freedom, and his open mind and creative nature give us the oppotunity to try new color schemes and combinations on his cars. The M3 is a result of this creative freedom, with the Lamborghini Rosso Vik BBS FI wheels and ESS Supercharger manifold attesting to the fact that Louis is not afraid to add a bit of color and excitement to his modified cars.

His F10 M5 takes a somewhat more introverted approach, while still allowing for a unique modified appearance. Combined with an Eisenmann exhaust and 3D Design aero parts, the custom painted HRE wheels are the center piece of the car. Louis and IND chose HRE’s matte bronze finish as a base, and applied a real gold leaf insert inside the HRE logo found in the spoke of each wheel, along with the HRE center cap. After the gold leaf was applied we used a custom clear coat to allow the original matte bronze finish to truly shine.

Louis, thank you again for the opportunity to help you with your two amazing M cars!




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iND F10 M5 (SEMA 2012 Build)

Published on November 2, 2012 by in Uncategorized

Every person on earth who is lucky enough to have a stable, healthy, and safe lifestyle will eventually discover an irrefutable fact about themselves and their own humanity- there is a drive in each of us to push limits. This drive is so naturally ingrained, so deep within ourselves that most of us do not attempt to examine or explain it. But it is there. No matter what we do, no matter where our lives take us, each of us is simply built to exceed.

IND as a company is built on this principle. Our daily moves, each decision, each step is taken in an attempt to reach beyond ourselves. Some M enthusiasts may remember us from a project we completed in 2010, when a client of ours gifted us the opportunity to create our vision of the most possible from an E92 M3:


When BMW showed the world their next M5 masterpiece, there was no question among any of us that this car was our next mountain to climb. The car is beyond engineering marvel- it is a statement from BMW, a pure testament to the incredible level of excellence possible by this company. To move beyond what BMW delivered from the factory is a monumental task, but for us at IND it is not so much a question of how far should we go, but how far can we go. Over the upcoming year, the team at IND and our technology partners will push ourselves, this car, and our technical resources to their limits.

With the SEMA show less than 24 hours away from today, we are now ready to unveil stage 1 of the IND M5. The car’s current state is not only it’s first iteration in development, it’s also a mission statement- a preview of the car’s future direction. Stage 1 of our M5 was designed as homage to the amazing M3 GTS- BMW’s own track ready special edition M3. The car’s dynamics, appearance, sound, and safety equipment are modified with the intent to maintain the look and feel of a BMW special edition car, like the GTS itself.

IND has always been blessed with exceptionally strong relationships with our peers and partner companies, and we knew that a project of this caliber could not be completed without collaboration. We began assembling a team of the best and brightest in our industry, recruiting greats like AMS Performance, ESS Tuning, Eisenmann, KW, Recaro, and BBS. After hours of phone calls and meetings with our partners, the foundation for our project was laid, but it took only one phone call to change the stakes.

The moment we spoke with James at Falken Tire, we knew the build had entered a new dimension. The Falken Tire booth at the SEMA show proves to be the booth to watch year after year, showing the best and newest cars from tuners across the world. Each year Falken collects the best examples of cars created by the industry greats, and a simple stop at this booth will provide the SEMA attendee with a great view of what is happening now in our business. The stakes were high, and our M5 would be in the company of greats. We could not disappoint.

Thanks to Steve Thomas BMW, our M5 was one of the first delivered in the US, but in spite of this fast delivery the days leading to our car’s delivery were filled with anticipation. The SEMA show was a mere two months away from our M5’s delivery date. We had no time to waste, and no detail could be missed. A plan was in place before the car ever left California, but what would the M5 have in store when it finally arrived at our workshop? What surprises would the brand new engineering marvel hold? There was only one way to tell.

All eyes were on our new Alpine White machine the minute it rolled off of its enclosed transport. The car pulled slowly into our parking lot, it’s relatively sedate exhaust note failing to foreshadow our plans for the sedan. Our sense of accomplishment in simply acquiring the car was overshadowed by the tasks ahead, and we immediately got to work. Everything from seat positioning to tire sizing, wheel offset, and brake clearance had to be measured, checked, and evaluated as quickly as possible. Parts had to be ordered on the fly, and our partners had to move swiftly to help us make our goal a reality.

As each staff member helped to schedule and plan what would surely be a hectic few months, the team arrived at a logical first step- before we worked on any other aspects of the car we needed to install the prototype Carbon Fiber roof from Challenge Engineering. This single piece would net a nearly 50lb weight savings from the car, improving the car’s overall weight, center of gravity position, and overall performance. Cutting the roof from a brand new super sedan with a cost of nearly 6 figures is nothing if not exhilarating, and each of us looked on with a mixture of amusement and apprehension as the original metal roof panel was removed. Fortunately, the prototype roof panel fit perfectly and the install was completed without a hitch.

To accompany the lightweight roof panel, a Carbon Kevlar trunk, also made by Challenge Engineering was added to the car. We chose to paint the trunk in its entirety, so although the trunk saved an additional 22lbs, its presence goes unnoticed by the outside observer. Once again, the trunk saves weight in a key location on the car and will help improve performance in every category.

Our M5’s first stop was at the sprawling and spotless workshop of Fall Line Motorsports. If the three full-size race trailers do not inspire perfect confidence in Fall Line’s ability to build incredible race parts, the company’s history as a racing car builder and fabrication facility certainly speak for themselves. Fall Line was entrusted with a difficult task- our M5 had to have a “street friendly” roll bar for the SEMA show to go with our GTS style theme, but the simple roll bar had to convert to something more for the second phase of the car’s build. Fall Line designed a roll bar and seat mounts completely from scratch, and installed the safety equipment in less than one and a half weeks.

The seat mounts in question were designed to support one of my favorite pieces on the M5- the Carbon Kevlar Recaro Profi SPA seats. Recaro is a company of master craftsmen and engineers, and is responsible for seats found in factory built sports cars all over the world. Recaro’s racing experience is also second to none, and the ultra light, ultra strong Carbon Kevlar seats helped shed a tremendous amount of weight from the car. The seats were combined with a fire extinguisher and 6 point harnesses from Italian racing legends Sabelt for a complete safety package. Removing so much original safety equipment from the M5 meant that the highly intelligent computer system had a great deal to inform us of. The car’s safety notices were disabled by our crack programmer who learned the car’s computer systems literally as he went.

Once the interior components were added the M5 travelled to our upholsterer, where a custom rear closeout was built to closely resemble the original rear seat. The closeout paneling was constructed to reduce road noise and close the trunk area from the passenger compartment now that the M5 had a roll bar. The paneling was upholstered in a matching Alcantara fabric, and our master upholsterer even took the time to match the original BMW stitch pattern- a true artist’s touch!

The interior package was completed by adding extremely grippy aluminum performance pedals from 3D Design, along with a custom designed gauge pod by IND. Pressing the cup holder lid on our M5’s center console reveals a trio of Stack gauges, allowing for quick and easy reference to vitals like oil pressure, water temperature, and boost. Fortunately for us, the Stack boost gauge has a generous range of 30psi, allowing some extra room for future upgrades.

Like the M3 GTS, our M5 uses KW ClubSport coilovers. The ClubSports on the M5 include 3 way valving adjustment, so despite their excellent balance of handling performance and ride quality, they will retain the adjustability to function as a true performance coilover. The stainless steel strut housings, composite spring perches, and excellent sealing of the spherical bearings allow for year-round use, and are one of the many reasons BMW chose the same part on their own track-ready GTS model. We have lowered the M5 to have an aggressive stance perfect for the SEMA show, but will raise it to a more functional ride height next season, as the car prepares for track work.

Through our baseline testing we found that the braking system of the car was very well developed from the factory, but was not quite track-ready to its very street friendly nature. The brake fluid began to boil during hard use, and the brake pads were simply not up to the task. By working with CarboTech we have developed a series of brake pad applications for the F10 M5 pad shape, and our own M5 now sports their very track-capable XP12 compound in front, and XP10 compound in the rear pad position. Brake fluid has been changed to Castrol’s famous SRF fluid for the highest possible boiling point and moisture resistance.

Wheels can make or break the performance and visual impact of any car, and IND looked no further than the world famous BBS for our ideal wheel solution. BBS FI wheels reduced the car’s unsprung mass and provided the width necessary to use our planned tire sizes. Although the BBS FI is not available as a standard application for the F10 M5 just yet, our FI wheels fit the car perfectly thanks to some help from BBS. The wheels are refinished in Porsche’s beautiful Grauschwarz color, a grey that changes as you approach the car and perfectly highlights the wheel design while maintaining a subtle feel.

Falken Tire have been instrumental in pushing this project along, and have supplied the 275 width front and 305 width rear tires found on the FI wheels. The new FK453 tire is a strong mix of dry weather grip, wet weather traction, and low road noise that combine with our overall package to make this M5 a car that is useable on the road but also extremely capable when driven in anger.

The engineers at AMS Performance are already hard at work developing performance solutions for the S63tu engine, and IND will offer a host of staged power increase solutions to transform the M5. As the winter months unfold and we move toward our car’s second stage of development IND will reveal a host of AMS engineered upgrades for the F10 M5.

The already capable S63tu engine’s personality is enhanced with a complete Eisenmann exhaust system. Eisenmann’s exhaust bolts directly to the downpipes, it’s generous piping size and smooth bends evacuating spent exhaust gasses as quickly as possible from the monstrous quad 102mm tips. Hearing the S63tu engine uncorked is certainly an experience all of us will remember for years. The sound of the two turbochargers coupled with the V8s powerful rumble are a perfect combination, and are a perfect fit for the car’s sporting personality.

After a grueling one and a half months our M5 sat in our shop, mechanically complete. Although the car was functionally every bit the super sports sedan we had hoped for, it was still far from complete.

IND enlisted Japanese BMW tuner 3D Design to provide a front lip and rear diffuser combination that were both visually striking and light in weight. The pure Carbon Fiber construction of both pieces ensured that no significant weight was added to the car, and the excellent tooling and workmanship of 3D Design proved to result in a perfect fit. A 3D Design trunk spoiler in Carbon Fiber added to the car’s aggressive appearance. Gloss black front and side grilles, along with a custom painted M5 trunk badge rounded off the car’s exterior accessories.

Finally, the M5 was ready for the final and perhaps most important step of its preparation for the SEMA show. The folks at Falken Tire have granted their support not only throughout the project’s construction process, but also by hosting the car at their very own booth at the SEMA show. We enlisted the help of Jon Sibal, one of the great designers in our BMW community to help us create a theme and color scheme that would help make the car a clear fit in Falken’s booth while maintaining a clear IND feel and personality. After waiting a few weeks for the results, watching my computer download Jon’s rendering image file felt exactly like opening a Christmas gift. I knew something tremendous was in store, but Jon had left the design largely a surprise. The rendered M5 came to life on my screen with the entire IND team gathered around, and we all felt love at first sight.

Making the complex striping a reality was not easy, and we once again turned to our facility’s best paint professional for help. He has been employed at our shop for just over 30 years, and I knew we were in good hands.

Before we could paint Jon’s vision onto to body of our M5, a few final steps had to be completed. First, the front reflectors were permanently shaved from the front bumper, giving the car a more clean and cohesive appearance. Our next step was intended to take the car from a standard M5 to something truly SEMA-worthy. The entire car was stripped bare in a matter of 10 hours and refinished in Lamborghini’s Balloon White paint finish, with a special paint mixture. The Balloon White paint maintains the car’s original white exterior appearance, but upon closer inspection is a brilliant multi layer pearl which creates an unforgettable effect.

Our last step was to bring Jon Sibal’s design to life. Our head painter masked each portion of the stripe design purely by hand, carefully checking for perfect symmetry and the closest possible match to the original design. The Falken colors were applied to the car’s exterior, it’s roll cage, and the brake calipers to perfectly integrate the car with the rest of the Falken cars to be found at their SEMA booth.

Although we’ve reached the end of this thread, we have not reached the end of this M5’s story. The car’s current trim level provides a great base to build from, but is only the tip of the iceberg compared to the work ahead. Through this process, this M5 has taught me a lesson about human character. The pursuit of what’s next is not just a curiosity, it is built in to our collective psyche. Our M5, then, is not merely a project car. It is not merely a collection of parts, not just a showcase of possible additions to an already incredible super sedan. It is an attempt to portray this concept, to transform it into a living, breathing, moving machine.


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