Modifying the latest 5 Series BMW may seem like risky business. But thankfully the guys at MStyle have nailed it, with a raft of their bespoke parts, creating an awesome modified BMW 520D in the process…
Some cars naturally take better to being fiddled with than others. Hop onto your favourite online auction website to search for goodies to make your Honda Civic look more gangster, for example, and you’ll soon get lost in trawling through the endless (and often very questionable) spoiler extensions, bonnet vents and alloy wheels on offer.
But an almost-new, diesel-powered version of BMW’s big barge, the businessman’s favourite BMW 5 Series, on the other hand is arguably less catered for such a transformation. After all, it’s just a car for guys in suits to waft around the country in, isn’t it?
If BMW tuning house MStyle has anything to say about it, with its incredibly blue and seriously tasty 520d, this couldn’t be further from the truth…
“We’ve had an E39 540i and an E60 520d before this one,” MStyle boss Paul explains to us, as he casually nods to this, the latest 5 Series on the firm’s fleet. “We chose this new model as it’s now becoming an affordable car, and you get a lot of car for the money!” He certainly got that right. This saloon is an absolute tank of a machine in the flesh, which means you have to tread very carefully if deciding to modify one to avoid it going horribly wrong.
Things like the colour, for instance, are notorious to get spot-on with bigger cars. With such a large slab of metal to show off your fresh hue, if you get it wrong, you’ll be reminded about it wherever you go. Going for this shade of BMW Le Mans blue (which you might recognise from the new and seriously awesome M2) was therefore a rather daring choice. But we think you’ll agree it has only done wonders to the car’s overall appearance. Daring enough to be different, but smooth enough to remain fairly OEM, was a hard thing to nail. But hey, MStyle are seasoned pros in making cars look cool, so the results were inevitably going to be epic.
But perhaps the colour can’t take full credit for the bucket-loads of swag that the exterior now effortlessly gives off. There’s another secret to the magic: carbon fibre. A lot of it, in fact. MStyle is famous for some of the best custom Beemer bits money can buy, and it seems that a lot of them now feature on this German land beast. That sumptuous vented bonnet, for example, is made out of the magic black stuff, as is the front splitter, those iconic kidney grilles and even the boot spoiler and rear diffuser. Topping it all off is the firm’s M-look bodykit, transforming the car into an M5 lookalike with the fit and finish you’d expect to see on a car rolling off the Munich production line.
Filling up those cavernous arches was never going to be easy. Some really, really big rims were in order to make sure the car’s stance didn’t let the rest of the spectacle down. Luckily, MStyle deals with BC Forged, a company known for making some of the most luxury, and thankfully largest, wheels known to man. After a lot of time spent with the tape measure, Paul worked out the perfect sizes to get the wheels popping out of each corner: 21 inches of diameter all round, with 9.5 inches of girth up front and a whopping 11 inches out back. Finished off with Satin black centres (to match all that carbon) and polished lips, these twin five-spokers undoubtedly work perfectly to prop up this beast of a car. Although a daily driver, a static setup was rather controversially opted for in the shape of BC Racing coilovers, set to the perfect height just millimetres off the top of the tyres. Marvellous!
With an exterior about as far away from a standard 520ds as you could possibly imagine, how was MStyle going to carry on the theme of classy exclusivity into the interior? Paul promptly got to work re-trimming the entire innards in black Nappa leather, complete with blue stitching which neatly matches the exterior. Just check out those quilted sections on the seats – you won’t find touches like that on the BMW optional extras list! But it’s not all show and no go.
Using a trick tuning box from German turbo tweaker Mosselman, which cleverly talks to the car’s ECU and turbo system to unlock hidden horses, the car has seen a rise in bhp from around 180 to 214, with torque now way up to over 300lb/ft. You can imagine the colossal punch this oil burner gives you when you floor it, and we reckon it’d be the ultimate motorway sleeper to boot, too.
“I wanted to create a 5 Series that turned heads!” Paul reveals. With a car like this, it’d be easy to snap necks for all the wrong reasons. But thanks to some calculated decisions, the vibe from almost every onlooker is that of awe and impressiveness. Once the initial colour scheme has sunk in and you get closer to the car, you soon realise this isn’t just another 5 Series that’s been re-sprayed.
As you find more and more of those small custom, inspired touches both inside and out, you begin to slowly build up a picture of just what an overhaul this is on what would otherwise be a car you wouldn’t even look at twice. The moral of the story? Dare to be different, folks.
TECH SPEC: BMW 520D
2.0-litre four-cylinder BMW turbo diesel engine; Mosselman Tuning Module; quad-exit exhaust system.
Eight-speed auto transmission.
9.5x21in (front) and 11x21in (rear) BC Forged two- piece alloys; BC Racing adjustable coilovers.
Full re-spray in BMW Long Beach Blue; MStyle M-look body kit comprising front and rear bumpers and side skirts; carbon-fibre front splitter, wing mirror covers, side skirt extensions, boot spoiler, roof spoiler and rear diffuser; MStyle vented carbon-fibre bonnet; Lamin-x tinted headlight covers; black grilles and side repeaters; tinted rear lights and windows.
Full black leather hexagon re-trim with blue stitching.
Words Tom Willcox Photos Dan Pullen