The F10 M5 is without doubt one of BMW’s greatest-ever creations. That’s a bold statement when you consider just how many incredible cars the company has produced over the years but the F10 M5 really is something special and you truly never forget your first time in one. Numbers on a page can’t accurately convey how fast this car is because what’s astonishing is the way it keeps accelerating once you get over 100mph; that’s where you truly understand what the F10 M5 is really capable of and where the massive power and torque from that twin-turbo V8 really make themselves felt. Now imagine an F10 M5 with pretty much double its stock power output; that’s something that’s truly difficult to get your head around, but not for Tommy Munro because that is exactly what he’s built.
“Since I was taken out in an E36 M3 as a teenager I have loved BMWs – the balance between handling and power is second to none and I’ll never forget the adrenaline from hearing that straight-six scream up to the limiter,” grins Tommy as we start to chat. “The first BMW I bought was an E46 325i because I loved E46s and this was the fastest one I could afford,” and this was followed a string of various BMs, including an E36 328i wide-body, an E93 M3 with a de-cat and remap and, interestingly, another F10 M5, though that one only had a Stage 2 remap on it. Clearly that first F10 M5 made quite an impression on Tommy as he found himself hankering for another hit of turbo power, his desire further fired by seeing just what a full-on build was capable of. “I saw an M5 beat a Lamborghini at VMAX and saw videos of them beating RS6s, they are the fastest saloon in my price range I think,” he says and that cemented his need to buy another. “I bought my F10 M5 in August 2017; I wanted one that was Sakhir orange and also had a decent spec i.e. 20” wheels, 360 cameras, soft-close doors, M Multifunction seats and I found this one in Wales; it was owned by a lady who ran a car sales business and it was her personal car,” Tommy tells us and the plan from the outset was to mod it, though not quite to this degree. “Before I collected the car I had it booked in with Evolve for a Stage 2 remap, which includes a de-cat, and as soon as I got it home I fitted Eventuri intakes and a few days later swapped the downpipes for cat-less versions. At Evolve it made 666hp stock and then 741hp after their map; that same day I left for Europe and enjoyed a week-long Euro trip to the ’Ring with three people in the car and a week’s luggage for two of us – the car was taken to 202mph on the autobahn and performed flawlessly the whole trip,” he says, smiling broadly, and that’s the incredible all-round ability of the M5 right there in a nutshell.
At that point, with 741hp, Tommy was more than happy with the performance of his M5, as you would expect, and set about modding the rest of the car. As you can see from the pictures, visually this is quite a subtle-looking M5 and while Tommy has worked on giving it a bit more presence this is very much a performance orientated-build. He started off with a set of H&R lowering springs, which deliver a 25mm drop up front and 15mm at the rear and which the car still wears today, followed by some 10mm spacers for the stock 20” wheels, which it doesn’t. Tommy proceeded to fit some Supersprint rear boxes, which add some edge to that V8 soundtrack, a BMW M Performance LCD steering wheel and decided to de-chrome the exterior. He wrapped the chrome on the door handles in gloss black, fitted black front and side grilles, carbon mirror caps, sprayed the rear diffuser in black and added M3-style Cup front splitters in carbon along with an M4 GTS-style carbon boot spoiler. This selection of subtle additions works well together to give this M5 a greater sense of menace and the combo of gloss black, carbon and Sakhir orange is perfect.
“Visually the car was complete but I knew there was a more powerful map Evolve could offer me, though there was a good chance the clutch would slip eventually,” explains Tommy. “I booked in with them and had the more aggressive map – it only gained 10hp on the dyno but felt completely different and it wasn’t long before I was getting the clutch slip I was warned about. With my clutch slipping I went to Santa Pod and ran an 11.8-second quarter mile; going to Santa Pod gave me a real thrill for speed and this was a massive day in deciding the future of the car: I needed to go faster,” he grins.
Step one for this plan: sort the clutch out in order to be able to add even more power into the mix. “The clutch I upgraded to was an SSP Spec-R clutch imported from America and installed by Evolve. The clutch is rated to 1200Nm (885lb ft) and I was pushing a lot less than that so decided I wanted to add methanol and a JB4, which would allow more fuelling as the injectors couldn’t handle more power alone and the JB4 could allow more boost past what the remap could offer. Straight away the car felt transformed and a lot faster; I had a VBOX to check times from 100-200kph [62-124mph] – stock was 7.5 seconds, with a remap was 6.2, with the more powerful remap and uprated clutch it was 5.9 and the JB4 and meth, once tuned, dropped it down to 4.9 seconds, which is still a world record for an F10 M5 on stock turbos,” he says. That’s an amazing achievement, as well as being just 0.1 seconds slower than a Bugatti Veyron and faster than pretty much every other supercar imaginable.
With so much power on tap, Tommy was now finding traction to be an issue so turned his attention to tyres and swapped the original Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber for a set of Toyo R888Rs in a monster 315/35 rear fitment. “With these tyres the power was a lot more usable,” says Tommy. “I wanted to go back to Santa Pod and see if I could beat my time but also wanted to get the best traction I could so I ordered a set of rear 19” OEM rims and some Mickey Thompson ET Street tyres from America to use with them. The driveshafts are prone to snapping with grippy tyres so I sent mine to The Driveshaft Shop in America to be strengthened. I went to Santa Pod in early 2018 with MS109 race fuel, my road legal drag tyres fitted and Corbeau bucket seats and managed a 10.9 at 126mph, which is a UK record for the F10 M5 and that’s despite gearbox issues hence the slow terminal speed, which should have been low- to mid-130s,” he explains.
“Still hungry for more power after watching the Americans, I decided to fit hybrid turbos and 25% larger charge-coolers and a better flowing exhaust manifold. I used CSF in America for the charge-coolers and Pure Turbos for the hybrids, using their Stage 2 version, all bought through Pure Turbos Europe, and I bought the Supersprint exhaust manifolds from Evolve. I fitted both the turbos and the Charge-coolers myself in a day but found the car just didn’t seem much faster,” he says. “It was at this point I started to take a bigger interest in mapping and tuning on the electronic and ECU side of things, so I started getting educated and qualified in ECU remapping and testing my knowledge on friends’ cars,” which is seriously impressive dedication to the pursuit of more power. “I made my own custom map for the car, taking into consideration the turbos, and used the data-logging features on the JB4 to edit it until I got it right, which took about four-to-six weeks and £100s in petrol,” he says but Tommy wouldn’t know if all that dedication and hard work had truly paid off until he had a chance to test the car properly. “I wanted to test the car at an event that I felt it was built for and that is VMAX200, which is held at a 1.3-mile straight and in my opinion that’s where the car shines; traction is always an issue with these powerful RWD cars but over 100mph they seem to come into their own and fly. I went to VMAX in March and unfortunately could not find out the car’s true potential as there was an unknown 202mph limiter still in place. I did manage to get a best half-mile speed of 162.8mph, beating lots of cool cars like a McLaren 12C, 911 GT3 991.2 and an Aventador,” he says, which is hugely impressive stuff and showed that all of Tommy’s hard work and dedication had paid off but he wasn’t done yet. There was still more performance to be found and he wasn’t going to rest until he’d squeezed every last drop out of his M5 to show the world just what was possible.
Tommy turned his attention to his rolling stock once more and replaced the stock 20s with a set of 6Sixty Crypto wheels which, despite being an inch wider front and rear at 10” and 11” across respectively, weigh 3kg less per corner, and decided to try a new tyre, Vredestein’s Ultrac Vorti R. While not as grippy outright as the R888Rs he was running previously, he says it was a much better choice for daily use as they stick at lower temperatures where the Toyos wouldn’t. “I carried on tweaking my car and made changes like swapping diffs, reprogramming the suspension and diff settings for more aggressive driving, bracing the diff mount, fitting new F90 M5 coils, new plugs, a new gearbox and I bought a new design of air filter for the Eventuri intakes, all with the intention of going to VMAX again with the limiter removed this time. The car was feeling faster than ever and I knew if the conditions were right I could potentially beat the BMW and saloon record which was 207mph,” says Tommy.
“Saturday 29 September and it’s the morning of VMAX; my car has 80-litres of MS109 race fuel in the boot, 30-litres of meth, tools and my drag tyres on the back seats,” he says, setting the scene. “The conditions are perfect. I arrive at VMAX and unload the car; the first run I manage 202mph on low boost and a heavy passenger; my second run I beat the record and manage to get 210mph despite getting very slow launches as I couldn’t get traction until fourth gear. I then try the Mickey Thompson drag tyres but they are too unstable above 150mph and I have to abort the run so go back to the normal tyres. I tweak the JB4 again and go for another run. I had 220mph on the clock and beat a tuned McLaren 720S so knew I had done something special. I got back to the start and saw that I had got 213.9mph on the speed trap. Old record well and truly smashed,” he beams and that is a truly extraordinary achievement and an absolutely incredible top speed, especially for a big, heavy, four-door saloon. Not too long ago that speed would have been the reserve of the most exotic and ultra-powerful supercars, which really drives the point home.
This is, in no uncertain terms, a simply staggering machine; in a short space of time, just over a year, Tommy has taken a stock F10 M5 and turned it into the UK’s fastest BMW and this build shows just what can be achieved with true dedication and commitment, like learning how to remap ECUs, for example. That’s the sort of dedication that explains why Tommy is the owner of the UK’s fastest BMW. The upgrades, the power and the performance are all astonishing but what impresses beyond all that is that this is Tommy’s daily driver; “I have a Recaro baby seat fitted,” he chuckles. “This car is an amazing all-rounder: comfortable and reliable to go around Europe and complete laps of the ’Ring, go drag racing at Santa Pod, beat supercars at VMAX, do chores around town and now to be used as a family car,” he grins and you really can’t ask for more from a car than that.
Of course he’s not done yet because there’s still more untapped potential lurking within his M5 and he wants to extract it all. “While it’s winter I’m upgrading the clutch again to the Spec-X as the 1200Nm one now slips due to the power, fitting a billet DCT sump to keep the gearbox cooler and upgrading to a newer design of Pure Turbos hybrids. I will look into ways to improve my launch and traction and hopefully set some more records but this year in the UK I set the quarter-mile (10.9 seconds), 100-200kph (4.9 seconds), 60-130mph (5.9 seconds) and joint world record for the half-mile (171mph) and set a new top speed run record at 213.9mph,” which we reckon has made for a pretty good year…
What we love beyond all that power and performance, though, is Tommy’s passion for his car and the modding scene itself; “I literally love the car, it’s introduced me to so many friends, gave me such a great passion and hobby and taught me so, so much about cars as well,” he beams and, honestly, that feels like this car’s greatest achievement. Numbers only mean so much, it’s the cars we build and the people we build them with that really matter, which makes this F10 M5 truly special.
DATA FILE F10 M5
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 S63B44, Eventuri carbon air intakes, prototype Eventuri turbo inlets, AFE carbon engine cover, Evolve cat-less downpipes, CSF chargecoolers powder coated orange, Pure Turbos Stage 2 hybrids, Evolve Stage 2 remap stacked with Velocity Tuning custom map, Burger Motorsports JB4 with Velocity Tuning tune, Burger Motorsports meth controller with custom Velocity Tuning nozzles and pump, Supersprint silencers. M DCT seven-speed gearbox, Burger Motorsports deep billet gearbox sump, prototype Velocity Tuning 1500Nm (1106lb ft) 18-plate clutch and braced diff mount, Driveshaft Shop driveshafts
CHASSIS 10×20” (front) and 11×20” (rear) 6Sixty Crypto wheels with 265/35 (front) and 305/30 (rear) Vredestein Ultrac Vorti R tyres, H&R lowering springs, H&R 30mm anti-roll bar kit, Competition Pack EDC, diff and traction control software, HEL braided brake hoses (front and rear), Pagid RS29 brake pads
EXTERIOR Carbon Genetics M3-style Cup front splitters, black grilles, black side vents, carbon mirror caps, de-chromed door handles, black rear diffuser, M4 GTS-style carbon boot spoiler
INTERIOR BMW M Performance LCD race display wheel, carbon DCT gear selector
“This year in the UK I set the quarter-mile (10.9 seconds), 100-200kph (4.9 seconds), 60-130mph (5.9 seconds) and joint world record for the half-mile (171mph) and set a new top speed run record at 213.9mph”
20” 6Sixty Crypto wheels. Supersprint silencers. Uprated turbos, chargecoolers, custom map and loads more mods add up to make 1000hp. H&R springs deliver a nice drop all-round. M Performance steering wheel. Tank for meth injection. Carbon M3-style Cup front splitters Stock diffuser has been painted gloss black.