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With its camo wrap, DTM-inspired styling and 360hp, this E61 535d Touring is one hell of a way to get the dogs to the park. With silly styling and equally silly power, this bonkers DTM-inspired Finnish 535d Touring is about as far removed from a sensible family estate as you can imagine. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Jape Tiitinen.
Tourings are cool, of that there can be no doubt, but they’re ultimately pretty sensible beasts, especially in diesel form. Wouldn’t it be great if someone built an absolutely mental wagon with off-the- wall styling and something naughty under the bonnet? Well, someone has and his name is Tommi Väyrynen.
In his early 30s, Tommi is of the age where many people would likely be considering a Touring because they’ve got at least one child either on the way or already present. In fact, his motives for purchasing a capacious estate were dog-based but the principle is the same. What he’s ended up with, however, is one hell of a dog-to-park-delivery system, and the end result is all the more astonishing because he never actually intended to modify it. However, with a long list of extensively modified cars behind him, that thought was about as futile as attempting to keep a Labrador out of a muddy puddle. Not. Going. To. Happen.
Hailing from Scandinavia, it is perhaps not surprising to learn that Tommi cut his motoring teeth on a Volvo 340 DL with a mighty Renault 1.4 under the bonnet and while it was fine summer transportation it was not so great in the winter, though likely not for the reasons you’re probably thinking of: “That is a problem of living here in north, the carburettor always froze and jammed!” he exclaims. The modifying began with this sturdy brown Volvo and continued with a Merc 190E and an extremely rare Merc E50 Lorinser before he saw the light and decided to see what Bavarian metal had to offer.
The need for dog transportation guided his hand towards an E61 and a desire to sample the twin-turbo M57 cemented his engine choice with the 535d. This particular example came very well-spec’d, with the aptly-named Comfort seats and HUD to scratch the surface. Those first summer months were great, Tommi and his E61 enjoying the Finnish countryside together with the dogs, but come the harsh winter the E61 decided it had had enough of being reliable. “The starter stopped working, the auxiliary heating did not work, the glow plugs did not work, the battery was bad, the trunk wiring was also dead. I had to do a lot of repairing…” he says, in what might be the understatement of the year. But where a lesser man might have faltered, Tommi persevered, fixed everything and that’s when the modifying that he had no intention of doing began.
As modifying was never on the cards, there was no plan and things just sort of happened, like the engine mods: “When I bought the car it had an engine tuning chip and because of that the exhaust manifold broke and that is where all it started,” grins Tommi. “We needed to change the manifold so at same time, when turbos were on the table, I made the wastegates as big as they could be. At the same time we also lost the cats and after that we go rid of the DPF as well.” Well, if you’re halfway to gutting your exhaust system you might as well go all the way!
“The car then went for tuning, with my friend making the software for it, and after that we installed the biggest intercooler we could behind the front bumper.” That has now been painted red because, really, no part of this car wants to be discreet. “It now makes 380hp and 627lb ft of torque and it sounds like a truck. I love it!” he grins. The benefits of all that power and torque are obvious: it means you can get to the park extra quickly for more doggy playtime, and you can also do massive smokey burnouts, which is always fun.
However, all of this plays second fiddle to the way the thing looks. There are no two ways about it, it’s absolutely mental and, love it or hate it, it’ll make you look. Tommi took inspiration for the car’s styling from Jon Olsson’s wide-body, 1000hp Audi RS6 which, at its wildest, was even more flat-out bonkers than Tommi’s concoction. This E61 is a faithful recreation on a marginally more sensible scale: “When I saw a picture of Jon’s car I knew straight away what I wanted to do. Me and my friend drew the shapes for the graphics and another friend cut the strips at his workshop. We wrapped the car and installed M5 grilles in the front arches. We made those DTM spoilers from plastic in my own garage and then wrapped then in carbon film; we had no problems with any of the bodywork but the best thing to have when you’re modifying a car is good friends as they can help you.”
The graphics are definitely the first thing on this 535d that gets your attention, and they’re certainly not shy, but neither are the outlandish aerodynamic addenda. They are headed up by that big front lip that extends out past the bumper and is held up by two bright red supports. This is then joined by a pair of dangerous-looking canards on either side of the bumper. The side blades that extend out from the sills have winglets at their front and rear edges while at the rear there’s a diffuser with some seriously aggressive vertical slats. The whole lot is then topped off with a roof box. In stark contrast to the exterior mayhem, the interior has been kept stock, but then again there’s nothing to complain about when it comes to black leather wrapped around Comfort seats and the aluminium cube interior trim.
While in the past Tommi has been more than happy to slam his cars into the ground, with the Touring he wanted to keep things marginally more sensible. “I’m getting old!” he laughs. “My Lorinser Merc had just 6cm (just over 2”) of ground clearance but this has 12cm (just under 5”) and not only is it so much more comfortable but you can also drive faster,” and that’s probably the best reason for not absolutely dropping your car that we could possibly think of. “The suspension is actually only the M Sport suspension but with new shocks,” he continues. This isn’t much but it’s enough as this car is hardly riding like it’s on stilts, with what little arch gap there is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, especially with those 20s bolted to the car. The dubs in question are TSW Mirabeaus, measuring 9” wide up front and 10.5” at the rear, and they really look fantastic on the car. “I have had wheels with big lips before but now I wanted something different so the concave design was my choice,” says Tommi. He chose wisely as they are the perfect size and the ideal style, with the twin five-spoke design really working a treat on the Touring.
It’s a mad concoction, this, though the car that inspired it was completely unhinged so it’s all relative, really, and what’s actually the most likely thing to raise your eyebrows to the edge of your hairline is just how positive a reaction Tommi’s Touring has received upon its unveiling. “I took it to a few shows and with the #DTM look I won the ‘Best Euro Car’ award from the first show. People really like this car, I think. On the Finnish Bimmer enthusiast forum, BTCF.fi, my build thread has been read 16,000 times and no one had anything bad to say. I was quite surprised,” he chuckles, “but happy.”
He’s really happy with the car too, though there is one thing he’d like to add… “More power!” he grins, and that makes perfect sense because if you’re building a mad car you might as well make sure it’s completely off its rocker…
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-E61 / #BMW-535d-DTM / #BMW-535d-E61 / #BMW-535d / #BMW-535d-DTM-E61 / #BMW-5-Series / #BMW-5-Series-E61 / #BMW-5-Series-Touring / #BMW-5-Series-Touring-E61 / #BMW-535d-Touring / / #BMW-535d-Touring-E61 / #M57D30TU / #M57D30 / #M57 / #BMW-M57 / #TSW
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel #M57D30TU , bigger wastegates, de-cat, #DPF delete, bigger intercooler, remap, six-speed automatic gearbox / #ZF6HP / 380hp, 627lb ft
CHASSIS 9x20” (front) and 10.5x20” (rear) #TSW-Mirabeau concave wheels with 245/35 (front) and 275/30 (rear) Aeolus tyres, M Sport suspension
EXTERIOR Camo wrap, carbon front grilles, custom DTM spoilers, M5 arch grilles with M535d badges, rolled arches, roof box
INTERIOR Standard Comfort seats, standard aluminium M Sport trim, auxiliary audio jack
THANKS Backwoods Customs (bwcustoms.com)
“It now makes 380hp and 627lb ft of torque and it sounds like a truck!”
“The best thing to have when you’re modifying a car is good friends”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationBusiness Class. What would you buy for the same money; an Approved Used #BMW-F10 535d M Sport or a new 520d SE? The list price for a brand-new 520d SE Saloon is £32,260. For the same money you could buy a nearly new Approved Used 535d M Sport instead with two years BMW warranty. So which makes the best buy? Words: Guy Baker. Photography: Tom Begley.
The current #F10 5 Series is undoubtedly ahead of the game – beating rivals from Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes to the title of top exec. Brilliantly refined and quiet, the latest Five delivers a genuine luxury feel, not to mention satisfying handling, impressive passenger room and especially efficient powerplants. And there’s a 5 Series model for almost every taste. The latest entry-level 520d for example provides feisty hot-hatch performance, yet claims a combined consumption figure of 65.7mpg and CO² emissions of just 109g/km, whilst at the other end of the 5 Series spectrum the 535d M Sport is almost an M5 diesel in all but name. Yet incredibly this 5.3-second to 62mph model too boasts a super-frugal combined consumption figure of 52.3mpg. Two very different saloons undoubtedly – but both share the same lust for efficiency. Furthermore, examples of either can be bought from your local BMW dealer, complete with warranty, for exactly the same sum.
So you could splash out £35,000 on a brandnew mildly-optioned 520d SE – spec’d to your own individual taste – or alternatively put your cash down on a more appealing nearly-new 535d M Sport, which has already suffered the worst of its depreciation. Both choices have their attractions, and both come with the warm reassurance of a BMW warranty. But after a typical three-year ownership period which will have proved the better buy?
Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. And although the styling of the latest 5 Series won’t take your breath away, there’s no denying it possesses more than a modicum of presence. Purposeful and athletic, yet svelte and slinky, the Five exudes a sunny disposition but retains that trade-mark aggressive front end – with a condensed kidney grille and an angrylooking stare. In full-blown 535d M Sport trim the F10 is quite imposing on the road, especially in black.
Comfortable yet corporate, the 520d SE doesn’t possess the 535d’s deep front spoiler or foglamps, or its striking 19-inch alloys, but still sits low enough to the deck. And with its long wheel-base it cuts a lowprofile dash in the company car park. It lacks any feelgood details though, like M Sport kick-plates and front-wing badging; and the small twin-exhaust back box is a tad puny compared to the 535d M Sport’s meatier separate twin exhausts.
Our black 535d also has better in-cabin appeal, with contrasting cream upholstery in place of the 520d’s standard black fare; although the chequered carbon-fibre look dash trim in this 535d M Sport won’t appeal to all. The driving experience, however, will.
The 313hp 535d M Sport possesses prodigious torque (465lb ft at 1500rpm) and delivers low-end pulling power in every gear. And yet it’s responsive and refined too. Muscular and effortless, its sheer pace and acceleration are a revelation. Fast but never furious, it’s a gem of an engine, and at lower speeds the 535d can still be docile and smooth – happy to cruise quietly to the shops. It is 125kg heavier than its 520d little brother, but you’d never know it – on faster B-roads it feels as quick as a Porsche Boxster. And with powerful brakes reining you in whenever the need arises, you can cover ground alarmingly quickly.
The 520d in contrast is punchy rather than potent, with the benchmark 0-62mph dash covered in 7.7 seconds. It’s still torquey, though, with 295lb ft available from just 1750rpm – so overtaking is never a problem. And whether you’re cruising up and down the motorway, or blasting down a country lane, in Comfort mode the 520d always delivers a superbly comfortable ride – whilst retaining just enough dynamic involvement. At higher motorway speeds however you may prefer Sport mode, with its slightly firmer suspension and steering responses.
Always composed and relaxed, the 520d SE is genuinely enjoyable to drive, but once you’ve driven a 535d M Sport – which is frankly a league and a half quicker – you’ll always feel slight pangs of envy every time you see one on the road.
The complete package
Whilst the 535d M Sport has its lower-powered sibling licked on the road, the new 520d still has an impressive kit list, with £32,260 SE models like the Glacier silver saloon you see here claiming 17-inch alloy wheels, an electric parking brake, cruise control, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC+), Business navigation, front and rear parking sensors, rain sensitive wipers, leather upholstery, part-electrically adjustable front seats, automatic air-con, electric windows, multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth, a single-CD stereo, a seven-inch colour display with iDrive and a trip computer. And for around £3000 extra you could also opt for a 520d M Sport instead, with the M Sport suspension, aerodynamics package, 18-inch double-spoke alloys, spor ts seats, an M Spor t steering wheel and gear knob, and extra aluminium trim.
The standard price is for a six-speed manual saloon, but many buyers will prefer the 5 Series with the optional #ZF8HP eight-speed automatic Steptronic transmission, which adds £1550 to the list price. Other popular options include an M Sport steering wheel for £110, split/fold rear seats at £335, front sports seats at £475, Adaptive headlights at £540 and full climate control for £305. All these options are present on our 520d SE test car, adding £4865 to the list price and taking the cost to £37,125.
That’s the asking price for a one-year-old BMW Approved Used #2014 #BMW-535d M Sport saloon with just 10,000 miles on the clock. A slightly older 15,000-mile September 2013 example – like the Metallic Carbon black saloon you see here – is even cheaper at £34,000. So even if you could glean a sizeable discount on a new 520d you can still pick up a nearly-new Approved Used 535d M Sport saloon for the same money. And with identical practicality and an even better spec, the more potent Five offers more for your money. Most main-dealer examples (which were priced at £48,920 when new) come with at least one of five available option packs – BMW Navigation, BMW ConnectedDrive, the Dynamic package, the Visibility package and the Comfort Package. In addition to this, all cars come with the full M Spor t package as standard, and quite a few examples also boast goodies like heads-up display, blind spot warning, 19-inch alloys and a rear spoiler. All carry the eight-speed automatic transmission as standard.
There’s no doubt then that a one- or two-year-old #BMW-535d-M-Sport has the new #BMW-520d-SE saloon beaten in terms of styling and spec. And the Approved Used Five’s appeal as a driving tool is clearly much greater too. But any buying decision has to take into account ownerships costs too. And in this sector of the market that’s the over-riding factor.
With the very latest technology on board the 520d SE Saloon, at 65.7mpg combined consumption, has the 535d M Sport beaten at the pumps. So after a typical three-year ownership period, assuming an annual mileage of 15,000 miles a year, the 520d SE owner will spend around £942 less on fuel at today’s prices. And greater engine efficiency also means they will have saved £375 on their road tax bill too. In addition, estimated servicing and maintenance costs are around £455 higher for the 535d M Sport, and insurance costs are £249 greater for our typical 5 Series buyer. All of which leaves the 520d buyer over £2000 better off after three years. A substantial sum.
However, if either car is bought outright at current BMW or independent finance loan rates then we must also factor in depreciation. And here it’s the Approved Used 535d M Sport that holds all the aces. With the first year of heavy depreciation behind it, it will lose less in value over the subsequent three years than a new 520d SE – to the tune of £2711. And that completely cancels out the new car’s advantage, leaving the used 535d M Sport actually marginally cheaper to own.
Some buyers will opt for PCP, or even personal contract hire instead of fully financing a new 520d SE, but if you consider this route you must compare all costs closely. Interest rates can be higher for PCP and you will only own part of the car at the end of three years. For comparison, typical current independent borrowing loan rates for home owners are 3.8-8.5 per cent APR.
Current BMW offers on new 520d also include Personal Contract Hire at £329 a month for 48 months, but you would have to put down £5899 initially – and there’s a hefty 8.72 pence-per-mile excess charge. Add this lot up and it’s a couple of grand less than the depreciation on a used 535d M Sport – but you won’t own anything at the end of three years.
The nearest equivalent PCP is currently £478 a month with a £451 deposit and a #BMW / dealer deposit of £4709. At 5.9 per cent APR this sounds good, but the optional final payment is £11,925, and the excess charge is 6.75 pence-per-mile. Buying the car outright may hit your wallet less in the end. Both our 5 Series contenders pack cast-iron BMW warranties, and right now there are plenty of mintcondition Approved Used 535d M Sport Saloons advertised for sale at dealers, so finding one with the colour and spec you require won’t prove hard. That said, collecting a brand new 520d saloon with your ideal spec and options will be an absolute pleasure, and there are no waiting lists for factory orders. Both these 5 Series make tempting buys in their own right, but impressive though the new 520d SE Saloon is it’s the Approved Used 535d M Sport Saloon which holds greater appeal – not only to the heart, but also to the head.
Many thanks to BMW Specialist Cars Tring (www.specialistcarsbmwtring.co.uk) for its assistance with this feature.
New #2015 #BMW-520d-SE-F10 vs Used #BMW-535d-M-Sport-F10
(New) 520d SE (Used) - 535d M Sport
ENGINE: Four-cylinder, 16-valve diesel #B47 - Six-cylinder, 24-valve turbo diesel #N57 #N57D30T1
CAPACITY: 1995cc 2993cc
MAX POWER: 190hp @ 4000rpm - 313hp @ 4400rpm
MAX TORQUE: 280lb ft @ 1750rpm - 465lb ft @ 1500rpm
0-62MPH: 7.7 seconds - 5.3 seconds
TOP SPEED: 144mph - 155mph
COMBINED ECONOMY: 68.9mpg - 52.3mpg
ESTIMATED DEPRECIATION: £22,535 - £19,824
MAINTENANCE AND SERVICING: £2655 - £3110
FUEL COSTS: £3677 - £4619
ROAD TAX: £60 (CO² 109g/km) - £435 (CO² 148g/km)
TYPICAL INSURANCE: £840 (group 34) - £1089 (group 45)
TOTAL COST PER MONTH: £827 (averaged over 3 years) - £808 (averaged over 3 years)
Costs estimated over three years at the time of writing, assuming 2015 VED rates and fuel costs and a similar purchase price for a car covering 15,000 miles a year – insured by a 45-year-old project manager living in the Midlands.
Any buying decision has to take into account ownerships costs and in this sector of the market that’s the over-riding factor.
The 535d M Sport is undoubtedly nicer to look at both on the inside and outside. It helps this model is fitted with contrasting cream leather.
Purposeful and athletic, yet svelte and slinky, the Five exudes a sunny disposition.
The new #BMW-B47 four-cylinder in the current 520d may be around 125hp and 175lb ft down on the 535d, but it still drives very well with plenty of grunt on tap for overtaking. It’s also a whole lot better on fuel.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.