Hope you guys enjoy this ride:viking:
The Check Shop BMW M5
When asked to pick a feature for this first day into our BMW month I knew precisely what to show you guys. Some of you may remember that I already posted a couple pictures of this M5 a few months back during my coverage of the Tokyo Import Show
. It was by far my favorite car of the exhibition and I knew I had to hunt it down for a proper shoot.
It was by pure chance, during a test drive in the mountains of Hakone, that I encountered this unique bronze M5 again, while it was being put through its paces by a domestic publication. I finally got to meet the owner, Otsuka-san, the man behind "The Check Shop
" a very affable character with a passion for import cars. We immediately hit it off and he was keen to have me shoot his ride for this month's special here.
Fast forward a few weeks and here we are in the deserted parking area of an unnamed furniture store. The location was ideal, with the light bathing the M5's angular flanks beautifully. However it was all short lived as we were politely asked to leave the premises...
...forcing us to migrate to another car park.
Otsuka-san and I share the same kind of ideals when it comes to tuning cars. The exterior of his E60 is simply enhanced by subtle additions...
...like the carbon fiber rear trunk spoiler...
The 21-inch Absolute wheels do a great job of filling out the wide fenders and as Otsuka-san tells me, they have no real negative impact on comfort and handling.
Up front the stock M5 bumper is highlighted by the color-coded lip.
For a cleaner look the top of the USDM LED tail lamps have been wrapped with a thin protective film, which almost matches the bronze body color.
Helping boost power is the full Check Shop racing exhaust system which manages to sound very sedate and quiet at idle and low rpm but enhances that F1-like V10-scream once the revs begin to climb.
Otsuka-san sent me a few pictures of the hand welded titanium exhaust headers, I really don't know if they are more at home fitted to the V10 or displayed in an art gallery!
Just check out those welds. Thanks to the full exhaust system...
...and the upgraded aFe intakes the Check Shop M5 puts out 520 HP.
Aside from a JDM radar detector the interior has been left stock.
This is the only real mark that differentiates this M5 from regular 5-series, seeing Otsuka-san removed every other "M5" badge from the car...oh and that V10 howl!
When I first met with Otsuka-san in Hakone his car was even being filmed by the Japanese magazine testing it, you can see the tiny camera placed close to the exhausts.
The E60 has been dropped on KW dampers which replace the factory magnetic items.
Otsuka-san let me sample his car on the twisty roads surrounding Mt. Fuji where I had the chance to push it to the limits of grip (all within the law, of course).
I totally fell for the M5's ability at being a stunning performance car when called upon, but at the same time a comfortable 4-door sedan. What Otsuka-san has achieved with his demo car is to further focus those dynamic qualities that set the standard car apart from the rest, and create the ultimate M5.
-Dino Dalle Carbonare
The Check Shop BMW M5