BMW 3 Series E21 with BMW M5 E60 V10 engine for sale

An absurd restomod conversion is currently being offered via This old 3 Series received a five-liter V10 engine in Poland.

The first BMW 3 Series, factory code E21, was certainly one of the sportiest representatives of the middle class at the time, whose performance and dimensions seem very compact by today's standards. As a 315 base model, the two-door notchback sedan offered just 75 hp; the top model 323i at least had 143 hp.

So how did a mechanic based in Poland manage to build a representative of the first generation 3 (first registration April 1983) with 600 hp? Nitrous oxide injection? A whole arsenal of large-volume turbochargers? Everything wrong: The BMW 3 Series E21 currently for sale via the platform has endured a heart transplant in order to advance into new performance regions. To be precise, a BMW M5 E60 (see video) provided the elderly grandfather with his main organ.

S85B50 with 600 hp instead of 507

As is well known, this is a five-liter V10 petrol engine, known to connoisseurs under the abbreviation S85B50. The ten-cylinder naturally aspirated engine normally produces 507 hp, but the sales advertisement for the "Engine-Swap-3" shows 600 hp. If the translation software available on the Internet tells us the truth, the additional power results in roughly equal parts from chip tuning and an active four-pipe exhaust system that dispenses with catalytic converters. The seller does not name a maximum torque; but this should also settle beyond the 520 Newton meters provided ex works.

But the M5 doesn't just donate its engine, but also the seven-speed SMG gearbox with variable shift times. And the complete front and rear suspension including the rear axle differential. The ABS, the traction control, the stability control DSC and the electronically controlled dampers (EDC) migrate from the more modern to the aged BMW. We also know the 19-inch rims currently covered with Pirelli Sottozeros from the M5 of the E60 generation.

Extensive body conversion

In order for the rims and the brake system positioned behind them to fit the car at all with perforated discs and red calipers, the 3-series E21 needed larger wheel cutouts and wider fenders. The BMW oldie, which according to the seller has 113,270 kilometers on the clock, has received this as well as a rear wing and a matt gray paint finish. Also new are the front and rear bumpers, the bonnet with quick-release fasteners and the M5 (front fenders) and V10 (radiator grille) emblems. The Brutalo 3er, on the other hand, does without the side impact protection strips.

Even less remains of the original car inside. The cockpit, including the paddle shifter steering wheel, instrumentation and iDrive infotainment including rotary pushbutton and screen, takes over completely from the M5 E60.Even the Logic 7 surround sound system has moved to the new, supposedly accident-free home. However, there is no automatic air conditioning – in contrast to sports seats in the first row.

Ready to drive, insured, registered

The BMW hermaphrodite is said to cost 49,000 euros. According to the seller, the car is roadworthy and has insurance as well as a valid registration. If you are interested in the car, however, you will have to travel far: it is located in the city of Augustów in north-eastern Poland. And whether the local TÜV gives the M5-3er its blessing for a German approval is a completely different matter. The adventurous trunk equipment with tank, starter battery and open-heartedly wired electrics alone should cause a frown on the test.


"Engine Swaps" are hot right now - the more extreme, the better! And what could be more extreme than cramming a five-liter V10 engine into the compact nose of a BMW 3 Series E21? A Polish mechanic seems to have succeeded in this seemingly absurd combination, even if it obviously required unconventional technical solutions in other places.


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