V iele Modern motorsport observers should think back to the Group 5 category with nostalgia. It was a golden era of racing, when the almost as wide as long touring cars based on the Ford Capri, Lancia Beta or Porsche 935 fought wheel to wheel for positions, screamed their desire for performance loudly out of the exhaust pipes and sometimes flames out of them hit. Especially in the late seventies and early eighties, when the Group 5 cars competed in the German racing championship, their hearts flew to them in droves. The various BMW racing cars that were built according to Group 5 regulations had a particularly large number of fans.
Extreme conversion based on an original 02
Group 5 is an obvious name for a company that grabs old BMW models and prepares them optically in the style of the racing cars of that time. The company name is surprising when you know where the company is based: Chesterton in the US state of Indiana. Founded by the investor and BMW enthusiast Tom Zajac, Gruppe5 works with the American motorsport greats Bill and Bob Riley as well as tuning pope Steve Dinan to give 02 series BMWs an even more extreme appearance than they had in the racing cars of the time.
Original copies of the BMW 02, which customers have to bring with them. Then the body is dismantled, derusted and prepared for the future against corrosion. At first, only the body shell remains, which Group5 is upgrading with additional struts made of steel and carbon and a roll cage. Of theSheet metal only the roof remains; All other standard parts give way to carbon add-ons: from the bumpers to the fenders and hoods to the mighty rear wing and diffuser, all components are made of the lightweight and robust high-tech material. The original windows give way to counterparts made from the scratch-resistant polycarbonate material that is also used in the NASCAR racing series.
V10 engine with up to 815 hp and 746 Nm
Through and through by American, on the other hand, is the approach whereby displacement, number of cylinders and, above all, power cannot be replaced by anything. So they marry the BMW 02 with those V10 engines that were used in the M5 of the E60 /61 and M6 E63 /64 series - known to connoisseurs as the S85 engine. Its standard output of 507 hp would be a real show in the Karbon-02, which doesn't even weigh a ton when finished. But Steve Dinan screwed the displacement from 5.0 to 5.8 or 5.9 liters and converted it to dry sump lubrication. The cylinder heads, the exhaust and the engine control from Motec are also new.
This drives the performance figures to unimagined heights. The 5.8-liter version, which Gruppe5 wants to build 200 copies, comes with 100-octane fuel to 754 hp and a maximum of 712 Newton meters at 5,800 revolutions. The 5.9-liter V10-02, which is limited to 100 units, has 815 hp and a maximum of 746 Newton meters with the same fuel quality. A carbon cardan shaft directs the power to the rear axle, on which the sequential six-speed transmission from Xtrac is also positioned. The gears can be changed using rocker switches on the steering wheel. There is also a switch with which the power distribution can be adjusted and the engine mapping can be adapted to the fuel currently being used.
Puristic interior appearance
High-tech is also used in the chassis Commitment. Namely in the form of a variety of adjustable push-rod dampers with coil springs. The vehicle height can be adjusted to the road surface within 7.6 centimeters. Behind the 19-inch, three-part BBS cross-spoke rims with central locking, there is a brake system with carbon-ceramic discs and Bosch ABS with motorsport tuning. Either Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 or Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires are used on the road. If you want to push your hardcore 02 to the limit, especially on the racetrack, you will get your car with 18-inch Forgeline GS1R rims and Michelin slicks.
In the interior, Gruppe5 endeavors to preserve the reduced appearance of the original BMW 02. Nevertheless, the interior is being modernized from scratch. It starts with surfaces made of carbon and Connolly leather, which replace the factory-installed plastic and vinyl. The driver and front passenger either sit on Recaro pole position bucket seats or racing seats that are compatible with the HANS system. The rear seats fly out of course. An air conditioning system moves in for this. The Nardi sports steering wheel with a diameter of 30 centimeters, the Motec digital instrument and the carpeting are also new. In addition, Gruppe5 has given the 02 series some insulating mats so that it doesn't get too loud in the interior.
Production will start in summer
So that the street-legal BMW 02 complies with the current FIA safety regulations and without restrictions the racetrack is allowed, Gruppe5 gives him some appropriate components. There are attachment points for safety nets and six-point belts, the tank and fire extinguishing system are certified by the motorsport authority and an external emergency stop switch is also on board. On request, Gruppe5 can install a pneumatic jack with four built-in punches, which makes pit stops easier. For the road, the car can be equipped with a Bosch collision warning system including radar and camera technology.
In summer 2019, Gruppe5 plans to start production of its Breitbau-02. What the pleasure will cost is unfortunately still in the dark. Anyone who knows similar projects from other companies should suspect that such a Gruppe5 BMW 02 will not be cheap. Half a million euros or even an amount in the upper six-digit range comes together quickly.