Modified BMW Showdown: An unsuspecting 540i takes on Big Brother M5 in Drag Race | Taza Khabre

Key findings

  • The BMW M5 and 540i are high-performance sedans with impressive power and customization potential.
  • The heavily modified BMW 540i with its 690 hp. and lighter weight proved to be a serious competitor for the M5 in drag racing.
  • Despite the M5’s slight advantage and higher price, the tuned 540i offers similar performance for a much lower price.

There’s something undeniably cool about going fast sports sedan. The concept of fitting your family and dog into a 600+ hp rocket. is something that never gets old, and BMW M cars have been at the forefront for nearly four decades.

However, while the M cars are blisteringly fast, there’s no doubting the appeal of driving something a little more understated but still has the performance to beat most supercars. Whether you’re a fan or not, most enthusiasts can appreciate the performance of any M5, especially the newer models with more than 600 hp. The 540i, however, might make a few take notice when it leaves them in the dust.

That’s exactly what this heavily modified BMW 540i is sleeping car it probably will, however, and it takes on a modified version of its M car sibling in the series drag races. Jamie from YouTube channel OFFICIALLY SUCCESSFUL WITH GAS – OG tests two builds and describes how fast they are luxury sedans to compare

This BMW 540i has twice the power


2020 BMW M5 F90 VS 2020 BMW 540i G30 Key Details

  • The BMW M5 is the flagship sports sedan of the brand with a twin-turbo V8 with a capacity of almost 600 hp.
  • The 540i, meanwhile, is a mid-range 5 Series with high tuning potential thanks to its powerful 3.0-liter B58 turbocharged inline-6 ​​engine.
  • These two modified BMWs have identical horsepower, but the 540i has the weight advantage while the M5 has the torque advantage
  • Both cars decide who is the fastest in standing quarter-mile and rolling quarter-mile drag races.
  • Both cars are incredibly close in power, but the tuned 540i is about $20,000 cheaper than the tuned M5

Arguably the underdog in this fight, this BMW 540i was modified by owner Moe and Hess Power in Glasgow, Scotland. The 540i is powered by BMW’s 3.0-liter B58 turbocharged inline-six that produces 335 hp. and 332 lb-ft of torque.

While the numbers aren’t anything special, the B58’s closed aluminum deck configuration and rugged internals provide a great platform for a solid setup. BMW themselves expand the powerful variant, the S58, to 560 hp. in the G82 M4 CSL, and the B58 is the base engine in everything from the BMW X7 to the A90 Toyota GR Supra.


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Of course, doubling a car’s power isn’t easy, and Moe and the team at Hass Power had to add a few upgrades. As mentioned, the internals of the B58 engine are very strong, so mechanically the engine and transmission remain stock. The main source of the power increase is a Turbosystems Stage 2+ turbocharger, an MST induction kit, an Osprey 5-inch turbocharger, a powerful exhaust, fuel is it! high pressure fuel pump and Snow Performance 2x1000cc methanol injection system.

As for tuning, Jamie doesn’t go into the ECU that the 540i runs on, but says the car has a Stage 3 HXP transmission retune. With all the modifications, this 540i now produces 690 hp. and 590 lb-ft of torque sent to all four wheels through an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission.

This BMW M5 has only minor changes

Shot of the front of the 2020 F90 BMW M5 Blue

The F90 BMW M5, on the other hand, is the most efficient BMW M sedan with a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 591 hp. and 553 lb-ft of torque (617 hp in Competition spec). Power is sent to all four wheels through the same 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. However, standard calibration is significantly different from the 540i, and the M5 has a trick up its sleeve with the launch system.

However, for the sake of parity, this M5 has a few minor upgrades that, like the 540i, bump the power figures up to 700 hp. The only mechanical changes are the rear exhaust and updated BMC panel filters. In addition, the NV Motorsport team spent most of their time tuning the car’s ECU with engine 1 and transmission tuning. Overall, the M5 now produces 679 hp. and a whopping 667 lb-ft of torque.

The M5 and 540i go head-to-head on the strip

2020 BMW M5 F90 Modified vs. 2020 BMW 540i G30 Specs


2020 BMW M5 F90

2020 BMW 540i G30


4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8

3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine


Front engine, all-wheel drive

Front engine, all-wheel drive

Method of transmission

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic


689 hp

690 hp

A turning point

667 lb-ft

590 lb-ft


4090 lbs

3880 lbs

(figures courtesy of YouTube @ Official Gassed – OG/BMW)

To see which tuned Bimmer reigns supreme, the two cars are pitted against each other in a series of drag races. The format is pretty simple: a best-of-three quarter-mile race at 100 km/h (62 mph) and a standing quarter-mile drag race.

Speaking to Jamie ahead of the race, 540i owner Mo says the results will likely come down to the weight of each car and how well both get off the line. First, it’s a quarter-mile race at 62 miles per hour, and when the two cars cross the starting line, both drivers ease off the gas and take off down the runway.


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The M5 and 540i are evenly spaced throughout the run, with the M5 barely wheezing its nose ahead as they cross the line. In the second heat, the 540i takes the early lead but is soon overtaken by the M5, which wins by about a car length.

The M5 wins the roll, but does it win standing up?

2020 BMW M5 F90 VS 2020 BMW 540i G30 Race Results


2020 BMW M5 F90

2020 BMW 540i G30

Best time in the 1/4 mile

10.79 seconds at 132 mph

10.99 seconds at 127 mph

Best 0-60mph time

2.86 seconds

2.87 seconds

(data courtesy of YouTube @ Official Gassed – OG)

Next up is the quarter-mile drag race, and while the 540i has a 210-pound weight advantage, it’s 76 lb-ft of torque short of the M5. Another advantage the M5 has over the 540i is its launch control system, despite being notoriously finicky. With two cars ready on the starting line, Jamie counts down the race and the two drivers drop the hammer.

While owner Sandys in the M5 has a much better reaction time than Mo in the 540i, the M car doesn’t engage the launch control properly and goes off the line. Meanwhile, the 540i is starting to make up some ground. When the M5 gets going, the extra torque pays dividends and it manages to build a gap to win by two car lengths.


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The second race goes even worse for the 540i. This time, the M5 manages to engage launch control, shooting off the line with its Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires and never looking back, leaving the 540i in its tracks. The M5 completes the standing quarter mile in 10.79 seconds at 132 mph, compared to the 540i’s time of 10.99 seconds at 127 mph. However, when it comes to 60 mph, the two cars are separated by just one-hundredth of a second.

Which tuned BMW is the best for the price?

Blue F90 BMW M5 2020 vs Silver BMW 540i xdrive 2020 rear view

While the M5 is the clear winner, the fact that the two cars are so close in performance begs the question of whether the M5 is worth the extra money over the 540i. The average price of the 2020 BMW M5 F90 is around $60,750, according to JD Powerand the upgrade and tuning by NV Motorsports cost £1,500 ($1,903), bringing the total cost to nearly $63,000.


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Meanwhile, the average price of the 2020 G30 BMW 540i is less than half that at $29,725. However, upgrading and customizing Mo’s car cost significantly more than the M5 at £10,000 ($12,700). Even so, the tuned 540i still costs about $20,000 less than the tuned M5. While the M badge certainly has some prestige, it probably can’t make up for the price difference – especially when the specs of the two cars are so close. Now, if you want the soundtrack of a V8 without the M5’s price premium, there’s always the BMW M550i.

Sources: YouTube @ Officially Gassed – OG, BMW, JD Power

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