Why This V10 BMW M5’s Engine Bay Is Coated in Gold
The E60 BMW M5 is arguably one of the most iconic sedans of the past 20 years. With its 500-horsepower V10 engine, this super sleeper will pull all day long — that is, until one of the M5's many reliability issues gets in the way. One E60 owner has taken some unusual precautions to make sure that doesn’t happen.
We ran into Darryl Roopnarine and his 2009 M5 at our Cars & Coffee event this past Sunday. Although the black E60 easily blended into the crowd of cars at the event, there were a few things about the otherwise subtle sedan that caught the eyes of onlookers. A Dinan badge on the trunk and a gold-wrapped engine bay reminiscent of the McLaren F1 were the most obvious highlights.
Though some might scoff at the "blinged-out" aesthetic under Roopnarine’s hood, he explained that there’s actually a functional reason for the mod.
“It actually helps lower the intake temperatures,” Roopnarine told us. “These cars suffer from heat soak after a while of driving hard.”
Roopnarine says he pushes his M5 hard during long-distance road rallying events. He believes those driving conditions mixed with an aftermarket header from Infinity Design causes the engine to run a bit hotter than stock. That’s why he added the gold DEI heat-reflective tape to his engine bay.
“The car gets a lot of constant driving at high temperatures. Especially with the new headers, you’re developing all this heat under the engine. You don’t want that to get into your intake system. Everyone knows that when you get hot air in your intake, you lose power, and it brings the car down a bit.”
Roopnarine claims he saw a 25-degree fahrenheit difference after wrapping the intakes in the brightly colored foil. He recorded the temperatures by wiring thermocouples near the throttle bodies and driving the car, both with the wrapping and without.
“People are like, "why did you do such a horrible job wrapping it? It looks terrible". I tell them, "it’s not for show, it’s purposeful".
In addition to the gold wrapping, Roopnarine also added an AMSOIL oil bypass system, a VANOS pressure gauge, and an oil pressure monitor. He also replaced the rod bearings (items notorious for failing on these cars) just 200 miles ago in his garage. The car currently has just over 86,000 miles clocked in. His proactive nature has likely helped stave off the more catastrophic failures that plague this model BMW.
“You've gotta be on top of [maintenance with this car]. Or else it’ll cost you a ridiculous amount of money".
Beyond the precautionary mods, this specific M5 also had an aftermarket x-pipe and a modified Corsa exhaust, a full DINAN suspension kit, and a CB radio kit.
“It’s a four-door sedan that you can just do anything with...you can blow almost anything away".
What do you think? Is there some truth in the functionality behind gold foil? Or is it all placebo? Let us know in the comments below!