a href="http://www.automobilemag.com/cadillac/">Cadillac may be one of the few companies building performance-tuned wagons in North America, but cross the pond into Europe, and a number of firms, running the gamut from actual automakers to tuning shops, are happy enough to sell you a hot hauler. AC Schnitzer appears to be part of that crowd, as it’s turned its attention to BMW’s new 2011 5 Series wagon lineup.
Although America is given the unusual 5 Series GranTurismo in lieu of a traditional wagon, the 5 Series wagon –er, sorry; Touring — is still available in Europe. Perhaps that limited market range helps explain why these new Schnitzerwagons are also based only upon turbo-diesel models.
5 Series diesel Touring models are available in with four different engine offerings, but AC Schnitzer’s modifications — which lie largely with a reflashed engine computer, along with custom intake and exhaust systems — provide a modest boost of power across the board. The entry-level 520d sees output from the 2.0-liter turbo-diesel I-4 raised from 184 to 218 ponies. The 3.0-liter turbo-diesel I-6 engines found in the 525d, 530d, and 535d all receive similar upgrades. 525d and 530d models receive another 41 ponies, brining their output to 245 and 286 horsepower, respectively. The 535d, however, is granted a 60-horsepower boost, allowing it to crank out a substantial 360 horsepower.
That extra power may help in a straight line, but other accessory parts are designed to give the driver a little more control in the twisties. Lowered sport springs drop ride height by an inch and purportedly help improve handling, while optional eight-piston, fixed-caliper front disc brakes can quickly bring things to a stop. Buyers can also pick from a range of custom wheels designed and crafted by AC Schnitzer, available in sizes ranging from 19- to 21 inches in diameter.
Schnitzer doesn’t force a wild body kit upon buyers, but customers who do want a wicked-looking wagon can opt for the company’s exterior styling pack. A new front bumper fascia, side sills, and rear diffuser lend the Touring a decidedly M5-like appearance, while a chromed lower grille insert is optional. So too are a number of the interior accoutrements, including a variety of carbon fiber trim pieces, a sport steering wheel, aluminum iDrive control knob, and velour floor mats.
Seeing as these diesel engines, let alone the 5-Series wagon itself, aren’t available in the U.S., it’s not worth asking AC if they’ll send these beasts stateside. That said, the company’s U.S. distributors would be more than happy to help pimp your 5 Series sedan, if so desired…
Source: AC Schnitzer