Whether it is the sound, low-end torque, high-end RPMs, or some combination, people fall in love with certain engines. Johan Zackrisson became fascinated with the BMW V10 ever since he installed one in his E30 M3. That experience left him wanting to build something a little bit more extreme around another BMW V10.
Johan started his next project in 2011 when he purchased a red Lotus Exige S from the UK. Soon after he removed the factory engine and began the challenge of fitting a 5.0 L S85 V10 into the area designed to hold a inline-four with half the displacement. He accomplished this by building a custom tube rear subframe to hold drivetrain. He also extended the wheelbase 27 cm (10.6 in) and the track in the back by 11-12 cm (4.3-4.7 in) and 9 cm (3.5 in) in the front.
The BMW S85 was inspired by BMW’s F1 involvement and was designed to produce power from a wide rpm curve. Having a redline of 8,250 rpm, it produces 500 horsepower and 384 lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque which gives it over 100 hp/liter. BMW only uses this engine exclusively in BMW M vehicles.
The engine is connected to a Porsche Boxster S six-speed transaxle via custom adapter. The brakes were upgraded to larger Porsche 997 GT3 brakes. The front and rear suspension were upgraded with components from a Porsche 996 and KH Motorsport adjustable shocks. The wheels are a set of ATS GTR Motorsports with 9×18 front and 11×18 rear.
After the engine and transmission were working inside the chassis Johan went to work on modifying the body panels to fit the extended wheelbase and track. Most of the panels were widened, lengthen, or both. The air intakes were enlarged and the splitter was widened. Then he had the entire Lotus painted in BMW carbon black metallic.
Even through I read all 45 page build thread I had to use Google translate which can easily be lost at times. I tried my best to understand the modifications Johan made. If there are any mistakes please let me know and I will correct them. The build thread is well worth the read even if you don’t speak Swedish.