Tired of the restomod scene yet? The good economic times continue to roll, and with them a seemingly unending supply of entrants into the restomod world who are willing to stake significant cash on an effort to put a new spin on old cars. The Gruppe5 Motorsport 2002 isn’t quite like the others though, and is rather refreshing in that it’s not paying homage to anything or anyone, and isn’t being pitched as a new and improved 2002.
Instead, while the basic shape is that of a wide-body ’02, the Gruppe5 Motorsport creation will ride on its own specially prepared chassis, and will be powered by a bored and stroked version of BMW’s F1-inspired S85 V10 engine. They’ll be GT sports car racing class compliant and road legal, with, “unparalleled performance,” and an amazing driving experience as the main stated goals.
Skeptical? Promises such as those above, along with a press release accompanied by CGI images, always warrant at least a grain of salt, but the Gruppe5 Motorsport take on the BMW 2002 has some serious brainpower behind it, with decades of tuning and motorsport experience brought to the table by Riley Technologies of Rolex 24 Daytona fame, and Steve Dinan, whose Carbahn Autoworks will be supplying modified S85 V10 engines which appear to take heed from the units Dinan designed for Riley back in 2011.
A production goal of 300 total units has also been expressed. All are intended to make use of the steel and carbon-fiber chassis mentioned above, which follows the same general layout of the original 2002 design, while body panels are said to be made of bonded carbon-fiber. Curb weight is listed at a mere 2,200 pounds, while the extensive aero, which includes too many individual components to list, is said to generate as much as 2,400 pounds of downforce.
Wheels are a familiar looking set of BBS Motorsport items that measure nineteen inches, while customers can select between Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 or Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R tires. An eighteen-inch set of Michelin slicks is also mentioned. Adjustable pushrod suspension will also be present, along with a six-speed sequential transaxle by XTrac.
Of the 300 units planned, 200 will come with an S85 V10 that has been bored and stroked to 5.8-liters for output of 744 horsepower. A slightly larger 5.9-liter design will be reserved for the other 100 cars, and this unit is reported to be capable of producing 803 horsepower. The V10s will be built by Carbahn Autoworks, a venture by Steve Dinan with two Bay Area locations. Dinan, a household name in the BMW world, brings extensive tuning and racing experience to the table, and the V10 engines are said to draw influence from previous designs engineered by Dinan for IMSA competition. Carbahn currently offers a host of rebuild and displacement-increasing options for the S85, in addition to similar services for the S54 inline-six, and S62 and S65 V8s, essentially taking the best naturally aspirated BMW engines of all time to another level of performance and personality.
The interior is the kind of focused environment one might expect for such a build, with various specialized materials and components in view. There’s an integrated roll-cage, Recaro Pole Position bucket seats, and a Nardi steering wheel bristling with modern race-inspired controls and buttons before a digital instrument cluster which is housed within what could be a carbon-fiber dash. The rear seat has been stripped, which makes sense given the low weight claim and presence of a roll cage, but an attractive color scheme and retention of the traditional 2002 interior shape are both nice elements. An air conditioning system, powered by an electrical compressor, is also promised.
Work on an initial prototype is scheduled to begin in June, post Le Mans. Pricing, as reported by Road & Track, is said to start at a staggering $875,000 for the 5.8-liter, or $975,000 for the 803-horsepower 5.9-liter version.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy Gruppe5 Motorsport.]