"This single entry is part of my Interior Program for The Papi Express. I seek to imagine what BMW M would have done if M Performance parts were a thing for the E60.
In this entry, it's time to pull the wrinkles back and say byebye to PapiWood. I unbox the carbon trims and chat about my kits' specs."
The latest and greatest*
In 2003 BMW first introduced the E60 and touted it as the latest and greatest integration of electronics and chassis material science.
Some of it stood the test of time.
The E60 has superior chassis build quality than the E9X in various areas with widespread use of composites and aluminum across the body and chassis.
Aluminum front and rear subframes, with engine mounts that don't tear off every 40,000 kilometers.
The infamous center exhaust bracket. The E60's was aluminum unlike the E9x's.
The first and last hydraulic rack & pinion steering arguably is one of the greatest chassis bits of the E60.
Some were great for a few years.
Looking back on the first iteration of iDrive: CCC may as well be running off MS-DOS. Instead, it runs on the MOST fiber optic line. If one of the MOST module fails, the entire electronics ran via the fiber optics are down.
The E60 commonly fries modules across its CANBUS and gets you chasing battery drains all over. The trunk might leak and fry your battery too.
Retrofitting CIC & Combox made the interior usable
Looking back, the good thing about CCC as the magnetic iDrive knob.
The E60 M5 is a paradox: it should have never existed, yet it's the biggest what if.
BMW M started offering M performance parts in the early 2000s and started making a lot more with the E9x M3.
The M3 V8 notably had interior carbon trims on the GTS and Edition spec cars.
The E60 pre-LCI with CCC is on the podium as one of the worst BMW interiors of all time. The M Performance catalogue had black kidney grills and that was that.
Imagining a carbon interior.
The job is most often from the latest overlay guy on the block with wavy weaves pointing the wrong direction, thick epoxy and dust specs at close inspections.
I get it, it's expensive and everything is “real carbon” but not really: I say do it right or don't do it, like most things with these cars.
I reached out to René who crafts pre-preg carbon products for BMW M cars in Germany. He uses the same process as BMW M for interior trims.
He hadn't yet done an E60 interior. He hates doing interiors to be frank. After a bit of arm twisting, he agreed to do a kit for my M5.
I opted for a full kit:
- Dash trims
- Center console with ashtray
- Accessory cover
- Pre-LCI door trims.
I opted to retain the OEM silver SMG surround & shift knob. I am planning to paint the gloss black.
The door trims.
The accessory cover.
The driver side vents.
The mega dash trim.
Up next: I remove, install, remove, install, remove, install and enjoy the needlessly difficult installation of the door trims.
Pre-LCI E60 things.