Kelleners Sport seems to make the BMW 520d better looking instead of better moving
Kelleners Sport, a German car-tuner specialising in BMW, is now officially represented in Thailand through BRG.
The first souped-up Bimmer being offered to Thais is the diesel-powered 520d, which BRG says is the most popular 5-series in the country at present.
Buyers can choose from a variety of accessories from Kelleners including aerodynamic parts, wheels, springs, exhaust pipes, interior appointments and power upgrades for the engine.
The level of personalisation will definitely depend on the buyer. But those wanting a complete after-market treatment can take a look at the car tested here this week.
The Kelleners 520d is priced at 4.3 million baht, some 600,000 baht more than the standard version offered by BMW (Thailand).
The premium the Kelleners version asks over the regular 520d may sound a little much to some ears, but a lot of modifications have actually been carried out.
Kelleners 520d goes for 4.3 million baht.
Probably the best visual bits of the Kelleners package are the 20-inch wheels (the sporty stance helped by new springs that lower the car by 30mm) and quad exhaust pipes (all of them, not just two, actually breathing out CO2).
Proof that the Kelleners 5-series is attractive was the number of heads turning when we drove the car earlier this month on Thai roads.
Inside, the specially designed leather looks distinctive and the alloy-studded pedals help with the sporty appeal.
And since this 5-series is not from BMW's Thai factory in Rayong, it has slightly more features like a sunroof and the so-called Comfort Seat options up front.
On the move, the firmer chassis of the Kelleners 520d hasn't apparently altered the driving characteristics, which is to say the car still handles well and rides comfortably.
Despite the ECU upgrade (costing 102,000 baht alone) that takes power further up from 184hp to 218hp, you can hardly feel the 34 more ponies Kelleners is talking about.
That's probably because the stock engine is already a great performer, so any noticeable improvement in performance can only be possibly felt if the power upgrade was higher. And while the 20-inch wheels are absolutely great on the eyes, the low aspect ratio tyres it wears can always be felt and heard on secondary road surfaces. But to be fair, it isn't that irritating.
Last and not least, that fancy exhaust pipe won't turn the music up and is there more for styling reasons.
BUY OR BYE?
Modified versions of today's F10-coded 5-series are still rare on Thai roads, meaning there's a good reason to go for the Kelleners treatment. True, 600,000 baht can get you a B-segment family car, but it's safe to say that people who can afford a 5-series in the first place usually don't think like that.
However, we believe that the diesel power upgrade is not worth the money because, as said earlier, there is absolutely no problem with the standard 520d.
But we do give the nod to the other offerings available because practically everybody we encountered, including ourselves, had smiles on their faces when asked about the styling enhancements.
Quad exhaust pipes aren’t fake.
About the author
- Writer: Richard Leu
Position: Motoring news Editor