With their big engines, engaging driving characteristics, and suave styling, BMWs of the mid-late 2000s marked the end of what longtime loyalists consider the make’s golden era. BMWs since have gained performance in spades at the cost of compromised character. And in recent years, styling has taken a dive too. Owners have tried to amend this with body kits that backdate their Bimmers’ styling, but as Newton’s third law states, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This reaction reverberates out of China, where someone has produced a body kit for the BMW 5 Series that resembles the eye-searing 2021 M3.
Cast from ABS plastic and listed for sale on Chinese retailer Taobao, is a pair of such bumpers for the E60 5 Series, one of them inspired by the new M3 and the other by the current M2 Competition. While the latter looks plenty hideous and out-of-place on its own, it could pass for factory-style. Meanwhile, the M3-inspired option is inescapably anything but.
BMW 5 series (E60) with a 2021 M3-inspired front bumper
Those confused by this bumper’s existence could use a reminder that kits like these are often targeted at the kind of consumer whose idea of self-worth is tied to owning the newest, biggest, or most expensive thing. Or, for that matter, at least looking like they do, hence all those tragic Ferrari kit cars that only loosely resemble the real thing.
When it comes to carefully designed consumer goods, though, like clothing, electronics, and cars, even untrained eyes can often tell the authenticity from the ersatz. In this case, these bumpers might be clever and borderline hilarious, but they simply don’t cut the mustard—and they definitely don’t make older Bimmers look any better.
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