Nobody behind the wheel of an AC Schnitzer ACS5 Sport could claim ignorance of what they were letting themselves in for.
It’s a brutal thing – based on an already heaving performance saloon, the BMW M5 Competition, only splattered with an industrial degree of carbonfibre bodywork and, in this case, touting conspicuous negative camber because AC Schnitzer’s custom suspension is in its track-day setting. The carbonfibre rear valence, with its Formula-1-style rain light, is almost grotesquely contoured and frames the four canon-style tips of the sports exhaust. It's fair to say that, out on the public highway, there are less obtrusive mid-engined supercars.
But there's quite a bit more to this car than looking like something you might find at SEMA. If you’ve read our story about the ACS2 Sport, based on the M2 Competition, you’ll know a bit about AC Schnizter’s motorsport pedigree and its approach to tuning BMWs. An additional control unit for the engine piggybacks the existing BWM software and unlocks extra power and torque. Some variation of Schnitzer's Nürburgring-honed suspension is then fitted, invariably with even bigger wheels that leave only an illicit veneer of sidewall rubber.
AC Schnitzer's cars tend to be carefully developed, and so despite the aftermarket aesthetic, the driving experience is usually worth getting out of bed for, or even travelling to Aachen, where the firm has been based since 1987 and where we're picking up this fully loaded but still – somehow – relatively subtle ACS5 Sport for the day.