What if you had the chance to make your perfect BMW? You could start with any chassis, custom design your perfect body shape, stuff whichever BMW engine you want under the hood, and give it a proper manual transmission. Sounds incredible, right? That’s exactly what Smit Engineering Vehicles (SVE) did, with the Oletha.
The SVE Oletha is a love letter to the BMWs the two SVE owners and brothers always loved, a greatest hits of all their favorites. They don’t say which chassis they started out with but it seems to be the E85 Z4 chassis. From there, SVE completely redesigned the body, giving it a bespoke carbon fiber body that looks like a combination of E85 Z4 and the BMW Z8. In fact, it looks so much like the Z8 that I thought it was just a slightly modified Z8 at first. Though, it looks a bit too short and the chassis points seem to be a bit different than on the Z4, which is why I’m thinking E85 Z4. It is gorgeous, though.
Under the hood is the absolutely epic S65B44 engine, from the E92-gen BMW M3 GTS. For those not in the know, the S65B44 is a 4.4 liter naturally-aspirated V8 that makes over 450 horsepower and revs past 8,000 rpm. For Oletha duty, it gets a custom carbon fiber intake manifold and a custom stainless steel/Inconel exhaust. Paired to that magnificent engine is a six-speed manual transmission, which sends power to a mechanical limited-slip differential with a 3.62 final drive.
As for the suspension, it gets two-way adjustable KW V2 suspension, lightweight forged control arms, a 12.8:1 steering ratio, AP Racing brakes, forged monoblock wheels, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. The whole car only weighs 3,090 lbs.
It’s an absolutely beautiful sports car that certainly evokes images of the incredible Bimmers of the ’90s and ’00s, most specifically the BMW Z8. Not a bad car to copy, if you ask me. It also boasts an incredibly impressive spec sheet, one that’s pretty much an enthusiast’s dream. Well done, SVE.