The BMW Z8-Inspired SVE Oletha Coupe Gains S54 Straight-Six Engine Option

What do you call an E86-generation Z4 Coupe with an S65 naturally-aspirated V8 engine and Z8 styling? Oletha is the answer you’re looking for, a bite-the-back-of-your-hand beautiful coupe that’s now available with the S54 inline-six that BMW produced from 2000 to 2008.
SVE Oletha S54 8 photos
Photo: SVE
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Brothers Willem and Kaess Smit, who share a lifelong passion for all things with four wheels, came together in 2019 after individual stints at General Motors, Tesla, Faraday Future, and Singer Vehicle Design. Their company – Smit Vehicle Engineering – is headquartered in a 6,000-sqft facility in Tennessee where the SVE Oletha comes to life with either powerplant.

Presented last year during the Monterey Car Week, the S65-engined Oletha doesn’t feature a bone-stock powerplant. Smit Vehicle Engineering squeezes out in excess of 450 horsepower by means of a few trick hardware and software improvements. Forged pistons connecting rods and crankshaft, electromechanically-actuated individual throttle bodies, a carbon-fiber composite intake manifold, and a stainless-Inconel exhaust system are featured, enabling a redline of 8,500 revolutions per minute.

Presented at the Audrain Motor Week 2022 in Rhode Island, the S54-engined Oletha can be considered a more traditional choice, given that BMW made a name for itself with inline-six engines. After all, the B58 that serves as the basis of the S58 is considered the modern equivalent of the 2JZ.

For this particular application, the Smit brothers stroked the free-breathing sixer from 3.2 to 3.4 liters for extra oomph. They’ve applied pretty much the same upgrades found under the hood of the V8-engined Oletha, resulting in a redline of 8,000 revolutions per minute and 400-plus ponies on deck.

Tipping the scales at less than 3,000 pounds (1,361 kilograms; dry weight), which is approximately 100 pounds less compared to the eight-cylinder model, the six-pot Oletha comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. 50:50 weight distribution is noted, and SVE further highlights that the S54 model is visually differentiated by means of a new hood.

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 Download: SVE Oletha S54 specs (PDF)

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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