Porsche Signal green M3 and M4
When it comes to pallet selection, BMW’s Individual Programme has fluctuated in the last couple decades, offering more leniencies for some years and generations than others. For buyers willing to pay a considerable amount, BMW will paint an Individually ordered vehicle in a colour from a different chassis’ specific pallet, past or present. Also available is the option to order an approved colour from other high-end manufacturers, such as Ferrari and Lamborghini.
With the M3 no longer being available as a coupé nor naturally aspirated, the F82 caused a big stir. But we are not here to beat that dead horse. With the performance capabilities and sleek styling of the newly introduced F82 M4, Alex K was not dissuaded by BMW’s so-called “loss of heritage,” even after owning multiple generations of M3s in the past, including one which was a PBMW cover car in 2012.
He knew the M4 was the car he had to have, and he was eager to experience BMW’s latest German engineering feats. Embracing what they was offering, he went ahead and ordered himself a fully loaded M4, equipped with ceramic brakes and a proper six-speed gearbox. That wasn’t quite enough for him, though. He wanted to go a different route than the already vibrant, factory-offered Yas Marina blue, Sakhir orange, or Austin yellow colour options. As a fan of the Porsche brand, his thought process behind the order was easy. “There are many cars on my list to own, specifically the GT3 RS. Signal green is one of Porsche’s best colours, so I knew that was the one I had to request,” he says. Since it was the first Signal green order placed with BMW, he had to wait for BMW’s approval for the colour; luckily for Alex, the colour was accepted, and off his car went into production. For the first time that is as, while receiving updates on the car, he discovered that the dealership from which he had ordered the car did not finalise the Signal green colour option and, inevitably, out came a Yas Marina blue M4 to his exact specifications. Frustrated, he went ahead and resubmitted his order, eagerly awaiting his build for the second time. As for the Yas Marina blue M4, fortunately for the dealer at the centre of all this it didn’t go to waste, as a friend of Alex’s was more than happy to take it off their hands.
Alex’s devil-may-care personality makes him one with this car. Hailing from the mountainous region just north of New York City, he knows his roads like the back of his hand. It isn’t uncommon to see the green coupé, dubbed and legitimately registered “KERM4T”, ripping around New York State. Shortly after he took delivery of the car, a business opportunity relocated him – and the M4 – out west to sunny Southern California.
While set up for the track, the car was equally suited to turn heads all over Los Angeles. One afternoon, he kicked out a few donuts in the middle of a busy main street in the San Fernando Valley. A motorist caught Alex while sitting at the next set of traffic lights, pulled up along side him, rolled her window down and, instead of scolding his antics, actually applauded his driving skills! She raved about the green colour and that she was a huge fan of the Muppets, nodding to the clever license plate. It’s not all about horseplay out in public for Alex, though, his M4 sees a considerable amount of track time, regularly participating in the Speed District events held at Button Willow, Streets of Willow, and Willow Springs circuits on the weekends.
Aside from the gripping colour, the car’s most prominent feature is the RKP wing. The curved, gloss black wing flows with the trunk’s curvature and the Signal Green end caps tie in the body colour from a profile view. Undeniably, the paint choice, wing, and aero additions are loud in the visual sense, but audibly it carries the same weight, balancing out the car’s overall appearance. Gintani cat-less downpipes and an Eisenmann exhaust system make the S55 scream through the power band. Down below the bumper, pairing his aggressive rear aero is a PSM Dynamic diffuser. The PSM Dynamic kit is a multi-piece design that allows you to configure the diffuser in many different ways depending on how aggressive you and your bank account want to be. OEM M Performance side skirts tie in the lower aero elements to the front of the car where he has a gloss black Status Gruppe lip that all but kisses the pavement. OEM gloss black kidney grills, and side gills along with AutoTechnik carbon fibre mirror covers offer the right amount of contrast to the green and play off the carbon roof.
On the suspension front, KW Club Sport coilovers are cranked down to a useful, but aggressive drop, allowing Alex to get around in the city, but also keep the M4 planted at the track. Unwilling to compromise on track performance, Alex chose the HRE R101 wheels due to their strong, lightweight monoblock design. They were also one of the only 19” wheels that could safely wrap around the massive factory carbon ceramic brakes at the time. While black wheels typically do not highlight wheel design, the satin sheen really shows off the contours in the spokes and ironically enough, features the wheel design wonderfully. The performance doesn’t stop there; he tuned his car with a Gintani stage 2 flash to go along with their cat-less down pipes. The flash tune, down pipes, and Eisenmann exhaust system put Alex up into the threshold of 515whp+ and similar levels of torque. For a car that weighs barely any more than an E46 M3, the power to weight ratio is impressive. Considering that there’s also room to seat four and ample boot space, this car gives other manufacturers in the next tax bracket a run for their money. While an Eventuri intake system helps the S55 breathe better, it also enhances the engine bay styling with all of its glorious carbon fibre twisting below the factory carbon fibre strut brace. An AutoTechnik carbon fibre engine cover is another woven accent under the hood, but the dry carbon provides a slight contrast with its combative satin finish. Sealing its identity as “KERM4T”, Alex also added a sticker of the Kermit the Frog sipping Lipton Iced Tea meme. He placed it there to add a little colour to under the bonnet and decorate the engine cover, but that’s none of our business though…
While Alex’s ordering debacle was happening on the east coast, Felix L was across the country in Los Angeles planning his next project. Having a vast array of speciality sports cars over the years, he is well-known in the BMW community by his forum handle “PowerBeast”. Having already heavily modded a Dakar yellow 1M, his next project was a monster in the form of a supercharged, half-caged Dakar yellow E90 M3. Felix knew he wanted to build another show-stopping car, but to everyone’s surprise, the encore chassis was not draped in Dakar yellow this time. No – instead, he too, opted for Porsche’s Signal green this time around in four-door M3 flavour. “After my E90 build I didn’t think it would be possible to love again, until this F80 showed up in my life,” he says, and it’s a fully-loaded example, with carbon ceramic brakes and a six-speed manual gearbox.
The quality of the parts that Felix has fitted to his M3 are of the highest calibre, but adding expensive carbon bits and titanium piping isn’t what makes a car, there’s more to it. The core of his exterior modifications revolves around the fundamentals of slammed ride height and properly offset wheels, as they always have with the cars he’s owned. Dialling this F80 in with its ground hugging ride height, stuffing 19” wheels below, and topping it all off with the perfect fitment of aero pieces that tie it together perfectly. We can pretend that, as a family man with wife and kids, Felix wanted the four-door for the extra space and, while there may be a bit of truth to that, he truly just preferred the saloon’s bodylines and rear arches over the aesthetics of the M4 coupe. Owning the fastest car on the road is not a priority for Felix. Instead he focuses on enjoying his builds, thoughtfully selecting the highest quality parts available – a true extension of himself and that style results in a smooth, clean, well-executed M3. Whether parked at convention centres for tuner shows, cruising along Ventura Blvd, or rolling past store fronts on Rodeo Drive, Felix’s F80, both in colour but more importantly his execution, effortlessly catches everyone’s attention.
Felix pulls out all the stops on every build he does. When he gets his hands on a chassis, new or old, you can be certain that the car is going to sport the finest parts sourced from the appropriate companies, and this F80 M3 is no exception. A 3D Design carbon fibre lip is mounted to the OEM European front bumper. The Euro bumper cleans up the DOT reflector area by doing away with them entirely. More 3D Design carbon fibre graces the rest of the car with the side skirt extensions and boot spoiler.
These elements offer a stylized contrast to the Signal green colour, enhancing the look of the car rather than stealing attention away from it. Completing the lower carbon aero is a full Varis rear consisting of its upper diffuser and lower finned tray that extends under the car, all the way to the differential. A Titanium Akrapovič exhaust system makes its way from the S55 to the back of the car, splitting the upper and lower portion of the woven carbon Varis diffuser. KW Club Sport coilovers, nearly maxed out, tuck a considerable portion of the Michelin PSS tyres that are wrapped around the 19” HRE R101 wheels. Contrasting Alex’s satin black wheels, Felix chose HRE’s hand-brushed finish with tinted clear coat; this gives the car a brighter appearance with a ton of detail in the wheel when examined closely. More 3D Design machined pieces can be found on the inside of the M3; equipped around the interior are pedals, gear knob, and matching handbrake handle. Green stitching across the dash, down the seats, and around the armrest coordinates with his OEM M Performance steering wheel with custom green twelve o’clock stripe. Meanwhile, passengers in the back of the car get to enjoy the carbon fibre treatment with the Dinman CF seat back centre inserts.
Both of these cars suit their owners perfectly, despite the two originating from as far away from each other in the lower fortyeight States as possible. While these were the first Signal green F8xs to roll out of BMWs assembly line, over the ensuing months, many followed suit across the United States and Europe. There’s no doubt that the body lines of the coupe and saloon pull off this colour just as well as the 911. Having over 500whp now makes them genuine supercar contenders with room for four and enough boot space to handle luggage for an extended getaway. Undeniably, it is a combination that just cannot be beaten both in practicality and performance.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE BMW F80 M3
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six S55B30, Akrapovič down pipes, Akrapovic Delete R module, Akrapovič rear section with titanium tips, ESS Tuning ECU flash. Six-speed manual gearbox
CHASSIS 9.5×19” (front) and 11×19” (rear) HRE R101 forged single-piece wheels in brushed finish with tinted clear coat with 265/35 (front) and 295/30 (rear) Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, KW Club Sport two-way adjustable coilovers
EXTERIOR Porsche Signal green, European front bumper, 3D Design front lip, side skirt extensions & boot spoiler, Varis upper diffuser and lower tray, iND Cosmetics
INTERIOR M Performance steering wheel with custom upholstered green 12 o’clock stripe, green stitching on seats and dash, Dinman carbon fibre seat backs, 3D Design pedals, 3D Design gear knob, 3D Design handbrake lever
THANKS iND, Auto Talent, MiniCorsa, EAS, ESS Tuning and Alekshop
TECHNICAL DATA FILE BMW F82 M4
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six S55B30, AutoTecknic dry carbon engine cover, Eventuri Intake, Gintani 3” down pipes, Gintani ECU tune, Eisenmann mid and rear section. Six-speed manual gearbox
CHASSIS 9.5×19” (front) and 11×19” (rear) HRE R101 forged single-piece wheels in satin black with 265/35 (front) and 295/30 (rear) Toyo R888 tyres, KW Club Sport two-way adjustable coilovers
EXTERIOR Porsche Signal green, Status Gruppe front lip, BMW M Performance side skirt extensions, BMW gloss black side gills, BMW gloss black front grilles, iND painted reflectors, AutoTecknic mirror covers, RKP Composites race wing, PSM Dynamic rear diffuser with undertray
INTERIOR ACM P3 boost gauge, AutoTecknic carbon steering wheel trim, UUC short shift kit
THANKS Auto Couture Motoring, Gintani , iND, HRE Wheels, Status Gruppe, Toyo Tires, PSM Dynamics, AutoTecknic, Auto Talent, Speed District, Girl Stig, Crosshair Nightmare