In stock form, the M4 doesn’t require anything to amp up its aggressive demeanour. But that didn’t stop the team at Car Audio Security having a go anyway… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Si Gray.
FANTASTIC FOUR Air-ride F82 M4
Some people will do anything for the sake of a quiet life. In the modern age of social media backbiting and political unrest, with an increasing human urge to get all riled up for the sake of it, you can certainly see the attraction of just switching the world off, pouring yourself a drink, and sitting out in the sunshine without giving a second thought to the pursuit of needlessly overcomplicating your life.
That said, heroes are not forged by means of sitting back and ignoring the world. In the realm of modified BMWs in the UK, it’s safe to say that Car Audio Security are achieving some pretty heroic things – we’ve featured a couple of their other builds in recent months – and none of this was achieved by being quiet and mouse-like. When it comes to project builds, these guys roar like lions.
For the sake of a simple life, Raj Sangha at Car Audio Security could have just bought himself a BMW M4 and enjoyed it for what it was. That would have been the logical thing for a modern human to do. But who cares about being logical? When you’re addicted to modding, logic is rarely part of the equation.
The M4 requires little introduction here but as impressive as the model may be in stock form, keeping cars standard isn’t really Raj’s bag. First of all, he’s got a long and distinguished history of taking cool BMWs and making them exponentially cooler. And secondly, he’s got a business to run – a business which benefits greatly from running show-stopping project cars to best showcase the products his team supply and fit.
“I fell in love with the M4 after my first test drive in Vegas in 2015,” he recalls. “I knew I wanted to have a high-end performance vehicle to showcase the products we distribute through the business, and this seemed like the perfect platform.” It’s a fun position to be in, isn’t it? Being able to justify it all as a business decision, and yet effectively just going out to buy an entertaining car simply because you want one. There are worse jobs. “The car was purchased brand new, factory-ordered to my spec from Mirel at BMW Berry in Stockley Park,” Raj continues. “The plan was for the car to be a show vehicle for the business, so plenty of modifications were planned straight off the bat. The M4 was intended to showcase the products that we distribute in the UK – namely Air Lift Performance, Rotiform, Rockford Fosgate, and Clifford.”
However, before Raj got stuck into the trademark Car Audio Security makeover, it was time to get BMW themselves to do a little more work. You know what they say about starting your project with the best possible base? That’s true even of brand new cars. And in this case, it involved taking the car’s already overtly sporting nature, bristling as it is with carbon enhancements, and sprinkling even more of the sixth element into the mix.
“Once I’d taken delivery of the vehicle, I requested BMW Berry to fit the M Performance carbon pack,” says Raj, “which included the front lower spoiler and splitters, M Performance grilles, side skirts, mirror caps, boot spoiler, and rear diffuser. I also opted for the M Performance steering wheel and gear knob.” He then proceeded to drive about in it for a while, ostensibly to run it in up to its 1200-mile service, but actually just because it’s an awesome car and he frankly couldn’t resist tearing about in it. You would, wouldn’t you?
With the first service milestone achieved, Raj eventually agreed to hand over the keys to the workshop team so the car could go under the knife. The first order of business was to get it sitting pretty on an Air Lift Performance air-ride setup, complete with 3H management, before gutting the stock audio package and systematically upgrading it with quality Rockford Fosgate gear.
“Given our relationship with them, the car was always going to run Air Lift Suspension with 3H height adjustment,” he says. “The suspension setup is absolutely amazing, offering the versatility of a low ride height and also the slammed look when the car’s stationary and parked. Speeds humps or inclined driveways are never a problem for us either! And the 3H setup also provides those extra height sensors that give the system the ability to automatically adapt to changes in vehicle load.”
The company’s long-standing relationship with the big names also made the wheel choice a no-brainer from the get-go: “As we are the official UK distributor for Rotiform, there was never any doubt about the preferred wheel choice,” Raj grins. “Initially I went with a set of forged three-piece 20” Rotiform RSE with a completely polished look; the fronts were 9.5” wide and the rears were 11”. But this year I switched it up and decided to go with the LSR – same size, same fitment – and I think the results speak for themselves! The decision on wheel size itself was difficult as we had to take into account that the car needs to drive well and look good at ride height, but also still ensure the wheels tuck into the arches when it’s aired out. But with careful calculation and measurement, we’ve got it spot-on,” he says and we have to agree. The idea of taking a strong base and enhancing every core detail continues with the interior; Raj wanted something that would sharply contrast with the exterior’s relatively sober grey hue, and the vibrant Sakhir orange leather he’s chosen is just the shade to achieve that. It’s not just the seats that are finished in that stunning colour, the central sections of the door cards also receive a flash of red to further lift the interior and it really is the perfect choice of colour to go with the Mineral grey paintwork. What you can’t see are the first elements of the enhanced audio that’s been installed, that being the Rockford Fosgate T3 front speakers and under-seat subwoofers. Naturally there’s also oodles of carbon fibre trim in there too, which ties in perfectly with the exterior elements and, paired with the Sakhir leather, it makes for an awesome head-turning combo that’s perfect for this build.
Of course, the most impressive part of the interior is the air hardware and audio, all of which lives in a custom boot build and it’s really rather magnificent. A pair of carbon-covered air tanks wrapped in black hardlines are mounted either side of a Rockford Fosgate T1-S2-12 12” slim subwoofer while twin compressors sit within a recess in the boot floor along with the air suspension manifold. There are also two Rockford Fosgate amps, one for the speakers and one for the sub, both of which are also sunk into the boot floor. All of the custom elements have been finished in sexy Alcantara, making for a seriously impressive centre piece, perfect for wowing the crowds when the M4 is strutting its stuff at the multiple shows it attends.
“The car was purchased in December 2015, and we had it ready for its debut at Ultimate Dubs in Telford in March 2016,” Raj explains. “My favourite part of it? It has to be the front carbon splitters with the lower spoiler – when it’s aired out, the front end just looks insane!” So with the M4 serving as a fabulous workhorse for Car Audio Security across the show scene for a couple of years, is it time to upgrade to a fresh new spec? “No, I’ve had another idea,” Raj smiles. “The M4 has served me and the business well, but it’ll be going up for sale soon – I’ve got my eye on the new M8…” This is exciting news indeed. The M8 hasn’t been officially announced yet, although a brief Google will show you just how impressive this thing is set to be at its 2019 reveal – and with Raj and the team set to apply their modding expertise, it’s certain to be another jaw-dropper if the rest of the Car Audio fleet is anything to go by – we can’t wait.
“Of course, the most impressive part of the interior is the air hardware and audio, all of which lives in a custom boot build and it’s really rather magnificent”
DATA FILE F82 M4
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight six twin-turbo S55B30T0. M DCT seven-speed gearbox
CHASSIS 9.5x20” (front) and 11x20” (rear) Rotiform LSR wheels with 245/30 (front) and 265/30 (rear) Dunlop Sport Maxx GT tyres, Air Lift Performance 3H air-ride
EXTERIOR Mineral Grey metallic, M Performance carbon pack including front lower spoiler and splitters, grilles, side skirts, mirror caps, boot spoiler and rear diffuser
INTERIOR Sakhir Orange Extended Merino leather, carbon fibre trim, M Performance steering wheel and gear knob, Rockford Fosgate T3 front speakers and under-seat subwoofers, custom boot install with Rockford Fosgate TM400X4ad four-channel amplifier, Rockford Fosgate TM500X1br subwoofer amplifier, Rockford Fosgate T1-S2-12 12” slim subwoofer, twin carbon air tanks, twin Viair compressors, hardlines, Clifford Connect 6 tracker
THANKS Thanks to Mirel at BMW Berry for supplying the car and continuously looking after me and Car Audio Security. Thanks also to Air Lift Performance, Rotiform, Rockford Fosgate, and Clifford
20” Rotiform LSRs Custom boot build is finished in Alcantara. Two Rockford Fosgate amps have been installed Carbon air tanks.
“Once I’d taken delivery of the vehicle, I requested BMW Berry to fit the M Performance carbon pack”