When we first featured Philipp Maas’s F80 M3 back in 2018 it blew us away and now it’s back, having been totally transformed and taken to the next level, and the end result is simply spectacular. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Evolutionized Photography.
MAAS EFFECT 611WHP M3
Jaw-dropping, show-stopping 650bhp BMW M3 F80
To get a feature in PBMW you have to build a nice car, something that ticks the boxes, immediately grabs our attention and makes us say ‘Yes’ when we see it. To get the coveted cover spot you have to build something truly special, something that blows us away and really goes above and beyond on every level. To take that same car and come back into the mag for another feature, however, really takes some doing – you’ve got to take a car that was already at its absolute peak and somehow take it beyond that, which requires a huge commitment and a huge amount of effort, but Philipp Maas has achieved exactly that and his exceptional F80 M3 is an incredible machine on every level.
Cast your mind back through the mists of time to our April 2018 issue and you will recall seeing Philipp’s magnificent ‘Stormtrooper’ F80 M3 gracing our cover – it was making a monstrous 565whp, sat on 20” BC Forged wheels, boasted copious amounts of carbon, aggressive aero and you all clearly loved it as much as we did because you chose it as the 2018 PBMW Car of the Year. Needless to say, 2018 was a good year for Philipp. Fast forward almost two years and a lot has changed, and not just with the car – previously Philipp was working as a branch manager for a huge global freight forwarding company, but now he’s the owner of HKP Tuning & Performance. As for his M3, well it’s bordering on the unrecognisable compared with how it looked back in 2018 and the raft of changes has been extensive, to say the least, and there’s a hell of a lot to get our teeth into. Before we do, though, a quick recap for those who perhaps don’t recall the original feature or are new to the mag and didn’t read it. Philipp resides in Scottsdale, Arizona but he’s originally from Germany and growing up there in the ’80s and ’90s he was exposed to nothing but European cars, which is where his love of BMWs grew from. His first BM was an E36 325i and was followed by a number of others before he purchased this one-year- old manual F80 in 2015 and, when his initial plan to keep it 100% stock failed miserably, he went hell for leather and ended up creating one of the best F80 M3s we’d ever seen.
“A Snow Performance Stage 2 braided line methanol kit with trunk extension was added; the tank has been replaced with a 4.2-gallon Pro-Meth fuel cell, which is mounted on a custom Alcantara trunk floor I had made”
“I started off with lowering the vehicle on springs, replaced the chrome vents and grille with satin black ones, changed the silver 437 wheels with the two-tone black ones, added MPE OEM side skirts, lip and diffuser. I drove the car 400 miles to Los Angeles to get the ECU tuned and downpipes installed, added charge pipes and open intakes. I then reversed everything and started fresh just three months later, replacing the aero parts, adding BC Forged wheels and Toyo tyres as well as a new exhaust. I replaced the Injen intake and charge pipes with an MSR one, added a mid-pipe and engine components from CSF and Pure Turbos,” he says. So how do you improve on that? “Fast forward to SEMA 2018 I placed an order for the just-released ANRKY RS3 Retro Series wheels to start the next transformation of the vehicle, version 4.0, for the 20th Anniversary of Bimmerfest 2019 in Fontana, CA and this would be the biggest transformation,” says Philipp with a grin and he’s not kidding.
Every area of the car has been changed for this incarnation so it doesn’t really matter where we kick things off but the engine’s pretty exciting so let’s get cracking there. “In preparation for the 2019 Bimmerfest and my commitment to having the car displayed for CSF, we left the GTHaus GTC system but swapped the black carbon fibre top-mount intercooler to a blue/silver carbon-look one. Both versions were the first-ever produced, which can be a worrying process not knowing if it would work in terms of the colour scheme,” says Philipp, but he needn’t have worried as the end result looks fantastic. “The CSF DCT cooler and heat exchanger and Pure Stage 2 HF turbos remained. A Snow Performance Stage 2 braided line methanol kit with trunk extension was added; the tank has been replaced with a 4.2-gallon Pro-Meth fuel cell, which is mounted on a custom Alcantara trunk floor I had made to show off a previously installed air-ride system. The trunk now features an illuminated, M-engraved glass panel that shows off one of my personal favourite cars – the 1975 #25 E9 3.0 CSL that won the 12 Hours of Sebring in the same year driven by Brian Redman, Hans Stuck and others,” he grins. “We then proceeded to put the car back on the dyno with Cary of Jordan Tuning writing a completely new map for US 91 octane pump gas resulting in 611whp and 597lb ft wtq. At the time we were running into an issue with the check valve of the meth kit, which malfunctioned, so the represented numbers are on 91 octane/95 RON only as I haven’t had the chance to go back on the dyno since to dial in the methanol injection,” he explains. “This is however planned for the coming NoFlyZone (half-mile event) in Arizona, which will also be the moment we will write a map for running 100+ octane plus meth. As I am not planning to change internals or the DCT, we will most likely shoot for 650-700whp only. We also switched the former MSR aluminium charge pipes to RK titanium pipes, and the MSR front-mount intake had to make room for the blue Kevlar Eventuri intakes to complete the look and performance of the vehicle,” says Philipp and that’s quite the selection of mods to take in. The engine bay looks even more spectacular than before, the performance mods are even more impressive and the numbers it’s currently putting out are even larger, with plenty more to come. As always, it’s all about the personal touches with Philipp and his M3, and that custom display in the boot is not something you’re going to see in anyone’s else’s build anytime soon.
Sticking with the interior, Philipp has further indulged his love for carbon as well as adorning it with a healthy helping of gadgets and other sexy additions and the result is a cabin to be proud of. “You can’t have enough carbon fibre and gadgets,” he laughs, “so you will find things like the M Performance electronic steering wheel showing off the RPM shift indicators going off like an F1 car, all kinds of trim pieces that were sent out to get overlaid with carbon fibre; many pieces you wouldn’t notice or even see, like the dashboard ends or SOS overhead button trim. A lot of pieces do also go hand-in-hand with the OEM carbon trim, like the speaker trims, door handles or steering wheel column. Further, you will find the Snow Performance meth controller mounted inside the PodWurx gauge holder wrapped in the same M livery as the outside. With the move to a race theme, the OEM seats had to make room for Recaro Sportster CSs with Dinmann carbon seatbacks and these also now feature the same colour wrap, which goes very well with the Gaphix blue seat belts I installed,” says Philipp and the whole lot is just so sexy. The carbon details, those gorgeous seats, the unique touches, they all combine to create the sort of interior you’d expect from a car of this calibre.
The last time we saw this car it was happily sitting on a set of H&R lowering springs, with these being the only suspension upgrades but things are quite different now and it sounds like Philipp has been on a bit of a journey with his M3’s chassis mods. “While I tried different suspension systems including air suspension, switching to the KW Clubsport two-way coilovers was a must. You can’t transform the vehicle to a race theme and get taken seriously with more show-oriented suspension,” he says. “This suspension is, to me personally, by far the best system I have ever had the pleasure of owning; the ride is just fantastic, even though we are quite low to the ground.
My company’s slogan is ‘Wir Fliegen Tief’, which is German and translates to ‘We Fly Low’ and totally fits given the M3 turned into a shop car for my company,” he grins. The KW Clubsports have allowed Philipp to get even more aggressive with the drop on his M3 and this car sits seriously low, and in addition to the coilovers you’ll also find a set of Future Classic adjustable antiroll bar end links now installed and there’s a titanium stud conversion as well.
“We then proceeded to put the car back on the dyno with Cary of Jordan Tuning writing a completely new map for US 91 octane pump gas resulting in 611whp and 597lb ft wtq”
One of the first things you notice about this M3 is how incredibly striking it looks from the outside, which is not to say that it wasn’t already an awesome-looking machine before, but the changes that Philipp made have resulted in something that truly stands out from the crowd and those wheels, which were the first element in the car’s evolution into its current version 4.0 form, play a big part in that visual drama. “I had this idea to have a 3.0 CSL or E30 race-inspired theme for a long time and, like many of us, kept buying die-cast models for fun and inspiration. Coming from a black and white theme I needed more colour, so when I saw the pictures of the RS3 wheel in Brushed Copper with a polished step lip, being a retro-inspired yet modern wheel, I knew immediately that this had to be it. I went with the copper instead of the silver wheels, like the #25 CSL from the ’70s. I placed the order at SEMA 2018 knowing it would take several months for production to begin and they arrived just in time in April of 2019 and were the first set of RS3s ever produced for any car,” smiles Philipp and they were without a doubt worth the wait. The ANRKY wheels look absolutely incredible, with those stunning brushed copper centres that are just dazzling, and these 20s measure a mighty 10” up front and 11” at the rear, filling out the M3’s substantial arches to perfection. Stunning as they are, they are only part of the visual transformation that this car has undergone and it’s the graphics that really smack you in the face when you first set eyes on this F80, and there’s quite a story behind them. “The inspiration for the styling and my love of the BMW race cars with M comes particularly from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. I knew the M Livery had been done in every way, shape, colour or form on literally every model at this point. Some had been done great, some good, but mainly really bad for multiple reasons. So my challenge and goals were to create a new take on the livery and styling that had been done 1000s of times before, represent the spirit of the old days and brand today, pay homage to the E9 3.0 CSL (even though the F80 M3 is a sedan), and have an ‘original’ feeling to it,” explains Philipp and that’s a pretty tall order all-round. “While limited in colours and schemes, I wanted to be original, especially on the F8x platform. So I searched and studied magazines, photographs and searched the Internet for hours and days, not just for M3s or F82 M4s but for any BMW with an M livery to make sure that I kept my design as far away from anything done before, yet close enough to the original feel. Having a three-year-old princess helped tremendously with providing the crayons and markers,” he laughs; “With supplies in hand, I printed pictures of my car from every angle at least 15 times in black and white and started drawing multiple designs and eventually picked my favourite, not knowing whether my design could actually be wrapped.
“With the move to a race theme, the OEM seats had to make room for Recaro Sportster CSs with Dinmann carbon seatbacks”
“Luckily my not-so-little brother Felix, along with my childhood friend Christian, owns Foliencenter NRW in Germany; Felix is two-time European Wrap Star and also part of a team that took the Guinness World Record in 2018 doing a full body wrap in under 23 minutes on a Tesla Model X. Needless to say they know if something works or not; they gave me the green light and I arranged a local shop to install. Unfortunately, after the shop accepted the challenge and appointments were made and pushed, the company pulled out of the project entirely. Running out of time and not trusting the local alternative, I called my brother at home asking if he would be willing to clear his very busy schedule last minute and hop on a plane from Düsseldorf via London to Phoenix. While reluctant he understood the importance and scheduled to arrive on Tuesday night and fly out the following Sunday. I needed to find a location as the dusty Arizona garage at 90°F+ weather wasn’t suitable.
I reached out to my friend Tony Lusso of Lusso Motorsports in Scottsdale and asked him if we could use his beautiful new facility for three days. He luckily agreed. My Brother arrived delayed, tired and jet-lagged on Tuesday 2 April after 18 hours of travel from Europe to the US. Since my wife Katrina and I moved from Miami to Arizona in 2015, he hadn’t been in the US, he had never been to Arizona, had never seen the Grand Canyon, Sedona or Tombstone. Little did he know that he wouldn’t on this trip either!” laughs Philipp and so the wrapping could begin.
Of course, the course of modding cars never did run smooth and while Felix worked nine-10 hours a day for the next three days applying each individual piece of livery, Philipp’s homemade wrap design wasn’t exactly perfect and Felix expressed his doubts about the bonnet and bumper livery pieces. Luckily Philipp’s friend Will paid a visit to the workshop and, as well as being a fellow car enthusiast, he also happens to be a painter and artist; he tweaked the design on his laptop and all was well. Except it wasn’t because those stunning wheels had been delayed and, by the time they finally arrived at the shop – which would be closed on Saturday – on the Friday and with three shows to attend the next day it was clear that no one was going to be getting an early night. “Needless to say Lusso didn’t close at 5pm and instead everyone stayed until 11pm until we were able to finish the car, wheels and all. We went to bed at 1am, got up at 5am on Saturday, drove to Cars & Coffee Scottsdale to showcase the M3, where people loved the new design. We left C&C at 8:30am and started taking rolling shots with Will on the way to the Elite Tuner Car show that day; 3pm Saturday 6 April, we won Best of Show. We left the event and picked up the family to present the car at a local Scottsdale car show called the Pavilions before inviting my brother to a well-deserved dinner, before he left for Germany the next day,” smiles Philipp. “The M3 continued its winning streak at several shows, but most notable by far were the trophies won for Best Modified M and Best of Show on day two of the 20th Anniversary of Bimmerfest in Fontana, CA,” he grins triumphantly and that sort of recognition makes all the blood, sweat and tears worth in the end.
It’s been four years since Philipp first collected his F80 M3 and it has changed beyond recognition from how it looked when it was stock, and even from how it looked two years ago. It’s been one hell of a journey but Philipp’s not finished with his M3 just yet. “Once my daughter can sit in the front, I’ll do a rear seat delete with a harness and roll-cage,” he grins, “and possibly a Brembo brake upgrade,” and then talk turns to future purchases. “With the new company being the focus, not yet being a fan of the new BMW grilles, I still look at the G80 M3. I have, however, been looking at the 2020 Supra as well as the Audi RS6 Avant for next year, all exciting cars for the US Market and shop like ours,” says Philipp and that’s absolutely understandable. As a tuning business, his company needs to be working on the latest desirable performance machinery but nothing will ever come close to this incredible M3, HKP’s flagship build and Philipp’s personal magnum opus.
Absolutely stunning ANRKY RS3 20s with brushed copper centres. Custom CAtuned heritage roundels. Dinmann carbon boot lip spoiler. Custom boot build features a 1:18- scale E9 CSL on display. Awesome GTS carbon bonnet. Custom M livery wrap is stunning. RK Titanium charge pipes. Engine bay looks absolutely stunning.
Blue dials, carbon trim galore and M stripes throughout the interior. PodWurx holder for meth controller. M stripes have been added to the seatbacks.
DATA FILE BMW F80 M3
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six S55B30, Burger billet aluminium replacement oil thermostat lid and caps, CSF blue carbon fibre-look hydro dipped topmount dual-pass charge air cooler, front-mount heat exchanger with racing guard and dual-pass race-spec DCT cooler, Downstar engine billet blue dress-up hardware and custom billet oil cap, Eventuri blue Kevlar intakes, GTHaus catless downpipes, resonated mid-pipes and SUS 4x90 GTC exhaust with blued titanium tips and remote valve control, M Performance carbon fibre engine cover, RK Titanium titanium charge pipes, Pro-Meth 4.2-gallon methanol fuel cell, ProTuningFreaks bm3 flash platform with custom tune through Jordan Tuned by Cary Jordan with burbles, ProTuningFreaks WiFi Agent, Pure Turbos Stage 2 Hi-Flow turbos, Snow Performance Stage 2 Boost Cooler forced induction progressive water-methanol injection kit with upgraded braided stainless line, Turner Motorsport skid plate. M DCT seven-speed gearbox, ProTuningFreaks GTS DCT flash software
MAX POWER 611whp @ 6300rpm (on 91 octane fuel)
MAX TORQUE 597lb ft wtq @ 3500rpm (on 91 octane fuel)
CHASSIS 10x20” (front) and 11x20” (rear) ANRKY RS3 Retro Series three-piece wheels with Brushed Copper centres, polished lips, Titanium hardware and colour-matched barrels, 275/30 (front) and 305/25 (rear) Toyo Proxes T1R tyres, Future Classic titanium stud conversion, ceramic wheel coating, Tire Stickers custom tyre stickers, KW Clubsport two-way coilovers, Future Classic adjustable anti-roll bar end links
EXTERIOR FolienCenter-NRW ’1975 E9 3.0 CSL race car homage wrap designed by HKP Tuning & Performance, AC Schnitzer carbon fibre front spoiler, AC Schnitzer front splitter painted Mineral white, Autotecknic carbon fibre headlight covers, OEM GTS carbon fibre bonnet, IND front bumper reflectors painted Mineral white, IND kidney grilles painted gloss black, MCP FX4 racing grille, M Performance LED door projectors front/rear, IND black-painted side vents, IND keyhole cover painted Mineral white, Enlaes side skirts, OEM LCI rear lights, CAtuned one-off BMW Motorsport heritage bonnet, C-pillar and boot roundels, Dinmann carbon fibre boot lid spoiler, Kohlenstoff Tuning carbon fibre diffuser with third F1 brake light, PSM Dynamic carbon fibre roof spoiler, RW Carbon Varis-style undertray custom-fitted to work with diffuser, Gyeon Quartz ceramic coating, XPEL paint protection film full bonnet/ bumper/arches
INTERIOR AC Schnitzer handbrake handle, Autotecknic carbon fibre shift paddles and door handle covers front/rear, IND red start-stop button, blue start-stop button surround trim, custom boot mat with illuminated fibreglass and engraved M logo with window displaying ’1975 E9 3.0 CSL 1:18-scale diecast model, Dinmann carbon fibre seatbacks with XPEL PTF and custom M livery wrap by HKP Tuning & Performance, Dinmann carbon fibre window switch trim, speaker covers front/rear, steering wheel column, under stereo trim, light switch trim, custom gear selector with M stripes, passenger vent and stereo trim, Gaphix custom blue seatbelts, M Performance Alcantara electronic steering wheel with carbon fibre trim, Alcantara and carbon fibre DCT trim, Alcantara handbrake gaiter, Alcantara and carbon fibre armrest, floor mats, stainless steel pedals and carbon front/rear door pulls, Northwest Composites carbon fibre SOS/light button trim, dashboard ends, HUD trim, rear light switch trim and centre speaker trim, PodWurx custom boost gauge mount with M livery wrap and BMW emblem by HKP Tuning & Performance, Recaro Sportster CS seats, Renown BMW Motorsport heritage steering wheel roundel, Speed Tactics fire extinguisher and bracket, Bavsound Stage One speaker upgrade and Ghost under-seat subwoofers
THANKS Guy, Jon, Maria of ANRKY Wheels, Ravi, Ken and team of CSF Race, my brother Felix and Christian at FolienCenter-NRW, Christian at MCP Racing, John and team at GTHaus, Tom and the team at Bavsound, the team at HKP Tuning & Performance, Scottsdale, Chris and team at Leno’s Garage, Rob at RK Titanium, Frank at Downstar, Tony, Carl and Adam at Lusso Motorsports, Shane and team at BMW Chandler, Hannah and Maria for their love and support, Dinmann Carbon Fibre, Rebecca and the team at classiccars.com, Charlie at Taxi Garage, John at PodWurx, my Friends Adrian, aka Frozone, and Will, my wife Katrina and daughter