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  •   Dale Drinnon reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    4.6 V8 1 SERIES Totally transformed 135i

    SLAKE THE INTERNET

    What started out life as an unassuming 135i is now a fire-breathing, 1M-kitted, 4.6 #V8-powered beast.

    It’s an inescapable fact of modern modifying that if your car becomes known online, everyone will have an opinion on it. But this is a good thing – use the love as inspiration, use the hate as fuel, and keep pushing forward… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Courtney Cutchen.

    “People have very interesting reactions to my car, it sparks a lot of discussion,” says Marco Svizzero, the chap standing proudly beside this rather perky little 1 Series. “It’s an entirely modified bastard, and yet it still seems to appeal to the purists…”

    This is a pretty punchy way to set out your stall – after all, that quasi-mythical entity of ‘the purists’ is a notoriously hard bunch to please (although goodness knows why you’d want to try), so to shoo away the perennial spectre of internet hate by appealing to the very people you expect to annoy is something of a fortuitous crapshoot.

    Still, objectively – at least, objectively from a PBMW point of view – there’s nothing not to love about this car, given that it’s effectively an M3 stuffed inside a #BMW-1M-Coupé-E82 to create the ballistic #V8-1-Series that BMW didn’t think to experiment with. That’s a great way to get into our good books. “This was really my first big car build, and I never intended for the project to go so far,” Marco ponders with the measured consideration of somebody who’s been on a lengthy adventure and is struggling to come to terms with the notion of being home again. “It just snowballed, and once the project got some traction on the forums and partners like Revozport and Performance Technic got involved, it all went to another level.”

    This, of course, is the price of notoriety. Once news of your project starts to spread, and the myriad chattering keyboards of the internet start to throw a few opinions around, there really is only one way forward: go big. The ‘go home’ alternative just isn’t an option at this point; the world is watching, you’ve committed to something, you have to see it through. Your audience insists. You’ve got new fans now, they need to be appeased. And the haters? Oh, there’ll always be haters. They need to be figuratively smacked down with the iron fist of decisive action.

    “I chose a 135i as the base for my project as I really like the size of it,” Marco explains, “and I love how tunable the N54 engines are. It’s so easy to get reliable horsepower out of those motors with simple modifications.”

    You’ll have spotted, however, that the N54 straight-six is no longer in residence. That’s sort of the point of this car now. So what gives, why did Marco change his mind? “Well, as I was taking the car on track more and more, I started to run into heat issues,” he says, “so I decided to swap a V8 motor and M3 chassis into the car.”

    Okay. We’ll just let that sink in for a moment, shall we? It really is a masterstroke of lateral thinking, taking such a decision and following it through, and he’s earned the right to be charmingly self-effacing about it. Most people in this situation would have thought along the lines of ‘alright, we have some cooling issues, let’s look into revising the coolant system, maybe upgrade the radiator and intercooler and open up some more vents,’ but not Marco. Oh no. One suspects that he wanted to shoehorn an M3 inside his #BMW-135i-Coupe all along.

    “I wanted the instant throttle response of a naturally aspirated engine, as well as robust cooling and an 8600rpm redline,” he says matter-of-factly. Well, yeah, swapping in an E9x M3 under the skin is the obvious solution, isn’t it? It was foolish of us to even question it. Carry on, Marco…


    “The swap is so much more than just the motor,” he elaborates, as if trying to justify it to an irate spouse or suspicious bank manager. “It’s the M3 steering, the complete front and rear subframes including the suspension and axles, the diff, the brakes, and cool features like M Dynamic Mode.”

    And there, as the Bard might say, is the rub. If you were skimming through a forum post and looking at photos of Marco’s car, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the story here centred around a non-M 1 Series that had been converted to 1M aesthetics. And to a degree, you’d be right, as that is what has happened – what started as a stock 2008 135i bought from Craigslist soon ballooned into a broad and angry 1M clone, its strong look accentuated by the exemplary body addenda on sale from Revozport, its Raze series offering a lightweight bonnet, bootlid, carbon fibre roof (which neatly deletes the 135i’s sunroof), splitter, diffuser and GTS wing. But the body, as we know, is only half the story.


    The fun of building something like this, particularly something that’s so keenly observed online, is that there will always be ill-informed haters to bait. ‘It’s not a proper #BMW-1M ,’ they’ll say. ‘Why spend all that money on making a fake 1M when you could just buy a real one? Why pretend, why lie?’


    Marco takes all of this in his stride, with a wry smile and an eye perennially on the next phase of development. “No, it’s not a 1M, and it will never be one,” he says. “The only way to get a real one is to buy one. My car will not bear an M badge on the trunk!


    Besides, by crunching numbers for a partout and sale of my car and using those funds toward purchasing a 1M, I would have to add a lot of money on top for a very similar car.” But forget mathematics, that’s not why we build project cars. A car is just a big hole to throw money into, we don’t modify them because it’s sensible. No, the unspoken truth here is that Marco’s car isn’t a 1M because, well, it’s an M3. It just looks like a 1M…

    “When we started looking into donor M3s, they were still expensive here in the States so I actually ended up buying a car in the UK, which was dismantled and sent to me in pieces,” Marco recalls. “Once everything was sent over, Performance Technic began the build. The most difficult part was the wiring; Performance Technic has two BMW Master Techs – Matt Medeiros and Wing Phung – who tackled the project, and once the car was built we brought it to Mike Benvo of BPM Sport. Benvo cleaned up, coded and tuned the car – he is another very valuable partner in the entire project. His knowledge in coding is unmatched! These guys were extremely focused on making everything look and operate like a factory car, and I applaud them that they pulled it off.”


    As well as being OEM-quality in terms of all the buttons and gizmos, and thus eminently streetable, Marco was certainly having a lot of fun with his transformed 135i, with its 4.0-litre S65 under the bonnet and M3 underpinnings. Let’s not forget that this V8 isn’t a lazy rumbler like those of his domestic heritage; while Detroit thuds, Bavaria howls, and this engine is a proper screamer. “It really was just like a smaller, lighter E9x M3 – the naturally aspirated 1M I wanted to make all along,” Marco grins.

    Wait… “was”? “Yeah, I decided to go a bit over-the-top,” he laughs. “The S65 only weighs 15lb more than the N54 so the factory balance was still spot-on, but after a little while I swapped the motor out for a Dinan 4.6-litre stroker motor.” Well, you know what they say about how power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely. Marco seems to be pretty happy about that.


    “It really is my perfect BMW and I couldn’t be happier,” he beams. “I enjoy the car at the track, taking it to the major BMW West Coast events, rallies, and simply staring at it in my garage! It’s a car that when people see it at events, they stop and look at it – often for a long period of time. Even with the old-skool purists; I’ve received a lot of compliments from the older, more traditional BMW crowd.” This makes sense really, as it is a pure BMW at heart: a focused driver’s machine, and with nearenough undiluted factory DNA under the skin. It just happens to be suffering a smidge of body dysmorphia, that’s all.


    Again, this can be the price of notoriety. Marco’s car has always enjoyed the internet spotlight, from its early PR tie-in with Revozport to those fledgling days on the show scene before the hungry swarm of smartphone lenses, to Performance Technic’s high-profile endeavours to make the first V8-powered E82 in the USA. Then there was its triumphant Bimmerfest showcase on the Toyo stand, the countless online profiles, the numerous show awards, the online video reviews espousing its virtues as ‘the best BMW you could possibly build at any price’, the Time Attack entries, the world-first stroked S65 conversion… this car lives in a fishbowl, its every move observed and analysed. And every barbed comment that curveballs toward it gets knocked out of the park.

    We’ll leave the final thought to Performance Technic founder Joey Gaffey: “This car is a project that we all kinda fell in love with. It’s a project we thought was probably something the engineers at BMW Motorsport thought of themselves…” And that, in essence, is the thinking behind Marco’s original idea for the madcap swap, and also why the purists love this impure creation. It’s a car that #BMW should have built. Thanks to the ingenuity of these fellas, it now actually exists, albeit as a one-off. The internet demanded results, and it got ’em. What a time to be alive.

    I enjoy the car at the track, taking it to events and simply staring at it in my garage!


    DATA FILE 4.6 #V8 #BMW-135i / #BMW-135i-E82 / #BMW-E82 / #BMW-135i-V8-E82 / #BMW-135i-V8 / #BMW-135i-S65 / #BMW-135i-Dinan / #BMW-135i-Dinan-S65 / #BMW-135i-Dinan-S65-E82 / #BMW-1-Series / #BMW-1-Series-E82 / #BMW-E82-Dinan / #BMW / #CAE-Ultra / #VAC-Motorsports /

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION Dinan 4.6-litre stroker #S65 / #BMW-S65 / #S65B46 #V8 / #S65-Dinan / , #BPM-Sport custom tune with 8600rpm redline, #iND custom plenum, Dinan intake, Dinan pulley, VAC-Motorsports baffled sump, #Black-Forest engine mounts, #Akrapovic axle-back exhaust, custom X pipe, #Braille 21lb battery, CAE Ultra shifter, OEM M3 differential

    CHASSIS 10x18” (front) and 10.5x18” (rear) ET25 HRE 43 wheels with 265/35 (front) and 275/35 (rear) Toyo R888 tyres, M3 front and rear subframes including suspension and axles, #PSi-Öhlins Raceline coilovers, #Racing-Dynamics anti-roll bars, #Dinan-Monoball kit for front control arms, #Bimmerworld rear wishbones, Dinan adjustable toe arms, Turner MS transmission bushings, #Turner-MS aluminium subframe and diff bushings, Dinan carbon fibre strut braces, #Stoptech-Trophy-BBK with 380mm (front) and 355mm (rear) discs, OEM GT4 brake ducts

    EXTERIOR Full 1M body conversion, Revozport 1M Raze bonnet, boot and lip, carbon fibre roof, splitter with APR splitter supports, diffuser and GTS wing, Macht Schnell tow straps


    INTERIOR #BMW-Performance V1 steering wheel, gaiters and carbon fibre trim, #BMW-1M-E82 armrest delete, #Recaro-Profi-SPA seats, #Revozport #BMW-1M Raze doorcards with Alcantara inserts, P3 vent gauge, OEM 1M Anthracite headlining and pillars (for sunroof delete), #TC-Design harness bar, #Schroth six-point harnesses, #VAC hardware and floor mounts, Alumalite rear close-off panel


    THANKS Joey Gaffey, Matt Medeiros, Wing Phung and the rest of the team at #Performance-Technic , Charles Wan at Revozport, Mike Benvo at BPM Sport, Stan Chen at ToyoTires, Jason Overell at Targa Trophy, DTM Autobody and Sam at AutoTalent
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    SIMPLE PLEASURES Finely-honed 400hp 1M

    Man, machine, open roads, fulfilment. That’s pretty much the formula for happiness, is it not? Ah, if only life were so simple… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Peter Wu.

    All you really need to know is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place.’ So wrote Douglas Adams, and he was a man of sufficient wisdom to have a decent handle on such matters; the world and everything in it (not to mention all the things outside of it) are so mind-numbingly crammed with incomprehensible minutiae that when you start to consider the logic of anything beyond what you’re having for dinner or which Kardashian’s up the duff this week, it can get a little overwhelming. What we need is simplicity. Clarity. Binary black-and-whiteness. And in the case of this crisp and clinical 1M, simplicity is exactly what you get.

    It is what it is, and nothing more – no complexity, no ambiguity, just a snapshot… …except, no, that’s not actually the case at all. It’s a cunning illusion, an exercise in smoke-and-mirrors shadow play. “Many people can’t tell what came with the car and what I’ve added,” says owner Manu Sethi.

    “I take that as a compliment, because the goal was to always keep the car looking OEM, even after such heavy modifications.” Part of this is thanks to the obscurity of the 1M itself, of course – they’re such a rare sight that most onlookers don’t know what they’re seeing in the first place, let alone that it’s a rambunctiously tweaked example. And this is all just the latest in a long line of BMW affection for Manu. “I’ve had a love for BMWs all my life,” he enthuses. “My first car was an E36 M3 – I had to take two jobs to afford that car, and I was happy to do it. I had a smile on my face every day I drove it! And I’ve gone through a number of BMWs along the way, from 3 Series to 7 Series. I have a deep love for the brand. My next BMW will surely be a European Delivery, it’s been an unfulfilled dream for far too long.”

    Manu’s is a bona fide success story, going from those early days of working two jobs to afford the used car he desired to the present day situation that finds him with a gleaming new Lamborghini Huracán on his drive, bullishly flanked by his Audi R8 V10 and his Mercedes E-Class. But while it’s simple enough to stroll into a Lambo dealer and pick up the latest exotic ride, tracking down something as obscure as a 1M isn’t quite so easy…

    “I bought the car brand-new in 2011 and, like most 1Ms, it was not an easy find,” he recalls. “I got lucky, really – I drove all the way out to Las Vegas to get mine; the dealer was initially allocated eight cars and ended up only getting two! I was fortunate enough to buy one of them – number 88 out of North America’s allocation of 740. The model was rare to begin with, and its scarcity is only increasing. From day one my car has garnered plenty of attention. Leaving the gym one time, a guy said to me ‘Is that a 1M? How the hell did you get a 1M? You must’ve had to sell your left nut!’ Lucky for me that was not the case!”

    Manu’s right when he says that the scarcity of 1Ms is increasing – global economic instability has seen people investing in cars like never before over the last half-decade or so, and anything that fuses quality and desirability with lowvolume obscurity is firmly in the crosshairs of the speculators. More than a few 1Ms have been wrapped up in cotton wool and locked away in private collections, making the disheartening shift from driver’s plaything to investor’s cash cow. Thankfully, however, some people bought them because they actually wanted to use them. And in Manu’s case, that was only the beginning.

    “I was excited by the idea of the project,” he says. “I wanted to make a limited car even more limited. But I bided my time to ensure everything was right; I waited two years before I hit the mods hard. The idea was to wait until every aftermarket company released parts for the 1M, and then pick and choose what I thought was the best. As you can see, the build list comprises many different brands. No compromises were made. The BMW Performance seats are a case in point: by the time I was ready to make the purchase, I was notified that they had been discontinued. It was a struggle to locate a brand-new set but the project wouldn’t have been complete without them. After an exhaustive search I got the very last set and they were worth every penny.”

    Manu’s approach is founded in a refreshingly honest appraisal of the car, one which may be anathema to some of you but will resonate strongly with the values of others: that the 1 Series isn’t exactly a looker. That’s not to say it’s a fugly mess by any means but it’s arguably not as cohesive as, say, an E9x – the swoop and flow of the bonnet into the wings, the banana-shaped sills, to some eyes it all seems a bit fairground. To others, naturally this suggests brilliant uniqueness and visual drama, and we’re not going to argue with that either. It’s all about perspective.

    “The M division definitely helped out with the looks on the 1M, but still there was a lot lacking,” reckons Manu. “In modifying the car, I paid attention to the existing lines and made sure to stay consistent with them. For example, the flat-bottom, half curved headlights were specifically designed with the lines of the car in mind. Similarly, the Revozport bonnet, the radial stripes on the tyres, and the BBS FIs were also chosen to complement the curves on the car.” This is all in-keeping with his optical-illusion approach, he’s basically just toying with people’s perceptions. It works brilliantly.
    The game plan wasn’t purely aesthetic, either. Manu was keen to build on the mighty drivetrain of the 1M to create something that’d truly earn its place in his stable of supercars; as such, the feisty N54 now sports freer-flowing Akrapovic pipes, a GruppeM intake, a Forge intercooler, and various other natty little tricks in order to crank that peak performance figure up to something that begins with a four. And while he has almighty respect for the M Division’s chassis-honing abilities, you’ll find a certain forthright reworking underneath the skin too, principally in the form of Öhlins Road & Track coilovers and a Brembo Type III bigbrake upgrade.

    “I definitely hit a few hurdles in the course of the build,” Manu admits. “Even though I went with top-notch brands, things still went wrong. You have to expect this when you’re dealing with aftermarket modifications! It’s part of the journey. Through the process I gained a lot of knowledge of the 1M and cars in general; moreover, I forged invaluable relationships along the way. At the end of the day, you’re dealing with people. Sometimes products don’t fit or perform like they should but what makes a company great is the people that stand behind it – that’s what you pay extra for, the service.

    “The 1M really is a fun little pocket rocket, but practical at the same time. The rear seats can comfortably fit two and the boot is spacious; I don’t use the car as my daily driver but I certainly don’t baby it either – it goes on the canyons and on the track. It’s a hoot to drive! At times it can be scary, unforgiving even, but it’s always a thrill. It’s the immense amount of torque attached to a short wheelbase that makes it a hooligan!”

    Mission accomplished, then – Manu’s created a perky little foil to the biggerbrother supercars, and achieved his goal of tricking the eye of many an onlooker. While the 1M may look relatively stock to the casual observer, the robust spec list certainly suggests otherwise. So where does he go from here? “Oh, one is always tweaking to achieve perfection,” he says, a twinkle in his eye and a mischievous grin curling the corners of the mouth. “I have some plans, just wait and see.” We guess we’ll be needing to keep an eye on his Instagram page (@msethi88). This illusion of simplicity could soon break whole new realms of complexity.

    “I wanted to make a limited car even more limited”

    “The build list comprises many brands. No compromises were made”

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-1M-Coupé-E82 / #BMW-1M / #BMW / #BMW-E82 / #BMW-1-Series-E82 / #BMW-1-Series / #BMW-1M-E82 / #N54B30TO / #N54B30 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 / #BMW-1M-Coupé-E82

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six twinturbo N54B30TO, #GruppeM intake, #Forge intercooler, Forge dump valves, #Evolution-Racewerks chargepipe, full stainless steel #Akrapovic exhaust system with cat-less downpipes, BMS oil catch can, #Cobb-V3 with #PTF custom map, six-speed manual gearbox. 400hp

    CHASSIS 9.5x19” (front) and 10.5x19” (rear) #BBS / #BBS-FI-R forged alloys with 255/35 (front) and 275/35 (rear) Michelin Pilot Supersport tyres, MRG titanium race studs, M valve caps, Öhlins Road & Track coilovers, Brembo-Type-III-BBK / Brembo

    EXTERIOR Revozport carbon fibre bonnet, OSS DTM headlights, lightweight carbon fibre front lip, Dinmann carbonfibre side skirts, Vorsteiner carbon fibre diffuser, BMW carbon fibre spoiler, BMW carbon fibre mirror caps, BMW Blackline tail-lights, Macht Schnell tow straps, XPEL clear wrap protectant film and stripes, WeissLicht LED indicators

    INTERIOR #BMW-Performance pedals and footrest, LED interior lights, BMW electronic #Performance-V2 steering wheel, illuminated gear knob, BMW Homelink/Compass rearview mirror, BMW Euro visors, M handbrake handle, BMW Performance seats, Euro foglight switch enabled, carbon fibre centre console, Euro MDM
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  •   Bob BMW reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    POWER OF ONE

    The 1M is great, but there’s always room for improvement. A 1M in Valencia orange is as subtle as a house brick to the head, and with a few restrained but well-chosen tweaks, the madness can be harnessed and further exploited… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Chris Teagles.


    Brand tie-ins in the automotive sphere don’t always work the way the marketing men hope they might. A few years ago, Fiat employed fashion house Diesel to apply a new styling pack to the 500, but it didn’t occur to anybody in the product planning meetings that writing ‘Diesel’ on a car might make people think it had a diesel engine. In the 1990s, VW stickered up a load of Mk3 Golfs with the logos of various bands; namely Bon Jovi, Pink Floyd, and The Rolling Stones. It wasn’t obvious why, and didn’t demonstrate any market research into customer demographics. Then we have the broader appropriation of aspirational names – look how Ford took the historic and revered name of the Ghia carrozzeria and turned it into nothing more than a spec level on its everyday hatchbacks (it’s doing it again right now with Vignale, for shame…).


    The route to success in this area is for automotive marques to tie-in with one another. History is studded with such successful collaborations – the recent Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ, for example, showed two manufacturers working together with a clear common goal. We’ll ignore the Alfa Romeo Arna, though – also badged as the Nissan Cherry Europe, it featured Japanese design and Italian engineering which is surely the wrong way round?


    Now, BMW has form with supplying engines for some pretty spicy machinery – there’s the McLaren F1, of course, and all those oddball Wiesmann roadsters and Morgans, and if you cut any modern Rolls- Royce in half you’ll find Bavarian propellers spilling out of the wounds. And back in the late 1970s, BMW had a naughty little dalliance with Lamborghini…

    The story goes that the two companies entered into an agreement for the Sant’Agata firm to build a BMW-badged production race car plus its necessary homologation road models, but the deal was mired in disputes and BMW ended up building it itself. Named the ‘M1’, it was the firm’s first mid-engined production car, featuring an M88 motor, ohso- Seventies wedge styling and, for some reason, two BMW badges on the back… Long story short, the point of all this is that the M1 name was taken. So when we fast-forward to 2004 and the advent of the fresh new 1 Series, there were presumably one or two scratched heads in the product planning meetings. There were clearly many forms to fill out and pencils to sharpen and what-have-you, but by 2010 BMW was ready to announce a bona fide M-developed variant of the 1 Series, which would go by the natty name ‘1 Series M Coupé’. Tricky, as it didn’t quite fit in with the M3/M5/etc structure, but it couldn’t have people confusing it with a 1970s supercar, could it…?

    Don’t lose any sleep over it though, as everyone just calls it ‘1M’ now, which is much simpler. So, what exactly is the 1M? Well, it’s a car that was originally supposed to be limited to a global production run of 2700 units, but people seemed to quite like it, so by the time production ended in 2012 they’d sold 6309 of them. The principle was simple: take an E82 coupé shell and significantly widen the track. Bulk out the wings to match, and shove on a set of wide 19” wheels. Throw in a tweaked version of the proven N54 twin-turbo motor (okay, an M car would normally have a bespoke engine rather than a reworked unit from elsewhere in the model range, but let’s not split hairs), and bolt it to the only true transmission to appeal to the discerning petrolhead: a sixspeed manual with an LSD out back. Paint it in a lurid shade and the job’s a good ’un.


    The plan worked too, as the 1M has become a genuinely sought-after, aspirational model, its limited-run status – there were just 450 built for the UK market – meaning that as many are being bought for investment purposes as are out having their necks wrung on road and track. Its £40k retail price made it expensive for a 1 Series, but really quite cheap compared to a Porsche Cayman S, which it could happily run rings around in the right hands. 335hp was pretty handy in a car that weighed just 1495kg, allowing it to hit 60 in 4.8 seconds, and you got all sorts of fun toys like the MDM button (for the stability and traction systems) and the M button (for throttle response). Gamified, next-gen stuff.

    How does one improve upon perceived perfection, then? Don’t fiddle with it too much, that’s the answer. “I bought this car as an investment,” says Ben Mason, owner of Deutsch Tech in Milton Keynes. “This is a future collectors’ item, and the values are already rising.” That doesn’t mean he’s been able to restrain himself from tinkering it with a bit. It’s hard to stop yourself, isn’t it? The urge to personalise, customise, hone and refine is just too strong.

    “Sure, I’ve made a few changes, but I only use bolt-on parts and keep all the originals safely tucked away to be reinstalled in the future if need be,” he explains. Very sensible approach, that. After all, a collectable driver’s car is still a driver’s car. It’d be a shame to wrap it in cotton wool and mothball it for future profit; the way to score a win-win is to enjoy driving the hell out of the thing, then sell it to a collector in the future. Logical, no?

    Ben is a man whose credentials in the BMW tuning scene are strong. Having established Deutsch Tech along with a business partner, Lenny, around four years ago, the company has today developed into a full-house institution for performance upgrades, engine building, custom parts, you name it. The 1M is Ben’s own car, and between them, he and Lenny can count an F10 M5, a GT2 RS-converted Porsche 911, the fabled DT550 (that’s the company demonstrator) and an E46 M3 with a whacking great supercharger, humungous roll-cage and super-intelligent chassis among their examples. The fellas can often be spotted at the Nürburgring in the DT550, and this in some way informs the usage of the minty-fresh 1M.

    “Of course I’ve taken the 1M to the ’Ring,” Ben laughs. “It’s an investment, sure, but it’s a driver’s car first and foremost. I fitted the aftermarket suspension mainly for its ride height benefits, although I must admit I’ve been very impressed with the manner in which it’s transformed the car’s handling.”

    The suspension in question is a set of KW coilovers – but not just any old set. No, this is its fancy new DDC system; standing for Dynamic Damping Control, this is a gizmo that allows the driver to adjust the stiffness of the dampers via an iPhone app. There’s also a retrofit button that you can see subtly fitted to the interior – push to make it glow blue and you’re in ‘comfort’, push again and it turns purple for ‘sport’, and push once more for the red light that indicates ‘sport plus’. “It’s a nice feature,” Ben grins, rather downplaying the awesomeness of it all. And yes, it can all be unplugged and swapped out for the stock 1M setup that’s packaged up in neat bubble wrap in the loft. Future speculators may sleep easy.

    Ben’s also decided to run a Forge intercooler, which the company claims has the twin benefits of reducing temperatures by up to 30 degrees centigrade while also being an easy-fitment part that you can install at home in under an hour. This was a no-brainer for Ben as it all hooks up to the original pipework. Where’s the OEM intercooler?

    That’s right, packaged up alongside the factory suspension. And soon to join that growing pile of standard parts is the entire exhaust system. “We’re currently developing our 1M downpipes and full stainless exhaust, which will be fitted to this car as a branded Deutsch Tech system,” he explains.

    The final piece of the puzzle is the aesthetics, which, of course, #BMW has already got spot-on – the wide track, those broad, staggered 19s, the bulging arches, the copious vents, it looks utterly superb as-is.

    But given Ben’s keenness for performance, the odd carbon fibre addition wouldn’t go amiss, eh? “The car’s wearing our own Deutsch Tech carbon front splitter,” he says, and it seems to have given him a bit of taste for such things. “There’s a few other bits on order too – carbon mirror caps, rear diffuser, rear lip spoiler…” See, this is why it’s fun to let the investment cars go to petrolheads instead of dry, stuffy accountant-collectors – they can’t stop mucking about with them, it’s an irresistible compulsion. They also can’t help driving them. “The car gets out and about to a lot of shows and events, where it always generates a fair amount of attention,” says Ben. “I think that comes down to the colour, and how rare it is.”

    A further benefit is the fact that it rolled out of the factory pre-modified – with the M eggheads having stirred every conceivable desirable ingredient into this rich stew, there’s not a lot that really needs to be added in order to improve the flavour. But rest assured, Ben’s analytical eye and fervour for the aftermarket will ensure that he keeps picking away at it, making it better. And sure, he’ll make a killing when he ultimately sells it to a moneyed collector… but in the meantime, he’s just enjoying the car as much as he can. Sideways. Very quickly. Because that’s what it’s for.

    DATA FILE #Deutsch-Tech / #BMW-1M-E82 / #BMW-1M / #BMW-1M-E82 / #BMW-1M-Deutsch-Tech-E82 / #BMW-E82 / #BMW-E82-Deutsch-Tech / #BMW-1-Series / #BMW / #BMW-1-Series-M-Coupé / #BMW-1M-Coupé-E82

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo #N54B30TO / #N54 / #BMW-N54 , #Forge-intercooler , six-speed manual, LSD

    CHASSIS 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) OEM 1M wheels with 245/35 (f) and 265/35 (r) Michelin Pilot Sport tyres, #KW-DDC coilovers with iPhone adjustment control

    EXTERIOR Valencia orange, Deutsch Tech carbon fibre front splitter

    INTERIOR Stock 1M, DDC control button
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