BUMP AND GRIND
Think of Indonesia and you probably don’t think of modified BMs, but this bagged E46 is one impressive machine. As we strive to bring you the best creations from around the world, we uncover #Drive-My
’s first Indonesian E46, and what a star it is. Words: Louise Woodhams. Photos: Muhammad Balbed.
I probably say this every year, but I can’t quite believe how quickly March has come around, it seemed like only yesterday I was seeing in the new year, and now we’re almost a quarter of the way into 2009… It will be Christmas soon. More worryingly, this month marks a rather significant chapter in my life – six years on Performance #BMW
, and what a long way it’s come in that time. I’m not just talking about the style and layout of the magazine but the content as well. Funnily enough, then Editor Greg Emmerson often complained of struggling to find enough BMWs in the UK to fill the magazine. Nothing’s changed there sadly, and whilst we still regularly turn to the States and Scandinavia for inspiration we’re now looking beyond the familiar European getaways to places like Finland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia to places in south east Asia including Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, the list goes on.
Hailing from Indonesia this car is no different, but when it comes to styling cues interestingly, there are some similarities to what we were seeing over half a decade ago. Wide-body conversions, for example, were commonplace back then but it was more Japinfluenced (think Mitsubishi Evo or Nissan Skyline R34) what with the influx of the Fast and the Furious-styled cars dominating the tuning scene. Fortunately rice rockets no longer have the same status, and rather than the in-yer-face, ill-fitting, garish-coloured body kits, it’s now more about being restrained yet unique at the same time. The arches on this 2000 318i for instance are custom creations extending 4cm up front and 6cm out back, and for owner Arief Wibowo, quality has been key throughout the build, as he explains: “Not a lot of people know how to properly modify a BMW in this country, they come up with their own designs but without looking at what other tuners or individuals are doing. I wanted to prove you can still be different but also win contests.”
Having bought it brand new and leaving it standard for five years, the modifying bug that was lying dormant (originally kickstarted by a stint with Hondas when he was studying in Melbourne, Australia, for eight years) finally took hold again. Contractor Arief takes up the story: “My partner (from Facelift workshop) and I thought long and hard about what to do with the exterior for a month, researching various magazines and websites before coming up with a design that we like to think is influenced by the European luxury car sector.” Over the next 18 months the transformation gradually began to take shape. M-Tech II bumpers and side skirts lent the car a more muscular appearance alongside those new meaty loins, which haven’t strayed too far from the E46’s original lines. Meanwhile a smattering of CSL-inspired carbon parts including a front lip, rear diffuser, roof and (genuine) boot lid adhere to current trends where mesh and chrome once dominated; where Lexus-style rear clusters would have perhaps sat are now M3 alternatives, thankfully.
Moving inside and only the best leather in Indonesia would do for Arief, and it also happens to be the only car with this colour hide in the country as well. Rich Bordeaux red in hue and enveloping the seats, centre console and doors, with the headliner colour-matched in Alcantara and the dash resprayed it really is a sumptuous place to be. Those Recaro A8 seats are a lovely addition, and as if they weren’t distinctive enough Arief’s invested in carbon backs to match the interior trim but only left a section in the middle exposed, respraying the rest in white to tie in with the exterior. An install in the boot, just as lovingly and sympathetically executed as the rest of the car makes it the complete show-winner. In fact the first event he attended, Hot Import Nights in Surabaya, he took home seven trophies including Best Sedan and Hottest European.
If you’ve got a good memory you’ll also recall it wasn’t that unusual to powdercoat the centre of your wheels, however, present fashion dictates you do the lips as well if you really want to stand out; a hint of the Orient you don’t mind embracing. Framed in Candy red with matt black spokes the Dronnel wheels work superbly against the crisp Super white paintwork and carbon weave. Believe it or not this is the second E46 318i to feature in DRIVE-MY with air-ride – an ever increasingly popular alternative to coilovers or lowering springs for that ultimate stance. It’s also meant that Arief has been able to fit the generously sized 20” wheels, measuring 9.5” in width up front, and a respectable 11” out back. “This is definitely my favourite modification, the roads in Indonesia are renowned for being terrible and I don’t want risk damaging the front bumper,” he explains.
Other chassis upgrades include a big brake kit from Brembo, unnecessary you might think for a 1.9 four-pot until you later learn of the M3 engine he was planning to stuff under the bonnet; was, being the operative word. “It’s hard to find any quality parts for BMWs in Indonesia, never mind the workmanship to fit them. Fortunately money’s not a problem for me and although I’ve got all the parts I need for the swap, many of which had to be imported, sadly no one has the skills required to undertake such a job,” reveals the 26-year-old.
Perhaps this is the reason why he’s now concentrating all his time and effort on his latest acquisition: a Nissan 350Z, although even he admits to finding it hard going from a European to a JDM car. What hasn’t changed is his passion for modifying – for him it’s more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle, a philosophy I think we all assign to. Our constant compulsion to innovate is no less strong than it was six years ago, trends and technologies may come and go but one thing’s for sure, we’ll never grow tired of seeking them out in that ever-ending quest to attract attention and distinguish ourselves from the crowd, whatever part of the world you live in.
THE FIRST EVENT HE ATTENDED, HOT IMPORT NIGHTS IN SURABAYA, HE TOOK HOME SEVEN TROPHIES
M-Tech II bumpers and side skirts lent the car a more muscular appearance alongside those new meaty loins.
DATA FILE #BMW-318i
ENGINE: 1.9-litre four-cylinder #M43
, GruppeM air intake, remap, carbon fibre engine, battery and switch cover
CHASSIS: 9.5x20” (front) and 11x20” (rear) #Dronnel
forged magnesium wheels with powdercoated matt black centres and anodised Red Candy lips shod in 235/45 and 275/35 Continental CS2 tyres. #Air-Lift
air-ride utilizing #H&R
shocks with Dakota digital ride height controller, carbon fibre suspension tube. Front #Brembo
GT Big Brake Kit including six-piston calipers and 335mm discs, rear #Brembo-GT
Big Brake Kit including four-piston calipers and 322mm discs
II front bumper, carbon fibre Arqray lip, side skirts and rear bumper with carbon fibre diffuser, Varis carbon fibre cooling bonnet, custom carbon fibre roof and #AC-Schnitzer
spoiler, custom front (with vents) and rear arches extended 4cm and 6cm respectively, M3 CSL boot lid, custom carbon fibre headlight inserts, M3 LED rear lights, full respray in Spies Hecker Super white
INTERIOR: Recaro A8 seats with carbon fibre backs resprayed white, carbon fibre interior trim, roof liner retrimmed in Alcantara, dashboard resprayed in Bordeux red, Hamann pedals, full retrim in Bordeux red leather
ICE: Clarion HX-D2 head unit, Scanspeak 9600 special edition tweeter and 15W/40 mid, Zapco DCS1000.4 and DCS750.6 amplifier, three X-tant 10” subwoofers, two Critical Mass Engineering 1.2 farad cap banks, Van Den Hull cables, install retrimmed in Bordeux red Alcantara
THANKS: God, my parents, wife Lita, Ultraman Kids, Mr Liangga Gunawan at Facelift Motorsport, Mr Cahyadi at RPM, Mr Chandra at Esprit Motorsport