Brutal 1014whp 3-Series E36 – terrifying twincharged
Making decisions is hard and having to make choices is unfair; for example, do you want a starter or do you want dessert? Well, why not both? See? Easy! And the same approach can be applied when modding.
For example: do you want a turbo or a supercharger? Also why not both? Hold on though, that’s one area where you kind of have to make a decision because, generally speaking, running both is rather complicated to execute. The logic is sound – you use a positive displacement supercharger to fill in at the bottom end, giving you instant monster torque when you touch the throttle, and then the big turbo goes to work at higher revs for massive power up top. Great in theory and awesome in practice, but there are very few examples out there, with the Lancia Delta S4 and VW 1.4 TSi engine being probably the two most notable ones. And yet, here we are looking at a home-brew twincharged E36 and it’s making over 1000whp. We love this car, and we love Andreas Blanksvärd for building it.
“I went for a simple, clean racing style in black and white, with the goals of safety and a proper driving position, and I did the cage and all mounts for the seats, pedals, steering wheel etc. myself”
Andreas is not some mad scientist engineer as you might be thinking – his day job is driving railway excavators – but he’s a man who knows his way around a car and who loves modifying and forced induction. That combined passion has resulted in the combined application of supercharger and turbo and the subsequent creation of the beast you see before you. Oh, and did we mention this happens to be not only his first BMW but also his first car? That’s not to say the 27-year-old Swede has just started driving, he’s been punishing the Swedish tarmac with all manner of monster machinery for years, but this was his first-ever motoring purchase, which makes the end result all the more significant on a personal level. “It all started when I was 17 and was going to buy my first car,” he explains. “I wanted rear-wheel-drive and the options in my budget where an old Volvo, Mercedes or BMW and the choice was pretty easy. I found this 328i with the M Tech kit for a really good price and I was hooked for life,” he grins and he’s not kidding. With the exception of an R34 Skyline GTT and a Dodge Ram, Andreas has been devoted to BMs ever since and his current stable includes an E36 320i drift car running a turbo’d M54B30 with 500hp and M3 drivetrain, and an immaculate E30 325i Convertible, which he owns with his dad and which they restored together.
“I rebuilt the entire front suspension myself (which required a lot of thinking and calculating), welded my own axles to get the steering angle and brakes that I wanted”
While he’s clearly no stranger to modding, he’s never attempted a project on this scale before and, when he bought the E36, ending up with a 1000whp firebreathing beast wasn’t part of the plan.
“I didn’t really have any plans; sure I had looked at big horsepower BMWs online but the plan was only to have fun in a beautiful BMW. Then I mounted a small supercharger to the 328 and after that the goal was 1000whp and the project started,” he grins and that’s got to be one of the quickest project escalations ever.
As Andreas says, it all started with that supercharger and around 300hp, followed by an auto’ to manual swap, and while he did want more power the supercharger was too small, so he bought himself a Garrett GT35 turbo with standalone management. All good, except for the fact that he only got to drive it on track once before a friend missed a gear and blew a hole in the engine… “After that the real stuff began and I started thinking about both a supercharger and turbo with a goal of 1000whp and the total rebuild was on,” he grins and that’s definitely a case of every cloud having a silver lining.
There’s a lot to take in with this E36 because it is an absolute monster that’s as much about bark as it is about bite, but if we’re going to start anywhere then it has to be with the engine. “The block is from an M50B25 with an M54B30 crank and forged rods and pistons,” explains Andreas, “and the head is from an M52 and has been ported and rebuilt with solid lifters to handle the 8500rpm limit, and is fitted with oversized valves. I have removed the Vanos due to the high lift and duration on the cams, which have a 290° intake duration and 11.55mm lift and 282° exhaust duration and 11mm lift. In order to handle the high revs an ATI crank damper had to be fitted, and there’s also a dry sump lubrication system. The turbo is a BorgWarner S400 SXE with an 82mm inducer and an 88mm exducer, and to get the turbo started I use an Eaton M122 supercharger running at about 1.3bar of boost,” he says. “Other fun parts are the S54 individual throttle bodies, custom-made plenum, charge pipes, mounts, turbo manifold, dry sump pan etc. and I use a Link G4 system along with a Race Technology dash to control the engine.”
That’s an awesome engine spec and the end result of that mad science is a frankly insane 1014whp and 795lb ft wtq, which is transmitted to the rear wheels via a GS653BZ six-speed manual from a 530d, with a custom-made propshaft to the 210 diff and upgraded driveshafts as well. Staring into this engine bay is like staring into a black hole itself, such is the sheer power contained within, and we have unlimited respect for Andreas for just how much work he has pumped into that unsuspecting M50 and the end result he’s achieved – it’s just breathtaking.
Now, as you can see, this E36 is no street sleeper and that’s because it was built with a specific purpose in mind. “The goal was to take the car drifting,” says Andreas, and that meant the suspension required some pretty serious upgrades to get it up to spec. “I rebuilt the entire front suspension myself (which required a lot of thinking and calculating), welded my own axles to get the steering angle and brakes that I wanted, moved the steering rack back and used an electric power steering kit to make room for the dry sump and supercharger, then built my own mounts inside the suspension towers to get the camber and caster that I wanted,” he says, so you can appreciate just how much work went into this build. Elsewhere you’ll find fully-adjustable arms with uniballs or solid aluminium bushes throughout the entire suspension and, as aesthetics also play an important part in all of this, Andreas has painted the front and rear suspension white so it looks nice under the car. His chosen coilovers are D2’s multi-adjustable Drift Series offerings, obviously the perfect choice for this application, while on the brake front you’ll find Brembo four-pots up front clamping 325mm discs and twin calipers and 315mm discs at the back. Of course, even with all that’s going on here you still need the right set of wheels to get the car looking perfect and Andreas’ choice is on point. “It was love at first sight with the Rondell 0058s,” he smiles, “and they are fairly cheap and easy to get as I need a lot of wheels for drifting. I have always wanted a beautiful set of 17” BBSs to have on the car when driving on the street and for car shows but haven’t got there yet,” he adds, but that’s no hardship as the 0058 is a great-looking wheel with loads of dish and it works really well on the E36.
So that’s the drift-based underpinnings dealt with but we also have to talk about the outrageous aero that this car wears, and it is absolutely covered in fins, wings and diffusers but none of this is for show, it’s all functional and all about delivering maximum downforce to assist Andreas in deploying all that power to the tarmac. “I just had a vision in my head of a really wide and angry-looking black E36, and I got a lot of inspiration from time attack cars,” he explains. “Most of the things are made by myself with help from my dad and friends, except for the carbon wing and canards – for the rear canards I actually had to make the moulds myself to get them the way I wanted, and in the pictures the lower front canards are missing,” which means this thing normally wears even more aero than you see here.
“There were no problems building the components but I have had some problems with the big front as it takes a lot of pressure and I broke the mounts,” says Andreas. “The entire front is mounted together so that it can be removed quickly using five push click mounts, and the cooling package is mounted together so it can be removed in a few minutes as well. The exterior is made to be really aggressive but it also works with a lot of downforce – below 200km/h (124mph) I have full grip on normal cheap street tyres and that’s running at full power,” he grins, which is seriously impressive stuff. As for his vision of creating a really wide and angry-looking E36, it’s mission accomplished as this machine is visually terrifying. It’s black on black on black, with that black bodywork enhanced by those custom-made pumped-up arches, blacked-out front and rear lights, black wheels and then there’s all that carbon and those outrageously angular aero elements. Cars really don’t get much more intimidating and aggressive than this.
Away from the wild exterior the interior is marginally more restrained and has been built with purpose in mind, but that’s not to say that making sure it looked good too wasn’t on the cards. “I went for a simple, clean racing style in black and white, with the goals of safety and a proper driving position,” says Andreas, “and I did the cage and all mounts for the seats, pedals, steering wheel etc. myself,” which comes as no surprise based on the amount of hands-on work that he’s applied to this E36 project. The interior has been completely stripped and the aforementioned monochrome colour scheme has been applied before Andreas added a full Group H rally cage, Momo seats with RRS four-point harnesses, Sparco steering wheel, the aforementioned Race Technology digi dash, along with a hydraulic handbrake. It’s exactly the sort of interior you’d expect to see in a build like this and is packed full of nothing but the best gear, reflecting the incredibly high standards throughout the entire car.
This E36 is an incredible machine, completely and utterly insane and we love it. This home-brew beast really is the very definition of built, not bought and the work that Andreas has poured into it over the past six years or so is truly astonishing and incredibly impressive. “It’s really hard to say what my favourite modification on the car is but it has to be the turbo and supercharger setup,” he grins and we don’t blame him as it make this car truly unique and special, as well as unreasonably powerful. Despite the sheer scale of this project, there are some things even Andreas couldn’t quite stretch to, like a billet block and crank with carbon pistons and billet head for even more boost and power, but we guess he’s just going to have to make do with only 1014whp as best he can for now… Of course, a mind that creates a car like this is never going to be one that will be easily satisfied and he’s already dreaming about the next project. “I would like to build my own tubular chassis E36 with an S54B32 twincharged engine,” he says, “but for now I will just do some smaller upgrades on the cars I have and try to get as much track time as possible for next year,” which sounds like a good plan to us and, with a 1014whp E36, we reckon he’s going to have a hell of a lot of fun.
DATA FILE Twincharged E36
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION M50B25 block, M54B30 crank with ATI damper, forged pistons and rods, M52 head, oversized valves, solid lifters, Cat Cams 290° 11.55mm lift and 282° 11mm lift cams, Weiss dry sump with Moroso tank and custom-made mounts and pan, custom-made 48mm turbo manifold, BorgWarner S400 SXE turbo with 82mm inducer and 88mm exducer, 4.5” downpipe, 3.5” custom stainless steel exhaust, Eaton M122 supercharger, S54 ITBs, custom-made plenum and supercharger/turbo valves, fuel cell, Speeding fuel system with SPD filter, fuel pressure regulator and all hoses/fittings, twin AEM 400lph fuel pumps, Nuke fuel rail, SPD vacuum station, Turbosmart dump valves and wastegates, Link G4 Extreme. GS653BZ six-speed manual gearbox from 530d, custom-made propshaft, 210mm diff, upgraded driveshafts
POWER AND TORQUE 1014whp and 795lb ft wtq
CHASSIS 8.5×18” (front) and 10×18” (rear) Rondell 0058 wheels with 235/40 (front) and 255/40 (rear) Federal 595 RS-R tyres, D2 Drift Series coilovers, custom axles, relocated steering rack, electric power steering kit, custom suspension mounts, fully-adjustable arms, uniballs and solid aluminium bushes throughout, Brembo four-piston calipers with 325mm discs (front) and twin calipers and 315mm discs (rear)
EXTERIOR Custom wide arches, fibreglass bonnet with carbon vents, fibreglass boot lid, custom carbon wing, carbon canards front and rear, custommade front splitter and rear diffuser to match wide-arches, bolt-in plastic windows, blacked-out head and rear lights, Benen IND towing hook
INTERIOR Fully-stripped, Group H rally cage, Momo seats, RRS four-point harnesses, Sparco steering wheel, Race Technology digital display, Innovate AFR gauge, AEM boost gauge, hydraulic handbrake, flocked dash
Momo seats and RRS harnesses. Sparco steering wheel and Race Technology display. Full Group H roll-cage 18” Rondell 0058s. SPD breather. Filters. One of the two Turbosmart dump valves. Boot-mounted fuel cell. Twin AEM 400lph fuel pumps. SPD fuel filter. Massive custom front splitter. Fibreglass bonnet with carbon vents. Custom wide arches and monster aero.