- Post is under moderationMASTERCHEF
Simple on the outside, exciting on the inside, this sexy Aegean blue E30 has been treated to a 3.2 S50-swap.
SLICK S50 E30
Awesome 3.2-litre two-door. With some seriously tasty mods and an S50 under its carbon bonnet, owner Nicholas Arnold has rustled up one cooking E30. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Matt Woods.
Could the E30 be the most engine-swapped #BMW of all time? Judging by the number of feature cars we run that have been fitted with something other than their standard engine, it’s got to be up there. While V8s are a great and popular choice, sometimes you’re just not in the mood and fancy something more traditional where the 3 Series is concerned, like a howling, high-output straight-six, and that’s exactly what we’ve got here.
Chef Nicholas Arnold is its custodian and the man behind the swap. He’s no stranger to modified cars and BMWs, having worked his way up from a Vauxhall Nova 1.2 through to a selection of Hondas, including an EG Civic that he performed a full DC2 conversion on, and on to a number of BMWs, starting with an E34 525i (as it was cheap and RWD), and including a previous E30, which met an untimely end… “I wrote it off on black ice and I just felt I had to own another one. I found this car on eBay, located in Scotland – it was in good condition and had just had a respray,” says Nicholas. There was also the small matter of it already being endowed with an M52 under the bonnet. “It had a straight-through exhaust, was on cheap Jom coilovers and had an open diff. I changed the inlet manifold and ECU before making bigger plans,” he says – those plans being the swapping in of a more potent powerplant.
“I put a S50B32 in it as the M52 wasn’t fast enough,” explains Nicholas. “I bought new AKG engine mounts, custom wiring loom, aluminium triple core radiator, Ramair air filter, got a custom-built manifold, ACL race bearings, ARP con rod bolts, M3 3.0-litre oil pump with an E34 baffle sump and a Simons race silencer with a full stainless steel system. It took me six months to put together all the parts for the build and a week’s-worth of work to put it all together. The only problems I had was the servo had to be moved across by 45mm and I had to have a brake linkage bar made up.”
They say that the waiting is the hardest part and we have no doubt that was definitely the case here as six months to go from capable M52 to 321hp of ferocious #S50B32 goodness must have felt like an age. Let’s not beat about the bush here – the E36 M3 Evo is not a slow car, so just having that rev-hungry lump in the lightweight surroundings of an E30 would result in an absolute rocket ship. But that’s not all, the transmission has also been beefed-up to suit and there’s a five-speed Getrag ’box mated to an E34 M5 Sachs clutch with a 4.5kg billet steel flywheel, E36 propshaft and an E36 2.8 LSD in an E30 medium diff case.
With some serious power on tap, Nicholas turned his attention to the chassis as it needed some upgrades to be able to cope with the massive increase in engine. “I went for a set of BC Racing coilovers as they’re mid-range and suitable for road and track, Purple Series polybushes with E30 M3 lollipop bushes, again suitable for both roadand track-use, fitted all-new drop links, H&R uprated anti-roll bars, Ultra Racing strut braces to stiffen the chassis and I also had the subframes powdercoated and the rear subframe reinforced due to the increase in power.” The car no doubt drives spectacularly and sits beautifully low. It just looks right, especially on its black 16” Rota Grid Vs, which tie in perfectly with the numerous black details across the bodywork, and make a change from the usual suspects when it comes to E30 wheel choice, as Nicholas explains: “I have the Rota Grid Vs as I like to be different. I also like the Jap, aggressive look rather than following the crowd and having Borbets or #BBS reps.” The wheels are wrapped in Toyo Proxes tyres and sit on a stud conversion, while Ferodo DS2500 pads and EBC discs sit behind the spokes.
In terms of looks, the E30 really doesn’t need much help – subtle is often best to enhance the styling and that’s definitely been the approach here. The Aegean blue paintwork looks stunning, rich and deep, and the unpainted carbon bonnet is no less gorgeous. Other exterior additions include an eyebrow, crosshair headlights and all-red tinted rear lights. The interior, on the other hand, has received a bit more attention, as Nicholas tells us. “The car started off with a plain standard non-Sport interior but I’ve always had Sport seats in my previous E30s and knew how comfy they were so wanted another set in this car.”
He spent months searching for a pair of Sport seats but, having drawn a blank, he changed tactic and bought a pair of OMP buckets instead. Of course, no sooner had he installed them in the E30 than a pair of chequered Sport seats appeared at a good price, so he snapped them up and got rid of the buckets. And, as luck would have it, a few weeks later a rear bench, complete with headrests, and in the same pattern, popped up so Nicholas jumped on it, so to speak, and in a very short space of time had put together a rather lovely Sport interior.
In addition to that he’s fitted a suederimmed #OMP steering wheel with snap-off boss, AC #Schnitzer short-shift gear knob plus a rear blind-equipped parcel shelf. It’s smart, clean, period and suits the rest of the car, with a few subtle hints to suggest that there’s more going on here than meets the eye. We are well and truly in love with Nicholas’ E30, he’s really built himself an amazing machine. From the outside it looks so right – the colour is stunning, the carbon bonnet is spectacular and it really delivers the perfect blend of subtlety and aggression, with no single element feeling over the top or out of place, and that too can be said about the engine. It sits in the bay perfectly, looking so at home, and it’s turned this E30 into an absolute weapon.
“The huge engine is my favourite mod on the E30,” smiles Nicholas, “because the car is very inconspicuous looking.” He’s going to keep it looking that way, too, when he carries on with the mods this year: “I plan to add some fatter tyres and beef up the brakes as I’m only currently running 2.5 brakes allaround with DS2500 pads and EBC discs which fade after a couple of minutes of hard driving, and supercharge it,” he says, which is really going to turn the heat up on this E30 and take it to the next level.
Gorgeous Aegean blue on the outside, sexy Sport seats on the inside.
The S50 fits perfectly in the E30 engine bay and took owner Nicholas a week of work to get it fitted and running.
The engine is my favourite modification on the E30 because the car is inconspicuous looking Nicholas Arnold.
DATA FILE #BMW-E30-S50 / #BMW-E30 / #BMW / #Rota-Grid
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S50B32 / #S50 / #BMW-S50 from E36 M3 Evo, #ACL race bearings, #ARP con rod bolts, #Ramair filter, Millers Nano Drive oil, custom manifold and steering linkage, Simons race silencer and full stainless system with single dolphin tip, custom plug and play wiring loom, #AKG engine mounts, M3 3.0-litre oil pump, E34 sump, sump baffle.
TRANSMISSION Five-speed #Getrag gearbox, #Racing-Dynamics short shift kit, E34 M5 Sachs clutch with 4.5kg billet steel flywheel, E36 prop, E36 2.8 LSD in E30 medium diff case.
CHASSIS 8x16” (front and rear) black #Rota-Grid-V wheels with 195/40 (front and rear) Toyo Proxes T1-R tyres, stud conversion, fully polybushed except Z3 diff bush, #H&R anti-roll bars, #BC-Racing coilovers, #Ultra-Racing strut braces, M3 eccentric lollipop bushes, reinforced rear subframe, E30 91mm brakes and hubs, #Ferodo-DS2500 pads, #EBC discs.
EXTERIOR Respray in Aegean blue, Lite Tuned carbon fibre bonnet, crosshair headlights, eyebrows, red tinted rear lights.
INTERIOR Chequered Sport cloth interior, OMP steering wheel with snap off boss, #AC-Schnitzer short-shift gear knob, rear blind parcel shelf.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWOLF WHISTLE #VW-Lupo / #Volkswagen-Lupo / #Volkswagen / #VW / #Volkswagen-Lupo-Turbo
The word ‘Lupo’ is Latin for ‘wolf’ and this particular example is certainly wild in both its appearance and actions. Words: Louise Woodhams Photos: Matt Woods.
“I think the most fun moment I’ve had in this Lupo was upsetting a Ferrari F430 driver who thought he could get away. It’s hardly stock-looking in Porsche GT3 green and with a stripped and caged interior, but people are still shocked to hear it has 393bhp, and that’s before the use of the nitrous oxide,” explains Jamie Jackson with a wry grin on his face.
That wasn’t a misprint by the way; the GTI Lupo’s 1.6-litre engine in standard guise pushes out 125bhp, which means Jamie has managed to triple its power output. If we take the manufacturer’s quoted kerb weight figure of 960kg, this Lupo has an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 409hp per ton. The nearest comparison to that is a Ferrari F50. Interestingly the owner of that aforementioned Fezza has 342hp per tonne at his disposal, and no doubt spent five times as much as Jamie.
So, whilst the haters are going to hate (supercar owners and the purists who object to the outlandish colour scheme and Mk4 Golf 1.8T engine), they can’t deny it’s one crazy machine. In terms of nutty Lupos, we’ve only featured a few: Richard Baron’s (of Venom Motorsport fame) lime green project with the same conversion in the June 2004 issue, followed by a bright red one with an Edition 30 2.0-litre TFSI engine exactly ten years later. So modified Lupos of this calibre aren’t exactly common. But what made Jamie go for VW’s baby? “I saw this Lupo GTI on an online salvage auction going really cheap it was just too good to turn down,” explains Jamie. “I fancied something different and at that time there weren’t many Lupos with the 1.8T engine. It just made sense to make something with a bit of wow factor,” he continued. The Lupo GTI has often been labelled by press as the true successor to the first generation Golf – one of the first true hot hatches, so it’s easy to see why Jamie fell for it.
The 2003 silver car, with just 38k on the clock, was bought from Doncaster Motor Spares (now Motorhog) back in 2006 for just £2750. Having been involved in a front end smash, the first job was to get it repaired before Jamie could move onto the exterior styling. “Prior to seeing the GTI I’d already bought a 1.4 8v Lupo as a project car so I had some parts already stockpiled, such as the wide arches. They’re not something that appeals to most GTI owners but modifying is all about being different, right?” Damn right, Jamie.
In addition, the numberplate and handles were smoothed from the front bumper and door respectively to help it give it a much cleaner look together with an Mk5 Golf boot handle and Cambridge Edition tail-lights. The distinctive Porsche colour is perfect for this car, after all it’s got to have to the show to match the go. The gloss black lips and bronze centres of the 7.5x16” (front) and 9x16” (rear) Klutch SL1 alloy wheels provide the perfect contrast to the bright green. The respray was actually one of the last jobs to be carried out. It was previously white and apparently it got nowhere near as much attention as it does now.
Inside the colour theme continues with the Audi RS6-style seats retrimmed in green and black leather, together with the doorcards and the SW Motorsport roll-cage painted to match the bodywork. To complete the track-look stripped-out interior, the dash and trim panels have been professionally flocked in black and the standard steering wheel swapped out for an OMP item. Playing a functional part is a Gizzmo Electronic Boost Controller, along with Defi gauges to keep a check on what is happening under the bonnet.
Talking of which, the 1.8T engine conversion, which is often complimented for looking so factory, was completed in 2008, by which point Jamie was hankering for more than what the GTI could provide. It isn’t hard to make more power from the 1.8T even with a basic ECU remap, which in this case was performed by RS Tuning, but Jamie decided to go more advanced, stretching the engine’s displacement and beefing-up the lower end at the same time with forged Wossner pistons and stronger PEC Rods. To make the most of these mods, he upgraded to a larger Garrett GT2871 turbocharger and Nortech Tubular exhaust manifold. Bigger injectors and a three-inch exhaust system also help to increase power, together with a Nitrous Express front-mounted intercooler kit.
And how does something with that much power feel? “The first time I took the car on the road straight after the engine had been dropped in I knew once fully mapped it would be an absolute beast! It does feel a little front-end heavy compared to having the stock engine but the way it handles the power is great. The Quaife LSD definitely helps. I also felt a great sense of achievement!”
To withstand the higher RPM conditions ACL race bearings and Vibratec engine mounts have been employed, whilst transmission-wise the gear ratios have been modified to mirror that of a diesel in third, fourth and fifth, and the aforementioned much-needed differential fitted. With all of that extra power, the chassis needed attending to as well. To that end the brakes have been upgraded to #G60 calipers, EBC discs and pads, whilst the suspension has been swapped out for Spax coilovers with Powerflex bushes.
By selling the GTI engine and gearbox, together with parts from the donor Golf, 29-yearold Jamie has managed to stick to a fairly reasonable budget and as the owner of Performance Direct he was able to source all of the parts as well as carry out most of the modifications – bar the bodywork, flocking and retrim– himself. “It’s been a bit of an ongoing project but it’s finally near to the way I wanted it to be. The engine conversion is just awesome – it really puts a smile on my face when I upset the owners of really expensive cars!”
Of course, if he really wants to cause a few tears, he’s always got his 600bhp Mitsubishi Evo 6 to fall back on, but it’s the Lupo that puts a smile on Jamie’s face more. Everything about is this car is just so right; lightweight with a big screaming engine and polarising styling. It may be little but by heck it deserves a big spotlight.
Huge roll-cage, buckets, gauges, and OMP wheel give some insight in to what this little Lupo is capable of.
ENGINE: #AGU-1.8T with #Garrett / #Garrett-GT2871 turbocharger, #Tial wastegate with external screamer pipe, Nortech tubular manifold, three-inch exhaust system, 560cc injectors, #Wössner pistons, #PEC rods, nitrous express front mount intercooler kit, #ACL race bearings, #K&N Cone Filter, #Vibratec engine mounts. #02J five-speed box with diesel third, fourth and fifth gear ratios.
CHASSIS: 7.5x16” (front) and 9x16” (rear) #Klutch SL1 alloy wheels shod in 195/40 and 215/40 Toyo T1R tyres respectively, #Spax coilovers and #Powerflex bushes, G60 calipers, EBC discs and pads.
EXTERIOR: Custom wide arches, smoothed front bumper and doors, Mk5 Golf boot handle, Cambridge Edition lights, resprayed in Porsche GT3 green.
INTERIOR: RS6-style seats and doorcards retrimmed in green and black leather, roll-cage painted in Porsche GT3 green, flocked dash and trim panels, Defi gauges (60mm up to 2bar of boost), Gizzmo boost controller.
SHOUT: All the guys who work for me at #Performance-Direct especially Matt And Foxy , everyone who’s helped out over the years to put the car back together especially my dad, Andy, Streak, Dean, Mark and Richard at Unique Body and Paint, Paul and Andy at RS Tuning and Yorkshire Flocking.
AGU 1.8T boasts GT2871 blower, PEC rods, Wossner pistons and a Nortech manifold. The result? 393bhp, and that’s before the NOS is switched on!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationMKS MONSTER AUDI S3 8L
Methanol injected monster. With a double injection of methanol, this #MKS-Performance-S3 is the most powerful K04 hybrid 8L we know of – who says you need a big turbo…? Words Davy Lewis. Photography Adrian Brannan.
Everyone has their own way of doing things. From cooking your steak, to cleaning your car – you find a way that suits and you stick with it. And to a certain extent this extends to the world of performance tuning. There are many different ways to create more power and everyone has strong views on which is the best method.
For a forced induction car, there’s no doubt that increasing turbo efficiency is the most effective way to increase power. However, there’s more to it than simply bolting on the largest turbo you can find on eBay. Turbocharged engines present a particular set of challenges for tuners. The bottom end needs to be strong enough to handle the extra boost; the cooling system must be uprated to deal with the high temperatures created by harnessing the spent exhaust gasses; and supporting upgrades all need consideration including fuelling, airflow and engine management.
When Matt Shannon began tinkering with his S3, he had a very fixed idea of what he wanted to achieve. “I’d already owned a tuned Octavia VRS 4x4, which is basically the same car underneath,” he comments. Having a lot of experience with the ubiquitous 1.8 20v turbo unit, Matt decided to purchase an S3 to work on, although he admits, “I bought it behind my wife’s back.” Brave man.
The original plan was to rebuild the engine so that it would make 500bhp with a big turbo. But, at the last minute, he changed his mind. “It’s harder to achieve good power with a K04 hybrid, than with a big turbo,” he says. Which is why this particular BAM unit runs dual methanol injection. “The largest port injects it immediately after the intercooler to keep the charge temps down, while the second injects it immediately before the throttle body. This helps to cool the cylinders and also increase the octane rating, as well as keeping the exhaust gas temps at a safe level. “It effectively ‘steam cleans’ the engine,” smiles Matt. Should the meth run out, the map reverts to its lower state of tune at 280bhp to prevent damage.
An oil and gas engineer by trade, Matt has been building up MKS Tuning for a few years now. It was a part time job until redundancy gave him the push to go full time and the S3 has become his demo vehicle to showcase what can be achieved.
The engine itself has been fully blue printed – a highly skilled method of measuring oil clearances to indicate how much life is left in vital components. The stock pistons were deemed good enough to use, but were fully refurbed with new shells etc. You can see the detailed engine spec in the spec box later on, but it’s a comprehensive build that ensures the S3 can take 500bhp if Matt wishes to fit a big turbo at some stage.
Having done the entire build himself, the only outside help came in the form of the balancing (which requires highly expensive machinery) and the custom map. Badger5 took care of the map and have created a set up with five settings, from a low stressed 280bhp, right the way up to the full-fat 370bhp with methanol.
To get the power down, Matt has done away with the dual mass flywheel and fitted a meaty Loba single mass kit. There’s also a rare Haldex Blue controller, which allows power to be adjusted front to rear as required. With sticky Yokohama Parada Spec 2s, this fierce S3 lays down its ample power very effectively. Key to this is the nature of the K04 hybrid, which spools up quickly, delivering a linear response, rather than the big bang associated with a big turbo. The great thing about this precision build is that it is very drivable; the turbo kicks in at 3000rpm, so there’s always power there when you want it.
With the ability to hit 60mph from rest in around four seconds and some pretty lively in-gear acceleration, it’s easy to find yourself moving at a rapid rate of knots in this S3. Matt has wisely fitted some hefty stoppers in the form of D2 six-pots which clamp down on 356mm discs. Tucked up behind the timeless Rota Grids in a beefy 9.5x18, they do an admirable job of standing this S3 on its nose.
Now, it would have been easy to strip the interior and save weight, further improving the performance of this hard-charging S3, but Matt wanted to retain its usability. Inside it’s all very nice with stock electric, leather Recaros and Bose audio – so stripping it was never an option. There are some additions though. A Liquigauge unit has been mounted in the driver’s side air vent. This offers a multitude of functions, from checking essential EGT, boost and other data, to reading fault codes – there’s even a performance timer incorporated.
Pop the tailgate and you’ll find the plumbing and tank for the methanol injection kit, plus a battery. Both had to be relocated with an already tight engine bay, but sit neatly in the spare wheel well.
Outside, apart from the MKS company logos and the cut outs to the front bumper to maximise airflow, you’d think this was just another lightly tuned S3, possibly making 260bhp with a remap and performance exhaust. But once that needle hits 3000rpm, you’d realise it has serious potential – enough to keep up with a B7 RS4 and leave stock Evos wondering what just happened. As Matt says, it would have been straightforward to bolt on a large turbo, strip it out and create a big boosting monster. But that’s not the point. For him, this build was about doing things differently. Creating a powerful, but usable road car that retains its original character. The fact it still has the original 122k-mile block and uses a K04 hybrid makes it all the sweeter. It goes to show what a proper engineer’s approach to engine building can achieve.
SPECIFICATION #Audi-S3-8L / #Audi-S3 / #Audi-S3-MKS-Performance / #Audi-A3-8L / #Audi-A3
ENGINE: 1.8 20v turbo BAM with full #MKS-Performance rebuild and motorsport blue print, #Badger5 custom map, 5 map selectable programme, 370bhp & 364lb/ft max with power ranging down to 280bhp min, #Supertech Nitrate inlet and Inconel exhaust valves with HD springs and single grove collets, #BADGER5 V2.2 80mm turbo intake pipe with BMC induction filter and heat shield, BADGER5 V2 high-flow cast manifold with large port mod, BEACHBUGGY TURBO Stage 4 Hybrid K04 turbo also with B5 large port mod in hotside, AEB large port cylinder head, Supertech Nitrate inlet and Inconel exhaust valves with HD springs and single grove collets, 600x300x76mm Toyo sport type B front mount intercooler, Pipewerx 3in down pipe and custom 5in sports cat, #Milltek cat back exhaust, Devilsown dual port 100% methanol injection with solenoid upgrade and inline pressure gauge, DO3 injector post front mount intercooler and DO1 injector pre throttle body, 550cc Bosch injectors, IE Tuscan rods (rifle drilled), #ACL big end shells and #Mahle main shells, #ARP main and head stud kit, OEM pistons but new rings still at 81.5mm bore, full Forge coolant hose kit, Forge 008 DV, Draft45designs oil catch can with custom catch can system, N249 valve delete.
TRANSMISSION: Loba stage 2 single-mass flywheel kit, ECS metal clutch bleeder (must have for smf kit), #Haldex blue controller.
BRAKES: D2 356mm 6-pot brakes with drilled rotors
SUSPENSION: AP coilovers, adjustable rear control arms for camber control.
WHEELS AND TYRES: Rota Grid Drift, 9.5x18in, Yokohama Parada Spec 2 rubber.
EXTERIOR: 2x genuine #Audi front wings inc. bumper respray, cut out front bumper, black Audi badges, MKS graphics.
INTERIOR: Liquigauge (obd data screen) in D/S air vent, batt relocation to the boot, Devilsown 2.25gal race baffled meth tank in boot, boost, oil and meth pressure gauge’s with meth injection kill switch.
TUNING CONTACTS: MKS Performance www.mksperformance.co.uk Badger5 www.badger5.biz
Top: This S3 can shift Above: Would make a cool necklace for petrolheads!
Left: Liquigauge is neatly mounted Below Left: Go Go Juice aka methanol injection!
“The ability to hit 60mph from rest in around 4 seconds”
Above: D2 6-pots right: Battery and methanol tank in the spare wheel well.
Right Heat management is taken seriously Below: 1.8T look immaculate.
Above: 9.5in wide Rotas look great.
Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.