- Post is under moderationDOUBLE DIP #BMW-E46 / #BMW / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E46
Ferocious 545hp supercharged and 715hp turbocharged carbon-clad E46 M3s tamed by one owner. Decisions are hard, especially when it comes to choosing between a supercharged E46 M3 and a turbocharged E46 M3, so why not just have both…? Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Andrew Thompson.
545hp supercharged and 715hp turbo E46 M3s
Decisions are never easy to make, especially when you’re faced with two equally appealing options. Chinese or Indian, for example, or cookies and brownies, or pizza and, well actually there’s no alternative option to pizza because pizza just always wins. Sometimes, you don’t even have to decide, like with cronuts, or a turducken, just have everything, because more of everything is always better. For example, why choose between a supercharged E46 M3 and a turbocharged E46 M3, when you could have both? That is exactly what Jaime Taylor did and we’d like to think that decision made his life immeasurably better in every way.
This man is a serial car buyer and modifier with a car history varied enough to make your head spin, including a midengined, RWD Peugeot 205 GTi and a Sierra Cosworth, a scattering of BMs and some serious big-power builds, such as a 511hp Skyline R34 GTR, a 670hp Skyline R32 GTR and a 513hp Audi RS4. Jaime is no stranger to going fast and is clearly hopelessly addicted and devoted to the modifying lifestyle, which makes him our kind of guy, and we guess answers the question: “What sort of person owns a pair of cars like this?”
What’s really interesting here is that this is really a tale of two parallel builds, which were happening alongside each other at virtually the same time. Spooky. We’ve got Jaime, who wanted to build a turbo E46 M3 but ended up going down the supercharged route, and Andy Bennett, who bought the turbocharged car and proceeded to put a huge amount of effort into getting it running as it should, then ended up selling it to Jaime, who’d actually wanted to buy it all along but was beaten to the punch by Andy all those years previously. It’s a twisting tale deserving of its own movie adaptation, so grab some popcorn, get comfy and we’ll begin.
When Jaime bought his M3 in 2014, it already had a long list of tasty bits on it, including carbon front wings and carbon bonnet, a roll-cage, BBK, CSL air box and Recaro RS seats but even better than that it had been fitted with a new engine from BMW and had covered less than 20,000 miles on it. “The new engine was a blank canvas to work on,” smiles Jaime. “At the time I didn’t know any UK company who could turbocharge the S54 but did know a company in the States. We were talking about shipping the car over there to get the job done, but it would have been gone for six months for all the new fabrication work to be done because they hadn’t done a right hand drive vehicle before,” he explains. “In the end, with a new car on the drive, we decided to go down the supercharged route so then the car could stay local,” and that’s a pretty sensible decision as the job could be done much more quickly and he’d have more time to actually enjoy the car.
The supercharger kit comes from VF Engineering, with Jaime opting for VF570 flavour, the company’s most powerful E46 M3 supercharger offering. At its core is a Vortech V3-Si supercharger, capable of running at 26psi and rated for 775hp, so producing the 570hp and 380lb ft that VF Engineering claims for this kit is a walk in the park. The kit also boasts a cast manifold with a slide-in air/water intercooler cartridge and is a serious setup, able to deliver a huge hike in power. Initially, though, that wasn’t the case, as once Jaime had got the car back from being mapped and stuck it on a dyno he found it was only making 499hp.
“On each of the five back-to-back dyno runs we did the power was going down about 20hp every time because of heat soak,” he explains. “The engine was pulling the timing and it couldn’t make the power. To fi x this we got Gary Adlington, who runs Eastwood Garage in Falmouth, to fit an AEM direct port methanol kit from the States. Gary is a genius,” enthuses Jaime, “he put a Cosworth engine in a boat and some other crazy stuff – incredible character and he also worked on Andy’s engine.” Yes, in a further coincidence, both Jaime and Adam used Gary’s services for their respective projects; it’s like fate brought everything together. With the meth injection kit on board it was time to head back to the dyno and this time the numbers didn’t disappoint. “On the first run it made 513hp, 530hp on the second and we finished with 545hp,” grins Jaime and that grin is fully justified as that’s a serious power figure. Of course, running monster power means you need plenty of supporting mods and this S54 has been treated to a Mishimoto electric fan coupled to a larger Mishimoto rad, a 55ºC thermostat, the secondary air pump has been removed along with the air con and it’s all finished off with set of sport cats and a Milltek rear exhaust section.
Handily, the previous owner had done a lot of the groundwork on the chassis meaning the M3 was already in a good position to be supercharged, but Jaime has been upgrading things along the way over the past two-and-a-half years to make sure the car was the best it could be. The chassis has been enhanced with a set of KW V3 coilovers and is joined by Turner Motorsport top mounts and adjustable Turner anti-roll bars both front and rear. In addition to this there are adjustable rear camber arms, poly bushes fitted throughout and there’s also a 4.10 ratio rear diff. The brakes are seriously beefy and more than up to the task of slowing this powerhouse of an M3; up front there’s an Alcon BBK comprising 365mm discs, utilising Reyland brake bells, clamped by red six-piston calipers and braided hoses and Pagid RS-29 pads have been fitted allround while 710 racing brake fluid tops off the brake upgrades. When it came to choosing wheels, Jaime wanted something light and good-looking that would suit his track-orientated build. “Apex wheels were the weapon of choice,” he says, “they’re lightweight, concave and when I was searching for M3 track cars online everyone was running them so they were clearly the wheels to go for.” He’s gone for the Arc- 8, which looks great on the E46, and he’s running a square setup with 10x18s all-round wrapped in sticky Federal 595RS-R tyres.
No doubt a big part of the appeal of this M3 when Jaime was shopping was the fact that it looked so flipping fantastic, with the carbon bonnet, wings and boot lid really giving it a full-on track look and over the time he’s had the car he’s built on that, giving it an even more extreme appearance. “It was actually booked in to have all the carbon painted,” admits Jaime, “but I ended up going against it and kept the carbon on show for an aggressive track look,” and we’re glad he did. The car also wears a carbon front splitter and canards, plus Jaime has carried out a front foglight delete, and added a carbon rear diffuser, all of which combine to really make this M3 stand out and it’s got a lot of presence.
The interior had already been stripped out and caged-up when Jaime bought the car, but here too there was room for improvement and it all started with the seats. “On the first track day I took the car to I realised the seats were too high as we kept hitting our heads on the roof,” he explains. So out came the Recaro RS seats and in went in a pair of Corbeau Club Sport buckets, and Jaime was now far more comfortable and able to actually enjoy driving his M3. Other interior changes include the aforementioned roll-cage, a Safety Devices bolt-in item, an alcantarawrapped wheel from Royal Steering Wheels, full carbon door cards with red door pulls, an AEM hand controller for the methanol injection, a lightweight battery, fire extinguishers and a carbon blanking plate that covers the hole where the sat nav screen once sat. We love the fact that while it is stripped out and most definitely hardcore, it’s been finished to an incredibly high standard with some very high quality materials, and it all combines to make it even more special.
While Jaime was busy getting stuck into his supercharged E46 M3 project, Andy was well underway with getting his turbo E46 M3 up to scratch. Back in late 2013, having just sold a supercharged Range Rover Sport, Andy was flush with cash and looking to buy a second home to rent out. At least that was the sensible, grown-up plan, but one brief eBay session later it had all gone to pot as he’d spotted a turbo E46 M3, this very car, up for sale and, deciding that he couldn’t not buy it, he snapped it up with a sneaky bid in the final few seconds of the auction, unknowingly swiping it away from Jaime.
Not only did the car have a claimed 650hp, but it had also been on the cover of the March 2008 of PBMW, and came with a vented carbon bonnet, carbon bootlid, BBK and ticked just about every box that there was to be ticked. Quickly, however, it transpired that the car was not in rude health, making only 465hp on the dyno, not the figure Andy had been led to believe, as well as suffering from numerous issues to do with the turbo conversion. It was not a happy car. It was decided that a new intake manifold and stand alone ECU were needed, so Andy took the M3 off the road and put it into storage while he saved money for the work it needed. It was at this time that he learned about the infamous E46 subframe failure issue and, after inspecting the state of his M3, he discovered that, lo and behold, the subframe was not in a good way...
While we can’t imagine his mood was particularly good at this point, Andy had a turbocharged M3 and he was determined to make it the best turbocharged M3 he could; where Jaime started his project with a clean slate, Andy had the perfect opportunity to not just fix what was wrong with his M3, but improve everything as he went along, and he’s definitely done that and then some.
Before he could even think about getting the engine running at full capacity, that rear end needed sorting out so the old boot floor was cut out, a new one was welded-in and Redish Motorsport reinforcement plates were installed, along with a box section welded across the boot floor to eliminate any flex. At the same time, the whole back end was poly bushed and the propshaft rubber donut was replaced by an uprated Revshift polyurethane set up. The poly bushing extends throughout the chassis now and the suspension has been thoroughly upgraded throughout to ensure it’s up to the task of coping with a turbocharged S54 above. Naturally the car sits on coilovers but they’re not the usual suspects, this M3 having been fitted with Tein items complete with electronic damping adjustment, and these are joined by adjustable front camber plates and Eibach anti-roll bars front and rear and there’s also a Strong Strut front brace with a Schnitzer item mounted at the back. A Brembo GT BBK takes care of stopping duties, with six-pot calipers and monster 380mm discs up front and 345mm discs at the rear, the red calipers contrasting perfectly against the black spokes of the 19” CSL replicas, themselves fitted with Toyo R888 tyres for maximum grip and traction. When it came to the engine Andy admits that, without the help and knowledge of Gary Adlington, he probably would have given up on the car a long time ago, which would have been a shame as he would not have had the chance to experience the fury of a fully operational turbo M3. The main components required to get the S54 performing as it should were an AEM Infinity 8 ECU, Horsepower Freaks intake manifold and boost pipe, a pair of HKS SSQV4 blow-off valves and an AEM water/meth injection kit. The intercooler was also sent off to have the end tanks cut off and new ones made from thicker aluminium welded on. The final engine spec makes for some eye-widening reading as some serious work has gone into making this S54 as powerful as it is. The turbo kit itself comes from Savspeed Racing and uses a Turbonetics T70 turbo and the engine has been bolstered with a set of Wiseco low compression pistons, Pauter con rods, VAC Motorsports head bolts and a steel-lined head gasket while twin fuel pumps feed 750cc injectors via an Aeromotive fuel filter. The result of all that is pretty spectacular, with four different power maps to choose from: the mildest map offers a sensible 500hp, which we imagine is handy for popping to the shops for a pint of milk, while the wildest map delivers 715hp, which you’d probably use for getting a pint of milk and some toilet paper. Perhaps a cheeky Snickers as well. A Clutch Masters twin-plate paddle clutch has been added to cope with all that newfound power and there’s also a short-shift kit rounding things off.
As with the supercharged car, this turbo M3 is a riot of carbon fibre on the outside, which looks fantastic against the Steel grey bodywork. It wears a Vorsteiner carbon bonnet and carbon front bumper, carbon front wings, a CSL carbon bootlid, carbon rear bumper, carbon side mouldings, carbon roof spoiler, carbon Schnitzer mirrors, even a carbon fuel filler flap. There are more carbon panels on the car now than there are regular body panels, it’s really something, and makes the car utterly spectacular. The interior is has also been treated to a whole heap of carbon goodies, including dash trim, door pulls, steering wheel trim, steering column and gearknob, gear surround and handbrake lever. It’s a veritable feast for the eyes. In the early stages of the project, Andy picked up some rather sexy Cobra Daytona seats, which were already trimmed in black Mercedes leather and black Mitsubishi Evo X alcantara and finished with gold stitching, and they look great in the car, really filling out the interior and making it a rather more special place to sit. They’re mated to threepoint harnesses, which are mounted where the rear seats used to be, and naturally there’s also a host of gauges, we’d have been disappointed if there hadn’t been what with this being a turbocharged car and all. They include an Innovate AFR gauge, a trio of HKS gauges to monitor boost, exhaust temperature and pressure and there’s also a HKS turbo timer ensuring that the turbo stays healthy.
So, man builds supercharged E46 M3 and buys turbocharged M3, drives off into the sunset, lives happily ever after etc, right?
Well, not quite… “It’s a good job Andy pipped me to the post on the turbo car,” admits Jaime, “as he spent a lot of money on this M3, so I really reaped the benefits of all his hard work. It was a pleasure to scratch that turbo M3 itch that I’ve had for years, watching all those turbo M3 videos on YouTube, and it is fricking awesome,” he grins, but after buying the car from Andy last July just one month passed before Jaime had put it up for sale himself. “I needed to try it out for a while to see if I was happy to make this my new track car, and after testing it back to back with my supercharged one I decided it wasn’t for me. I have a bond with my supercharged one and prefer everything else about it, as does my other half, Terrie, and I have to live with her so she has a big say in what I do,” he laughs. Unsurprisingly the turbo M3 sold very quickly but surprisingly Jaime has now put his supercharged M3 up for sale as well, and as we put the last of these words to paper it looks like it may have found a new home… “I’ll be very sad to see it go,” he says, “and so will Terrie as we’ve both done a lot of track days in it and she’s learned a lot from driving it and really enjoys it,” but that’s just how it goes with modified cars, we suppose, it’s very rare for them to have any sort of permanence and selling the cars we’ve poured so much of everything into is a just part of the life we lead. They do say that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, though, and while we’re not sure if Jaime is planning to go as far as this with the E92 M3 he’s thinking of buying next, he can at least say that he’s been the owner of both a turbocharged and a supercharged M3, and there’s not many people that can.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Turbocharged E46 / #BMW-M3 / #Turbonetics / #BMW-M3-Turbocharged / #BMW-M3-Turbocharged-E46 / #BMW-M3-Turbo / #BMW-M3-Turbo-E46 / #HKS / #BMW-M3-Tuned / #BMW-M3-Tuned-E46 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46 / #BMW-3-Series-M3 / #BMW-3-Series-M3-E46 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54-Turbocharged / #S54-Turbo , #Savspeed-Racing turbo conversion with #Turbonetics-T70 turbo, #Wiseco low compression pistons, #Pauter con rods, #VAC-Motorsports head bolts, steel-lined head gasket, 750cc injectors, twin fuel pumps, #Aeromotive fuel filter, #AEM Infinity 8 standalone ECU with E46 plug and play harness, AEM water/methanol injection kit with 1000cc and 500cc injectors, #HPF intake manifold and intake piping, custom front mount intercooler, 2x #HKS-SSQV4 blow-off valves, HPF five-way traction control system, custom exhaust system. Six-speed manual gearbox, Clutch Masters twin-plate paddle clutch, short shift kit
CHASSIS 19” #CSL-replica-wheels in gloss black with 235/35 (front) and 265/30 (rear) Toyo Proxes R888 tyres, Tein-coilovers with electronic damping adjustment, adjustable front camber plates, Strong Strut front brace, AC-Schnitzer rear brace, Eibach anti-roll bars (front and rear), fully poly bushed, Brembo GT BBK with six-piston calipers and 380x32mm discs (front) and four-piston calipers with 345x28mm discs (rear)
EXTERIOR Steel grey, #Vorsteiner carbon bonnet and front bumper, carbon fibre front wings, side mouldings, AC Schnitzer carbon fibre door mirrors, CSL carbon fibre boot, carbon fibre rear bumper, roof spoiler
INTERIOR Cobra Daytona seats re-trimmed in black leather and alcantara with gold stitching, three-point harnesses, rear seat delete, black alcantara gear and handbrake gaiters with gold stitching, Innovate AFR gauge, HKS boost, exhaust temperature and pressure gauges, HKS turbo timer
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Supercharged / #BMW-M3-Supercharged / #BMW-M3-Supercharged-E46 / #S54-Supercharged / #VF-Engineering / #Apex
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54 / #BMW-S54 , #VF-Engineering-VF570 supercharger kit, AEM water/methanol injection kit, #Mishimoto electric fan, Mishimoto bigger radiator, 55ºC thermostat, secondary air pump removed, airconditioning removed, sport cats, Milltek rear exhaust. Six-speed manual gearbox, 4.10 rear differential
POWER AND TORQUE 545hp, 383lb ft
CHASSIS 10x18” (front and rear) #Apex-ARC-8 wheels with 265/35 (front and rear) Federal 595RS-R tyres, stud conversion kit, 12mm rear spacers, #KW-V3 coilovers with Club spec springs, Turner Motorsport top mounts, #Turner-Motorsport adjustable anti-roll bars (front and rear), adjustable rear camber arms, fully poly bushed, #Alcon BBK with six-piston calipers and 365mm discs with #Reyland bells (front), standard calipers (rear), Pagid RS-29 pads (front and rear), braided brake lines (front and rear), 710 racing brake fluid
EXTERIOR Carbon fibre canards, splitter, front wings, boot, bonnet, rear diffuser, carbon wrap on roof, fog lights removed
INTERIOR Stripped-out, full bolt-in Safety Devices roll-cage, alcantara steering wheel by Royal Steering Wheels, solid steering wheel coupler, full carbon door cards with red pull tabs, RTD short shifter, AEM hand controller for water/methanol injection, Corbeau Club Sport seats, Willans harnesses, water/methanol tank in boot, Odyssey PC950 lightweight battery, fire extinguishers, stereo removedStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWhat goes around comes around, so they say, and Nickel Mohammed’s ever-evolving M3 comes around more than most - it’s always changing and we had to catch it quick before it changed again… Words: Daniel Bevis Photos: #C3Photography .
BOLT FROM THE BLUE Turbo wide-body E46 M3 Cab
The old saying that ‘lightning doesn’t strike twice’ is a load of toffee. It’s not just possible that lightning will strike the same part of the Earth more than once, it’s basically inevitable; whether it happens within a five-minute span or twenty million years apart, every square inch of the planet gets it full in the face at some point, and then again, and again. And so it is with a certain sense of inevitability that, in the same vein, feature cars can also strike twice. Regular readers may be squinting at this boisterous E46, trying to figure out where you’ve seen it before… and to answer that niggling query, you recognise it from the cover of our January 2014 issue. But fear not, it’s really quite different now to how it was then. You don’t just walk into a Performance #BMW feature you know, these things have to be earned on merit. And Nickel Mohammed’s shouty M3 has earned another spot here thanks to its constant evolution and mould-breaking styles.
So how’s it different now? Well, for one thing it’s significantly less powerful. No, wait, come back! This is a good thing – you see, last time we saw the car, its turbocharged S54 was running 800hp, but Nickel’s since detuned this to a rather more manageable 630hp (which is still frickin’ loads), as the car is developing in line with his driving style, as well as to suit the chilly climes of New York City. There’s no point boasting a flag-waving horsepower figure if all of those rampaging ponies are uselessly spinning themselves away at every corner, is there? Definitely far better to have a robust stable of usable nags.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ll begin at the beginning, shall we? “I purchased this car brand new, and back then you had to be put on a waiting list,” he recalls. “I signed myself up, and six months later the car was shipped… the wrong car in the wrong colour! I wanted a silver convertible, and they delivered a black coupé. But determination is a damn thing – I said to them OK, put me back on the list, I’ll wait.” And when the desired drop-top did eventually arrive, was Nickel keen to start tearing into the thing according to some grand overarching modification plan? “To be honest, no,” he shrugs. “Not at all in fact, I reckoned I’d keep it stock. The thing was expensive! And I was still young, I couldn’t afford all that stuff. Although I did try – 20” rims and so on, all those terrible choices I made!” Ah, the impetuousness of youth. Inevitably the M3 was going to end up modified, it was all part of cosmic destiny. It just took a little time for the car to find its way.
“I’ve built it up and changed it so many times in different directions, the timetable’s kind of all over the place,” he says, when we try to pin down the chronology. “I knew that the mechanical stuff had to be done first, and that started with the engine back in 2011…”
This was no half-hearted undertaking, with Nickel throwing every one of his chips on the table to get the car ideologically transformed by the lunatics at #HorsepowerFreaks . Their revered Stage 3 turbo conversion brought the howling S54’s peak power up to a stupendous 800hp. These bolt-on kits require no cutting, wiring or welding, and are designed for durability as well as awesome power. But what else would you expect for $30,000+?
Don’t go thinking ‘bolt-on’ means ‘simple’ though. Engineering a car to run these sorts of numbers is a thoroughly in-depth task – hence the cost – and it took HorsepowerFreaks around a year to build up, test and refine Nickel’s motor. But that fastidiousness of engineering has paid off, as the built motor has held up strongly since. “I drive cars hard, I drive them till they break,” he laughs, “but the only thing I’ve wanted to change on the engine in all this time is adding the AEM Infinity ECU - that thing is superb, a learning computer; I mean, big-ups to those techs that take the time to build these things that adapt to your driving!”
This attention to cleverness carries on beyond the engine and into the chassis. The suspension offers up an intelligent middle ground between coilovers and air-ride, comprising #KW Variant 3 coilovers with their cunning Hydraulic Lift System, which offers instant ground clearance at the touch of a button. “I wanted to run the car low enough to drive the city streets of NYC - which are terrible - but still be able to raise the front of the car to clear driveways and speed bumps,” Nickel explains. “In all honesty I feel KWs are the best thing made for this car when it comes to suspension.” The last time this car appeared in these pages it was running full air-ride, so you know this is a considered opinion.
The wheels come from famously pricey custom house, Luxury Abstract. “I’ve had so many wheels before, but these Grassor- Rs were just built for this car,” he grins. “The NeoChrome finish is a neat effect, tying into the Lamborghini pearl paint, and the width and depth really accentuate the body structure.” And you can’t really miss that body, can you? The wide arches are custom hand-fabricated in steel, 1.5” wider at the front and 2.5” out back, thanks to the craftsmanship of Martino Auto Concepts in Long Island. The extra girth is augmented by a V-CSL front bumper and carbon-fibre ducktail boot lid from Vorsteiner, further enhanced by the addition of a Brooks Motorsport Elite carbon wing, along with a set of carbon-fibre side skirts.
The interior has also been comprehensively re-worked since we last saw the car. Inside, you’ll find a pair of fully reclining Manhart #BMW Performance race seats, important for Nickel as, in his own words, he’s sucker cruising with the seat back and the music up, which brings us neatly to that impressive audio install. “I always wanted an empty trunk to carry bags in, so I removed the existing music and had my electronics sponsor build me a system that would not only look superb, but sound phenomenal and not take up any trunk space. I had my rear seats taken out and my racing harness looks like it’s actually going into my audio system. That was an idea I came up with because I didn’t want to fit a roll cage to the rear of the car as it wouldn’t look as clean and it would be too bulky.
“There are a lot of stylistic paths you can follow, it takes a lot of time and due diligence,” Nickel reasons. “You have to research, figure out what has been done and what you can do to make it your own. That’s the key to building a car, how do you make it your own; how does it reflect your personality? That has to come from within.
You have to choose, but that’s why you go on the Internet and talk to your friends and family, and even your techs and people that work on your cars and filter information to help you make your choices. I must have a form: function car. Can’t have a monster in the closet and not be able to let it out because you’re scared that it may attack you! Cars are meant to be driven, and yes they break - you fix it and do it again.”
Admirable sentiment, and it really helps to illustrate the power behind the build. Yes, this car’s an internet-breaker, but Nickel hasn’t just been ticking boxes on the scenester checklist. The fact that it’s such a personal thing is also key to why he changes the spec so frequently. He’s been cherry picking parts from the aftermarket for a decade now, as well as commissioning his own, and Nickel’s not showing any signs of stopping yet – as long as there’s air in his lungs, this M3 will keep evolving.
“You’re never done with a project, not ever,” he says. “There will always be new technology, things that you’ve seen and never got a chance to do.” We ask what his favourite part of the car is right now, and he laughs. “Man, there’s not one part of it that I like more than another, because from the top to the bottom it’s my personality, you know? I love it all. And the key to having a dope build is being able to get in and just have a drive. That’s what it was made for. It’s tuned for cruising NYC.” Damn straight. Nickel’s currently working on his E30 M Tech II Convertible, but we all know that the E46 is his baby. It’s been his from new, through thick and thin, and it’s not going anywhere. Lightning will keep on striking.
DATA FILE Turbo #Wide-Body / #BMW-E46 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E46 / #BMW-M3-Wide-Body-E46 / #BMW-M3-Wide-Body / #BMW-M3-HPF-E46 / #BMW-M3-HPF / #AEM / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46 / #BMW-3-Series-M3 / #BMW-3-Series-M3-E46 / #BMW-M3-tuned-E46 / #BMW-M3-tuned
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54 / #BMW-S54 , #HorsepowerFreaks ( HPF ) #HPF-Stage-3-turbo-kit , #HPF-titanium-exhaust-system , #AEM-Infinity-ECU , #HPF carbon-fibre intake ducts, HPF methanol injection, #Rogue-Engineering oil filler ca. Six-speed manual gearbox, E31 850i clutch components with #HPF-Feramic-Stage-3-clutch , #OS-Giken-Super Lock Spec-S LSD, #UUC-Motorwerks engine and transmission mounts
CHASSIS 11x19” (front) and 13.5x19” (rear) #Luxury-Abstract-Grassor-R wheels with 245/35 (f) and 305/30 (r) tyres, #KW-Variant-3 coilovers with #Hydraulic-Lift-System, #HPF-330-subframe reinforcement plates, #HPF carbon fibre strut braces, HPF under braces, #Powerflex race subframe bushes and trailing arm bushes #StopTech #BBK with six-pot calipers and 380mm discs (front), four-pot calipers with 355mm discs (rear)
EXTERIOR Custom steel wide-body, Lamborghini #Blu-Cepheus-paint (three-stage pearl), #Vorsteiner-V-CSL front bumper and ducktail boot lid, #Vorsteiner-GTS3 carbon-fibre side skirts, custom E30 M3 bonnet hinges, OEM BMW hardtop, custom dual-xenon headlights, #Brooks-Motorsport Elite carbon-fibre rear wing with #NeoChrome brackets
INTERIOR Manhart #BMW-Performance race seats, #Schroth harnesses, AEM fuel pressure and 100psi oil pressure gauges, rearview mirror gauge interaction, Kenwood 6.95 double-DIN DDX9902S head unit, JL Audio Monoblock HD1200/1, JL 4-channel amp, JL Evolution C3, JL 12” subwoofer, custom audio box with moulded plexi and LED lighting trimmed in OEM BMW leather, Rydeen reversing camera
THANKS #Motorcepts (Master Tech), Intrack Tyres, #S&R-Paint , #NeoChrome , #Luxury-AbstractStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationFour years of hard graft, passion and determination have transformed this 1977 Toyota Celica from a rusty wreck into a stunning aired-out retro road rocket. WORDS: Joey Lee. PICS: Robin Trajano.
JUST GETS BETTER WITH TIME
/ #1977 #Toyota-Celica / #Toyota gets an injection of #VTEC power with an S2000 engine swap.
The Vongs are no strangers to building jaw-dropping modified cars. Peter and Theresa from Westminster, California USA, have been on this crazy ride before. We encountered them back in 2011 when the now married couple was flaunting an LS1-powered Nissan 240SX around the show circuit. Since then, they’ve been busy focusing their time on building a family along with Peter’s successful online business. Though their attention was directed towards other areas in their lives, cars have always been an important part of it. They tinkered with smaller projects here and there, but this 1977 Toyota Celica has been an ongoing build since their S14 flew the coop.
‘After we sold the 240, I promised my wife that I would be done with the car scene for a while.’ Peter says. ‘We were trying to save up for a house and had plans to have a second child, but we ended up adding another member to our growing family instead – a four-wheeled one! I was perusing a local car forum online one day and came across this Celica – I guess you could say it was love at first sight. I’d always wanted to build one of these and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.’
The Celica that Peter discovered seemed like an ideal base – aside from the dated bright green tone, the motor had already been swapped with a Honda S2000 engine. At first glance, there wasn’t anything particularly wrong with the car mechanically, and from the photos it looked decent for the price. Peter made plans to drive it around for a couple years, build the Vong family empire, and then tear it down – or so he thought. The Celica ‘looked’ like everything was fine and dandy but it turned-out to be anything but…
‘I bought the car off the internet, so it was completely sight unseen. I had photos and videos that the owner sent me, but upon inspecting it in the metal, it was in far worse condition than I thought. It originally came from Oklahoma City so the car was covered in a ton of rust. When I received the car, I noticed that the bright green paint was just a single lightly applied layer. You could still see the original red paint revealing itself along with the exposed rust. It was so bad that the floor pan on the driver’s side was so corroded that it had two holes that were large enough for me to put my feet through while driving!’, Vong explains.
Attention had to be focused towards the cancer that was eating-up the near-40-year-old coupe. The car ran great with the updated heart but the rest was in dire need of attention. The Vongs looked at the uniqueness and redeeming qualities of the Honda F22C swap as a worthwhile investment so the couple decided to strip the chassis bare and start from scratch.
The Celica was walnutblasted so the raw shell could have all of its rust repaired. Once the body was refreshed, the Toyota saw life anew wearing a fresh coat of a rare ‘Midnight Purple’ hue originally intended for a Nissan Skyline. The richness of the iridescent paint might normally be the most extravagant part of most people’s builds, but not for the Vongs – they had something much more colourful in mind.
Before that, however, the exterior needed some aesthetic enhancements. The original metal bumpers have been updated with glassfibre ‘Smiley’ pieces. Giving the face a much edgier look is a TRD chin spoiler. The rear spoiler is likewise a classic TRD piece.
Moulded over-fenders offer the Celica a wider track, and help to provide the sleek body with some girth.
Never the family to do things the conventional way, the two elected to utilise modern air suspension technology. Many would scoff at the idea of using bags on a Japanese classic, but more are starting to come around to the concept. It is a show car/cruiser after all, so comfort takes precedence over performance, especially when it comes to dated suspension design. Each corner features an electronically managed air bag over a Bilstein gas shock. An Accuair VU4 four-corner valve unit keeps the plumbing simple, while Addco anti-roll bars and new polyurethane bushes keep the body rigid.
Since the system is electronic, the Celica can air-up and pancake on top of the tyres at the touch of a button via an Accuair E-Level touch pad. Once it is aired-down, you can get a better grasp of just how beefy, and incredibly lavish, the custom-built BBS RS wheels are. The staggered 16-inch classic mesh wheels are a product of popular wheel customiser, 5One. Each of the faces was carefully stripped before being coated in a custom ‘Black Solar Rain’ finish.
The barrels and lips are brand new, bumping up the wheels to 10- and 12-inches wide, respectively. Burnt titanium bolts are used to keep the three-piece wheels together and valve stems in Neo Chrome were used to finish it off to perfection. It would seem a little audacious to have something as simple as valve stems in that colour-shifting finish – that is, until you look at the rest of the build and realise that it is heavily-applied throughout.
Under the hood is where the iridescent chrome is most prevalent. Everything that isn’t essential to basic engine operations has been removed to direct all attention to the Neo Chromed F22C valve cover.
Sitting adjacent to it is a set of 48mm Jenvey individual throttle bodies, which has horns that have also been treated to the same lavish finish. The engine mounts, oil cap, coil pack cover, and even the radiator cap have been matched in Neo Chrome. If there were a way to Neo Chrome the J’s Racing header and have it be able to sustain the unique coating under high heat, it’s safe to say the Vongs would have done that as well. Mated to the 2.2-litre lump is a matching six-speed manual transmission from Honda that connects to a TRD limited-slip differential from a Zenki AE86.
Inside the cockpit you will find everything that you’d ever want from a resto-modded Japanese classic. It still retains its nostalgic sensibilities while offering modern creature comforts. A factory digital instrument display from an S2000 has been transplanted into the RA-chassis to complement the engine.
Surrounding it is a restored dashboard, which is wrapped in black suede. The door panels, headlining, centre console, and other factory interior pieces have also been cloaked in matching suede. Incredibly rare ‘Maziora Edition’ Bride Stradia Venus II seats were sourced by Peter specifically because its chameleon-like tinge matches the Neo Chrome theme. As you’d expect, there are also a number of accessories within the interior that have also gone through the Neo Chroming process, such as the steering wheel, adjoining bolts, pedals and shift knob.
Contemporary tunes encompass the cockpit area thanks to a custom audio system from Newport Auto Sound that features components from both JL Audio and Kenwood. The final detail which pairs the classic Toyota with modern-day Honda is the seamlessly integrated S2000 push button starter in the dash.
Even with the enormity of this entire build, Peter and Theresa Vong have never taken their eyes off the prize. Their growing family is still their number one priority. Perhaps that is why this resto-mod creation has spanned the course of four years. Many would have completed this in half the time with the proper resources but the couple chose to take their time. During that period, Peter has grown his own business beyond expectations and the duo also introduced their second daughter to the family. Oh, we should also mention that they also picked up an R35 Nissan GT-R as a daily driver! Things are good for the Vongs. They are a shining example of how car enthusiasts can stay in touch with their hobby while progressing with a positive trajectory in life. If you have the vision, passion, and courage to challenge yourself, life just gets better with time.
‘THE CELICA CAN ‘AIR-UP’ OR PANCAKE ONTO ITS RIMS AT THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON’
THANKS: My wife Theresa, my daughters Emalynn and Mikaela, Linh and Tam at Jer Development/Auto Magic, Steve Pan at 5One Wheels, Lance at Newport Auto
TECHNICAL SPECIFIFATIONS #1977 #Toyota-Celica / #Honda-F22C
ENGINE: 2005 2.2-litre, 4-cyl, 16v Honda-F22C engine swap from an #Honda-S2000 , #Jenvey 48mm individual throttle bodies, #Aspec exhaust with titanium tip and 2.5in piping, J’s Racing 4-2-1 exhaust manifold, #AEM fuel rail, RC 650cc fuel injectors, TF Aluminum pulley kit, Koyo radiator, Nuke Performance fuel filter, fuel pressure regulator, vacuum station, Neo Chrome throttle body horns, engine mounts, engine cover, oil cap, coil pack cover, radiator cap, AEM ECU
TRANSMISSION: Honda F22C six-speed manual gearbox, 4.3 final drive, TRD AE86 Zenki limited-slip differential with TRD solid spacer
SUSPENSION: Custom air suspension system with two struts and two coils, Accuair VU4 4-corner valve unit, E-Level management system with TouchPad, Bilstein gas dampers, GSP front pillow-ball tension rods, rear lateral link, trailing control arm, lower link, Addco anti-roll bars, polyurethane bushes, OEM Toyota AE86 strut casings, Zenki rear axle bearings
BRAKES: Custom Wilwood front brakes, OEM Toyota AE86 rear brakes, custom front brake caliper brackets and wheel hubs, StopTech discs
WHEELS & TYRES: 10x16in (front), 12x16in (rear) BBS RS three-piece split rim wheels by 5One with carbon-fibre BBS caps, burnt titanium bolts and Neo Chrome valve stems, 215/45/16 (front), 225/50/16 (rear) Falken Azenis RT615K tyres, Gorilla wheel nuts
EXTERIOR: Smiley glassfibre front and rear bumpers, TRD front lip, rear spoiler, custom front centre mesh, moulded over-arches, rear valance, inner headlight covers, smoked corner and tail lights, Hella H4 headlights, AeroTech bonnet catch, APR carbon-fibre side mirrors, Nissan Midnight Purple 3-stage paint
INTERIOR: Bride Stradia Venus II Maziora Edition seats and seat rails, Wedge Engineering brackets, Takata harnesses, black suede interior (dashboard, door panels, headlining, centre console, rear seats), black carpet and floor mats, Neo Chrome steering wheel and steering wheel bolts, handbrake handle, accelerator pedal, clutch pedal, brake pedal and shift knob, custom steering wheel short hub with Works Bell quick release, OEM Honda S2000 cluster, Auto Meter gauges, Odyssey PC925 battery
Peter and Theresa Vong’s previous show-stopper was a 1995 Nissan 240sx. Under the bonnet was a 5.7-litre LS1 V8 that made 398bhp with ease. other highlights included air suspension, SSR Vienna Kreis wheels, c-west aero, a Zenki front-end and Recaro seats. and now they have this ridiculous Celica to add to their resume
‘MANY WOULD SCOFF AT THE IDEA OF USING AIR BAGS ON A JAPANESE CLASSIC’
Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationAPEX PREDATOR 535whp turbo E24 sleeper with an appetite for speed… #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #BMW-635CSi-Turbo-E24 / #BMW-635CSi-Turbo / #BMW-E24-Turbo / #BMW-E24
It’s impossible to resist the charms of the E24 and with 535whp from its turbocharged M30, this unassuming, power-hungry 635CSi is the ultimate sleeper. The great white shark has no natural predators and with 535whp this turbocharged land shark doesn’t have any either. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Deniss Podnebess.
I hate the E24. I hate it because I really want one, so very badly, but I can’t afford the best examples and fear of rust and potentially eye-watering repair costs puts me off the cheaper ones that I might be able to afford. So I remain in a 6 Series-less limbo and writing about ones like this makes me sad. But not for long because they’re awesome, and this one especially so…
This E24 belongs to serial modifier and 6 Series junkie, Maxim Rakut. This Latvian resident has already graced these pages before, back in our October 2014 issue with his M62-swapped E24 but now he’s back with something a little spicier. But first, in case you didn’t read about his V8-powered Six, a little background. Maxim is the owner of IXT Workshop, which specialises in repairing and modifying BMWs. Cars, BMWs in particular, have been a huge part of his life for a very long time. “I’ve been into cars since school,” he says, “and when I finished school I opened my own garage. I’ve loved BMWs since I was 16; BMWs are made for driving, not for just moving from point A to point B. They are everything I expect of car – fast, reliable and beautiful. My first car was an E30 323i, which I bought because it was accident damaged and the price was cheap, which was important for me as I was a student at the time. Since then I’ve had some E28s, E21s and some more E30s before the E24s.
“I saw this car for sale in Germany, an unfinished restoration project. It had done 173,000km (just over 107,500 miles). It had only had two previous owners and the body and interior were in pretty much perfect condition. I bought the car for €2200 and I’ve spent over €15,000 on modifications. One of the first things we did was have it resprayed – it was originally red before being repainted in Germany in BMW Dunkelblau (Dark blue) but the paint wasn’t in perfect condition when I bought the car so I had it redone in the same colour. I decided to do a turbo project because the car was a good base but didn’t have enough power and the handling wasn’t perfect, even though it’s a CSi.”
The M30B35 is a great place to start a turbo project from, being very well-suited to forced induction and Maxim has put a lot of work into the engine to make sure that it is up to the task. “It took me a week to build the engine,” he says, “and my goal was 500whp with 480lb ft of torque, but we got a bit more in the end.” The engine might not look all that special – there’s no overly clean bay or mirror polishing – but all the work has gone into the inside. The head has been polished, pistons from the turbo M106 have been fitted and there are additional nozzles for cooling them with oil, while 660cc Bosch injectors fed by a 300lph Bosch 044 pump chuck plenty of fuel in. The turbo itself is a Garrett GT45 which sits on a custom equal length twin-scroll exhaust manifold. “It was very hard to make the exhaust manifold an equal length. Trying to fit a twin-scroll manifold with two wastegates and a huge turbo in the limited space of an E24 engine bay was not easy,” says Maxim. “The turbo is able to push out 800hp. At the moment it is making 535whp and 590lb ft of torque but it’s good as it is and I don’t want to destroy the engine with too much boost.”
Additional modifications include an oil filter housing and oil cooler from an E34 M5, M52 coils, a Spal cooling fan, an E36 M3 Mishimoto rad (that replaced a completely custom item which was made from the wrong material and kept overheating), and an Emusa intercooler with custom pipework.
Maxim mentioned the handling of the 635 not being up to scratch and sorting this actually proved to be quite tricky. “Finding a good suspension setup was hard,” he says, “as there’s no aftermarket solution for coilovers so I had to combine and experiment with different stiffnesses and heights and make my own custom coilovers using H&R springs, Bilstein B8 dampers and XYZ uniball top mounts.”
The ride height has been reduced nicely and the arches sit down nice and snug over the 18” Rial Daytona Race wheels. The Daytona is a wheel that maybe doesn’t get as much love as it deserves. Here at PBMW, as you may expect, we’re addicted to searching for wheels on eBay and Daytonas keep popping up. We’ve spend far longer than is healthy looking at them. We even came across someone on a forum accusing them of being BBS reps… some people!
The Daytona Race may have that traditional cross-spoke design but this is a seriously sexy two-piece wheel that looks good on just about any BMW it’s fitted to, including the E24. “I had these ones in my warehouse,” Maxim tells us, “and I decided to make some custom lips so they would fit the E24 arches perfectly. I’m pretty happy with the outcome, they’ve made this classic car look really fresh now.” We think they look fantastic on the 635 and the custom lips have taken them from 8” all-round to 9.25” at the front and 9.75” at the rear.
The E24 is one of those cars that looks right and really doesn’t need anything much on the styling front, and Maxim has sensibly not messed with perfection. The #BMW Dark blue really suits that slick sharkshape and it’s actually closer to something like Macau or Carbon black than a simple dark blue hue. “I didn’t consider any other body colour,” says Maxim. “This one is perfect. I love how it changes colour in different light – when it’s dark it’s almost black, when the sun is shining it’s blue and sometimes it’s even a bit green.” Up front there are Hella smoked headlights and at the back what appear to be smoked light clusters are actually custom units made from dark plastic. Inside, things have been left pretty much standard, too, with cloth Sport seats and the original steering wheel.
The only additions are a bank of four retrolooking gauges that keep Maxim informed of water temperature, oil pressure and boost along with a digital AFR gauge. “I like it stock and clean but had to add extra gauges to monitor the modified engine,” says Maxim.
After nine months of hard graft, the 635 was ready and rather than parking it up at shows, he set about actually driving it.
“It was my summer car last year and I had so much fun with it!” he laughs. “The engine is my favourite part of the whole car – when it gets to full boost, 1.6bar in third gear, the car is unstoppable. It’s fun when you are street-racing against a fast motorbike and it can’t catch you. You can’t compare the feeling of driving my 635 with newer cars. Without electronics you feel everything like you are at the centre of everything. It’s different and I love it.”
Unfortunately, as with so many projects, this one is up for sale as Maxim is ready to move onto his next one. “New season, new car. Works for me,” he says. “This summer I will build an E46 335Ci with a twin-turbo N54.” It sounds like it’ll be a spectacular machine but not quite as spectacular or as cool as this. For us, this turbo’d 6 Series is on the next level, the greatest of all sharks.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.5-litre straight-six #M30B35 / #BMW-M30 / #BMW-M30-Turbo , polished head mounted on pyramid ring gasket, #ARP bolts, #M106 / #BMW-M106 pistons, extra nozzles for cooling of pistons with oil, E34 M5 oil filter housing and oil radiator, equal length twin-scroll exhaust manifold, 2x35mm wastegates, #Garrett-GT45 turbocharger, #VEMS engine management, #Bosch 660cc injectors, Bosch 044 300lph fuel pump, two #AEM wideband lambdas, M52 coils, Spal cooling fan, #Mishimoto E36 M3 radiator with modified right tank, #Emusa intercooler with custom pipework, blow-off valve behind left foglight, 80mm downpipe, 76mm centre exhaust section, standard rear silencer. Five-speed manual gearbox, #Clutch-Masters Stage 3 clutch, lightened E34 M5 flywheel, 3.15 E46 M3 LSD. 535rwhp and 590lb ft at the rear wheels.
CHASSIS: 9.25x18” (front) and 9.75x18” (rear) two-piece Rial Daytona Race wheels with custom lips and. 225/40 (front) and 255/35 (rear) tyres. Custom coilovers made by #IXT Workshop, using #H&R springs, #Bilstein-B8 shocks and XYZ uniball top mounts, fully polybushed with #Powerflex bushes throughout, E34 535i brakes (front), stock brakes (rear).
EXTERIOR: Full respray in #BMW-Dark-blue-metallic , #Hella smoked headlights, custom dark rear light clusters.
INTERIOR: Four-gauge cluster in centre console, #Innovate-Motorsports digital #AFR gauge, Sony head unit.
It’s fun when you are street-racing against a fast motorbike and it can’t catch youStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTEAM AMERICA
When Kings Auto Body Shop decided to build an E46 M3 racer, it employed the philosophy of go big or go home. Kings Auto Body Shop took an uncompromising approach to building this E46 M3 racer. ‘Go big or go home’ were the watchwords and, with genuine GTR DNA, it certainly delivers the goods… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Andy Tipping.
There are many varied and disparate cars that you may spot on any given day at the #Nurburgring , from race prototypes to Transit vans, stripped-out track day specials to commuter-spec Octavias, and everything in between. But the three most prevalent sights can be neatly subdivided into three categories: Porsche 911s (of varying vintage, state of tune and level of competence), locals in diesel Golfs (who are invariably making much more rapid progress than any of the 911s), and heavily tweaked M3s. The Green Hell and the M3 go hand in hand, and there’s something addictive to the owners of E36s and E46s in particular that keeps them coming back, eager to test out the effectiveness of their latest choice of rubber or tweaks to their suspension.
The racy E46 M3 that’s posing for the lens today is a true-blue Nordschleife battler, exactly the type of thing that you’d expect to see bobbing around the Karussell with flames licking from its cheeky side-exit pipes…except that it isn’t. It’s never even been there. This car, while it may appear at first glance to be a hardcore Euro race build, is in fact Californian through-and-through, and the closer you look, the more dedication to Stateside tuning you discover. Built and raced by Kings Auto Body Shop in Huntington Beach, it’s as American as apple pie, colossal drugstores, and putting too many advert breaks in TV shows. It’s just one tiny step short of being plastered in stars and stripes.
The project acts as a sort of glorious manifestation of the vivid dreams of Ayed Alnajjar, the man who happily dotes on Kings Auto Body like a proud father. “I purchased the shop in 2013, and I brought it back to life,” he explains. “We mostly do insurance work, but our signature is race cars and wide bodies. And me personally? I’ve owned over 20 BMWs over the years, and this is my second BMW race car.” You can see why the project was spirited into being – a history of Bavarian fettling, a shop in which to carry out the work to expert level, and a desire to showcase the skills of the business in a fairly visible manner. It’d be madness for Ayed not to build a gorgeously detailed and brutally effective M3 racer, really. What a fortuitous position to find oneself in.
Now, you may be eyeing the broad, aggressive girth of the E46 and pondering the origins of the aesthetic. DTM, perhaps? It’s wider than a #BTCC racer, that’s for sure, but there’s a distinct Euro race car vibe radiating from the M3 as it sits menacingly before the lens, the exhaust ticking frantically after an enthusiastic run. But looks can be deceiving, and this car has been leading you up a dark path… the inspiration for the look came, in fact, from the M3 GTR – one of the key elements of quintessential American-ness that makes this car unique.
A quick history lesson, then. The E46 M3 road car, as we know, arrived on the scene in late-2000 sporting a 3.2-litre S54 straightsix under its extravagantly bulging bonnet. It was a bona fide muscle car, offering a significant power hike over its E36 predecessor, and rocking the sort of unmistakable road presence that would trigger a reflex to involuntarily pull out of the way as soon as it appeared in an opponent’s rear view mirror. It didn’t ask, it just took. An uncompromising thing.
Race versions inevitably ensued, and the M3 GTR development became a shining star in the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). It was powered by a #P60B40 motor, a 4.0-litre V8 only to be found in the GTR, snorting out somewhere between 440-470hp depending on setup.
The M3 GTR was, it has to be said, a bit of a naughty boy. While S54-powered E46s would be monstered by Porsche 911 GT3s on track, the V8-engined cars were rather dominant at the hands of Schnitzer Motorsport, which caused Porsche to cry foul play: it pointed out, quite fairly, that it wasn’t possible to buy a V8-engined E46 road car, so it was violating the spirit of the ALMS ethos. The governing body insisted that a road-going variant must be on sale on two continents within a year of the rules being drawn up to be eligible, and BMW made plans to build ten road cars for such a purpose, to be sold at €250,000 apiece. In the end, however, they didn’t bother – they built six – but these cars weren’t made available for public sale. Indeed, three of them were just development mules that got scrapped.
When the rules changed in 2002, stipulating that 100 cars had to be built to homologate the racers, BMW pulled out of ALMS altogether. This means that if you want to buy an apple-pie M3 GTR, well, you can’t.
That’s why Ayed decided to build one. Not a faithful but unforgiving V8-engined homage, but a proven and reliable S54-powered E46 whose body pays tribute to the shortlived splendour of the GTR. The car’s wearing a Flossman GTR wide-body kit, which is just about as authentic as it’s possible to get with this sort of thing; the wider wings and arches, the front and rear bumpers, the aero side skirts, it’s all artfully hand-crafted in Germany by Peter Flossman, linchpin of the Judd racing team among much else, and it’s all to the original BMW Motorsport development specs for the GTR race car, as tested in BMW’s own wind tunnel. It is, in short, a pukka piece of kit.
But Ayed was always fully intent on doing this properly: “My previous race car was an E36 M3,” he recalls. “I built up the engine to the best of its abilities, but the best I could reliably get with that car with cams was 270hp. I wasn’t happy with the wheel space either because I couldn’t fit anything bigger than 255-section tyres. So I decided to go with the E46 M3, it just made sense. As standard it makes more power than a built S52 engine, and once I got the E46 M3, I decided to go big or go home! I wanted to make a true one-of-a-kind E46, with thoroughbred race car DNA.”
Well yes, there’s no arguing that he’s achieved that with some level of gusto. Having purchased the car as a bare shell – no engine, no transmission, no interior, no suspension – the team at Kings set about building a pure race weapon from the ground up, selecting every component based on its performance creds as well as light weight and durability. Under the copiously vented DTM Fiberwerkz GTR bonnet sits a full-race S54 with hot Schrick cams, Stage 3 heads and a sultry CSL air box, all of which spits out its heady gases through a customcrafted side-exit exhaust (just like a real M3 GTR race car!). The chassis is suspended by Moton coilovers and all manner of goodies from the Ground Control catalogue, with some substantial Brembos champing at the bit to rein all of that thrust back in. It’s a very effective package, and the spec list reads like a who’s-who of quality parts.
“The car was built for the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) German Tuning Series, although the car was actually debuted at SEMA 2014. It was its first time out in public once we’d finished the build, and people’s reactions were amazing. I can’t tell you how many people have told me this is their dream car!” The important point that Ayed’s not making here, of course, is that it’s his dream car too – and he’s the one holding the keys. Funny how life works out sometimes, isn’t it?
This build, then, is a fusion of BMW developmental tangents. Given the chance, it’d lap up the verdant and serpentine spaghetti curves of the Nürburgring all day long, negotiating the tricky cambers, undulating gradients and truculent weather systems as being all in a day’s work. But, as fate insists, it’s not a moistened Euro fighter – it’s a dry-as-a-bone Cali scrapper. The neat link here is that a couple of the original Schnitzer GTR race cars saw later action at the ’Ring for the 2003 24-Hour event, which pulls the DNA across the Atlantic, and then pings it back like a piece of tautly-stretched elastic and fires it squarely into Kings Auto Body Shop with a resounding thump.
Ayed’s out there in the glaring West Coast sun, wringing the M3’s neck and taking scalps in the NASA GTS, as stridently as the GTRs of yore – and this surely means that, dream fulfilled, he can dust off his hands and enjoy the fruits of Kings’ labours, yes? No, of course not. These things are never finished. And now that everything’s nicely bedded in, a GTR rep should really have a V-engine, shouldn’t it? What do you say then, Ayed – fancy tracking down one of those unicorn P60 V8s? “No,” he says, scratching his chin thoughtfully. “I think I want to put a V10 in there.” Well, he did say ‘go big or go home’…
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW E46 M3 Racer / #BMW-M3-Racer / #BMW-M3-Racer-E46 / #BMW-M3-E46 / #BMW-E46 / #BMW-M3 /
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54 , #CSL air box, 288/280 Schrick cams, Stage 3 heads, ported throttle body, high compression (12.5:1 ratio), AP pulleys, #AP headers, custom side-exit exhaust system, Stage 4 clutch, #AEM infinity standalone management, sixspeed manual transmission rebuilt with 3.91 gearing.
CHASSIS 11x18” #Apex-EC-7 wheels (front and rear) (ET25, 15mm spacers all-round), 295/30 soft-compound tyres (front and rear), Motorsport wheel studs with race nuts, #Moton three-way adjustable coilovers, Ground Control camber plates, Ground Control anti-roll bars, #Ground-Control adjustable control arms, #Brembo BBK with four-piston front calipers and 355mm discs, four-piston rears and 345mm discs, stainless steel lines, #Hard-Motorsport brake cooling backing plates.
EXTERIOR Flossman GTR wide-body kit, #APR front splitter, APR diffuser built and designed by Raceworkz , #APR-GT500 wing (71” wide), Hard Motorsport retractable tow hooks, #DTM-Fiberwerkz GTR bonnet, DTM Fiberwerkz carbon-fibre roof, carbon fibre bootlid, RAD Industries Lexan windows, #RAD-Industries custom fuel cell.
INTERIOR #Sparco Ergo seat, Sparco steering wheel, Sparco harness, mesh window net, mesh centre net, Hard Motorsport CAE shifter, fire extinguisher system, #GS-Werks custom roll-cage.
THANKS Undr8d Empire, ECElite Automotive, DTM Fiberwerkz, RAD Industries, Hard Motorsport, Hardware Motorsports, Raceworkz, GSR Technik, GS Werks.
“Once I got the E46 M3, E46 M3 Racer I decided to go big or go home! I wanted to make a one-of-a-kind E46, with thoroughbred race car DNA”
Kings’ M3 looks the business thanks to #Flossman-GTR wide-body kit, built to the original #BMW-Motorsport specs of the GTR race car.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationGreek Chic. With a supercharged #M54 sitting up front and #Z4 M underpinnings, this is one Compact that’s got the bite to match its bark. Words: Ben Koflach. Photos: Alex Lychnaras.
Compacts are, we have to say, not something often seen in Drive-MY. Whether it’s because they’re rarely a choice for the more hardcore tuners, or because they look like they’ve been reversed at speed into a brick wall, who knows? What we do know, though, is that George Theodorakopoulous (yes, he’s Greek) has built one hell of a Compact, combining force-induced six cylinder power with aggressive looks and intelligent chassis mods for the perfect all-rounder.
Things started in May #2002 when George bought the #E46 #316ti brand-new; he takes up the story: “I have been interested in BMWs ever since I drove a 2002, which belonged to an ex-girlfriend’s dad. The handling of that car made an impression on me and pulled me towards rear-wheel drive later on in life. I bought the best brand-new model I could afford at the time, as tax laws back in 2002 didn’t allow for me to buy a car with a greater engine capacity, and I really appreciate the Compact concept as a lightweight four-seater with potential for big upgrades.” It’s a big step on from George’s first car, an ’82 Ford Cortina with a 2.0-litre bolted in place of the original 1600cc engine (which had expired after 200,000 miles). However he doesn’t count the engine swap as a mod as “it was so crude and incomplete” – which, in his eyes, makes the Compact his first properly modified car!
“When I bought the Compact I was instructed to run it in carefully for 2000–2500 miles, but after 1000 miles I couldn’t help but floor it!” Of course, back then the car was running around on a relatively insignificant 115bhp – enough to keep the light, rear-wheel drive chassis interesting but hardly enough to set the world on fire. “Two years after I bought the car, I started to upgrade it with slight modifications – an air filter, exhaust, ECU remap and so on – but I was disappointed by the lack of results. To make matters worse I had to endure the scorn of people telling me that a decent modification couldn’t be done to this model!” he explains.
Because of this, it was time for an upgrade… and George didn’t do it by halves. The M54 is a proven powerplant, and in the biggest 3.0-litre version it packs quite a punch: 230bhp, in fact. With the help of his local authorised BMW outlet, the staff of which all own modified BMWs, plans were made to squeeze the big six under the bonnet. With the Compact’s chassis being closely related to the Z4, the ultimate solution for a gearbox was the six-speeder from the Z4 M, from which many other parts were taken, too, something we’ll come to later.
Not content with merely doubling the Compact’s output, George took the decision to gift the engine a 1.6-litre European Supercharging Systems Stage 2 Twin Screw supercharger, providing a huge lift in power and torque thanks to a constant supply of boosted air. A custom aluminium intake and a Setrab intercooler channel air into the engine, whilst a Snow Performance stand-alone water/methanol injection system keeps inlet temperatures ultra-cool when George puts his foot down. Controlling the whole lot is a remapped ECU, supplied by ESS Tuning, which governs enlarged Bosch injectors for optimum results, while Schrick cams help get more air in and out of the cylinders. The exhaust has been completely upgraded, too, with a Supersprint manifold taking waste gases to #BMW E46 M3 cats, behind which sits a Bastuck quad exit rear section for more efficient flow and a tasty exhaust note.
Channeling the power of the new supercharged lump to the ground effectively would certainly have proved too much for the standard drivetrain but George has been very intelligent in his way of solving the problem. Not only has he used the aforementioned six-speed gearbox from the Z4 M, but he has taken the propshaft and entire rear axle out, too. This means that it now has a limited-slip diff, perfect for providing the traction he needs with such an increase in power, not to mention a lot stronger over the standard transmission.
Underneath, the entire car is more Z4 M than #E46-Compact . All the suspension arms, braces, hubs and brakes have been transferred over. Combine this with Bilstein PSS10 coilovers and SRP strut braces front and rear, and you’ve got a very interesting setup indeed! The wheels are currently 8.5x18” (front) and 10x18” (rear) M6 replica wheels, shod in 225/40 and 255/35 Contintental SportContact 2s respectively which, although they suit the car well, will be due for replacement soon. “I am still looking at new wheels – #BBS , Breyton, you name it – although when I saw these M6 wheels first fitted to my car I really liked them,” says George. Exterior-wise, the Compact has been a largely custom effort. The front bumper is based on the standard one but with the centre vent cut out to make it larger for better cooling. As well as that, George has added AC #Schnitzer corner splitters, but the front end looks are really completed by the work that’s been done to the bonnet. Gone are the separator sections that usually sit between the headlights, and instead he’s added bad-boy style extensions, which sit nicely over the outer light units. As well as that, there’s hand-made vents which also help channel the air through the engine’s radiator and the heat exchanger for the intercooler.
The side skirts, mirrors and rear bumper are far simpler affairs, being pretty much off-the-shelf M Sport items, although the rear bumper has been trimmed to accept the quad exhausts and its pert rump has been further enhanced by way of an AC Schnitzer roof spoiler and matching three-piece bootlid spoiler. The arches have seen many hours of work, though, subtly adding extra width and a much more muscular shoulderline.
“My idea was to give the car a sporty look without the basic concept becoming lost,” explains George. “I used the existing lines and curves of the car and intensified them so that the look is more distinctive while trying to avoid changing the basic dimensions of the car. The ideas were mine and limited only by the capability of the garage and by the support of my mechanic, who agreed not to take the body kit to extremes.” It’s certainly worked and when combined with tinted windows and smoked lights, it’s safe to say this is one Compact you wouldn’t get in the way of. Inside, things are relatively standard as the red leather looks great as it is. Having said that, the car wouldn’t be complete without a few additions – perhaps the most noticeable of which is the instrument cluster. The clocks themselves have been swapped for Schmiedmann items. There’s also an E-pod system, housing an AEM boost and oil temperature gauge, to keep a closer eye on the under-bonnet goings-on.
George has, without a doubt, created one of the best Compacts we’ve ever seen. Running an estimated 400bhp, it’ll show even M Division’s latest baby a thing or two – not bad for something which once boasted less than 120bhp. George has shown that the baby of the E36 and E46 3 series line-up has more to show, which is by no means an easy feat. Taking suspension and the underpinnings from an M Division sibling, and then fitting a mighty supercharged M54, has been a simple and effective strategy that’s been executed to perfection. Whoever said Compacts were inferior? Not us…
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.0-litre straight-six M54, Schrick cams, ESS TS2+ supercharger with custom aluminium intake, Laminova filled Setrab intercooler, Supersprint exhaust manifold, E46 #M3 cat section, Bastuck quad-exit DTM-style rear exhaust section, Snow Performance water-methanol standalone injection system, larger Bosch injectors, mapping by ESS. Full Z4 M transmission including six-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip differential.
CHASSIS: 8.5x18” (front) and 10x18” (rear) #M6 replica wheels shod in 225/40 and 255/35 Contintental SportContact2 tyres respectively. Complete #Z4-M suspension setup front and rear, #Bilstein PSS10 coilovers, SRP strut braces front and rear. Z4M brake setup front and rear.
EXTERIOR: Custom bonnet with hand-made air vents and bad-boy style extension, custom front bumper with reshaped central vent, AC-Schnitzer corner splitters, M Sport side skirts, mirrors and rear bumper, #AC-Schnitzer roof spoiler and three-piece bootlid spoiler, Sport mirrors, custom hand-made arches, custom vents in front wings, matt black kidney grilles, OEM xenon headlights with CCFL angel eyes, clear front indicators, smoked side repeaters and taillights, LED number plate lights, carbon fibre roundels, tinted windows.
INTERIOR: Red leather interior with electric seats and Sport steering wheel, U-turn trim panels, Schmiedmann clocks and chrome surrounds, E-pod system with #AEM boost and oil temperature guages, AC Schnitzer pedal set, handbrake lever and gear knob.
“I had to endure the scorn of people telling me that a decent modification couldn’t be done to this model!”
“I used the existing lines and curves of the car and intensified them so that the look is more distinctive”
Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.