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No sleep 476HP 135i Wild 1 Series brings it on Most modified 135is we see are in sleeper guise. However, this boisterous example is loud and proud – and rightly so… Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Matt Richardson.
Last year saw this magazine nearly overrun with 1 Series feature cars. This was totally fine as far as we were concerned because a lot of you are clearly loving them, otherwise we wouldn’t have been inundated with such a huge variety of fantastic modded examples. The charms of the 1 Series are hard to resist and while some people might find the first generation hatch a little inelegant on the styling front, we reckon #BMW nailed it with the Coupé. And people clearly agree, as that’s mainly what everyone’s been modding. A quick glance at the classifieds shows that this iteration of the 1 Series is holding its value and while some people might think you’re not getting a lot of car for your money compared to what else you could buy, the appeal of a compact, sporty car that’s also practical and can be had with a huge range of engines is easy to see and hard to resist. It’s the perfect antidote to the supersizing epidemic that’s now a staple of the motoring industry. And it’s a car with plenty of potential. Just ask Dom C, because he took a fiery little 135i and turned it into a real beast. It’s most definitely not shy about what it’s capable of; with 476hp on-tap, why would you be? A sleeper this ain’t.
A glance at Dom’s car history shows you that the 135i fits right in with his taste in small, fast cars, which have included a Saxo VTR and VTS, a Toyota Glanza V turbo, a Civic Type R, and an Impreza RB5 – which is a little less small but was “mega”, according to Dom, so that’s fair enough. “I had a 120d,” he continues, “which was good on fuel. This was good for when I was going to business meetings, but I decided I wanted something really fast that would handle well and was exciting. There was nothing of this age with a six-cylinder engine and rear- wheel drive apart from a 135i, so I bought one.”
The car was purchased bone stock and the initial plan was just to fit a JB4 and an exhaust because these alone would amp up the performance in a big way. But after Dom had sampled the sweet taste of what the 135i could offer, there was no way he could go cold turkey. And he had a pusher.
“The car’s been sponsored by Hard Knocks Speed Shop,” Dom explains. “It saw that I was passionate about modding and we had a great relationship, so it offered to sponsor me. Badger there has done all the work.” With his sights set on some serious numbers, things were going to have to change…
That JB4 is now a Cobb, supplied by BW Chiptune with a custom remap by Litchfield. The exhaust is now a custom straight- through system from Hard Knocks Speed Shop, with no cats or silencing. There’s even a valve for increased loudness. There’s a video of it in action on our Instagram page (@pbmwmag) and, having heard it in person, we can confirm it’s very, very loud.
The path to 476hp is lined with a lot more than just a Cobb and a custom exhaust, though. Dom has been busy under the bonnet, with the resulting list of engine mods making for some impressive reading. The stuff you can see includes a set of BMS dual cone intakes and an HKS SSQV blow-off valve. And there’s much more going on
beneath the surface that you can’t see. The stars of the show are, without doubt, the Turbo Dynamics Stage 2 hybrid turbos that really help to push the power up. But they don’t have to go it alone; up front sits a beefy Pro Alloy intercooler, there’s a Fuel It Stage 3 uprated fuel pump, a VRSF metal charge pipe with meth bungs, VRSF cat-less downpipes, plus a BMS meth injection kit to help keep intake air temperatures down.
The end result of all that underbonnet wizardry is a very impressive dyno-proven 476hp and over 400lb ft of torque. That’s an awful lot of power to enjoy in a compact car such as this. And that dyno run took place on a really hot day with intake temperatures well over 80ºC and the ECU pulling the timing, so there’s potentially even more on tap than the figures suggest.
Of course, simply ramping up the power and hoping for the best is not the way to do things and most certainly not the way Dom was planning to do things. So those engine mods are joined by a supporting cast of chassis and drivetrain mods. The standard clutch would have been completely out of its depth with these sort of power figures so it’s been replaced with a much sturdier Spec Stage 3+ affair mated to a single mass flywheel. On the chassis front, BC Racing coilovers have been called to action, along with M3 lower control arms, and a strut brace. And that’s not all because Dom then took the car to FW Motorsport, run by Tom Walkinshaw’s son Fergus, who spent a day-and-a-half setting up the suspension after corner weighting the car. Dom is also planning to add some custom adjustable drop links.
The brakes haven’t been forgotten about either. With the 135i coming equipped with some pretty serious six-pot front calipers from the factory there was no need for a BBK, but grooved discs have been added and are clamped by Pagid RS29 race pads. Goodrich braided hoses and race brake fluid concludes the brake upgrades.
Somehow we’ve managed to make it this far without once mentioning the way this car looks – which isn’t easy because this is a 1 Series that stands out, and then some. A lot of this is to do with the Avery Denison Gloss Blue wrap. “The car was originally Monaco blue,” explains Dom, a colour that you can see lurking in the engine bay. “It had no presence and made the car not look as fast as it actually was. My neighbour had a GTR wrapped in this blue and I absolutely loved it, so I decided to get the 135i done in the same shade, and the bonnet and mirrors done in gloss black.”
With the 135i looking rather more rapid, Dom set about adding the aero addenda. This started off with the relatively subtle carbon front splitter, followed by the carbon bootlip spoiler, and then the bulging Seibon carbon bonnet with aero catches. But Dom refuses to take responsibility for that rear wing. “It’s all Hard Knocks’ fault,” he laughs. “They suggested I got a wing. I agreed and went online to buy it whilst in the pub… although I don’t actually remember buying it!” Oh dear. Still, while the APR rear wing would look out of place on many a car, the overall look of this 135i means it works here. It ties in nicely with the whole black and blue theme, as do the wheels, which are Apex Aero-7 18s, with the car’s arches having been rolled to help accommodate them. The wheels have been wrapped in super-sticky Advan AD08R semi-slick rubber for maximum grip.
As for that Gran Turismo sun strip: “I think it looks badass,” explains Dom, “and it makes a huge difference to the feel of the car when driving.” The interior has, for now, been left largely standard, bar the removal of the rear seats, but Dom was planning on fitting some bucket seats and a roll-cage, that is before he decided to sell the car…
We should be used to it by now, feature cars owners getting in touch not long after a shoot informing us that they are selling their BMW. That’s the way it is with projects, but it was still a little surprising to hear it from Dom considering just how much he’d put into the 135i. It turns out he’s gone and bought himself a Nissan GTR and, to be fair, the signs were there all along as we recall he mentioned it on the day of the shoot. We can’t really blame him either; the GTR is a hell of a car and probably one of the few things that could get his heart pumping the same way as his ferocious 135i. Could we, he asked, mention that it was going to be up for sale? Of course. But then, a month later, we received another email. The 135i was staying, a stablemate for the GTR, and Dom had, in his own words, “gone full circle”. In fact, he now plans to take the 135i to the next level: a roll-cage, bucket seats and steering wheel will transform the interior, while a race diffuser, a side exit exhaust, and a body kit will transform the exterior. “It’s come too far to go back…!” were Dom’s parting words on the email. We can’t wait to see him go all the way.
Custom-mounted meth injection kit helps keep inlet temps down and power up.
DATA FILE #BMW-E82 / #BMW-135i / #BMW-135i-E82 / #BMW / #BMW-135i-Tuned / #BMW-1-Series / #BMW-1-Series-E82 / #Turbo-Dynamics / #Apex / #BMW-135i-Tuned-E82 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six #N54B30 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 , #Cobb-V3-Accessport custom mapped by #Litchfield-Motors , #BMS dual cone air intakes, #HKS-SSQV blow-off valve, #Turbo-Dynamics-Stage-2 hybrid turbos, #Pro-Alloy front mount intercooler, Fuel It Stage 3 upgraded fuel pump, custom- mounted BMS meth injection kit, #VRSF metal charge pipe with meth bungs, VRSF cat-less downpipes, Hard Knocks Speed Shop custom Y-pipe , custom straight- through two into one 3” de-catted centre section, custom quad exit exhaust system with electronic valves. Six-speed manual gearbox, #BMWP short-shift, Spec Stage 3+ clutch and single mass flywheel
POWER & TORQUE 476hp and 400lb ft+
CHASSIS 8x18” ET45 (front) and 9x18” ET50 (rear) #Apex-Aero-7 satin black forged wheels with 225/40 (front) and 255/35 (rear) Advan AD08R tyres, #BC-Racing coilovers, M3 lower control arms, strut brace, car corner weighted, Pagid RS29 race brake pads, grooved discs, #Goodrich braided hoses, race brake fluid
EXTERIOR Wrapped in Avery Denison gloss blue with gloss black roof and gloss black door mirrors, tinted windows, rolled arches, gloss black kidney grilles, carbon front splitter, #Seibon carbon #Powerdome bonnet with AeroCatches, carbon rear spoiler, #APR carbon wing, custom carbon diffuser, #BMW Darkline rear lights
INTERIOR Factory grey M Sport leather, Cobb V3 Accessport controller, rear seats removed
THANKS Chris Bourton (Badger) at Hard Knocks Speed Shop, Fergus Walkinshaw at FW Motorsport, #Litchfield motors for mapping, #SSDD-Motorsport , and Amber performanceStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationDouble Dare
Owning one street-and track-tuned M3 would be enough for most people. But not Chad Bates – he’s upped the ante with a matching pair. Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Peter Wu.
Fierce E92 M3 and F80 M3 tear up the Tarmac / Stunning twin M3s
The two cars you’re looking at here – the E92 M3, and the F80 M3 – may be just a single generation apart, but they couldn’t be more different. The E92 features a thudding Goliath of an engine, a brutal, highrevving V8 with a soundtrack that can strip paint off cheap houses. It is (relatively speaking) an old-skool bruiser.
The F80, conversely, is a smart representation of modern technological advances; a focus on combining performance with efficiency – plus the everpresent emissions Sword of Damocles – has seen to it that the motor is now a twin-turbo straight-six. Furthermore, this generation finally broke the M3 chain, hitherto being a badge glued to the two- and four-door variants: whereas the E92 M3 we have here is a coupé, the F80 is a four-door saloon. If you want a two-door coupé version of the F80, you will find yourself with an M4. Which is actually an F82. Such is progress, such is life.
They are, of course, tied by an indelible bond, each an exciting chapter in the ongoing M3 saga, and their owner, Chad Bates, has artfully augmented these ties with tasteful upgrades to further accentuate their kinship: they both wear BBS wheels, they both roll on KW suspension, they’re both painted in subtle shades of grey. This measured approach is the result of a lifetime of modifying for Chad – although he admits that BMWs are, in the grand scheme of things, reasonably new territory for him.
“I bought my first car, a 1984 Jeep Cherokee, at the age of 16,” he explains. “Ever since that point I have embarked upon making a personal statement with my cars.
The Cherokee got stripped down and repainted, and received one of the most insane sound systems that money could buy. It was a fun little first car that got me around during my high school years! My second car was a heavily modified 1992 Honda Accord, which I kept for a couple of years before purchasing an Acura Integra GS-R – that, again, was heavily modified, although it got stolen and vandalised in 2002, and that left a horrible taste in my mouth.”
Disheartened by this turn of events, Chad just didn’t feel his place in the modifying scene any more, so he pulled the ’chute and drifted out of it. Fast-forward to 2008 and he’d become a family man, so he acquired his first BMW – a shiny new 550i – to ferry the kids around in. It was wellequipped and had a bit of get-up-and-go, but he never felt any desire to modify it. But then, in 2011, the lease expired and Chad found himself yearning for something more… offbeat. And that’s when a voice in his brain reminded him what sparked the interest in Bavarian machinery in the first place. “My initial interest in BMWs began in 1996, when a friend of mine bought an E36 M3 and began modifying it,” he reminisces.
“At that time, there weren’t a lot of young people from my hometown who could afford that type of vehicle, let alone modify them. So the car quickly became a local legend.” Chad felt that it was the right time to grab a handful of that stardust for himself, so he did the decent thing and ordered himself a brand-new E92 M3.
“It started as a Jerez black 2012 E92 that I E92 M3 planned to keep pretty much stock, but thanks to magazines, forums and friends, that desire to keep it stock quickly passed,” he laughs. “I began modifying just about everything that could be touched on the car, and spent quite a bit of time on the track. After about three years owning the car, however, it was beginning to show signs of wear from all the track abuse, and I decided to make a pretty dramatic change. So I stripped it down in my home garage…”
Yep, you read that right. No mucking about here, it’s all hands-on. In fact, Chad’s proud to explain that he’s carried out as many of the mods as he was physically able to on both cars. But we’ll get to the F80 in due course. First, we have a stripped down E92 to deal with: “All the body panels were removed and the entire interior was gutted,” he continues. “I shipped the shell to the guys at Strassesport in Irwindale, CA, where they painted it in Audi Nardo grey – something I hadn’t seen on a BMW before. Once the paint was finished the guys allowed me to work in their shop putting the entire car back together with my own hands.”
The finished product, as you can see, is pretty meaty: staggered BBS E88s, copious carbon fibre touches, Recaro Sportster CS seats – and the rear bumper’s pretty jazzy too. Built up by Strassesport, it has aftermarket diffusers and flares smoothed right in, appearing like an OEM factory piece to all but those who know what they’re looking at. Classy, huh?
After a year, however, Chad got itchy feet. He was loving the street racer thrills of the E92, but he wanted to add to his collection. Something unusual, something different. And the answer came in the form of, er, another grey M3.
“A unique 2015 F80 M3 came up for sale,” he grins. “It had been ordered from BMW Individual and no expense was spared. It was the first of its kind to be painted in Fashion grey; a colour borrowed from Porsche. The interior was trimmed in contrasting Fjord blue and Silverstone leather. It was probably the most expensive M3 built at the time, with just about every option – and of course all the extra individual costs associated with the paint and interior. I knew that if I was going to purchase the new F8x model, the car had to be something special, and I knew that this car would fit the bill.” And, naturally, with those old modifying urges now firmly in overdrive, this was never going to be a case of simply finding a wellspec’d car and keeping it standard. Just like with that schoolboy Cherokee, Chad needed to make his personal statement.
Like the E92, the engine’s had its management breathed upon, while the exhaust has been replaced with something that allows the brutal motor to bark with more ferocity. KW coilovers offer a neat balance between track prowess and streetable durability, and a handful of carbon-fibre exterior mods really set off that Fashion Grey hue in style.
“Both of these cars were purchased to be promotional tools for my business, MotorRennGruppe, a manufacturer of titanium wheel hardware,” he explains, and that’s the logic informing the look-at-me wheels on both cars. The E92 wears 18” BBS E88s in staggered widths, while the F80 has a set of genuinely mighty custom-built BBS LMs, the rears measuring an eye-watering and arch-busting 12x20”. Just check out those Michelins, they’re a 305-section at the rear. That’s supercar wide!
“For all my cars, I prefer very aggressive wheel setups that push the limits of the stock arches without making the cars look out of place or hacked up,” says Chad. “The E92’s E88s were rebuilt with new inner and outer barrels to widen the fronts to 10” and the rears to 11.5”, with offsets that brought the faces of the wheel nearly even with the arch lips. Then I knew I had to do something special with the F80, so I had a set of stock BBS LMs rebuilt to 10” and 12” widths. To my knowledge, this was the first set of 20” LMs done for the F80 M3.”
What particularly strikes us about Chad when he’s describing his modifying journey with this grey duo is that it’s all very considered and thoughtful; he’s not the type to rush in and overdo things. Perhaps it’s the background of getting his hands dirty and doing everything himself, but there’s not an iota of effort wasted here.
Take the engine tuning, for example. It’s easy to go a bit mad with M3s, but it’s good to remember that they’re pretty formidable in stock form, and sometimes less is more. “Both cars maintain stock engine internals, and were treated with tunes and bolt-on accessories,” he points out. “The E92 has a Stage II tune from BPM Sport, while the F80 has the E-Flash Tuner from ESS. Both cars have uprated intake systems from Macht Schnell and Maximum PSI, and the F80 has BMS charge pipes bolted up to the stock turbos. The ESS tune on the F80 bumps up the power considerably over stock with race fuel, and is extremely capable on the track – although I prefer driving the E92 over the F80 for the raw sound of the V8!”
Ah, the agony of choice, eh? But despite the obvious similarities between Chad’s two M3s, there’s a clear ideological split: the E92 has been built to be sporty and trackfriendly, while the swankier F80 is the luxurious daily driver that just happens to have Continent-crushing GT potential as well as track-slaying physical drama. Between them, they tick a lot of boxes.
So where does he go from here? “Well, I’d like a Porsche GT3 next,” he tells us. Yeah, he says that… but with two entirely different M3s to choose from – one modern, sensible and cosseting, the other an old-skool badboy track monster – we suspect he’s going to have his hands pretty full for a while.
“The F80 is capable on the track, but I prefer the E92 for the raw sound of the V8!”
“The car had to be something special… I knew this would fit the bill”
“For all my cars, I prefer very aggressive wheel setups”
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-E92 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E92 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series-E92 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre #V8 #S65B40 / #S65 / #BMW-S65 , #Macht-Schnell-Stage-2 intake, #BPM-Sport-Stage-2 tune, #Megan-Racing exhaust system, seven-speed #M-DCT gearbox.
CHASSIS 10x18” (front) and 11.5x18” (rear) #BBS-E88 wheels with 255/35 (front) and 285/30 (rear) Michelin Pilot SuperSport tyres, #KW-Variant-3 coilovers, #StopTech Trophy big brake kit with six-piston callipers and 380x35mm discs (front) and four-piston callipers with 355x35mm discs (rear).
EXTERIOR Audi Nardo grey paint, OEM Euro-spec front bumper, iND grilles, bonnet vents and side gills, Mode Carbon GTS V1 carbon fibre front lip and side skirts, BMW carbon fibre mirror caps (painted Nardo grey), custom-moulded BMW M Performance spoiler, custom-moulded rear bumper with integrated diffuser.
INTERIOR Recaro Sportster CS seats, BMW Performance steering wheel, Pedal Haus pedals, heel plate and paddle shifters.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-F80 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-F80 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-M3 / #BMW-3-Series-F80 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo #S55B30 / #S55 / #BMW-S55 , #ESS flash tune, #Eisenmann valved exhaust system, #BMS charge pipes, #Maximum-PSI charge intakes, seven-speed #M-DCT gearbox.
CHASSIS 10x20” (front) and 12x20” (rear) custombuilt #BBS-LM wheels with 245/35 (front) and 305/30 (rear) Michelin Pilot Sport tyres, #KW-HAS coilovers, M carbonceramic brakes, #MRG titanium stud conversion.
EXTERIOR Individual Fashion grey paint, Mode Carbon carbon-fibre Trophy S1 front lip, rear diffuser and M4-style rear spoiler, iND cosmetic package, modified M4 #BMW-M-Performance side skirts.
INTERIOR Individual Fjord blue and Silverstone extended leather interior with contrasting stitching, BMW M Performance steering wheel, factory carbon fibre interior trim, head-up display, Mode Carbon carbon fibre seat-back replacements (front and rear), P3 Cars digital boost gauge, Pedal Haus pedals, heel plate, and paddle shifters.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationThat a car built by the owners of S6 Wraps would be wrapped is no surprise but there are plenty of choice mods on this E92 that make it stand out from the crowd. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Adam Walker.
ALL WRAPPED UP Wrapped and bagged E92 335i
The E92 3 Series has one of the most appealing shapes going. It’s lovely and smooth, sleek, streamlined and perfectly proportioned. It still looks as good today as it did when it was launched back in 2006 but that’s not to say that it can’t be enhanced with a few tasty styling additions. The E92 has such a vast range of aftermarket support that it’s crying out to be modified, especially if it happens to be a 335i with that eminently tuneable turbo straight-six.
That’s certainly what Dan Roache and Paige Walton, owners of S6 Wraps in Pickford, thought when buying their E92 335i but, then again, that’s no surprise considering it was always destined to be modified and built up into a show car. The pair have both owned and modified BMWs for the past four years, with a 120d and E91 320d having undergone dramatic transformations at their hands before the 335i came along. “We decided to sell both Paige’s E91 and my Audi TT to buy a joint car to turn into a show car and we knew it was going to be this 335i,” says Dan. “Paige’s uncle owned it from new, and since I had a ride in it on the first day he got it I knew I wanted to buy it from him when he was finished with it. He called me one day and gave me the first refusal so we couldn’t say no.” With the intention always being to modify the 335i, Dan and Paige had actually started buying parts before they had even bought the car, and work began almost immediately.
As we’re sure you well know, the turbocharged straight-six in the 35i models is so keen to make more power that you’d be silly not to turn the wick up a touch, and the later single turbo N55B30 as fitted here is no less receptive to a bit of underbonnet tinkering than its twin-turbo predecessor. “The second week of owning the car we took it over to our friend Badger at Hard Knocks Speed Shop for a full custom 3” stainless exhaust system with a cat-less downpipe and the rest straight-through with just a back box and 4” tips,” says Dan. These would help the engine breathe and bring some extra ponies to the party but there was still more to come. “We got chatting with Burger Tuning who sent us the JB4 and BMS intake direct from the States, and our friends at Forge helped us out to get the FMIC changed for a bigger one and the car is now running approximately 400hp,” which a nice increase over the stock output of 306hp for not much effort.
Belonging to a wrap company meant that the E92 was destined to be wrapped and aesthetics were always going to be an important aspect of the build for a company whose primary focus is how cars look. “We have always been into the clean and simple styling with nice subtle mods like carbon fibre,” says Dan, “so we knew straight away what direction we were going with the car.” That’s the sort of approach to styling that works really well with the E92’s natural clean lines. The pair’s taste for carbon fibre means that a few of the exterior elements have been touched by the exotic weave, with carbon grilles, carbon mirrors and a carbon boot spoiler plus the most impressive addition of all: the custom-fitted genuine E92 M3 carbon roof. In keeping with Dan and Paige’s appreciation of clean styling, the front bumper has been smoothed and then there’s the wrap. The colour is limited edition Avery Dennison Metallic Meteorite and it is insane; at first glance it looks like just another shade of grey but then the light hits it and you realise that it’s covered in a dazzling glitter flake, which really adds an extra dimension to the colour and definitely makes this E92 stand out.
Such a dazzling colour deserves some suitably dazzling wheels and here Dan and Paige went for a set of fully polished 19” Rotiform TMBs for the car: “We wanted the car to be a head-turner so as soon as we saw the fully polished TMBs we couldn’t say no to them,” says Dan. “At the time Rotiform was the only way we wanted to go wheel-wise and the TMB design really suits the shape of the car.” They do look fantastic on the E92 but wheels are nothing without a drop and that’s where the Air Lift 3P kit comes in. “We would only use Air Lift on the E9x platform as it’s the safest and most reliable system you can buy,” says Dan, “and we also fitted new uprated rear arms.”
Considering how spectacular the outside is you’d be forgiven for thinking that the interior would have a hard time topping that but, if anything, the interior is even more impressive. For starters, it’s finished in stunning Dakota red leather, which make such a nice change from boring old black and works perfectly with the grey exterior. The most impressive aspect of the interior is the addition of a pair of M4 front seats, which look fantastic, are incredibly comfortable and supportive and so much more special than even the E9x M3’s seats. The plan had actually originally been to fit a pair of Audi RS4 seats but Dan and Paige didn’t like the fact that it wouldn’t have been in-keeping with the OE look, so decided to stay within the BMW family and it was definitely the right decision. There’s also a BMW M Performance flatbottomed steering wheel, complete with matching Dakota red centre stripe, while the controller for the suspension has been neatly mounted in front of the centre armrest.
You may have also noticed the custom doorcards, which house four speakers each plus a tweeter by the door mirrors. These form part of the serious audio install; one of Dan’s favourite modifications on the entire car. But you need to look in the boot to find the real meat of the audio upgrades. The twin air tanks have been mounted in the sides of the boot while the twin Viair compressors and Air Lift manifold sit in a recess in the boot floor. Then there’s the Audison bit One digital audio processor and mono block amp powering a pair of Gladen 10” subs mounted behind the rear seats, and a four-channel amp for the two sets of Rainbow 6.5 components and Harman Kardon speakers in the front doors. It’s clearly a serious audiophile setup that has not only been beautifully installed but we wager sounds pretty incredible too.
A lot of work and thought has gone into this E92 but, amazingly, it only took two months to build from start to finish, with everything bar the custom exhaust having been done in-house at S6 Wraps. As far as future plans are concerned, there aren’t any, because the 335i is currently up for sale, but such is the life of a project car, especially when it’s a company demo build. But that does make it easier to move on and start the next project, which we anticipate is going to be something equally eye-catching.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335i / #BMW-335i-E92 / #N55B30 / #BMW-N55 / #N55B30 / #N55 / #Rotiform / #Air-Lift-Performance / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six turbo #N55B30 , custom 3” turbo back de-cat exhaust system, #Forge-FMIC , #BMS intake, JB4 , six-speed auto gearbox
CHASSIS 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) fully polished #Rotiform-TMB wheels with 215/35 (front) and 225/35 (rear) Falken tyres, #Air-Lift-Performance-3P air suspension, EBC RedStuff pads all-round
EXTERIOR Full wrap in Avery Dennison Metallic Meteorite, smoothed front bumper, custom fit genuine E92 M3 carbon fibre roof, carbon fibre door mirrors, kidney grilles, #BMW-M-Performance spoiler
INTERIOR M4 front seats retrimmed in Dakota red leather, custom doorcards with speaker pods housing two sets of 6.5 Rainbow components and Harman Kardon speakers, #BMW M Performance flatbottomed steering wheel, custommounted 3P controller, custom mounted Audison bit One controller, boot build for air-ride and audio including Audison bit One digital audio processor, Audison mono block amp, Audison four-channel amp, Gladen 10” subs mounted behind rear seats, twin air tanks, twin Viair compressors
THANKS #S6-Wraps , Badger at Hard Knocks Speed Shop , #Burger-Tuning , #Forge-Motorsport
“We knew straight away what direction we were going with the car”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationLike Hell Rocket Bunny-kitted 335i
Patrik Korpi’s 335i is as wide as a freeway and it goes like a freight train. Is he content to follow the crowd and follow conventional wisdom? Like hell he is… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Patrik Karlsson.
“The police really like the car… they pull me over three times a day sometimes!”
Anthropomorphising cars – that is, applying human characteristics to them – is easy to do. After all, you can’t really escape the fact that most cars have a pretty obvious face: the headlights act as eyes (look at the Lamborghini Miura, they can even have pretty eyelashes), there’s a grille that looks like a mouth, and in the case of BMWs you get the handy kidney grilles to represent a pair of flared, snorting nostrils, too.
It’s no surprise that a lot of people give their car a name, refer to it as ‘he’ or ‘she’ and treat it as one of the family. It helps that so many cars have been artfully anthropomorphised in the movies. Herbie, for example, the mischievous VW Beetle that likes to muck about like an unstoppable nincompoop. Or Christine, eponymous star of the Stephen King thriller, the frankly terrifying Plymouth Fury that likes to squish people. Take a lingering look at this matt black E92 335i, then, and see what sort of personality it might have. A cheery one? A happy-go-lucky sort that tips the milkman at Christmas and helps its elderly neighbour with their weekly shop? No, very far from it.
This car exudes a simmering, malevolent evil, its hellish red highlights serving to accentuate the inky blackness of the swollen flanks. If this car had a name, it’d be Obsidian or Romulus or Leviathan. It scares children wherever it goes, and you’d better not get too close to it in case it tears your face clean off. Frightening, angry thing. It’s the work of serial Swedish BMW perv Patrik Korpi and, impressively, it stands as a sort of showcase of his own personal mission to see how cool he could make the car on his own in his garage. Yep, aside from a few mates mucking in, this is a build worthy of those annoyingly gloating ‘built, not bought’ stickers you see everywhere nowadays; a triumph of vision, trial-and-error, and doing things just for the hell of it to see what happens.
‘For the hell of it’ – that’s an appropriate phrase here, isn’t it? And it’s one that’s informed Patrik’s modifying career from the very start. “I’ve had five #BMW s before this one,” he explains. “Three E36s, one of which was a 325i turbo, and two different examples of the E46 330i, all of which received various modifications, although I’ve never gone quite as far with a car as I have with this one.” What happened then? What was the catalyst for change that made the man experiment with something extraordinary?
“It was a track day,” he grins. “A friend of mine took me to a race track and we spent the day driving Ferraris and Porsches and what-have-you. This was back when I had a 330i, and he pointed out to me during the day that the E92 335i could produce incredible power from its N54 motor; I took him at his word and bought one! Having tried one on track that day I could see the potential and I really liked the car. I wanted a good base for my next project, and I realised that the 335i was the ideal car for that.”
The decision-making process was as simple as that. Patrik found a completely stock example at a Swedish dealer, in good original condition, still wearing its factory wheels and in its 306hp state of tune, and he started making a few plans. “I just thought it’d be really funny to build the car up this way,” he grins, impishly. “It was kind of hard for me having had no experience with tuning E92s before – swapping the turbos, for example, was a real pain in the backside – but the challenge is what made it fun.”
Having seen some photos circulating online of a wide-body E92, Patrik’s interest was sufficiently piqued and he knew that was the aesthetic direction he wanted to go in. And after a decent amount of research he decided on the Rocket Bunny kit, which offers the twin victories of making the car lot wider, and also an amusing amount longer thanks to its jutting spoilers. You can’t really argue with the aggression of a Rocket Bunny look, but that was only to be half the story…
“I wanted to get it done in time for my holiday, so I ordered the parts in smartly from CIKAB Garaget – my friend’s father’s company – and we put the car together in four days! There was a lot of cutting and welding at the rear to make room for the wheels, and when the kit was all fitted it was coated in matt black Plasti Dip, and then I brought it back to my garage for me to do the rest.”
Plasti Dip, incidentally, if you’re unfamiliar, is an air-drying rubberised coating that you can spray on with minimal prep work, and then peel off again if and when you get bored with it. It’s a sort of modern miracle. And with the body dealt with, Patrik turned his hand to the mechanicals.
“I upgraded the intercooler to a 7” #VSRF item,” he says, “as well as adding an #aFe-Power cold air intake system, Fuel-It Stage 2 low-pressure fuel pump, BMS charge pipe with blow-off valve, and straight 2.5” pipes. The biggest and hardest job, however, was the turbo upgrade. It’s now running a pair of Schmiedmann Stage 2 turbos but I’ve had so many problems with the install I’ve had to swap the turbos three times!” He furrows his brow before erupting in slightly manic laughter as he tells us this. “It all seems to be working well now, though, and it’s been mapped by TM Racing in Katrineholm, Sweden. Power is upwards of 400hp, and I have plans…”
Patrik’s eager to talk about these plans, as this is a build that’s constantly developing and evolving. You see it here not in its ultimate state but in one of many transitional phases. Since the shoot, he’s added a rollcage and bucket seats to further accentuate its track aspirations and, over the winter, Patrik intends to strip out as much weight as he can by junking anything superfluous. He also wants to flash the paddle-shift autobox with Alpina B3 software, as well as upgrade the brakes in some manner.
“I’ve had the car for about a year now,” he says, “and it’s certainly a lot lower and wider than it was! In terms of suspension, it’s now running D2 coilovers – I’ve lowered it as much as is practical but Sweden’s roads are completely terrible and this is my daily driver, so it’s not quite as low as I’d like. But it is usable! I use it for holidays, too, and I’ve also had it on track many times – it always runs great, and I’ve never been overtaken at Mantroppark! Well, I did have some overboost issues at one point but those overtakes don’t count… Anyway, for now the plan is to get the weight right down and start driving it in Time Attack – and then take it out on the road afterwards to go and get ice cream.”
He laughs manically again at this point, the evil spirit of the 335i evidently coursing through his very veins, intertwining with his DNA’s beleaguered helices, urging him on to ever darker behaviour. “Some people really like the car,” he muses, “and some really don’t. And they’re the comments I like best; they say it’s mad crazy and I just love the hate. The police really like the car, too, they pull me over three times a day sometimes!”
Patrik’s enthusiasm for his car is infectious; he might be slightly scary, he’s certainly a little unhinged, but dammit he knows how to put a car together. And the fact that he taught himself how to do all of this just for the sheer mischief of it is admirable indeed. As the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and if this E92’s anything to go by, Patrik’s going to be arriving in hell far quicker than most. Probably sideways. And on fire. And he’ll be cackling like a lunatic.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335i / #BMW / #BMW-335i-E92 / #Japan-Racing / #VRSF / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six #N54B30 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 , #VRSF-7 ” intercooler, #aFe-Power cold air intake system, #Fuel-It-Stage-2 low-pressure fuel pump, #BMS chargepipe with blow-off valve, 2.5” straight pipes, #Schmiedmann-Stage-2 turbos, mapped by #TM-Racing in Katrineholm, Sweden, approx. 400hp+, six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle-shift
CHASSIS 11x19” (front and rear) #ET0-Japan-Racing-JR11 wheels with 35mm spacers (front) and 55mm spacers (rear) with 275/30 (front) and 295/30 (rear) Hankook tyres, D2 coilovers, stock 335i brakes with YellowStuff pads (front and rear) / #Japan-Racing-JR11
EXTERIOR Rocket Bunny arches, wings, lips and spoilers, matt black Plasti Dip
INTERIOR Red leather interior, all chrome wrapped in black
THANKS I really want to thank my best friend Bobby for all the hard work building the car night and day in the garage. And thanks to Korpi Bygg Och Plåt AB (sponsor), and Thomas from TM racing AB
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- Post is under moderationBoost Junkie. A twin-turbo coupé with M3-topping looks and performance? That’s what Alex Wu was after, and he’s certainly achieved it.
Australian Alex Wu is a bashful 32-year-old IT contractor who’s not so shy when it comes to daily-driven fast cars – and his latest project doesn’t disappoint. His #2007 E92 #335i has got it all: power and stunning OEM+ styling, offering the complete package while being used as a daily driver.
With a car history including a tuned #Audi #A3 1.8 turbo (his first car) and a pair of twin-turbo Subaru Libertys (Aussiespec Legacys), Alex certainly doesn’t do things by halves. Add to that list a twinturbo #350Z , and you can see that he’s clearly got a passion for fast turbo’d motors. “It was the #Nissan that I could confidently say I learnt to drive in,” Alex explained. “And because of it, my friendship circles expanded in the car scene. One weekend I’d be getting sideways in industrial areas and the next, I’d be heading to the track with a different group of mates. It was one of these guys that introduced me to the BMW brand, where he worked as a salesman.”
However, it wasn’t until a few years later (after uni) that Alex got himself the keys to his first #BMW – a Carbon black #E46 #M3 – which was soon modified!
The kilometres were high, though, so before long Alex swapped the Beemer for what soon became Australia’s most powerful Subaru Liberty. 440bhp is all well and good, and it was apparently brutally fast, but the heavy, uprated clutch needed to handle the torque soon got the better of Alex’s left leg on his congested commute, and he was forced to sell up and look for an alternative – something equally as fast but far more refined: the search for BMW’s twinturbo Three was on!
It didn’t take long and luck was on Alex’s side. “I purchased this #E92 #335i manual in near perfect condition, and with only 22000km on the clock, from an advertising executive in Sydney. I paid half what the first owner had purchased it for!” he said with a smile. Surprise surprise, it wasn’t long until Alex started the modifications!
Engine-wise, he never actually thought it would climb to quite the spec that it sits at today. “When I first started, I was just looking for mild improvements,” Alex explained. “The goal soon became to build a cut-price M3 but faster and better looking.” Since the codes were first cracked and tuning became available to the masses, the 3.0-litre twin-turbo N54 has had quite a community grow around it. With a tuning scene comes products, and Alex has taken full advantage of this, choosing parts that will be familiar to most 335i drivers due to the fact they’re proven to give the #N54 more power and torque without sacrificing reliability and driveability – just what our Aussie was after.
Air is sucked in through a #BMS air filter into the N54’s turbos which, as you might expect are running more boost (17.5psi rather than the factory 8.8psi), providing the engine with plenty of air. Keeping this boosted air as cold as possible has been tasked to an Active Autowerke intercooler, after which the air is forced into the engine through a Stett chargepipe. When this air needs to escape (upon relief of the throttle pedal, for example) Forge diverter valves help it do so more efficiently than the factory setup.
Keen to push boundaries, Alex became the first person in Oz to run methanolinjection on a 335i. It was the Vishnu system that he went for, and a Vishnu PROcede V5 was also installed at the same time. This clever box of tricks hooks up to the ECU, and allows the engine to be more tuneable, ensuring that fuelling is spot-on and that the wick can be turned up on the turbos without any major problems.
To stop potentially harmful oil-vapours entering the engine, a BSH oil catch can has found its way under the bonnet, while the catalytic converters have been removed to allow spent gases to exit the turbos more efficiently. The thing that sets Alex’s car apart from rest, though, is the fact that the exhaust is hooked up to M3 rear silencers – which have been given a black chrome finish. Again it’s the first time this has been done in Australia to this car.
The result of all this work is a mighty 498bhp at the flywheel – that’s 84bhp more than an M3, and translates to 415bhp at the rear wheels. Meanwhile, peak torque is an impressive 450lb ft; in comparison the M3 only manages a relatively paltry 295lb ft of torque. You can see where Alex earns his bragging rights! The transmission modifications were far simpler; the CDV was removed and a BMW Performance short-shift kit was installed for faster, slicker gear changes. There’s also now a Wavetrac limited-slip differential to get the power down as cleanly as possible. With the extra performance, a stiffening up of suspension was required. For this a set of #Koni FSD dampers and Eibach Pro springs were fitted, which in turn brought it 30mm and 25mm closer to the tarmac, front and rear respectively – though plans for next season are to remodify it for track duties. Of course, the biggest and most attention-grabbing part of the project has to be the M3 bodywork that has been grafted onto the original 335i shell – a decision not taken lightly by Alex. “I know most will loathe the M3 bodywork, but it really was the only kit I could find that I liked. I initially ordered a replica M3 body kit, but after a test-fitting I ended up throwing away the entire kit and ordering OEM parts. This was only after the body kit had been painted, by the way!” he explained.
As well as the new OEM M3 arches needing to be grafted on to the standard wings, the inner arches had to be custommade to let everything sit correctly, and there were countless other tweaks that allowed the perfect fitment you see before you. M3 front and rear bumpers, mirrors, wings and side skirts were all used for the conversion – as well as that M3 exhaust, which sits perfectly beneath the rear bumper.
Adding to this already potent combination of parts is a custom carbon fibre bonnet, a VRS front lip and a CSLstyle bootlid, which between them add an element of OEM+ aggression, while finishing touches include LCI taillights and carbon fibre mirror caps. “The exterior makeover took the longest because for a long time my wife and I couldn’t decide on a suitable colour to repaint the car!” Alex laughed. As you can see, though, they made the right decision in the end. Coats of fresh Ferrari Grigio Silverstone have been applied which, with the gloss black roof, set the bodywork off perfectly.
As we always say with projects of any scale, wheels can make or break it. We’re seeing concave rims becoming more and more popular and Alex’s stunning wheel choice is one example of how well they can work. There’s no denying the 20” Breyton GTSR-M rims, measuring 8.5” up front and 10” out back, fill the M3 arches perfectly – and BMW perhaps thought so too, as Alex explained: “After I had received the rims the BMW Competition pack came out using a very similar style wheel, though in 19” rather than 20”.” It just shows that Alex’s eye for OEM+ details really is ahead of the game, and this is what has made his project so unique.
The final stage to the build was the interior which, when compared to the other parts of the car that have been worked on, was a relatively simple affair; however, that’s not to say that it’s been skimped on. “Everything inside was done by myself and friends in the comfort of my own garage, including upgrading the iDrive from the CCC DVD-based system to the high resolution CIC hard drive-based one,” Alex said. “We also fitted the Piano black trims, M3 centre console and Performance steering wheel.” In addition, there’s the Rixster P2 ventmounted boost gauge to consider, and the customised white-LED-lit M3 gauge cluster, as well as a complete stereo upgrade. Talking of which Alex utilised BMW #Alpine speakers with customised covers, along with two additional Alpine digital amps and Earthquake subs.
Alex has managed to take his E92 to an M3-beating level, both in performance and looks. And, most importantly, he’s achieved his aim and spent less than he would have done on an M3. “I ended up spending two thirds of what an equivalent year secondhand M3 would have cost me, but obviously that would have been completely standard,” Alex confirmed. Mission accomplished then – and with perfect results. A twin-turbo supercoupé with M3 troubling capabilities? It couldn’t be more up our street if it tried.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo #N54 , BMS air filter, Stett chargepipe, Active Autowerke intercooler, Forge diverter valves, Vishnu PROcede V5 control box, Vishnu methinjection, gutted M3 exhaust system with custom tips and decat downpipes, BSH oil catch can. Six-speed manual gearbox, BMW Performance short-shift kit, CDV removed, Wavetrac limited-slip differential.
CHASSIS: 8.5x20”(front), 10x20”(rear) Breyton GTSR-M wheels shod in 245/35 and 285/30 Continental SportContact 3 tyres respectively. Koni FSD dampers and #Eibach Pro kit (lowering 30mm front and 25mm rear).
EXTERIOR: Full M3 body conversion including front and rear bumpers, mirrors, wings and side skirts, VRS carbon fibre front lip, custom carbon fibre bonnet and CSL-style bootlid, carbon fibre mirror caps, custom flared rear guards, full respray in Ferrari Grigio Silverstone, gloss black roof, LCI rear lights.
INTERIOR: BMW Performance steering wheel with LCD, BMW Performance handbrake cover, customised speedo, P2car boost gauge, Piano black interior trims, complete upgrade to Professional CIC HDD-based iDrive, BMW Alpine stereo upgrade with speaker covers, additional Alpine digital amp and Earthquake SWS-8xi subs.
THANKS: My wife Yui, Johnny and Ken from On the Run Motorsports, Andrew from Southern BM, Jon Ong, Gary, Eric and Pete.
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