- Post is under moderationPOWER UP Hardcore, supercharged E46 330Ci
What was once a stock 330Ci has now evolved into a supercharged, track-focussed monster. Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Viktor Benyi.
’CHARGED BMW E46 330Ci Track-focussed full-on build…
Supercharging a “lesser” model of BMW is something that a lot of people don’t really understand. “Why didn’t you just buy an M3/ M5/M6 in the first place?” they will ask and, in absolute terms, you can see their point. Why spend arguably the same amount of money, or perhaps even more, buying and subsequently supercharging something that isn’t an M car and ending up with around the same sort of power level, when you could have just bought a fully-fledged, finely-honed M machine in the first place? It’s a valid, logical point, but logic has little place in the world of modifying. The thing is that very few people buy a car knowing exactly where they’re going with it, how it’s going to end up and with the specific plan of supercharging it. Sure, some people do, but take a look through this issue, the last issue, pretty much any issue of the mag and you’ll see feature car after feature car owner saying that they really had no intention of going as far as they did with their cars. The other thing is that, generally speaking, something like a supercharger is usually one of the last mods anyone does and that’s because it makes a lot more sense – and here logic can be applied to modding – to sort out the chassis, the brakes, make sure everything else is up to scratch before you start ramping up the power. It’s the right way to do it, really.
Which brings us neatly to Richard Kiraly and his supercharged E46 330Ci. As you can probably tell from the pictures, this is one exceptionally well-sorted 3 Series and, as you won’t be at all surprised to learn, when Richard bought the car there was no plan for anything beyond the most basic of mods, let alone creating a car as full-on as this has ended up becoming. Richard has been a BMW owner for 12 years, though that time period has been divided up between just three cars: his first BMW, an E34 525tds, which was followed by an E39 525d, and now the E46. Thing is, while he may say there was no plan of attack here, both of his previous Bavarian steeds, and a couple of cars before that, have all received some level of mild modding, so we reckon he wouldn’t have been able to leave the E46 alone anyway.
Hailing from Hungary, Richard’s hunt for the right example of what was the most affordable way of fulfilling his childhood dream of owning a frameless window coupé took him all the way to Leipzig in Germany, after six months of searching, and what was then a plain old 330Ci Sport. With car in hand, the mods began and stage one was styling. The E46 Coupé is a fi ne-looking thing, we’re big fans, but go big or go home, right? Go big it was, with Richard giving his 330Ci the M3 look courtesy of the M car’s wings and bumpers before cranking things up to 11 and taking the styling to another level. The front bumper has been seriously beefed-up with the addition of that carbon lip and those full-on corner splitters and even the intakes that funnel cooling air to the brakes are made from carbon. The bonnet? That’s carbon too, a vented GTR item that’s been painted body colour with just the slats of the vents left bare, teasing its carbon construction. M3 mirrors have been added while at the rear there’s a unique diffuser, a set of LED lights and a fibreglass CSL-style boot lid to finish things off nicely. It’s a greatlooking car, all the styling enhancements blending together perfectly and with the M3 body parts on board, the more aggressive aero elements don’t overwhelm the look of the whole car.
The wheels are Japan Racing JR3s, which suit the look and direction of the car perfectly, and while their familiar sixspoke design doesn’t get your attention, the colour certainly does. It’s a bold, bright blue that doesn’t tie-in with anything, anywhere on the car but wow, does it look good. Somehow it just works so well against that sexy, solid grey paintwork and your eyes are immediately drawn to the wheels. They’re the first thing you notice on the car and you realise that, actually, opting for that punch of colour was definitely the right thing to do as it really makes them stand out. You can probably tell that this car hasn’t been built for show, it’s all about go, and peering between the spokes of the JR3s confirms that beyond any reasonable doubt as that’s when you notice the massive brakes. The calipers come from a 135i, says Richard, with six-pots up front clamping M3 CSL discs, and two-pots at the rear while the suspension has also been suitably uprated and these mods came about when he decided to start making track outings a regular occurrence. BC Racing coilovers have been fitted here, and they deliver a solid drop, along with uprated anti-roll bars, Powerflex bushes, Eibach adjustable rear control arms and front and rear strut braces, completing a comprehensive programme of upgrades. The interior changes, too, have come about from the car’s regular appearance at track days and amateur tournaments; up front, a pair of bucket seats have been fitted, along with a set of Schroth three-point harnesses, while the rear seats have been removed altogether, as has the air-con. White-faced dials have been added to give the gauges a sportier look and Richard has also fitted a digital display in place of one of the central air vents to keep an eye on various under-bonnet temperatures.
So, to the engine. The M54B30 is a great motor, plenty of torque, a lovely top end, plus it sounds lush but by modern standards it’s not going to set anyone’s world alight and with him being so committed to track driving, you can see why Richard wanted a little more performance. NA mods are fi ne and could liberate a bit more horsepower but if you want serious gains then you have to bring out the big guns and go straight for forced induction. What Richard’s got strapped to the side of his engine is an ESS TS1 supercharger kit, which uses a twinscrew, positive displacement blower, and that means it delivers a huge hit of low-end torque the moment you hit the accelerator, perfect for punching out of turns on track. It’s an impressive piece of kit and puts out some meaty numbers, 320hp and a very healthy 302lb ft of torque. Here it’s been further bolstered by the addition an #AFE high-flow intake, a set of Schmiedmann high-flow cats and a ProEx exhaust system with racing silencer while an S54 oil cooler helps keep temperatures down on track. The transmission hasn’t been forgotten about, either, and Richard’s fitted a lightweight flywheel and Sachs race clutch plus an LSD to help him put all that power down.
We really like Richard’s E46. It’s been built with purpose after being bought with no specific direction in mind. It’s a focussed and finely-honed machine, but one that’s not so extreme that it can’t be used on the road. It looks good and it’s got the power to match the extreme aero additions; it really is an exceptional performance package. Richard has spent eight years getting the car to where it is today, but he’s not done yet and the next round of mods is imminent. “I want to cover the interior in Alcantara,” he says, “and I’ve currently got a CSL front bumper with twin brake air inlets under construction and I’ve also got an ESS TS2+ supercharger kit ready to go,” he adds, which is really going to take this E46 to the next level.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW #Supercharged / #BMW-E46 / #BMW-330Ci / #Japan-Racing / #ESS-TS1 / #ESS-Tuning / #BMW-330Ci-E46 / #BMW-330Ci-Supercharged / #BMW-330Ci-Supercharged-E46 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E46
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six #M54B30 / #M54 / #BMW-M54 , #ESS-TS1-supercharger-kit , #AFE air filter, #Schmiedmann sport cats, #ProEx exhaust system with racing silencers and black heat-resistant quad tips, S54 oil cooling system. Five-speed manual gearbox, lightweight flywheel, #Sachs racing clutch, short-shift kit, #LSD
CHASSIS 8.5x18” ET15 (front) and 9.5x18” ET15 (rear) #Japan-Racing-JR3 wheels with 225/40 (front) and 255/35 (rear) tyres, #BC-Racing coilovers, uprated anti-roll bars, #Powerflex bushes, #Eibach adjustable rear control arms, front and rear strut braces, #Brembo six-piston calipers with M3 CSL discs (front), #Brembo two-piston calipers (rear), braided brake lines, competition brake fluid
EXTERIOR E46 M3 wings, front and rear bumpers, carbon front splitter, front bumper race air intake, GTR carbon bonnet, E46 M3 door mirrors, custom rear diffuser, E46 M3 CSL-style boot lid, LED rear lights
INTERIOR White gauges, digital data display in central air vent, bucket seats, three-point Schroth harness, rear seats removed, air-con removed, spare wheel well removed, fire extinguisher
“What Richard’s got strapped to the side of his engine is an #ESS-TS1 supercharger kit, which uses a twin-screw, positive displacement blower”
BC Racing coilovers with adjustable top mounts.
135i brakes have been fitted all-round.
“The wheels are Japan Racing JR3s… and while their familiar six-spoke design doesn’t get your attention, the colour certainly does”
Bucket seats, harnesses and rear seat delete let you know this E46 means business.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationSUPERCHARGED #BMW-330i E46 BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
The 330Ci is a fantastic machine, but with a supercharger strapped to its straight-six, it’s even better. For those not lucky enough to be able to afford a weekly runaround, compromise is something many BM owners have had to accept. Well compromising need no longer mean settling for less, as Harv Singh’s supercharged E46 330Ci demonstrates. Words: Joel Newman. Photos: Matt Barnes.
When your good friend and cousin is Kav Bhamra, the owner of one of the finest E46 330Cis on the UK scene, what little money you do have is certainly hard to cling on to!
Harv Singh, a 27-year-old IT systems analyst, has found out that chasing perfection needn’t be costly though, and can be a hugely rewarding business. Like a rolling snowball, his car has gathered a huge selection of custom Hamann parts over the past two years. But, like most modified cars this re-style was never really planned. “It has just kind of happened, I guess. I see things I like, whether online or through my friends, then I try to find them for reasonable money. I love a good deal so often I’ll buy things even if at the time I can’t afford to fit them,” explains Harv.
Unlike many of the other modified BMs on the UK scene, this is no chequebook car. “I have had to work very hard to pay for every addition I have made, but, I think people who just pay to have their cars modified are missing the point. They don’t get half the satisfaction I do,” Harv says.
He’s quite right too; in our experience all the best feature cars have taken years to create, and often arise through owner dedication over and above a bottomless bank account.
This supercharged E46 330Ci is Harv’s second BMW. His first, an E36 328i Sport, was bought when he was an impoverished student. With the limited money he did have, he managed to upgrade the alloys to 19” Hartge Classics and improve the suspension with Eibach springs. Although modifications were not extensive, the car cemented Harv’s relationship with BMW, and provided him with enough passion and inspiration to take the next step into the tuning scene. Straight from university Harv found employment, and within six months had purchased, what is to date, one of the most perfectly proportioned Threes I’ve ever laid eyes on: an Estoril blue, 330Ci Clubsport.
Harv purchased the car for a variety of reasons and is often asked why he didn’t choose an E46 M3. Surely by now, after all these mods he must have paid well over the asking price of the Motorsport coupé? Harv laughs: “You’re probably right, I have paid far more than the asking price of an M3, but what people forget time and time again is the running costs. As a daily driver the E46 M3 just isn’t practical. With the miles I do, the servicing and running costs are far higher than my 330Ci. It’s just more economical, even with the supercharger. I also don’t feel I could have made the M3 as beautiful as I have made my car, well not without selling the house!” Harv, you could just be right.
As with most of our feature cars, Harv never intended to go this far, it just sort of spiralled out of control. Ironically, the whole process was kicked off because of a fault with the car when Harv found the original 18” factory split rims had corroded on the inside. The wheels, the previous owner assured, were covered under BMW’s anticorrosion policy. It turns out he was right, so the car was sent to BMW and a few days later a gleaming set of new rims adorned every arch. With the good fortune of having been gifted four shiny alloys Harv decided to sell them and put the money towards a set of 19s. So, with the help of Hamann, he settled for 19” HM2s, sourced by friend Scotty from Chapel Tyres. These wheels are by no means common, and what separates them is their width. At 10” a piece, Harv reckons these are the widest rears on any E46 330Ci in the UK. Standing behind the car I have to say I’m inclined to agree.
With such wide rims Harv couldn’t simply pop them on so the arches were rolled by Style Dynamics to accommodate all that new rubber. With the wheels no longer rubbing, Harv and Kav set about fitting Boge lowering springs and four-pot racing calipers so the stance and stopping potential of the car would match the epic wheel proportions. Kav is in fact such a dab hand with all things BMW that he managed to do this on Harv’s front driveway! He then installed Generation 2 angel eyes, which he purchased through Teddy Hsu at SSDD Motorsport.
To improve performance on went a Supersprint twin exhaust system, stainless steel back-box and GruppeM-style carbon fibre induction kit. At the rear of the car facelift LEDs were fitted, which was not as easy as it may sound. In truth, Harv had to take the car to Jason from B&W Chip Tune so the ECU could be recalibrated to accept the new lights, a time-consuming exercise but one that really freshens up the coupé.
Subtle detailing such as the Projector indicators and upgraded silver bulbs also add a new dimension to this Three.
As previously mentioned Harv was not in a position to fully customise his ride in one fell swoop. Therefore, like many modifiers, he acquired different body parts as and when they appeared online. Our man had no real strategy, just an insistence on buying genuine items for bargain prices, which is not an easy task at the best of times!
Nonetheless, like a squirrel preparing for winter, Harv gathered, mostly from eBay, an original E46 CSL boot lid, E46 M3 front bumper and bonnet, and full black leather E46 M3 interior. Kav once again got right on the case, installing the new Nappa leather.
To save money on paintwork and before Harv had the car resprayed he realised that now was the time to purchase any additional body parts. After much discussion and many an hour on www.e36coupe.com Harv decided to go with Hamann once again, this time ordering GTR sideskirts, carbon fibre front splitter, brake duct mouldings and genuine M3 electric fold-up mirrors.
Des, a friend of Harv’s took on the job of fitting and fabricating the new parts. Most went on without issue, but as those of you familiar with original M3 body parts will know, they don’t simply bolt on to the 330Ci.
In fact, Des had to remove at least 2” either side of the front bumper just to get it to fit comfortably, and to fit the M3 bonnet needed to adjust and realign the front arches. The finish is flawless and the car genuinely looks like it’s fresh from the factory. There are no ill-fitting lines or minor disharmonies so common when modifiers stray from OEM parts. It could be Harv’s stringent policy of sticking with genuine Hamann items for the exterior body styling that makes this project such a success. It is wonderful to see BMWs that look like BMWs, especially when they are sharper, in our opinion, than the original design.
Our day’s photoshoot with the car took place on an airfield, a setting that attracts clientele who, how can I say it, are filthy rich! Even in these upper echelons of society amateur pilots continually wandered over to get a closer look. And they didn’t even know about the supercharger!
Let’s get back to the car. Harv considered his project complete once Des handed over the keys but things like superchargers don’t just happen, do they? The facts are as follows. An Evotechnik member decided to de-mod his car in order to sell it. He mentioned on the forum that his ’charger was for sale on a first come, first serve basis. Music to Harv’s (and let’s be honest Kav’s) ears. A few phone calls later and Harv had secured it, but there was a catch, as he explains: “He told me I had to un-install the part myself so I gave Kav a call. He went down there and got on with removing it.
Surprisingly it came out without hassle.” Due to work commitments Harv was required to go to the US just days after acquiring his new toy but he was so excited that he decided to have the supercharger installed while he was away, hoping he could collect it on his return. However, with the project running so smoothly it was only a matter of time before Harv would reach a stumbling block, and this was it. The garage informed him that his new supercharger had seized and that his car was not only taking up room but was undrivable. The following few days were a nightmare, with Harv on and off the phone to Infinitus, the manufacturer of the original supercharger.
Fortunately the previous owner had driven over to Germany to see it installed in his car personally and as such the company were well aware of this particular ’charger’s existence. Pure luck was on the side of Harv because during the period of complaint, the firm was busy testing Alpina superchargers. Harv’s insistence paid off because a few days, and many phone calls later with the huge workload the Infinitus boys had on, manager Dirk Ochmann decided to send Harv a brand new supercharger, replacing the failed unit.
That’s right, brand new! The part was shipped directly to the garage holding the car and within days it was fitted.
Harv arrived home to a car whose looks were now backed up by its performance. In fact at 300bhp Harv has got himself a really potent 330Ci that doubles up as an everyday cruiser. The sound alone is worthy of a Grammy, a deep burble harmonising with a high-pitched wail when he floors the throttle, music to any petrolhead’s ears.
Harv explains: “The new performance is perfect; it’s fast, immediate to respond and unique. The supercharger has been my best modification to date, it’s transformed the car.”
To complete the project Kav convinced Harv to update the cabin and fit a full CSL weave carbon interior pack, the perfect accompaniment to the M3 leather. With the aid of Ben Sweetman of Chromeline Design the car’s styling was complete.
Harv’s car has really impressed us. Instead of the E46 M3 wannabe we had pictured what he’s actually done is far more appealing. A subtle, classically styled Three that does not need to boast via exaggerated arches or quad exhaust tailpipes. In my opinion, if the M3 were a person it would be brash, slightly crude and annoyingly wealthy; think Michael Carrol Lotto lout.
Harv’s Hamann styled 330Ci is a far cry from the ASBO generation. A svelte, potent, yet reserved character more akin to James Bond. This is the kind of car that 007 might drive when the Aston’s in the garage, and that, I’m sure you will agree, is never a bad thing.
DRIVE-MY’s new waistcoats went down a treat with Harv and Joel. Only a slightly better option than being run over by a plane.
DATA FILE SUPERCHARGED #BMW-330Ci-E46 / #BMW-330Ci / #BMW-E46 / #BMW / #BMW-330Ci-Supercharged-E46 / #BMW-330Ci-Supercharged / #M54B30 / #M54 / #BMW-M54 / #M54-Supercharged / #Infinitas / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E46
ENGINE: 3.0-litre six-cylinder, #Infinitas-SK+ Supercharger, Infinitus air filter, carbon fibre engine cover, Supersprint twin stainless steel exhaust system with 80mm tips
CHASSIS: 8.5x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear), #Hamann-HM2 s shod in 235/35 (front) and 265/30 (rears) with Dunlop Sport 9000 tyres, 12mm Spacers up front, #FK-Highsport coilovers suspension kit, #ATE 4-pot calipers (front) with Hamann decals, AC Schnitzer-style front strut brace
EXTERIOR: OEM E46 M3 front bumper, #Active-Autowerkes M3-style bumper mesh, OEM E46 M3 bonnet, Hamann carbon fibre front splitter, Chromeline Design carbon fibre kidney grille, #Hamann-GTR side skirts, OEM E46 M3 electric fold-up mirrors, Hamann brake duct covers, sport rear bumper with colour-coded diffuser, OEM CSL boot lid, SSDD black projector indicators with silver bulbs, OEM xenon headlight conversion, Generation 2 CCFL angel eyes, OEM LED rear light clusters
INTERIOR: Full M3 black Nappa leather, Chromeline Design carbon fibre dash kit and upper steering wheel section (CSL weave), Hamann handbrake handle, Hamann gear knob, Hamann carbon fibre door trims
ICE: Pioneer head unit with 12-disc changer, Harmon Kardon factory upgrade speaker system
THANKS: Kav Bhamra for ongoing advice and help with fitting, Des for all the painting of the external modifications, Jason of B&W Chiptune, Ben of Chromeline Design, Teddy of SSDD Motorsport, E36coupe.com and Evotechnik forum members for ongoing guidance and support, Infinitas in Germany, my family for putting up with my addiction!
19” Hamann HM2s look outstanding alongside the ATE 4-pot calipers and genuine Hamann decals Left: Full M3 interior adds a touch of class and provides additional support with the incresed power.
Infinitas SK + supercharger dominates the engine bay while carbon fibre engine covers and AC Schnitzer-stlye front strut brace turn something already beautiful into a work of art.
AT 300BHP HARV HAS GOT HIMSELF A REALLY POTENT 330CI THAT DOUBLES UP AS AN EVERYDAY CRUISER. THE SOUND ALONE IS WORTHY OF A GRAMMY .Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTHE LONG GAME #2015 / #BMW
This 400hp+ supercharged E46 330Ci has been nine years in the making and it was definitely worth the wait.
Some folks rush through a project, hurtling towards a deadline to get everything finished. David Byrne decided to take a more casual approach to his 330Ci Sport, playing the thing like a game of chess. Words: Daniel Bevis /// Photos: Andy Starkey
The process of building a project car is a convoluted and unique thing; it’s a thoroughly personal endeavour given the sheer galaxy of variables. For every element of your build, be it a set of tyres, a handbrake gaiter, a shade of paint, or a pair of seats, there are countless options awaiting your perusal on the aftermarket, and that’s before you even start to think about customising things to your own specs. That, it goes without saying, is why we can always bring you such a diverse menu of morsels every month with the features we share – it’s pretty much impossible for two people to build the same car. And while many of the ingredients may be common to a number of other projects, it’s the unique way that they’re pieced together that makes each one special.
This Laguna Seca-hued E46 is a prime example of such diversity. Sure, the notion of adding M3 and CSL parts to a non-M 3 Series is a well-trodden path, but the owner in question here, David Byrne, has basically sidestepped any semblance of influence from anyone else’s project to bring to life his own unique vision of the E46 puzzle. Now, quite a few of the cars that you see on these pages have been built on a clock – whether it’s to debut at SEMA or to make it in time for a Players show, or just to work to some arbitrary timescale (a birthday, a holiday, a year after the car’s purchase, you name it), people quite often have one eye on the calendar throughout in order to push them on, keep them motivated. Not so with our protagonist here – David’s owned this car for the best part of a decade now, and he’s casually honing and refining it at his own pace, intent on ultimately colouring in the sketched-out vision in his head.
“I owned my first BMW for six years,” he recalls. “It was a 1999 320d Saloon. I was coming from Fords and Rovers before that, and was impressed that the interior was a world apart – the quality of it, it was such a nice place to be. I needed a saloon to ferry the kids about, and I wanted something that was built to last. It turned out to be a good choice.” Well, having hung on to it for that amount of time, that really speaks for itself. “I loved the E46 so much that I started hankering after something more; I’d never modded a car before, but after the kids had grown up a bit I was able to take the plunge and buy a coupé. I couldn’t afford an M3, so the 330Ci Sport was the next best thing! It was 18 months old when I bought it from a main dealer – 16k on the clock and pretty much perfect – and I didn’t really have much of an idea of what to change on it at first. But then the E46zone forum started to give me some ideas…”
What followed, as you’ve probably guessed from casting an eye over the photos, was no small amount of work in transforming the 330Ci into a reasonably faithful M3 tribute, combining some CSL accoutrements and even the heady thrill of forced induction. So let’s start with that last point, shall we? Sounds pretty intriguing. “Yes, well the simplest way to get the power I was after from the M54 block was to supercharge it,” says David, matter-of-factly.
See, he’s not blowing the thing to impress people on a showground or win any pats on the back from forum members – he just wanted the thing to go faster, and identified the best way to do it. “Having owned it for so long I knew that the engine was solid and had been looked after, so I wasn’t worried about its strength. I chose the ESS system as it had been proven as a reliable OEMlooking solution, and it has exhaustively tested its ’charger on a track car which has run over 50k miles and is still going strong, so that’s good enough for me! There are also many ESS chargers out in the wild and it has a great reputation. The standard map it has is pretty good too, although I am considering a custom map in the future…”
The car’s been dyno’d at over 400hp at the flywheel, which is a healthy lift over the straight-six’s stock grunt, and this is all helped along by some lumpier Schrick cams, E36 M3 Evo high-flow manifolds that have been custom-matched to the motor, and a variety of other tasty tweaks. To help get all of this new power down to the road, David’s had a Quaife LSD installed, which should help to tame the whirlwind somewhat. Although a power figure that begins with a four is always going to be a handful – we bet that David’s got a grin like a Cheshire cat when he fully unleashes the beast.
This is a holistic build, however, it’s not just about the meat under the bonnet. The exterior has been treated to all manner of M3-derived embellishments, centreing around the genuine OEM M3 front wings and rear quarters, which are artfully complemented by the correct side skirts, bonnet and rear bumper, along with a CSL bootlid and replica CSL front bumper. “That bootlid should have been standard on the M3 in my opinion, it’s a work of art,” he smiles. There’s also a CSL-like carbon-fibre roof, which is no mean feat to achieve: “The original was taken off in half a day,” David explains, “and the carbon-fibre item was bonded on and left to cure over the weekend in the oven. Since the previous skin had a sunroof, the weight saving is significant!”
David’s a master of subterfuge too, the modifying bug having bitten him hard. He’s always ready to surprise onlookers with a subtle but fresh twist. “I have several alternative parts to put on the car to change the look and keep it fresh,” he says. “There’s a set of amber and clear lights, chrome, black and colour-coded grilles, the CSL rear diffuser and original M3 diffuser, two front splitters and a single lip, plus three sets of wheels which can all be swapped around to alter the look whenever I want!”
Talk about diversity, huh? You can see how easily it is to get sucked into the partshoarding scene – once you’ve got a taste for OEM+ tuning, it becomes an obsessive pattern of searching and collecting. As we move into the interior, we find another set of boxes ticked over the course of David’s ownership, stepping incrementally toward his dream E46. The whole thing’s been expertly retrimmed in Cinnamon leather, silky-soft in its Porsche-sourced Nappa finery, with some oh-so on-trend Recaro Sportster CS buckets on kidneyrestraining duty up front. “They’re heated seats,” David boasts proudly. “They were wired in by a local firm, DJ Auto Electrics, to operate with the OEM three-stage seat buttons.” It’s this sort of attention to detail that made the build stand out for us, and we’re not the only ones – David’s fastidiousness has won his car a lot of fans online. Not that he built it for them, of course.
It goes without saying that the car sits perfectly too – the combination of HSD Mono coilovers and OEM CSL wheels work on a number of levels, the lightweight 19s looking just-so with those genuine M3 body corners. The fact that it’s all slathered in a striking shade of blue – the connoisseur’s choice, some may say, and an option box seldom ticked – serves to highlight the obsessive nature of how the various upgraded parts have been pieced together. Given that he’s been at it for nine years, then, are we seeing the finished product? Is this the end of the road? Is he done? No, of course not. “I’m keeping this car for life,” he says. “And I’ve got a few plans for it yet… possibly a custom exhaust system, a TS3 upgrade to the supercharger, a Redish subframe reinforcement kit. There’s plenty more in store.”
We can be sure that the quality will be absolutely top notch, naturally, and it’s a fairly safe bet that he’ll be buying two or three options for whatever he decides to change. You know, just to keep us all on our toes. One thing that’s totally certain, however, is that he’ll be taking his time over it, doing everything very thoughtfully. Nine years? Hell, he’s just warming up…
TECHNICAL DATA FILE SUPERCHARGED #BMW-330Ci-E46 / #BMW-330Ci / #BMW-330Ci-Supercharged-E46 / #BMW-330Ci-Supercharged / #BMW-E46 / #BMW
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six #M54B30 / #M54 , #ESS TS2+ supercharger / #ESS-TS2 , #Schrick 248/256 cams, #VANOS anti-rattle kit, E36 M3 Evo high flow headers (custom flange fitted for M54 block), DEI titanium heat wrap, custom de-cat centre section, #Umnitza quad exhaust with Eurostyle M3 tips, OEM Performance filter, carbon-fibre air intake, cooling system replaced, #AFR wideband meter, discreet P3 vent gauge for #AFR and #OBD II readout. Six-speed manual, #CDV delete, clutch stop mod, UCC short-shift and DSSR, Quaife LSD with diff polybushes, diff and transmission oil replaced with Redline.
CHASSIS 8.5x19” #ET44 (front) and 9.5x19” ET27 (rear) OEM M3 CSL wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport tyres (alternative wheels: gunmetal grey 359 reps or Volk TE37s), HSD #Mono coilovers, #Powerflex front bushes, OEM M3 27mm front and convertible 20mm rear anti-roll bars, OEM Performance carbon-fibre strut brace, #Powerflex ARB bushes, Purple Label shorter steering rack, #KSport eight-pot #BBK with EBC BlueStuff pads.
EXTERIOR Laguna Seca blue, Evolve carbon-fibre 1x1 weave roof, OEM M3 rear quarters, OEM M3 wings, side skirts, CSL bootlid, bonnet and rear bumper, Status Gruppe CSL 1x1 weave carbon-fibre diffuser, M3 diffuser, M3 door mirrors, Turner Motorsport replica CSL front bumper, single carbon-fibre lip and splitters, modified Japanese numberplate holder, Umnitza LED angel eyes, LED rear amber lights, OEM amber indicators, face-lift rear lights, E9x puddle lights in door handles, boot opening spring kit.
INTERIOR #Recaro Sportster CS Cross heated seats (backs painted gloss black), full retrim in #Cinnamon Nappa leather, M3 instrument cluster, CSL door kick strips, M3 rear view mirror, 1x1 carbon-fibre trim, #Dynavin N6 media/sat-nav system, DAB radio, Freeview TV, Storm Motorwerks gear knob, handbrake and sat-nav knobs, steering wheel re-covered in Alcantara, CSL lower trim (Titanium Shadow), Alcantara gear and brake gaiters, retrofit boot release, AC Schnitzer mats, cup holders, Rainbow speakers (front and rear), Blacksys dual-channel GPS dash-cam.
THANKS #K&G Bodyshop in Cannock, Midland VW in Cannock, Dave Haden Upholstery in Walsall Wood, Xtreme Stainless, in Hixon, DJ Auto Electrics in Cannock.
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