- Post is under moderationSPACE INVADER 900hp #BMW-E91 / #BMW-335i-Touring / #BMW-335i-Touring-E91 / #BMW-335i-E91 / #BMW-335i-Touring-900bhp / #BMW-335i-Touring-E91-900bhp
With 900hp from an #N54 with stock internals, this E91 Touring is really reaching for the final frontier. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: RonV Photography.
The king of fast estates has traditionally always been Audi; its automotive back catalogue is filled with examples of big power load-luggers, from the legendary RS2 Avant, mental original RS4 and equally mental RS6s, though BMW has also had a go, with the E34 M5 Touring and E61 M5 Touring. These days, though, its given up on M estates, so the fastest way to transport dogs, children and sofas, possibly all at the same time, is in something with a turbocharged straight-six under the bonnet. For example, the F31 335d xDrive will hit 0-62 in 4.9 seconds, at which point you have to ask yourself: how fast do you really need to go?
Well, if your name is Marco van Weerd, then the answer is much, much faster than that. Marco’s steed of choice is an E91 335i M Sport Touring, a fine car powered by a fine engine and plenty quick in just about any given situation but, as we all know, the twin-turbo N54 has so much more to give… Marco bought the car three years ago, completely stock, but, with a couple of modified Japanese cars in his motoring past, it was never going to stay that way for long. “From the moment I bought the car, I began modifying it right away, starting with some standard upgrades like a JB4, downpipes, intercooler etc” but that was never going to satisfy his thirst for modifying and his hunger for power. You see, Marco wasn’t interested in owning just a quick car, he wanted to push the limits of the #N54 as far as he could and that’s exactly what he’s done, taking the 3.0-litre straight-six to a staggering 900hp. It takes just a quick glance into this E91’s engine bay to see how he’s done that: with an absolutely gigantic turbo strapped to the side of the engine but, what’s a little scary, is the fact that Marco has left the engine’s internals completely stock…
“I wanted to try and break the 1000 flywheel hp mark on a stock N54 because I want to be the one to set that record,” he grins, and he’s tantalisingly close. The key to that stratospheric power output is threefold, a combination of: massive turbo, fuelling mods and the right fuel. The pictures show a Comp 6465 but that wasn’t powerful enough for Marco, so since the shoot that has been swapped for a Precision 6466 turbo running at a heady 2.5bar, with twin Tial MVS wastegates leading to a pair of screamer pipes located under the car, with that torrent of turbocharged air being passed through a 190.5mm stepped intercooler from VR Speed Factory and into an Evolution of Speed intake manifold with six Bosch injectors. These are fed by an uprated fuel system running a Fuel-It Stage 3 kit consisting of twin Walbro 450 low-pressure fuel pumps plus upgraded fuel lines with a Bluetooth-enabled ethanol content analyser, necessary because the car has been set up by JB4 Tuning Benelux to run on E60, a heady mix of ethanol and 102 octane fuel. Further enhancements include cooler NGK 5992 spark plugs and a custom exhaust, consisting of a 3.5” downpipe leading to twin 2.5” pipes with twin electronically controlled cut-outs located before the rear silencer, and finished off with twin 102mm carbon exhaust tips.
You might be concerned that running that much boost through such a massive turbo means the engine is only heading in one, inevitable direction, but you needn’t worry as a forged engine is on the cards, at which point Marco’s power goal will change from 1000hp at the crank to 1000whp… When that happens, there will be a lot of transmission work going on because, at the moment, everything here, much like everything within the engine, is completely standard and that simply won’t do when the next stage of the project gets underway. In fact, only the standard brakes have been deemed unfit for purpose and have received a seriously substantial upgrade in the shape of a D2 Racing front and rear BBK, comprising 380mm discs with eight-piston calipers and 356mm discs with four-piston calipers respectively.
You might be expecting to find some sort of serious static suspension setup leaning far towards the performance end of the spectrum, but one glance at the photos will tell you that you’d be wrong. Marco has opted for a spot of air-ride, with an Air Lift Performance 3H kit handling the suspension duties and delivering some devastating lows when fully aired out, bringing this E91 to within a whisker of the Tarmac, the nifty controller mounted simply, just ahead of the gear lever inside the car. The interior itself has been left virtually standard, bar the addition of the M Performance gear selector and carbon roundel on the steering wheel, which has also been treated to an alcantara trim panel. What Marco has done is add some serious tech to help him keep an eye on what going on under the bonnet, with a Samsung tablet running the JB4 mobile app and displaying OBD controls and tuning plus a phone equipped with the Fuel-It app, displaying fuel temperature and ethanol content, with both pieces of tech connected to the car via Bluetooth.
While the engine and interior may have been left standard, the exterior has not and here Marco has taken the opportunity to put his personal stamp on the car and really make it stand out. “In my company I have my own car lift where I can work on the car whenever I want,” he says. “I tried to build the car all to my own taste and wanted to use custom parts you cannot buy everywhere,” which is why this E91 looks so distinctive. Up front, and giving this prefacelift E91 a fresh and fierce look, he’s fitted a custom 1M front bumper specially made to go with the facelift bonnet (complete with carbon roundel) and headlights he’s also fitted, and the bumper has been further enhanced with the addition of a custom carbon front lip with custom carbon winglets at the corners. There are matt black mirrors and the side skirts have been embellished with custom carbon extension lips while at the rear you’ll find a custom carbon diffuser and custom carbon fi ns at the edges of the bumper, with all-red rear lights adding the finishing touch. Marco’s custom approach to styling and inherent perfectionism and attention to detail extends to the engine bay, which has also been adorned with a selection of custom carbon parts along with a custom carbon strut brace. The wheels too are, naturally, completely custom items produced to Marco’s exact specifications, 8.5x20” up front and 10x20” at the rear, a striking twin seven-spoke design finished in Sepang bronze. You might think that would be an odd choice to go with such an extensively black exterior, but they really work and just add something to the overall look of the car and the size is perfect too. The extensive use of carbon fibre, the aggressive styling and the sheer blackness of the thing all combine to make this one of the most ferocious-looking E91s we’ve ever crossed paths with. It’s just so mean and intimidating, an utterly ruthless-looking machine and one that has more than enough bite to back up its substantial bark.
For most people, a 900hp E91 Touring would be their final goal, but Marco’s just getting warmed up and there’s a lot more to come. “I want to make a custom wide-body kit for the car,” says Marco, running through his future plans for the Touring, “another set of custom wheels, wider this time, at least 10s up front and 12s at the rear, and I’ll also build the forged engine I want so I can hit 1000whp and that will also need an upgraded gearbox, axles and diff.” Judging by what he’s accomplished so far and his dedication and determination to extract as much power as physically possible from the N54, we don’t doubt he’ll achieve his goals and the end result is going to be something truly out of this world…
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Single-Turbo E91 335i / #BMW-3-Series-Touring / #N54-PTE6466 / #BMW-3-Series-Touring-E91 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E91 / #BMW-E91 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six #N54B30 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 / #N54B30-tuned / #N54-swapp , #PTE-6466 1.0 A/r T4 turbo ( #Comp-6465 turbo shown in pictures), twin #Tial-MVS wastegates with twin screamer pipes, custom intake piping, #VR-Speed-Factory 190.5mm stepped intercooler, Evolution of Speed intake manifold with six #Bosch injectors, #Fuel-It-Stage-3 kit with twin Walbro 450 low pressure fuel pumps, upgraded fuel lines, in-line Bluetooth-enabled ethanol content reader, #NGK 5992 spark plugs, custom exhaust with 3.5’’ downpipe to twin 2.5’’ piping, twin electronic cut-outs, twin carbon 102mm exhaust tips, custom carbon engine parts. Standard #ZF6HP six-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel-mounted paddles
CHASSIS 8.5x20” (front) and 10x20” (rear) custom wheels finished in #Sepang-bronze with 225/30 (front) and 265/25 (rear) Hankook Evo S1 tyres, #Air-Lift-Performance-3H #Air-ride system, custom carbon fibre strut brace, #D2-Racing #BBK with eight-pot calipers and 380mm floating discs (front) and four-pot calipers and 356mm discs (rear)
EXTERIOR LCI bonnet, LCI headlights, custom 1M front bumper, custom carbon front lip with custom carbon tips, carbon roundels, matt black mirrors, custom carbon side skirt extensions, custom carbon rear diffuser, custom carbon fi ns, all-red rear lights
INTERIOR #M-Performance gear selector, carbon steering wheel roundel, alcantara steering wheel trim panel, Samsung tablet running JB4 mobile app, phone running Fuel-It app, 3H controller, single air tank in boot
THANKS Andreas Bäckström at PPF Racing, JB4 Tuning Benelux, custom parts by Ventura Motorsports USA, Ritchino Lippelt at MALS, carbon parts by Wheelclinic Lightweight Performance, Mike Kluinhaar at Kluinhaar Bandenservice & Design, Tim Maatman for the welding, N-XTC.com/Chemical Guys for the Quartz Coat paint protection, High Quality Detailing, Tiago Vieira at VR Speed FactoryStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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You can’t go wrong with a fast estate and SSP’s #BMW-E91 M3-styled #BMW-335i-Touring is a serious piece of kit, packing a 415hp punch and xDrive, making it rather special. Everyone loves a hot estate, and they don’t come much hotter than SSP’s wild M3-styled 335i Touring… Words: Seb de Latour. Photos: Sam Dobbins.
I don’t know about you but I’ve had a soft spot for fast estates for many, many years now – in fact I developed a strong affection for them long before I had any right to be thinking about practical, family wagons. Even now, I don’t have a family, but every now and then I’ll spot a weird, obscure, high-performance estate and start feeling all funny.
It would seem I’m not the only one (thankfully), who suffers from this particular affliction and whenever BMW launches a new M car but chooses not to offer it in Touring form, the cries of protest and frustration can be heard across globe.
All you need to do is take a look at the number of people who have created E46 M3 Tourings and E91 M3 Tourings to understand the lengths many will go to in order to combine performance with practicality in the ultimate sleeper package.
Heck, even Gerhard Richter, director of development at BMW M, had an E39 M5 Touring for himself. BMW relented with the E60 M5 and produced a Touring, though with just 1025 cars made and only 222 righthand drive examples, it proved to be an expensive exercise and we’re unlikely to see another M Touring for some time, if at all.
But no matter because thanks to companies like Norwegian fast-masters SSP, if you throw enough money at your Touring you can come away with something that, to all intents and purposes, is basically an M3 wagon, and that’s no bad thing. In fact, in this particular case, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the final product might actually be better than an M3. Crazy talk perhaps, but stay with me.
First things first, this M3 Touring isn’t really an M3. It’s got all the M3 looks but under the bonnet, rather than the thumping S65 V8 you’ll find an N54 straight-six. This is because this conversion has been carried out on a 335i Touring, and it’s stayed true to its origins. But that’s no reason for disappointment, because the N54 is an awesome piece of kit and SSP’s founder, Tarjei Christiansen, not only agrees but has the know-how to get the most out of it. “In my opinion the N54 is one of the best BMW engines that the company has produced in the last eight years. I’m not so keen on the V8, it makes the M3 too much like an M5, so we wanted to keep the six-cylinder engine, and the N54 offers a lot of performance.
“We built this as a demo car for SSP,” Tarjei explains, “and we have always made M3 Tourings – we started with the E36, made an E46 as well obviously, and when the E91 was launched we wondered how to make a good M3 Touring from the new model. We decided we wanted to make a sport family car that you could also drive to the mountains in winter,” and that’s why this 335i boasts xDrive, which suddenly makes it a whole lot more interesting.
“We wanted to give the car enough power to match the M3, so we took it to 415hp and it has more torque at 420lb ft. We offer a 450hp kit with a bigger intercooler, but the automatic gearbox doesn’t work so well with that much power so we only recommend it with a manual gearbox, but 415hp is perfect with the auto.
“For the styling we used the bodywork from the four-door M3 and while it’s an okay conversion to do, it’s not easy. Nothing bolts straight on and we have to change all the mounting points for the bodywork on the car to make them fit. We don’t cut corners at SSP and we wanted to make sure we did the conversion properly. The body conversion takes a long time – around 60 hours of labour, so it’s a pretty big job and just the rear bumper takes 25-30 hours of that as we have to basically build it from two different bumpers. On this car we have also added a Vorsteiner front spoiler and rear diffuser plus we’ve added carbon grilles and a few other styling elements as well.
“We fitted KW Variant 3 coilovers to the car, as we do with all our cars. We only fit the V3 kit as it’s the only one that’s handbuilt at the KW factory, as well as offering the most adjustment. I’ve been to the factory and seen how they mechanically test the kits, with 1200 compressions on the dampers, so I know it’s the best kit. We changed the brakes for E60 M5 front discs, as they fit on the xDrive hubs perfectly, with AC Schnitzer callipers. The car uses a GS Performance exhaust that was custom-built for the 3.0-litre straight-six and we finished the it off with a set of 20-inch BBS CH-R summer wheels, though in winter we use a set of 19-inch wheels with studded tyres.”
As far as looks are concerned, in my eyes you really can’t go wrong with an M3 Touring, so SSP was on to a winner from the very beginning and the subtle styling additions really help to add the finishing touches. The Vorsteiner front lip and rear diffuser add a touch of muscle to the styling, and those 20” #BBS rims really suit the car, filling the arches perfectly. If you like the looks of the E9x M3, which I do, you really can’t find fault with the SSP Touring.
The combination of four-wheel drive and 415 turbocharged horses must be more than a little potent and I’m keen to know how the car performs. “On track it’s no race car,” Tarjei says, “but it’s good fun. It feels very different to an M3, though; the M3 is more focused while this car more like an Audi S4 in the way it feels, but our Touring handles much better.”
And what about on the road against its inhouse rival? “From 0-80mph it’s faster than an M3,” he says. “It handles very well with xDrive and we’ve also added a software upgrade for the gearbox which gives faster shifts and also allows us to take advantage of the torque. Here in Norway, we have snow on the ground five-six months of the year so a car like this is not just useful, it’s also a lot of fun with so much power and xDrive,” Tarjei chuckles.
This car is currently for sale and while the price tag of just over £94,000 might seem like an awful lot of money, a new F30 335i xDrive will set you back the equivalent of £90,000, so for the extra performance, the extremely generous list of additional options and the numerous performance upgrades along with the M3 styling, you’re more than getting you money’s worth.
So far, SSP has produced four examples of its M3 Touring – two rear-wheel drive examples and two xDrive versions – with one out of the four being an auto and whoever is lucky enough to be able to afford one of these is definitely in for a treat.
The E90 M3 is a pretty awesome allrounder as it is – one of the most perfect blends of performance and practicality that the automotive world has ever seen, but SSP’s Touring manages to trump it on just about every level. You get to enjoy the M3’s looks but in Touring form, which ultimately makes it just that little bit cooler, and even more practical as well as being faster and more economical too. And then you have the surefootedness of xDrive, which means you can safely and comfortably deploy all that power and torque whatever the weather, which make this one ferociously fast cross-country weapon and in winter with a set of studded tyres, nothing can touch it.
While the M Touring has died a death, at least for the time being, it’s reassuring to know that there are not only individuals out there flying the flag for fast #BMW estates but companies like SSP that are more than happy to make your M3 Touring dreams into M3 Touring reality and with this creation, SSP has made just about the most complete car you could hope to own.
E60 M5 front discs and AC Schnitzer calipers offer serious stopping power.
We have snow six months of the year so it’s not just useful it’s also a lot of fun with so much power.
M3 body panels require an obscene amount of effort to fit, but the results are well worth it.
DATA FILE #BMW-335i-Touring-E91
ENGINE: 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo #N54 , remap, custom GS Performance M3 exhaust
TORQUE: 420lb ft.
TRANSMISSION: Six-speed Steptronic, shift software upgrade. #BMW-335i-E91
CHASSIS: 8.5x20” (front) and 10x20” (rear) BBS CH-R summer wheels 8.5x19” (front) and 10x20” (rear) winter wheels with 235 (front) and 265 (rear) studded tyres, KW Variant 3 fully adjustable coilover kit, E60 M5 front discs with #AC-Schnitzer calipers.
EXTERIOR: Full genuine E9x M3 styling with bonnet, front wings, front bumper, door mirrors, rear arches, rear bumper, carbon kidney grilles, #Vorsteiner front lip spoiler, Vorsteiner rear diffuser.
INTERIOR: Standard E91 interior with #Webasto remote heater, Professional sat nav, leather sport seats, panoramic sunroof, matt carbon interior trim.
Tel: +47 4810 1020
We decided we wanted to make a sport family car that you could also drive in winter.
It might not look like much, but there’s 415hp under here.
In my opinion the #N54B30 is BMW has produced in the last eight years one of the best engines.
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