- Post is under moderationThere’s nothing quite like the feeling of sheer joy that some feature cars cause you to experience. You might wonder if, after so long looking at and playing with modified BMWs we ever get a bit jaded, and while it’s true that not every single modified #BMW we come across – and there are so very many of them out there – causes our collective pulse to race, but there are certainly some that just make us smile and feel happy.
The supercharged S14-powered 2002 rat rod in this issue is one such car; it goes against just about everything we should believe in and uphold as BMW enthusiasts, but we absolutely love it. There’s just something about it, it’s just so outrageous that it’s impossible not to, really. It’s definitely not going to appeal to everyone, but it’s also definitely going to get a reaction, no doubt about it, and we love that too.
Don’t worry though, there’s plenty more down-to-earth stuff in this issue that will definitely keep everyone happy, like our incredible cover car, that 900hp single-turbo #BMW-E91 / #BMW-335i . It’s a mental machine, no two ways about it, but it also looks absolutely spectacular, about as mean and moody as it’s possible for a car to look. Then there’s the perfectly-modded E46 M3 over on, the awesome S54-swapped E36 M3 on p66 and that E39 540i on p8 that’s had a Jaguar Eaton supercharger strapped to its V8, and that’s just scratching the surface of what we’ve stuffed into this month.
We’ve also got a Tech Guide to poly bushes, a couple of show reports and, if you haven’t seen, we’re hosting a track evening at Brands Hatch at the end of April – head over to p104 to check out all the details and to book a space. As the old saying goes, no rest for the wicked, and no rest for magazine editors either as the May issue is already gathering pace, so we’ll attend to that while you enjoy the fruits of our labours and we’ll see you next month.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationJim Amelinckx’s E30 is far more than simply a nicely painted 3 Series on shiny wheels. It’s the product of a steamy automotive love affair that’s seen the car transformed in every conceivable area… Words: Daniel Bevis Photos: Kevin Raekelboom M30 E30 335i #Big-Six-swapped stunner.
FROM BRUSSELS WITH LOVE #M30-swapped E30
Love is a smoke, raised with the fume of sighs.’ A line from Romeo and Juliet, in which Shakespeare isn’t trying to be lewd – at least, not overtly, although he’s always up to something, isn’t he? Instead he is encapsulating the nature of love manifested by that most deeply personal and intimate of sounds: when you emit a sigh of passion, there really is no more honest or truthful expression of your pleasure.
In the case of the low-down bruiser of an E30 you’re looking at here, that couldn’t be more true. But the smoke here isn’t merely the manifold sighs emitted by its owner and creator, Jim Amelinckx, impassioned as he is by the myriad custom alterations he’s made. No, we can throw in the crackling hydrocarbons of high-octane fuel and the whiff of scorched and atomising rubber into this heady soup of fumes – the love for this man and his car builds upon Shakespearean intimacy and takes us to a whole other place.
“It all started at the end of last year,” he says, affectionately caressing the car’s silkysmooth flanks as he flutters his besotted eyelashes. “I bought this car from a very good friend in Holland with the intention of using it as a daily driver, but that only lasted for about three weeks before suddenly that wasn’t my plan any more!”
What happened? He must have seen something in the E30 – some spark of potential, a glimmer of a hope that the bogstandard beige retro plodder could be something more, something special.
“So we began the task of painting the car, and after that… well, we did all the rest. We worked on it five days a week for six months, with a lot of friends pitching in to get this car beautiful before the summer. You see, that’s what we do here over the winter…”
You may have heard this sort of talk before in Scandinavia, this idea of hunkering down and riding out the harsh and freezing winter months by locking the garage door, sticking the kettle on, donning a set of thermal long johns and setting about the task of building an incredible car, ready for when the snow thaws and the roads are suitable for tyre-squealing mischief again.
But in fact, Jim doesn’t live in Scandinavia – he lives in Belgium. You get the idea though. And the ‘we’ he’s talking about? There’s two names you need to know: first, Brussels Finest – an online collective of real-world modified car buddies whose main aim is to hammer together badass rides and generally support each other in their hobby. And second, the amusinglytitled Racepoutin’s – the fellas who roll up their sleeves and engineer the solutions to the self-imposed problems that modifying cars brings to the table.
We’ll start with the paintwork, then. If the colour looks familiar, it’s because it’s a shade you’d normally find on a shiny new 5 Series: Mineral grey. But don’t go thinking that this car is just a straight and solid car with a nice paint job… Jim may have found himself a decent donor (albeit a beige one), but that didn’t stop him tearing into pretty much every aspect of it with the aim of increasing the love. “It’s a 1984 335i,” he grins mischievously, which should give you some idea as to what’s gone on under the bonnet. Indeed, if you’re an engine nerd and you’ve glanced over to the underbonnet pics, you’ll already have guessed what the score is: the Racepoutin’s crew have creatively buttered an #M30B35 in there. The very same engine that you’d expect to find inside an E28 M535i; the 3.4-litre straight-six (don’t let the name fool you, it has a 3428cc displacement) that kicks out a long way north of 200 horses and makes all manner of aggressive rumbling noises.
Jim’s mated it to a Getrag five-speeder to keep things appropriately racy and, of course, to keep those fumes of love evaporating into the surrounding atmosphere. These guys have imparted an amusing spin on the folkloric 335i concept, and the work really does pay dividends. But wait, there’s more! A neat paint job and a swanky drivetrain upgrade are a supercool combo but Jim and his cronies had far more planned in order to fill up those long winter days. The devil makes work for idle hands, and all that.
“The E30 is one of the best old-skool Beemers out there,” Jim beams, “so there were a lot of cool things I wanted to do. One of them was to fit a custom air-ride system…” He’s intriguingly tight-lipped on the specs here, and that’s a very race-team approach; after all, the cunning strategists behind, say, a Le Mans squad or a BTCC outfit wouldn’t go about giving away all their secrets to all and sundry. No, they play it like a sneaky game of poker. The thing’s airedout and it looks awesome. They’re the salient points here.
“Let’s talk about the brakes,” Jim enthuses, hurrying us along. He encourages us to take a look, and it all appears familiar… so what’s the source? “We upgraded it to E36 M3 brakes all-round,” he grins. Which makes sense, really – a chunky set of stoppers to haul in the extra grunt brought forth by that meatier motor. A wise and sound move.
“Ah, I’ve spent way too much on this car,” Jim laughs, opening a door to help demonstrate why. “Way too much. I’ve stopped counting it all up otherwise I’d just have to find myself another hobby! But I’m proud to say I did it myself along with the help of my friends, who provided a lot of great company on all those late nights.”
Part of the reason for the spiralling budget is staring us in the face as we peer inside. The interior treatment really is very cool, centring around a pair of gorgeously trimmed Recaro CS buckets with diamondquilted leather that cheekily harks back to the car’s original paint colour. And the rear seats? They’ve been junked entirely, in favour of a shiny polished roll-cage that further speaks to the inherent race car vibe that’s bundled up inside this subtle but gorgeously finished build.
The term ‘sleeper’ gets thrown around a lot and it’s not always appropriate. Hell, it’s not totally appropriate here – there are clues to the knowledgeable that all isn’t as it seems, from the custom widened steel arches and the über-slick Kerscher wheels to the glimpse of the cage peeking out through the rear windows – but at the same time, this is by no means an ostentatious or shouty car. At first glance it appears to simply be a wellkept example of an ’80s BMW rather than an obviously low-down, powerful hot rod. But that, of course, is all part of its charm. Whispering has far more impact than shouting in cases like this. And the sighing whispers of love? Doubly so.
“I really wouldn’t improve a thing about the way the car drives,” says Jim, happily proving that this is far more than simply a polished show car. “I’d describe it as optimal; the power, the brakes, the acceleration – no words needed, it’s just love. And I reckon the fitment of the wheels is probably my favourite element of the car; the 18” Kerschers are exactly what I imagined the car should have, and I’d never consider changing them. Why would you change a winning team?” Well, quite.
“I see a lot of guys taking pictures of the car while I’m driving it around, and people are always curious to find out what’s under the bonnet when they see me burning rubber,” he continues. “It’s the product of inspiration really, and the internet and Google are my best friend when it comes to researching new ideas.”
The best way to really describe it, though, is simply as a labour of love. There was a spark of inspiration that inspired Jim to rope in his mates and turn this E30 into something infinitely more special than merely a cheap runaround, and the result is a creation that reflects his personality as much as it does his obvious, unashamed love for the self-styled 335i. “Oh, and you should see her shimmy around Zolder,” he whispers.
See, this is more than simply the product of a group of friends cracking open a set of spanners and a case of beers – this is true love. Jim and his E30 are a Shakespearean tale of infatuation with a retro-styled but super-modern twist. The fume of sighs, and a full-on 99-RON love affair.
DATA FILE BMW #BMW-M30 / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-335i / #BMW-335i-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-E30-M30 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E30
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.4-litre straight-six #M30B35 / #M30 , #Getrag five-speed manual gearbox
CHASSIS 8.5x18” (front) and 9.5x18” (rear) #Kerscher wheels with 215/35 (front) and 225/35 (rear) Toyo tyres, custom air-ride system with Racepoutin’s boot build, E36 M3 brake conversion (front and rear)
EXTERIOR Full respray in Mineral grey, steel arch flares (1.5cm wider than stock)
INTERIOR Custom-trimmed Recaro CS seats, roll-cage, M-Tech 1 steering wheel, 318iS red digit dials, Viair pressure gauge in clock console, custom Alcantara trimStream 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
“It’s now running a pair of Schmiedmann Stage 2 turbos …power is upwards of 400hp”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTOTAL WHITEOUT
A stunning matt white, wide-body BMW E92 335i. The E92 bar has been raised to sublime proportions with Carlos Molina’s dazzling matt white wide-body 335i. Words: Iain Curry. Photos: Eric Eikenberry.
Perhaps the best news for us modifiers with the launch of the new F30 3-Series is the inevitable plummet in prices for the outgoing E9x models on the used market. So get yourself ready, soon these desirable fifth-gen Threes will be flooding the classified websites at prices more and more will be able to afford. That means it’s the time to get some modifying plans in place, and if you’re after a bit of inspiration, it’d be a good idea to look west to America and witness some of the latest E90/2 creations currently leading the scene.
Carlos Molina Jr. will be a name familiar to many reading PBMW, as his cars and modifying exploits have been widely publicised on the internet and in magazines. His killer E46 show car has been long on the scene since its SEMA 2008 introduction, but inevitably Carlos was tempted by a new project by 2011, this time based on the then current E92 Coupé.
In its sweetest of sweet-six engine guise, an E92 335i with a twin-turbocharged 3.0- litre is a talented platform to start work on. Carlos took the plunge and put his order in, ready to get busy with a Prior Design body kit he’d spied. “I saw glimpses of a full widebody kit on the internet, and was told that no one in the US had the full kit,” he said.
This chance at exclusivity convinced Carlos to commit to the German Prior Design offering, and just one peek at the spectacular body is enough to convince most that he made the right choice. Here is an E92 that successfully maintains its attractive factory styling, but adds muscles in exactly the right places. And sat on those achingly good-looking concave polished-lip DPEs with barely-there rubber bands wrapped round them, it’s a show-stopper both on the street and in the modified car halls.
Once Carlos had decided on the widebody, he was introduced to Michael Borja from Rollin’ Art who’d have a big say in the dramatic final results you see today. “Mr Borja was known for his meticulous painting ability, especially with matt paints,” Carlos said. “We discussed the build, and decided on a Bianco Fugi white matt pearl.”
And what a choice it was. Fresh, contemporary and very, very sexy, this matt white hue emphasises the aggressive curvature of the wide-body and, especially under show lights and street lights, you’re left in little doubt that this is a very special BMW. The body work has been meticulously carried out, with the metal work of the rear wheel wells given relief cuts and then shaped to the glass fibre Prior Design wide-arch for added reinforcement.
The full kit comprises the fattened arches, side skirts, front and rear bumpers and the vented and bulged bonnet. With subtle Prior Design wings for the bootlid and roof, the look is certainly not too over-the-top, more a case of elegant aggression. Such a style is seen on the likes of BMW’s new M6, with its factory 20-inch wheels sharing much in the way of desirable style with Carlos’ 20-inch DPE rolling stock.
The wheels sit on Tein adjustable Super Sport coilover suspension for the required slammed stance, and this thing will be a mean handler with the Whiteline front and rear anti-roll bars acting as back up. The DPEs also allow plenty of vision for the anchors behind, consisting of Rotora 14-inch discs clenched by Rotora six-pots up front and four-pots at the rear. Powdercoating these white adds even more flair behind the rims, while H2 ceramic brake pads ensure the full complement is there for pulling up promptly when this E92’s fettled powerplant is properly exercised.
While Carlos was discussing plans with Rollin’ Art in Las Vegas, it became clear that the rest of the car needed to match the level of the body. “The discussion did not end with the exterior,” he said. “I wanted the interior, engine and audio extensively worked, too.” This has been achieved and then some. Little wonder then that this E92 had more than a few crowds around it at the Accele booth at the giant SEMA show.
Starting with the cabin, this is a plush masterpiece dripping in Alcantara and carbon fibre, with the stand-out ACE Custom Steering blue steering wheel breaking up the classy blacks and greys. In true old-school racer fashion the front seats are Cobra carbon fibre items re-wrapped in Rollin’ Art diamond stitch while the surrounding gaiters, headliner and interior pillars are Alcantara. Throw in an Active Autowerke polished aluminium gear knob, NRG carbon handbrake and UUC carbon race pedals and Carlos has a sublime area to go to work in. You’ll also find parts of the mighty ICE install in here too.
There’s an Accele rear view mirror with integrated screen, and who doesn’t like a bit of personal voyeurism when out enjoying an enthusiastic drive? Check out the Accele mini video camera pointed at the driver, just to log all the fun goings-on this E92 offers.
Moving under the bootlid and there’s a veritable party to discover. Once again there are acres of Alcantara for some classy lining, and it looks superb surrounding not one but two 19-inch Accele monitors. One of these is for the bootlid’s inside while the second, on the back of the rear seats, is split into four sections to display the view from the different cameras this car features. Amps, subs and a Sony PS3 all add to the beautifully lit and presented boot install, one that even the harshest of show judges would struggle to not award top marks to.
Now that could have been that for Carlos’ E92, and we couldn’t have blamed him if the fantastic combination of six-speed manual gearbox mated to the multi-award winning 3.0-litre twin-turbo proved ample in the performance department. Not so.
“While all the aesthetics were being upgraded at Rollin’ Art, I turned to my good friend Chad Stett, owner of Stett Performance, for some engine goodies,” Carlos said. “He provided a new dual intake, charge pipe, oil cooler and upgraded vacuum reservoirs I’d suggested. No performance upgrade there, but they sure do look great next to all the other Stett Performance items powdercoated red in the engine bay.”
Yes, it’s pretty showy under that bonnet too with various Stett red flashes, plus there’s a BMW badged Axis Power Racing carbon fibre engine cover and braided hoses. Well, you didn’t expect it just to be dull factory plastic engine shrouds did you? As tasty as the under-bonnet aesthetics are, there’s plenty of substance to match the style.
The boosted six-cylinder features a Nitrous Express nitrous system with the various associated accoutrements, while a full custom exhaust by SuperSport has been fabricated to work with the Prior Design bodykit. AFE has provided the downpipe and throttle body, while a Race Precision front-mounted intercooler helps keep temperatures down more effectively than the stock item not designed for the healthy leap in power here. There was also good cause to beef the transmission up too, with Centreforce providing a performance clutch and lightened flywheel to handle the increased load.
The end result of all this? Well, it’s fantasy stuff really. The finished article is one of the finest examples of E92 tuning we’ve ever seen and is a credit to Carlos and his many sponsors and supporters involved in the build. His wide-body 2011 335i demands your attention even at a show as outrageous as SEMA and, crucially, here’s a modified #BMW that has pride of place in a show booth, tearing through the city streets under neon lights, or even out on your favourite country road thanks to its comprehensive performance and chassis enhancements.
So there’s your inspiration. The E9x model prices are on the tumble and with examples like Carlos’ 335i to aspire to we hope to see plenty more flooding our scene in the near future. This perfectly-painted wide-body may have had more coin spent on it than most modifiers can stretch to, but we hope to see more of its ilk from those brave enough to attempt it. However, for now we’re just happy to sit back and enjoy this masterwork in all its pearly matt white glory.
DATA FILE #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335i / #BMW-335i-E92 / #2011 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #N55B30 / #N55 / #BMW-N55 / #ESS-Tuning / #BMW-E92-Widebody / #BMW-E92-Prior-Design / #DPE /
ENGINE: 3.0-litre twin-turbo in-line-six cylinder with #SuperSport full custom exhaust made for #Prior-Design body kit, AFE downpipe and throttle body, #Nitrous-Express remote bottle opener, purge valve kit, bottle pressure gauge, #GENX-2 accessory kit and #IntraCooler kit, Axis #Power-Racing carbon fibre engine cover, #NRG carbon fibre valve cover, bulkhead cover, PS loop cover and panel covers, Race Precision front-mounted intercooler and Ram Air scoop system, Stett Performance / #ESS-Tuning-ECU mapping, Stett Performance twin intake version 2 powdercoated Stett red, charge pipe version 2 powdercoated #Stett red with #Tial blow-off valve, #Stett-Performance carbon fibre catch can, oil cooler system, stainless steel vacuum reservoirs powdercoated Stett red and intake duct block-off plate
TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual with Centreforce performance clutch and lightened flywheel
CHASSIS: 10x20” (front) and 11x20” (rear) #DPE-CS5 super concave three-piece wheels shod in 255/30 (front) and 285/25 (rear) Toyo T1R tyres. Tein adjustable Super Sport coilover suspension, #Whiteline front and rear anti-roll bars, Powerflex control arm bushes, Rotora 14-inch brake discs, #Rotora six-pot calipers (front) and four-pot calipers (rear) powdercoated white by Rollin’ Art, Rotora SS brake lines and H2 ceramic pads
EXTERIOR: #Prior-Design wide-body conversion, front bumper, boot lip spoiler, window wing, rear bumper, bonnet, front fenders, rear fender flares and side skirts, Rollin’ Art Bianco Fugi white full body respray
INTERIOR: Cobra carbon fibre race seats re-wrapped in Rollin’ Art diamond stitch, ACE Custom Steering steering wheel, Active Autowerke polished aluminium gearshift knob, Accele rear view mirror with integrated screen, Accele mini video camera pointed at driver, NRG carbon fibre handbrake and 16- piece interior kit, Rollin’ Art Alcantara suede gearshift gaiter, handbrake gaiter, headliner, boot liner and A- and C-pillars, UUC carbon fibre race pedals
ICE: Accele 19-inch boot monitor (split into four sections for the different cameras in car), 19-inch bootlid monitor, rear view mirror with monitor on rear view, hidden switches, actuators, FM modulator, video amplifier, video switcher and rear view camera, Sony PS3, Diamond Audio twin 12-inch subs, components, mono amp and four-channel amp, Street Wires 2* chrome cap and Street Wires audio/visual wiring throughout
THANKS: Eric Eikenberry for helping to get my vehicles in print, Mike Borja @ Rollin’ Art for the paint and transport, Chad Stett @ Stett Performance for support and developing the vacuum reservoirs, Stan Chen @ Toyo Tires for over 12 years of tyre support, Will Baty @ CenterForce for using the 335 as a test vehicle for future upgrades, Eloy Way @ Race Precision for believing in the build since SEMA ’07, Andreas Belzek @ Prior Design, Brian Paille @ Accele for supporting another BMW build, Bob Chanthavongsa @ Diamond Audio for last minute audio supportStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationBLUE MOVIE /
This E92 335i knows all about making a big impact. A hot, loud, wild ride that seduces, screams and amuses… Back for his second stint of PBMW fame, Steve Lin shows us how to make a bold statement with BMW’s latest Coupé, the undeniably sexy 335i. Words: Louise Woodhams. Photos: Darren Maybury.
Regular readers of PBMW should remember Steve Lin’s E39 540i featured in May 2007. How could you forget? With wide-body styling, a Candy fuscia paint scheme, 20” iForged wheels and a supercharger to boot, it’s a car you’re not going to forget in a hurry! And astonishingly, little over a year later he’s back. His second project may not be as outrageous as the Five, but it is another unusual choice of base car.
Steve placed the order for his E92 335i in February 2007, taking delivery of it some months later on April 24. The Mission Viejo resident first fell in love with the blue and white roundel some 11 years ago at the tender age of 18, when his father bought him a new E36 328i, insisting that a BMW was the safest car for a teenager. If only my dad was as concerned for my wellbeing! A Ford Fiesta 1.1 doesn’t quite match up!
As far as Steve is concerned now, no other manufacturer can rival BMW’s exquisite drive, handling and performance, so it’s no surprise to hear that he’s already planning his next project, a VIP-style E60 M5, slammed on 21s and tuned to 600bhp. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, for now we want to know more about this stunning 335i. That colour’s pretty nice, isn’t it? It’s Montego blue, our man did consider Alpine white, but apparently it’s very common on the busy roads of southern California, so blue it was. A similar hue has been carried through to the lip of the wheels, something often seen on the Japanese tuning scene, and the spokes painted gloss black with contrasting polished bolts. If ever you needed an example of the adage ‘wheels maketh the car’ here’s the proof. As Vice President of operations for iForged, Steve had very little choice when it came to picking a brand of rim, so he plumped for one of his personal favourites from the Precision Series range, the Essen, the very same wheels fitted to his Audi A3.
The 335i’s dynamics are pretty much flawless straight from the factory, but with H&R anti-roll bars teamed with a substantial drop on KW Variant 2 coilovers sharpening it up even further while also providing a snug fit for those 8.5x20” wheels, we doubt there’s any complaints from Steve. With a 2.5” lip up front and a 4” lip out back shod in 245/30 and 285/25 Toyo T1R tyres respectively, it’s a winning combination of modern way-low attitude, streched rubber and custom rims.
Take a closer look and you’ll see Steve’s also made improvements to the car’s braking performace as well, with Rotora’s eight-piston calipers clamped to 15” cross-drilled discs on the front and four-piston calipers matched to 14” cross-drilled discs for the rear.
From its balanced proportions to its elegantly cut creases, the latest Coupé is stylish and sporty without reverting to radical and awkward sculpting. Contemporary BMW design has been a strangely hit and miss affair, but rather than averting your eyes for fear of seeing an uncomfortable assortment of panel gaps, shut lines and ridges, the bullseye has been firmly hit in this instance. In fact, I suspect Mr Bangle may have been on his holidays when the Board of Directors approved this machine, but as we modifiers well know, there’s always room for improvement. Steve takes up the story: “I thought the stock styling was too subtle for the car, so I fitted the Rieger body kit for a more aggressive look. I’ve always believed in building a car that’s muscular but sleek at the same time. I like the fact that people can’t figure out what I did to my car because everything flows so well together. The front end is my favourite part of the car, it just looks so much more aggressive now compared to standard.” We couldn’t have explained it better ourselves. DTM Autobody in El Monte took care of fitting the Rieger front bumper, side skirts, rear diffuser and carbon fibre splitter, having to shave the edges to ensure a flawless finish, while Steve painted the kidney grille black for a simpler, cleaner look and popped in 8000K xenon bulbs to give the headlamps a piercing stare.
The 3.0-litre twin-turbo in-line-six will blaze the 0 to 62 sprint in 5.5 seconds – although acceleration times from other motoring magazines have proved even faster than the company’s claimed figures. Steve plans on getting a front-mounted intercooler, downpipes and, eventually, bigger turbos, for now though he’s quite satisfied with the Racing Dynamics Sport quad exhaust system and #Black-Box installed by Auto Talent in Los Angeles. The RD Black Box is a self-contained ECU that works as a piggyback to the #Siemens-MSD80-DME . By controlling a variety of parameters such as boost pressure and timing advance, it delivers an additional 65bhp and 80lb ft of torque, bringing the performance of this 335i to the range of the current V10 powered M5 and far beyond the outgoing E46 M3. “The power increase was noticeable in every gear, especially in second and third,” revealed Steve. For those E92 owners interested in fitting one yourself, you might also like to know the unit can be bypassed with the provided Service Plugs or can be removed in minutes to restore your 335i to its original state.
Tuned to over 365bhp with styling to make every E92 owner weep with envy, look at this car and tell me you don’t want it. Steve’s dream would be to widen the front fenders and rear quarter panels, throw on some 13x20” wheels shod in 345/25 tyres and increase power to 500bhp at the wheels.
Given he’s done all of the above in four months, it may not seem altogether unattainable. There’s certainly no denying the car won’t be used to its full potential either, he’s already clocked 150mph on the way back from last year’s SEMA show. I seriously doubt this is the last we’ll hear from Steve. Whether it be stage two of the 335i, which bears all the promise of being bedroom wall pin-up fodder, or his next project, the M5, one thing’s for sure; we’ll bring you the exclusive coverage.
“I like the fact that people can’t figure out what I did to my car because everything flows so well together”
DATA FILE #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335i / #BMW-335i-E92 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #N54B30O0 / #BMW-N54 / #N54 / #BMW / #N54B30 / #Forged / #KW / #Racing-Dynamics
ENGINE: 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six with #Racing-Dynamics-Sport quad exhaust system and Black Box
CHASSIS: 8.5x20” and 10x20” #iForged-Precision-Series-Essen wheels with gloss black centres and #Sapphire blue lips shod in 245/30 and 285/25 Toyo T1R tyres respectively. #KW-Variant-2 coilovers, #H&R front and rear anti-roll bars. #Rotora eight-piston calipers and 15” cross-drilled discs (front) and Rotora four-piston calipers and 14” cross-drilled discs
EXTERIOR: Montego blue factory paint, Rieger front bumper, carbon fiber splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser, custom painted black kidney grille, 8000K xenon headlight bulbs
INTERIOR: Standard black leather eight-way power factory sport seats and brushed aluminium trim
THANKS: #iForged-Performance-Alloys (www.forgedwheels.com), #KW-Suspensions (www.kw-suspension.com), Rotora Brakes (www.rotora.com), Toyo Tires (www.toyo.com), Auto Talent (www.autotalent.com), DTM Autobody (www.dtmautobody.com)
Tuned to over 365bhp with styling to make every E92 owner weep with envy, look at this car and tell me you don’t want it.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationGENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT ROAD WARRIOR – fearsome 426hp wide-body #BMW 335i doubles as a daily driver. Sensible is a relative term, as this wide-body 335i proves. Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Jape Tiitinen. Sometimes in life, you just have to be sensible. Although as Toni Kärkkäinen’s startling 335i proves, ‘sensible’ is a malleable term on a sliding scale…
‘Life,’ sang indie stalwarts Mansun in the 1990s, ‘is a series of compromises.’ You only get to live once, so do the things you love and make time to make yourself happy, but at the same time life is not a solo endeavour – if you’re playing it right, you’ll have other people involved; it could be the clichéd 2.4 kids, spouse and mortgage scenario, or it might be your online car buddies, or the dudes you hang out with in the lockup when you’re spannering your projects together. Whatever the situation, your decisions and choices are seldom informed solely by what will make you happy. It has to be what makes you and your network happy, reaching compromises, being accommodating to all. Living unselfishly is the key to fulfilment.
Still, this doesn’t have to mean you can’t do the things you want to do. Take the 335i we’re looking at here – it screams many evocative verbs at you, but ‘compromise’ isn’t really one of them, is it? “This all began back in #2012 when our baby girl arrived on the scene,” explains owner Toni Kärkkäinen. “We had to change my girlfriend’s 1 Series for an E90 3 Series because the 1 Series was just too small. After that, I started thinking that I needed to upgrade my own car – to a newer model of course… Our E90 felt good to drive, so I started thinking about an E92 or E93 because I like two-door cars. I was looking at the M3 version, naturally, but I couldn’t afford it, and after some hard thinking I realised that the convertible E93 didn’t meet my needs as it didn’t have enough boot space, so the most sensible option was the E92 335i.”
Yep, he did just use the word ‘sensible’ there, and he’s to be applauded for that. It takes some fortitude to convince yourself that such a decision can be explained rationally – although the inherent element of perceived compromise does, arguably, make the endeavour an easier sell. Let’s just skim over the fact that the real turning point in the decision-making process was when Toni saw Prior Design’s wide-body kit for the E92… We should point out at this point that Toni isn’t your average family man with a couple of BMWs on the drive, but is in fact CEO and owner of Schmiedmann Finland. This is a brand you may be familiar with; founded in Denmark in 1996, what began as an importer of BMW parts rapidly expanded across Scandinavia and beyond, the sale of new and used official parts being augmented by its own bespoke, Schmiedmann-branded products – exhausts systems, short-shift kits, manifolds, you name it. So there is a certain business case to be made for Toni to be doing such wild things to his own car…
The man’s got form, too. His personal car history is, as you might imagine, studded with Bavarian greatness, from his E46 330Ci that he modded to M3 CSL specs with original parts (along with G-Power supercharger and three-colour leather retrim) to his old-skool E36 325i, he’s in his comfort zone when he’s doing this kind of stuff. A safe pair of hands.
So, the 335i – how, and where? “I’ve always imported my cars into Finland, either personally or with someone else doing it for me, due to the fact that it all works out cheaper and you get better equipment, like leather and iDrive and so on,” Toni explains.
“There were no reasonably-priced E92 335is in Finland at the time anyway, so I sourced this car from Germany – although it was originally from Italy. It was checked over by a trusted person from the Blauweiss import company and found to be in good overall condition. It was a basic car with basic wheels, nothing special, but that didn’t matter, as I knew that I’d be changing everything!”
So, true to his word as well as his principles, Toni set about tearing the car down pretty much as soon as it arrived on Finnish soil. Time waits for no man, eh? A stack of parts started to build up as more and more of that uninspiring stock fare got unbolted and ditched, ready to swap out for inspirational upgrades. But then events took an unexpected turn…“When we did the test installation of the Prior Design wide-body kit, we realised that we’d have to do quite a lot more work than we’d originally anticipated to make it look as it should,” Toni recalls with a raised eyebrow. “The front bumper and wing alignment was off on both sides, and there were many other similar small issues to deal with.” None of this is insurmountable stuff however, and the fact that everything now sits so straight and true is testament to the tenacity and patience of the Schmiedmann crew. It was certainly worth putting in the extra hours.
“Then – finally – came the day that the car was taken away to be painted. The decision about the colour was made a couple of days before – Matt Sparkling Graphite Metallic,” he remembers. “It was not an easy decision and I took a big risk, but it was totally worth it.” Again, though, this wasn’t all plain sailing. As amenable and eager-to-please as the 335i generally is, it has to be said that this particular one was fighting back.
“After I got the car back to the workshop, I noticed some issues with the paint,” Toni sighs. “There were too many small imperfections all around the car, so it needed to be repainted. The matt colour is not easy to paint, because all the smallest little particles are visible under the surface and you just can’t polish them away. The front bumper was repainted three or four times, the rear bumper and bonnet twice, and so on. But after I was finally happy with the painting, I started to put the car back together. Quite soon I realised that I had to get some 1M and M3 parts to get the body looking the way I wanted, like inner wheelhouse covers, brake ducts and so on – yes, of course I should have known to get these parts earlier, but I was so excited to get car done and ready for the Bimmerparty show! Overall, the build was not as straightforward as I thought it would be, but I did manage to get the car ready two days before my deadline and won the first Show ’n’ Shine prize at Bimmerparty…”
You’ll also be pleased to learn that the boisterous aesthetics are not the whole story. While the stock 335i is no slouch, Toni’s spruced things up in the underbonnet area with a pair of uprated Schmiedmann Stage 1 turbos, working in conjunction with the firm’s proprietary downpipes, a huge Wagner Tuning intercooler, Burger Motorsport filters and the guiding hand of custom management; it’s now putting out 426hp, which is pretty rowdy. The drivetrain’s been beefed up to suit, with a Quaife LSD and diff cooling plate, although Toni admits that this has crept back on to the to-do list. “I’m looking at clutch options,” he says, “as 455lb ft of torque is having some effects!”
He’s also talking about revamping the interior, although we’re big fans of how it is so far – the Coral red Dakota leather is outstanding. What a poke in the eye to the perceived wisdom that seats should be black or grey! This factory-option hide is so bright it makes other things in the world a few shades less red simply by existing. And what’s even more fun inside the car is that Toni’s seen fit to install an Awron Performance display system; this is an awesome all-in-one digital gauge that fits inside one of the air vents, relaying information about boost, torque, speed, acceleration, temperatures, all sorts. It’s like playing Gran Turismo for real.
The most important element of the story is that Toni’s stayed true to the original compromise, if we can still even dare to use that loaded term, as while countless hours have been expended on getting the aesthetics just-so and the performance enough to make the surface of the asphalt tremble with apprehension, it’s still a car that he can ferry the family about in without any trouble. “Oh yes, it gets used daily, even throughout the winter,” he nods. “We use it for our big summer family holiday trips too, which often causes amusing reactions.
People often ask how we use it so often with it being so low or how we manage to fit the whole family in there, but we do!” All of this, combined with the fact that the car seems to always be winning prizes at shows across Europe, proves that Toni has done something right. Compromise isn’t a dirty word. As this build conclusively demonstrates, it’s just another milestone along the road to project car success. Your car, your rules – if it’s right for you, then that’s just about as right as it needs to be.
Oh yes, it certainly gets used daily. We use it for our family holiday trips too.
Custom front lip and M4-style angel eye halos up front, Schmiedmann exhaust at the back.
Vibrant Coral red interior enhanced by #BMW-Performance steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake, Schmiedmann pedals and Awron vent-mounted digital display.
DATA FILE #Schmiedmann / #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335i / #BMW-335i-E92 / #BMW / #BMW-335i-Schmiedmann-E92 / #BMW-335i-Schmiedmann /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo #N54B30 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 , #Schmiedmann-Stage-1-turbos , Schmiedmann downpipes, #Wagner-Tuning-EVO-2-Competition intercooler, #Burger-Motorsport DCI air filters, #AJ-Tech custom DME software, Schmiedmann rear sport silencers with high-gloss black pipes, six-speed manual, Quaife LSD and differential cooling plate.
CHASSIS 9.5x19” ET0 (front) and 11x19” ET-5 (rear) #BC-Racing-HB29 / #BC-Racing wheels in matt bronze with 225/35 (front) and 285/30 (rear) tyres, #Lowtec H9.4R coilovers, M3 front wishbones and radius rods, M3 rear subframe bushings, #Zimmerman drilled brake discs with EBC RedStuff pads.
EXTERIOR Matt Sparkling Graphite Metallic, Prior Design PD-M1 wide-body aerodynamic kit, custom front spoiler lip, Schmiedmann EVO bonnet, Schmiedmann EVO II bootlid, LCI face-lift tinted rear lights, tinted headlights inside and out, M4-style angel eye rings, tinted M3 side repeaters.
INTERIOR Full leather Coral red Dakota interior, Schmiedmann Exclusive red floor mats, Schmiedmann Exclusive black/red alloy pedal set, BMW LED interior light upgrade, BMW Performance steering wheel with display, BMW Performance gear knob and Kinetic short-shift system, #BMW Performance handbrake handle, Awron Performance display.
THANKS Special thanks to my girlfriend of course and everybody who has helped me with this car.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationStyle Council Sampling a #BMW-F31 #BMW-335i-Touring that’s been equipped with a load of BMW M Performance goodies. The Touring is one of the best-looking versions of the 3 Series and with a smattering of M Performance accessories we reckon it looks even better Words: Bob Harper. Photography: Dave Smith. #BMW-335i
It’s not that long ago — and I know this because we’re talking about during my lifetime and whatever my kids might think I’m really not that old — that a BMW was seen as a very exclusive machine. Only the well-heeled could afford one and while dynamically they knocked the spots off offerings from the British manufacturers it wasn’t as if any Tom, Dick or Harry could wander into their local showroom and buy one. Back in 1973 if you fancied a large saloon with a decently sized engine you had plenty of cars to choose from; how about a 3.3-litre Vauxhall Ventora for less than £2000, a Ford Granada 3.0 GXL for £2300 or a #BMW 3.0S Saloon for an eyewatering £4900? No wonder there aren’t a huge number of E3 Saloons left on the roads these days.
Fast forward a little over ten years though and we can already see BMWs becoming more competitively priced and while you might think that BMW’s entry into the company car market is a relatively recent phenomenon a glance at an Autocar road test of the four-door E30 318i from 1984 shows that even 30 years ago BMWs were starting to be seen as a leftfield entry into the fleet market. “We have tended to look at the BMW 318i as a company car,” said Autocar, “and there is no doubt that it is being aimed strongly at that sector of the market.”
Perhaps what comes as the biggest surprise though is that with a base price of £8250 the 318i was actually cheaper than a Vauxhall Cavalier 1.8CDi.
Admittedly you’d have to pay extra for just about everything on the BMW – you didn’t even get an aerial for over eight grand in those days, let alone a radio – but in the space of ten years the company had come from being over twice the price to almost on a parity with Luton’s finest. And in the ensuing years BMWs have become more prevalent on our roads and while once upon a time they were viewed as an expensive and rarely glimpsed oddity you now can’t drive down the road without tripping over one. Yet even though BMWs are now a common sight and bordering on the mainstream, BMW has been careful to retain that ‘premium’ branding and feel.
Even though this is the case, chances are that virtually whatever modern BMW you drive it won’t be long before you see another on the road that’s identical to yours. Sure, if you order an M6 Gran Coupé in a particularly wild BMW Individual hue you should be safe, but for the rest of us who are more likely to be in the 1 or 3 Series end of the market you can be pretty sure that it won’t be long before you spot what appears to be an identical BMW to your own steed out on the road. However, opting for a Touring version of the 3 Series will inevitably increase your chances of standing out from the crowd as the Saloon outsells the five-door by nearly three-to-one.
And opting for the ‘Estate’ shouldn’t really be a hardship as out of all the versions of the 3 Series it’s perhaps the Touring that’s most appealing. To my eyes it’s just that little better proportioned than the Saloon and that’s something that holds true no matter which incarnation of Three you’re talking about. And with the latest F31 generation somehow the extended roofline endows the car with a longer, lower, sleeker profile and it’s a machine that looks good from virtually every angle. The fact that it has a significantly larger load carrying ability than its siblings is an added bonus that can’t be ignored, too. And if it appears smart and dashing in its standard form it can look even better with a generous application of BMW M Performance accessories as can be witnessed by this rather fine 335i example we have here.
It’s perhaps more usual to see a Saloon or Coupé fitted with items from BMW’s M Performance catalogue but I reckon that Touring owners are missing a trick because to my eyes this Estoril blue example really does look stunning. I’ve been having a meeting with some of the chaps at BMW UK while snapper Smithy has taken the Touring off to get cracking on the photos and when I arrive at our prearranged photo location I’m struck by just how stunning this 335i looks. I can’t quite put my finger on which individual component it is that’s making it look so good, so can only assume that it’s the entire package that’s giving it such visual appeal.
Kicking things off at the front is the lower front splitter which endows the Touring with a hunkered down appearance and on this machine the moulded black plastic has been left in its natural state but it can also be painted, too. This seems to be a personal choice and having seen plenty of cars fitted with this type of front spoiler setup it does seem to be colour dependant, too – it works better painted on some machines than others. Also at the front is a pair of black kidney grilles which again is a matter of personal taste. I like them on just about all colours apart from black but I know plenty of people who think a black car needs a set of black grilles! On this Estoril machine I think they work particularly well.
Moving down the car and we have a set of the M Performance carbon mirror caps which I’m a sucker for – show me some sexy carbon weave and I’m sold. Along the sills you’ll find the second part of the M Performance Aerodynamic Package, the black plastic blades that run along the bottom of the sill trims and just above these we have the black stick-on film with the M Performance logo and I still can’t 100 per cent make up my mind whether I’d fit these on a car or not… the good news though is that they’re optional so you have the choice of fitting them or not.
At the rear the Touring’s finished off nicely by an attractive spoiler that fits to the top of the tailgate while in between the twin-exit exhausts you’ll find a black plastic diffuser which helps to complete the sporty look of the car. The roof spoiler is painted (it would look really odd if it wasn’t!) and like the front splitter the rear diffuser can also be painted in body colour if you so desire. Incidentally BMW does recommend that if you’re going to fit the front splitter then the rear spoiler should also be fitted (and vice versa) or it could result in an aerodynamic imbalance.
Before we move on to the rather fine set of alloys the Touring is wearing we should also mention the exhaust system that emerges from the rear valance either side of that diffuser. The M logo etched into each of the twin pipes gives the game away that this isn’t your regular 335i setup as this machine has the M Performance rear silencer that promises an improved sound as well as looking good, too.
We’ll put it to the test momentarily but before we do we should just mention the rather arresting set of alloys the car’s fitted with. Their official title is M Performance Dual Spoke 624M and they come in a 20-inch diameter and come clad in a set of run-flat tyres; in this instance a set of Pirelli P Zeros. The wheels themselves measure 8x20- and 8.5x20- inches (front and rear respectively) and the tyres are 225/35s and 255/30s. They’re a forged design and weigh around a kilo less per wheel than a normal cast BMW 20-inch wheel which obviously has an effect on the car’s unsprung weight and should consequently give an improvement in handling. The 624M wheel and tyre set is available in two finishes – matt black or polished – and it’s the former we’ve got here.
While I’m generally not a huge fan of black alloys these ones have partially polished faces to their spokes and I actually really like the way they sit with the car and they catch the light as they turn, looking good in motion where so many black alloys just look like a dark blob within the wheel arch.
So this Touring certainly looks great, but how does it translate to the road? Despite the its good looks I don’t think I’m going to feel any additional downforce that may be generated by the aero kit, but what we need to look at most closely is the how the bigger alloys affect the car and whether that M Performance exhaust is worth its £800 price tag. Over a variety of different roads the 335i proves to ride well, and while there’s always a concern when you install larger wheels that there’s a possibility of upsetting the car’s dynamic balance this doesn’t seem to be the case here. Sure, if you hit a particularly huge pothole you do feel it, but on what I’d term ‘normal’ UK roads the 335i rides comfortably. That there’s plenty of grip should be a given, but unless you really provoke the Touring it simply remains utterly planted. While we don’t tend to get quite so much feel through the steering wheel these days with the latest generation of electronic power steering systems, this car actually feels better than most, and perhaps that’s down to the slight reduction in unsprung weight? Either way the 335i is still a very impressive piece of kit to hustle along a decent road; the eight-speed ‘box proving the perfect match for the turbocharged straight-six.
The #BMW-M-Performance exhaust also seems to work very well, offering a little bit more with its vocal repertoire than you’d get with the standard system, most notably at higher revs and it does elicit a delicious burble and the occasional pop and crack on the over run or when swapping cogs on a charge. Notch the pace back a tad and it’s a perfectly civilized companion on a longer drive and on the motorway run back to BMW’s new Aldershot HQ it’s quiet and subdued, which is just how it should be. For my taste the exhaust offers a perfect blend of subtle aural delights but I would hasten to point out that if you’re looking for a significantly louder-than-standard setup you’d better look elsewhere.
All-in-all, the M Performance 335i Touring certainly ticked all my boxes. I love the Touring shape and the M Performance additions enhance it to my eyes. The best thing about BMW’s accessories program, though, is that you can pick and choose what you want. For example this machine didn’t have any of the interior goodies we’ve seen on other M Performance demo vehicles so you really can cherry pick the upgrades that most suit your needs. As you can see from the prices in the spec panel on page 53 the individual prices aren’t unreasonable and don’t forget that many dealers will be offering reductions for ‘kit’ prices where several items are purchased and fitted at the same time. In the final analysis, what the #M-Performance range of accessories offers is the ability to make your BMW look out of the ordinary, to be just that bit more individual than the other similarly spec’d machines you’re likely to see on your daily commute. And in this increasingly homogenised world that’s no bad thing at all.
The 335i is an impressive piece of kit to hustle along a decent road; the eight-speed ’box proving the perfect match for the turbocharged straight-six.
Opting for a Touring version of the 3 Series will inevitably increase your chances of standing out from the crowd.
DATA FILE #2015 #BMW-335i-Touring-F31
ENGINE: Straight-six, 24-valve, turbocharged #N55B30 / #N55
MAX POWER: 306hp @ 5800-6400rpm
MAX TORQUE: 295lb ft @ 1200-5000rpm
TOP SPEED: 155mph (limited)
0-62MPH: 5.2 seconds
M PERFORMANCE PARTS FITTED: Front splitter, matt black (can be painted): £486. Rear diffuser, matt black (can be painted): £440. Rear roof spoiler, matt black (can be painted): £319. Black kidney grilles: £95. Side sill attachment trims, matt black (can be painted): £294. Side sill decals: £98. Carbon door mirror covers: £504. 20-inch 624M complete wheel and tyre set, matt black: £2800. M Performance exhaust system and tailpipe trims: £800.
All prices quoted are for parts only but include VAT. Contact your local dealer for painting and fitting costs, plus details of any promotions running on M Performance packages.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD #BMW-335i-E90
With WTCC-inspired styling and 530whp, this #E90 #BMW-335i is a force to be reckoned with. Justin Gomba’s E90 pays homage to the bullish aggression of the #WTCC series, then cranks the horsepower up to 11. And it’s all fully road-legal… Words: Daniel Bevis Photos: Watson Lu.
Touring Cars rock, there’s no two ways about it. Pick any era from Touring Car history and you’ll find charismatic drivers doing impressive things in cars that look like stickered-up versions of your neighbourhood’s daily drivers, probably while amusingly clattering into everybody in the vicinity in a bloodthirsty rush for the apex. Look at the inaugural #1958 season of the British Touring Car Championship, in which Jack Sears and Tommy Sopwith ended the year on equal points, so the winner was decided by a head-to-head sprint around Brands Hatch in a pair of Riley One-Point-Fives. Or last year, when Rob Austin threw his Audi up the strip at Santa Pod against a 500hp VW splittie, just for a laugh. Or the 1992 season finale, when Cleland, Hoy, Harvey and Soper all got very physical indeed, ending in acres of crumpled steel and all manner of bruised egos…
The Supertouring era of the 1990s has a certain relevance here, in fact. The 2.0-litre displacement cap meant that teams weren’t campaigning M3s like they were in the #E30 days; no, an #E36 BTCC racer would be a 318is or, later, a #320i – and not always in twodoor guise. Non-M3 more-doors gained inexorable race car kudos from this, and that ethos carries over to the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) series too. The formula is simple: take a commuter-spec car, pour a staggering amount of R&D into making it a formidable circuit racer, then shift a load of road cars off the back of it. Win on Sunday, sell on Monday, an idea as old as motor racing itself. How this manifests itself in the WTCC is cars that look from afar like the ones you’d see pootling along in the middle lane of the motorway, but up close turn out to be fearsomely wide, aggressively low, and shouty.
You can understand why a person might wish to transmute this race car chic into a daily-driven road car, can’t you? And that’s just what Justin Gomba was thinking when the green shoots of inspiration planted themselves in his brain, before ultimately sprouting, growing, and developing into the mile-wide knee-trembler you see before you. “I wanted something different, something nobody else would have,” he explains, and that’s a sentiment we hear time and time again. There’s a lot of sense in that.
Now, this may not be an M3, but the #E90 - #335i is certainly no slouch in stock form. That twin-turbo #N54 will happily kick out the thick end of 306hp all day long, which is more than enough to keep the average commuter or travelling salesman entertained. Hell, that’s as much as a #Ferrari-348 , which is a good fact to have in your arsenal for ‘mine’s-bigger-than-yours’ pub debates. But Justin had bolder aspirations, as you may well have spotted from the underbonnet shots. This is no stock #N54 . Indeed, the depth of the rabbit hole is measured by those angry hybrid snails from RB Turbo, which work in conjunction with an LTMW front-mount intercooler, Injen cold air feed, bespoke GIAC management, and a custom big-bore exhaust setup to unleash a frankly disturbing 530hp at the wheels. The stock automatic transmission is beefy enough to cope, although a fairly industrial Quaife LSD has been drafted in simply to keep the Tarmac from imploding in reverence at the sheer awesomeness of the thing.
You’ll no doubt have noticed reference to LTMW there. To regular readers, the name LT Motorwerks will be more than familiar; the El Monte, California-based outfit is well established in the game of taking hot BMWs (and other brands now) and making them hotter. What Long Tran and his team don’t know about fusing cutting-edge technology with up-to-the-minute styling trends could be Sharpied on to the back of a postage stamp. The company’s very genesis is grounded in Long’s #2006 #E90 – it’s the car that inspired him to start the business, and he’s a long-standing source of knowledge on E90post. com – so there are few places more appropriate for Justin to haul his 335i to.
In line with Justin’s aspiration to have ‘something nobody else would have’, his investigations led him to Vollkommen Design – a company which, rather helpfully, can be found in the same part of El Monte as LTMW – and the range of fibre-reinforced plastic body addenda that it has developed. Specifically, its World Touring Car Championship-style E90 kit, comprising hugely broadened bumpers, racy skirts and, most impressively, steroidally expanded wings all round. Just take a moment to appreciate the sheer girth of the thing, it really is quite incredible; sure, we’re somewhat spoiled in today’s tuner scene by the likes of Liberty Walk, Rocket Bunny and all those advocates of horizon-broadening bodystyling (both literally and cerebrally), but harnessing the functional width of a race car is an entirely separate approach. It feeds into the same fashionable arena, but its roots are planted in something that has existed in motorsport from time immemorial, stretching the body around the grippier footprint.
Oh, and since we’re talking footprint, let’s take a peek under those super-wide arches, shall we? Justin’s riding the old-skool train here with a set of timeless BBS LMs, artfully crafted by Floss Design, which neatly dovetail with the racer aesthetic. In this instance, we’re looking at 10x18s at the front, and a whopping 13” width apiece at the back axle, which is more than enough to ensure that the swollen power figures translate into effective ground-covering. But it can’t hurt to take a belt-and-braces approach, so he’s chosen to wrap a set of Toyo R888s around them – a tyre so sticky that it pretty much melts just from the force of you looking at the sparse tread pattern.
Again, it’s all about the race car vibe. And the rims look ace bursting forth from those muscular curves, don’t they? “It only took LTMW about a week to fit the whole lot,” Justin reveals, which is testament to how proficient it is at churning out kickass motors conveyer-belt-like from its Californian theatre of dreams. But it also speaks volumes for the quality of the kit. “The front fenders are one-piece, bolt-on parts that attach to the stock #BMW mountings,” he explains, “and the bumpers and skirts use the factory locations too.” Where Long’s team had their skills truly tested was in getting the rear wings right, as their fitment involves cutting back the stock wings, then attaching the Vollkommen units over the top. The finish is flawless, though, and thanks to a set of KW Clubsport coilovers (helpfully aided by Phantom air cups – a bagless air-ride system – to help get over speedhumps and suchlike), the stance is bang-on as well. Not just show low, but motorsport low.
Nothing exceeds like excess, as the old saying goes, and simply overhauling the silhouette would never be enough for a man with Justin’s magpie eye, so he’s paid a lot of attention to the details too. Both ends of the E90 have come in for a refresh; the nose wears a set of LCI headlights that have been resculpted by OSS Designs to resemble the lights found on #M4-DTM racers (arguably the most brutal and certainly the most costly Touring Car series), while the tail enjoys a CSL-alike ducktail bootlid from Duke Dynamics, flanked by more LCI jewels. Form and function meet in the interior too, as he’s sourced a set of pukka #BMW-M-Performance seats to keep his kidneys tightly hugged through the twisties, with the rear seats trimmed to match. Yes, the car still has rear seats; while it was undoubtedly tempting to junk the interior entirely and stuff it with FIA-approved monkey bars, Justin’s opted to continue the practical ethos of having four doors by ensuring that he can offer passengers a comfortable place to sit before he scares the hell out of them. And you can’t accuse him of not taking the thing to its ultimate evolution. “I have to admit I never intended to take it this far,” he says, a look of starry-eyed whimsy on his face. It’s so often the case, isn’t it? The act of modifying a BMW seldom results in half-measures or compromise. This 335i is the best that it can be. Those StopTech brakes and M3 chassis gizmos make sure of that, optimising the otherworldly power from the RB-boosted motor, and yet there’s still room for the weekly shop – what more could you want?
Arguably the coolest thing about this project is that it fulfils that little dream that always pops into your head when you’re at a race track: ‘I wonder what would happen if I peeled the stickers off that and used it on the road?’ The answer is the searing red streak that you see here, prowling menacingly through SoCal, a pit-straight refugee with a bad temper and a stableful of horses. The fact that it’s significantly more powerful than a WTCC racer is merely the cherry on a very naughty cake; couple that with the luxurious finish that LTMW have painted in broad strokes across the whole canvas, and Justin’s dream of having ‘something different’ comes alive with unrivalled flair and panache. A grand tourer and a Touring Car in one.
DATA FILE #BMW-E90 335i
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six #N54B30 , #RB hybrid turbos, #LTMW intercooler, Injen cold air intake, TiAL dump valve, GIAC management, AR Design custom downpipes and 3.5” VR Speed Factory exhaust, six-speed automatic transmission, Quaife LSD.
CHASSIS: 10x18” (front) and 13x18” (rear) BBS LM wheels with brushed bronze centres with 295/30 (front) and 335/30 (rear) Toyo R888 tyres, StopTech Trophy BBK with six-pot calipers with 355mm discs (front) and four-pot calipers with 335mm discs (rear), KW Clubsport coilover kit, Phantom rear air cups, M3 lower control arms, anti-roll bars and camber adjustment arms.
EXTERIOR: Vollkommen Design WTCC wide-body bumpers, wings, skirts and rear door extensions, CSLstyle Duke Dynamics bootlid, gloss black roof, LCI tail-lights, LCI headlights modified by OSS Designs, M3 mirrors.
INTERIOR: BMW M Performance seats, gear knob and steering wheel with LED display, Alcantara gaiters, rear seats trimmed to match.
THANKS: Long and crew at LT Motorwerks, George at KW Suspension, Darren at Vollkommen Design, James at Floss Design, Luis at OSS Designs, StopTech, Kennedy at Platinum VIP, Tiago at VRSF, #RB-turbo , Bernardo Pena, Jasper Li, James Lam, Felix and Watson Lu, and my beautiful wife Erica.
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