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    Josh and #Oli-Pittis #BMW-E93 / #BMW-330i-M-Sport / #BMW-330i-M-Sport-E93 / #BMW-330i-E93 / #BMW-330i / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E93 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E93 / #BMW / and #BMW-E90 / #BMW-330d-M-Sport / #BMW-330d-M-Sport-E90 / #BMW-330d-E90 / #BMW-3-Series-E90 / #BMW-330d-M-Sport-Saloon-E90 /

    Is this a case of brotherly love or sibling rivalry? We’re not sure but we do know that brothers Josh and Oli have built a pair of very nice E9x Threes between them. Josh was the one who got in touch so it’s only fair that he goes first with his E93 330i, which he’s owned for over two years. This black beauty has been enhanced with, among other things, M3 mirrors, a smoothed front bumper with an Arkym carbon splitter, gloss black kidneys, allblack BMW roundels, an LCI rear light upgrade and a carbon high kick rear spoiler with a set of X5 wheels to finish things off. Inside, he’s carried out a red interior swap, which looks fantastic, and a carbon gear selector, white M3-style speedo and a 10” Alpine Type R sub completes the ensemble.

    Younger brother Oli has chosen diesel propulsion and his monochrome creation is the yin to Josh’s yang. The outside has been slathered in carbon, with a carbon bonnet, CSL boot, 335 aero diffuser, front splitter and door mirror covers, while the car has been dropped on coilovers over a set of black Rotiforms. Inside, there’s a full M3 interior swap with a full white LED lighting conversion plus a paddle shift conversion. This being a diesel, Oli’s not been able to resist getting more power out of it – he’s carried out a DPF and EGR delete and has added a hybrid turbo, a Wagner front mount intercooler and a straight-through exhaust with #BMW-335d -style twin pipes. A mighty fine pair.
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    Stylish E93 M3 Convertible

    Convertibles can't be shy, meek or discreet, they need to big, bold and proud and an Atlantis E93 M3 is all of those things… Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Rash Bajwa.

    Typical. You wait ages for an Atlantis blue feature car and then two come along in a row! Last month we had the pleasure of Brad Wherrett’s turbo E36 and this month it’s the turn of Jags Bath and his E93 M3. As a show regular, you’re likely to have seen Jags’ M3 doing the rounds for years and there’s certainly no missing it, finished as it is in that striking shade of blue.

    Atlantis is a rare but much-loved colour, and with good reason, with this Individual shade adding a striking turquoise flash to proceedings. It’s the sort of colour we need to punch through the sea of silver and grey we see day-to-day. It’s the sort of colour that a sun-seeking ’Vert deserves to be finished in, the sort of colour you’d expect to see gliding along a West Coast beach front but which is welcome everywhere.

    As seems to be a trend with this month’s features, Jags did not grow up around BMWs at all and, in fact, his first motoring adventures involved Fords – an Orion that his dad bought for him as his first car and later a Sierra Sapphire, the first car Jags bought himself and which, unsurprisingly, had its fair share of mods. But despite his time with the Blue Oval, BMWs have always been close to his heart: “I have been passionate about BMWs since I can remember,” he begins, “as I have been into cars from a very young age and BMWs have always been my favourite. I am very much a petrolhead in the sense that I love all things cars, motorsport and especially modifying cars. I have always been buying mags like Autotrader etc to check out cars and Performance BMW , Max Power, and Fast Car to check out the latest products and ideas on the modding scene.”

    Modified BMW ownership was, therefore, inevitable and Jags got his first taste of Bavarian ownership with an E36 M3 Evo Convertible in Estoril blue, his other favourite colour, and at the time his dream car. Not a bad way to get a taste of what BMW has to offer. That he owns another convertible M3 comes as no surprise, though he actually started out looking to buy an M6 before the ample charms of the M3 won him over. “After a short test drive in an E92 M3 I was completely sold on the car; the V8 rumble combined with the handling and grown-up interior and the fact that the car is full of so much tech had done it for me, especially the sound! The M3 has always been my personal favourite BMW so the fact that the E92 was so good and had so many improvements, especially the DCT gearbox, meant it was the only option for me.”


    There followed a nine-month long search for the perfect E93, Jags having decided he definitely wanted a convertible, but every dealer he turned to told him the same thing: there were no Individual E93s on the system.

    Just as he was about to give up, what seemed to be the perfect car surfaced at a Scottish dealership, an Atlantis blue E93. You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out how the story ended and, after a road trip to Scotland to check out the car Jags arranged to have it delivered to London and that’s where the real adventure began.

    “I knew I was going to modify the car before buying it,” laughs Jags, “but I wanted to enjoy the car as it was first, so kept it standard for around a year to enjoy how it drove prior to modifying, and used this time to decide what I wanted.” While Jags was keen to enhance the car’s styling, he didn’t want to go down the route of body kits and, with some help and advice from the #MStyle team in Romford, a whole heap of carbon goodies was obtained and added to the M3.

    Up front there’s a carbon splitter, which helps to fill out the bumper plus it looks awesome against the Atlantis bodywork, as does all of the carbon. The kidney grilles and bonnet vents have been changed to carbon items along with the indicators, while the headlights have been treated to a smoke tint.

    At the back there’s a carbon diffuser along with an LCI tail-light upgrade, the lenses having also been tinted, and the finishing touches are custom roundels finished in black and Atlantis blue and window tints. The carbon additions alone look fantastic, but the little details really add those finishing touches and make all the difference. It’s also the details that have given the interior a bit more personality and individuality; the custom steering wheel roundel matches the exterior ones, finished in black and Atlantis, while the flatbottomed M Performance steering wheel has been treated to Atlantis stitching and a matching centre stripe. Jags has also added BMPedals brake and accelerator pedals and a matching footrest with M engraving finished in Atlantis blue and finally a pair of BMPedals extended shift paddles with Atlantis plus and minus engravings.

    While Jags hasn’t done much on the engine front, he’s added a few underbonnet bits, with a pair of RPI scoops, painted yellow and with custom Atlantis RPI logos, helping to funnel plenty of cool air to a BMC drop-in air filter. And, as there’s a V8 under the bonnet, there has to be an exhaust. “If I have to pick my favourite modification it would be the Eisenmann Race exhaust,” Jags smiles. “Funny, this is one mod I was never planning on doing as I have always liked the way the car sounds, even standard and didn’t want to change it unnecessarily. I first had the OEM mod done to the standard exhaust as I had heard a similar system on a friend’s car at a BMW meet and was impressed by the more aggressive sound.

    “After a few months, I decided it was time for a change. I have always wanted an Eisenmann exhaust and when I found that it makes a system for the E93, it was a must!” he exclaims. “I absolutely love the look and sound of the exhaust, two years on and the exhaust note is still just getting better and better,” he adds with a grin. The full fat Race exhaust means maximum volume, with an Evolve X-pipe and primary de-cat, for even more noise and with a V8 under the bonnet, that’s a very good thing indeed.

    With styling and soundtrack sorted, we come to the wheels, an essential part of any project. Jags knew he wanted 20s with either a race or performance look to them, not too many spokes and nothing in black. “I was first thinking of going for something like #BBS Le Mans wheels, as I wanted to go for more of a DTM look,” he says, “however after a long time looking I decided to go with a five-spoke wheel, as I have always liked five-spokes – they show off the brakes and calipers well and look best in concave, which is what I wanted as it makes them look more aggressive.

    “In the end I decided to go for the Cades Calisto wheels as they ticked all the boxes for me: five-spoke, concave, staggered fitment, and with a diamond cut finish with grey inserts to break it up. Most importantly the wheels went well together with the overall look of the car, which is very important when modifying. The car has to flow and all the various components should complement each other. I feel the wheels added to the car and helped to achieve the look I was going for,” says Jags and we’d have to agree with him there.

    Wheel snobs might look down their collective noses at Cades, but if you said the Calisto didn’t look good you’d be straight up lying because it’s a fantastic looking wheel, it really is, and it looks way more expensive than it is, which is definitely an added bonus. The style really suits the M3 perfectly, especially with a drop in ride height courtesy of a set of Eibach springs, and the combo of polished elements and grey areas works so well; it’s a wheel that’s definitely got a lot of presence. And, with those widely spaced spokes, it would have been rude not to give the brakes a bit of a makeover, the calipers having been painted in the same shade of yellow as appears elsewhere on the car. On paper, you might not think that yellow and Atlantis blue would work together but they really do, and with such a bold colour you need some bold elements to grab your attention.

    With a selection of choice mods, Jags has put together a fantastic-looking car in a fantastic colour, but he’s far from finished yet, this M3 being very much an ongoing project. His shopping list for future mods include some carbon accessories for the engine. “I’m also planning an #Evolve-Stage-2 remap,” he tells us, “a custom plenum, which has been delayed so many times now, and custom front headlights, which have also been delayed.” Jags is also thinking about trying out some different wheels, as the Cades have been on the car for four years now. All that sounds like an awesome lineup of future mods.

    That’s the fantastic thing about the E9x M3, it’s an awesome car straight out-of-the box but start tapping into its potential and the sky really is the limit…


    TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-E93 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E93 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E93 / #BMW-3-Series-E93 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-M3 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-M3-E93 / #S65B40 / #S65 / #BMW-S65 / #BMW /

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre V8 S65B40 , RPI air scoops resprayed in yellow with custom #RPI stickers in Atlantis blue, BMC air filter, #Evolve-X-pipe with primary de-cat, #Eisenmann Race exhaust, seven-speed #M-DCT gearbox

    CHASSIS 9x20” (front) and 10.5x20” (rear) #Cades-Calisto wheels with 245/30 (front) and 285/25 (rear) #Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta tyres, #Eibach lowering springs, #EBC pads, callipers painted yellow

    EXTERIOR Smoked headlights, carbon fibre front splitter, grilles, bonnet vents, indicators, rear diffuser, custom BMW roundels finished in black and Atlantis blue, smoked rear LCI light upgrade, tinted windows

    INTERIOR Custom BMW roundels finished in black and Atlantis blue, custom M performance flat bottom steering wheel finished in black leather with Atlantis blue stitching and centre stripe, BMPedals footrest with M engraving and finished in Atlantis blue, BMPedals brake and throttle pedals, #BMPedals shift paddles with Atlantis blue +/- engraving

    “The car has to flow and all the various components should complement each other”

    20” Cades Calisto wheels look great on the M3, as does all that carbon.

    “The M3 has always been my personal favourite BMW”
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    4 THE WIN

    Bagged, with gorgeous HRE splits, this BMW E93 Convertible is one slick sun-seeking ride. Eva Verzelen isn’t your average modifier, she’s a female and back with her latest toy – an E93 320i – her fourth feature in just as many years. We think you’ll like her… Words: Joel Newman. Photos: Kevin Raekelboom.


    Successful aftermarket styling has been and will remain a subjective concept. What floats one person’s boat may invariably sink another. Whatever styling cues you take the chances are some will appreciate your work, others will not. However in the case of Eva Verzelen’s E93 320i we beg to differ. The subtle tweaks and revisions Eva has made to her latest motor have created one of the most desirable cars we’ve ever laid eyes on.

    Don’t be too surprised though, our heroine’s had rather a lot of practice. You’re currently looking at Eva’s fourth feature in Performance BMW. Previously her ICE’d up E46 316i graced our 01/04 issue. Developing and perfecting this same car, Eva was back in 09/04 with the addition of a two-tone paint scheme, wide-arch styling and fresh leather. Following on from this, a two-year gap gave Eva just enough time to completely overhaul the family pin-up. In 06/06 the final incarnation of the E46 was completed, and this time it had grown up somewhat. Gone was the two-tone paint, replaced by a marvellous House Of Kolor Brandy hue, in place of the Racing Dynamics rollers were a set of gold powdercoated HRE rims, styling was improved with M3 bumpers and a CSL boot lid. It had, unlike so many projects, matured and improved over time. As trends and attitudes changed, the less is more approach to modifying started to catch on and quite rightly Eva was leading this field.

    Like any good parent though, she also appreciated there comes a time when, however attached we’ve become, we must let go.

    Some two and a half years later Eva is back once again, and she’s got a brand new look. It’s often worrying when previous feature car owners get in touch to say their latest project is ready. It can be a rather awkward situation if we feel their new creation isn’t what our readers are looking for, especially when they’ve already got it right once before. Thankfully and impressively we can put our hand on our hearts and tell you that with each successive feature Eva’s cars have got better and better.


    For the past four years, Eva has steadily been building up her Internet business and the hard work has paid off. Like many of us she has always dreamed of owning a brand spanking new BMW, and deservedly she has finally achieved just that. “I’ve always been in love with the E46 Convertible, but when the E93 came out I fell in love all over again! When the hard-top arrived my lust developed to the point where it couldn’t be ignored; whatever the cost I had to have one.”


    As a Belgian resident Eva wasn’t struck with the usual performance dilemma as driving a car with any thing larger than a 2.0-litre engine on this side of the Channel is an offence punishable by death, or so we’re led to believe… As such the decision of which lump to go for was removed from the equation, leaving Eva with the enviable task of picking her favourite colour and determining how she would transform the car and earn an unbelievable fourth feature. Before we go any further you need to be furnished with the facts. Eva is married to a gentleman named Geert, who just so happens to be the director of the European chapter of US-based styling forum www.Europrojektz-world.com and drives a dazzling Alpine white, chrome rimmed E60 too.


    The pair enjoy weekend jaunts to various shows, sharing a passion for modified cars, as well as each other. I guess it’s fair to say it’s the kind of relationship we all hanker after; no one likes the sour look on a partner’s face when that passion is not shared and you’re trying to justify your latest outlay.

    “I know they cost two thousand pounds darling, I know you’ve been wanting to go on that holiday, but just look at her, she’s 30mm lower all round!” It takes a woman like Eva, or a husband like Geert to smile and say “what’s next?”

    So with ample encouragement and a sprightlier bank account than ever before, Eva jumped in head first and purchased a pristine Alpine White III E93. Being a new car Eva was free to spec it as she saw fit, which enabled her to get the foundations of her dream project in place. “I’ve always fantasised about a white BMW with Shadowline trim and a red leather interior and I was finally in a position to just tick a box and have it. Along with the six-speed manual transmission I knew I had all the bases covered, and I certainly had a good idea where I wanted to take the project.”

    Even before taking delivery, Eva and her friends on Europrojektz.com had discussed which direction to take the car and unanimously the OEM plus look won the day. “I’d done the wide-arch look, I’d had the two-tone paint and at the time they really captured the scene. In the past few years my tastes have changed and standards on the scene have gone up so it was important to me that my car reflected this.” After only two days of ownership her new toy was subjected to its first enhancements. In keeping with her new clean and simple ethos, Eva ordered a carbon Vorsteiner front lip spoiler and replaced her standard rollers with a set of polished lipped, powdercoated gold 19” 540R HRE rims, the perfect complement to the white paint scheme.

    Eva was then keen to get the car’s stance just right, an often under-appreciated side of chassis augmentation that can make or break a car. Regardless of which suspension you’ve opted for, getting the correct combination of ride height, wheel size and tyre profile is paramount to the way a car sits, and Eva knows it.

    So much so that she took the plunge and created the world’s first E93 Cabriolet with air-ride. Although common on street rods and mini trucks and OEM on many luxurious cars from the likes of Maybach, Rolls Royce and Lexus, air suspension is still viewed with scepticism, mostly through ignorance than anything else. While it is true that in the past ’bags have been a little unreliable, today, that is simply not the case. The truth is that air-ride is not suitable for everyone.

    Basically, if you don’t spend time on track and are more of a cruiser than a racer then air-ride should be recommended. It’s comfortable, useful and enables you to have your car far lower without the normal headaches. Yes it may be expensive but it makes a huge difference to the appearance of any car, and at the touch of a button makes the impractical practical. Eva entrusted the car to JV-Tuning who faultlessly installed the system, which is no mean feat considering it is a world first.

    Subsequently this E93 has got its stance just right, and it’s partly because of this that everything else falls into place. The success of the project cannot be gifted to the suspension and wheels alone, as they say the Devil is in the details.

    Starting with the exterior transformation Eva has been quick to personalise her ride, her first step being the redesign of the rear bumper. With the help of Jem Design the bumper has been smoothed and a custom rear carbon diffuser integrated. It’s a stunning piece of work that looks like a factory fitted item and hints at the E46 M3 CSL’s rear end. We’re aware Eva’s colour scheme adds to its appeal but BMW’s latest M3 could certainly have benefited from such defining styling cues. Alongside the custom quad exhaust Eva plumped for, it has rear of the year written all over it.

    Along with the delicate integration of carbon door mirrors, black kidney grilles and the aforementioned Shadowline trim, every facet that creates the car’s image adds something to the mix.

    With the car coming along rather well Eva was keen to break the mould even further. “The air-ride was something I’d always dreamed of but there were other chassis modifications I was desperate to acquire. For me, a big brake kit sets off any car and I had envisaged the look of big red calipers peering through my gold HREs. People thought it was a waste of money because it’s only a 2.0-litre engine, but it’s not the case. The brake kit not only stops the car on a penny and looks a treat, it also ties the interior in with the exterior and that for me completes the car. It is my favourite modification.”

    With 335mm front and rear discs and six- pot and four-pot calipers respectively, the XYZ big brake kit was complete and Eva was finally pleased with her car’s exterior.

    The interior was, as you’d expect, rather nice to begin with so with the addition of a few M-Tech goodies such as the steering wheel, handbrake, pedals and footrest, all that was left to do was throw in some custom Europrojektz mats, stuff a BMW Performance strut brace under the bonnet, take a few photos and email them to Performance BMW magazine.


    DATA FILE #BMW-E93 / #BMW-320i-Convertible / #BMW-320i-Convertible-E93 / #BMW-320i-E93 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E93 / #BMW-3-Series-Convertible / #BMW-3-Series-Convertible-E93 /

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: Four-cylinder 2.0-litre #N42 / #BMW-N42 / #BMW with reworked air box, custom quad exhaust system. Manual six-speed gearbox

    CHASSIS: 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) gold powdercoated 540R 19” #HRE wheels shod in 225/35 and 255/30 Pirelli PZero Nero tyres respectively. BSS air suspension with #Koni adjustable coilovers, #BMW-Performance strut brace. #XYZ big brake kit with six-pot front calipers and four-pot rear calipers mated to 355mm discs

    EXTERIOR: Shadowline exterior trim, de-badged, carbon #Vorsteiner front lip, custom rear bumper with integrated carbon diffuser, carbon door mirrors, matt black kidney grille

    INTERIOR: Sports seats in Coral red Dakota leather, High Gloss interior trim, black Alcantara carpets with Europrojektz logo, M-Tech steering wheel, handbrake handle and gear knob, pedals and footrest

    THANKS: Jurgen at JV-tuning, Dario, Yves and my husband Geert


    This E93 has got its stance just right, and it’s partly because of this that everything else falls into place
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    BIG IMPACT #BMW

    With a whole lot of everything going on, this supercharged #BMW-E93 M3 on slick wheels with custom interior is a killer build.

    Words: Patrick Holness / Photos: Anna Taylor With big wheels, bold looks and plenty of supercharged power, this E93 M3 makes a big impression wherever it goes.



    There is a palpable level of excitement that gets you every time you see a well-executed car that has been meticulously sorted and modified. A car so well fashioned the minor details have details. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or you’ve managed to refrain from using social media, Danny Pessoa’s E93 M3 is that car. It begs the question, is it possible to improve the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine?’.

    Affectionately referred to by Danny as ‘Anna-Bella’ (Anna named after his wife, bella the Italian word for beauty, which both of his ladies possess), this car is absolutely splendid. Danny has crafted his E93 M3 to be nothing short of stunning, picturesque, and a work of art.

    Perhaps if you live Stateside you’ve seen her in the metal – Danny has taken every opportunity to show it off at just about all the major shows in the north east. The car has certainly lived up to the hype taking first place in multiple categories at each show. Regardless of the trophies and accolades he does it out of love for the scene. He is one of the cool guys, not afraid to share wheel specs or quote the price of a car part. His laid back and humble attitude makes him approachable and creates the basis for endless car talk. Perhaps this would explain why he has so many followers on IG.

    Let’s shift gears a bit to see how Danny got here. Like many of us the car bug bit him as a child. Growing up, Matchbox, Hot Wheels and the like were some of his favourite toys and his folks jokingly say ‘carro’ was amongst his first words. Once he reached driving age there was one brand and one car in particular that did it for him, the E46 M3. The power, the look, and the straight-six soundtrack lured him in and he vowed that one day he’d be an M owner. Fast forward some years later and Danny was able to purchase an Alpine white E46 M3. Ownership started off simply with wheels and suspension, and before you knew it he was a happy camper. Fueled with passion for modifying cars, Danny soon found himself chasing the next piece of machinery. A little reluctant he decided it was time to part ways with his E46 M3. With cash in hand, Danny was on the hunt for a new project, something more modern.

    He test-drove an E92 335i and was sold. This car started its life like his first project, with wheels, suspension, exhaust, M Sport bumpers, and other custom pieces. “I enjoyed the car, it was great but I missed the M3,” Danny admits and he soon found himself surfing the internet in search of an E93 M3. He had specific requirements this time around; this time it had to be white with a red interior, convertible top and manual transmission. Criteria set, Danny found himself glued to his smart phone searching numerous car sites every free moment he had. This went on for six months and while many examples popped up, they weren’t right. As luck would have it his search eventually led to a 2009 example that met his requirements. A phone call was made to the dealership and Danny found himself making the five-hour drive from New Jersey to West Virginia and wasted no time making it his.


    With his new car and a big grin on his face, he stopped by to see friend and owner of AMS Autowerks, Diogo Azevedo. Danny was looking for a set of Rotiform wheels to fill the M3’s arches, initially planning a fresh set of rims and suspension and leaving things there… On the wheel front he treated the M3 to a set of 19” TMBs, measuring a mighty 10” up front and 12” at the rear, initially in a brushed finish, followed by brushed red and finally black.

    For the suspension, Danny turned to Air Lift for an air-ride kit. Attempting to squeeze the massive rear wheels under the E93’s arches, even ones as ample as the M3’s, is no mean feat. Diogo and his crew had to pull the rear quarters out by 2” to get the perfect stance and allow them to tuck under the arches when aired out. As you can see, the TMBs are gone and in their place are a set of gorgeous 20” INDs finished in rose copper, though they’re the same width as the 19s so no further arch work was required.

    The body received a Mode Carbon front lip, side splitters, rear diffuser, side vents and Motorsport wing on the OEM bootlid, but Danny couldn’t make his mind up about the spoiler so Anna-Bella currently has a carbon fibre CSL bootlid and he alternates between the two different sets of wheels and bootlids. Headlights and tail-lights received attention as well, the former being sent to Lightwerkz for a blacked-out finish while the tail-lights were swapped for all-red items: “The car was looking great,” says Danny, “but I wanted more power…”

    With this in mind, over the winter a complete exhaust system from Active Autowerke was installed before he purchased a Gintani Stage II supercharger kit. This intercooled setup uses a Vortech V3 Si Trim blower fed by a sexy carbon fibre intake and runs at between 7-7.5psi to whip up a 650hp storm, backed up by 420lb ft of torque, giving Danny all the performance he could want. “The first time I drove it, it felt like a race car!” he grins. “I said ‘oh s**t this car is fast!’” he adds with a chuckle.

    With the engine work done, Danny focused his attention on the interior and boot. He commissioned Ryan from Exact Art to sort out the interior details and he has covered nearly every inch of the car in Fox red leather or Alcantara. The result really is a work of art.


    The steering wheel was also upgraded to a carbon fibre item, and the front factory seats were replaced with Recaro CS Sport seats which were also trimmed in matching Fox red leather. Carbon fibre was integrated into the doorcards, dash, and rear passenger headrests while a custom harness bar was fabricated and colour-matched by AMS Autowerks to accommodate the Sabelt harnesses. The doorcards received attention as well and they include the same hex arrow stitching that is inlaid in the seats. The roof has been lined with Alcantara and the floor mats have been trimmed in white to match the exterior.


    In today’s scene a proper boot install is almost a must, and Danny’s M3 delivers on that front. The air tank for the air-ride has been colour-matched to the car and custom Fox red leather straps add the finishing touch, while leather and Alcantara adorn pretty much every surface. New factory stickers were also ordered to replace those that had to be removed and special homage was paid to Johnny Walker with a crafty Blue Label setup. In total the interior and boot work took over 200 man-hours and deprived Danny of his car for nine months, but it was most definitely worth it. So, is it possible to improve the Ultimate Driving Machine? Unequivocally the answer is yes. Danny’s car is nothing short of a modern masterpiece and one that both he and everyone else can get an immense amount of pleasure from.

    Stunning custom interior and boot build took over 200 hours and nine months to complete but was worth it.

    This project is not all about looks – #Gintani Stage II supercharger kit makes 650hp and 420lb ft of torque.

    DATA FILE BMW Supercharged #BMW-E93 M3 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E93 / #BMW-M3-Supercharged-E93 / #BMW-M3-Supercharged /

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre #V8 #S65B40 / #S65 / #BMW-S65 / #S65-Supercharged / carbon intake, #Gintani-Stage-II supercharger, #Active-Autowerke exhaust, six-speed manual gearbox.

    CHASSIS 10x20” (front) and 12x20” (rear) #Rotiform IND threepiece splits in #Rose-Copper , #AirLift Performance airride with V2 management, carbon strut brace.

    EXTERIOR Mode Carbon front lip, side splitters, Motorsport wing, side vents, and rear bumper diffuser, CSL carbon fibre bootlid, rear quarters pulled 2”, #LightWerkz custom headlights, all-red rear lights.

    INTERIOR OEM M3 carbon steering wheel, dash, doorcards, centre console and rear headrest trimmed in carbon fibre, Fox red leather dash, seats, doorcards with hex arrows stitching, Alcantara roof and convertible top cover, custom harness bar for Sabelt harness, Recaro CS Sport seats, floor mats trimmed in white, colour-matched air tank with custom leather straps, boot trimmed in Fox red leather and Alcantara, bottle of Johnny Walker Blue and glasses in boot.

    THANKS My wife for all of her love and support.

    The first time I drove it, it felt like a race car! I said ‘oh sheet this car is fast!’ Danny Pessoa.
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    BUYING GUIDE #BMW-E90 #BMW-E91 #BMW-E92 #BMW-E93 #Alpina-E90 tuning B3 and B3S

    All the important things to know about buying an E9x #Alpina-B3 . With plenty of power and performance capabilities that gave the M3 a hard time the Alpina B3 Bi-Turbo was a very special car. Indeed, they still are today… Words: Simon Holmes Photography: Dominic Fraser and Dave Smith.

    When the #Alpina-B3-Bi-Turbo burst on to UK roads back in #2008 it came in with a bang. Based upon the 335i, Alpina had transformed an already very capable road car into an M3-chasing monster but with even more diversity and subtlety than its M-badged brother. Plus there was the extra air of exclusivity that comes with #Alpina . The B3 was available as a saloon, Touring, coupé or convertible straight from the off and, typical of Alpina, there was little to give the game away from the outside except for a couple of small spoilers and the classic Alpina wheels.

    But underneath there had been plenty of smaller changes that equated to a vastly improved overall package. It helped that the 335i was a good starting base but with room for improvement Alpina began with the engine. Powered by the glorious #N54 3.0-litre straight-six fitted with two turbochargers, in #BMW-335i-E90 form it made a healthy 306hp and 295lb ft. But with more in mind Alpina first of all replaced the pistons with bespoke items from Mahle in order to lower the compression ratio down to 9.4:1. This was to ensure the engine would be able to withstand the extra boost pressure it added, now peaking at 1.1bar. To keep everything running smoothly an additional oil cooler was added to maintain optimum running temperatures, even in extreme conditions. It was then coupled to a modified version of BMW’s six-speed sport automatic transmission, which now included Alpina’s Switch-Tronic buttons located behind the steering wheel to change gear if required.

    Power rose to 360hp at 5500-6000rpm and torque was up to 369lb ft over a range from 3800- 5000rpm, some 74lb ft more than an M3, and the engine was happy to rev all the way to the 7000rpm redline. The spread of power also was also very broad and it made 294lb ft as low down as 1300rpm, the kind of power band usually reserved for diesels. On the road that led to sensational performance. 0-62mph came in just 4.8 seconds for the saloon and coupé versions, the same as a manual M3, whilst the Touring took 4.9 seconds and the convertible 5.0, presumably due to their extra weight. As they weren’t limited like BMWs were, top speed was a blistering 177mph for the saloon and coupé whilst the Touring managed 175mph and the convertible 174mph.

    Emissions took a little bit of a hit, ranging between 232 and 237g/km, but it was a small price to pay for the level of performance, and when it comes to an Alpina then emissions aren’t one of the first things that comes to mind anyway. Economy is a little more important and all of the models hovered around the 28.8mpg mark as an average, dropping down to the high 19s or low 20s depending on the model, a touch behind a regular 335i.

    Aside from the power and performance hike there was much more to the B3, as you would expect. Alpina had spent plenty of time fine-tuning the chassis setup to deliver a superior handling package that was still practical. Uprated springs and dampers were fitted in place of the originals and although the ride was slightly firmer, it was far from harsh or uncomfortable. The ride was helped by the use of softer non-run-flat tyres fitted to the classic Alpina multi-spoke wheels measuring 18-inches in diameter and eight-inches wide at the front and nine-inches at the rear. They were fitted with 245/40/18 and 265/40/18 tyres and 19-inch Classic or Dynamic wheels were an optional extra.

    Exterior styling was typically Alpina. There was a small lip spoiler added to the bottom of the front bumper and four exhaust tips emerged from underneath the modified rear bumper. All but the Touring models featured a subtle lip spoiler mounted on top of the bootlid, which finished off the additions nicely.

    On the inside the dials were, of course, blue with red needles, as with all Alpinas, and the analogue mpg indicator mounted below the rev counter was replaced with an oil temperature gauge showing from 70 to 170º Celsius. The digital display between the clocks showed a speed readout as well as all of the usual mpg calculations. Alpina logos were fitted to the backs of the seats and the steering wheel featured green and blue stitching, finished with a centre Alpina badge to replace the BMW roundel. There was also a build plaque with an individual build number fitted, too. The price for all this was £44,500, which was a lot of money but then you were getting a lot of car.

    After two years of production along came the B3’s replacement. Named the B3 S, it was an evolution of the previous car that seemingly did the impossible by coupling improved performance, power and torque with reduced fuel consumption and better emissions. Based upon the face-lifted E9x range it was available in the same choice of platforms as before. However, whilst BMW chose to move on to the newer, updated #N55 engine, which did away with the twin-turbo setup in favour of a single twin-scroll turbo, Alpina instead decided to stick to what it knew. So the same N54 engine found in the B3 was kept on but further modified. The key changes were to the air intake and filter setup which were redesigned to optimise minimal pressure loss. The exhaust system was also improved to address backpressure and together the modifications effectively allowed air to pass into the engine more efficiently and gases to leave more efficiently. Boost pressure was also slightly increased, again to 1.2bar.

    Despite the relatively minor touches the end result was a class-leading 133hp per litre, or 400hp peak at 6000rpm. Torque was also up to 397lb ft at 4500rpm and the same 294lb ft of torque available at just 1300rpm. That equated to an even faster 0-62mph time of just 4.7 seconds and a top speed of a truly staggering 186mph for the saloon and coupé versions. The convertible again trailed slightly behind, at 185mph, but the Touring was quoted as touching 189mph, which were all supercar-baiting speeds not so many years ago.

    On the outside the front lip spoiler was of a different design to match the BMW’s face-lifted front bumper and whilst the rear lip spoiler was the same there was now a matching diffuser fitted at the rear underneath the bumper to house the four exhaust tips. The wheels, tyres and interior details remained virtually the same though.

    The car didn’t come cheap: a convertible cost a whopping £55,250 back in 2010. The B3 S wasn’t quite as successful as its predecessor, largely due to the D3 Bi-Turbo diesel version now accounting for a majority of Alpina sales. It was replaced in 2013 with the new F3x model.


    Bodywork

    The E9x range isn’t really affected by rust issues so when it comes to the B3 and B3 S it’s far more important to make sure everything is present and correct. Replacement spoilers are available but they are very expensive and if the car has been in an accident before they may not have been replaced with the correct item, so check carefully. Both the B3 and B3 S models should have an Alpina front lip spoiler below the front bumper although they are different in design between the two models due to the shape of the front bumpers. Check to make sure it’s not damaged as they do lower the car’s front-end ground clearance. There should be a small lip spoiler on the bootlid for all models except the Touring and the B3 will have what looks like a standard 335i rear bumper but with larger cutouts for the four-tailpipes. Only the B3 S has an additional diffuser added to the bottom of the rear bumper. Items such as graphics/stripes can still be ordered from Alpina.


    Buying one

    The big concern with buying an Alpina has always been to make sure you are actually buying the real thing and not a replica. It’s a lot easier to tell nowadays than it used to be but you should still make sure you know what you’re looking at as some cars are particularly subtle. Aside from the front and rear spoilers, key signs will be on the inside. Look for the blue dials and an oil temperature gauge in place of the mpg indicator. Make sure the correct Switchtronic buttons and build plaque are there. The plaque is mounted up on the roof by the interior lights. If any of these aren’t present find out why. The other easy way to tell should be by the engine. From opening the bonnet, the B3 should have a badge on the front of the engine cover, and the B3 S will have an Alpina badge in place of the BMW roundel with Alpina Bi-Turbo written on the cover to the right-hand side. It should be obvious from the way it drives, too. On the road, it’s a very fast car and it should feel every bit of it with a pleasant accompanying soundtrack to go with it. Although they are quite heavy cars they hide it well and in the real world they can hold their own against an E9x M3 in most scenarios. The steering is sharp and the ride is still firm enough to be fun but usable on even the bumpiest roads.

    Your other big concern when buying a B3 or B3 S will be finding one. As mentioned, the more practical D3 Bi-Turbo was available at the same sort of time and it outsold the B3 by ten to one in some cases. As a result, the petrol versions were rare cars when they were new so be prepared to take what you can get if you want one. The earlier B3 was the more popular of the two but only 111 examples were sold in the UK, made up of 50 coupés, 44 convertibles, 15 saloons and just two Tourings. The B3 S was even rarer and only 43 UK examples were sold, made up of 24 convertibles, 12 coupés, four saloons and three Tourings. Based on those numbers and how rare they are it’s best to have an idea of what model you want, be realistic about how likely you are to find one and then keep an eye on what comes up and be willing to compromise. Price-wise, there are never many for sale but search the internet and specialist forums enough and you should find one or two pop up. The cheapest we found was £18,995 for a 2008 B3 saloon with 57,000 miles on it and some nice options fitted. We also found a 2008 B3 saloon in white with the optional 19-inch wheels and 38,000 miles under its belt for £22,950. Top of the pile was a 2011 B3 S convertible with just 13,000 miles for a wholesome £33,000. If you’re after a Touring be ready to wait it out.

    On the road, it’s a very fast car and it should feel every bit of it with a pleasant accompanying soundtrack to go with it.

    Interior

    Alpinas have always been famous for the sometimes extravagant choice of their interior colours, so don’t be surprised if the leather trim is finished in a loud colour, although most of the time it will be black. If the steering wheel is worn or stitching is discoloured you can still order a replacement direct from Alpina, but be warned, it is extremely expensive.

    Have a good look over the interior’s general condition; these cars are usually well-looked-after with low mileages but make sure it’s all as it should be and all of the individual Alpina items are in place. Also, make sure the convertible and coupé models hand you the seat belt as you close the door as this mechanism can fail.

    Steering and suspension

    The suspension setup on the B3 models was specially modified by Alpina and doesn’t use regular #BMW components for the important bits. Instead, it features Bilstein dampers with Eibach springs to give the firmer ride and although most B3 and B3 S models haven’t covered many miles, those that have might find these becoming a little tired now. It’s not hard to get replacements though as these can still be bought direct from Alpina.

    Aside from any unusual noises to listen out for there shouldn’t be too much to worry about otherwise, although be aware the stiffer suspension and larger wheels with lower profile tyres will give a harsher ride than you perhaps might be used to, although it’s still good for a sports saloon.

    Also, brakes always seem to wear out quickly on the E9x models and the Alpina puts added strain on them due to it enhanced performance, so expect brake wear to be a common occurrence.

    Wheels, tyres and brakes

    Needless to say all cars came with Alpina wheels and the standard fit items were the multi-spoke Classic in 18-inch diameter with staggered rears an inch wider. Also fairly common were the upgraded 19-inch wheels in either the Classic or Dynamic design, the latter featuring spaced spokes in a star-shaped pattern. All Alpina cars ran Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres from new and none were run-flats, so make sure there are provisions in case of a flat tyre as the E9x was never designed to carry one.

    Alpina B3/B3S Bi-Turbo

    ENGINE: Six-cylinder, twin-turbo #N54B30
    CAPACITY: 2979cc
    BORE/STROKE: 84.0x89.6mm
    MAX POWER: 360hp (400)
    MAX TORQUE: 369lb ft (397)
    PRICE (NEW): From £46,950 (49,250)

    Saloon #BMW-E90-Alpina-B3
    0-62MPH: 4.8 seconds (4.7)
    TOP SPEED: 177mph (186)
    ECONOMY: 28.8mpg (29.1)
    EMISSIONS: 234g/km (224)

    Coupé
    0-62MPH: 4.8 seconds (4.7)
    TOP SPEED: 177mph (186)
    ECONOMY: 291.mpg (29.1)
    EMISSIONS: 232g/km (224)

    Touring
    0-62MPH: 4.9 seconds (4.8)
    TOP SPEED: 175mph (189)
    ECONOMY: 28.5mpg (29.1)
    EMISSIONS: 237g/km (225)

    Convertible
    0-62MPH: 5.0 seconds (4.9)
    TOP SPEED: 174mph (185)
    ECONOMY: 28.5mpg (29.1)
    EMISSIONS: 237g/km (225)
    Figures in brackets (in all above panels) refer to B3S
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