- Post is under moderationTHE ROAD TO LE MANS! / #BMW-M8 / #BMW / #BMW-8-Series / #2018-BMW-8-Series / #2018 / #BMW-M8-GTE / #BMW-Motorsport
No sooner had BMW announced that it was bringing the 8 Series back from the dead, than we’re standing in front of a car-sized tent, branded with the slightly strange legend ‘Too Many Secrets’, in the car park of the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Then, with the metallic bark that’s the calling card of a highly-tuned V8, the vehicle that’s shielded from us fi res into life and, with a rip of Velcro, the veil is removed and we get our first glimpse of the BMW M8. Yes, that’s right, while we’re still coming to terms with the resurrection of the 8 Series, BMW is already working on the high-performance version.
Frank van Meel, president of M Division said: “The conception and development of the standard BMW 8 Series and the M model run in parallel. The future BMW M8 will build on the genes of the 8 Series, and augment its DNA with added track ability and generous extra portions of dynamic sharpness, precision and agility.”
At this stage, of course, we don’t know much beyond what BMW is prepared to tell us on the quiet, and what we can see from looking at the heavily-disguised demonstrator in the metal. On the first point, it’s no leap of blind faith to assume that the M8 will run the drivetrain that powers the 2018 M5.
That means a 4.4-litre turbocharged #V8 developing at least 620hp, with drive going to all four wheels. Hopefully, like the M5, there will also be the opportunity to switch to a two-wheel-drive ‘hero’ setting, for those occasions when you want genuine rear-drive balance.
In terms of the new model’s presence; well, it’s a big old thing. In profile, just a casual glance is enough to confirm that it makes the outgoing 6 Series look almost delicate and demure. This is BMW’s attempt to distinguish the two; the Eight is going to take up the mantle of the luxury grand tourer, allowing the Six more room to become even more sporty and to properly challenge the Porsche 911.
On which note, perhaps the most exciting news about the M8 relates to what that M stands for in the first place – the coupé is going to be taking BMW Motorsport back to Le Mans.
Jens Marquardt, director of BMW Motorsport, explained: “The #BMW-M8-GTE development programme for our Le Mans comeback is in full swing. Developing a new racing car is always exciting and, in the case of the M8 GTE, the anticipation is that much greater still.
“We’re planning an initial roll-out for later this year, and are scheduling the car‘s race debut in the Daytona 24 Hours in late January, 2018.”
The new BMW M8 breaks cover at the Nürburgring.
Big and brawny; it’s likely that the BMW M8 will make use of the existing, M5 drivetrain.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWILD 600HP E36 Elite D’s turbo’d 3 Series
This Elite Developments 600hp E36 is the result of years of development and a love for all things turbocharged… Words: Ben Koflach. Photos: Steve Hall.
Elite Developments’ turbo E36
THE BOOSTED ELITE
The E36 328i Sport is a car that’s been appreciating in value of late. However, six years ago they didn’t quite have the same worth and so made the perfect project base for Steve Dixon, owner of BMW-specialised tuning shop Elite Developments. Steve’s plans soon escalated from a simple reworking to a complete overhaul, complete with a 600hp turbocharged heart…
“I bought the car off eBay completely unseen. It was down in Bognor Regis,” Steve explains. “At the time it was really difficult to get a 328i Sport as there wasn’t many of them for sale. I contacted the guy and made him an offer based on his description of the condition and the pictures on eBay. I then took a four-hour train journey from Essex to go and get it. It was a completely mint, standard car, as described. I was looking for one to convert into a drift car.
“Initially my plans were just to weld the diff and put some coilovers on it, and that was it. I fitted the coils while my mate welded the diff. It was just going to be a daily drifter but then we went to Gatebil 2012 and saw that nearly every BMW there was running a turbo M5x engine. That got me thinking…
“After speaking to a few of the locals about how they’d done it, I came to the realisation that building a turbo #BMW wasn’t as hard as I first thought. Then came the process of pricing up all the bits I needed.”
The 328’s alloy-block M52 isn’t the perfect base for turbocharging as they tend to allow the head to lift and generally aren’t as strong as iron block variants, so Steve sourced an #M50B25-non-Vanos engine and set about making a hybrid of the two. This meant using the M50 block, head and pistons but with the M52’s crank and rods, creating a 2.8-litre M50 – an ‘M50B28’ as they’re often known. The bottom end was tied together with coated big-end bearings and ARP bolts, with #ARP studs and a Cometic 0.140” multi-layer steel head gasket used up top for a drop in compression and an increase in reliability.
The end result is an engine about as strong as it’s possible to get without going for fullon aftermarket forged rods and pistons – perfect for Steve’s plans for big boost.
“The hardest part was trying to source a right-hand drive turbo manifold as nobody seemed to sell one,” Steve explains. “This is why we started to design what is now the Elite Developments cast RHD turbo manifold. It took three years to create but we are now very happy with the final product.”
The Elite Developments manifold was formulated to fit all M5x engines that use a four-bolt-per-cylinder pattern, fitting around all of the steering and usual headache areas and allowing bottom-mount fitment of any T3-flanged turbo along with an external wastegate. Steve’s particular setup uses a Garrett GT3582R turbo and a Tial 38mm wastegate, pushing boost through a 600x300x80mm intercooler and into the M50 intake manifold.
Air is sucked into the turbo through a K&N filter, while fuelling is taken care of with Siemens 60lb injectors and a Walbro 255lph pump. To keep oil temperatures in check, Steve’s used an S50 oil filter housing converted to run AN lines, which are linked to a Mocal oil cooler. A neat product from Elite Developments allowed the intercooler and oil cooler to be bolted into the E36’s front end without any troubles. To control the whole thing Steve’s used a VEMs standalone ECU with the result being a dyno-proven 495hp and 480lb ft at 0.8bar. Steve has since had it mapped to run at 1.5bar which should be good enough for around 600hp.
All that power is well and good but without being able to transmit it to the ground, it’s useless. Steve retained the strong five-speed ZF gearbox that came with the 328i, with a six-paddle ceramic clutch sandwiched between it and the boosted M50. Out back is a 328i Sport 2.93 LSD, rebuilt for a 40% lockup and braced into position to guard against failure.
The final step of getting power to the ground is, of course, the wheel and tyre setup. The E36 isn’t always the easiest car to get a wide tyre onto but Steve solved that with a set of ABS plastic rivet-on arches from US firm Hard Motorsport. These have allowed the comfortable fitment of 8.5x18” front and 10x18” rear Rota Grids wrapped in grippy 235/40 and 265/35 Yokohama Advan AD08s respectively. Not only do they look great but they enable fast progress when the M50 comes up on boost. The arches offer a rub-free fit, too.
The chassis setup has seen plenty of work to get it all working happily, both when travelling in a straight line and sideways. Before anything was bolted underneath it Steve took care of the usual E36 weak spots using parts raided from the Elite Developments stock room. Subframe mounting and trailing arm pocket reinforcement plates were welded into the shell, with the front crossmember reinforced to stop the engine mounts tearing themselves free.
To get the steering lock that Steve needed for drifting, TND extended lower arms and modified hubs were fitted, along with BC Racing coilovers and an E46 330i brake setup. At the rear Steve used BC Racing again to convert the suspension from a shock and spring setup to a true coilover one, adding adjustable camber arms to get the setup dialled-in. Finally the whole lot has been polybushed and Steve’s added a BMW front lower crossbrace as well as GCFabrications front and rear strut braces to stiffen the shell.
Another element that adds stiffness is the Safety Devices roll-cage, nicely painted in contrasting Porsche GT3 RS green – aside from that the interior doesn’t contain a great deal as weight reduction has been the main aim. The rear firewall has been nicely blocked off with an Elite Developments plate and there’s a supportive Recaro bucket for the driver, complete with four-point harness.
Recent additions to the exterior have included a genuine Rieger carbon-fibre GT splitter and a new Elite Developments product: a huge rear wing. However, sadly, since our shoot Steve has actually broken the car for parts, moving his M50 turbo experience onto a cool new project – a Techno violet E34 525i.
Steve’s E36 goes to show that we can all get carried away – even the simplest intentions can turn into a far bigger project than originally planned, especially with a little inspiration from overseas. It also shows how experiencing a problem can turn up a great solution – Elite Developments’ turbo manifolds have now been selling for almost a year, helping RHD BMW drivers all over the UK solve the somewhat historic issue of steering clearance when running a turbo. From a hardcore E36 drifter Steve’s now looking to add some turbocharged flair to his old-school Five, and we can’t want to see what happens next.
“We saw that nearly every BMW there was running a turbo M5x engine. That got me thinking”
DATA FILE / #BMW-Elite-Developments / #BMW-E36 / #BMW / #BMW-E36-Elite-Developments / #BMW-328i-Sport / #BMW-328i-E36 / #BMW-328i-Sport-E36 / / #BMW-328i-Elite-Developments / #Elite-Developments / #BMW-328i-Elite-Developments-E36 / #Rota-Grid / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E36 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E36
ENGINE ‘ #M50B28 ’ #non-Vanos , #M50B25 block and head, #M52B28 / #M50 / #BMW-M50 crankshaft and con rods, M50B25 pistons, performance coated main bearings, performance coated big-end bearings, ARP rod bolts, #ARP head studs, #Cometic 0.140” MLS head gasket, Elite Developments RHD turbo manifold, #Garrett-GT3582R turbo, #Tial 38mm wastegate, #K&N filter with #GCFabrications heat shield, ram air feed from foglight, AC #Schnitzer exhaust, #Siemens 60lb injectors, #Walbro 255lph fuel pump, #VEMS-ECU , Mocal oil cooler with AN lines, S50 oil filter housing, #Vorschlag nylon competition engine mounts
TRANSMISSION E36 328i five-speed #ZF-manual-gearbox , six-paddle ceramic clutch, Elite Developments bolt-through polyurethane gearbox mounts, #IRP shifter, 328i Sport 2.93:1 LSD fully rebuilt with 40% lockup, diff brace
CHASSIS 18x8.5” (front) and 18x10” (rear) #Rota-Grid-Drifts with 235/40 (front) and 265/35 (rear) Advan Neova AD08 tyres, Elite Developments wheel stud conversion, full #BC-Racing coilover setup with 12kg front and 8kg rear spring rates, TND modified hubs for extra lock, TND extended lower arms, adjustable camber arms, polybushed throughout, Elite Developments front subframe reinforcement kit, Elite Developments rear subframe reinforcement kit, Elite Developments rear trailing arm reinforcement kit, Elite Developments rear topmount reinforcement kit, #BMW-Motorsport front crossbrace, #GC-Fabrications front and rear strut braces, E46 330i front brakes, E36 M3 Evo brake servo and master cylinder
EXTERIOR Rieger carbon fibre GT splitter, Hard Motorsport rivet-on wide arches, Elite Developments rear spoiler, foglight air intake
INTERIOR Safety Devices roll-cage painted in Porsche GT3 RS green, Elite Developments rear firewall block-off plate, Recaro driver’s seat, AEM wideband AFR gauge, Defi boost gauge
CONTACT www.elite-d.co.ukStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationBMW MOURNS THE LOSS OF PAUL ROSCHE
One of the most important engineers in the history of the #BMW-Group , #Paul-Rosche , died in November, at his home in Munich, aged 82. “We are all very saddened by this news,” said BMW Motorsport Director, Jens Marquardt. “Paul Rosche not only represented and characterised the company and the BMW brand with his passion, his vision, and his immense technical expertise over many decades in action on the race track. The results of his work – no matter in which car or in which series – were frequently milestones of engineering skill. The loss of Paul Rosche is a loss of an outstanding personality for BMW Motorsport and #BMW-M . He constantly redefined the limits of what was technically possible. We will preserve this spirit at #BMW-Motorsport . Our deepest sympathies go to his family and friends.”
Camshaft calculations for sports engines were always Paul Rosche’s favourite area of work, which is why he was given the nickname ‘camshaft Paul’. In 1957, straight after completing his degree, he joined BMW and, over the course of his 42 years as an employee, he guided the company into F1 twice. Before joining BMW Motorsport GmbH in 1975 as head of the design of the BMW M1 production and racing engines, Rosche was involved in the R&D department, under the charge of Alexander von Falkenhausen. In 1969 he designed the 2.0-litre turbo engine with which #BMW won the European Touring Car Championship.
In 1980, Rosche, as Technical Managing Director of BMW Motorsport GmbH, along with Dieter Stappert, laid the foundation for BMW’s first F1 involvement and, as head of the engine project, was also a key factor for the success of the BMW engines in the turbo era.
Rosche and his team turned a four-cylinder production engine (the M10) displacing just 1.5-litres into a potential world championship winner. Sixteen valves, a turbocharger, and – in a first for #F1 – digital motor electronics all helped the engine to post an initial output of around 800hp. The Brabham BMW made its grid debut at the start of the 1982 season; just 630 days later Nelson Piquet scooped the world championship. By 1987 the turbo unit had nine grand prix wins under its belt and its potential seemed almost inexhaustible. When asked about the F1 engine’s maximum power output, Rosche once replied in his inimitable, irresistible manner: “It must have been around 1400hp; we don’t know for sure because the dyno didn’t go beyond 1280hp!”
The triumph in F1 was the most spectacular success but it was far from being the only one. Other power units that came out of Rosche’s fold were the large 2.0-litre, four-valve, four-cylinder engine which racked up more than 150 race wins and six titles in the Formula 2 European Championship, as well as the 6.0-litre V12 engine that won the Le Mans race in 1995 and 1999. Rosche’s term of office also witnessed the development of the S14 engine for the first-generation E30 M3, which was to become the most successful touring car of all time.
Following BMW’s retirement from F1 in 1987 Rosche continued as Technical Managing Director of BMW M GmbH until 1996. Subsequently, as Technical Director and Managing Director of BMW Motorsport Limited, he led BMW into F1 as an engine manufacturer for a second time and while F1 championships didn’t follow, the BMW engine was always acknowledged to be one of the best on the grid. In 1999, Rosche entered retirement, although he retained strong links with BMW and assisted in projects such as the recommissioning of the Brabham F1-winning machine.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationThe E36 Compact has a bit of an unfortunate reputation in certain quarters but Dávid Haas’ example is here to prove that potential is everywhere, and these offbeat hatchbacks can be turned into proper little jaw-droppers… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Krisztian Bolgar.
2.8-swapped E36 Compact
There’s a popular saying that you may have heard: ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ The kind of mawkish sentiment that seems to make some sort of sense when you see it on a cheesy pink fridge magnet or in somebody’s Twitter bio, but it is, in fact, a pretty dumb statement. If you find yourself with free lemons, just sell them. That’s 100% profit. If you’re going to turn them into lemonade, you’re committing yourself to all manner of time, effort, the expense of ingredients and equipment… the saying should really go: ‘When life gives you lemons, brilliant, free lemons.’ Why overcomplicate things?
Now, as us car people know, the term ‘lemon’ has a darker meaning. It’s a scathing word applied to cars that are, well, not quite up to par; cars that sometimes feature noteworthy flaws (like the Ford Pinto having those bolts near the fuel tank that means the thing catches fire if it’s rearended), or that have a secret cut-and-shut past, or sometimes simply aren’t considered to be as good as they could have been. And in the eyes of some, the E36 Compact falls into this latter category. The first generation Compact, designated E36/5, was identical to a regular E36 from the front bumper back to the A pillars, but the truncated tail hid the suspension setup from the older E30. This allowed for a lower boot floor and undermounted spare wheel and thus maximised the utility of the hatchback, though many saw it as a compromise.
But screw that. There’s enough negativity in this world, let’s spin the Compact’s reputation around, shall we? And we’ll let Hungary’s Dávid Haas lead the charge. He’s probably the man for the job – just look at his Compact! The thing’s so aggressive you have to tip-toe up to it in case it nips your hand. Angry, scary thing. “I bought the car to be a daily driver in 2012,” he explains. “It was in quite bad condition but it came with the factory MSport option, which made it attractive.”
This trim level comprised M-tweaked suspension, foglights, alloys, sports seats, and a few other trinkets to elevate it above the lesser base models. This car as bought came equipped with an M52B25 – the spiciest option that the E36/5 came with; North American readers will probably only be familiar with four-cylinder Compacts, but the European market 323ti served up 170hp from a straight-six, which makes it easier to swap in bigger engines… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Where did Dávid go from here, with his ratty but brimming-with-potential motor?
“It didn’t take much time to decide on the first few mods,” he grins. “I run a small BMW shop here called Han’s Garage, so I had the means at my disposal to make the changes I wanted. This began with hiding the original tired silver paint under a white wrap, and fitting a set of 9.5x16” Hayashi Racing wheels, along with fully adjustable coilovers.” A strong start, but the game was only just beginning to hot up…
It’s worth noting that Han’s Garage, while Dávid describes it as ‘a small BMW shop’, walks pretty tall in the Hungarian tuning scene. Before this car, he enjoyed much internet celebrity thanks to his E30 cabriolet, E36 coupé, another E30, and a bagged E36 Touring, each one sporting a variety of unexpected home-grown tricks. Any possibility of this Compact retaining a semblance of factory originality was really dead in the water.
“After a couple of months of use, I decided to make a few further changes as I wasn’t happy with the setup,” Dávid explains, ever the perfectionist. “I replaced the wheels with a set of 10x18” rims from Japan Racing, although the sizing threw up some immediate fitment problems.” He’s used the word ‘problems’, but this is a guy who really only sees challenges as a path to further excellence.
The sleeves were rolled up, the tongue was poking out of the corner of the mouth, he was in deep: “I fitted a set of 3D camber plates,” Dávid continues, “along with BMW E46 control arms and eccentric bushes to solve the problem, but even all of this couldn’t help me avoid widening the arches… in the end, however, everything was perfect. But I made a wrong move and sold the car in order to turn to a whole new project.”
Wait, what?! We were just getting into the story Dávid! You’re such a tease… “Yeah, I totally regretted it,” he ponders, scratching his chin thoughtfully. “After about six months I really had the urge to finish what I had started – I’d been having a lot of ideas for the car after I’d sold it. Thankfully the buyer was a friend of mine though, and I managed to convince him to sell it back to me! He’d barely touched the car throughout his time owning it too, so I was able to pick up pretty much where I left off.”
This buyback move took a lot of Dávid’s friends by surprise. With his strong legacy of building desirable and unique BMWs, why was he wasting his time monkeying about with such a lemon? There are plenty of other ’90s BMWs out there in need of salvation, why take the retrograde step of going back to this Compact again?
“They were wrong, I guess,” he laughs. “I knew the potential was in there, I just had to let the car do the talking. The first job was to begin the transformation to Army Compact: I painted it flat military green with the help of my friend 819Lacika. Then I ordered a set of zero offset JR11 wheels from #Japan-Racing – 9.5x18” up front, 10x18” out back.” Blimey. And he thought he had fitment issues before! This is real go-big-or-go-home stuff.
“At this point, I just knew it had to go lower,” Dávid smirks, with the malevolent air exuded by all full-bore modifying addicts. “The TA coilovers were good but they had their limits, so I shortened the bodies and made the shocks stiffer.” This had the desired effect of ensuring that the car has very little in the way of suspension travel at all, which is just what was required. Look at the wheel-to-arch interface, you’ll understand why.
From this point on, Dávid was keen to really up the game of the aesthetics, and his next move was to acquire an adjustable front splitter from the super-obscure E36 M3 GT homologation model. Trust us, these things make hen’s teeth seem rapaciously abundant in comparison. And to complement this, he added a set of MHW tail-lights, projector headlights and, just for the sheer modern screw-you-ness of it all, some quick release bumper mounts. Because motorsport, yeah?
“Christmas was coming by this point, and I decided to pause the project for a while,” Dávid recalls. “But my girlfriend thought differently! She put a Wilwood hydraulic handbrake lever under the tree, which of course made me very happy! And that spurred me on to carry out further interior mods – along with the army camo trim, I bolted in a set of E46 front seats, junked the rears along with lots of other superfluous stuff back there, and fitted an OMP steering wheel.” Proceedings are largely dominated by that towering hydro ’brake though, and no bad thing.
Oh yes – and we should probably return to the idea of power, shouldn’t we? Remember how we were talking about the opportunities created by BMW’s decision to shoehorn an M52B25 into the 323ti? Well, that was just the sort of thing Dávid was keen to capitalise upon.
“I swapped in an M52B28,” he beams. And he’s right to do so – this is the 2.8-litre motor you’d find in the likes of the 328i and various others, and it’s a lot of displacement for a little hatchback.
He hasn’t left it stock, either; well, would you expect anything less? “It’s running an OEM BMW Motorsport ECU,” he explains, “along with the usual M50 intake manifold swap, a BMC filter and a full custom exhaust. It’s probably running about 220-230hp now.” And that’s a fairly staggering amount for a 1990s hot hatch. It’s evident that this car was always intended to be as much about ‘go’ as ‘show’.
What Dávid’s done here, in essence, is to go against the flow and actively seek out one of life’s lemons. And while he may have taken our advice (not always recommended…) and sold the lemon, he quickly pulled it back and decided to make it into something fresh. Not just lemonade, but a full three course meal of lemon sole canapés, oriental lemon cashew chicken, lemon drizzle cake, and a shot of limoncello to round things off. This is his riposte to the lemon-haters, and it’s finger-lickin’ good.
Interior has been given the same army treatment as the exterior and also features E46 front seats and hydraulic handbrake.
“I knew the potential was in there, I just had to let the car do the talking”
TECHNICAL DATA FILE 2.8 / #BMW-E36-Compact / #BMW-328i-Compact / #BMW-328i-Compact-E36 / #BMW-328i-E36 / #BMW-E36 / #Japan-Racing-JR-11 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E36 / #BMW-3-Series-Compact / #BMW-3-Series-Compact-E36 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.8-litre straight-six #M52B28 / #M52 / #BMW-M52 , OEM #BMW-Motorsport ECU, M50 intake manifold, #BMC air filter, custom exhaust system with carbon rear box, power estimated at 220-230hp, five-speed manual gearbox
CHASSIS 9.5x18” (front) and 10x18” (rear) #ET0-Japan-Racing-JR11 wheels with 215/35 (front) and 225/35 (rear) tyres, 3D camber plates, E46 control arms, eccentric bushes, custom-shortened TA coilovers, #Wilwood hydraulic handbrake
EXTERIOR Flat military green, adjustable E36 M3 GT splitter, MHW tail-lights, quick release bumper mounts, projector headlights
INTERIOR Camo trim, OMP steering wheel, E46 front seats, rear seats removed 2.8 E36 CompactStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationRally Round / #Saxon-Motorsport The team’s engineers take on a technical challenge. As well as prepping its own race cars for the VLN and a trip to Spa, Saxon Motorsport has been busy fettling a BMW diesel for a Polish rally raid team. #BMW / #2016
On Cotswold Saxon’s return from round seven of the #VLN-Endurance series at the Nürburgring, the team set about preparing for round eight with its V10 #BMW-150 and #BMW-120d race cars. The 120d was again to be driven by Ellis Hadley, Martin Gibson and Tom Barrow as they completed their qualification process to compete in the #2017 24-Hour race around the infamous Nordschleife circuit. The V10 would once again be driven by team owner Nick Barrow and Miami-based regular driver Jamie Morrow.
However, before preparation of the race cars could begin Saxon had another project to attend to. As Bosch Motorsport dealers with vast experience of competition diesel powerplants, various competition outfits come into contact with the team and become aware of its expertise. One such company, encouraged by Bosch, is Polish rally raid specialist, Neoraid. Based to the south-east of Krakow, the rally raid racing team competes in cross-country rallies worldwide, completing the Paris Dakar rally in two of its three entries since 2014 in #BMW-X3-CC s. The team had recently taken delivery of a #BMW-X5-CC with a very special early #M57 3.0-litre diesel engine developed in conjunction with #BMW-Motorsport . This is a similar unit to that used by Saxon until it switched to the current #N57 late last year. Being fitted with a Bosch Motorsport competition ECU by the engine’s previous rally raid owners, Neoraid found itself lacking the experience and data to exploit the engine’s potential and was directed towards Saxon to look for assistance. Items of note fitted to the powerplant included a bespoke CNC-machined dry sump installation with associated oil pump, a CNCmachined rocker cover replacing the standard moulded composite item, and bespoke twin-turbos with associated manifolds and actuators.
The twin-turbo system had been developed to maintain maximum power output despite the fitting of an FIA-spec inlet restrictor, mandatory for Dakartype rally events for turbo vehicles in any fuel class. This meant additional complications for chief engineer Jon Taylor as he needed to synchronise the small VGT (Variable Geometry Turbo) with the larger unit cutting in at higher engine speeds together with the various wastegate and diverter actuators.
Having agreed to take on the project, an understanding was reached with Neoraid that the engine would be fitted in a test rig and delivered to the team’s Hereford base by the Neoraid team manager and one of its engineers. The engine, ECU, and all components would be fully wired and ready to map. Three days were allowed for the task. However, as is often the case in motor racing, the project was a little behind schedule. Upon arrival, as can be seen from the accompanying photographs, the wiring loom was still a long way from being completed! Undaunted, Jon and the attendant engineer set about sorting out the various connections and inter-connections between components and recording all the wiring pin details so that a more suitable wiring loom could be produced later. During this phase a two-stage intake air cooling feature was discovered; this consisted of an initial air-to-water chargecooler followed by a conventional air-to-air cooler for the secondary stage. A lightweight 180A McLaren TAG alternator was fitted.
The Bosch Competition ECU had been installed, calibrated and mapped by Bosch with bespoke Bosch-manufactured, BMW-assembled injectors, for which no data was available…
After some head scratching – and discovering the astronomical cost of having the injectors dismantled and interrogated by Bosch – Saxon and Neoraid decided that standard BMW injectors should be fitted instead. Saxon’s experience with the M57 engine came into play here as the team’s development of the early engine resulted in it knowing which injector gives the best spray pattern and distribution characteristics for this type of endurance engine. As delivered to Hereford, the engine was also fitted with larger valves – necessitating piston cut-outs – a ported and polished cylinder head and a #Bosch-Motorsport ‘Fuel Hydraulic System’ delivering up to 2100bar of fuel line pressure!
One problem experienced and effectively managed by Saxon whilst using this engine was a tendency for the crankcase breather to allow oil to escape. The problem has been resolved on the latest standard N57 engine and so the team’s catch tank was no longer required. This engine, however, was fitted with a bespoke oil separator pump to address the problem.
Despite the slow start to rewire various sections and the time it took to become acquainted with several components new to Saxon, the team of Saxon and Neoraid engineers completed the task in the allotted three days in the team’s tuning bay. By the time the two engineers departed for their base in Poland they had a running engine with all components integrated and working together on a base map.
The engine will now be removed from its test rig in Poland and installed in Neoraid’s X5-based rally raid car for the necessary wiring and supply systems to be installed around it. As the vehicle is all-wheel drive and Saxon’s rolling road is a single roller installation, Jon Taylor will then fly to Krakow and work at a local twin-roller road to fine-tune his map for the performance required by the team.
To date, the project has been an interesting variation on the work carried out on the team’s own race cars but on a vehicle being built to a completely different design brief but with significant similarities in the propulsion unit. Saxon was very interested to be part of the development of the powerplant and Neoraid has gained enormous experience with the M57 engine through this collaboration so far.
Meanwhile, as the Neoraid team returned to Poland, Saxon’s attention returned once again to its own cars. Whilst the 120d was left in a similar setup as used last time out (in order for Martin and Ellis to continue assessment of the Giti tyres), the Chinese company had been unable to produce the next development tyre specifically for the ‘Ring in time for round eight. The drivers therefore continued to collect data and experiment with the setup using the existing rubber. Further improvements to the V10 were, however, planned following the last outing.
The hoped-for power steering improvement had failed to materialise last time out and so Jon Taylor set about fitting yet another larger capacity hydraulic pump, this time engine-driven rather than the previous electric version. This caused several packaging problems as space is at such a premium under the bonnet with the 5.0-litre engine installed and Jon resorted to purpose-made mounting brackets, belts, tensioners and idler pulleys in order to install the pump. Initial indications, however, suggested that the effort may well have been worthwhile with considerably less effort required on rapid lock-to-lock movements, whereas previously the hydraulic system failed to keep pace.
Further work will be carried out on the paddlechange software to smooth-out gear synchronisation on up-changes. Another possible reason for this roughness emerged whilst examining the data from the previous race as it became apparent that the engine was failing to lose sufficient rpm for the next ratio to engage smoothly. To try to address this, the team has ordered a lightweight double-plate racing clutch and corresponding flywheel to reduce the energy within the drivetrain; the inertia generated by the standard 15kg flywheel/clutch combination was too high to allow the engine revs to fall fast enough. Hopefully this will improve the situation and transfer less stress to the Drenth gearbox; however, this will not be available until after the car’s next planned outing at Spa on 9-10th October.
The team’s drivers were still anxious to dial-out some of the power-on understeer that the V10 experiences during the exit stage of a corner. Drivers reported that initial turn-in is good but despite this the car suffers with understeer as power is applied. To attempt to overcome this characteristic, the team fitted new ramps to the Drexler limited-slip diff to alter the limited-slip effect and also rebuild the spare diff with fewer active friction discs as an alternative. Both options were tested in the practice session at the ‘Ring, together with larger front tyres (now the same 285 width as fitted to the rear). In addition, a new more sophisticated traction control map was uploaded with additional feedback to make the most of the modified ramp characteristics.
The Saxon team was confident that these changes – together with the front tyre options and all the existing setup alterations available – would enable the car to remain neutral throughout all cornering phases. The team left for the Nürburgring on the Wednesday night prior to the next race on Saturday 24 September, hopeful of a class win with the 120d and at least a podium position with the V10 if the modifications were as effective as expected.
On arrival at Friday’s practice at the Nürburgring it soon became apparent that the reworked diff with fewer friction plates was definitely not the way to proceed and so the team quickly replaced this unit with the ‘re-ramped’ item. This, combined with the traction control upgrade and wider front tyres, immediately allowed Nick to set the V10’s fastest time around the GP circuit, cutting a full second off the car’s previous best. Meanwhile the three 120d drivers quietly set about improving the setup and doing everything possible to make sure they were in a good position to complete the following day’s race, as this alone would complete their qualification process.
Saturday qualifying gave Nick and Jamie their first chance to gauge the new setup’s effect on the Nordscheife lap time for the V10. First, however, in order to prepare for the race, new brake discs needed to be bedded-in and so the first opportunity for this fell to Jamie, driving the second qualifying stint. Jamie duly took his chance and set the team’s first ever subnine- minute lap, qualifying in 51st place with an 8:57! The 120d set a fast time in the Alternative Fuels class, giving the three drivers hope of a competitive fourhour race.
As the race got under way, Jamie started the first stint not knowing that the V10 was carrying an underlying gearbox problem. Having run with the aggressive upshift issue for the previous few outings, the stress had built up in the components and finally caused a failure on only the third lap of the race. As it was difficult to recover the car during the race, it was not possible to get the car back into a competitive race position and so the V10 was retired early, much to the disappointment and frustration of both drivers given the lap times being set. Meanwhile the 120d drivers were in the middle of a battle for class honours between themselves and both the 3.0-litre diesel Audi A4 and methanol/petrol hybrid Porsche Cayman with which the team had battled during the 24-Hour race in the Saxon 135d.
With half-an-hour to go, the 120d put up a valiant fight and actually led the class… until drama struck. Ellis found himself pushed from behind by an overtaking GT3 car, the resulting ‘off’ leaving him stranded on a raised curb until rescued by marshals, dropping the car from contention. As a car has to pass the chequered flag to classify as a finisher and drivers have to be classified in order to obtain their 24-Hour licence, what had been a fascinating battle for class honours now became a challenge just to finish the race! Ellis cautiously brought the car back to the pits for any damage to be assessed; there was just enough time to patch up the rear of the car and check for safety issues before returning to the track for one final lap to complete the race. There were sighs of relief all-round. Mission accomplished!
Further to the three drivers qualifying for their 24-Hour licences – and trusting that the V10 would return from Germany intact – Nick had hoped to forego round nine of the VLN Championship and travel to Holland for the 9 October Dutch Supercar round on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Nick and regular endurance driver Richard Corbett were keen to debut the 5.8-litre version of the V10 on the famous historic track. As we have previously stated, the V10 engine is restricted to 500hp at the ‘Ring but there are no such limits in Dutch Supercars so it is hoped to run in full 680hp mode for this two race (one 60-minute and one 90 minute) meeting.
Fortunately, Jon and his team will be able to fit the replacement Drenth gearbox and reprepare the car in time for an anticipated departure for Spa on Thursday 6 October, as Nick had intended.
The Cotswold Saxon team looks forward to reporting back on their eagerly anticipated visit to this iconic circuit after unleashing the full potential of the #V10 150 #BMW-1-Series and further developments on the Neoraid project.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationRALLY E30 M3 Full-on 320hp Tarmac terror.
Once a racer, this absolutely awesome 320hp E30 M3 is now a Tarmac rally terror. Having made the transition from racer to rally machine, this E30 M3 is as focused and hardcore as they come. Words and photos: Andy Starkey.
There’s no air-ride suspension, no handcrafted modified bodywork, no deep lacquered paintwork or fancy hand-stitched leather interior. There’s not even a smart ICE install or a glitzy set of sparkly rims. But this doesn’t stop Allan Davies’ E30 M3 being one hell of a car, one that’s more than worthy of being featured amongst these pages. The reason for the lack of all these pretty bits and bobs is quite obvious: this is a car built to do a job. To do battle on Tarmac rally stages, to be exact. But it wasn’t always that way…
Way back in 2009 Allan had campaigned a pretty successful season in the Classic Thunder series, driving a 2004 Clio Cup car. However, he yearned to drive something more ‘classic’, preferably rear-wheel drive and with a good deal more poke. The search for such a beast led him to the doors of JC Racing in Yorkshire. There he found this ex-Mark Smith racing E30 M3 nestling amongst all the other treasures. Mark had raced it in the Britcar series and a few 24- hour events but had plans to move up to an E92. Allan, being the charitable type, naturally offered to help out by making a bit more space for Mark by buying the #BMW E30.
Coming from a company like JC Racing meant that the car was already pretty well sorted. It came equipped with a Russ Cockburn-built #S14 motor which pushed out a useful 320hp. It’s an all-steel affair, high revving and fitted with Works throttle bodies, Works plenum and pretty hot cams. A real peach, as they say. There was a Drenth six-speed ’box and two-way adjustable KW coilover suspension. She was ready to race, straight from JC. Allan enjoyed the next two seasons in the Classic Thunder series again and notched up a couple of wins in the Pre-1993 Championship. He even had a pretty successful trip to Spa.
There was, however, something of a thought starting to manifest in the back of Allan’s mind. You see, racing wheel-to-wheel on a congested race track certainly makes for exhilarating, heart-pounding action. However, the problem with that is that you can come a proper cropper at the hands of some other adrenalin-fuelled hot-head that reckons he can see a gap when quite clearly there isn’t one. This often results in some rather expensive carnage, and at no fault of your own.
Now, Allan does have the good fortune to co-own Driveme, a Stafford-based supercar experience business. This means that the E30 has a permanent home and trusted spanner guys to keep it just so. That said, the team has more than enough to do keeping temperamental Ferraris and Lambos going, never mind the possibility of regular panel damage, or worse, to the Beemer from racing it. No, it was time to return to Allan’s roots: rallying. At least that way, if it did get damaged he could only blame himself!
“There’s no way I’d take her into the woods on a loose event,” Allan assures us. “Tarmac is where it needs to be, and I was sure it wouldn’t take much to get her ready.” Really? Allan is first to admit, he’s a bit mechanically challenged. “In my own little world I thought the transition from race to rally would be fairly simple,” he explains.
Well, after a bit of research and chatting to people in the know, it became obvious there was a bit more to it than he first thought. You may think that racing and rallying are very close relations and that it can’t be that difficult to hop from one discipline to the other. The trouble is, they both need very different skills and techniques to be competitive. Put a racing driver into a rally car and see how they get on. It’s not as straightforward as you’d think. And that goes for the machinery used, too.
The E30 was already a superb bit of kit so it was only fair the conversion was entrusted to some people that knew what they were doing, as Allan explains: “It had to be done right. I’d be disappointed with myself if I’d undone JC’s sterling work.”
Butler Motorsport took on the job of the strip down and eventual rebuild. The engine was the key to Butler’s work. It was already a fine motor but it was built to race. Butler’s Terry Wilson bored and stroked it with Arrow steel rods and forged endurance pistons. The head was specially reworked to give improved low-end torque and a set of Schrick special order cams finished the job. Harry Hockley took the shell into his care where it was media blasted, seam welded and painted. Sump guard mounts were added, as well as additions to the already modern sculpture of a roll cage. Sill stand mounting points were also added.
Back at Butler, discussions were afoot regarding the transmission. The Drenth six-speed had been great on track but would prove to be ill-suited to twisty #Tarmac stages. A friendly natter with Carl from Tractive Motorsport Transmissions led to the fitment of one of its RD906 six-speed sequential boxes. With his help, a set of ratios have been selected to give a top speed of around 120mph at 8500rpm and a full remap of the S14 would soon make those figures a reality. The tunnel needed further modification to accept this new gearbox, which meant the extra hassle of getting it back to Hockley’s again to have it sorted, but it was worth it. At least the extra time there was utilised to change the fuel tank from a large endurance race one to a smaller capacity bespoke cell which sits low on the boot floor and looks like a real work of art in its own right.
You’ve heard the term, ‘opening a can of worms’, well that’s an understatement with this build. Hurdles popped up at every turn; time-consuming things like attaching mudflaps, fitting a second seat, and having to design an entirely new wiring loom. The loom in a racer is pretty simple compared with that of a standard car, never mind one needed for a rally car. There were very few creature comforts in the original race version, a simple dash display and rudimentary lighting all made it a bit of a doddle to wire up. Now, though, there were things like the dipped and main beam, spotlights, a trip computer and a Works dashboard to wire up. While we’re on about the dash, it does look the absolute dog’s danglies and sets off a very purposeful looking interior.
Then there was the reworked fuel system and pumps, along with an accessible fuse box. All in all, quite a headache, and that’s putting it mildly. “I couldn’t believe the stuff that had to be done that just kept cropping up,” Allan explains. “Putting a second wiper back on and needing power steering just added to the adventure.” Apparently the rack was a real pain in the proverbial. It was on and off more times than Casanova’s trousers. It does work now and is just about two turns lock to lock, an absolute must when hustling this beauty around a tricky twisty event. The braking system is pretty much as it was when prepped to race with four-pots, servo assist and adjustable bias control, only now the calipers are home to different, more suitable pad materials. The only other change was a hydraulic handbrake. Apart from the brave muggins that sits in the passenger seat, the hydro handbrake has to be one of the most vital parts to a rally car. Any rally driver worth his salt will rely on a good handbrake to help flick the tail out when the need arises. The KW adjustable coilover suspension remains, except that Allan is still testing different spring rates to achieve the best combination.
So, what’s next? “The car is just about event ready,” Allan reckons. “There are some new circuit based rallies in an MSV Championship for 2016. These will be a great testing ground as they’ll be at venues we already know, albeit made a lot tighter with added chicanes and in some cases run in the opposite direction.” Well fella, we have to admit, it all sounds a real hoot and the car looks ready for anything. The only thing we would say is, after all the anguish and swearing in getting it sorted, don’t bloody bend it!
DATA FILE #BMW-E30 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E30 / #Rally-Car / #BMW-E30-Rally-Car / #BMW-M3-E30-Rally-Car /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.3-litre four-cylinder #S14B23 / #S14 / #BMW-S14 , steel crank and rods, fully lightened and balanced, gas-flowed cylinder head with special profile #Schrick cams, #Works throttle bodies and plenum, dry sumped, race flywheel, #Tractive-RD906 sequential six-speed dog ’box, competition multi-plate hydraulic clutch, Works LSD
CHASSIS 8x17” (f&r) #Team-Dynamics forged motorsport wheels with 215/45 (f&r) competition tarmac tyres (wheels and tyres are event dependant), #KW adjustable platform coilovers, four-piston calipers with Pagid RS 4-2 pads (f&r)
EXTERIOR #BMW-Motorsport E30 M3 shell, fully seam welded, Evo rear spoiler and front bumper, polycarbonate side windows and sliders, #Kaylan-Rally mud-fla ps and MSA regulation towing points
INTERIOR Fabricated fuel tank in wheel well with twin Facet pumps, full FIA multi-point cage with harness bars, Works Stack and AVO dash and fabricated switch panel, quick release Momo steering wheel with launch button, all lines plumbed inside with brake bias control and FIA regula tion extinguisher system, Corbeau Pro Series seats and five-point harnesses
E30 M3 rally car looks absolutely awesome on the outside, with some ridiculously cool mud-flaps.
(Top) Russ Cockburn-built S14 puts out a seriously impressive 320hp; bespoke fuel cell mounted in boot floor with twin Facet pumps.
It had to be done right. I’d be disappointed myself if I’d undone JC’s sterling work.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTRUE INDIVIDUAL
The E36 M3 GT Imola Individual is a rare beast and modified examples, like this slick machine, are rarer still. The E36 is fast becoming the appreciating #BMW classic of the moment, and you’ll struggle to find one finer than Mikey Townsend’s M3 GT Imola Individual. Words: Ben Koflach. Photos: Scott Paterson.
Things at the upper end of the E36 market have seen a sea of change in the last few years. After some time spent as perhaps the least desirable models of the 3 Series range, they’re now on the up in terms of resale values – for a good one at least. And the most desirable of all the models? The ultra-rare M3 Evolution Imola Individual.
With just 50 examples produced for the UK (and only a further 200 for the entirety of mainland Europe), the M3 GT II, often labelled the GT2, was a final hurrah for the E36. It built on the legend that had been forged with the M3 GT. However, rather than being based on the 3.0-litre M3 and being coloured British Racing green, the GT II used the 3.2-litre six-speed M3 Evo as a base and came in stunning Imola red.
M3 GT Class II front corner splitters and a rear wing to match, an interior combination of Imola red Nappa leather and anthracite Alcantara and plenty of the usual options boxes ticked as standard made the GT II special. Mikey Townsend was lucky enough to pick this one up at the beginning of last year and proceeded to put his own stamp on the ultra-rare M3.
Mikey’s far from a stranger to BMWs. As an ex-paratrooper stationed in Germany for a number of years he was lucky enough to have an E30 M3 as his first one, bought for just DM6500 – less than £3000. “If only I knew what I had back then!” laughed the 32-year-old. “I’d have put it away in storage instead of driving it like a loon everywhere.” Sure enough, by the age of 18 Mikey was an ex-E30 M3 owner, having written it off, but he was hooked on BMWs from then on. An E46 M3 followed later, with an E36 M3 Coupé and a Convertible spliced with countless non-M Three and Five series models – you name it, Mikey’s probably had one. However, his latest purchase is the most special of them all.
“My brother has an M3 GT II, number 16, which he got in 2007, and I’ve wanted one ever since he got it,” Mikey told us. “It was inevitable that I would end up with one, it was just a matter of when. Then this one popped up and was only half-an-hour from me, so I had to take a look.”
What Mikey had before him was M3 GT Imola Individual, number 48 of 50. It was an immaculate, carefully restored piece of Bavarian history which had been given a select range of modifications to boot including KW V3 coilovers and a number of small touches. Along with those it came with all of the original parts so that it could be restored to its rare original guise if required.
“I’ve been choosy as to what I do with it,” Mikey explained. “That’s why I’ve only really gone for Schnitzer styling and the best replacement parts available. Everything I’ve done is totally reversible as I’ve got all of the original parts in the garage. Everyone says: ‘you can’t modify it, it’s too rare!’ Well, tell me it doesn’t look good!”
When he bought the car it was sitting on three-piece Hartge wheels. These were not purchased as part of the deal and so the first thing Mikey did was get the standard wheels refurbished to a better-than-new condition before bolting them up to the car and rolling it home. Once the wheels were on and shod in brand-new Michelins, Mikey got the car home and didn’t hang about with his plans to get it looking the way he wanted.
“The body had already been recently resprayed and fully rust treated and Waxoyl’d underneath, so everything I got for it had to be mint. This meant new or completely refurbished parts throughout,” Mikey explained. His private plate was purchased and transferred onto the M3, while a Storm Motorwerks weighted gear knob was fitted alongside the previous owner’s addition of Amaretta Anthracite Alcantara gaiters.
Another upgrade for the interior was a selection of genuine BMW Motorsport International door sill trims and a matching carbon fibre glovebox trim. The badge on the back of the rear wing was also swapped for one that Mikey had made by Taylor Made Decals, denoting the car’s 48/50 production number.
Mikey’s next trip out in the car was to go and get a special little something for under the bonnet, as he explains: “I took her for a blast over to Luton to see Bilal and Imran at Evolve. I had been speaking to Bilal for a while about an Eventuri intake for the E36 but he said that there hadn’t been enough interest in them to warrant producing them.
However, he said to bring the car down for them to have a look at anyway. No sooner had I got there and spoken to Bilal was the car in the workshop, with the old air box being stripped off and measurements being taken for a custom kit. Dyno runs were done before and after, both with standard mapping. It was hitting 306/307hp as standard but with the Eventuri it was hitting at least 315hp on each run with much stronger and consistent torque gains!
Gaining an extra 10hp from the kit was really surprising and the sound it makes is awesome, especially on wide open throttle.”
A neat touch is that Eventuris all feature a serial number, and Mikey managed to bag number 48 to match his car. It a little plaque on the carbon heat sheild and is just one example of the painstaking detail he goes to in his pursuit of perfection.
Mikey’s next addition to the car was, again, to the engine bay in the form of a genuine AC Schnitzer carbon fibre strut brace. However, the carbon’s clear coat had aged badly and gone slightly yellow in places. Of course, that wasn’t good enough for Mikey’s GT II and so it was sent off to be carefully re-lacquered, with the engine cover being colour-coded at the same time – a neat touch.
With the M3 looking and feeling better than ever, all that was left was for Mikey to put a couple more of his own touches on the exterior. This started with a set of anthracite M3 Contour wheels – mint, of course – and some AC Schnitzer Cup 2 wing mirrors.
However, the biggest change was yet to come, as Mickey explains: “I stumbled across the current wheels by chance really. I was looking for something else but got chatting to this guy with an Estoril blue E36 M3 Evo. He sent me a few photos of it and said that he had these rims on it but wanted to go back to the originals. These wheels are my favourite. I’ve always loved them and have always said that if I could have any wheels on the E36 it would be them. He was after cash quick so I got them for £1000 with new tyres, too,” Mikey told us. “It was a case of being in the right place at the right time – literally three weeks before Gaydon BMW Festival last year, so it was all good!”
With the AC Schnitzer theme that Mikey already had running throughout his GT, those final touches were the perfect additions. However, the only worry he now had was that it was all becoming a little too ACS-themed and might detract from just how special the GT is; not the worst problem to have, you might be think, but it was easily solved by simply swapping back to the original M3 mirrors, which has worked a treat.
The final addition was an AC Schnitzer exhaust – another rare part, which makes the S50 a little more vocal and brings a welcome lift to the rear end. It was bolted up with Hack Engineering billet exhaust hangers, too. No stone has been left unturned with this M3.
“Because of the size a few people were saying that the wheels would never fit – but that’s the beauty of having the KW V3s: I could get it stanced perfectly! With a few goes it was spot-on, with no rubbing,” concluded Mikey. With a thorough polish up and some fresh AC Schnitzer graphics for them, the wheels were the perfect addition to set the car off.
Undoubtedly Mikey has more plans for the GT but you can rest assured that each and every addition will be as carefully considered as all of those so far. E36s are on the up, and with something as rare and as special as his GT Imola Individual it would be too easy to damage it with the wrong modifications. Premium parts, great taste and a respect for the rarity have culminated in one very special M3.
DATA FILE #BMW-E36 / #BMW-M3-GT-Imola-Individual / #BMW-M3-GT-Imola-Individual-E36 / #BMW-M3-E36 / #BMW-M3-GT / #BMW-M3-GT-E36 / #BMW / #AC-Schnitzer / #AC-Schnitzer-Type-1 / #BMW-Motorsport / #BMW-M /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S50B32 / #BMW-S50 / #S50 / , #Eventuri carbon fibre intake with build number matched to chassis number, #ARP con-rod bolts, colour-coded engine cover, AC Schnitzer exhaust, #Hack-Engineering billet exhaust mounts. Standard six-speed manual gearbox, #Rogue-Engineering gearbox mounts, braided clutch line, standard 3.23 final drive LSD
CHASSIS 8.5x17” (front) and 10x17” (rear) #AC-Schnitzer-Type-1-Racing three-piece wheels with 215/40 (front) and 245/35 (rear) Hankook V12 tyres, #KW-V3 coilovers, #AC-Schnitzer carbon fibre strut brace. Standard brakes with drilled and grooved discs front and rear, braided brake lines
EXTERIOR Full respray in original Individual Imola red, Class II front spoiler removed, factory Class II rear spoiler, BMW Motorsport Individual side moulding badges, custom build number plaque
INTERIOR Individual upholstery (including Imola red door inserts and seat centre sections, Amaretta Anthracite seat bolsters), Amaretta Anthracite-trimmed steering wheel with Imola stitching by Royal Steering wheels, extended Imola leather by Bespoke Leather, Storm Motorwerks gear knob, Storm Motorwerks cigarette lighter blank, AC Schnitzer alloy pedal set, AC Schnitzer door pins, BMW Motorsport International carbon fibre glovebox trim, BMW-Motorsport International door sill trims, Harman Kardon speakers
THANKS Bilal and Imran at Eventuri, Jim at Vines, Steven at Taylor Made Decals, Ben at Hack Engineering, friends and familyStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWING COMMANDER
This wild 800hp Z4 boasts a genuine #BMW-Motorsport carbon fibre GT3 kit and is fully road-legal to boot. 800HP Z4 Big single turbo, carbon GT3-kitted Roadster. This might just be the most outlandish Z4 we’ve ever seen but with 800hp on tap, this carbon fibre road racer’s talents go far beyond its outrageous looks… Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Patrik Karlsson.
It would seem that modified Z4s are like buses: you wait forever for one to come along, and then you get two ridiculous builds within the space of as many issues. I was about to say that the Z4 doesn’t get a whole lot of love on the modified BMW scene but if you’d read last month’s issue and now picked up this one, you’d probably call me a liar. So let me explain. Generally speaking the Z4 is not a particularly popular BMW to modify. It’s also weird because it’s actually a really good car. The Bangledesigned, flame-surfaced E85 was a bit of a shock to the system after the more traditional-looking Z3, but it was a grower for sure and a pretty sweet drive with the more powerful sixes on-board. The E89 was a little easier on the eye and while BMW has decided against producing an M model, the 35is is a pretty rapid machine. Its performance pales into insignificance when compared with the Z3 GT3 racer, though, which is powered by a 515hp, 4.4-litre V8 based on that of the M3 GTS and which, above all else, looks absolutely awesome.
It’s low, wide and has a massive wing and scoops and ducts galore. It’s the sort of car that you might find yourself gazing at and fantasising what it might be like to own something like that, but that you could actually drive on the road.
Evidently that’s exactly what Johan Sjöstedt did but the difference between him and the rest of us is that he actually went out and made it happen. And you’re looking at the result of his fantasy right here. Hailing from Stockholm, the 40-year-old selfconfessed “serial entrepreneur” has been a #BMW fan for all his life, as you might expect from someone whose father owned a BMW workshop. And while his first ever car was a VW Beetle 1303 (a little rebellion, perhaps?), his BMW journey began at a very early age when his father gifted Johan a 1969 1800 while he was studying – a very cool thing to be trundling around in (especially as his dad could fix it for him if it ever went wrong).
An interest in BMWs, then, was established at an early age and modified cars have also been a big part of Johan’s life. He has, he says, modified almost all of his cars and has always leaned towards performance upgrades rather than the aesthetics. And with his last modified car being a Porsche 911 GT2, you can be sure this is a man who enjoys performance cars and driving them the way they were intended.
When it came to this project, Johan knew exactly what he wanted to do: create a street-legal Z4 GT3 for the Gumball 3000 event. That’s no mean feat by any stretch of the imagination. Fortunately for him Johan knew a garage that would be able to help: Westcoast Racing in Sweden. Indeed, the guys there carried out pretty much all of the work. Now, Westcoast Racing might sound like a Californian speedshop but it’s a full-on race outfit that knows what it’s doing when it comes to making racing cars. It was the perfect place for Johan to turn when it came to turning a plain Jane Z4 into a full-blown road-going racer – which is exactly what this car is. It doesn’t just look the part, it’s the complete package. It’s a full-on performance machine.
Let’s start with the body kit, partly because it looks so damn awesome but mainly because it’s the real deal: an allcarbon BMW Motorsport kit. This is what Johan wanted from the beginning but, as you might imagine, getting hold of the genuine kit was another matter altogether, with components being either very difficult to find, expensive or both. It was mostly both! Of course, getting hold of the kit was just half the battle as actually getting it to fit the road-going Z4 required a lot of work, not least because of how massively wide it is.
Westcoast Racing was clearly up to the task, though, and the end result is nothing short of spectacular. I mean, you really wouldn’t expect anything less because you’re basically looking at a GT3 race car. It’s the arches that impress the most, not just because of how far beyond the body they extend (15cm per side) but how high they are. The tops of the very outer sections actually sit above the bonnet and remind us of the Batmobile from the Tim Burton-era Batman movies. The front bumper features a massive central aperture and twin canards on each corner, while the vented bonnet looks no less wild. Viewed in profile you can see how the upper rear portion of the front arches are sliced away, exposing the tyre and the body, and then pinches in where the doors are before expanding out again with the rear arches. The side skirts feature exposed carbon splitters along their length and NACA ducts ahead of each rear wheel.
The rear of the car is arguably the most dramatic view, not least because of that absolutely vast spoiler, which almost sits as high as the car’s roof. The rear bumper and diffuser assembly is just plain crazy. The lower side sections and middle are made entirely of mesh, with the massive twin exhausts poking up and out like cannons. Beneath them sits the extreme diffuser. It’s certainly not going to be to all tastes but as far as visual drama goes, it takes some beating, make no mistake.
There’s no point fitting some wild, widearch racing car kit if you wimp out on the wheel front and the challenge for Johan was actually finding some wheels that were up to the job of filling those gigantic arches, which add half-a-foot of width to the car on each side. After an extensive search, Johan realised that there was nothing available off-the- shelf and so the only option was to go down the custom route, with Rotiform tasked with building the wheels.
That the three-piece forged SNAs measure 20” across will come as no surprise, with the fronts nine inches wide and the rears a massive eleven. And with this build being racing car-inspired you’ll find no stretch here, just ridiculously wide Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber all-round, with 285/30s up front and 335/30s at the back. This is one car you don’t want to get a puncture in. Vast Brembo calipers clamp slotted front discs while the suspension is a fully adjustable custom Öhlins coilover setup developed especially for this car.
As wild as the exterior may be, it’s possible that the interior is actually even wilder and while there’s no roll-cage that’s just about the only thing that’s missing from what might otherwise have been lifted straight from the GT3 racer. First, the entire lower portion of the dash looks to have been removed leaving just the arguably more useful and now flocked upper portion. It houses things like the light switch and HVAC controls, indicating that, for the sake of driver comfort, the air-con has been retained; after all, this is a road car.
However, that’s where the similarities with the regular Z4 end. The Sparco Ergo M seats look like refugees from the Le Mans 24 Hours, with their single-piece design and extensive bolstering and there’s also a carbon fibre intercom system for the driver and passenger. Carbon fibre plays a big part in the interior, making up many of the components and covering so many of the surfaces. The custom centre console is fabricated entirely from carbon fibre, the electronic handbrake release neatly relocated to the side, while an iPad sits in a custom shroud beneath the ventilation controls, displaying additional data. The carbon and Alcantara-rimmed AIM GT steering wheel features a digital display in its centre while an AIM MXG digital dash logger features a TFT screen that can display an overwhelming array of parameters, allowing Johan to keep an eye on all of the car’s systems. Interestingly, the standard speedo and rev counter have been relocated to the passenger side of the dash, presumably to allow those fortunate enough to get a ride in this beast to see just how fast they are travelling.
Now this is all well and good but it would be incredibly disappointing to remove that bonnet only to find a standard N54 peering back at you. But take a look under the bonnet of this Z4 and you’ll see that this is most definitely not the case: the engine is no less extreme than the rest of the car!
The first thing you’ll notice is that massive turbo, which is the main component of the FFTec single turbo kit that replaces the stock twins with a 64mm CEA ceramic ball bearing Precision turbo and includes a tubular exhaust manifold, three-inch downpipe, which leads to that straight-through exhaust system, and external wastegate. Johan’s Z4 features an uprated intercooler and injectors along with modified software and a new diff to help cope with all that power. It definitely needs it as the FFTec turbo kit turns the Z4 into an absolute monster. According to FFTec the kit is capable of putting down 650whp, which is knocking on the door of 800hp at the flywheel, and with the additional supporting upgrades that have been fitted to Johan’s Z4, this is an 800hp car, make no mistake.
Setting out on his Z4 journey, Johan knew exactly what he wanted to build and the monstrous machine he has created is the realisation of his Z4 GT3 dream: a road-legal racing car with the go to match the show. And as you might expect this wild Z4 has been getting plenty of attention. “I took it to Elmia, Sweden’s biggest show, and it won the ‘People’s Choice’ award,” says Johan with a smile. And he should be proud of this build as it’s an amazing car. Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that he’s not done yet. “If money were no object I would have bought a real one in the first place,” he laughs, “but now we are in the process of changing the engine for a V8, just like the real thing.” This might already be the most extreme Z4 we’ve ever seen but that V8 swap is going to propel this car into the modified stratosphere. You’ll never look at a Z4 the same way again.
DATA FILE Carbon fibre wide-body #BMW-Z4-35is / #BMW-Z4 / #BMW / #BMW-Z4-E89 / #BMW-E89 / #M-DCT
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six #N54B30 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 , #FFTec single turbo kit with tubular exhaust manifolds, 64mm CEA ceramic ball bearing #Precision turbo, three-inch downpipe, straight-through exhaust system, external wastegate, uprated intercooler, uprated injectors, modified software, seven-speed M-DCT gearbox, uprated diff. Approx. 800hp
CHASSIS 9x20” (front) and 11x20” (rear) #Rotiform #SNA three-piece forged wheels with 285/30 (front) and 335/30 (rear) Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, custom #Öhlins coilovers, #Brembo #Brembo-BBK with grooved discs (front), line lock kit / #Rotiform-SNA
EXTERIOR Full carbon fibre genuine #BMW-Motorsport-GT3 body kit
INTERIOR Flocked dash, custom carbon fibre centre console, iPad mounted in custom carbon housing, driver and passenger intercom system with carbon headphones, original gauge cluster moved to passenger side of dash, single piece Sparco Ergo M VTR race seats, #AIM-Motorsport-GT steering wheel with digital display and carbon and Alcantara rim, AIM Motorsport MXG digital dash logger.
As wild as the exterior may be, it’s possible that the interior is even wilder.
AIM Motorsport digital dash logger is a seriously impressive piece of kit and is complemented by an AIM steering wheel.
Fully-adjustable Öhlins suspension was developed specifically for this Z4.
FFTec single turbo kit uses #Precision turbo and, with supporting mods, cranks out 800hp.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationBMW ART CARS / #Frank-Stella : #BMW-3.0CSL / #BMW-E9 / #Kugelfischer-Injection-System / #Kugelfischer / #BMW-E9-Frank-Stella / #BMW-3.0CSL-E9 / / #Art-Cars / #BMW
Never mind the fine artwork on the bodywork, underneath Stella’s geometric lines this #CSL packed a mighty turbocharged punch.
The second of BMW’s Art Cars was another CSL and technically this machine was the brainchild of the then-head of #BMW-Motorsport , Jochen Neerpasch. It came about as a result of rule changes for the #1976 season which would have seen the factory works CSLs effectively detuned for the more stringent Group 2 regulations which demanded a return to smaller aerodynamic addenda, wet sump lubrication, and most crucially, a banning of four-valve cylinder heads unless they were used in series production. Neerpasch didn’t take this lying down and decided to strap a pair of turbochargers to the CSL’s engine and take on the dominant Porsche 935s in Group 5.
In hindsight it might not have been the best idea as the car wasn’t desperately reliable and in the end only raced three times at #Silverstone , #Le-Mans and #Dijon . The Stella CSL used a 3.2-litre version of the twin-cam, four-valve-per-cylinder #M49 / #BMW-M49 unit to which Josef Schnitzer attached a brace of #KKK turbochargers and a Kugelfischer injection system. On the dyno it could crack 1000hp, but it was wound down to develop 750-800hp in race trim in a vain attempt to allow the rest of the car to cope with these monumental forces that it had never been designed to withstand. There was no doubting that it was quick… but on its first outing at Silverstone it lasted just 14 laps before needing a new set of boots that had been vapourised by the engine’s torque and by lap 43 it had retired with a melted transmission.
At Silverstone the car didn’t yet sport Frank Stella’s geometric patterns but BMW had seen how much interest the Calder CSL had generated at Le Mans the previous year so it commissioned Stella to paint the car for the 1976 running of the endurance classic. With longer gearing for Le Mans the CSL was a monster, allegedly pulling 212mph on the Mulsanne straight – drivers Gregg and Redmond must have been absolute legends – and they managed to put it eighth on the grid. Sadly in the race the inevitable happened and it retired after 23 laps.
Its last outing was at the last round of the World Makes Championship which was held at the small Dijon circuit in September 1976. By now the turbo CSL sported a reinforced differential, gearbox and halfshafts and was back in the hands of Peterson (who had driven it at Silverstone). In qualifying at least, things at last seemed to be going according to plan as he managed to hold back the phalanx of Porsche 935s to take the top spot on the grid.
Peterson led from the start and once he’d pulled away from Jacky Ickx’s Martini 935 the boost was wound down until Ickx could maintain the same pace as the CSL but not catch it. However, even this approach didn’t work and on lap 33 the diff turned into a casing full of swarf! A glorious failure then… but just look at, obscenely bulging arches, huge wings and that fantastic livery – what’s not to like?
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- Post is under moderationAndy Priaulx retires as Works driver / #2016
After 13 years as a #BMW-Works driver #Andy-Priaulx said a fond farewell to his BMW Motorsport family at the annual BMW Motorsport party, held at the end of each season. At an emotional awards ceremony he was awarded the BMW Sports Trophy Honorary Award in recognition of his hard work over the years.
Priaulx has left in search of a new challenge next year and is expected to announce details of precisely what this is in January. However, he is already certain of a place in the BMW Motorsport history books. In 2004 he won the European Touring Car Title and between 2005 and 2007, Priaulx won three titles in a row with BMW Team RBM in the #FIA-World-Touring-Car-Championship – not bad when you consider that the Schnitzer team was very much the first choice Works outfit at the time. In 2005, he was also victorious at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in a M3 GTR. In total, he amassed more than 50 victories in #BMW cars and in this year’s BTCC he demonstrated that he hadn’t lost his touch, winning two races, numerous podiums and two pole positions. He dovetailed his BTCC racing with five rounds of the European Le Mans Series, winning the season closing event in Estoril in one of the Z4 GTE’s final outings.
“I have had the privilege of driving some of the best racing cars in the world, and have achieved fantastic success with them,” commented Priaulx. “I will obviously always have particularly fond memories of my three world titles in the WTCC and victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. I had a great time here.
“Thanks to BMW, my dream has come true for the last 13 years. Although I am now heading off in search of a new challenge, I will never forget what I have achieved with #BMW-Motorsport . I cannot thank all the teams I have driven for enough. Not only were they all extremely professional, but it was also great fun to work with them every single time. At this point, I could list a lot of names of people who have helped me over the years, but I am sure I would still forget many. Because of this, I would just like to give a special mention to the Belgian #BMW-Team-RBM , with whom I raced for a decade.” We wish Andy every luck for the future – he will be sorely missed as a Works driver.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.