- Post is under moderationDare to Dream 3D Design carbon-clad M4. Back in 2006, a group of highly talented designers and engineers came together in Tokyo to reboot dormant BMW tuning parts maker 3D Design. This M4 is the culmination of everything it’s done in the ten years since Words and photography: Chris Nicholls. Dare to Dream 3D Design’s stunning carbon-clad F82 M4 under the spotlight. #BMW-4-Series / #BMW-4-Series-Coupe / #BMW-4-Series-F82
The M4, for many, represents dreams. Dreams of status, dreams of amazing driving experiences and dreams of just looking at the thing and enjoying its muscular lines just one more time before walking away. This particular #BMW-4-Series-M4-F82 , however, represents a very different kind of dream – a dream to build a complete ‘tuner car’ that not only shows off your company’s expertise in designing a range of great products, but also demonstrates how well those parts work in unison when fitted together.
It’s a dream Toru Endo and his team at 3D Design have had since the brand’s rebirth ten years ago. Back in 2006, they came in to kick-start what was then a bit of a lost cause; 3D Design in its original form had been making #BMW tuning parts (mainly suspension components) since 1998, but for various reasons the company had lost any momentum and, by the time Endo-san and his crew arrived, it hadn’t released anything new for quite some time. Obviously, job one after the takeover was thus to start cranking out parts again, but given the old line-up hadn’t been a great success, Endo-san and co. decided to expand the offering to include exhausts and aero parts as well, with an end goal of offering a large enough range of components to build the aforementioned ‘complete car’.
However, because all the 3D Design staff already had many years of experience working in either OEM, aftermarket accessory or race engineering circles, slapping together a few basic designs and calling it a day wasn’t going to cut it. They vowed that, no matter what the development time and costs, they would make the best BMW parts they could, a philosophy that continues to this day. One minor detail was that they didn’t have their own manufacturing facilities, but to get around this, they partnered up with the likes of Arqray for their lovely stainless exhausts and BBS for their forged wheels, ensuring the final products were as high-end as the engineering that had gone into the design and testing. And of course, that all their products were made in Japan.
Trouble was, even with a line-up that included wheels, coilovers, aero accessories, exhausts, a boost control chip and various interior upgrades, the staff didn’t feel as if they’d reached their goal of being able to produce a ‘complete car’. So they pushed on, and decided to invest more time and resources in a couple of other key items – a carbon intake for the S55 and, most importantly, full resin-infusion carbon bumpers for the M4. Now, proper carbon bumpers (not CFRP) may seem a bit extreme, especially considering they’re usually the first things to get damaged in a crash and cop quite a bit of sandblasting just from regular road driving, but as we said earlier, the company philosophy is to offer the best, no matter what, and given carbon would allow them to integrate aero elements better, as well as save a crucial 5kg at each extreme of the car (thereby reducing moment of inertia), it seemed a natural choice. Plus, literally no one else on the market is offering such a thing, so it gives the company a competitive advantage.
Obviously, these pieces do not come cheap. The carbon intake isn’t even on sale yet in Japan, but M Style UK quoted us £6195 for the front bumper and £5695 for the rear, and when you throw in the £1482 Mulgari quoted for the dry carbon side skirts, just the basic aero kit adds considerable cost to an already expensive machine. Going down the complete car route, which adds a dry carbon rear lip spoiler, dry-carbon racing wing, polyurethane roof spoiler, resin-infusion carbon mirror covers, coilovers, forged 20-inch Anniversary 01 wheels, a DME Tuning Stage 2 engine remap, Brembo GT big brake kit and all the company’s interior mods, will no doubt jack up the price to potentially terrifying levels, but no one said the best ever came cheap. And when you look at the fit, finish and quality of each of 3D Design’s products (the bumpers fit so well you’d genuinely think they were official Motorsport upgrades), there is no doubt that they’re among the very best in each sector they compete in.
As for the overall effect these changes make, at least in terms of appearance (we only had a short time with the car and thus couldn’t drive it), it’s quite staggering. The stock M4 is a muscular beast, but the 3D Design version takes it up a notch in every respect. The cleaner, more integrated lines of the front bumper lead down to quite a protruding lip spoiler, and the fact the company has kept the lower half naked carbon really adds to the impact.
The sleek skirts define the car’s flanks better and make it look lower than it actually is, while the rear end is just a whole lot buffer thanks to the large (but not ridiculous) wing, bootlid lip and again, that half-painted carbon bumper. Keen-eyed readers will note 3D Design has placed cuts on each side of it too, which allow turbulent air to exit the rear wheels better and should improve stability. One interesting side effect of all this extra aggression is that the car actually looks more like a sports car – something that should cheer all those who now consider the M4 a GT – and at least in this writer and photographer’s opinion, does a better job of integrating all that aero than the GTS. BMW take note. Finally, those wheels are just perfect against the Sapphire black paint, aren’t they?
Inside, there’s less of an impact simply because there are fewer changes. Yes, the switch to customembroidered Recaro Sportsters definitely changes the atmosphere, as does the switch to 3D Design’s alloy pedals, brake lever and shift paddles, but it still feels very much like an M4, only sportier. In many respects, the biggest change to the ambience actually comes from the Stack gauges, mounted in a lovely 3D Design pod at the bottom of the centre console. These, while looking pretty modern with their machined housings and austere faces, are still very much an old-school performance car touch in what is otherwise a very modern interior, so they do stand out and make the car feel just that little less GT-like (again). By the way, you can ignore that little display mounted to driver’s right, as it’s just a small speed camera detector. Don’t worry, they’re perfectly legal in Japan, and sadly more necessary than ever these days, thanks to the growing number of cameras on the roads there.
In terms of the effect the mechanical changes have, obviously we couldn’t sample most of those, but we have little reason to doubt the coilovers will benefit the handling, given 3D Design, unlike most of its Japanese contemporaries, designs and develops its coilovers explicitly for road use and thus makes them supple. (There is a remote reservoir track coilover in the works for the M4 should you want that, though). And again, there’s little reason to believe the DME re-flash, which, combined with the intake and exhaust bumps power up to 522hp at 6000rpm and torque to a stupid 561lb ft at just 2000rpm, won’t do the job in terms of making the car much, much faster, either. Nor that the Brembo GT big brake kit won’t do a stellar job of bringing the car’s speed down to normal levels, even after heavy track use.
While we didn’t sample the power it helps provide, we can heartily recommend the cat-back mid-pipe and muffler combination in terms of pure sound though, as we did get to sample its sonorous delights during our rolling shot session across the Tokyo Gate Bridge. Like most products on this car, it’s not cheap, with the full system setting you back £6334 from M Style UK, but its unique sound may well be worth it, depending on your priorities. We say that because the 3D Design product is by far the most subtle of the aftermarket M4 exhausts we’ve heard, with a start up that won’t upset the neighbours, and an ultra-smooth timbre as the revs rise. Indeed, it almost makes the S55 sound like an angry, tuned S54 , which is quite a feat. If you live in Japan and are reading this, the only downside is that the system won’t pass the strict shaken periodic roadworthy test there, but if you’re willing to switch back to stock for one day every couple of years, it’s not an issue, and we certainly don’t see it being a problem in most other countries.
So, having produced this ‘dream car’ and fulfilled the company’s original ambition, how does Endo-san feel? As he puts it, “we’ve never been about selling parts per sé. We’ve always developed parts with an eye to exciting the driver, whether it’s via improved styling, or upgraded ride, handling or engine feel. So when I got in the completed car the first time, there was a feeling of ‘we’ve finally done it’; that we’d achieved our goal of being able to excite the driver in every way we could”. Unsurprisingly, the positive impression continued when he drove it, too. “It’s now much more of a sports car to drive. The engine response has improved, as has the handling, so it now accelerates and points exactly the way you tell it to”.
Having said all that, 3D Design’s journey towards selling a complete car isn’t quite over yet. There’s the small matter of actually building a Tokyo showroom, which begins in May, and signing an agreement with a local dealer to supply brand new M4s the company can add all its bits to as well. After that, it may look at expanding its dealership reach past the nation’s capital, but Endo-san says that’s not been decided upon yet. No doubt there are plans afoot for more parts for other BMWs too. At the recent Tokyo Auto Salon, for example, it had a few prototype M2 parts on display, including an intercooler, race-use exhaust (similar to the M4 one) and race-oriented coilovers, so that model may well be next. A slightly more affordable dream? Maybe. Either way, an exciting one we’ll be sure to keep track of.
Contact: 3D Design / Web: www.3ddesign.jp
The switch to custom-embroidered Recaro Sportsters definitely changes the atmosphere
TECHNICAL FATA FILE #3D-Design / #BMW-F82 / #BMW-M4 / #BMW-M4-F82 / #BMW-M4-3D-Design-F82 / #BMW-M4-3D-Design / #BMW-M4-Tuned / #BMW-M4-F82-Tuned / #DME-Tuning-Stage-2 / #DME-Tuning /
Engine: Twin-turbo, 24-valve, straight-six, #Valvetronic , double #Vanos , direct injection / #S55B30T0 / #S55 / #BMW-S55
Max Power: 529.6PS @ 6000rpm
Max Torque: 561lb ft @ 2000rpm
Engine: 3D Design carbon airbox with #BMC filter element, #DME-Tuning-Stage-2-ECU remap
Exhaust : 3D Design cat-back stainless mid-pipe and valve-controlled stainless quad-tip muffler
Wheels & Tyres : #3D-Design-Anniversary-01 forged monobloc wheels 9.5x20-inches (f) and 10.5x20-inch (r) with 235/30 (f) and 285/30 (r) Yokohama Advan Sport V105 tyres.
Suspension: 3D Design machined alloy dampers with 20-step compression and rebound damping control and 6kg/mm (f) and 8kg/mm (r) springs
Brakes : #Brembo-GT big brake kit with six piston calipers (f) and four-piston calipers (r) and 405mm (f) and 380mm (r) slotted rotors
Styling: 3D Design resin-infusion carbon front and rear bumper, cry carbon side skirts, dry carbon Racing wing, dry carbon bootlid spoiler, polyurethane roof spoiler, resin-infusion carbon mirror covers, body stripe stickers
Interior: 3D Design sports pedal kit, hand brake lever, shift paddles, floormats, Stack gauge kit and custom-embroidered Recaro Sportster seats
No one else on the market is offering such a thing, so it gives the company a competitive advantage.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationAWESOME BMW M5 Looks good, goes great
How do you improve upon one of the best driving cars #BMW ever put together? Take a leaf out of Andrew Berger’s book. Words: Louise Woodhams. Photos: Mike Kuhn.
Styled and tuned E39 M5
There can’t be many father and sons that have individually made it on to the pages of Performance BMW with their Bavarian beasts. In fact, Andrew and Josh Berger may well be the first. Josh’s E36 M3 was featured in November last year. It’s a concours-standard build that’s been reverted back to its Luxurious spec and slammed on a set of CCW LM5Ts.
With a few choice engine and chassis mods, it’s a show stopper, track car and daily driver rolled into one. And now a year later, it’s his father’s turn to take the spotlight. The E39 M5 is arguably the best performance saloon BMW ever made, and it’s already becoming sought after by collectors and driving enthusiasts. Having reached modern classic status, various finance and automotive publications of late are claiming that it’s set to soar in value. In fact, Paul Michaels, chairman of Hexagon Classics (a man who makes a living out of buying the right collectible cars) claims an immaculate low mileage model is sure to appreciate.
It’s something I’ve been saying for the past year and I now find myself not getting very far with writing this feature as I scour Pistonheads and AutoTrader looking for one and trying to persuade my husband that this should be our new family car. Suffice to say we definitely couldn’t afford the one that was recently up for grabs at a dealership in Ohio. With just 309 miles on the clock the asking price was $149,999.
Anyway, if I’m to meet this deadline without burning the midnight oil I really must get back to the task in hand. A man fascinated with form and function, we’re surprised to learn that Andrew has only been interested in BMWs for the past 15 years, but suffice to say ever since the day he first drove one he was hooked. He did go on to own that very car, an E46 330i, but not before going through a few other 3, 5 and M Series cars. If truth be told, though, he always had his sights set on an E39 M5: “This car has been at the top of my bucket list since they rolled off the production line,” confesses the 60-year-old.
He bought the car in May last year from Gas Motorcars, a local dealership in Marietta, Georgia, that specialises in exotic, classic and luxury cars and also happens to be where his son works. He traded in his E36 M3 and M Roadster for it together with a pile of 100 dollar bills. The car had already received a few exterior modifications – some of which were a little OTT for Andrew’s taste, so the first job was to take off what he didn’t like.
As such the car now wears a Vorsteiner carbon fibre vented bonnet, front and rear spoilers from AC Schnitzer, ECS Tuning brake duct grilles, a painted matt black kidney grille, angel eye headlights and a painted gloss black rear diffuser with stainless steel exhaust tip surrounds, all of which combine to make a more aggressive statement without detracting from Chris Bangle’s original lines. The staggered 19” DPE Forged wheels with brushed faces, polished lips and chrome hardware are the perfect finishing touches.
When it came to the interior, Andrew wanted to keep things simple again so he’s retained most of the stock parts (bar the Schroth Racing harnesses) but brought them into the 21st century. As such the steering wheel, sun visors, doorcards, handbrake and gear knob gaiters have been retrimmed in black Alcantara complete with M tri-colour stitching, while the Nineties wood trim has been painted silver and the instrument rings have been swapped out for custom-made aluminium items.
The in-dash double-DIN DVD multimedia AV receiver from Pioneer is the only clue to a custom audio install which resides in the boot and includes a pair of JL Audio W7 10” subwoofers and HD1200/1 amp, which are connected up to a set of Hertz speakers, mids and tweeters. Despite having the unbeatable soundtrack of a brutal V8 under the bonnet, the ICE is Andrew’s favourite: “I love taking this car out on a Sunday, putting on my favourite playlist and enjoying my ultimate driving machine,” he tells us.
Saying that, we’re pleased to hear the engine side of things haven’t been ignored. With 400hp already on tap, sensibly Andrew has gone for a selection of mods that help to improve the breathing of the high-revving 5.9-litre engine. The combination of an AFE Stage 2 air intake, custom exhaust manifolds, mid-pipes and ECU remap by Buckhead Imports and an Eisenmann Race exhaust system not only gives the car extra horsepower, but it also lets the engine rev more eagerly and helps the lazy V8 burble really come out of its shell.
The six-speed manual gearbox from Getrag was critically acclaimed for its slick performance, but improvements can always be made. To that end a UUC short shifter, lightweight clutch and flywheel, have really helped to transform an already revered driving experience with quicker gear changes and improved throttle response. “Getting it past 6000rpm puts a smile on my face every time,” he says and we can certainly believe that.
When you factor in the host of suspension upgrades he’s made, including KW Variant 3 coilovers, Dinan strut tower bar and shock tower brace to help the car feel more planted, responsive and tauter, together with a Brembo GT big brake kit up front and slotted StopTech discs with Hawk pads out back to better haul in the power, Andrew now has the confidence to push this sizeable saloon harder on Georgia’s finest scenic and twisty roads.
Andrew’s plans for the future are to simply maintain its prestige and, with just 55,000 miles on the clock, keep it for Sunday best, and who can blame him? With supercar- chasing performance in a package that is discreet and practical, the E39 M5 is the very definition of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and Andrew’s sympathetic approach in modifying is a great lesson to anyone thinking of buying one of these Q cars. Right, can I go back to scouring the classifieds again now, please?
“This car’s been at the top of my bucket list since they rolled off the production line”
“I love taking this car out and enjoying my ultimate driving machine”
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-E39 / #BMW-M5 / #BMW-M5-E39 / #S62B50 / #BMW-S62 / #S62 / #DPE / #AFE / #BMW-5-Series / #BMW-5-Series-E39 / #BMW-5-Series-M5 / #BMW-5-Series-M5-E39
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.9-litre #V8 #S62B50 , #AFE-Stage-2 air intake, Buckhead Imports custom exhaust manifolds, mid-pipes and ECU remap, full #Eisenmann race exhaust, six-speed manual gearbox, UUC lightweight clutch and flywheel, UUC Evo 3 short-shifter
CHASSIS 9.5x19” ET16 (f) and 11x19” ET16 (r) #DPE-Forged-ST7-Hybrid wheels with brushed faces, polished lips and chrome hardware with 245/35 (f) and 285/35 (r) Toyo T1R tyres, #KW-Variant-3 Coilovers, #Dinan strut tower bar & shock tower brace. #Brembo-GT big brake kit (f) and slotted #StopTech discs and Hawk pads (r), #Turner-Motorsports stainless steel brake lines all-round
EXTERIOR #Vorsteiner carbon fibre vented bonnet, kidney grille painted matt black, LED angel eye headlights, ECS Tuning brake duct grille, #AC-Schnitzer front and rear spoilers, custom painted gloss black rear diffuser with stainless steel exhaust tip surrounds
INTERIOR Doorcards, handbrake and gear knob gaiters, steering wheel and sun visors retrimmed in black Alcantara with M tri-colour stitching, silver painted trim, custom aluminium instrument rings, Schroth Racing harnesses, full custom boot install with two JL Audio W7 subwoofers and HD1200/1 amp, Pioneer in-dash double-DIN DVD multimedia AV receiver, Hertz speakers, mids and tweetersStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationBUMP AND GRIND
Think of Indonesia and you probably don’t think of modified BMs, but this bagged E46 is one impressive machine. As we strive to bring you the best creations from around the world, we uncover #Drive-My ’s first Indonesian E46, and what a star it is. Words: Louise Woodhams. Photos: Muhammad Balbed.
I probably say this every year, but I can’t quite believe how quickly March has come around, it seemed like only yesterday I was seeing in the new year, and now we’re almost a quarter of the way into 2009… It will be Christmas soon. More worryingly, this month marks a rather significant chapter in my life – six years on Performance #BMW , and what a long way it’s come in that time. I’m not just talking about the style and layout of the magazine but the content as well. Funnily enough, then Editor Greg Emmerson often complained of struggling to find enough BMWs in the UK to fill the magazine. Nothing’s changed there sadly, and whilst we still regularly turn to the States and Scandinavia for inspiration we’re now looking beyond the familiar European getaways to places like Finland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia to places in south east Asia including Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, the list goes on.
Hailing from Indonesia this car is no different, but when it comes to styling cues interestingly, there are some similarities to what we were seeing over half a decade ago. Wide-body conversions, for example, were commonplace back then but it was more Japinfluenced (think Mitsubishi Evo or Nissan Skyline R34) what with the influx of the Fast and the Furious-styled cars dominating the tuning scene. Fortunately rice rockets no longer have the same status, and rather than the in-yer-face, ill-fitting, garish-coloured body kits, it’s now more about being restrained yet unique at the same time. The arches on this 2000 318i for instance are custom creations extending 4cm up front and 6cm out back, and for owner Arief Wibowo, quality has been key throughout the build, as he explains: “Not a lot of people know how to properly modify a BMW in this country, they come up with their own designs but without looking at what other tuners or individuals are doing. I wanted to prove you can still be different but also win contests.”
Having bought it brand new and leaving it standard for five years, the modifying bug that was lying dormant (originally kickstarted by a stint with Hondas when he was studying in Melbourne, Australia, for eight years) finally took hold again. Contractor Arief takes up the story: “My partner (from Facelift workshop) and I thought long and hard about what to do with the exterior for a month, researching various magazines and websites before coming up with a design that we like to think is influenced by the European luxury car sector.” Over the next 18 months the transformation gradually began to take shape. M-Tech II bumpers and side skirts lent the car a more muscular appearance alongside those new meaty loins, which haven’t strayed too far from the E46’s original lines. Meanwhile a smattering of CSL-inspired carbon parts including a front lip, rear diffuser, roof and (genuine) boot lid adhere to current trends where mesh and chrome once dominated; where Lexus-style rear clusters would have perhaps sat are now M3 alternatives, thankfully.
Moving inside and only the best leather in Indonesia would do for Arief, and it also happens to be the only car with this colour hide in the country as well. Rich Bordeaux red in hue and enveloping the seats, centre console and doors, with the headliner colour-matched in Alcantara and the dash resprayed it really is a sumptuous place to be. Those Recaro A8 seats are a lovely addition, and as if they weren’t distinctive enough Arief’s invested in carbon backs to match the interior trim but only left a section in the middle exposed, respraying the rest in white to tie in with the exterior. An install in the boot, just as lovingly and sympathetically executed as the rest of the car makes it the complete show-winner. In fact the first event he attended, Hot Import Nights in Surabaya, he took home seven trophies including Best Sedan and Hottest European.
If you’ve got a good memory you’ll also recall it wasn’t that unusual to powdercoat the centre of your wheels, however, present fashion dictates you do the lips as well if you really want to stand out; a hint of the Orient you don’t mind embracing. Framed in Candy red with matt black spokes the Dronnel wheels work superbly against the crisp Super white paintwork and carbon weave. Believe it or not this is the second E46 318i to feature in DRIVE-MY with air-ride – an ever increasingly popular alternative to coilovers or lowering springs for that ultimate stance. It’s also meant that Arief has been able to fit the generously sized 20” wheels, measuring 9.5” in width up front, and a respectable 11” out back. “This is definitely my favourite modification, the roads in Indonesia are renowned for being terrible and I don’t want risk damaging the front bumper,” he explains.
Other chassis upgrades include a big brake kit from Brembo, unnecessary you might think for a 1.9 four-pot until you later learn of the M3 engine he was planning to stuff under the bonnet; was, being the operative word. “It’s hard to find any quality parts for BMWs in Indonesia, never mind the workmanship to fit them. Fortunately money’s not a problem for me and although I’ve got all the parts I need for the swap, many of which had to be imported, sadly no one has the skills required to undertake such a job,” reveals the 26-year-old.
Perhaps this is the reason why he’s now concentrating all his time and effort on his latest acquisition: a Nissan 350Z, although even he admits to finding it hard going from a European to a JDM car. What hasn’t changed is his passion for modifying – for him it’s more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle, a philosophy I think we all assign to. Our constant compulsion to innovate is no less strong than it was six years ago, trends and technologies may come and go but one thing’s for sure, we’ll never grow tired of seeking them out in that ever-ending quest to attract attention and distinguish ourselves from the crowd, whatever part of the world you live in.
THE FIRST EVENT HE ATTENDED, HOT IMPORT NIGHTS IN SURABAYA, HE TOOK HOME SEVEN TROPHIES
M-Tech II bumpers and side skirts lent the car a more muscular appearance alongside those new meaty loins.
DATA FILE #BMW-318i / #BMW-318i-E46 / #BMW-E46 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46 /
ENGINE: 1.9-litre four-cylinder #M43 / #BMW-M43 , GruppeM air intake, remap, carbon fibre engine, battery and switch cover
CHASSIS: 9.5x20” (front) and 11x20” (rear) #Dronnel forged magnesium wheels with powdercoated matt black centres and anodised Red Candy lips shod in 235/45 and 275/35 Continental CS2 tyres. #Air-Lift air-ride utilizing #H&R shocks with Dakota digital ride height controller, carbon fibre suspension tube. Front #Brembo GT Big Brake Kit including six-piston calipers and 335mm discs, rear #Brembo-GT Big Brake Kit including four-piston calipers and 322mm discs
EXTERIOR: #M-Tech II front bumper, carbon fibre Arqray lip, side skirts and rear bumper with carbon fibre diffuser, Varis carbon fibre cooling bonnet, custom carbon fibre roof and #AC-Schnitzer spoiler, custom front (with vents) and rear arches extended 4cm and 6cm respectively, M3 CSL boot lid, custom carbon fibre headlight inserts, M3 LED rear lights, full respray in Spies Hecker Super white
INTERIOR: Recaro A8 seats with carbon fibre backs resprayed white, carbon fibre interior trim, roof liner retrimmed in Alcantara, dashboard resprayed in Bordeux red, Hamann pedals, full retrim in Bordeux red leather
ICE: Clarion HX-D2 head unit, Scanspeak 9600 special edition tweeter and 15W/40 mid, Zapco DCS1000.4 and DCS750.6 amplifier, three X-tant 10” subwoofers, two Critical Mass Engineering 1.2 farad cap banks, Van Den Hull cables, install retrimmed in Bordeux red Alcantara
THANKS: God, my parents, wife Lita, Ultraman Kids, Mr Liangga Gunawan at Facelift Motorsport, Mr Cahyadi at RPM, Mr Chandra at Esprit MotorsportStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationFIRE AND ICE #2015
Not only has this owner bought himself two special edition E92 M3s that we never got in the UK, he’s then supercharged them and made them look absolutely awesome. Jealous. These E92 M3 evil twins show how even special editions can benefit from a good dose of modifying. Words: Iain Curry /// Photos: Matt Petrie
Is there anything more irritating than people with vast sums of disposable income and have no clue what to do with it? You know, the multi-millionaire lottery winner who continues living in a mouldy council flat and doing factory night shifts, or the CEO that’s in it only for the ‘challenge’ of business and still wears awful clothes and drives around in a battered old Ford despite untold wealth?
Then there’s the other extreme. The guy who spends his hard-earned in such a manner that we car enthusiasts can only nod our head, shake his hand and – somewhat enviously of course – agree we’d be doing exactly the same in their shoes. Who really needs two E92 M3s? Well, given the financial means wouldn’t you?
This brace of modified M3s belong to New Jersey’s Bill Jordan, business owner of Miraj Corporation which manufacturers and distributes aircraft replacement parts. And it seems business is good for the 47-year-old American car enthusiast. Beside the M3s in his current line-up is an Alpina B6, a Porsche 911 GT3, a Ferrari F430 Spyder, a Maserati GranCabrio, a bonkers Mercedes G63 AMG and a Mercedes CLA45 AMG, most receiving a decent dash of modifying too.
The man clearly has a passion for European exotica, and has good history with BMWs too, with an E39 540i, E38 740iL and E65 745Li in his previous inventory. But the lure of special edition M3s has stoked his fire in recent years, with the orange car a 2013 USA-only model called the Lime Rock Park Edition, and the black one a 2011 USAonly special called the Frozen Black Edition. The Lime Rock car is one of 200 built and finished in the Euro-only M3 GTS Fire orange paint, and came with the Competition Package, an Alcantara flat bottom steering wheel, a carbon leather dash, carbon body flashes and a lightweight titanium exhaust. The Frozen Black is an even scarcer one of just 20 built and came with matt black paint, Competition package, red stitching for the cabin, red brake calipers and 19” Gloss black competition wheels.
Both are special cars, but clearly not special enough for Bill. Each M3 has been treated to an extensive makeover to meet his preferences; including replacing some of the factory special components that already made these cars stand out from the rest. The results, as you can see, are two M3s with levels or extrovertness and hardcore racing style to have you drooling.
“I am a big fan of the S65 V8 engine – one of the best ever made by BMW and with that beautiful sound,” Bill said. “When I saw the Fire orange Lime Rock Park Edition I fell in love with the colour and possibilities to really take it to the extreme with all of the products available like superchargers, body kits and suspension, but still keep it a daily driver. I found the Frozen Black Edition by happy accident one night online. It only had 300 miles on it, and although I wasn’t planning on buying a second E92 M3, when I went to see it I fell in love and bought it that day. It looked menacing and had really nice red accents that I picked up for the customisation project.”
Bill’s motivation for modifying is typical, namely taking factory cars and adding his personal touches so they are unique. He said everything done on the special M3s is reversible: “We respect the factory setup but try to improve on things in terms of performance, sound and cosmetics. There’s also an enjoyment in building up these cars in such a way that they can compete with so-called supercars costing three to four times the price.”
Build work has been done by AutoCouture Motoring of Fairlawn close to Bill’s New Jersey home; a BMW specialist he says is regarded as one of the leading performance and custom shops in the USA. “The staff are real enthusiasts, and I make a point to stop by there on my way home from work to catch up on new builds, product trends and hang out with a great bunch of guys,” he said. Some custom parts are provided by AutoCouture, and the rest from another well-followed BMW specialist, Ind. Distribution.
Two tougher looking, beautifully stanced E92 M3s would be hard to find. And there’s the upping in performance to back the looks. Both cars have been given ESS superchargers, the main benefit of which is a significant boost to low end torque, as this is Bill’s only complaint of the S65 factory motor. “With the kits, rear-wheel horsepower is now 550hp and torque at 350lb ft, so essentially they have the power to run with the current generation stock M3/M4 turbo cars.”
Anyone who’s driven the F80/F82 cars knows they’re incredible weapons, but the turbo six-cylinders just don’t have the emotive roar of the previous generation V8s. So Bill’s passion for the model is perfectly understandable.
The style begins on the ’charged motors too. The manifolds are Melbourne red with silver metallic flake on the black car and Fire orange on the other, showing a theme that runs through both cars. Both feature BMW Performance seats (sourced through Europe as none were shipped to America), which Bill said are perfect for customising. True to his word, each car’s chairs have been painted the relevant hue, and the rest of the cabin follows suit.
The orange car has orange accents for everything from the stitching in the door panels to the centre console and even all the seatbelts. The black car does almost the same but with the Melbourne red colour, while both cars now have gorgeous Nexon Motors carbon fibre steering wheels.
Body-wise things get even crazier. The Lime Rock car is a stunning mix of Manhart Racing carbon body kit, a Vorsteiner GTS-V front bumper with carbon lip, DownForce USA three-piece carbon rear diffuser and BC carbon GTS wing just for starters, with tough-as-nails black and orange contrasting throughout. Mixing the styles up, the black car comes with RKP GT4 carbon front lip, #BMW Performance carbon boot spoiler, Varis Racing rear diffuser and Gintani carbon side skirts. Most of the body additions are finished in a satin/matt clear and with a Melbourne red detail where possible. The results are breathtaking: there’s little wonder that Bill and his cars are online superstars.
Now the all-important chassis. Both feature giant Brembo brake kits, hidden behind 19” BBS RI-D five-spoke rims for the orange car, and 20” Morr wheels for the black M3. The Lime Rock car is Bill’s choice for any track excursions, so it now has Öhlins Road & Track coilover suspension – Bill saying they are versatile enough to still give daily drive comfort. The Frozen Black M3, being one of 20, is just too special to risk on track, especially with that matt black paint. It now has very trick #Bilstein-B16-DampTronic electronic adjustable active suspension, allowing the driver to change settings on the fly.
This pair of brutally handsome M3s are both stunning builds. We can’t kid ourselves that it can be done cheaply of course. Both M3s are costly special editions for starters, and the custom parts and incredible attention to detail aren’t for those with shallow pockets. We can hugely respect Bill’s method of spending his money, however, as he has created aspirational halo M3s justifiably envied and loved wherever they’re seen.
Work is “pretty much” finished on these two E92 M3s, Bill said, but as you’d have guessed, there’s something else in the pipeline. A Laguna Seca blue F82 M4 is getting the full treatment at present, despite Bill’s early reservations about the turbo six’s exhaust note. We’re sure he’ll find away around this, and can’t wait to see and hear the final results.
“We respect the factory setup but try to improve on things in terms of performance, sound and cosmetics”
“When I saw the Fire orange Lime Rock Park Edition I fell in love with the colour”
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-M3-E92-Lime-Rock-Park-Edition
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre V8 #S65B40 / #S65 , #ESS VT2-625 supercharger with custom painted #Fire orange manifold, #Evolve Automotive E-Tronic valved exhaust with #AutoCouture Motoring test pipes, seven-speed #M-DCT gearbox
CHASSIS 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) #BBS RI-D five-spoke wheels in matt black with 245/35 (front) and 295/30 (rear) #Falken Azenis 453 tyres, #Öhlins Road & Track coilover suspension, #Dinan carbon fibre strut braces, #Brembo-GT Big Brake Kit with 380mm discs and six-piston calipers (front) and 355mm four-pistons (rear) custom finished in Fire orange
EXTERIOR Manhart Racing carbon fibre body kit including full carbon bonnet with Fire orange paint scheme and exposed carbon, carbon side skirts and fender flares, Vorsteiner GTS-V front bumper with carbon fibre lip and inserts, carbon fibre grille surrounds and side markers, OEM carbon fibre mirror covers, DownForce USA three-piece carbon rear diffuser, BC carbon fibre GTS wing and BMW painted bootlid spoiler, Fire orange body paint
INTERIOR BMW Performance Alcantara front seats custom finished with Fire orange Alcantara and painted accents, Nexon Motors carbon fibre steering wheel with Fire orange trim and custom DCT paddles, Pedal Haus custom pedals and heel plate, custom Alcantara door panels with orange diamond stitching, carbon fibre dash and door trim with Fire orange accents, Fire orange upper front/rear door trim, painted centre and rear consoles, front and rear seatbelts and rear seat inserts, orange illuminated door sills.
THANKS AutoCouture Motoring of Fairlawn NJ (for the build) and Ind. Distribution (for parts support)
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-M3-92-Frozen-Black-Edition / #BMW-M3-92 / / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-E92
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre V8 #S65B40 , #ESS VT2-625 supercharger kit featuring custom Melbourne red with silver metallic flake manifold, #Innotech IPE F1 valved race exhaust, #ACM-R upgraded coolant pump and lines, seven-speed #M-DCT gearbox.
CHASSIS 9x20” (front) and 10.5x20” (rear) Morr VS54 monoforged wheels finished in a brushed dark tinted matt clear with 245/35 (front) and 275/30 (rear) #Hankook Ventus V12 tyres, #Bilstein #Bilstein-B16 #DampTronic electronic adjustable active suspension, #Brembo GT big brake kit with 380mm discs and sixpiston calipers (front) and 355mm four-pistons (rear) custom finished in Melbourne red with silver metallic flake and black chrome decals
EXTERIOR #RKP GT4 carbon fibre front lip finished with satin/matt clear and #Melbourne red CRT stripe, BMW Performance carbon fibre boot spoiler with satin/matt clear and Melbourne red #CRT stripe, #Varis-Racing upper/lower rear diffuser in satin/matt clear, #Gintani carbon fibre side skirts in satin/matt clear, #LightWerkz custom headlights with Melbourne red film, matt black paint with metallic flakes
INTERIOR #BMW-Performance seats with red stitching and Melbourne red painted seat backs, red front and rear seatbelts, carbon leather dash trim with red stitching, Melbourne red upper door trim front and rear, Nexon Motors carbon fibre steering wheel with Melbourne red accents and custom DCT paddle shifters
THANKS AutoCouture Motoring of Fairlawn NJ (for the build) and Ind. Distribution (for parts support)
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