- Post is under moderationEXTREME #BMW E46 M3 #Supercharged wide-body monster
ARCH NEMESIS / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46
DTM FiberWerkz has been behind a couple of wild builds and this supercharged, wide-body E46 M3 is no exception.
The latest build from DTM FiberWerkz takes the familiar form of the E46 M3 and exaggerates its muscles in all directions. It’s wide, it’s mean, it’s low… and it’s got enough go to back up the show. Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Peter Wu.
The E46 is very much the #BMW-3-Series of choice for 2016; we’re predicting a lot of interesting things on the scene for this generation in the coming months. This is due in large part to its chronological positioning, being neither too new to be affordable nor old enough to be ‘classic’. A lot of people view older cars as a gateway to financial ruin (not always fairly, but these mental hurdles are insurmountable for some), so the E46 sits in quite a happy middle ground – it’s new enough to be reliable and powerful in a modern sense, which makes it rather good value as a used buy, but it’s sufficiently inexpensive, comparatively speaking, for the average Joe to tear into in his garage, modifying with a clear conscience and little chance of an angry call from the bank manager. E46s are where the smart money is right now.
With this in mind, the aftermarket has this model firmly in its crosshairs, and there are none more enthusiastic about showcasing the thing than Northridge, California’s DTM FiberWerkz. The company ethos is very closely aligned with BMW’s own approach to the development of the E46, which was to take the successful E36 as a base-point and make every element a little better; the bodyshell was 70% stiffer, the suspension was studded with aluminium components, the weight distribution remained as near as dammit to 50/50 in line with core principles.
DTM FiberWerkz augments this approach by placing the driver even more squarely in the middle of the formula. ‘If there’s one thing more rewarding than exploring the potential of your BMW, it’s discovering your own’ is its motto. And as this latest line in E46 upgrades demonstrates, it’s giving the driver as much of a helping hand as possible.
“The main reason for working on the E46 M3 body was that aerodynamic parts were lacking for it in the aftermarket,” explains company founder Ary Minassian. “We wanted to design a functional rivet-on flare kit for the M3, as the only other wide-body in production is the GTR which almost all true E46 race cars use, and we also manufacture. We aimed to design something that was the same width as the GTR kit but with more functional and easily installed parts compared to the complete wide-body conversion. These flares would only require paint and external fitting, the four flares giving the same width as the GTR.”
This makes a lot of sense for race cars as it means parts can more easily be swapped out and replaced when damage occurs, but it’s also a smart move for street applications, providing a comparative ease of fitment that circumvents the apprehension that some owners may have about extensive body mods. Oh, and you can’t discount the awesomeness factor either – it’s hard to deny that these wide flares look pretty badass in situ, taking a familiar silhouette and forcing it through a cartoonish filter. It’s as if the everyday commuter 3 Series on your neighbour’s drive has been shimmered through the paint box of a 1970s hot rod caricaturist, and that’s no bad thing.
“We wanted to use the E46 M3 SMG specifically, because since we were going to run such wide wheels, tyres and arches, we also wanted to run a supercharger from VF Engineering,” Ary says. “We knew with the power of the ’charger and the SMG transmission the car would have a similar feel to a proper race car, so the go would match the show. The power of the car is right at your fingertips and the supercharger keeps pulling you forward all the time!”
You can tell from the way that Ary chatters away about this build that he’s no pen-pushing suit – he’s in this business because he’s passionate about the cars, and his engaging and eager persona really accentuates this. The demeanour explains the growth of his business, EuroStopUSA, which was established in #2002 as a performance shop selling custom body kits, wheels, exhausts and lowering springs, mainly catering for BMWs. As word spread and the customer base grew, so the ESM Wheels and DTM FiberWerkz brands crystalised, the latter growing by word-of-mouth and street culture, while ESM developed through offering a unique selection of wheel designs in a plethora of colours, fitments and specs. By the time of this project’s inception, the guys were really on a roll.
“The car was completely stock when we acquired it, and a perfect candidate for what we wanted to use it for,” says Ary. “We found it listed locally on Craigslist. As we design and manufacture parts, we look for cars with straight and true bodies with no damage, so when the parts are designed and ready to make a mould we can ensure the part will be as close to a factory fit as possible.
“The principle goal of this car was to design a new option wide-body flare kit,” he continues. “We did face some issues during the research and development of the design when it came to shaping something to flow with the rounded body lines of the E46; we tried a box-style flare, but ultimately came to the conclusion that it looked a bit too square on a rounded car, so we changed the shape to blend with the lines of the body. Shaping the flare kit was by far the most challenging part of the process – because it is a part that we’ll be manufacturing for customers, we wanted to make sure it would fit perfectly on every car, have a good aesthetic, and most of all be functional and easy to install and remove.”
This all speaks of DTM FiberWerkz’s fastidiousness when it comes to product development, but it’s important for us to remember that there’s more to this car than a set of rivet-on aftermarket arch flares. Just take a look at the interior, for example – it’s a brilliant manifestation of your classic dual-purpose build. The back end is pure race car, it’s been stripped down to its bare bones, rocking a sturdy half-cage and not a whole lot else. Moving forward beyond the B-pillars you’ll spot the unmissable scarlet flash of a pair of Sparco Evo buckets, and then as you swivel your head owl-like through 180-degrees you’ll find that… you’re in a normal street-driven M3. Huh. Weren’t expecting that, were you? There’s a full dash, OEM doorcards, even the stereo and carpets are still in place. It’s like a mullet; business up front, party in the back.
Moving to the outside, the outrageous aesthetic that’s been achieved by Ary’s team reminds you that the addition of wide-arch flares isn’t just a case of sticking them to the car, dusting off your hands and going for a beer. You’ll be needing some much wider wheels to fill them, and given that you’ve set out to make your car something of a headturner, the design aspect is something to which you’ll need to give some deep degree of thought. In the case of this car, it could only be a set of ESM wheels. But which ones? Ah, decisions, decisions… after much head-scratching and soul-searching, Ary plumped for a square setup of 11x18” 007s in a gold platinum finish, slathered in sticky R888s to further ramp up the overall sense of purpose.
The fellas at DTM FiberWerkz are, as you’ve gathered by now, painfully aware of the importance of the holistic approach, so when Ary talks about this set of wide-arch flares, it is of course just one element of a broader picture. After all, an E46 M3 with wide arches and nothing else on its comparatively slender body might look a bit odd. So this car has had the full works, it’s a riot of carbon fibre, beginning with the CSL-style roof spun from that magical weave.
There’s a vented carbon bonnet, a carbon bootlid with integrated oversize ducktail, side skirt extensions and carbon mirrors, and a racy front bumper complete with carbon canards and undertray. It’s not all for show either, these guys are dead serious about the aero efficiency of their products. It keeps them up at night.
“The car debuted at the 2014 SEMA show in the ESM Wheels booth, where we displayed it with the Version 1 flares and black 11x18” ESM-007 wheels,” Ary recalls. “At the time, the front V2 flares were not designed with the cutout behind the tyres. Many people loved the look of the car, and as it was the first rivet-on flare kit for the M3 we gained a huge international reputation from the show. In 2015 we again used the car at SEMA for the ESM Wheels booth, but this time around we changed the look to its current stage, with gold wheels and V2 flares along with some other carbon fibre goodies. For some reason people seemed to like the current look better!”
That’s a perfectly natural reaction to evolution, really. Honing and perfecting to make it the best it can be, and folk recognise that sort of effort and tenacity. So, what’s next? A V3 evolution for SEMA 2016? “No, I think this car is complete now,” Ary laughs. “We’ve always got new projects in the pipeline, and we’re developing a lot of new stuff right now, branching out into some diverse areas: Porsche 996/997, Fiat 500, Dodge Challenger… and we’re working on a project that we think a lot of BMW enthusiasts would love to see: a 318ti Compact with a wide-body conversion and a supercharger, which will be debuting at Bimmerfest in May 2016.”
So there you have it – the smart money lies in tuning the E46 coupé, that’s going to be the big cheese this year. But you’d better get it done quick and right, as you’ll all be clamouring for Compacts after that…
Carbon canards and rear diffuser are just some of the many carbon additions.
DATA FILE #DTM #FiberWerkz #BMW-E46 #M3 / #VF-Engineering-Stage-3 / #VF-Engineering / #BMW-E46 / #BMW-M3-E46 / #SMG / #BMW-M3-SMG-II-E46 / #BMW-M3-SMG-II / #BMW-M3-SMG / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-Supercharger / FiberWerkz / #BMW-M3-FiberWerkz / #BMW-M3-FiberWerkz-E46 / #Clutchmasters / / #S54B32-TUNED
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54 / #BMW-S54 , #VF-Engineering-Stage-3-Supercharger kit and tuning, #Agency-Power full race exhaust system with titanium tips, six-speed #SMG-II gearbox with #Clutchmasters-Stage-3 race clutch.
CHASSIS 11x18” ET0 ESM-007 wheels (f & r) in gold platinum finish, 285/30 (f) and 315/30 (r) Toyo R888 tyres, #Megan-Racing coilovers, factory-upgraded discs and pads
EXTERIOR DTM #FiberWerkz-GTR-S kit comprising V2 vented wide-body flares, Race front bumper with undertray, carbon fibre lip and canards, carbon fibre side skirt extensions, full Race rear diffuser, carbon fibre bootlid, vented carbon fibre Race bonnet, CSL-style carbon fibre roof, carbon fibre mirrors
INTERIOR Stripped rear, Sparco Evo 2 US seats, Autopower Industries race roll bar
THANKS Our staff at #DTM-FiberWerkz and #ESM-Wheels , Stan at Toyo Tires, Clutchmasters, James at Megan Racing, Ayed at Kings Autobody, VF Engineering, Sparco Racing
The car was a perfect candidate for what we wanted to use it forStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTEAM AMERICA
When Kings Auto Body Shop decided to build an E46 M3 racer, it employed the philosophy of go big or go home. Kings Auto Body Shop took an uncompromising approach to building this E46 M3 racer. ‘Go big or go home’ were the watchwords and, with genuine GTR DNA, it certainly delivers the goods… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Andy Tipping.
There are many varied and disparate cars that you may spot on any given day at the #Nurburgring , from race prototypes to Transit vans, stripped-out track day specials to commuter-spec Octavias, and everything in between. But the three most prevalent sights can be neatly subdivided into three categories: Porsche 911s (of varying vintage, state of tune and level of competence), locals in diesel Golfs (who are invariably making much more rapid progress than any of the 911s), and heavily tweaked M3s. The Green Hell and the M3 go hand in hand, and there’s something addictive to the owners of E36s and E46s in particular that keeps them coming back, eager to test out the effectiveness of their latest choice of rubber or tweaks to their suspension.
The racy E46 M3 that’s posing for the lens today is a true-blue Nordschleife battler, exactly the type of thing that you’d expect to see bobbing around the Karussell with flames licking from its cheeky side-exit pipes…except that it isn’t. It’s never even been there. This car, while it may appear at first glance to be a hardcore Euro race build, is in fact Californian through-and-through, and the closer you look, the more dedication to Stateside tuning you discover. Built and raced by Kings Auto Body Shop in Huntington Beach, it’s as American as apple pie, colossal drugstores, and putting too many advert breaks in TV shows. It’s just one tiny step short of being plastered in stars and stripes.
The project acts as a sort of glorious manifestation of the vivid dreams of Ayed Alnajjar, the man who happily dotes on Kings Auto Body like a proud father. “I purchased the shop in 2013, and I brought it back to life,” he explains. “We mostly do insurance work, but our signature is race cars and wide bodies. And me personally? I’ve owned over 20 BMWs over the years, and this is my second BMW race car.” You can see why the project was spirited into being – a history of Bavarian fettling, a shop in which to carry out the work to expert level, and a desire to showcase the skills of the business in a fairly visible manner. It’d be madness for Ayed not to build a gorgeously detailed and brutally effective M3 racer, really. What a fortuitous position to find oneself in.
Now, you may be eyeing the broad, aggressive girth of the E46 and pondering the origins of the aesthetic. DTM, perhaps? It’s wider than a #BTCC racer, that’s for sure, but there’s a distinct Euro race car vibe radiating from the M3 as it sits menacingly before the lens, the exhaust ticking frantically after an enthusiastic run. But looks can be deceiving, and this car has been leading you up a dark path… the inspiration for the look came, in fact, from the M3 GTR – one of the key elements of quintessential American-ness that makes this car unique.
A quick history lesson, then. The E46 M3 road car, as we know, arrived on the scene in late-2000 sporting a 3.2-litre S54 straightsix under its extravagantly bulging bonnet. It was a bona fide muscle car, offering a significant power hike over its E36 predecessor, and rocking the sort of unmistakable road presence that would trigger a reflex to involuntarily pull out of the way as soon as it appeared in an opponent’s rear view mirror. It didn’t ask, it just took. An uncompromising thing.
Race versions inevitably ensued, and the M3 GTR development became a shining star in the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). It was powered by a #P60B40 motor, a 4.0-litre V8 only to be found in the GTR, snorting out somewhere between 440-470hp depending on setup.
The M3 GTR was, it has to be said, a bit of a naughty boy. While S54-powered E46s would be monstered by Porsche 911 GT3s on track, the V8-engined cars were rather dominant at the hands of Schnitzer Motorsport, which caused Porsche to cry foul play: it pointed out, quite fairly, that it wasn’t possible to buy a V8-engined E46 road car, so it was violating the spirit of the ALMS ethos. The governing body insisted that a road-going variant must be on sale on two continents within a year of the rules being drawn up to be eligible, and BMW made plans to build ten road cars for such a purpose, to be sold at €250,000 apiece. In the end, however, they didn’t bother – they built six – but these cars weren’t made available for public sale. Indeed, three of them were just development mules that got scrapped.
When the rules changed in 2002, stipulating that 100 cars had to be built to homologate the racers, BMW pulled out of ALMS altogether. This means that if you want to buy an apple-pie M3 GTR, well, you can’t.
That’s why Ayed decided to build one. Not a faithful but unforgiving V8-engined homage, but a proven and reliable S54-powered E46 whose body pays tribute to the shortlived splendour of the GTR. The car’s wearing a Flossman GTR wide-body kit, which is just about as authentic as it’s possible to get with this sort of thing; the wider wings and arches, the front and rear bumpers, the aero side skirts, it’s all artfully hand-crafted in Germany by Peter Flossman, linchpin of the Judd racing team among much else, and it’s all to the original BMW Motorsport development specs for the GTR race car, as tested in BMW’s own wind tunnel. It is, in short, a pukka piece of kit.
But Ayed was always fully intent on doing this properly: “My previous race car was an E36 M3,” he recalls. “I built up the engine to the best of its abilities, but the best I could reliably get with that car with cams was 270hp. I wasn’t happy with the wheel space either because I couldn’t fit anything bigger than 255-section tyres. So I decided to go with the E46 M3, it just made sense. As standard it makes more power than a built S52 engine, and once I got the E46 M3, I decided to go big or go home! I wanted to make a true one-of-a-kind E46, with thoroughbred race car DNA.”
Well yes, there’s no arguing that he’s achieved that with some level of gusto. Having purchased the car as a bare shell – no engine, no transmission, no interior, no suspension – the team at Kings set about building a pure race weapon from the ground up, selecting every component based on its performance creds as well as light weight and durability. Under the copiously vented DTM Fiberwerkz GTR bonnet sits a full-race S54 with hot Schrick cams, Stage 3 heads and a sultry CSL air box, all of which spits out its heady gases through a customcrafted side-exit exhaust (just like a real M3 GTR race car!). The chassis is suspended by Moton coilovers and all manner of goodies from the Ground Control catalogue, with some substantial Brembos champing at the bit to rein all of that thrust back in. It’s a very effective package, and the spec list reads like a who’s-who of quality parts.
“The car was built for the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) German Tuning Series, although the car was actually debuted at SEMA 2014. It was its first time out in public once we’d finished the build, and people’s reactions were amazing. I can’t tell you how many people have told me this is their dream car!” The important point that Ayed’s not making here, of course, is that it’s his dream car too – and he’s the one holding the keys. Funny how life works out sometimes, isn’t it?
This build, then, is a fusion of BMW developmental tangents. Given the chance, it’d lap up the verdant and serpentine spaghetti curves of the Nürburgring all day long, negotiating the tricky cambers, undulating gradients and truculent weather systems as being all in a day’s work. But, as fate insists, it’s not a moistened Euro fighter – it’s a dry-as-a-bone Cali scrapper. The neat link here is that a couple of the original Schnitzer GTR race cars saw later action at the ’Ring for the 2003 24-Hour event, which pulls the DNA across the Atlantic, and then pings it back like a piece of tautly-stretched elastic and fires it squarely into Kings Auto Body Shop with a resounding thump.
Ayed’s out there in the glaring West Coast sun, wringing the M3’s neck and taking scalps in the NASA GTS, as stridently as the GTRs of yore – and this surely means that, dream fulfilled, he can dust off his hands and enjoy the fruits of Kings’ labours, yes? No, of course not. These things are never finished. And now that everything’s nicely bedded in, a GTR rep should really have a V-engine, shouldn’t it? What do you say then, Ayed – fancy tracking down one of those unicorn P60 V8s? “No,” he says, scratching his chin thoughtfully. “I think I want to put a V10 in there.” Well, he did say ‘go big or go home’…
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW E46 M3 Racer / #BMW-M3-Racer / #BMW-M3-Racer-E46 / #BMW-M3-E46 / #BMW-E46 / #BMW-M3 /
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54 , #CSL air box, 288/280 Schrick cams, Stage 3 heads, ported throttle body, high compression (12.5:1 ratio), AP pulleys, #AP headers, custom side-exit exhaust system, Stage 4 clutch, #AEM infinity standalone management, sixspeed manual transmission rebuilt with 3.91 gearing.
CHASSIS 11x18” #Apex-EC-7 wheels (front and rear) (ET25, 15mm spacers all-round), 295/30 soft-compound tyres (front and rear), Motorsport wheel studs with race nuts, #Moton three-way adjustable coilovers, Ground Control camber plates, Ground Control anti-roll bars, #Ground-Control adjustable control arms, #Brembo BBK with four-piston front calipers and 355mm discs, four-piston rears and 345mm discs, stainless steel lines, #Hard-Motorsport brake cooling backing plates.
EXTERIOR Flossman GTR wide-body kit, #APR front splitter, APR diffuser built and designed by Raceworkz , #APR-GT500 wing (71” wide), Hard Motorsport retractable tow hooks, #DTM-Fiberwerkz GTR bonnet, DTM Fiberwerkz carbon-fibre roof, carbon fibre bootlid, RAD Industries Lexan windows, #RAD-Industries custom fuel cell.
INTERIOR #Sparco Ergo seat, Sparco steering wheel, Sparco harness, mesh window net, mesh centre net, Hard Motorsport CAE shifter, fire extinguisher system, #GS-Werks custom roll-cage.
THANKS Undr8d Empire, ECElite Automotive, DTM Fiberwerkz, RAD Industries, Hard Motorsport, Hardware Motorsports, Raceworkz, GSR Technik, GS Werks.
“Once I got the E46 M3, E46 M3 Racer I decided to go big or go home! I wanted to make a one-of-a-kind E46, with thoroughbred race car DNA”
Kings’ M3 looks the business thanks to #Flossman-GTR wide-body kit, built to the original #BMW-Motorsport specs of the GTR race car.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.