- Post is under moderationBLUE MOVIE /
This E92 335i knows all about making a big impact. A hot, loud, wild ride that seduces, screams and amuses… Back for his second stint of PBMW fame, Steve Lin shows us how to make a bold statement with BMW’s latest Coupé, the undeniably sexy 335i. Words: Louise Woodhams. Photos: Darren Maybury.
Regular readers of PBMW should remember Steve Lin’s E39 540i featured in May 2007. How could you forget? With wide-body styling, a Candy fuscia paint scheme, 20” iForged wheels and a supercharger to boot, it’s a car you’re not going to forget in a hurry! And astonishingly, little over a year later he’s back. His second project may not be as outrageous as the Five, but it is another unusual choice of base car.
Steve placed the order for his E92 335i in February 2007, taking delivery of it some months later on April 24. The Mission Viejo resident first fell in love with the blue and white roundel some 11 years ago at the tender age of 18, when his father bought him a new E36 328i, insisting that a BMW was the safest car for a teenager. If only my dad was as concerned for my wellbeing! A Ford Fiesta 1.1 doesn’t quite match up!
As far as Steve is concerned now, no other manufacturer can rival BMW’s exquisite drive, handling and performance, so it’s no surprise to hear that he’s already planning his next project, a VIP-style E60 M5, slammed on 21s and tuned to 600bhp. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, for now we want to know more about this stunning 335i. That colour’s pretty nice, isn’t it? It’s Montego blue, our man did consider Alpine white, but apparently it’s very common on the busy roads of southern California, so blue it was. A similar hue has been carried through to the lip of the wheels, something often seen on the Japanese tuning scene, and the spokes painted gloss black with contrasting polished bolts. If ever you needed an example of the adage ‘wheels maketh the car’ here’s the proof. As Vice President of operations for iForged, Steve had very little choice when it came to picking a brand of rim, so he plumped for one of his personal favourites from the Precision Series range, the Essen, the very same wheels fitted to his Audi A3.
The 335i’s dynamics are pretty much flawless straight from the factory, but with H&R anti-roll bars teamed with a substantial drop on KW Variant 2 coilovers sharpening it up even further while also providing a snug fit for those 8.5x20” wheels, we doubt there’s any complaints from Steve. With a 2.5” lip up front and a 4” lip out back shod in 245/30 and 285/25 Toyo T1R tyres respectively, it’s a winning combination of modern way-low attitude, streched rubber and custom rims.
Take a closer look and you’ll see Steve’s also made improvements to the car’s braking performace as well, with Rotora’s eight-piston calipers clamped to 15” cross-drilled discs on the front and four-piston calipers matched to 14” cross-drilled discs for the rear.
From its balanced proportions to its elegantly cut creases, the latest Coupé is stylish and sporty without reverting to radical and awkward sculpting. Contemporary BMW design has been a strangely hit and miss affair, but rather than averting your eyes for fear of seeing an uncomfortable assortment of panel gaps, shut lines and ridges, the bullseye has been firmly hit in this instance. In fact, I suspect Mr Bangle may have been on his holidays when the Board of Directors approved this machine, but as we modifiers well know, there’s always room for improvement. Steve takes up the story: “I thought the stock styling was too subtle for the car, so I fitted the Rieger body kit for a more aggressive look. I’ve always believed in building a car that’s muscular but sleek at the same time. I like the fact that people can’t figure out what I did to my car because everything flows so well together. The front end is my favourite part of the car, it just looks so much more aggressive now compared to standard.” We couldn’t have explained it better ourselves. DTM Autobody in El Monte took care of fitting the Rieger front bumper, side skirts, rear diffuser and carbon fibre splitter, having to shave the edges to ensure a flawless finish, while Steve painted the kidney grille black for a simpler, cleaner look and popped in 8000K xenon bulbs to give the headlamps a piercing stare.
The 3.0-litre twin-turbo in-line-six will blaze the 0 to 62 sprint in 5.5 seconds – although acceleration times from other motoring magazines have proved even faster than the company’s claimed figures. Steve plans on getting a front-mounted intercooler, downpipes and, eventually, bigger turbos, for now though he’s quite satisfied with the Racing Dynamics Sport quad exhaust system and #Black-Box installed by Auto Talent in Los Angeles. The RD Black Box is a self-contained ECU that works as a piggyback to the #Siemens-MSD80-DME . By controlling a variety of parameters such as boost pressure and timing advance, it delivers an additional 65bhp and 80lb ft of torque, bringing the performance of this 335i to the range of the current V10 powered M5 and far beyond the outgoing E46 M3. “The power increase was noticeable in every gear, especially in second and third,” revealed Steve. For those E92 owners interested in fitting one yourself, you might also like to know the unit can be bypassed with the provided Service Plugs or can be removed in minutes to restore your 335i to its original state.
Tuned to over 365bhp with styling to make every E92 owner weep with envy, look at this car and tell me you don’t want it. Steve’s dream would be to widen the front fenders and rear quarter panels, throw on some 13x20” wheels shod in 345/25 tyres and increase power to 500bhp at the wheels.
Given he’s done all of the above in four months, it may not seem altogether unattainable. There’s certainly no denying the car won’t be used to its full potential either, he’s already clocked 150mph on the way back from last year’s SEMA show. I seriously doubt this is the last we’ll hear from Steve. Whether it be stage two of the 335i, which bears all the promise of being bedroom wall pin-up fodder, or his next project, the M5, one thing’s for sure; we’ll bring you the exclusive coverage.
“I like the fact that people can’t figure out what I did to my car because everything flows so well together”
DATA FILE #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335i / #BMW-335i-E92 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #N54B30O0 / #BMW-N54 / #N54 / #BMW / #N54B30 / #Forged / #KW / #Racing-Dynamics
ENGINE: 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six with #Racing-Dynamics-Sport quad exhaust system and Black Box
CHASSIS: 8.5x20” and 10x20” #iForged-Precision-Series-Essen wheels with gloss black centres and #Sapphire blue lips shod in 245/30 and 285/25 Toyo T1R tyres respectively. #KW-Variant-2 coilovers, #H&R front and rear anti-roll bars. #Rotora eight-piston calipers and 15” cross-drilled discs (front) and Rotora four-piston calipers and 14” cross-drilled discs
EXTERIOR: Montego blue factory paint, Rieger front bumper, carbon fiber splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser, custom painted black kidney grille, 8000K xenon headlight bulbs
INTERIOR: Standard black leather eight-way power factory sport seats and brushed aluminium trim
THANKS: #iForged-Performance-Alloys (www.forgedwheels.com), #KW-Suspensions (www.kw-suspension.com), Rotora Brakes (www.rotora.com), Toyo Tires (www.toyo.com), Auto Talent (www.autotalent.com), DTM Autobody (www.dtmautobody.com)
Tuned to over 365bhp with styling to make every E92 owner weep with envy, look at this car and tell me you don’t want it.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationBIG IN THE NAME SEMA SPECIAL: PORSCHE 993 CARRERA 2 WORDS MIDGE PHOTOGRAPHY KEVVE.BE
Meet Jenna Belle, an #RWB-Porker 993 with a very phat arse! Lovely. / #Porsche-911-RWB-Porker / #Porsche / #2015
SHAKESPEARE ASKED, WHAT’S IN A NAME?’ ACCORDING TO MASTER AKIRA NAKAI, THE ANSWER IS EVERYTHING
It might not be apparent from my rather youthful looks and uncanny ability to say fuck a lot. But I’m knocking on a bit now and, as you get past your late Twenties, one thing you encounter that’s aggravating as piss is the whole baby names thing.
Now, let me explain. You may still be a teenager, and fair play to ya (you lucky bastard). But one day you’ll wake up and either your missus or one of your mates will say, “I’m having a baby”. And this will be followed by the inevitable question, “What am I gonna call it?” You see, names are important. Choosing a name is a deeply personal thing. There’s hundreds of books dedicated to what your particular moniker might mean, or where it comes from. But it’s still something that’s given and not earned. Well, unless you happen to be a car like this.
This monster 993 is called JennaBelle. I don’t know why exactly, because that’d be like asking someone why they called their kid Britney-Christina. A bit too personal. The most important thing here though is the fact that this motor has a name at all, and that means it’s a genuine #RWB-Porsche .
You can’t simply buy one of these. Not in the traditional sense of the word. Even if you happen to work at #RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF #Los-Angeles like Joey Chang here, it’s not quite as simple as buying and bolting on a kit.
RWB cars are a Japanese institution. The styling on each one is completely unique and, no matter where you are on the planet, they have to be hand crafted by the company’s founder, #Master-Akira-Nakai . What’s more your car only has the seal of approval when he bestows a name upon it. Then it’s a true RAUH-Welt.
Now, you may see kits from the various RWB branches around the world listed online. They’re usually priced at around $22,000, but think of this as more of a vague deposit. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, you provide your own Porsche, have a few design meetings with the man himself and then he’ll fly over and build your car, entirely by eye. No one else is allowed to touch it.
They all come with his own trademark touches too. The famous sculptural wings and over-fenders are designed to be removable so they don’t interfere with the task of developing and tweaking the car’s chassis geometry or tuning. And that’s because they’re derived from Nakai-san’s passion for hitting Tsukuba, or any other circuit they’ll let him out on. He also spaces out each rivet with his Winston cigarette packet and usually scribbles something in Japanese on the dash. It’s this intimate process that makes these cars so personal. And that’s also why he names them as he sees fit.
Nakai-san made his own name in the 1990s by pioneering the ‘Rough World’ look on his drift AE86, but it was his transition to building air-cooled Porsches that put him firmly in the spotlight. Starting with his own 930, Stella Artois (see what I mean about names being personal?), he went on to build most of the best-known 911s in Japan, including Spearmint Rhino, Rotana (the first RWB 911 Turbo) and Yves Piaget (French Rose), a car famous for its unique red paint. It was only three or four years ago that he decided to branch out abroad. Starting in Thailand, with a 911 called Rough Evolution, there’s now around 90 documented RWB Porsches worldwide, all with names like Cinderella, Sinister, Jittakorn, Kermit, Fishbone, Darth Vader, Uzi, Good Hill Speed, Midas touch and #RAUH Art. With the exception of one matt-black 996 called Stealth Bird, they’ve all been the old-skool water-cooled models that made him famous.
Anyway, let’s just say he’s been a busy boy, especially as genuine #RAUH-Welt cars can now be found in the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Russia, Bahrain, Dubai and the Netherlands. There’s even one right here in the UK. Their popularity is universal and we spotted 11 American #RWB creations at SEMA, which brings us neatly back to this one – JennaBelle from RWB LA.
As the story goes, Nakai-san flew over in April to complete the styling on Joey’s 993 along with a couple of others in LA (cars now called Creaminz and Medusa). Joey says it was an honour watching him work and he was thrilled when he was asked to help with some of the cutting on his own car. A special moment and no mistake. The resulting lightweight widebody conversion is every bit as mental as you’d expect from the Japanese master, but the rest of this awesome machine is down to Joey. As is Nakai-san’s way, your car is built around the wheels, but the rest of the performance mods are down to you. And this is where Joey has clearly come into his own.
Using his own parts company, CYC Trading Group, Joey has outdone himself, finishing a RWB monster to rival any out there. The underpinnings of this car are more than a match for Nakai-san’s awesome aero, because, although Joey regularly drives it on the street, it’s been put together primarily for no-holds barred track action.
It’s true to say that this car get’s the absolute shit kicked out of it on a regular basis and until Joey finds the fi re-breathing 4-litre ‘all-motor’ lump he’s looking for, it’s all about getting the most supreme handling possible. I guess that’s a pretty obvious statement – just the chassis spec on this thing is longer than the entire spec on most cars. Everything is dialled-in to absolute perfection.
When CYC Trading and RWB decided to create RAUH-Welt LA, Joey chose the 993 for his own ride because it’s arguably the best of all the air-cooled 911s. In fact, many purists believe it to be the ultimate 911, so that makes it all the more mental that he’d consider taking a cutting wheel to a ‘totally mint’ base car. Then again it had to be a 993 because, for Joey, it had to deliver the most driver feel. It’s bare bones motoring – you can practically touch the road when you’re behind the wheel. There’s no electronic gadgetry or cheating to keep you on the straight and narrow. It’s pure man and machine stuff. Back to driving basics.
That also explains Joey’s choice of a stripped-out interior, Sabelt buckets and a well-used set of BBS race wheels sitting in the garage. In handling terms, this is as close as you’re ever gonna get to a raw 1990’s road-going race car. To many, that air-cooled era was by far the most hardcore.
And I guess that’s exactly what RWB is all about. RAUH-Welt doesn’t translate as Rough World for some sort of laugh. It’s much more than that. It’s an attitude. The whole thing may be a mindset started by one man in an unassuming backstreet of the Japanese city Chiba. But thanks to people like Joey it’s fast becoming a worldwide ideology.
These hoops cost more than most of our cars.
TECH SPEC: #1995 #Porsche-911-993 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche-993 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-2 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-2-993 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-993
TUNING: #Fabspeed sports headers; Sport Cat X-pipe; #Supercup exhaust; heat duct and fan Block-Offs; Cup high performance air box cover with #BMC filter; six-speed G50 transmission with CAE race shifter.
CHASSIS: Street wheels: 13.5in #RWB-LA custom threepiece #Forged wheels with 265/35x18 front and 335/30x18 rear Pirelli P Zero tyres; track wheels): 10.5 and 12x18in #BBS-E88 custom three-piece motorsport wheels with Pirelli Corsa System tyres (front 255/35x18, rear 295/30x18); #JRZ RS-Pro with EHC system; #ERP 993 front A-arm spherical bearing kit; rear spherical bearing cartridge; solid mounts; adjustable camber link; adjustable kinematics link and 993 camber plate; Tarett drop links; #H&R front and rear sway bars; #Porsche GT2 strut brace; #Brembo GT kit with type III rotors (front four piston with 355mm discs; rear four piston with 345mm discs); #Brembo-RE-10 pads and SS brake lines.
STYLING: RWB 993 Street Version; Kamiwaza double deck wing; fender wing; Rotana-style front extended long carnards; Street-style front bumper with fog light insert and air duct; dry carbon bonnet.
INTERIOR: CAE race shifter; full Alcantara custom interior (dashboard, doors, rear seats, and centre console); RS interior doorpanel and carpet with rear seat delete; RWB LA Race version roll bar; Sabelt 330mm steering wheel with #MOMO steering wheel hub; 997 GT3 cup car steering wheel quick release; Sabelt GT- 600 carbon fibre bucket seat with; six-point harness; radio delete; Porsche OEM guard red seat belt; Rennline floor boards and adjustable pedals.
THANKS The Master Akira Nakai; CYC Trading Group LLC; #RWB-Los-Angeles ; Pirelli Tires; JRZ Suspension; Fabspeed Motorsport; Brembo/Sabelt Race Technologies; Purist Group; European Auto Source; Hsu Design.
A 993 that’s had Nakai-san’s official blessing
What do people say when they see the car?
They usually ask if it’s possible to drive it like this. I say of course, that’s why we built it.
You’re obviously pleased with how it turned out, what’s the best bit?
Apart from working with Nakai-san himself, I’d say the fender wing. It’s a unique design that directs the air straight to the GT2 wing tunnel to cool the engine. That’s the best thing about aero mods, they work.
It must have set you back more than a couple of dollars, right?
I could probably buy another two 993s for what this has cost in mods alone but where’s the fun in that? You have to love it and, if you love what you’re doing, it will last forever.
One very exclusive Porsche.
What makes it #SEMA worthy?
HAND MADE KIT
There’s no bullshit with a car like this and that’s why #RWB is still the daddy. Each kit has to be hand crafted and installed by the main man himself, or else it just isn’t #RAUH-Welt . There’s no skool like the old skool and the thing about Akira Nakai is that he’s the Headmaster.
MENTALLY PRECISE CHASSIS
Got any JRZ and ERP stuff under there mate? Blimey. Actually the chassis package in general is a bit special on this motor – just take look at that monstrous spec! Once Nakai-san has done his thing on the body it’s all down to the owner to get the car up to spec – luckily Joey here is something of an aftermarket parts guru. www.cycgroupllc.com
Most people would be happy being visited by the amazing wheel fairy just once in their life, but for this project Joey has two sets of the lushest wheels going. The custom made #RWB-Street wheels are absolutely stunning (they’re manufactured by Avant Garde y’know), but he also needed a set of even lighter #BBS jobs for the track. These hoops cost approximately as much as my whole car… and that’s each, without those monster Pirelli tyres. www.rwbla.com
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- Post is under moderationAUDI R8 #V10 010 American Blend. This is the first Liberty Walk kitted R8 V10 in the world and we got the fappin’ exclusive!
SEMA SPECIAL: AUDI R8 / WORDS MIDGE / PHOTOGRAPHY CJM PHOTOGRAPHY
YOU CAN FORGET YOUR LUKEWARM AMERICANO. THIS ONE’S A DOUBLE ESPRESSO
It’s pretty hard to believe, but the owner of this amazing R8, Sean Der, has only been modifying cars for a couple of years. Now, I’m not saying this particular Baltimore-based real estate mogul hasn’t always been something of a petrol head. In fact, he’s owned some of the sweetest driver’s cars ever to hit the streets, including RX-7s, BMW M3s, a couple of Nissan GT-Rs, another R8 V10 and a whole collection of Honda NSXs. Apparently these standard motors were just for “driving pleasure”. But we all know that sooner or later getting the hammer down on a regular basis can lead to only one thing – tuning. And that’s exactly how he ended up at his first show in late 2013.
He had a properly tasty NSX at the time, his fourth one as it happens. Armed with a load of custom mechanical and turbo upgrades it made 539 horsepower at the wheels. But even Sean was surprised when it picked up its first of many Best in Show trophies. Understandably he wanted more and pretty soon he was to realise modifying cars is an addiction – once you pop, you just can’t stop.
As for the NSX, after a mental FXMD wide body conversion and a satin white wrap, it was actually the last car to be featured on the cover of Import Tuner Magazine before Sean sold the car to pursue a new project. He even made a profit, but he admits it was a big mistake. The problem was, he learned just days later that the car had been approved for SEMA #2014 . But it was too late to get it back.
Missing the event was to shape things to come though, and Sean was determined to build something extra special for the 2015 season. And that’s how we get to today. I guess the real point is, there’s only one thing to do when you’re a little late to the game – kick it up a notch. And Sean has certainly done that here, with massive supercar-shaped bells on.
Not only is this the first Liberty Walk-kitted R8 V10 on the planet, but it’s only the second car in the world to have the whole lot seam-blended into the bodywork. And before you go thinking there’s no prizes for second place, the first car to get this treatment happens to be Sean’s other project – a rather fruity multi-show-winning Nissan GT-R. Talk about bossing it!
It’s pretty obvious that there was a good reason Liberty Walk’s Kato-san chose Sean to showcase his brand new R8 kit at the world’s biggest automotive event. I’d imagine when a bloke like the crazy Japanese legend requests you get yourself an R8 and appear on his stand that’s exactly what you do – it’s not an opportunity you turn down.
Still, that’s not to say things were easy. Kato-san and Sean shook hands back in July when Sean’s GT-R was picked to lead the parade at the Liberty Walk Summer Bash in Miami. Suffice to say that doesn’t exactly leave a lot of time to build a full-on show car or to find a suitable German base car.
Luckily though Sean happens be to co-owner in #APAC (Auto Performance Aesthetics Center), the very customisation shop that put together his NSX. After being impressed by the impeccable workmanship of its owners Derrick Nowell and Sterling ‘Paco’ Duarte, and becoming firm friends, he decided to invest and use his expertise to expand the business.
As well as a huge new facility, this expansion included a lot of extra curricular activities. After 6pm Sean’s cars get the company’s full attention, and that goes some way to explain why he’s got not one, but two of the most revered motors to ever hit SEMA. It has to be said the Derrick and Paco have an unrivalled eye for detail and something of a magic touch when it comes to cars, not to mention some huge trouser potatoes to go chopping up both of Sean’s supercars. As Sean says himself, “Once you cut, you can’t go back”. And it’s even more apparent when you’ve got one of only 10 limited edition Imola Yellow R8 V10s in the whole of North America. But then again it only took an angle grinder and a stack of skill to make this a limited edition of one. Besides, there’s no other way of fitting a Liberty Walk kit, and that probably helps make them so exclusive.
As you’d imagine, the kit is perfectly installed around those massive custom-made RSV Forged dubs, which look like they weren’t exactly light on Sean’s wallet. The AirREX suspension package offers much the same premium-priced kudos. Admittedly tuning is limited to a Quicksilver exhaust and a spot of electronic wizardry from APR, but would you wanna race it? It is an R8 V10 with the same 540bhp engine you get in a Lamborghini after all.
Perhaps what’s most important to the story though isn’t that it cost over 100K or has been built at the request of Kato-san in just a few months of manic evenings. It’s not even the fact that it’s got the first kit on an R8 V10. No, it’s that they’ve chosen to expertly blend a kit that was probably never designed for that kind of stuff in the first place. We’re getting kind of used to seeing riveted overfenders from the likes of LB Performance, Rocket Bunny and RWB but here you get all the raw Liberty Walk flavour done in a, dare I say it, more finished and totally polished way. You could almost call it European in execution. True it’s not a subtle car – saying that would be ridiculous. But there’s no denying that the blending adds another level of finesse to the whole deal. And a raceinspired, mentalist kitted supercar with an ultimate feeling of luxury and finesse can’t be an easy trick to pull off.
TECH SPEC: #Audi-R8-V10 / #Audi-R8 / #Audi / #Audi-R8-Typ-42 / #Audi-R8-V10-Typ-42
TUNING: Quicksilver exhaust system; #APR-Tuned .
CHASSIS: 10 and 12x20in RSV #Forged RXV wheels with 245/30x20 and 325/25/20 Toyo Proxies and custom Toyo tyre stickers; #AirREX air ride system.
EXTERIOR: Moulded Liberty Walk R8 kit; Limited edition Audi Imola Yellow with Glasurit 90 Line paint; custom decals; window tints.
THANKS LB Performance; Derrick Nowell and Sterling ‘Paco’ Duarte at APAC; AirREX; Anthony Quang at RSV Forged; Leon Lee at Just Tint & Signs; Khris Uybengkee of KU Connection; Byron Mapp and Mo Nasir Iqbal.
“A race-inspired, mentalist kitted supercar with an ultimate feeling of luxury and finesse”
What makes it SEMA worthy?
NO RUBBER GASKETS
It might be the first R8 V10 kit on the streets, but instead of simply riveting it on Sean’s team have blended it perfectly into the bodywork. They still had to cut out more than a couple of inches of metalwork first though. Ouch. This kit is yours for the small matter of 15-grand. Double ouch. www.theperformance.co
RSV FORGED HOOPS
You can’t just slap on any old set of hoops for SEMA. Luckily these crazyspoked RSV Forged items were just the ticket to match the car’s awesome bodywork. These guys offer a whole collection of wicked designs available in just about any size or finish you can think of and they start at £790. If you’ve got a limited imagination they’ll even design ’em for you.
The perfectly slammed chassis here is down to a whole new system provided by the guys at AirREX. What’s clever about AirREX gear is that it all comes pre-assembled in a ready-made box so all you need to do is fit the struts, plumb in the airlines and hook up some power. They’ve just started distributing in the UK too. Go check ’em out. www.airrexuk.co.uk
My other car is…
If there’s one other love of Sean’s life it’s his 711whp Nissan GT-R. This one is the car that so impressed Kato-san at the Liberty Walk Summer Bash and kicked off what’s bound to be plenty of bonkers supercar builds in the future. You’ll be seeing a lot more of this monster in FC very soon.
If Bananaman was crossed with Batman, this would be his car.
So, why build one car when you can do two, yeah? “Well, to be honest, this car would have never happened if I hadn’t have met Kato-san in Miami. When we decided to make an R8 to debut the kit at SEMA I knew I wanted to take the GT-R with it. So we ended up re-painting that specially for the show too.”
Anything else up your sleeve? “Well I want to get back to my first tuning love, so I’ve started another NSX. I’m aiming for 1,000whp this time. I may have to ditch the R8 to fund it though.”
The GT-R, R8 and now another NSX? I can’t keep up… “Yeah mate, that’s the general idea!”
Carbon mirrors are standard on the V10!
This is the first Liberty Walkkitted R8 V10 on the planet. Two banks of 5 = V10.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationRACING BULL
Taking its inspiration from DTM, this Red Bull-liveried custom wide-body E92 M3 is no shrinking violet. Bryan McGhee has taken inspiration from the world of #DTM to create a unique and imposing E92 M3. And it’s very far from an off-the-shelf build… Words: Daniel Bevis /// Photos: André Neudert
Red Bull is one of those brands whose name implies impeccable quality when it’s plastered along the side of a race car. Your brain happily suspends the knowledge that the product in question is a cloyingly saccharine fizzy drink, as there are so many other high-octane associations that are pushed to front-of-mind when you see that iconic dark blue canvas, liberally sprinkled with yellow suns and, er, red bulls. The livery has slipped seamlessly into the pantheon of all-time classics – not quite up there with Gulf, Martini or JPS, but on the way. Think about it: countless F1 championship wins, NASCAR , Dakar, that astounding Peugeot 207 that decimated the Pikes Peak record – Red Bull and fast cars go hand-in-hand.
An appropriate stylistic choice for an E92 M3 then, no? Even in stock form, we know that this #V8-powered looper is a formidable beast, with its vast reserves of horsepower and general disregard for the commonly accepted laws of physics. Of course, we also know that applying race car livery to a standard car, no matter how pacey it may be, is a questionable thing to do. Look how many ST205 Celicas there are out there covered in Castrol rally stickers, and Volvo 850 estates with #BTCC colours. You’ve got to actually do something to the car first or you might look like a wally. Thankfully Bryan McGhee, owner of this M3 has nailed that element head-on; rather than relying on off the- shelf parts, his E92 offers an intriguing platter of bespoke and custom touches. And as an ex-military man, you can be sure that it’s been finished with militaristic precision…
“Every car I’ve owned has been modified,” he explains. “This comes from my upbringing in South Central Los Angeles, and the influence of my family members who were into motorsports.” Bryan’s first car was a 1964 Chevrolet Impala, which is a pretty gangsta way to get your training wheels off, and he’s since enjoyed three Mustangs, a 1976 BMW 2002, and a mighty V10-engined Dodge Ram SRT-10 (which he sold to buy this 2010 E92). “I’ve always respected the BMW brand,” he says, “ever since I bought my 2002 back in the mid- Eighties, when I was stationed in Hawaii with the US Army. I’d say that owning a BMW is more than just owning a car – you’re buying into a piece of auto engineering history. And now that I own an M3, there’s a piece of that history that I can share with my son, who’s a motorhead just like his pop!”
Now based in Germany, the retired sergeant major is closer to his favourite automotive brand’s spiritual home than he was in Hawaii or LA, the winding lanes of Vorbach nestled cosily in the north-eastern corner of Bavaria. Of course, there’s nothing cosy about the race-inspired intent of his E92, that’s an altogether angrier proposition, counterpointing the tranquillity of the countryside with aggressive barks and motorsport tinnitus-inducement. “I’ve always been a fan of the DTM and GT2 race series, and I wanted to build a car to replicate that spirit – a real racing car for the street,” says Bryan. “So I bought this car from Bavarian Motor Cars in Grafenwöhr, totally stock, and set about planning the transformation. Naturally the first thing I did, was give it a good wash. I’m fastidious about cleanliness, and it was raining that day…”
Pretty much as soon as he could see his face grinning back from the gleaming paintwork, Bryan set about fulfilling his race car to-do list. The first thing to tackle – as with around 90% of the cars we feature, in fact – was the suspension; Bryan had an eye on stance, naturally, but was primarily looking for something that would be fit for purpose on those country lanes, something to complement and enhance an already impeccable chassis.
H&R Clubsport coilovers were the order of the day; famously tested extensively at the Nürburgring, they offer totally flat cornering and supreme directional control, so are much in-keeping with the aspirations of the build. This box-ticking was quickly followed by an upgrade to the exhaust system, a Flowmaster cat-back affair helping the brawny V8 to breathe a little more freely. A BPM Performance Tune brought peak power up to a heady 475hp, which is close enough to the power output of a bona fide DTM racer to keep things entertaining.
“At this point, I started to think about wheels,” Bryan recalls. “It had to be something that was light and strong, but also had an appropriate motorsport look.” In the end, after much deliberation, it was 360 Forged who got the call, with a set of wide rims in a 20” diameter being powdercoated in red and black to infuse a sense of malice.
And just think for a moment about how much rubber you need to encase a wheel that’s 20 inches across and a foot wide – those Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres certainly provide a clear statement of intent. It’s at this point in the build that things start to get really interesting. Bryan wanted the car’s exterior to be unique – at once recognisable and clearly removed from the mainstream. This had to be a build that offered something different, that could hold its head up high among its peers. While the aesthetics began with a smattering of readily available parts – a Driftworks carbon fibre spoiler imported from the UK, and a carbon fibre bonnet, front bumper and bootlid from Arkym in California – it was the work he commissioned VB Customz in Grafenwöhr to carry out that really made the difference.
We’re talking about a complete redesign of that aftermarket bumper, a unique widebody kit to rein in those vast wheels, and all manner of custom, hand-fabricated parts from spoiler supports and splitters to canards and a rear diffuser. The genius of the design is that none of it looks outlandish or out of place; aggressive – sure, unusual – certainly, but not at all jarring.
“While all this was going on, I’d turned my attention to the interior,” Bryan recalls. “VB Customz had deleted the rear seats and trimmed everything to have more of a motorsport vibe, and there’s now an aluminium cage in there from Wiechers, and a pair of FIA-approved GP Race seats from Barcelona, with Sparco harnesses to suit.” The dedication to the race car ethos is strong in this one, and Bryan’s obsessive about the details – there are no half-measures here, only considered decisions. “The seat coding was sorted out by BPM Sport to eliminate the airbag fault code,” he says. See?
Fastidious. Because this isn’t a laser-focused, stripped-out racer, it’s a road car that sees daily use. The fact that it has so much racer DNA is what gives it the edge.
“The Red Bull graphics are unique as they’re all hand-made by me,” he continues, with a touch of pride. “I’m an artist, so cutting the decals was more fun than it was tedious… All-in-all, the project’s taken about two years, although cars are never really finished, are they? There are always things to do – I’m thinking about a big brake kit next.”
The unique look of this Red Bull roadracer does seem to be going down well so far. Bryan’s first outing with the ‘finished’ product was to the Street Culture Treffen in Regensburg, and it’s fair to say that the reaction was excitable, setting social media aflame with an influx of photos and videos of the brutal M3 in action, the crowd parting like the Red Sea as he rolled out.
“That was pretty humbling. The autobahn experience is always entertaining too, and dropping my 12-year-old off at school is priceless,” Bryan laughs. In fact it sounds like the lad’s got designs on the car for himself: “He thinks he’s going to get it when he turns 16,” says Bryan, “but mom says no!”
Well, you can’t blame the lad for trying – particularly when pop talks about augmenting that mooted big brake kit with a supercharger. Now that would really be something to impress your classmates! For now, however, Bryan still has the keys firmly in his hand, and he’s enjoying the fact that his innovative build is deserving of those iconic colours. Much like a can of Red Bull, this E92 is light, robust, packed full of effervescent energy, and has the ability to shake up the schedule of your bowel movements if you’re not careful. If ever there’s an M3 that’s guaranteed to ramp up your friskiness levels, this is it.
DATA FILE: #BMW-M3-DTM / #BMW-M3-E92-DTM / #BMW-E92 / BMW / #BMW-M3-E92 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre #V8 #S65B40 / #S65 , #BPM-performance tune (475hp), #Flowmaster cat-back exhaust system, stock six-speed manual gearbox.
CHASSIS 10.5x20” (front) and 12x20” (rear) 360 #Forged Maverick 5 three-piece wheels with 255/30 (front) and 305/25 (rear) Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres, #H&R Clubsport coilovers.
EXTERIOR Custom wide-body kit by #VB-Customz , #Arkym carbon fibre bonnet, front bumper and bootlid, custom diffuser, front and side splitters, canards and DTM-style wing mounts, #Driftworks carbon fibre spoiler, custom paint and handmade #Red-Bull graphics.
INTERIOR #Wiechers four-point aluminium roll-cage, #GP-Race seats, #Sparco five-point harnesses, rear seat delete, #GoPro Hero3.
THANKS Thanks to my wife and son, Elisabeth and Jonah, for their input and support. Thanks to the Lord who makes everything possible. And thanks to André of Speedy Shots for taking an interest in my project.
“I’d say that owning a #BMW is more than just owning a car – you’re buying into a piece of auto engineering history”
Engine bay might look stock but a #BPM-Sport performance tune delivers an impressive 475hp.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.