- Post is under moderationULTIMATE MODIFIED BMW
Stunning 800whp turbo M10-powered 2002 is like a gift from the gods…
With an astonishing 800whp from its turbo’d M10, this wild 2002 is about as quick as any sane person would want to travel. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Christos Karagiorgakis.
2002: A PACE ODYSSEY
Think of Greece and you will no doubt think of crisp, white houses sitting before the bluest sea you’ve ever seen, beautiful beaches, and delicious food. Perhaps what you won’t think of is modified BMWs. However, having been to Greece on many previous BMW-based visits, we can tell you that there are some serious machines scattered across the country. And this right here might just be the most serious piece of German modified machinery that Greece has to offer. It belongs to Stavros Panagopoulos, who has owned it for ten years. This was, in fact, his very first #BMW : a humble 1602 that he found for sale near his house. As you can probably tell, it’s changed a bit since then…
Stavros says he entered into ’02 ownership with plans to make the diminutive classic just a little bit faster. And while he’s certainly achieved his end goal, and then some, he didn’t embark on a journey of turbocharged madness from the off; there were at least two slightly more sensible stages prior to what you see here. Things started off normally enough, with the 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine enhanced with twin side draft 40 carbs. And that was fine, but not quite enough for Stavros’s liking. So Stage two was a bit more dramatic. The original engine was deemed not quite large enough so it was removed and in its place went a more powerful 2.0, its potency ramped-up considerably with the addition of a 300-degree camshaft, Weber 48 DCOE carbs, MSD Ignition components, and a selection of other sexy engine enhancements. That’s pretty solid and we wager the car (that was now by definition a 2002) must have been a whole load of fun to drive and a massive step up over how it felt originally. And then something happened: Stavros decided that what he really wanted was an 800whp turbo conversion. Because, sometimes, that’s just what you need in your life…
As you might imagine, making that sort of underbonnet magic happen takes more than a little bit of work and the engine spec list reads like a who’s who of the performance tuning scene. It’s thorough and it’s glorious. It’s the modified BMW enthusiast’s equivalent of 50 Shades of Grey…
Step one, you’ve got to get your engine choice down. Stavros opted for the sturdy M10, which served as the basis for BMW’s insane turbocharged M12 motorsport engine as well as the S14, so it’s certainly up to the task of coping with a spot of turbocharging.
But the example nestling under this ’02’s bonnet is very far removed from your common-or-garden M10, as you might have guessed. There’s a lot in the engine bay, so much so that you can barely even see the engine, but if it looks impressive from the outside, there’s plenty to get excited about on the inside, too. 89mm CP forged pistons have been fitted, along with Carrillo forged rods, a custom reprofiled camshaft from Boubis Cams, and #VAC-Motorsports valves, rocker arms, valve guides and valve springs. Somewhere within the engine bay (you’ll have to take our word for it because it’s buried deep beneath seemingly endless pipework) sits the very core of all that power: an absolutely gigantic #Garrett-GTX4202R-turbo . This beast of a snail is rated up to 1150hp so Stavros has plenty of headroom, running as he is at around the 900hp mark, should he ever decide that’s not quite enough. This is useful, actually, as his next goal is to hit 1000hp…
When it came to getting everything squeezed into the engine bay, custom is most definitely the word of the day: the turbo feeds a HPS custom intake manifold via a suitably massive front-mounted intercooler and sits on a custom exhaust manifold that connects up to a custom exhaust with an external wastegate that exits through the sill just behind the passenger side front wheel.
The exhaust manifold and the turbo housing itself have both been treated to a Zircotec ceramic coating. Stavros has also had massive Bosch Motorsport 1600cc/min injectors fitted to supply enough fuel to keep the engine happy, along with a custom HPS oil pan. The whole lot is looked after by an Autronic SM4 stand-alone ECU.
Seeing as no one involved in the designing and construction of the ’02 family could ever have imagined that someone in the distant future would attempt to pass somewhere in the region of 900hp through the compact runabout, Stavaros has had to go to town on the transmission and chassis to ensure it didn’t tear itself to pieces. The gearbox is a five-speed manual Getrag unit from the E28 535i mated to a custom twin-plate clutch that can handle the immense amount of power and torque being developed by the engine, with an E34 M5 rear axle tasked with transferring everything to the rear tyres. On the suspension front, this 2002 has been fitted with E36 M3 underpinnings, including subframes and wishbones, with #KW coilovers up front and Bilstein dampers at the back. While it doesn’t take much to stop a car as small and light as a 2002, stopping one that’s travelling at close to the speed of sound does require something a little more substantial, and this example certainly doesn’t mess about. Up front sit AP Racing Galfer four-pot calipers clamping 305mm vented discs. The rear setup is no less substantial, with another set of AP Racing four-pot calipers wrapped around slightly smaller 255mm vented discs.
When it came to the exterior Stavros decided to keep things relatively subtle in as much that a casual observer might not be aware of what’s been changed but, at the same time, it’s clear that this 2002 is far from standard. It’s actually about as aggressive as a 2002 can really get. The biggest difference are those pumped-up arches, complete with sill extensions that fill out the flanks. They give the normally unassuming classic some real road presence. Having the wastegate exiting through the sill certainly doesn’t hurt, and neither does that fat, single-tipped exhaust pipe. Of course, fitting wide arches is one thing, having suitable wheels that are substantial enough to fill them is another matter entirely but Stavros’ choice definitely doesn’t disappoint, though it might raise a few eyebrows. He’s taken the classic cross-spoke look that sits so well with the 2002 and turned it on its head with a set of decidedly modern Work VS-XXs.
The 17” wheels are positively huge on the compact classic but they look fantastic, really filling out those big arches, especially with the car dropped low over the fat rubber. Even parts of the body that may look stock aren’t. For example, the bonnet and boot might appear to be relatively standard, bar the pins and catches, but they are both carbon fibre items, with twin fuel fillers on the rear deck for the bootmounted alloy fuel cell. The one thing the 2002 isn’t is heavy, so adding carbon panels and reducing the already low weight further still means that, with 800whp on tap, this car is absolutely insane – just in case you hadn’t gathered that already!
With a build like this the interior could go a number of ways: hardcore, stripped-out; stock and subtle; or, option three, custom, luxurious but still decidedly sporty – which is exactly what Stavros has gone for. The interior is dominated by those gorgeous Recaro A8 seats and both they, the rear seats, the doorcards, the steering wheel centre section, the gear gaiter and the handbrake have all been covered in the same delicious shade of caramel leather.
Something that’s easier to miss is the custom alloy roll-cage; it’s so well-integrated that, while you can clearly see the rear diagonal support, the sections that penetrate the dashboard (down into the footwell) and the rear parcel shelf are much more discreet.
Up front, the gauge cluster has been replaced with an AIM MXL digital racing dash while the centre console now resembles the flight deck of an aircraft rather than a car. Where the central air vents would have once been there now sits a quartet of custom-mounted GReddy exhaust temperature gauges and below that another custom panel that houses a Daemon boost gauge, A’Pexi turbo timer and fuel gauge and, finally, down in front of the illuminated gear lever, you’ll find a pair of GReddy pressure gauges.
We’ve featured some pretty wild 2002s over the years but this example might just ‘take the cake’. It’s an utterly incredible machine and we’re a little bit in love with it. We love how the custom wide-arches give the little 2002 a broad, square stance. We love the interior, with its blend of modern tech, race components and gorgeous leather. And we really love the engine; we doubt you’ll see a more complicated engine bay, there’s just so much stuffed under the bonnet. And to come away with 800whp from such a small engine and to have it at your disposal in such a small, lightweight car is utterly insane and, well, we love that too.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-2002-Turbo / #Garrett-GTX4202 R / #Garrett / #BMW-2002 / #M10-Turbo / #Getrag / #BMW / #BMW-2002-800bhp /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.0-litre four-cylinder #M10 / #BMW-M10 / , CP forged pistons, #Carrillo forged rods, #Boubis-Cams custom reprofiled camshaft, #AC-Motorsports valves, rocker arms, valve guides and valve springs, Garrett GTX4202R turbo with Zircotec ceramic-coated housing, #Zircotec ceramiccoated custom exhaust manifold, external wastegate, custom exhaust system, #HPS custom intake manifold, #Bosch-Motorsport 1600cc/min injectors, #HPS custom oil pan, #Autronic #Autronic-SM4 stand-alone ECU, Autronic ignition, #Getrag fivespeed manual E28 535i gearbox, custom twin disc clutch kit
CHASSIS 7.5x17” (front and rear) #Work-VS-XX wheels with 205/40 (front) Yokohama AVS Sport and 245/45 (rear) Dunlop SP Sport MAXX tyres, E36 M3 subframe, wishbones etc, #KW coilover kit (front), #Bilstein dampers (rear), E34 M5 rear axle, #AP-Racing Galfer four-pot calipers with 305mm vented discs (front) and AP Racing four-pot calipers with 255mm vented discs (rear)
EXTERIOR Carbon fibre bonnet, carbon fibre boot, custom wide-arch conversion
INTERIOR Custom alloy roll-cage by Ilias Makropoulos, #Recaro A8 seats, rear seats, doorcards, steering wheel centre section, gear gaiter and handbrake finished in caramel leather, illuminated M gear knob, AIM MXL digital racing dash, custom-mounted #GReddy exhaust temperature gauges, pressure gauges, Daemon boost gauge, A’Pexi turbo timer, alloy fuel cell
Engine looks monstrously complicated, and it is, with a huge amount of custom work at every turn and a gigantic #Garrett-GTX402R turbo buried deep within.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationRETRO RIDE: DATSUN 240Z WORDS: Jarkle PHOTOS: #Larry-Chen / #Sung-Kang / #1973 / #Datsun-240Z / #Nissan-240Z / #Nissan / #Datsun
FILM STAR CAR / HAN SHOT FIRST
All Hollywood stars drive Italian exotica, right? Well no, not the rather Fast-and-Furious Sung Kang…
And there was us thinking movie stars only drive Ferraris and Range Rovers… obviously not when they’re feeling Fast and Furious.
Where were you when you saw your first Fast and Furious film? If you’re a petrol head and a modified car fan with even the most fleeting of interests in movies, then chances are you’ll know exactly where you were when you first met Dom, Brian, Letty and the rest of the gang. Me? Well my introduction to brake caliper-less Jettas, endlessly long gearboxes and suspect tribal vinyl graphics happened back in 2001, when me and a group of mates snuck our way into the Milton Keynes multiplex cinema overloaded with popcorn and fizzy pop, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Plenty of you clearly feel the same way, as not only has the F&F franchise grown out of all proportion, but it’s left an indelible mark on modified car culture. You only need to recall the outpouring of grief that followed Paul Walker’s tragic death to realise this.
These films have always strived to blur the line between make believe and reality of course, so it’s wrong to assume all the actors who appeared behind the wheel on screen (and boy are there a lot of them) were fully paid-up petrol heads. That said, some most definitely are and were, Paul Walker being the most famous example, Sung Kang (Han in the films) another. It’s the latter’s car that you see before you, a jawslackening Datsun 240Z that’s better known by its nickname ‘FuguZ.’
Debuting at last year’s SEMA show, Sung’s ’73 Datsun is a case study in how to do a 240. Each and every area of it groans under the weight of cool aftermarket hardware, clever thinking and one-off styling. Cars have been a part of Sung’s life for a long time. Tuning, modifying and generally being able to stamp his personality onto them was always a huge part of the appeal. So you could say he was always destined to build something like this eventually.
The thing that it’s pretty much impossible to overlook when you first clock Sung’s Z is its bodywork, specifically those bulging arches. They’re an unmistakable product of the chaps at Rocket Bunny, plus a little help from their official US importer (and a name that’s cropped up more than once in the F&F films themselves), GReddy.
The result is without doubt one of Kei Miura’s best efforts to date. A fantastically mean looking kit that manages something that not all his creations do: it looks right at home, working with the factory lines of the 240Z instead of simply swamping them with layers of hyper-aggressive plastic. There’s more at play than mere aesthetic showboating though, much more. The Z’s chassis received extensive strengthening and bracing (plus an imposing bespoke roll cage that dominates the car’s interior) before the kit was fitted, while the overhauled suspension setup has been painstakingly developed in order to maximise the car’s already polished handling characteristics. Techno Toy Tuning coilovers are largely responsible for this Datsun’s ability to corner with the kind of composure you normally associate with far more modern offerings. But the brand new suspension bushes and lightweight RAYS Volk Racing alloys also play a part, while cutting unsprung weight in the process.
There’s no point in pretending that cars like the 240Z aren’t ingrained in Japan’s automotive culture, and this in turn means that messing with them carries a certain amount of risk: get it wrong, go too far or otherwise ruin the car, and people from all sections of the car world won’t hesitate to tell you exactly what they think!
A good example of this is this car’s engine, now a RB26DE and created by removing the forced induction hardware from an RB26DETT, then recalibrating it to run in naturally aspirated form. The result is that this is far from the most powerful 240Z to have ever graced these pages, but it’s perhaps one that pays most respect for the original running gear first bolted into place by Datsun themselves. It is after all still a straightsix, and one still fed in a naturally aspirated fashion, albeit now via a sextuple of individual throttle bodies controlled via a standalone ECU.
Keeping the ethos behind the 240 was import ant for Sung. That doesn’t mean he was adverse to modifying it of course. It has a forged bottom end and a ported head, but he was keen to preserve its, ahem, Datsun-ness.
The result is that this car can now call on a very handy 220bhp, a figure that can be fully exploited pretty much anywhere you care to mention. Particularly when you factor in the trick OS Giken LSD that brings up the rear of the drivetrain.
There’s no point making a street car stupidly powerful, not if you want to enjoy using it on a regular basis and Sung is happy with how it drives; there’s a good balance of power and handling.
Sung went to great lengths to ensure this theme of balance and respect for the car’s origins continued into the interior, where you’ll now find CarbonSignal Automotive bucket seats, dash and doorcards, a smattering of attractive gauges to monitor the engine’s vital signs, and the aforementioned roll cage. No, it doesn’t look stock and was never intended to. But neither does it look overtly modern or out of place. Once again, the balance has been struck perfectly.
The chances of any of you reading this actively disliking Sung’s car are, let’s face it, slim. And that’s because he’s done a simply amazing job in modifying it to his tastes. But what really sets this Z apart from the herd is its owner. Namely that his passion for cars, messing about in them and with them, remains resolutely undiluted. Some of the stunts, scenes and CGI present in the earliest Fast and Furious films might have started to show their age, but as long as the films continue to hold a mirror up to modified car culture (or an idealised version of it), we’ll certainly continue to watch… and maybe even be closet super fans.
TECH SPEC: ‘1973 240Z
ENGINE: GReddy built #Nissan-RB26DE with high compression pistons; forged con rods; ported head; custom individual throttle bodies; AEM standalone management; Nissan 5-speed manual gearbox; #OS-Giken clutch and LSD; R200 differential.
CHASSIS: Fully braced and strengthened chassis with custom #GReddy multi-point roll cage; Techno Toy Tuning coilovers; #Wilwood discs and callipers; aftermarket high pads and braided lines; 17in RAYS Volk Racing TE37V SL forged wheels; Nitto NT01 tyres.
STYLING: Signature Auto Body restored 1973 Datsun 240Z in Kilimanjaro white; Rocket Bunny wide arch kit; JDM-style front-mounted wing mirrors; custom ‘FuguZ’ badging.
INTERIOR: Custom GReddy roll cage; custom CarbonSignal dash, door panels, bucket seats; multi-point Takata harnesses; oil, temp and pressure gauges.
Well, he’s not gonna be rolling in a Hyundai, right?
Now that’s the face of a superstar!
No added sound effects needed here!
And not a tank of NOS in sight!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationIMMACULATE CONCEPTION RADICAL RX-7 IS A BORN SHOW-STOPPER
AUDI DO THAT? Drenched in Audi white, this RE Amemiya-kitted RX-7 is the king of the show scene.
With an immaculate street ported single-turbo motor and gleaming in Audi ibis white paint, Adam Robinson’s show-winning RX-7 has completed a mind melting transformation into one of the finest on the planet. Words: Daniel Bevis. Pics: Olliee Wildsmith.
‘Street’s closed, pizza boy!’ The association between hot Japanese motors and transporting cheesy Italian flatbreads from point A to point B is well-established in movie lore; that iconic – if fleeting – moment in The Fast and the Furious made audiences across the globe think ‘Yeah, actually I could go for a little pepperoni with my Wankel’. And of course the Toyota pizza delivery truck in Toy Story became a sort of mini Pixar meme, popping up in the background in Finding Nemo, A Bug’s Life, Cars and Monsters Inc.
Inevitable, then, that when Adam Robinson – the owner of this rather fancy FD RX-7 – got a pizza delivery gig at the age of eighteen, he’d be flinging the boxes from his rotary-powered coupé. ‘It wasn’t my daily driver at the time,’ he concedes, ‘I also had a Peugeot 206. But hey, when that was broken…’
As with so many petrolhead tales, this one begins with a long-standing childhood yearning and the acquisition of a cheap hatchback at seventeen. The inevitable Peugeot ended up adorned with alloys, bodykit, custom interior and boot build, and this all acted as a fine foundation for Adam to learn the craft before diving headlong into the fragrant waters of Japanese car ownership. Which, frankly, is where he’d really wanted to be all along. The RX-7 began as a sideline project, the 206 remaining for daily-driver duty, but that ultimately stepped aside for an MX-5. So Adam was double-Mazda-ing, the roadster receiving Rota rims and a respray in Audi Ibis White…and it was this state of affairs that sparked off an idea for the RX-7 at the back of his mozzarella-addled mind.
Of course, life marches relentlessly on, and Adam decided to try his hand at a SEAT Léon Cupra – y’know, just for variety – which again received the full works, before making way earlier this year for, of all things, an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. But the faithful FD pizza runner was always biding its time in the background like some kind of triangle-powered ninja, just waiting for its moment to shine.
‘They make a cracking pair, the RX-7 and the Aston’ he grins. But despite the trappings of material success, he hasn’t forgotten his roots. When the time came to make a proper job of his rotary Mazda, Adam was determined to do the thing properly from top to bottom.
‘I’ve always had a soft spot for them, it’s a truly iconic Japanese car,’ he continues. ‘And I don’t think the lines and the styling have aged at all. Combine that with insane tuning potential, and the noise and performance of the 13B, and you’ve got the base for a pretty serious project car.’
He’s not wrong. But even with the impetuousness of youth, the 18-year-old Adam, back in 2010, wasn’t going to rush into anything. Along with his father, they searched far and wide for the ideal FD… ‘We were very cautious, having heard the usual rotary horror stories,’ he recalls. ‘We viewed several cars that weren't up to standard, then put a deposit on another, but during the test drive it didn't feel quite right – so the search continued. We finally found this one on Pistonheads, and travelled down to London for it from Yorkshire!’
It was certainly worth the trip; having had just one UK owner since it was imported in 2003 – a Top Gear cameraman, no less – it was near stock, aside from a set of Tein coilovers (which are still going strong on the car) and an aesthetic upgrade to ’99-spec. In its former life in Japan it had been sprayed dark blue, but its original red was still in evidence under the bonnet and, apart from a minor fluid leak, all was looking pretty rosy.
‘It was never the intention to modify it to this high a level or turn it into a show-winner,’ Adam ponders, thoughtfully scratching his chin as he considers just how he’s arrived at this point. ‘It was exceptionally tidy when we bought it, and it remained unchanged for around a year, before a slight drifting incident occurred due to me being a bit heavy-footed in the wet! The car span, damaging the front bumper, headlight, front wing, bonnet and rear quarter – this actually happened on my dad's birthday when he was on holiday on a cruise… I couldn't bring myself to tell him, so I got my brother to do it when he returned!’
But once the paternal rage had subsided a little, he and Adam started discussing various alternatives. You see, as the Chinese will gladly tell you, their symbol for ‘crisis’ consists of the two separate symbols for ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’.
Bad things often lead directly to good. This crumpled Mazda cloud was wearing a bold silver lining, as it gave the guys an excuse to really start developing the project. Adam was adamant that the thing needed to be wider, and a chat with Leon Chan at EP Racing cemented in his mind the conviction that an RE Amemiya widebody kit was the only way to go. So the RX-7 was duly shipped off to Elite Bodyworx in Hull, along with a vast bundle of bits, for the transformation to commence.
‘The colour choice was a hard decision,’ Adam recalls. ‘With the full bodykit fitted, it was obvious a change was the best way to go, and various people told me to go crazy – lime green, orange, purple, pink…but I wanted to keep it classy at the same time, so a fresh and bright Audi Ibis White was chosen.’ Echoes of that previous Mazda project here, of course! ‘And there was also my love of carbon-fibre always at the back of my mind – I think the two work really well together here. Indeed, later on down the line various carbonfibre bits were added, including an Ings Z-Power rear wing, RE Amemiya rear light cover, FEED skirts and canards, roof spoiler, door handles, the list goes on and on!’
With the broad-hipped body perfected and crisply gleaming, it was glaringly obvious that some more aggressive wheels would be required. ‘I’ve always loved Rotas, and the Grid Drifts were one of my favourites, so this was an easy choice,’ Adam enthuses. ‘I spoke to Ben at Rare Rims, who massively helped me with the correct sizes and offsets I'd require, and they'd just released the new Hyper Black at the time which matched perfectly with the white/carbon look I was going for.’ Nice when things start to come together, isn’t it? The cosmos was clearly smiling on this unique and fastidiously tailored project.
With the car sitting on the comfortable side of badass, Adam found himself using it more and more, the combination of sweet FD chassis and howling rotary proving irresistible. Somewhat inevitably, however, the increased usage began to take its toll on the rotor tips, with the engine ultimately losing compression and crying ‘enough’. Which was great news, obviously, as it meant that Adam could go to town on that, too!
‘I knew what had to be done,’ he impishly grins. ‘The car was trailered across to #WGT-Auto-Developments in Middlewich, where the engine was removed and the bay fully stripped. The engine would be stripped down too and rebuilt with large street ports and various other modifications while the car went in to have the bay smoothed and sprayed in Candy Turquoise, to stand out against the polished parts to be added. WGT eliminated anything unnecessary from the bay, along with fitting a V-mount radiator and intercooler for a more efficient setup. At this point, it was also clear that to achieve the power we sought, it made sense to ditch the twin-turbo set up and go for a single-turbo conversion in the form of a TO4S. The car was transformed, and I have to say a huge thanks to WGT who carried out all the work, and to Pip who built and mapped the engine for a safe but usable fast-road setup.’
It’s becoming obvious here that, not only is Adam a man who knows what he wants, but he’s also dogged in his pursuit of perfecting every infinitesimal detail. Just take a look at the interior. Having procured a bundle of cool parts from another RX-7 belonging to Steve, the owner of EDGE Automotive (the Recaro Pole Position seats, Nardi steering wheel, and custom handbrake and gearknob), Adam’s mind was buzzing away with the possibilities offered by the fact that their turquoise hue rather neatly matched his new engine bay. While he was in the process of chewing over the options with Steve, some lowlife scrote broke into the RX-7, trashing the interior with emulsion paint and a dry powder fire extinguisher – seriously, what goes through some people’s heads? Jealousy is a powerful demon. But this was just another positive step from Adam’s sunny-side-up perspective, as it gave him the chance for a full interior revamp.
‘Everything was removed,’ he says, ‘and I mean everything – the full interior of the car was stripped. Steve at EDGE spent an exceptionally long time with me discussing various options, styles, materials and colours, and I was massively guided by his experience in this area. And boy, was he right! We went for a black Alcantara retrim throughout, with turquoise stitching and blue leather stripe, giving that supercar feel without being too in-your-face.’ The quality of the workmanship really has to be seen to be believed, from the arrow-straight embroidery to the embossed Kanji characters on the dashboard, it’s like no FD you’ve ever seen.
Naturally, the fact that Adam’s fastidiously built the car up as a flawless show-winner (and that he also has an Aston Martin to play with) doesn’t stop him from wringing the single-turbo 13B-REW’s neck at any given opportunity. ‘I do take it to a lot of shows, but it’s primarily used as a fast-road car and I’ll never shy away from using it as Mazda intended,’ he assures us.
‘The car really does tell a story, from what it was like six-years ago to what it’s become, and it never fails to make me smile – the screamer pipe sounds insane on full throttle! I’ve got plans for 500bhp+ in the near future, but for now I’m just enjoying it.’ We imagine that’s probably something of an understatement. Here’s a guy who’s loving life, realising his dreams, taking care of business. And hey, if he needs to deliver a pizza, he can do it pretty damn quickly.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS #Mazda-RX-7 / #Mazda / #13B-REW / #Mazda-13B-REW / #Wankel
ENGINE 13B-REW 1308cc twin-rotor Wankel , large street port by WGT Auto Developments, #Garrett-TO4S single turbo conversion, mapped by Pip at WGT to 1.0 bar boost, #GReddy Long Runner manifold, wastegate and screamer pipe, WGT V-mount intercooler and aluminium radiator, uprated fuel system – bigger injectors, fuel pressure regulator, uprated pump, DM Motorsport anodised blue pulley set and red pulley bolts, #DM-Motorsport anodised blue turbo trumpet, DM Motorsport anodised blue reservoir caps, Samco blue silicone hoses, HKS blow off valve, WGT air separation tank, polished upper intake manifold, alternator, filler neck and throttle body, polished GReddy intake elbow, polished covers, air-con deleted, battery relocated, Candy Turquoise smoothed engine bay, under-bonnet and servo
TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual
SUSPENSION Tein Pro-Street fully adjustable coilovers, Powerflex anti-roll bar polybushes
BRAKES EBC drilled discs and Red Stuff pads, colour-coded white calipers, braided lines
WHEELS 10x18in Rota Grid Drift wheels in Hyper Black with 235/40/18 Federal RS-R (front) and 255/35/18 Toyo R1-R (rear), 326 Power anodised blue extended spike nuts, Rota spoke sticker and Kanji characters on inner rim inside rear wheels in custom glitter turquoise
EXTERIOR Audi Ibis White, RE Amemiya GT widearch kit, Pro-Street rear diffuser, carbon-fibre front and side canards, vented bonnet and carbon-fibre rear light cover, INGS Z-Power carbon-fibre rear spoiler, carbon-fibre Shine Auto Project upper spoiler, FEED side skirts and door handles, rear canards, petrol cap, wing mirror caps, rear bumper LED lights and bonnet aerocatches, CarShopGlow LED front bumper lights, sleepy-eye headlight kit, anodised blue canard and rear quarter bolts, matte black front tow hook
INTERIOR Recaro Pole Position seats re-trimmed in black Alcantara with turquoise stitching, turquoise leather stripe and embroided Recaro and EDGE Automotive logo, retrimmed black Alcantara door cards, dash, speedo dome, parcel shelf (with custom inserts), rear seats, floor mats, centre console, glovebox and dash panels, all with turquoise stitching and leather stripe where appropriate, Nardi GT steering wheel retrimmed in turquoise leather, snap-off boss, Audi S1 gearknob retrimmed in turquoise leather along with gear gaiter and handbrake, gloss black custom air vent gauge pod with Defi Advance boost and RPM gauges, gloss black wraparound dash plastics, A’PEXi Hand Commander mount trimmed in black Alcantara, aluminium windscreen air vent powdercoated matt black, carbon-fibre sills
THANKS ‘The Team at Elite Bodyworx in Hull – they’ve done a fantastic job fitting the wide arch bodykit and respraying. Buzz from Elite has assisted me through five years of building this car, fitting various parts and carrying out the majority of the work on the exterior. Steve at EDGE Automotive. WGT Auto Developments. Vinyl Scene – Steve works wonders with vinyl and graphics, he's exceptionally friendly and ensures every little detail is covered. EP Racing for supplying the bodykit and various other parts along the way! Rare Rims. FDUK RX-7 Club and Forum – help from these guys has been most welcome! Adam Blackshaw – for all my shiny polished engine bits. And finally, my dad, for many long nights in the garage and putting up with me with any silly ideas, and for all the help I’ve needed along the way!’
‘I’LL NEVER SHY AWAY FROM USING IT AS MAZDA INTENDED’
/ #WGT-Auto developments have been operating since 1981, offering a full range of automotive services but focusing on the RX-7 in particular – founders pip and David are both trained #Mazda technicians. ‘pip and the guys at WGT fully stripped my bay down to a bare shell and arranged for it to be painted in candy turquoise, while they street-ported and rebuilt my 13b,’ says Adam. ‘They then supplied and fitted the to4s single turbo, and mapped the car so that it’s now boasting a nice 450bhp for a fast-road setup.’
LIVING ON THE EDGE
Edge automotive are an award-winning custom interiors outfit based in rugby, and they’re the guys who helped knock the insides of this FD up a notch. ‘Steve at edge really worked his magic with this interior,’ says Adam. ‘He spent a great deal of time with me discussing various different options and ideas to really give the RX that supercar feel inside. The quality is outstanding, and his work is to a superior standard. I'd definitely recommend his services!’
‘AN RE AMEMIYA KIT WAS THE ONLY WAY TO GO’
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- Post is under moderationTURNING JAPANESE
If you want big power, you can’t go wrong with a bit of Japan’s finest, as this 2JZ-powered E46 #BMW-M3-E46 demonstrates. It looks and feels like a beautifully set up E46 M3 but this Irish racer conceals a host of Oriental charms. Words: Iain Curry / Photos: Paddy McGrath
“I know every nut and bolt on this car,” said Colm Murray from Cork in Ireland. Now how many of us can honestly say that about the modified cars we own? A few, certainly, but those who build or rebuild modern cars with all their electric complexities are a rare breed today. Trouble is, we’re not quite sure if he’s a BMW modifier or not…
On the outside, of course he is. Pictured is his #2003 E46 M3. Great stance, nice rims with big brakes and a roll-cage spied through the glass. Underneath, it’s all a bit less German. In fact, it’s practically all Japanese – cue grumbles from the ‘foreign invader’ brigade – but here lies Colm’s expertise and the result is around 600hp and a drift machine of engineering quality rarely seen.
Key to this build was the Irish VW mechanic doing all the work himself. “It was not a big budget build and, like a lot of the guys who drift here in Ireland, I built and maintain the car myself,” the 32-year-old said. “Drifting is a rough and tumble sport and if I couldn’t fix and maintain the car myself I simply couldn’t afford it. I like to try and use parts that are relatively cheap and available to me, this is why I used the 2JZ engine as it was familiar to me and I knew there are big horsepower gains to be had for small money.”
Yep, it’s our old friend the 3.0-litre 2JZ Toyota Supra lump that we see cropping up in many BMWs. And whether you agree with a Japanese heart for your BMW or not, it’s a brilliant engine, highly tuneable and extremely tough, allowing for the sort of power gains that can cost frightening sums if you start boosting your Munich motors.
Would it not have been easier for Colm to just go to work on a Supra or a Skyline, some will be asking? Thing is, Colm’s a true BMW fan, has history with the marque and likes the fact he’s got something different. “I loved the look of an E46 M3, and my goal was to keep it looking stock,” he said. In his younger days he had plenty of E30 BMWs, from 318s to a 325i Sport – an ideal training tool for any budding drifter. “My 325i Sport was the first car I drifted in but the scene got a bit more serious in Ireland so I bought my first Nissan Silvia which is where I learned all my suspension knowledge and fabrication skills,” he said.
“I was building and drifting numerous Nissans for about ten years so I knew what worked and what parts were reliable.” During this time Colm sampled an E46 M3 and said he liked the feel of it and that if it had more power and less weight it’d be an interesting thing to drive and drift. “I heard about a guy in Dublin racing an E46 M3 and that he had a spare bodyshell,” he explained. “After many phone calls I purchased it, but it wasn’t rolling and was completely stripped. I mean it was just bare metal.”
Already with a 2JZ Supra engine and transmission in his garage the measuring began. “The install was actually very easy,” he said. “I think I had it fitted in about two hours after making up two engine mounts and a gearbox mount. I didn’t have to modify any part of the bodyshell to fit it.” But before you start thinking these 2JZ engine swaps are fine for everyone, even with Colm’s expertise to get the car as it is today has taken the best part of two years. Only able to work on it during evenings or weekends, and when funds allowed, it has been a real labour of love.
The all-important suspension followed the engine transplant. “Of course I stuck to what I knew, which was Nissan parts, so I set about mixing bits of #BMW and Nissan parts together and somehow it all works,” Colm explained with a laugh.
Nissan Silvia suspension has been used up front, including modified coilovers, while out back Nissan 180SX rear coilovers feature with custom top mounts. Rims are Japanese tuning scene Rota Grids in 10x18” dimensions, shod in track rubber. Key to fitting these rims has been converting the E46’s hubs to the full brake and hub assemblies from an R33 Skyline GTR, allowing for a far greater range of relevant wheels. It also means Nissan Skyline brakes are used, featuring four-pot and two-pot calipers behind the rims.
The underbody work was necessarily substantial, not least to allow fitment of a Nissan R33 Skyline GTR V-Spec differential and driveshafts: ideal hardware to endure the forces at work from top level drift competitions. The Toyota Supra’s six-speed Getrag gearbox also made the leap into the M3’s shell during the build, while an Exedy twin-plate clutch has been fitted for durability. Despite Colm’s M3 being a pure track car without road registration, it could easily pass as a street car with its near-standard looks. A carbon bonnet and bootlid came up for sale from a friend so they were added, and although previously it was wrapped in camouflage style, the Irish drifter is happier with its more stock look of today.
The stripped cabin gives far more racing hints away. Colm custom-made and fitted the roll-cage himself (“what a pain in the ass that was!”), while a pair of BiMarco Grip race seats with Sparco harnesses hold driver and passenger in place, the pilot getting to grab the all-important hydraulic handbrake. The dash is a delight. It’s been stripped and flocked to prevent sun glare on the windscreen, while behind the gorgeous dished steering wheel is a Haltech Racepak digital display dash. “This was simple to fit because the Haltech is so easy to work with,” Colm said. “I couldn’t run the BMW clocks with the Toyota engine but with the Haltech it’s a dash which could just plug into the ECU.”
Serious racing machine? Without question. Colm said the car is good for 600hp at present, and hopes to see 700hp with a little more work. Key is his choice of turbo. “I had seen the #Garrett-GTX turbos on other cars and the response and power they create is awesome; it was an easy choice,” Colm said. The work around it is substantial, too, with more custom fabrication needed for the exhaust manifold and full four-inch system, while helping things keep cool (no easy task in a drift car of this magnitude) are an alloy radiator, four-inch front-mount intercooler and 12- row oil cooler. High octane juice comes from the boot-mounted fuel cell using a pair of #Bosch 044 pumps and is fed into the engine via mighty 1000cc injectors.
All this work has allowed Colm to compete in the #Irish-Drift-Championship , certainly the place a machine like this deserves to be seen, appreciated and enjoyed. It is something of a subtle masterpiece from the outside, hiding one of the most competent and complete Japanese builds underneath. It may not have much #BMW-DNA remaining but it is an incredible modified offering with that hard-to-beat E46 #BMW-M3 body. It’s an engineering marvel carried out by a very talented modifier.
DATA FILE #BMW-E46 #Toyota-2JZ-GTE / #Toyota / #BMW-M3-CSL
ENGINE: 3.0-litre straight-six #2JZ-GTE from #Toyota-Supra , #Garrett-GT35-GTX turbo / #Garrett , custom exhaust manifold, custom full four-inch exhaust system, #Tial wastegates, alloy radiator, four-inch front-mount intercooler, 12-row oil cooler, 1000cc fuel injectors, #GReddy intake plenum, custom 90mm throttle body, #Haltech ignition module, #Haltech-Pro2000 ECU.
TRANSMISSION: Toyota six-speed #Getrag gearbox, Exedy twin-plate clutch, Nissan R33 Skyline GTR V-Spec R200 differential and driveshafts.
CHASSIS: 10x18” (front and rear) #Rota-Grid alloys with 235/40 Toyo R1R track tyres (front) and 265/35 #Achilles-ATR Sport Drift tyres (rear), #Nissan-Silvia front suspension swap including modified Kei Office coilovers, hubs with custom top mounts and modified steering knuckles for more steering lock, custom lower control arms extended 40mm, Nissan 180SX rear coilovers with custom top mounts, rear subframe modified to take #Nissan differential and driveshafts, custom strengthening of rear subframe mounting points and tied into the rollcage, #Nissan-Skyline front and rear brakes with fourpiston and two-piston calipers respectively.
EXTERIOR: #Vorsteiner-VRS -style carbon fibre vented bonnet, E46 #BMW-M3-CSL-E46 -style carbon fibre bootlid, rear diffuser.
INTERIOR: #Haltech-Racepak dash, full custom T45 welded in roll-cage, original dash stripped and flocked, #BiMarco Grip racing seats, Sparco harnesses, hydraulic handbrake, 30-litre Jazz foam-filled fuel cell, twin #Bosch-044 fuel pumps with 2.0-litre swirl pot.
Just the essentials in here with #BiMarco-Grip seats, #Sparco harnesses, a hydraulic handbrake and a #Haltech-Racepak dash.
While it’s clearly not standard, exterior is surprisingly subtle for a drift car with #Vorsteiner VRS-style carbon bonnet, CSL-style carbon bootlid and rear diffuser.
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