- Post is under moderationDOUBLE DIP #BMW-E46 / #BMW / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E46
Ferocious 545hp supercharged and 715hp turbocharged carbon-clad E46 M3s tamed by one owner. Decisions are hard, especially when it comes to choosing between a supercharged E46 M3 and a turbocharged E46 M3, so why not just have both…? Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Andrew Thompson.
545hp supercharged and 715hp turbo E46 M3s
Decisions are never easy to make, especially when you’re faced with two equally appealing options. Chinese or Indian, for example, or cookies and brownies, or pizza and, well actually there’s no alternative option to pizza because pizza just always wins. Sometimes, you don’t even have to decide, like with cronuts, or a turducken, just have everything, because more of everything is always better. For example, why choose between a supercharged E46 M3 and a turbocharged E46 M3, when you could have both? That is exactly what Jaime Taylor did and we’d like to think that decision made his life immeasurably better in every way.
This man is a serial car buyer and modifier with a car history varied enough to make your head spin, including a midengined, RWD Peugeot 205 GTi and a Sierra Cosworth, a scattering of BMs and some serious big-power builds, such as a 511hp Skyline R34 GTR, a 670hp Skyline R32 GTR and a 513hp Audi RS4. Jaime is no stranger to going fast and is clearly hopelessly addicted and devoted to the modifying lifestyle, which makes him our kind of guy, and we guess answers the question: “What sort of person owns a pair of cars like this?”
What’s really interesting here is that this is really a tale of two parallel builds, which were happening alongside each other at virtually the same time. Spooky. We’ve got Jaime, who wanted to build a turbo E46 M3 but ended up going down the supercharged route, and Andy Bennett, who bought the turbocharged car and proceeded to put a huge amount of effort into getting it running as it should, then ended up selling it to Jaime, who’d actually wanted to buy it all along but was beaten to the punch by Andy all those years previously. It’s a twisting tale deserving of its own movie adaptation, so grab some popcorn, get comfy and we’ll begin.
When Jaime bought his M3 in 2014, it already had a long list of tasty bits on it, including carbon front wings and carbon bonnet, a roll-cage, BBK, CSL air box and Recaro RS seats but even better than that it had been fitted with a new engine from BMW and had covered less than 20,000 miles on it. “The new engine was a blank canvas to work on,” smiles Jaime. “At the time I didn’t know any UK company who could turbocharge the S54 but did know a company in the States. We were talking about shipping the car over there to get the job done, but it would have been gone for six months for all the new fabrication work to be done because they hadn’t done a right hand drive vehicle before,” he explains. “In the end, with a new car on the drive, we decided to go down the supercharged route so then the car could stay local,” and that’s a pretty sensible decision as the job could be done much more quickly and he’d have more time to actually enjoy the car.
The supercharger kit comes from VF Engineering, with Jaime opting for VF570 flavour, the company’s most powerful E46 M3 supercharger offering. At its core is a Vortech V3-Si supercharger, capable of running at 26psi and rated for 775hp, so producing the 570hp and 380lb ft that VF Engineering claims for this kit is a walk in the park. The kit also boasts a cast manifold with a slide-in air/water intercooler cartridge and is a serious setup, able to deliver a huge hike in power. Initially, though, that wasn’t the case, as once Jaime had got the car back from being mapped and stuck it on a dyno he found it was only making 499hp.
“On each of the five back-to-back dyno runs we did the power was going down about 20hp every time because of heat soak,” he explains. “The engine was pulling the timing and it couldn’t make the power. To fi x this we got Gary Adlington, who runs Eastwood Garage in Falmouth, to fit an AEM direct port methanol kit from the States. Gary is a genius,” enthuses Jaime, “he put a Cosworth engine in a boat and some other crazy stuff – incredible character and he also worked on Andy’s engine.” Yes, in a further coincidence, both Jaime and Adam used Gary’s services for their respective projects; it’s like fate brought everything together. With the meth injection kit on board it was time to head back to the dyno and this time the numbers didn’t disappoint. “On the first run it made 513hp, 530hp on the second and we finished with 545hp,” grins Jaime and that grin is fully justified as that’s a serious power figure. Of course, running monster power means you need plenty of supporting mods and this S54 has been treated to a Mishimoto electric fan coupled to a larger Mishimoto rad, a 55ºC thermostat, the secondary air pump has been removed along with the air con and it’s all finished off with set of sport cats and a Milltek rear exhaust section.
Handily, the previous owner had done a lot of the groundwork on the chassis meaning the M3 was already in a good position to be supercharged, but Jaime has been upgrading things along the way over the past two-and-a-half years to make sure the car was the best it could be. The chassis has been enhanced with a set of KW V3 coilovers and is joined by Turner Motorsport top mounts and adjustable Turner anti-roll bars both front and rear. In addition to this there are adjustable rear camber arms, poly bushes fitted throughout and there’s also a 4.10 ratio rear diff. The brakes are seriously beefy and more than up to the task of slowing this powerhouse of an M3; up front there’s an Alcon BBK comprising 365mm discs, utilising Reyland brake bells, clamped by red six-piston calipers and braided hoses and Pagid RS-29 pads have been fitted allround while 710 racing brake fluid tops off the brake upgrades. When it came to choosing wheels, Jaime wanted something light and good-looking that would suit his track-orientated build. “Apex wheels were the weapon of choice,” he says, “they’re lightweight, concave and when I was searching for M3 track cars online everyone was running them so they were clearly the wheels to go for.” He’s gone for the Arc- 8, which looks great on the E46, and he’s running a square setup with 10x18s all-round wrapped in sticky Federal 595RS-R tyres.
No doubt a big part of the appeal of this M3 when Jaime was shopping was the fact that it looked so flipping fantastic, with the carbon bonnet, wings and boot lid really giving it a full-on track look and over the time he’s had the car he’s built on that, giving it an even more extreme appearance. “It was actually booked in to have all the carbon painted,” admits Jaime, “but I ended up going against it and kept the carbon on show for an aggressive track look,” and we’re glad he did. The car also wears a carbon front splitter and canards, plus Jaime has carried out a front foglight delete, and added a carbon rear diffuser, all of which combine to really make this M3 stand out and it’s got a lot of presence.
The interior had already been stripped out and caged-up when Jaime bought the car, but here too there was room for improvement and it all started with the seats. “On the first track day I took the car to I realised the seats were too high as we kept hitting our heads on the roof,” he explains. So out came the Recaro RS seats and in went in a pair of Corbeau Club Sport buckets, and Jaime was now far more comfortable and able to actually enjoy driving his M3. Other interior changes include the aforementioned roll-cage, a Safety Devices bolt-in item, an alcantarawrapped wheel from Royal Steering Wheels, full carbon door cards with red door pulls, an AEM hand controller for the methanol injection, a lightweight battery, fire extinguishers and a carbon blanking plate that covers the hole where the sat nav screen once sat. We love the fact that while it is stripped out and most definitely hardcore, it’s been finished to an incredibly high standard with some very high quality materials, and it all combines to make it even more special.
While Jaime was busy getting stuck into his supercharged E46 M3 project, Andy was well underway with getting his turbo E46 M3 up to scratch. Back in late 2013, having just sold a supercharged Range Rover Sport, Andy was flush with cash and looking to buy a second home to rent out. At least that was the sensible, grown-up plan, but one brief eBay session later it had all gone to pot as he’d spotted a turbo E46 M3, this very car, up for sale and, deciding that he couldn’t not buy it, he snapped it up with a sneaky bid in the final few seconds of the auction, unknowingly swiping it away from Jaime.
Not only did the car have a claimed 650hp, but it had also been on the cover of the March 2008 of PBMW, and came with a vented carbon bonnet, carbon bootlid, BBK and ticked just about every box that there was to be ticked. Quickly, however, it transpired that the car was not in rude health, making only 465hp on the dyno, not the figure Andy had been led to believe, as well as suffering from numerous issues to do with the turbo conversion. It was not a happy car. It was decided that a new intake manifold and stand alone ECU were needed, so Andy took the M3 off the road and put it into storage while he saved money for the work it needed. It was at this time that he learned about the infamous E46 subframe failure issue and, after inspecting the state of his M3, he discovered that, lo and behold, the subframe was not in a good way...
While we can’t imagine his mood was particularly good at this point, Andy had a turbocharged M3 and he was determined to make it the best turbocharged M3 he could; where Jaime started his project with a clean slate, Andy had the perfect opportunity to not just fix what was wrong with his M3, but improve everything as he went along, and he’s definitely done that and then some.
Before he could even think about getting the engine running at full capacity, that rear end needed sorting out so the old boot floor was cut out, a new one was welded-in and Redish Motorsport reinforcement plates were installed, along with a box section welded across the boot floor to eliminate any flex. At the same time, the whole back end was poly bushed and the propshaft rubber donut was replaced by an uprated Revshift polyurethane set up. The poly bushing extends throughout the chassis now and the suspension has been thoroughly upgraded throughout to ensure it’s up to the task of coping with a turbocharged S54 above. Naturally the car sits on coilovers but they’re not the usual suspects, this M3 having been fitted with Tein items complete with electronic damping adjustment, and these are joined by adjustable front camber plates and Eibach anti-roll bars front and rear and there’s also a Strong Strut front brace with a Schnitzer item mounted at the back. A Brembo GT BBK takes care of stopping duties, with six-pot calipers and monster 380mm discs up front and 345mm discs at the rear, the red calipers contrasting perfectly against the black spokes of the 19” CSL replicas, themselves fitted with Toyo R888 tyres for maximum grip and traction. When it came to the engine Andy admits that, without the help and knowledge of Gary Adlington, he probably would have given up on the car a long time ago, which would have been a shame as he would not have had the chance to experience the fury of a fully operational turbo M3. The main components required to get the S54 performing as it should were an AEM Infinity 8 ECU, Horsepower Freaks intake manifold and boost pipe, a pair of HKS SSQV4 blow-off valves and an AEM water/meth injection kit. The intercooler was also sent off to have the end tanks cut off and new ones made from thicker aluminium welded on. The final engine spec makes for some eye-widening reading as some serious work has gone into making this S54 as powerful as it is. The turbo kit itself comes from Savspeed Racing and uses a Turbonetics T70 turbo and the engine has been bolstered with a set of Wiseco low compression pistons, Pauter con rods, VAC Motorsports head bolts and a steel-lined head gasket while twin fuel pumps feed 750cc injectors via an Aeromotive fuel filter. The result of all that is pretty spectacular, with four different power maps to choose from: the mildest map offers a sensible 500hp, which we imagine is handy for popping to the shops for a pint of milk, while the wildest map delivers 715hp, which you’d probably use for getting a pint of milk and some toilet paper. Perhaps a cheeky Snickers as well. A Clutch Masters twin-plate paddle clutch has been added to cope with all that newfound power and there’s also a short-shift kit rounding things off.
As with the supercharged car, this turbo M3 is a riot of carbon fibre on the outside, which looks fantastic against the Steel grey bodywork. It wears a Vorsteiner carbon bonnet and carbon front bumper, carbon front wings, a CSL carbon bootlid, carbon rear bumper, carbon side mouldings, carbon roof spoiler, carbon Schnitzer mirrors, even a carbon fuel filler flap. There are more carbon panels on the car now than there are regular body panels, it’s really something, and makes the car utterly spectacular. The interior is has also been treated to a whole heap of carbon goodies, including dash trim, door pulls, steering wheel trim, steering column and gearknob, gear surround and handbrake lever. It’s a veritable feast for the eyes. In the early stages of the project, Andy picked up some rather sexy Cobra Daytona seats, which were already trimmed in black Mercedes leather and black Mitsubishi Evo X alcantara and finished with gold stitching, and they look great in the car, really filling out the interior and making it a rather more special place to sit. They’re mated to threepoint harnesses, which are mounted where the rear seats used to be, and naturally there’s also a host of gauges, we’d have been disappointed if there hadn’t been what with this being a turbocharged car and all. They include an Innovate AFR gauge, a trio of HKS gauges to monitor boost, exhaust temperature and pressure and there’s also a HKS turbo timer ensuring that the turbo stays healthy.
So, man builds supercharged E46 M3 and buys turbocharged M3, drives off into the sunset, lives happily ever after etc, right?
Well, not quite… “It’s a good job Andy pipped me to the post on the turbo car,” admits Jaime, “as he spent a lot of money on this M3, so I really reaped the benefits of all his hard work. It was a pleasure to scratch that turbo M3 itch that I’ve had for years, watching all those turbo M3 videos on YouTube, and it is fricking awesome,” he grins, but after buying the car from Andy last July just one month passed before Jaime had put it up for sale himself. “I needed to try it out for a while to see if I was happy to make this my new track car, and after testing it back to back with my supercharged one I decided it wasn’t for me. I have a bond with my supercharged one and prefer everything else about it, as does my other half, Terrie, and I have to live with her so she has a big say in what I do,” he laughs. Unsurprisingly the turbo M3 sold very quickly but surprisingly Jaime has now put his supercharged M3 up for sale as well, and as we put the last of these words to paper it looks like it may have found a new home… “I’ll be very sad to see it go,” he says, “and so will Terrie as we’ve both done a lot of track days in it and she’s learned a lot from driving it and really enjoys it,” but that’s just how it goes with modified cars, we suppose, it’s very rare for them to have any sort of permanence and selling the cars we’ve poured so much of everything into is a just part of the life we lead. They do say that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, though, and while we’re not sure if Jaime is planning to go as far as this with the E92 M3 he’s thinking of buying next, he can at least say that he’s been the owner of both a turbocharged and a supercharged M3, and there’s not many people that can.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Turbocharged E46 / #BMW-M3 / #Turbonetics / #BMW-M3-Turbocharged / #BMW-M3-Turbocharged-E46 / #BMW-M3-Turbo / #BMW-M3-Turbo-E46 / #HKS / #BMW-M3-Tuned / #BMW-M3-Tuned-E46 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46 / #BMW-3-Series-M3 / #BMW-3-Series-M3-E46 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54-Turbocharged / #S54-Turbo , #Savspeed-Racing turbo conversion with #Turbonetics-T70 turbo, #Wiseco low compression pistons, #Pauter con rods, #VAC-Motorsports head bolts, steel-lined head gasket, 750cc injectors, twin fuel pumps, #Aeromotive fuel filter, #AEM Infinity 8 standalone ECU with E46 plug and play harness, AEM water/methanol injection kit with 1000cc and 500cc injectors, #HPF intake manifold and intake piping, custom front mount intercooler, 2x #HKS-SSQV4 blow-off valves, HPF five-way traction control system, custom exhaust system. Six-speed manual gearbox, Clutch Masters twin-plate paddle clutch, short shift kit
CHASSIS 19” #CSL-replica-wheels in gloss black with 235/35 (front) and 265/30 (rear) Toyo Proxes R888 tyres, Tein-coilovers with electronic damping adjustment, adjustable front camber plates, Strong Strut front brace, AC-Schnitzer rear brace, Eibach anti-roll bars (front and rear), fully poly bushed, Brembo GT BBK with six-piston calipers and 380x32mm discs (front) and four-piston calipers with 345x28mm discs (rear)
EXTERIOR Steel grey, #Vorsteiner carbon bonnet and front bumper, carbon fibre front wings, side mouldings, AC Schnitzer carbon fibre door mirrors, CSL carbon fibre boot, carbon fibre rear bumper, roof spoiler
INTERIOR Cobra Daytona seats re-trimmed in black leather and alcantara with gold stitching, three-point harnesses, rear seat delete, black alcantara gear and handbrake gaiters with gold stitching, Innovate AFR gauge, HKS boost, exhaust temperature and pressure gauges, HKS turbo timer
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Supercharged / #BMW-M3-Supercharged / #BMW-M3-Supercharged-E46 / #S54-Supercharged / #VF-Engineering / #Apex
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54 / #BMW-S54 , #VF-Engineering-VF570 supercharger kit, AEM water/methanol injection kit, #Mishimoto electric fan, Mishimoto bigger radiator, 55ºC thermostat, secondary air pump removed, airconditioning removed, sport cats, Milltek rear exhaust. Six-speed manual gearbox, 4.10 rear differential
POWER AND TORQUE 545hp, 383lb ft
CHASSIS 10x18” (front and rear) #Apex-ARC-8 wheels with 265/35 (front and rear) Federal 595RS-R tyres, stud conversion kit, 12mm rear spacers, #KW-V3 coilovers with Club spec springs, Turner Motorsport top mounts, #Turner-Motorsport adjustable anti-roll bars (front and rear), adjustable rear camber arms, fully poly bushed, #Alcon BBK with six-piston calipers and 365mm discs with #Reyland bells (front), standard calipers (rear), Pagid RS-29 pads (front and rear), braided brake lines (front and rear), 710 racing brake fluid
EXTERIOR Carbon fibre canards, splitter, front wings, boot, bonnet, rear diffuser, carbon wrap on roof, fog lights removed
INTERIOR Stripped-out, full bolt-in Safety Devices roll-cage, alcantara steering wheel by Royal Steering Wheels, solid steering wheel coupler, full carbon door cards with red pull tabs, RTD short shifter, AEM hand controller for water/methanol injection, Corbeau Club Sport seats, Willans harnesses, water/methanol tank in boot, Odyssey PC950 lightweight battery, fire extinguishers, stereo removedStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWhat goes around comes around, so they say, and Nickel Mohammed’s ever-evolving M3 comes around more than most - it’s always changing and we had to catch it quick before it changed again… Words: Daniel Bevis Photos: #C3Photography .
BOLT FROM THE BLUE Turbo wide-body E46 M3 Cab
The old saying that ‘lightning doesn’t strike twice’ is a load of toffee. It’s not just possible that lightning will strike the same part of the Earth more than once, it’s basically inevitable; whether it happens within a five-minute span or twenty million years apart, every square inch of the planet gets it full in the face at some point, and then again, and again. And so it is with a certain sense of inevitability that, in the same vein, feature cars can also strike twice. Regular readers may be squinting at this boisterous E46, trying to figure out where you’ve seen it before… and to answer that niggling query, you recognise it from the cover of our January 2014 issue. But fear not, it’s really quite different now to how it was then. You don’t just walk into a Performance #BMW feature you know, these things have to be earned on merit. And Nickel Mohammed’s shouty M3 has earned another spot here thanks to its constant evolution and mould-breaking styles.
So how’s it different now? Well, for one thing it’s significantly less powerful. No, wait, come back! This is a good thing – you see, last time we saw the car, its turbocharged S54 was running 800hp, but Nickel’s since detuned this to a rather more manageable 630hp (which is still frickin’ loads), as the car is developing in line with his driving style, as well as to suit the chilly climes of New York City. There’s no point boasting a flag-waving horsepower figure if all of those rampaging ponies are uselessly spinning themselves away at every corner, is there? Definitely far better to have a robust stable of usable nags.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ll begin at the beginning, shall we? “I purchased this car brand new, and back then you had to be put on a waiting list,” he recalls. “I signed myself up, and six months later the car was shipped… the wrong car in the wrong colour! I wanted a silver convertible, and they delivered a black coupé. But determination is a damn thing – I said to them OK, put me back on the list, I’ll wait.” And when the desired drop-top did eventually arrive, was Nickel keen to start tearing into the thing according to some grand overarching modification plan? “To be honest, no,” he shrugs. “Not at all in fact, I reckoned I’d keep it stock. The thing was expensive! And I was still young, I couldn’t afford all that stuff. Although I did try – 20” rims and so on, all those terrible choices I made!” Ah, the impetuousness of youth. Inevitably the M3 was going to end up modified, it was all part of cosmic destiny. It just took a little time for the car to find its way.
“I’ve built it up and changed it so many times in different directions, the timetable’s kind of all over the place,” he says, when we try to pin down the chronology. “I knew that the mechanical stuff had to be done first, and that started with the engine back in 2011…”
This was no half-hearted undertaking, with Nickel throwing every one of his chips on the table to get the car ideologically transformed by the lunatics at #HorsepowerFreaks . Their revered Stage 3 turbo conversion brought the howling S54’s peak power up to a stupendous 800hp. These bolt-on kits require no cutting, wiring or welding, and are designed for durability as well as awesome power. But what else would you expect for $30,000+?
Don’t go thinking ‘bolt-on’ means ‘simple’ though. Engineering a car to run these sorts of numbers is a thoroughly in-depth task – hence the cost – and it took HorsepowerFreaks around a year to build up, test and refine Nickel’s motor. But that fastidiousness of engineering has paid off, as the built motor has held up strongly since. “I drive cars hard, I drive them till they break,” he laughs, “but the only thing I’ve wanted to change on the engine in all this time is adding the AEM Infinity ECU - that thing is superb, a learning computer; I mean, big-ups to those techs that take the time to build these things that adapt to your driving!”
This attention to cleverness carries on beyond the engine and into the chassis. The suspension offers up an intelligent middle ground between coilovers and air-ride, comprising #KW Variant 3 coilovers with their cunning Hydraulic Lift System, which offers instant ground clearance at the touch of a button. “I wanted to run the car low enough to drive the city streets of NYC - which are terrible - but still be able to raise the front of the car to clear driveways and speed bumps,” Nickel explains. “In all honesty I feel KWs are the best thing made for this car when it comes to suspension.” The last time this car appeared in these pages it was running full air-ride, so you know this is a considered opinion.
The wheels come from famously pricey custom house, Luxury Abstract. “I’ve had so many wheels before, but these Grassor- Rs were just built for this car,” he grins. “The NeoChrome finish is a neat effect, tying into the Lamborghini pearl paint, and the width and depth really accentuate the body structure.” And you can’t really miss that body, can you? The wide arches are custom hand-fabricated in steel, 1.5” wider at the front and 2.5” out back, thanks to the craftsmanship of Martino Auto Concepts in Long Island. The extra girth is augmented by a V-CSL front bumper and carbon-fibre ducktail boot lid from Vorsteiner, further enhanced by the addition of a Brooks Motorsport Elite carbon wing, along with a set of carbon-fibre side skirts.
The interior has also been comprehensively re-worked since we last saw the car. Inside, you’ll find a pair of fully reclining Manhart #BMW Performance race seats, important for Nickel as, in his own words, he’s sucker cruising with the seat back and the music up, which brings us neatly to that impressive audio install. “I always wanted an empty trunk to carry bags in, so I removed the existing music and had my electronics sponsor build me a system that would not only look superb, but sound phenomenal and not take up any trunk space. I had my rear seats taken out and my racing harness looks like it’s actually going into my audio system. That was an idea I came up with because I didn’t want to fit a roll cage to the rear of the car as it wouldn’t look as clean and it would be too bulky.
“There are a lot of stylistic paths you can follow, it takes a lot of time and due diligence,” Nickel reasons. “You have to research, figure out what has been done and what you can do to make it your own. That’s the key to building a car, how do you make it your own; how does it reflect your personality? That has to come from within.
You have to choose, but that’s why you go on the Internet and talk to your friends and family, and even your techs and people that work on your cars and filter information to help you make your choices. I must have a form: function car. Can’t have a monster in the closet and not be able to let it out because you’re scared that it may attack you! Cars are meant to be driven, and yes they break - you fix it and do it again.”
Admirable sentiment, and it really helps to illustrate the power behind the build. Yes, this car’s an internet-breaker, but Nickel hasn’t just been ticking boxes on the scenester checklist. The fact that it’s such a personal thing is also key to why he changes the spec so frequently. He’s been cherry picking parts from the aftermarket for a decade now, as well as commissioning his own, and Nickel’s not showing any signs of stopping yet – as long as there’s air in his lungs, this M3 will keep evolving.
“You’re never done with a project, not ever,” he says. “There will always be new technology, things that you’ve seen and never got a chance to do.” We ask what his favourite part of the car is right now, and he laughs. “Man, there’s not one part of it that I like more than another, because from the top to the bottom it’s my personality, you know? I love it all. And the key to having a dope build is being able to get in and just have a drive. That’s what it was made for. It’s tuned for cruising NYC.” Damn straight. Nickel’s currently working on his E30 M Tech II Convertible, but we all know that the E46 is his baby. It’s been his from new, through thick and thin, and it’s not going anywhere. Lightning will keep on striking.
DATA FILE Turbo #Wide-Body / #BMW-E46 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E46 / #BMW-M3-Wide-Body-E46 / #BMW-M3-Wide-Body / #BMW-M3-HPF-E46 / #BMW-M3-HPF / #AEM / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46 / #BMW-3-Series-M3 / #BMW-3-Series-M3-E46 / #BMW-M3-tuned-E46 / #BMW-M3-tuned
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54 / #BMW-S54 , #HorsepowerFreaks ( HPF ) #HPF-Stage-3-turbo-kit , #HPF-titanium-exhaust-system , #AEM-Infinity-ECU , #HPF carbon-fibre intake ducts, HPF methanol injection, #Rogue-Engineering oil filler ca. Six-speed manual gearbox, E31 850i clutch components with #HPF-Feramic-Stage-3-clutch , #OS-Giken-Super Lock Spec-S LSD, #UUC-Motorwerks engine and transmission mounts
CHASSIS 11x19” (front) and 13.5x19” (rear) #Luxury-Abstract-Grassor-R wheels with 245/35 (f) and 305/30 (r) tyres, #KW-Variant-3 coilovers with #Hydraulic-Lift-System, #HPF-330-subframe reinforcement plates, #HPF carbon fibre strut braces, HPF under braces, #Powerflex race subframe bushes and trailing arm bushes #StopTech #BBK with six-pot calipers and 380mm discs (front), four-pot calipers with 355mm discs (rear)
EXTERIOR Custom steel wide-body, Lamborghini #Blu-Cepheus-paint (three-stage pearl), #Vorsteiner-V-CSL front bumper and ducktail boot lid, #Vorsteiner-GTS3 carbon-fibre side skirts, custom E30 M3 bonnet hinges, OEM BMW hardtop, custom dual-xenon headlights, #Brooks-Motorsport Elite carbon-fibre rear wing with #NeoChrome brackets
INTERIOR Manhart #BMW-Performance race seats, #Schroth harnesses, AEM fuel pressure and 100psi oil pressure gauges, rearview mirror gauge interaction, Kenwood 6.95 double-DIN DDX9902S head unit, JL Audio Monoblock HD1200/1, JL 4-channel amp, JL Evolution C3, JL 12” subwoofer, custom audio box with moulded plexi and LED lighting trimmed in OEM BMW leather, Rydeen reversing camera
THANKS #Motorcepts (Master Tech), Intrack Tyres, #S&R-Paint , #NeoChrome , #Luxury-AbstractStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationYELLOW – NOT MELLOW
With 711whp, this turbo Phoenix yellow E46 M3 is a beast. Awesome 711whp M3 E46 Spectacular Stateside turbocharged #BMW-E46 . It may be in the love/hate Phoenix yellow hue but there’s nothing mellow about Kris Kolintzas’ 711whp E46 M3. Words: Ben Koflach. Photos: Brad Sillars.
Phoenix yellow is one of those love it or loathe it colours. When BMW proudly introduced the E46 M3 it was one of the most talked about features of the early cars, often overshadowing the amazing S54 engine or the finely-honed chassis. However, a few years down the line it’s been well-proven that with the right selection of modifications a Phoenix yellow M3 can be a treat to the eyes.
One guy that’s known this from the start is Kris Kolintzas, a serial E46 M3 owner. The Chicago resident has spent the last nine years perfecting and improving his Phoenix M3. “I bought the car in the early spring of 2007,” explains Kris. “I purchased it from a private seller out in Tennessee. I’d already had two E46 M3s prior to this one but this was in mint condition with just over 20k miles on it. I chose this particular M3 because it was a rare colour that popped and not the same old boring silver or black BMWs you see everywhere here in the Midwest.”
As the story so often goes, Kris began with a few simple enhancements and things soon spiralled out of control. The build even became something of a trendsetter in the Midwest. “My thoughts behind the modifications were that I just wanted it to be fast and different from what everyone else was doing,” Kris says. Of course, these days it’s that 711whp engine setup that really steals the headlines. “I was one of the first to supercharge an M3 in the Midwest and I was the first to convert to a turbo setup,” Kris proudly claims. He hasn’t done things by half either, utilising a Maximum PSI Stage 2 system.
Mike Radowski, frontman and fabrication specialist at Maximum PSI, is a man wellknown in these pages. His 900whp+ E36 M3 drag car was featured in the magazine some time ago but his name is one that constantly comes up. And with good reason. The man is a genius when it comes to extracting huge, useable power from #BMW engines through turbocharging, and his turbo kits are simply the best you’ll find. “After falling in love with my turbo E36 I purchased a used 2002 E46 M3 with the sole intention of developing a production turbo kit for the platform,” Mike tells us. “We had worked with Technique Tuning on numerous custom builds and it was only logical to continue our partnership into the E46 kit as well. We spent way too long sorting out the kit trying to utilise the factory air box, and several other components that caused us more headaches than I care to remember. In the end we had a nicely performing turbo kit that would be able to pass a full OBD2 readiness test. We retained the cats and secondary air pump, and came in notably cheaper than the competition, while using high quality TIG welded and CNC’d components.
“Our system is still the only turbo kit for the E46 M3 that we know of that utilises a remapped factory ECU. It has been continually refined over the past few years, and we now have over 50 Stage 1, 2, 3, and 4 kits in operation. We have a bunch of street cars and we have several drift cars including one of our Stage 4 kits. My personal car has made over 780whp on the stock ECU and has been turbocharged for 40k hard miles. It has ran a best quarter-mile time of 9.74secs at 145.9mph, making it the quickest E46 in the US. We will continue to push the envelope in the E46 platform, as well as the newer platforms as well. Keep an eye on our 2016 F80 M3 shop car for some results shortly, too!”
Maximum PSI kits are completely bolt-on and, as Mike revealed, astonishingly they also manage the almighty power figures through tuning of the standard E46 M3 #Siemens-MSS54 ECU. The setup centres around a Precision 6266 turbo mounted on a Maximum PSI cast manifold and comes with everything required for fitment, down to interior gauges and wiring clips.
Kris gave the task of fitting the kit to his good friend (and another ex-feature car owner) Stefan Sajic, front man of Zima Motorsports. “Kris’ car was dropped off to our HQ in Chicago with a nice whine coming from the supercharger,” explains Stefan. “He was looking for more power and substantially more torque so the Maximum PSI kit was the best solution. We worked closely with Kris to make sure everything he wanted in the car was installed perfectly for maximum performance.”
The Stage 1 version of the kit is capable of running up to 500whp on ordinary pump fuel and 600whp on high octane. However, it was the Stage 2 that Kris opted for. It centres around mostly the same hardware, but adds even bigger injectors and one of the neatest aftermarket touches on the market: the ability to use the factory Sport button to switch between pump and race fuel maps.
Using the aforementioned race fuel, Kris was able to push his car up to 711whp and 578lb ft of torque at 19psi of boost. An astonishing achievement and one that goes to prove the efficiency and performance of the Maximum PSI turbo kit. The internals of Kris’ S54 remain standard, just with the addition of coated rod bearings from Epic Motorsports and ARP rod bolts. All of that power fires through a South Bend Stage 3 clutch and the factory SMG gearbox, with the whole drivetrain mounted on Vibratechnics mounts.
To complete the setup, Kris mated a Bimmerworld 3.5” race exhaust to the rear, the single pipe exiting through a matching carbon fibre diffuser. As you may have noticed, composite weave adorns much of the entire car. Just under the bonnet, in fact, that turbo’d S54 has been surrounded with the stuff. From a Horsepower Freaks vented engine cover to EAS and NVD carbon fibre accessories left right and centre, you’re never far from a chunk of the wonder-weave.
The exterior is much the same – the carbon fibre works really well in contrast with the Phoenix yellow, and so Kris’ choice additions have made the car into something unique. Vorsteiner’s ever-popular range of parts for the E46 M3 has been utilised with the V-CSL front bumper, GTR bonnet and CSL bootlid all present in carbon fibre. They add a dose of aggression to the E46 and are backed up by a custom GTR rear bumper and yet more carbon fibre covering the headlight housings, pillar trims, mirrors, grilles and more. Umnitza lighting tops off the external mods that combine to make one good-looking E46 M3.
The interior, meanwhile, is also carbon fibre covered and makes for a good looking and functional place to be. Kris’ car remains a road car and the interior reflects this. The rear half features a custom Zima Motorsports half roll-cage, with the nowredundant rear seats removed in favour of a carbon fibre seat delete piece. Up front the standard seats keep things comfortable, while the dashboard is a feast of carbon fibre and tech. The centre vents have been replaced by a custom carbon fibre bezel housing digital AEM gauges for AFR, oil pressure, fuel pressure and boost – important parameters when running such a modified engine setup. Carbon fibre then covers just about every surface possible, and it looks fantastic for it.
The chassis setup on something with so much power is a hugely important part of the build. Keeping the comfort was a key part of things for Kris and so he carefully thought out a setup that would be suitable. It centres around the standard layout but uses Koni Sport shocks with a Ground Control height adjustable spring setup, camber-adjustable front top mounts and billet rear top mounts. Ground Control was also used for its anti-roll bars while, as you would expect, the rear subframe mounting points have been beefed-up. Finally, AKG Motorsports bushes all-round tie everything together.
“The build is basically done,” Kris concludes. “I moved onto a 1972 2002 restomod build alongside the M3, and I’m now looking for another project to add to the stable.” There’s one thing for sure – if Kris puts as much time and care into his other projects then this won’t be the last time you’ll see him on these pages. His E46 M3 blends brilliant looks with brutal turbocharged performance. The colour may not be to everyone’s taste from the factory, but with Kris’s expert eye he’s transformed it into a machine that no one would dare to fault.
I chose this particular M3 because it was a rare colour that popped.
DATA FILE Turbo #BMW-E46 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E46 / #BMW-M3-Turbo-E46
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54 / #BMW-S54 / , #ARP rod bolts, #Epic-Motorsports coated rod bearings, #Maximum-PSI-Stage-2 turbo kit (including #Precision-6466-turbo turbo, #Maximum-PSI cast turbo manifold, Maximum PSI/Driven Innovations intake manifold, #Tial MVR wastegate, Synapse diverter valve, front mounted intercooler, uprated spark plugs, big capacity fuel injectors, Walbro 485 fuel pump, 3.5” intake system with Green air filter, 304 stainless steel charge piping, 3” 304 stainless steel downpipe, fitting brackets and supports, SMG reservoir relocation kit, TurboSmart eBoost2 boost controller, AEM wideband O2 sensor, Technique Tuning mapping with switchable maps), Radium Engineering fuel rail, Bimmerworld 3.5” single pipe race exhaust with electronic cutout, #Vibratechnics engine mounts, #HPF carbon fibre vented engine cover, EAS carbon fibre engine accessories (cabin air filter cover and cap, DME cover, battery terminal cover, intake scoop, radiator cap, oil cap), NVD Autosport carbon fibre engine accessories (radiator support, oil filter cap, coolant tank). Six-speed #SMG gearbox, #South-Bend-Stage-3 clutch, Vibratechnics gearbox mounts, standard 3.62:1 final drive.
CHASSIS 9.5x18” (front) and 10.5x18” (rear) #Apex #Apex-ARC-8 wheels with 265/35 (front) and 285/35 (rear) Toyo R888 tyres, Koni Yellow Sport shocks front and rear with Ground Control adjustable springs, Ground Control camber-adjustable front top mounts, Ground Control rear top mounts, #Ground-Control anti-roll bars, reinforced rear subframe mounting points, AKG Motorsports front control arm bushes, #AKG-Motorsports rear trailing arm bushes, #AKG Motorsports subframe bushes, AKG Motorsports differential bushes, 345mm ZCP front discs with Brembo four-piston calipers from Porsche 996 911, standard rear brakes.
EXTERIOR Factory Phoenix yellow paintwork, Vorsteiner carbon fibre GTR bonnet, Vorsteiner carbon fibre CSL bootlid, Vorsteiner CSL front bumper with single piece carbon fibre splitter, custom GTR rear bumper by FMU, Bimmerworld carbon fibre diffuser, EAS carbon fibre trim (headlight housing inserts, door handles, mirrors, kidney grilles, side grilles), carbon fibre fuel tank flap, carbon fibre B-pillar trims, carbon fibre and colour coded roundels front and rear, carbon fibre M3 badge, Umnitza 6000k angel eyes, Umnitza 6000k headlights, LED indicators, LED numberplate bulbs, smoked taillights, 20% window tint all-round including windscreen.
INTERIOR Custom Zima Motorsports roll-cage, carbon fibre rear seat delete, custom carbon fibre bezel unit for AEM digital gauges (AFR, oil pressure, fuel pressure, boost), EAS carbon fibre components (SMG paddles, interior trim panels, steering wheel trim panels, pedals, steering column cover), NVD Autosport carbon fibre components (seat backs, seat rail covers, SMG knob, centre console, door sill trims).Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationSEEING DOUBLE
One wide body, HPF-Turbo #BMW-E46 M3 is special enough but two together at the same time? Now that something else… You wouldn’t think Beirut would be a hotbed of #BMW tuning but prepare to think again as this pair of incredible HPF turbo, wide-body E46 M3s from the Middle East goes to show.
Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin with these two cars. They fell into my lap, appeared from nowhere, the sort of feature that you dream about and that happens once in a blue moon. They’re owned by Wael El Ward, keeper of the white car, and George Frem, custodian of the red machine and these guys and their cars are based in Beirut of all places, which is certainly not where I was expecting a pair of insane, HPF turbocharged E46 M3s to come from. And yet here we are.
Both Wael and George are car guys through and through and they’ve had their fair share of exciting machinery in the past. Wael lives and breathes BMWs and has been passionate about the marque for over 20 years: “Cars and motorsport have fascinated me since I was a kid. My passion for both started in 1987. Despite working in the telecommunications sector since 1996 my passion for the sound of engines never faded over the years. My first car was a 1989 E30 318i and it stills inspires me with its chassis and performance; for me, BMW is all about the pure driving thrill.”
Wael has enjoyed a couple of BMW project cars in the past, both of which weren’t exactly lacking in the horsepower department. One was an E92 M3 running an ESS supercharger and 625hp while the other was a Z4 M which was also treated to an ESS supercharger. So big-power, forced induction BMWs are clearly something of an addiction.
“I bought this 2008 #BMW-M3-E46 in collaboration with GRC Motors in Houston, Texas,” says Wael. “It was a used car in a very good condition and I had it imported to Lebanon. When I got the car I started modifying it immediately. With the coordination and help of ModBargains and Supreme Power in the US I changed the wheels for a set of Velocity Motoring VMR710 wheels, fitted Tein lowering springs, a GTR bonnet, a Diablo exhaust, a #Dinan-S3 supercharger and Dinan Stage 3 suspension.”
Wael clearly doesn’t believe in half measures and with his first hit of modifying done he was happy to enjoy the car as it was for a couple of years until the need for more of everything became too great to ignore. “In 2010 I decided to go more aggressive, so I got in touch with HPF to get the wide-body kit from Asuka through Brad Lin, and I also purchased the Stage 2 HPF turbo kit. I also bought two sets of wheels via Supreme Power – a VIP Modular set, like the ones on the orange HPF E46 #BMW-M3 and a set of Vorsteiner VS-350s.
“The turbo kit was installed at M Performance Garage, run by Charbel El Saifi, where we faced a problem with the tuning. After sending the AEM ECU to HPF around seven times to get a remote tune without having to unlock the ECU to avoid breaching the warranty, we finally got it working. Once the car was up and running we installed the wide-body at Matar Body Shop and I would like to thank the owner Pierre Matar for the amazing job he did. Later on, the KW suspension was installed at Performance Garage, run by Dany Kachouh, and the final stage was installing the gauges at MMW Garage with the supervision and guidance of the famous Lebanese hillclimb driver, Garo Haroutonian. It took over six months to do all the work and recently I spoke to a tuner in Canada, Anthony Cafic, who came over to Lebanon to fine-tune the car for me. In terms of power, initially when I was supercharging the car I was looking for 460hp and around 360lb ft of torque but I’ve ended up with 600rwhp and 460lb ft of torque, so quite a bit more,” says Wael with a smile.
The Asuka wide-body kit on both these cars looks awesome – completely outlandish and outrageous and guaranteed to divide opinion, but considering the rest of the mods on these M3s, the show is most definitely backed up by plenty of go. Finished in white, the carbon highlights and black wheels on Wael’s car really pop and with two sets of high-end rims to choose from he really is spoilt for choice.
For the shoot, his M3 wears the VIP Modular VC13s, 10x19” at the front and 13x18” at the rear. They look seriously sexy and are mounted on a Macht Schnell stud conversion kit with Project Kics R40 wheel nuts. But why the odd wheel sizes? Well, that was so that he could fit a set of Mickey Thompson Radial Street II slicks on the rears, which have been designed with the drag strip in mind and deliver maximum traction but are still fine to use on the road.
The yellow calipers lurking behind the VIPs belong to the monster XYZ BBK that has been fitted, boasting vast 380mm drilled floating discs up front clamped by huge eight-pot calipers, while at the rear there are six-pot calipers with 355mm drilled floating discs, offering serious stopping power. The chassis has not been neglected and Wael’s M3 has been fitted with the aforementioned KW V3 coilover kit along with a Turner Motorsport T3 anti-roll bar kit and a Dinan rear strut brace.
“Regarding the interior, it went through many stages,” Wael tells us. “First I fitted BMW Performance seats bought through Supreme Power with a floor mount kit from Macht Schnell but since the shoot I’ve changed the seats for Tecnocraft Kevlar ones and all the interior trims are now being changed to Kevlar carbon fibre trim, which is being custom-made for me. The most amazing part of the interior is the carbon fibre steering wheel, which I got from Nexon Motors and which is a unique item made exclusively for this car.
“I started building the car in 2010 and I wouldn’t say it’s finished as I’m always investing in and improving the car’s shape and performance. My favourite modifications are the Vorsteiner wheels, the GTR bonnet, the amazing Alpine white intake manifold, the Awron gauges and the Tecnocraft seats.”
It’s clear that Wael loves his car but it gets a lot of love from other people, too. “The first appearance of the car was at the beginning of 2012 at a BMW gathering. I cannot describe how impressed and proud people were to have this kind of car built in Lebanon as they’ve only ever seen cars like this on the internet. It’s also a joy to see how the car turn heads when I drive it on the street,” he smiles. But, true to his word, Wael isn’t done with his E46 yet. “I’m planning on getting the new 20” wheels from Vorsteiner and performance mods to reach 800hp. My next plan, with Vorsteiner, Supreme Power and MMW Garage, is a unique GTRS5 wide-body E92 M3 with some surprise engine modifications,” smiles Wael. We can’t wait to see that build. For now, though, his E46 M3 is a magnificent machine and clearly one that he, and a lot of other people, are extremely proud of, and with good reason.
Moving on to car number two, we find that George has come to BMWs after spending a long time on the Japanese scene. “I was a Z lover 20 years ago,” he says, referring to the Datsun and Nissan Z models, “and I built a few Z cars until I turned my attention to BMWs in the late ’90s. I got tired of driving Japanese cars and made the switch with a 1994 E36 325Ci.”
Once the BMW bug had bitten, George got well and truly involved in the marque and built a supercharged E36 M3 back in 1997 running 350hp. When it came to this E46 M3, his plans were clear: “I built this car because I wanted maximum horsepower.”
You can’t argue with that philosophy! “This car was actually Steve Dinan’s personal car,” George tells us, “and it was up for sale on his website. It was in perfect condition and I loved it, so I bought it and had it shipped over to Lebanon. It already had a Stage 3 Dinan supercharger on it and lots of Dinan goodies and I added some BBS CH wheels, a Vorsteiner CSL front bumper and rear bootlid.”
At this point, George had a good-looking car putting out some decent power but it wasn’t long before he started thinking about the next stage. “The first big upgrade I went for was the HPF Stage 2 turbo kit,” says George, “which gave me 600hp. Then I decided to go for the Asuka wide-body kit and the Vorsteiner GTR bonnet.” He also decided to swap out his #BBS CH wheels for a set of 19” Vorsteiner VS-350 rims to really finish off the look. One spectacular, incredibly powerful HPF E46 M3 finished and ready to enjoy, right? Or so you’d think but George wasn’t done yet. After going from supercharger to turbo and getting used to having 600hp on tap, he was hungry for power and the only thing that would satisfy was the HPF Stage 3 kit. The main difference between the Stage 2 and Stage 3 kits is the step up from the T67 S cover turbo to the larger T71 billet turbo and in addition to the more powerful kit the engine was fully built, with a high compression block, uprated piston and rod bearings. The end result? An incredible 978hp, around 880rwhp. “It’s my favourite modification on the whole car,” says George. “It’s reliable and amazingly fast. Being able to keep up with 1000cc bikes is a lot of fun!”
Helping to transfer the power to the rear wheels is an uprated HPF Stage 3 clutch and on the suspension front there’s a KW Variant 1 coilover kit along with front and rear Dinan strut braces and a beefy Dinan BBK, boasting six-piston calipers front and fourpots at the back. Inside, there’s a pair of super-light Kevlar Dinan seats along with a half roll-cage. It’s taken two years to get here but it’s undoubtedly been worth it and George has ended up with a spectacular machine. Incredibly, though, he’s not finished yet and is currently saving up funds for a sequential gearbox, which will really step things up a notch.
Not only do these two E46 M3s look utterly spectacular, they have the performance to match along with a host of other mods that would be on most BMW fans’ dream wish list. It’s been a long road for both Wael and George but suffice to say that as far as these guys are concerned it’s been worth all the time and every penny spent; we couldn’t agree more.
“I cannot describe how proud people were to have this kind of car built in Lebanon as they’ve only ever seen cars like this on the internet”
ENGINE: 3.2-litre straight-six #S54 B32, HPF Stage 3 turbo kit with 978hp, full engine build including pistons, rod bearings and high compression block, Precision T71 Billet turbo, #HPF-turbo ceramic-coated cast turbo manifold, HPF engine brackets, Auveco zinc fasteners, BMW head studs, #BMW manifold to head exhaust gaskets, BMW exhaust midpipe gasket, #HPF 3” downpipe, HPF wastegate piping with recirculation pipe, HPF wastegate gasket, HPF custom oil feed lines, HPF block off plates, Precision T4 turbo gasket, Tial 44mm V-Band, wastegate, Turbonetics T3/T4 drain flange.
TRANSMISSION: Standard six-speed manual gearbox with HPF Stage 3 clutch.
CHASSIS: 10x19” (front) and 13x19” (rear) Vorsteiner VS-350 three-piece wheels with 275/35 (front) and 345/40 (rear) Nitto Envo tyres, KW V1 coilovers, Dinan front and rear strut braces, Dinan BBK with 380mm discs and six-pot calipers (front) and 345mm discs and six pot calipers (rear).
EXTERIOR: Full wide-body Asuka kit, Vorsteiner GTR bonnet, Vorsteiner CSL bootlid.
INTERIOR: HPF Kevlar seats with half roll-cage, full carbon fibre wrapped trim.
ENGINE: 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 , HPF Stage 2 turbo kit with 600whp, Precision T67 S cover turbo, HPF ceramic-coated cast turbo manifold, HPF engine brackets, Auveco zinc fasteners, BMW head studs, BMW manifold to head exhaust gaskets, BMW exhaust midpipe gasket, HPF 3” downpipe, HPF wastegate piping with recirculation pipe, HPF wastegate gasket, HPF custom oil feed lines, HPF block off plates, Precision T4 turbo gasket, Tial 44mm V-Band, wastegate, Turbonetics T3/T4 drain flange, Supersprint mid pipe, Gruppe M rear silencer, custom Alpine white intake manifold, carbon fibre DME cover.
TRANSMISSION: Standard six-speed manual gearbox with Clutch Masters FX400 clutch.
CHASSIS: 10x19” (front) and 13x19” (rear) Vorsteiner VS-350 three-piece wheels with 275/35 (front) and 345/40 (rear) Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres or 10x19” (front) and 13x18” (rear) VIP Modular VC13 wheels with Pirelli P Zero Rosso (front) and Mickey Thompson Radial II Slicks (rear), Macht Schnell stud conversion with Project Kics R40 wheel nuts, KW V3 coilover kit, Turner Motorsport T3 anti-roll bar set, #Dinan rear strut brace, XYZ big brake kit with 380mm drilled floating discs and eight-pot calipers (front) and 355mm drilled floating discs and four-pot calipers (rear).
EXTERIOR: Full wide-body Asuka kit, #Vorsteiner GTR bonnet
INTERIOR: Tecnocraft T2 Kevlar and carbon fibre seats, custom carbon flat bottomed steering wheel from Nexon Motors, OEM Navigation system, custom carbon fibre Kevlar trim, Awron gauges.
THANKS: My greatest thanks go to my wonderful wife Renee and my angels Adrian and Matteo for their support. Big thanks to Eric Nareshni and Tam at Supreme Power, Brad Lin, Perry Yem, Kirk Dorr, the XYZ team for the big brake kit, Pierre Matar at Matar Body Tuning, Garo and Mimo Haroutinian at MMW Garage, Charbel Elsaifi at M Performance Garage, Dany Kachouh at Performance Garage, special thanks to my friend and partner with his innovative ideas, the genius Jad Mrad.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationORIENT EXPRESS #BMW-M3-E46-HPF-stage-2.5
With an Eastern influence to its outlandish styling this 730whp #HPF-turbo #E46 M3 is as wild as they come. Patrick Estudillo’s #BMW-E46 #M3 has enjoyed a lot of different looks over the last nine years, and this latest big-horsepower evolution is really stirring up online controversy with its unique Japanese aesthetic. Haters gonna hate… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Peter Wu.
It’s a fairly well documented fact that beef and mustard are tip-top partners. A juicy hunk of pink-in-the-middle British beef is exponentially enhanced by a healthy dollop of English mustard. Aha, but consider this… what if you were to remove the yellow dab from the plate and replace it with something green instead – a smudge of fresh wasabi. Eh? Trust me, it works magnificently. A slab of European meat with a soupçon of Japanese embellishment. How very modern.
This idea, in essence, is what informs the somewhat unmissable M3 that’s posing aggressively before the lens today. Not that owner Patrick Estudillo based the concept on a system of experimenting with condiments; no, he’s blazed a trail that’s now rife in the modifying scene, fusing Western automobiles with the upgrades of the East. There are few cars more staunchly Euro than an #E46 #BMW , but the more you pick over this build, the more JDM mods you unearth.
Pat, however, is no slave to the scene. He’s been building up to this since he was a kid. “I started into the car scene with my first car back when I was a late junior in high school,” he recalls, grinning as his mind fondly strolls back to the beginning of an era. “My parents handed down to me their BV, and I immediately started doing my research. Being in high school still, the only income I had was an occasional allowance and money received at Christmas and so on; modifying happened slowly, but by the time I reached my second year I had a mildly modified car – I fitted some 19” Racing Hart wheels, full JIC aero, coilovers, exhaust, and racing seats.”
So far, so JDM. Interesting use of the word ‘mildly’ there too. But hang on… where does Bavaria’s propeller fit into all this? “The E46 M3 really captured my imagination when it was released in #2001 ,” he continues. “I immediately fell in love with it – I knew I had to own one someday! The lines of the car, the aggressive factory styling, and respectable power caught my attention, and I soon became obsessed. I would research about the car day in and day out; by the end of my second year in college, my parents convinced me to sell my car and to wait till I finished school to get the M3.”
All sounds very level-headed. And by fastforwarding a while into the future, as is the narrative gift of hindsight, we find Pat taking delivery of a manual 2006 M3, #Alpine white on Imola red – one of the last few E46 M3s before production of the E92 began.
“Many people see it as all show and no go, but little do they know what’s under the hood! The changes in their facial expression when they hear the turbo spooling is priceless”
“I was euphoric! I couldn’t take my eyes off it,” he beams. “I sat in my garage for hours every day just staring. I admired every line of the car. I would pop the hood, sit inside the car, practice shifting. Pretty much the same feeling as a kid on Christmas morning after receiving the gift that he wished for!”
So, after all of these years of yearning, was Pat content to get out there and drive the wheels off the thing, fulfilling those fantasies that had been building up to the acquisition of his dream car? Well, yes and no… we’ve already established that he’s got a certain keenness for the aftermarket: “I started modifying it the first week I had it!” he laughs. Over the last nine years, this M3’s seen more makeovers than a stableful of Kardashians, and it all began in that first gleeful week of ownership with a set of Volk TE37s, coilovers, CSL-style bootlid and diffuser, and a custom exhaust. With such an eager start, where on Earth could he go from there? Well, nine years is a long time for a modifier as keen as this.
“Before long, the car made it to the SEMA show where it received a sponsorship for audio,” he says modestly. “As you can see, the audio has stayed in the car since then. But I was starting to itch for some power at that point and I decided to run with VFEngineering’s Stage 1 supercharger system, and shortly after upgraded to Stage 2 to make a decent 525whp. A year later though, being almost content, I unexpectedly had a run-in with a car that was set up similarly to my car – same wheels, same CSL trunk, same GTR hood, same colour, same interior – in fact, for a moment I thought it was mine and I gave chase! But after a brief encounter I realised it wasn’t my car, and decided that I had to do something to stop mine looking like every other M3 out there. I then set out to redo the whole thing, and began toying with the idea of adding Japanese parts.”
An incident such as this must be very jarring – having put so much time, effort, care and expense into making your car personal and unique, it would surely come as a cosmic slap in the face to discover that someone else has been singing from the same hymn sheet. A psychologist would probably make a great deal of how one might retreat into one’s shell, regress to the safe haven of childhood and what-have-you; whether or not that theory holds water, the indisputable truth is that Pat was now plundering his youthful experiences with JDM tuning to revamp his BMW.
The most obvious of such additions sits under the arches: those improbably broad Work wheels (12.5” at the back, no less!). It’s getting gradually easier to source Works outside of Japan – Work Wheels USA is an ever-growing concern; Driftworks can find them for you in the UK – but they still remain a quintessentially Oriental ingredient. Add to this the oh-so on-trend Takata harnesses and Key’s Racing steering wheel and you find the drift scene spilling its juice all over the E46 like a ripe daidai fruit. Perhaps the most boisterous and in-your-face Japanese addition, however, is that colossal, towering Voltex carbon-fibre spoiler with its custom chassis-mounted aluminium risers. “That wing gets a lot of hate online,” he smirks. But you get the feeling he likes it that way.
Further exterior mods followed in the form of carbon-fibre canards, rear diffuser and a front splitter. By this point, however, Pat was jonesing for more power. You can never accuse the E46 M3 of being all-show-no-go, particularly when you’ve tweaked the engine as much as he had, but nevertheless he was feeling the withdrawal symptoms.
“I sought out HorsepowerFreaks for its turbo system and ended up with the Stage 2 kit,” Pat nonchalantly recalls. “At that time, the car made around 600whp on methanol and C16 fuel; the feel of the power the turbo produced was almost like night and day – with the supercharger, power was instantaneous, so after a while you sort of get used to the increase and notice it less. With the turbo, it’s always a rush when you go wide-open-throttle and the turbo spools up!” It was at this point in the car’s evolution that Pat threw in a roll-cage and a buckets-andharnesses combo, dove headfirst into the show scene and… well, decided that he wanted to change it all again. Bit of a recurring theme, that, isn’t it?
“HPF came out with some revisions to its turbo systems and I seized the opportunity by sending my car to it again, having it build the motor and upgrade the turbo to a P6766 with open wastegate. It made serious power after that! Around 560whp on 91 octane, 620whp on 110+ octane, 690whp on 91+ methanol, and 730whp on 110+ methanol. The thirst for power was real, and with the new-found increases, the clutch was upgraded to Clutchmasters’ bronze twin-plate race unit, the axles were upgraded, as was the bracing. With the motor and drivetrain addressed, I then came across a deal for a Flossman GTR wide-body that I couldn’t pass up…”
Never one to keep things mainstream, even the modifications get modified, and upon receiving the Flossman kit he set about shaving, smoothing, venting, and widening the arches even further. With it all neatly fitted to the M3, thoughts turned to colours. “I love white, but I wanted to go brighter,” Pat recalls, “so the new paint is actually a Lexus LFA shade, white Nova Pearl; a very bright white with a very subtle pearl.”
This was the time at which the colossal rear wing arrived, Pat taking inspiration from Japanese tuner BenSopra and having custom brackets crafted to mount to the chassis but look as if they’re merely perching on the bumper. The Work rims were thrown into the mix, as was a complex AirREX digitally controlled airbag suspension setup – something that has caused almost as much consternation among the shouting online masses as that wing (oh, and don’t even get the internet started on the perceived weight penalties of all of that audio in a road-racer).
“The current state of the car is an absolute love it or absolute hate it,” Pat admits. “I’ve received many compliments as well as many criticisms. A lot of the hate comes from the internet, when a picture of the car has been posted – many have said it’s overdone, the wing’s too big, it’s ugly, it’s a waste, and have even gone as far as to throw insults at me. They try to dictate how a car should be built, and how mine is how it shouldn’t be done.”
But he’s smiling as he says this. The flipside is that for every hater, there’s a raft of fans congratulating him for his out-the-box thinking and flawless execution. “What seems to particularly impress people is the power it makes,” he says. “Many people see it as all show and no go, but little do they know what’s under the hood! The changes in their facial expression when they hear the turbo spooling or the sound of the wastegate is priceless. And overall the reactions are different in the real world – there’s more negativity online, more positivity in person.”
Of course, these are just other people’s opinions; it’s nice to have the admiration and respect of your peers in the scene, but Pat has always built his car the way he wants it to be. With its mix of big horsepower, unique looks, form-and-function interior and shouty audio, as well as that killer combo of Works and air-ride, this M3 is a true international polymath. German heart, American soul, and enough wasabi to make your eyes water.
HPF-built engine boasts an insane amount of work, as you can see below, and can make 730whp on the right fuel.
DATA FILE #BMW-M3-E46 #S54
ENGINE: HorsepowerFreaks-built 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 , #HPF stage 2.5 turbo system, Precision T6766 billet wheel turbo, ARP L19 head studs, HPF third-gen forged pistons with heavy duty wrist pins, HPF connecting rods, HPF torque-plated head, ported and polished head, HPF diamond-cut cylinder walls, HKS twin SSQ blowoff valves, HKS purple BOV insert, Tial MVR wastegate, HPF ceramic coated turbo manifold, HPF 4” thick x 24” wide polished front-mount intercooler with polished intercooler piping, HPF 3x3 silicon couplers with T-bolt clamps, HPF polished intake manifold, HPF Stage 4 carbon-fibre intake, HPF methanol tank, FJO methanol fogger and pump, HPF stainless methanol line fittings, Stage 2 methanol solenoid and harness, HPF Stage 3 fuel system, Walbro fuel pump, HPF fuel filter, HPF RC 1100cc high-impedance injectors, Denso Iridium spark plugs, HPF remote oil pump, HPF stainless high temp oil feed and return lines, HPF Stage 3 downpipe, HPF open wastegate dump tube, HPF engine management system and wiring harness, HPF factory DME connector, HPF large core oil cooler, HPF performance fan clutch, AEM 3.5bar map sensor, HPF engine mounts, JIC Cross stainless steel Section 2 exhaust piping, Agency Power rear silencer with 80mm titanium tips, Rogue Engineering brushed aluminium oil cap, VRS two-tone carbon-fibre engine cover, carbon-fibre DME cover and ballast cover, Bimmian chrome oil cap.
TRANSMISSION: Clutch Masters FX850 Bronze twinplate clutch/flywheel, Autosolutions short-shift kit (40% reduction), DSS Stage 5 axles.
CHASSIS: 9.5x20” (front) and 12.5x20” (rear) Work VS-XX wheels with charcoal faces and hairline brushed finish barrels with 255/30 (front) and 305/25 (rear) Toyo Proxes T1S tyres. Renn Spec stud conversion, 326Power extended wheel nuts, AirREX performance airbag suspension with digital controlled air compressor, threegallon air tank, custom boot enclosure mount for compressor and tank and electronic solenoids, Dixis titanium front strut brace, Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars, Radenergie carbon-fibre adjustable rear control arms, HPF eight-point chassis brace, Turner polyurethane front and rear control arm bushings, Brembo GT eight-piston front calipers, Brembo GT two-piece 380mm cross-drilled front discs, custom brushed aluminium rotor hats with custom engraving, Brembo GT four-piston rear calipers, Brembo GT 345mm cross-drilled rear discs, custom brake caliper brackets by Oink Fabrications, brake calipers painted green, stainless steel braided lines.
EXTERIOR: Lexus LFA white Nova Pearl paint, Flossman GTR wide-body kit (including front bumper, front wings with shaved vents, side skirts, rear wings extended 1”, rear bumper), custom front and rear wing vent slits, VRS carbon-fibre moulded rear diffuser, custom-moulded Hamann brake duct covers, Seibon carbon-fibre GTR bonnet, Voltex Type-V 1600mm carbon-fibre GT Wing with custom aluminium wing risers (chassis-mounted), Voltex carbon-fibre front canards, custom front chassis-mounted race splitter, Varis three-piece carbon-fibre race diffuser, shaved side mouldings and side markers, Aerocatch bonnet locks, #DEPO smoked corner lenses, ACS roof spoiler, matt black side wing grilles, matt black front kidney grilles, carbon-fibre front grilles.
INTERIOR: #Recaro ASM RS-G Ruby Edition bucket seats, Recaro JDM mounting hardware, Takata MPH-340 harnesses and gel foam pads, Key’s Racing Deep Corn steering wheel, #MOMO steering wheel adapter hub, 9K Racing black anodised quick-release hub, custom black suede headlining and pillar covers with red stitching, custom four-point roll-cage (powdercoated white) with removable harness bar, carbon-fibre ashtray and console overlays, OEM Euro centre tray, Hamann aluminium gear shifter, LeatherZ Imola red/black stitch gaiters, Bimmian brushed aluminium handbrake handle, Bimmian brushed aluminium pedals, Defi BF Series oil pressure gauge, Defi control module, AEM Digital AFR gauge, AEM Digital boost gauge, HPF steering column gauge pod, HPF knock siren, HPF race mode switch with key and LED indicator, HPF methanol activation switch, polished fire extinguisher.
AUDIO: #Memphis-Audio M-class 6.5” front speakers, 6.5” rear speakers, tweeters, 12” subwoofers, amplifiers, 1 Farad capacitor and wiring; custom fibreglass Autofashion sub box, custom plexiglass amp enclosure, subwoofer and amp enclosure wrapped in Imola red leather, blue LED boot lights, custom fibreglass bootlid enclosure wrapped in Imola red leather, 15” flat panel monitor, McIntosh power meter, 3M Dinoc vinyl trim.
THANKS: My mum, dad, brother Allan, girlfriend Jade, Mike Ma at M2-Motoring, Freddy and Elroy at AutoFashionUSA, Lalo at Dripset, Rob at Oink Fabrications, Marshall at AirREX, Stan at Toyo Tires, Logan at Work Wheels USA, Tommy at GoTuningUnlimited, Hung at Lumion HID and to Team Legacy for all the support.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.