- Post is under moderationROTOR PERDITION
There must be something in the water Down Under judging by this amazing turbo rotary-swapped E30. A lifetime of E30 obsession has led Ehsan Hazrati to build many insane projects. His latest project is stuffed with enough triangles to make Pythagoras weep, yet you’d never guess it from the outside. Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Andrew Parliaros.
Now everybody from the 313, put your motherflippin’ hands up and follow me.” So spat Eminem in 8 Mile (kinda), allowing the previously unremarkable three-digit number a little screen time. Until this point, 313 had merely been a truncatable prime, Donald Duck’s registration number or, of course, the year in which Rome’s Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine was completed. But now, rather splendidly, we have a new function for the number 313. Even more aggressive than a riled-up Eminem, ladies and gentlemen, we present the E30 #BMW 313i.
I know, it doesn’t sound exciting when you put it like that, does it? But all is not as it seems here. True, the E30 harks back to an era when the boot badges did mostly relate to what was under the bonnet (a 318i was a 1.8, a 325i was a 2.5… you get the idea), so are we looking at an obscure variant with a 1.3-litre engine? And why would anyone want that?
Stick with the story, for your perceptions are about to be blown away in the most spectacular way possible. But first, let’s meet the man behind it. “My parents tell me that at the age of five I was drawing the round headlights and kidney grilles of the E30 BMW without really even knowing what it was,” says Ehsan Hazrati, the Sydneysider behind the steering wheel. “As I got older and got my licence, I had E30 after E30. I did all the modifications myself, from servicing to tuning, overhauling to suspension, bushings, sound systems etc. I did extensive research into E30 DTM race car suspension, brakes, and making them handle around corners at high speeds. I spent a lot of hours calculating and testing power-to-weight combinations, high RPM engines, and turbocharging power graph outputs. And a lot of trial-and-error!”
This, it’s pretty safe to say, is a man obsessed. After a long line of retro 3 Series, he finds himself today with three E30s making a nuisance of themselves on his driveway: a 900hp drag car that’s currently under construction; the family daily-driver four-door 316i that just happens to be running a 450hp Corvette LS1 V8; and the cheeky red number that’s splashed across these pages. This, for us, is the pick of the bunch – hence why it’s here – because, well, it’s just insane; not just the quality of finish and attention to detail but the fact that it’s running a Mazda rotary engine.
Aha. That cacophonous clanging is the sound of the penny dropping throughout the Drive-My readership. The 313i badge refers to the 13B rotary engine’s swept volume of 1308cc. Although, being a Wankel unit, you can’t really equate its displacement to that of a piston engine, its twin-654cc chambers aren’t even on nodding terms with a crank and- piston arrangement. But whichever way you cut it, this is a feisty manoeuvre. Ehsan’s opted for the 13B-REW variant, as found in twin-turbo form in the third generation RX-7, and it’s a bit of a cult icon.
It’s a bold play, but Ehsan has form with this sort of caper. His first three E30s may have enjoyed tweaked BMW four- and sixpots, but the fourth ended up with a 13B from a Mazda Cosmo, and it seems that this wacky experiment really flicked his switch, and he stuck with the formula. That part-built drag car we mentioned? That’s rocking rotors too. This fella just really digs triangles.
“From as long ago as I can remember, all I ever wanted was an old-school BMW,” he assures us. “I live by ‘classic not plastic’ and ‘built not bought’. The BMWs of this era represented great European design and true workmanship, and the last perfect lightweight rear-wheel drive chassis compared to the competitors – the KE Corolla, Mercedes 230E, Mazda RX-7 and so on – from that time.” You’ll note that he’s slipped a Mazda reference in there, though. Clearly a fusion was always on the cards – a greatest hits of the period, if you like. Well, it’s all subjective isn’t it?
“Yeah, I’ve always had a passion for E30s as well as for the lightweight, high-RPM feel of a turbo rotary engine,” Ehsan admits. “I had a picture in my head of what I wanted it to look and feel like; people from the E30 scene tend either to have a really clean slow-and-standard car or a roughened-up fast one. I wanted to build an all-rounder – a show-stopper that drops jaws but that could also be used as a street-legal weapon. Something I can take to the drag strip, run consistent ten-second passes on street tyres, then drive home and the next day go on an E30 club cruise to the beach, have it on display at a car show, and win trophies. This build was my total package.”
Blimey. Talk about your stereotypical Aussie confidence! There’s not a single element of that paragraph that isn’t writing a massive cheque, but thankfully Ehsan’s the sort of dude with the skills to cash it. And so it began. A project base was sourced from a guy who’d had the car slumbering in the shadows of his garage for around six years – all immaculate and original, and you’ll no doubt be impressed to learn that it’s still wearing its original factory Brilliantrot paint. The seller refused to let the car go before Ehsan promised to give the car a new lease of life, a good home and, most of all, not to crash it – after all, he’d owned it from new. Imagine what he must be thinking when he sees this feature! Good vibes, we hope.
Ehsan took it home, and immediately installed it in his garage for another dusty year-long slumber. You don’t want to rush these things, do you? Although he wasn’t dragging his heels by any means – our effervescent protagonist had been to see his friendly local engine builder.
“I did everything else on this car myself, but it was George and Rocky at PAC Performance Racing who built and ported the engine, and dyno tuned the car,” Ehsan explains. The motor is bridge-ported, and porting rotaries is something of a black art: a great way to get more power out of them is to effectively smash some holes into the intake side, although the more extreme the ports are, the more lairy and tricky the motor becomes.
Bridge-porting basically involves opening out the standard ports, then adding an additional eyebrow port above – it all gets a bit techy, but the short version is you get an amusing lumpy idle, oodles more power, and a hell of a lot of noise. Which is all good fun. “At the time of getting the engine built I was looking for around 400hp,” says Ehsan.
“It currently makes around 550rwhp at 7000rpm on 22psi, which is approximately 620hp at the engine… in a car weighing only 992kg! It’s safe-tuned at 22psi, although the engine is built for 35psi+, so there’s plenty more to come.”
The results really do speak for themselves, too. “It performed far better than expected,” Ehsan grins. “But the power band was so high, I went through axles like underwear. Obviously the factory axle broke but then it ate through a brand-new OEM 325i setup, Z3 M Coupé items, hybrid E30/E28 M5 units… then, after the Garrett GTX4088R turbo upgrade, it even chewed through custom 108mm 500hp Porsche billet axles!” The build is undoubtedly a bit of a monster, echoing those early years of trial-and-error to get it all running right, but you can see from the muscular spec box that Ehsan’s really pulled it all together neatly. And, of course, as the man himself was eager to tell us, this E30 is as much about show as go…
A very important marker for this build was to make it something of a sleeper – not totally stealthy but certainly not showing its hand too early. That mint-condition, 25-yearold paint certainly helps here, and Ehsan has had all manner of chuckles taking on Skyline GT-Rs and a kaleidoscope of Porsches who never saw it coming and didn’t see where it went. “There’s no modern paint colours here, no fibreglass body kits, no big wings screwed to the boot,” he says, with no small amount of satisfaction. “I kept it all factory – the only thing I added was a new OEM iS front apron lip, and M-Tech 1 boot spoiler. All genuine add-ons from the ’80s era!”
The wheels are an interesting choice too and no doubt gave some of you wheel nuts pause for though. They’re actually the third set of rims that the car’s enjoyed since completion; it started off on satin black Watanabes before moving onto BBS LMs with polished lips, but I think we can all agree that the 16” mesh wheels give it an appropriately period look that’s in keeping with that quasi-sleeper vibe.
This keenness for stealth carries over to the interior, too. “One of my rules is that there should be no extra gauges on top of the dash,” Ehsan asserts. “That would give the game away immediately. I replaced the trip computer with an eBoost2 gauge, and also utilised the E30 Alpina air vent digital dash idea, with an analogue boost gauge.” Stealth, as ever, is the watchword.
This is, by all measures, a phenomenal build – without a hint of hyperbole, one of the finest E30s to grace these pages in some time. And with that colossally powerful engine and pristine period exterior, what do you reckon is Ehsan’s favourite element of the project?
“Oh, it has to be my rear diff brace,” he grins. “I designed and patented it myself on a CAD programme, checking the stress tolerance points for maximum strength and so on, and it truly is a work of art. People at car shows see that and know this car means serious business; it’s not just a pretty show pony. That brace is what’s needed to consistently put six hundred horses to the ground on both street and track.” It’s impressive, but unsurprising, that his top pick would be a thing of pure function.
Ehsan’s proud to describe how the initial build of the whole car took just three months, but it was then a further 18 months of tweaking suspension heights, spring rates, diff ratios, tyre diameters, ET formula calculations, and axle and tailshaft options before it was all truly fit to get that phenomenal power down.
“What it is, basically, is a brand-new race engine in a retro shell,” he says, in a charming display of matter-of-factness. “People’s reactions at shows have been amazing – the looks on their faces when they found out what’s in there, and that it’s all street-legal. And next year – that’s when I’m going to be chasing to beat my personal best drag time. It ran a 10.86 at 120mph on the old turbo with 385rwhp on 225/50 street tyres. With the new GTX4088R and 550rwhp on 225/40 semislicks, I reckon it could run a 9.9.”
All very ambitious but you get the feeling that he’s got all of this precisely calculated. There’s no margin for error here, and that’s what the number 313 should henceforth represent. Forthrightness. Function.
Desirability. A new number-of-the-beast for the 21st century. And when you see those digits on the tail end of a shiny red E30, you’d better not dismiss it as a lesserengined also-ran – there’s hidden mischief here, and its furious anger makes Eminem look like a primary school teacher. Everybody from the 313, put your rotorflippin’ shafts up…
“I wanted to build an all-rounder – a show-stopper that drops jaws but that could also be used as a street-legal weapon”
Bridge-ported 13B rotary sports a massive #Garrett-GTX4088R turbo and makes 550rwhp.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-313i-E30 / #BMW-313i-Rotary-E30 / #BMW-313i / #BMW-E30 / #BMW /
ENGINE #13B-REW 2x654cc #Mazda-RX-7 / Mazda rotary, bridge-ported to PAC Racing specs, race doweled and balanced rotors, #PAC-Racing unbreakable apex/corner seals, #Power-Ported intake and ports, custom PAC Racing 13B turbo exhaust manifold, #Garrett GTX4088R turbo, Turbosmart 50mm ProGate wastegate, #Turbosmart 34mm dual port blow-off valve, #Turbosmart fuel pressure regulator, 3.5” dump pipe with full 3” exhaust and Rotaflow silencers, #Haltech PS2000 ECU and Haltech boost controller solenoid, custom fabricated engine mounts, custom dual-core PWR intercooler, PWR oil cooler, #PWR dual-core radiator, custom alloy radiator shroud and high #CFM-Engineering output 16” Spal fan, dual #Bosch-044 fuel pump, three litre surge tank and #Walbro primer pump, quad #Haltech LS1 ignition coils. 620hp at flywheel (542rwhp) at 22psi safe tune; engine built for 35psi+.
TRANSMISSION R154 Supra Turbo five-speed gearbox with aftermarket strengthened billet gearset and synchros, custom gearbox mounts, custom PAC billet bellhousing adapter, PAC RBR550 heavy-duty clutch and pressure plate, billet lightened flywheel, billet short-shifter with E30 DTM white Delrin nylon gear knob, custom Mark Williams 3” wall chromoly tailshaft with 1350-series Strange uni-joints.
CHASSIS 9x16” #BBS mesh wheels with 215/45 (front) and 255/45 (rear) #Kumho Ecsta tyres, custom 1000hp halfshaft axles with 120mm chromoly treated CVs and bearing cages, reinforced rear #BMW subframe and trailing arms, custom fabricated rear diff brace mount, E28 M5 diff with #Alpina finned diff cover, cryogenically strengthened and shot-peened crown and pinon, #OS-Giken Superlock shimmed 28-plate tightened LSD centre (85% lock), #AKG solid 75D subframe, trailing arms, control arm and diff mount bushing kit, Ireland Engineering heavy duty front and rear racing anti-roll bar kit with adjustable rose-joint links, custom 315mm front and rear brake kit with ADR/CAMS approved braided line throughout, OEM E32 740i brake master cylinder, modified #Z3M power steering rack with 2.7 lock-to-lock, solid billet alloy steering shaft coupler, 5/8” Mark Williams drag racing rear wheel studs, custom #Bilstein front coilovers and solid camber plates, heavy-duty rear Beehive King Springs, welded AKG anticamber squatting plates in rear trailing arms, Sparco 1.5” front and rear strut braces, Ultra Racing four-point lower crossmember reinforcement bar.
EXTERIOR 1990 325i two-door shell, original 25-year-old Brilliantrot paint, 318is lip spoiler, M Tech 1 boot spoiler, rolled and flared arches.
INTERIOR #MOMO Prototipo 350mm Retrotech steering wheel, E30 M3 black leather seats, #Sparco PRO2000 fixed driver’s seat, #Sparco fixed race seat rails, Sparco six-point 3” harness, #Autometer #Ultra-Light gauges, Turbosmart eBoost2 with 3x boost pre-set stages (street, track, drag racing), E46 M3 pedals, all sound/cavity deadening and heat shield removed, drilled-out circular holes behind doorcards, parcel tray, behind back seat and sunroof for weight reduction – total car weight 992kg.
THANKS George and Rocky at #PAC-Performance-Racing , Leon Sokalski at Performance Metalcraft, Mark Callinan at British European Motor Works, and my family and girlfriend for picking me up when I broke the CV axles on the street.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- 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.
Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationJAILBIRD #1981 #Holden-Commodore-VC / #Holden-Commodore / #Holden
It’s true. This kind of perfection shouldn’t be legal.
You might say some cars are asking for it. Well, this VC has been on the local constabulary’s radar for almost a decade now. Queensland’s fi nest haven’t exactly taken a liking to it in the past, but with the car’s latest build that has all changed. It’s not only more powerful overall, but now moderately legal, too.
Truck driver Lee Jenkinson (36) grabbed the VC in 1998 and wrapped up the most recent build late last year. You’ll notice that a lot remains the same, but in the engine bay and under the car are a range of new toys that would bring a smile to any fan’s face. The turbo LS package is good for 580whp (E85) and nines in street trim, and that, my friends, is very, very quick.
Says Lee, “After my photoshoot eight years ago my car has undergone a big transformation. I went for a drive in my mate’s VK (OVK253), a 1000hp street-driven VK, and I had to have this set-up with an LS turbo.
“First the car went to Silky Fab to be full tubbed, with a shortened and braced 9in, 31-spline axles and Strange centre with the 19x13in Simmons. A new moly tailshaft was built to handle 1500hp. I was sick of the rebuilding the old Trimatic, so an unbreakable Turbo 400 was built by Geartorque to handle 2000hp. Hopefully there are no more box dramas.
“The engine is a stock Holden LS2 with rod bolts studs head gaskets and a small custom grind Comp Cam. It’s run 9.9@120mph at Willowbank rolling 100m due to the wrong diff gear choice. New diff gears should see early nines, maybe with more boost. The car has been tuned by Ben Hunt at Rotary Motorsport. Yes, a rotary tuner, but he’s one of the best tuners in the business. The car is now a pleasure to drive.”
At the moment the car only revs to 6000rpm, which is nice and safe t s, head studs, big just the way Lee wants it. Built by Jason at CPE Engines, it’s a dream. The 4.5in exhaust now splits to dual 3in with shotguns out the rear. You’d think it would blow eardrums out, but it’s very quiet and manageable. “I can actually take my wife out on cruises now,” laughs Lee. The paint and interior remain the same.
One thing that always grabs attention are those wheels. Everyone loves a true beaut set of Simmons, and these ones are top of the pile. The rears are 19x13in Simmons FR19 that leave little room in the full tubs. Rubber to squeeze onto them doesn’t come cheap, as you would imagine, but that doesn’t mean Lee is about to go light o g g n the throttle either.
In all, it’s come together a treat. “I’m so happy with how my car is under the bonnet now. It’s quiet and best of all I get no attention from the QPS. That said, one QPS did say “beautiful car, but the rear wheels may be too wide.” Hmm, you don’t say…
Thanks: “Ben Hunt at Rotary Motorsport (3205 1133), Silky at Silky Fab (0490 238 209), Jason at CP Engines (0434 079 884), Fez for the trick paint, Kent and Dallas for helping along the way, boys from HiTorque, and a big thanks to my wife Sam for letting me spend all our cash on my pride and job again.”
TECH DATA NITTY-GRITTY
ENGINE: #6L-LS2 eight-cylinder.
PERFORMANCE: 580whp (E85), 9.9 @ 120mph.
ENGINE HARDWARE: Four-bolt mains, #ARP mains stud kit, Comp Cam custom turbo grind camshaft, #Haltech PS2000 engine management system, CNC Billet Inc manifold, eight 2000cc injectors, #Garrett-GTX47 at 9psi, single 4.5in exhaust system split at the diff into twin 3in, Monster head gaskets, #Plazmaman intercooler, #PWR radiator, custom intake and piping.
DRIVETRAIN: Turbo 400 three-speed, The Convertor Shop 3200rpm stall convertor, manualised valvebody, full race box, full Strange moly one-piece driveshaft, braced 9in, 31-spline Strange centre (3.25), full spool.
SUSPENSION: Pedders coil-overs and swaybar front, QA1 coil-overs rear with Pedders swaybar, factory SL/E brakes.
WHEELS/TYRES: 19x8in front and 19x13in rear #Simmons-FR19 wheels, 245/30 front and 325/25 rear Nitto Invo semi-slicks.
BODYWORK: Glasurit custom mix in two-pack.
INTERIOR: Haltech dash, Auto Meter tacho, oil, water and boost gauges, TRS harness, wooden steering wheel, custom console, ratchet shifter.
You’d think it would blow eardrums out, but it’s very quiet and manageable. “I can actually take my wife out on cruises now ”
“I went for a drive in my mate’s 1000hp street-driven VK, and I had to have this set-up with an LS turbo”
Red-on-red is always great in a VC oldschooler like this, but there’s nothing oldschool now about what’s under the hood.
The Glasurit custom mix remains and still sizzles eyeballs in the sun. How’s this for a fun box?Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationGREAT GIANT TUNING ROAD TEST FERRARI TESTAROSSA TWIN-TURBO #1995
Twin Turbo. A thousand prancing horses by #John-Matras and photography by author. Forget the hoary cliché about the writers spine being pressed into the seat back. My backside was scooting upward, sliding on the leather, vectored toward the roof by the seemingly bottomless acceleration of the twin-turbo Ferrari Testarossa as it ventured well into triple-digit speeds.
This may not be the fastest street-legal piece of automotive hardware in the world, but it’s in a very' exclusive club.
Not that the standard #Ferrari-Testarossa was a slouch. Its five liters produce some 380 bhp, good enough for a sub-14-sec quarter mile and a top speed of about 180. But the standard #Testarossa is naturally aspirated, and this one has not one but two turbochargers. The boost isn’t some namby-pamby 10 or even 15 psi, but rather 23 psi, and horsepower, by the claim of the cars maker, is around a thousand. That’s 1,000. A one with three zeros. And there's more available, says maker Joe Pirrone, if you want to go with more boost.
Pirrone, owner of #Berlinetta-Motorcars , a restoration shop and #Ferrari modification specialist in Huntington Station. New York, constructed the car for fellow Long Island resident and car enthusiast (absolutely) Ralph Fasano of Lattingtown. And though the 1000 bhp engine is surely the showcase of what was originally a 1986 Swiss-market car, it has been transformed into an awe-inspiring street vehicle and a track car that knows few peers.
To anyone with even a casual acquaintance with Ferraris, this is no ordinary Modena model. The bodywork has been replaced with an almost complete Koenig body kit, including the front bumper/spoiler, headlamps (replacing the standard pop-up units), front and rear fenders and side valance, as well as the scoop added to the C-pillar and the rear deck extension. About the only thing left off was the big rear wing, which was simply too much, and a lower rear valance panel, which simply wasn’t needed. And the controversial standard side strakes were omitted. While the wide-body panels are anything but pure Ferrari, Joe contends that even Ferrari purists give the car’s appearance a thumbs-up.
The wider fenders are for more than looks. While the Testarossa originally came with Michelin TRX 240/45VR-415 rubber front and 280/45VR-415 rear, the conversion weighs in with Dunlop SP Sport radials, size 245/40ZR17 front and 335/35ZR17 rear, enough to fill the fiberglass and still have enough surface area left over to apply for statehood. The wheels, by #HRE , are three-piece modular, 9.0 in. wide up front and 13.0 in. at the rear. Because the early Testarossas came with splined knockoff-style wheels, Berlinetta machined the backs of the wheels to fit the original splined hubs.
To keep all that rubber in line, the rubber suspension bushings have been replaced with spherical Heim joints, which also makes the suspension fully adjustable. Pirrone installed stiffer springs, and double adjustable (jounce and rebound) remote-reservoir Fox racing shocks are used all around, with double shocks per side at the rear. Front and rear anti-roll bars arc adjustable, the bias changeable from the cockpit.
In anticipation of its use, #Doug-Pirrone installed the huge discs from the Ferrari 512 BBLM, ducting air from openings in the front spoiler to the center of the discs. The cooling air is directed into the ventilated disc itself, exiting through the vanes at the perimeter of the disc. For additional effectiveness, water can be sprayed into the duct inlet, the point being not for water spray to touch the disc-which could cause damage-but for the vaporization to cool the incoming air. (Remember heat of vaporization from chemistry class?) The system is controlled by a master switch on the dash and when on uses the brake light switch to activate the system. Brake bias is adjustable from under the hood.
Inside the cockpit, a roll hoop behind the seats is braced to the rear, and five- point Simpson racing belts are installed, but other signs that this is a special Testarossa are limited. The stock instrument panel and dash are retained, and you still have to be a limbo artist to get in, but only the turbocharger boost and fuel pressure gauges, an LED readout for rich/lean fuel mixture, and the nozzle and safety- capped button for the on board fire extinguisher system hint at other than standard equipment.
There's a small crackle-painted black box behind the passenger seat, however, that orchestrates the violence of the V12 just the other side of the firewall: twelve pistons, four cams, 48 valves and two turbos’ worth of activity that, when provoked, leaves little doubt that this Testarossa is special in the absolute sense of the word.
Berlinetta rebuilt the 4942cc V12 utilizing lightweight Carillo connecting rods and oversized wrist pins. The pistons, like those used on the Toyota GTP cars, are from JE and have larger than standard rings to guard against breakage from possible detonation. Instead of the standard aluminium cylinder liners, custom fabricated steel liners are used with stainless steel O-rings for head gasket sealing. To really make sure the heads stay on. cylinder head studs of AerMet 100, a special steel alloy used for, among other things. Naval aircraft tailhooks, were used. Spray oiling, via nozzles tapped into oil galleries, cool piston bottoms. A carbon-kevlar clutch was installed, and the transaxle was fortified with a stronger fifth gear set and strengthened input and intermediate shafts.
Ail this was just preparation for the two Garrett turbochargers, sized for peak power between 5000 and 8500 rpm, mounted under the heat shields over the tail of the transaxle. The turbos are fed intake air from the NACA scoops on the TWIN TURBO rear fenders; the intercoolers, pressed against the grille work between the tail- lights, get their cool air from the side scoops, air that in a standard Testarossa cools the rear brakes. Brake cooling air now comes from the C-pillar scoops. The side scoops are shared between the engine radiators and the intercoolers.
From the intercoolers, fabricated tubing-a crisscross section delightfully glistening in silver crackle-leads to a fabricated airbox. The original Bosch K- Jetronic CIS fuel injection was replaced by a Haltech electronic injection system, the intake manifold machined for the new injectors and set up to take the throttle position sensor. The injection is controlled by that black box in the cockpit, which contains a programmable computer that also controls the twin-coil ignition.
Two heated oxygen sensors are installed in the exhaust system, one feeding the computer terminal, the other used for the LED monitor on the dash. The computer-connected sensor will eventually be used to emission-tune the engine on the fly, although it is now used in “open loop” mode only so that it doesn't affect the programmed mixture. A laptop computer plugs into the onboard unit to monitor operation or alter the program. We’ve come a long way from tuning by car and the colour inside the tailpipe.
Twin storm-sewer-size tailpipes service the off end of the turbos. Initially twin resonators were positioned after the turbochargers but had the unfortunate effect of making the Ferrari whisper-quiet. Off they came. It now sounds like a Ferrari V12. The turbine blades puree the exhaust note into a street manageable level but hardly emasculates the tenor wail of twelve cylinders in concert. The Twin Turbo Testarossa remains as manageable around town and on the freeway as the family minivan-at least any minivan with a gated five-speed floor shifter-and the most difficult chore is negotiating the Ferrari’s proboscis in and out of driveways. We all should have such problems.
A Testarossa attracts attention. Road gangs pause from leaning on their shovels to watch it pass, and the exhaust note causes heads to rise from less important duties. And anything is less important. Inside is no different. The twelve cylinder burbles, warbles, moans and howls. Goosebumps! Then layer in the pop-off valves and their mighty expirations at every shift at speed. It lives.
Dust off the clichés, round up the superlatives, put a spit shine on your astonishment. Mashing the throttle puts the rest of the world in freeze frame: Other cars can move laterally, but you control the advance and rewind button with the gas and brake pedals. The brakes are instant slo-mo. There’s more power here than holding the remote for the VCR.
But does it really make one thousand horsepower? It hasn’t been dyno’ed, but Pirrone figures it this way; If it makes 380 bhp naturally aspirated-effectively at a pound or two vacuum-then at one bar, or 15 psi, it should make twice that, the engine as a pump processing twice the air and fuel. Add another half bar, for a total of 23 psi or so, and add another 190 bhp, for a total of 960 bhp. Figuring that the engine is built to handle 30 psi boost, 1000 hp is not out of reason. At least if you accept the premise.
But does doubling the pressure then double the flow which then doubles horsepower? I don’t know and I can’t tell you. My seat of the pants dynamometer, remember, was lifted off the seat.
Nothing is ever done alone. Doug Pirrone credits the following Berlinetta Motorcars personnel: Lee Stayton, design and fabrication engineering, mechanical assembly.
Nino Volpe, all in-house machining. Ruben Rodriguez, sheetmetal design and fabrication, welding, fiberglass.
Guy Dalton (Zul Broaching), specialty machining, engine and materials consultant.
Berlinetta Motorcars Ltd.
138 Railroad St.
Huntington Station, NY 11746 (516) 423-1010
TECH DATA 1995 #Ferrari-Testarossa-Berlinetta-Motorcars
Vehicle type: mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-passenger, 2-door coupe.
Price as tested: $275,000 (estimated 1995 new).
Engine type: twin-turbocharged end intercooled DOHC 48-valve flat 12 #Colombo aluminium block and heads, #Haltech engine-control system with port fuel injection.
Displacement 302 cu in. 4943cc
Power (C/D estimate) 960-1000 bhp @ 6500 rpm
Torque (C/D estimate) 800 Ib ft @ 4200 rpm
Transmission 5-speed manual
Wheelbase 100.4 in
Length 176.6 in
Curb weight 3781 lb
Zero to 60 mph 3.0 sec
Zero to 100 mph 7.3 sec
Zero to 130 mph 11.1 sec
Street start. 6 to 60 mph 4.1 sec
Standing ¼ -mile 10.3 sec @ 135mph
Top speed (C/D estimate) 250mph
Braking, 70-0 mph 184 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad 0.88 g
C/D observed fuel economy 11MPG
Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.