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    DOUBLE 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

    POWER 715hp

    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 removed
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    TRUE INDIVIDUAL

    The E36 M3 GT Imola Individual is a rare beast and modified examples, like this slick machine, are rarer still. The E36 is fast becoming the appreciating #BMW classic of the moment, and you’ll struggle to find one finer than Mikey Townsend’s M3 GT Imola Individual. Words: Ben Koflach. Photos: Scott Paterson.

    Things at the upper end of the E36 market have seen a sea of change in the last few years. After some time spent as perhaps the least desirable models of the 3 Series range, they’re now on the up in terms of resale values – for a good one at least. And the most desirable of all the models? The ultra-rare M3 Evolution Imola Individual.

    With just 50 examples produced for the UK (and only a further 200 for the entirety of mainland Europe), the M3 GT II, often labelled the GT2, was a final hurrah for the E36. It built on the legend that had been forged with the M3 GT. However, rather than being based on the 3.0-litre M3 and being coloured British Racing green, the GT II used the 3.2-litre six-speed M3 Evo as a base and came in stunning Imola red.

    M3 GT Class II front corner splitters and a rear wing to match, an interior combination of Imola red Nappa leather and anthracite Alcantara and plenty of the usual options boxes ticked as standard made the GT II special. Mikey Townsend was lucky enough to pick this one up at the beginning of last year and proceeded to put his own stamp on the ultra-rare M3.

    Mikey’s far from a stranger to BMWs. As an ex-paratrooper stationed in Germany for a number of years he was lucky enough to have an E30 M3 as his first one, bought for just DM6500 – less than £3000. “If only I knew what I had back then!” laughed the 32-year-old. “I’d have put it away in storage instead of driving it like a loon everywhere.” Sure enough, by the age of 18 Mikey was an ex-E30 M3 owner, having written it off, but he was hooked on BMWs from then on. An E46 M3 followed later, with an E36 M3 Coupé and a Convertible spliced with countless non-M Three and Five series models – you name it, Mikey’s probably had one. However, his latest purchase is the most special of them all.

    “My brother has an M3 GT II, number 16, which he got in 2007, and I’ve wanted one ever since he got it,” Mikey told us. “It was inevitable that I would end up with one, it was just a matter of when. Then this one popped up and was only half-an-hour from me, so I had to take a look.”

    What Mikey had before him was M3 GT Imola Individual, number 48 of 50. It was an immaculate, carefully restored piece of Bavarian history which had been given a select range of modifications to boot including KW V3 coilovers and a number of small touches. Along with those it came with all of the original parts so that it could be restored to its rare original guise if required.

    “I’ve been choosy as to what I do with it,” Mikey explained. “That’s why I’ve only really gone for Schnitzer styling and the best replacement parts available. Everything I’ve done is totally reversible as I’ve got all of the original parts in the garage. Everyone says: ‘you can’t modify it, it’s too rare!’ Well, tell me it doesn’t look good!”

    When he bought the car it was sitting on three-piece Hartge wheels. These were not purchased as part of the deal and so the first thing Mikey did was get the standard wheels refurbished to a better-than-new condition before bolting them up to the car and rolling it home. Once the wheels were on and shod in brand-new Michelins, Mikey got the car home and didn’t hang about with his plans to get it looking the way he wanted.

    “The body had already been recently resprayed and fully rust treated and Waxoyl’d underneath, so everything I got for it had to be mint. This meant new or completely refurbished parts throughout,” Mikey explained. His private plate was purchased and transferred onto the M3, while a Storm Motorwerks weighted gear knob was fitted alongside the previous owner’s addition of Amaretta Anthracite Alcantara gaiters.

    Another upgrade for the interior was a selection of genuine BMW Motorsport International door sill trims and a matching carbon fibre glovebox trim. The badge on the back of the rear wing was also swapped for one that Mikey had made by Taylor Made Decals, denoting the car’s 48/50 production number.

    Mikey’s next trip out in the car was to go and get a special little something for under the bonnet, as he explains: “I took her for a blast over to Luton to see Bilal and Imran at Evolve. I had been speaking to Bilal for a while about an Eventuri intake for the E36 but he said that there hadn’t been enough interest in them to warrant producing them.

    However, he said to bring the car down for them to have a look at anyway. No sooner had I got there and spoken to Bilal was the car in the workshop, with the old air box being stripped off and measurements being taken for a custom kit. Dyno runs were done before and after, both with standard mapping. It was hitting 306/307hp as standard but with the Eventuri it was hitting at least 315hp on each run with much stronger and consistent torque gains!

    Gaining an extra 10hp from the kit was really surprising and the sound it makes is awesome, especially on wide open throttle.”

    A neat touch is that Eventuris all feature a serial number, and Mikey managed to bag number 48 to match his car. It a little plaque on the carbon heat sheild and is just one example of the painstaking detail he goes to in his pursuit of perfection.

    Mikey’s next addition to the car was, again, to the engine bay in the form of a genuine AC Schnitzer carbon fibre strut brace. However, the carbon’s clear coat had aged badly and gone slightly yellow in places. Of course, that wasn’t good enough for Mikey’s GT II and so it was sent off to be carefully re-lacquered, with the engine cover being colour-coded at the same time – a neat touch.

    With the M3 looking and feeling better than ever, all that was left was for Mikey to put a couple more of his own touches on the exterior. This started with a set of anthracite M3 Contour wheels – mint, of course – and some AC Schnitzer Cup 2 wing mirrors.

    However, the biggest change was yet to come, as Mickey explains: “I stumbled across the current wheels by chance really. I was looking for something else but got chatting to this guy with an Estoril blue E36 M3 Evo. He sent me a few photos of it and said that he had these rims on it but wanted to go back to the originals. These wheels are my favourite. I’ve always loved them and have always said that if I could have any wheels on the E36 it would be them. He was after cash quick so I got them for £1000 with new tyres, too,” Mikey told us. “It was a case of being in the right place at the right time – literally three weeks before Gaydon BMW Festival last year, so it was all good!”

    With the AC Schnitzer theme that Mikey already had running throughout his GT, those final touches were the perfect additions. However, the only worry he now had was that it was all becoming a little too ACS-themed and might detract from just how special the GT is; not the worst problem to have, you might be think, but it was easily solved by simply swapping back to the original M3 mirrors, which has worked a treat.

    The final addition was an AC Schnitzer exhaust – another rare part, which makes the S50 a little more vocal and brings a welcome lift to the rear end. It was bolted up with Hack Engineering billet exhaust hangers, too. No stone has been left unturned with this M3.

    “Because of the size a few people were saying that the wheels would never fit – but that’s the beauty of having the KW V3s: I could get it stanced perfectly! With a few goes it was spot-on, with no rubbing,” concluded Mikey. With a thorough polish up and some fresh AC Schnitzer graphics for them, the wheels were the perfect addition to set the car off.

    Undoubtedly Mikey has more plans for the GT but you can rest assured that each and every addition will be as carefully considered as all of those so far. E36s are on the up, and with something as rare and as special as his GT Imola Individual it would be too easy to damage it with the wrong modifications. Premium parts, great taste and a respect for the rarity have culminated in one very special M3.

    DATA FILE #BMW-E36 / #BMW-M3-GT-Imola-Individual / #BMW-M3-GT-Imola-Individual-E36 / #BMW-M3-E36 / #BMW-M3-GT / #BMW-M3-GT-E36 / #BMW / #AC-Schnitzer / #AC-Schnitzer-Type-1 / #BMW-Motorsport / #BMW-M /

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S50B32 / #BMW-S50 / #S50 / , #Eventuri carbon fibre intake with build number matched to chassis number, #ARP con-rod bolts, colour-coded engine cover, AC Schnitzer exhaust, #Hack-Engineering billet exhaust mounts. Standard six-speed manual gearbox, #Rogue-Engineering gearbox mounts, braided clutch line, standard 3.23 final drive LSD

    CHASSIS 8.5x17” (front) and 10x17” (rear) #AC-Schnitzer-Type-1-Racing three-piece wheels with 215/40 (front) and 245/35 (rear) Hankook V12 tyres, #KW-V3 coilovers, #AC-Schnitzer carbon fibre strut brace. Standard brakes with drilled and grooved discs front and rear, braided brake lines

    EXTERIOR Full respray in original Individual Imola red, Class II front spoiler removed, factory Class II rear spoiler, BMW Motorsport Individual side moulding badges, custom build number plaque

    INTERIOR Individual upholstery (including Imola red door inserts and seat centre sections, Amaretta Anthracite seat bolsters), Amaretta Anthracite-trimmed steering wheel with Imola stitching by Royal Steering wheels, extended Imola leather by Bespoke Leather, Storm Motorwerks gear knob, Storm Motorwerks cigarette lighter blank, AC Schnitzer alloy pedal set, AC Schnitzer door pins, BMW Motorsport International carbon fibre glovebox trim, BMW-Motorsport International door sill trims, Harman Kardon speakers

    THANKS Bilal and Imran at Eventuri, Jim at Vines, Steven at Taylor Made Decals, Ben at Hack Engineering, friends and family
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    SHARK TALE FERROCIOUS M4 F82 Super aggressive 500hp Laguna Seca #BMW-F82 . This aggressive M4 is an apex predator on the streets. How do you turn an F82 M4 into a shark? You paint it blue and make it really, really angry… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Jimmy LoBiondo. #BMW-4-Series

    Laguna Seca is one of those magical places that lifts the spirits of all who experience it, transcending its staid translated name of ‘dry lake’ by virtue of its swooping curves, and motorsport heritage that stretches back to the late 1950s. Even if you’ve never been there, it’s all beautifully mapped in Gran Turismo, so anyone in the world can attempt to master the near-impossible art of taking the perfect line through the fabled Corkscrew (er, provided that they have a PlayStation). It’s little surprise, then, that BMW saw fit to name one of its most lurid and boisterous paint shades after the place.

    “My M4 was painted Laguna Seca blue by the factory as part of its Individual programme,” explains Bill Jordan, the owner of the aggressive masterpiece you see displayed before you. “Here in the US, the custom colour choices are $5000 options, but I think it really makes the car stand out. This was an original colour offered on the E46 M3, so it acts as a sort of tribute to that generation of M cars – to my knowledge, there are only a couple of F82 M4s and F80 M3s in this colour in the US.”

    Bill’s knowledge is something to be revered too, as he’s so deep in the BMW scene it’d be hard to hoist him out without some manner of industrial winch. As his 65,000+ followers on Instagram will attest, here’s a man who knows whereof he speaks (find him at @william_jordan10 and see for yourself), and he’s got a solid collection of motors in his personal fleet to bolster his credentials: an Alpina B6, a pair of E92 M3s (one in Fire orange, another a 1-in-20 Frozen Black Edition, you may remember those from a recent #Drive-My feature), and a variety of non- BMW fare as well. There’s a Ferrari 458 Spider on the drive, a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, a Maserati GranCabrio, various Mercs… it’s safe to say that Bill’s got horsepower fever.

    Far from seeking a cure for such a harrowing malady, however, Bill’s revelling in it with his new M4. This is due in large part to having shipped it, all shiny and fresh, to the eager hands and fertile minds of AUTOcouture, whose glorious gold F80 we featured last year. “AUTOcouture has done extensive builds on several of my other cars, including my E92 M3s,” Bill explains. “They are great bunch of guys, and our mutual love of the brand and modifications has formed the basis of some great friendships. After spending two years modifying my previous generation M3s, I wanted to turn my attention to a new project…”


    Bill admits that it took him a while to warm to the idea of the new generation M3/M4, its twin-turbocharged straight-six being a tangible step-change from the lusty V8 of old. We hear that a lot. But you just have to be strong, push through the apprehensiveness, for there is sorcery and mystery bubbling up inside the alreadyiconic S55 motor. And it’s just waiting for the right hands to uncork the bottle and unleash the effervescent fury.

    “Yeah, I was reluctant initially,” he says. “I loved the look of the new M cars, and I knew that from a performance perspective the turbo’d sixes are superior to the previous V8s, but I wasn’t keen on the sound.” Still, there are things you can easily do about the sound, aren’t there? And Bill’s mind was truly changed when he happened across a Laguna Seca blue M4 at a dealer in Ohio while he was browsing online. Three days later it was parked on his driveway, such is the allure of that beguiling dry-lake hue…

    “The whole shop was excited when I rolled up at AUTOcouture in the M4,” Bill beams. “Since the model was so new, we wanted to set the bar high with the build, and we ended up benchmarking a series of firsts: the first ARMYTRIX exhaust in the US, the first diffuser combo setup, the first custom-painted seat backs, and the first set of BLK 503GTR wheels.”


    Strewth. That’s a whole lot of firsts! So let’s start at the most logical point – that polarising engine. Now, these come out of the factory staring down the barrel of 425hp, the brainbox force-induced N55 receiving an extra turbo, revised intercoolers, a lighter crank and more hardcore pistons to become the rorty S55. AUTOcouture took this as a starting point and stirred some Gintani downpipes into the mix along with that unique ARMYTRIX Valvetronic exhaust, a system that allows you to change its volume thanks to internal valves controlled by a phone app or key fob, connecting wirelessly to its own OBDII module which extracts ECU data and relays it, in real time, to your phone. Seriously, this exhaust is the way forward. Couple all of that with a DME Tuning Stage 2 tune and Bill’s wallowing in a meaty 500hp. That’ll help the M4 hold its head high among its supercar stablemates. A set of KW V3 coilovers, fully adjustable for height, rebound and compression, get the Smurf-like form hunkered down over the custom-built BLKs; as Bill says, this was the first set of 503GTRs to break out into the open, and they’re a strong counterpoint to the cartoon paint with their matte brushed gunmetal finish, all the better for showcasing the Brembo GT BBK behind. “The calipers were custom finished in Laguna Seca blue by iND Distribution, a leading supplier of aftermarket BMW parts,” Bill explains. And if you think his fascination with Laguna Seca blue is spiralling into obsession, wait till you get a load of the interior…


    “There’s contrasting blue stitching to set off the black leather,” he grins, a sparkle in his eye, “and the seat backs are fully custom; they’ve got EAS carbon fibre centres, with the outers being painted in Laguna Seca blue. The dash trim has also been painted to match.” And he’s not done yet. No, the bespoke ONEighty NYC headlights have Laguna Seca blue accents inside them too, and you’ll also find the colour highlighting the front splitter, the side skirts, and the boot spoiler. It’s the sort of finicky custom detail that would pass right under the radar of the average man, but for people who know their BMWs, every one of these touches is worthy of a robust highfive. This is a car built for connoisseurs.

    “The custom diffuser is special,” says Bill. “It consists of a Kohlenstoff upper and Varis Racing lower diffuser – this required a fair bit of fabrication by AUTOcouture to make the two pieces from different manufacturers work together, but the result is a superaggressive rear that’s a world-first!” He’s not kidding about the aggression – have you spotted that it’s got a rain light in there too?

    That’s proper race car bravado. And yes, it’s complemented by plenty of other neat carbon bits too – the front lip/splitter combo, the custom side skirts and the boot spoiler are all hiding that evocative grey weave beneath their shouty blue stripes.

    All of this aesthetic chicanery has endowed Bill’s M4 with the appearance of a sort of manga shark; look at it from head on and you’ll no doubt find yourself being intimidated by the jutting, angular visage that refracts the classic sharknose frontage of the 1970s and ’80s through a modern filter, like a 635CSi that’s fallen through a wormhole and got squished on its passage through the time tunnels. The broad, dark nostrils have clearly scented blood, as the vicious headlights narrow to focus upon you, its prey. This is the point at which you pray for that carbon tail-fin to be swishing in front of your nose instead of being stared out by a razor-sharp beast of the deep blue – but of course, by the time this streamlined fish has spotted you, it’s way beyond too late. You’re no match for its sleek fusion of biting fury and sylph-like slipperiness. This is a shark that knows its way around a Californian lake, channelling the rage of generations of Laguna Seca battlers to prowl the streets in search of fresh meat.

    Bill may have had his reservations about the M4, but it’s safe to say that he’s crafted something outstanding. He was right to persevere. He’d better just hope the thing doesn’t have his hand off…

    DATA FILE #BMW-F82 / #BMW-M4 / #BMW-M4-F82 / #BMW

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo #S55B30T0 / #BMW-S55 / #S55 , #ARMYTRIX #Valvetronic exhaust, #Gintani downpipes, #AUTOcouture-Motoring / #DME-Tuning-Stage-2 tune, sevenspeed #M-DCT gearbox. 500hp, 575lb ft of torque

    CHASSIS 9.5x20” (front) and 11x20” (rear) custom threepiece #BLK-503GTR wheels in matt brushed gunmetal with 255/35 (front) and 295/30 (rear) Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, #KW-V3 coilovers, six-pot (front) and four-pot (rear) Brembo GT BBK with 380mm Type 3 slotted discs

    EXTERIOR Laguna Seca blue, #ONEighty-NYC custom headlights with Laguna Seca blue accents, carbon fibre front lip/splitter combo with Laguna Seca blue CRT accent stripes, 3D Design carbon fibre side skirts with Laguna Seca blue accent stripe, custom rear diffuser consisting of Kohlenstoff upper and Varis Racing lower, carbon fibre boot spoiler with Laguna Seca blue stripe

    INTERIOR Black leather with contrasting blue stitching, #Laguna-Seca-Blue painted dash trim, #Nexon-Motors custom carbon-fibre steering wheel with perforated leather and contrasting blue stitching, Laguna Seca blue outer seat backs, EAS carbon fibre seat back centres, carbon-fibre/Alcantara DCT console trim

    THANKS Tommy, Jimmy, Sam, Sean, Andre and the rest of the gang at #AutoCouture , to Nate and Andrew from iND Distribution, and to James Fleming at Classic #BMW
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    FULL-ON E70 X5 X-RATED / #BMW

    We don’t see many modified X5s doing the rounds but this full-on, bad boy of an E70 makes up for that in a big way. Slammed, styled and ICE’d up. We don’t feature many X models in DRIVE-MY, but this X5 makes up for that in one fell swoop… Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Andy Tipping.



    Good as the X5 may be, it’s not a car that’s captured the imagination of #Drive-My readers, so we haven’t featured that many over the years. This is possibly because it’s a big 4x4 rather than something with retro appeal or an affordable performance machine. Fortunately, what we lack in quantity we make up for in quality with this awesome example. It’s an E70 X5 3.0sd, which means it’s got the twin-turbo diesel straight-six under the bonnet, and it belongs to Am Singh, owner of car audio distribution company #BladeICE .

    Am’s no stranger to modified cars (or feature cars) and you won’t be surprised to learn that some of those have been very audio-focused. “My first car, a Citroen AX GT, was featured in Max Power back in 1999 and a couple of years later I built a JDMspec Lexus IS200 (Altezza RS200) which I fitted a supercharger kit to. It was featured in Fast Car magazine,” he says. “I’ve built some audio heavy vehicles, too, including a Lupo GTi which was featured in sister title Performance VW magazine in 2013. I also own a Chevrolet Astro van which I’m planning to rebuild this year.”



    This X5 was purchased out of necessity when Am and his missus were expecting their second child in 2014 and the family wagon at the time – an E91 330d M Sport – was deemed too small. “I didn’t want to leave the BMW brand as the E91 was a pleasure to own,” says Am. “I found the X5 at Sytner BMW in Leicester. It was a oneowner car in fantastic condition and the back looked like it had never been sat in. The colour and interior combo instantly drew me to it and the spec was impressive too. It’s got the panoramic roof, keyless entry, Comfort seats, Saddle brown leather and, as a bonus, seven seats! Not that we plan to have any more kids, though; two is enough!” he laughs.


    So, how do you go from mild-mannered X5 to full-on feature car? “Secretly I always had plans for the car,” Am reveals, “however, things went further than I initially imagined.” This is something we’ve heard many times before. Six months of standard X5 ownership passed before Am decided that a bit of modifying was in order and started on what was to be an incredibly slippery slope.


    “Initially I purchased some KW V3 coilovers,” says Am. “Then I looked at brakes from the X5 M, which comprised massive 395mm discs and four-pot Brembo calipers. These were fitted and I ran it on stock 20s for about three months, after which I got talking to a new up-and-coming wheel manufacturer in the USA: Brada wheels.” In case you don’t know, Brada produce lovely forged wheel designs and while 20s would be plenty on most cars the X5 can pull off much bigger wheels, so it would have been rude not to indulge, really. “I wanted to go with a BBSstyle wheel with a cross-spoke design and the Brada BR-1 fits the bill perfectly,” Am continues. “So I ordered a set of 22s and these were built to order as they are a fullyforged/ CNC’d three-piece wheels in a staggered fitment. It was worth the wait and I ran them for the few months that were left of summer #2014 then took them off for winter. That’s when my mind went into overdrive.


    “I started work on the audio, as I needed a demo car for 2015. As a lot of the products I distribute were pointing towards OEM integration and exotic high-end sound quality, the X5 was the perfect base to allow me to go for an OEM+ approach and maximise my marketing possibilities. At this time I also picked up a CIC with Combox to replace the aging CCC iDrive system and I made sure it had DAB, too, while Mak’s Retrofits helped with the installation and coding.”

    With plans under way for some impressive ICE, Am decided that the X5 needed more than just an audio overhaul and resolved to completely change the look of the car. While he had originally wanted an X5 M, the price was too much of a stretch so he decided to go for the next best thing, and set about building a perfect replica. “I got to work looking at all the parts that differ on the M Sport and the X5 M,” Am says. “Initially it didn’t appear to be more than front wings, front bumper and rear bumper but it ended up being a lot more. There were many other items to consider, like headlights, quad exhaust, bumper grilles, trims, clips, bolts etc the list grew and so did the spendometer! After about seven months of searching eBay USA and eBay Germany I managed to get the majority of the parts to start the transformation. Some items had to be bought new, though, as they were insanely hard to find on the secondhand market.

    “After a couple months with the X5 M conversion I came across a set of Adaptive LED headlights that were only found on very late model X5s and X6s. BMW actually had it up as a retrofit conversion for around £3000 plus fitting. Again I searched through eBay USA and some US forums and found a complete set of headlamps. They needed a new harness and FRM3 module, which I purchased new, after which I called on Mak’s Retrofits to help me with coding-in all the features of the headlights. They totally transform the look of the car, making the front-end look like the new F models. They also offer functional benefits, such as adaptive control and a light output like I’ve never experienced before. I’ll never feel complete with regular xenon lights after having had these LED headlights!

    “The body conversion took place in spring of 2015 and in the meantime I was left to finish trimming the audio build I had fabricated during the winter. The full setup consists of four Mosconi D2 (full range Class-D) amps, Gladen Aerospace two-way speakers mounted in the A-pillars and the Gladen 201 Extreme 8” slim-mount woofers which utilise the OEM underseat location. Two Gladen SQX 10s are mounted in a trick side-ported enclosure and headed by the Mosconi 6to8 DSP – the brains of the operation. It is linked to the OEM head unit via a high level input but also has full high definition EDR 2.0 Bluetooth audio streaming capability. This means wireless audio playback via tablet or phone, and Tidal or Spotify apps work great for this. “To power the amps I opted to use three XS Power AGM batteries. I mounted them in the OEM location, secured on billet CNC hold-downs. These offer enough reserve power to cope with long audio demonstrations and enough juice to power the vast array of stock electrics throughout the car.”

    Depending on how up you are on your car audio that might well be all Greek to you but for the uninitiated a quick glance at the interior shots reveals that there is a lot of top-end audio gear stuffed into this X5, and the quality of the installation is impeccable. What’s nice is that everything is very discreet. Yes, the two-way speakers in the A-pillars are big but they don’t look out of place and the boot build is beautiful – the enclosure for the Gladen subs looks like it’s a factory item while the installation of the amps in the boot floor is elegant and understated. You probably wouldn’t even notice the Mosconi DSP controller, custommounted behind the #iDrive controls and the fact that Am has retained the factory head unit means that everything is seamlessly integrated and he’s lost none of the numerous standard functions. Beyond the audio, the wood trim has been wrapped in black for a more elegant look while the steering wheel was retrimmed by Jack at Royal Steering Wheels in black Nappa leather with contrasting stitch to match the saddle brown leather on the seats.


    If the inside looks good, the outside is nothing short of gobsmacking. Am may have invested a vast amount of time and effort on obtaining the X5 M bodywork components but it’s certainly been worth it as the end result is awesome. There’s just so much sheer aggression emanating from the X5 M styling that it’s almost enough to knock you off your feet. No corners have been cut, with a proper quad exhaust system having been fitted which sits in a gorgeous carbon fibre diffuser. And, where you’d normally expect to see an X5 in full-on off-road mode, the massive drop that Am has achieved with the KW coilovers gives the car a completely different look. The way the Brada 22s fill the gargantuan arches is just insane. Oh, and the wheels are perfection. The mirror finish on the lips with the brushed centres suits the X5 so well.

    You might have thought that was that, but Am is most not one to rest on his laurels and since our photoshoot the X5 has received a few more changes. “Initially I chose the KW V3 coilovers as I’ve always been an old-skool static type of guy,” he explains. “Despite the craze of air suspension in the last few years I went with coilovers purely because I didn’t want to use up any boot space with air tanks or compressors, as this would take away from the room I wanted to dedicate for my aural pleasure. With more and more cars using the trunk space for tanks/hardline installs and ditching audio in place of it, I wasn’t going to bow down to the air-ride gods, so I stayed static.

    “However, since this photoshoot I had to admit defeat. The KWs were being wound down more and more and as a result I had no suspension travel, often riding on the bumpstops. For a 2.5-tonne 4x4 that makes for a pretty bumpy ride! So I explored all avenues of keeping my trunk space intact and still having air suspension with the trunk looking OEM+.

    “The air compressors are discreetly mounted in the side compartment and the management is hidden out of sight next to the battery bank under the amps. The fivegallon air tank is mounted on the rear tailgate behind a fabricated panel that’s been trimmed in Alcantara, and the tank has been covered in original BMW Saddle brown leather to complete the theme. I mounted the Air Lift controller into one of the front air vents for ease of access and it looks like it was there from factory.”



    Static or on air, it really makes no difference as this X5 provides a visual punch either way. Every show it’s been to it’s a crowd pleaser. A lot of work has gone into building this X5 over two years but it’s all been worth it. Am’s built himself an awesome machine and one that you’re unlikely to see replicated anytime soon, which makes it all the more cooler.

    DATA FILE #BMW-X5-E70 / #BMW-X5-3.0sd-E70 / #BMW-X5-3.0sd / #BMW-X5 / #KW / #BMW-Performance

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six #M57TU2D30 / #M57 / #BMW-M57 / , #Evolve remap, #Eisenmann Race exhaust with quad 90mm tips, #ZF / #ZF6HP standard six-speed automatic gearbox. 350hp, 500lb ft of torque

    CHASSIS 10.5x22” (front) and 12x22” (rear) Brada BR-1 wheels with 285/30 (front) and 335/25 (rear) Pirelli Scorpion Zero tyres, #KW-V3 coilover suspension (now replaced with air-ride), X5 M #Brembo four-pot callipers with 395mm discs (front)

    EXTERIOR X5 M front and rear bumpers, front wings, LED Adaptive headlights, 35% tints rear window/doors, 50% front doors, #BMW-Performance carbon fibre front lip, Vorsteiner rear carbon fibre diffuser, modified front and rear arches, paintwork sealed and protected with #Gtechniq C1 and Exo V2 coatings

    INTERIOR Royal Steering Wheels Nappa retrim, black gloss trim panel wrap, A-pillar mounted two-way speakers, CIC with Combox retrofit, custom fabricated Mosconi DSP controller in centre console, #Gladen-Audio Aerospace 28/80 components in A-pillars, #Gladen 201 Extreme underseat mid bass drivers, 2x SQX 10 Gladen subs, 2x Mosconi D2-100.4 amps, 2x Mosconi D2- 500.1 amps, #Mosconi 6to8 DSP, 3x XS Power XE12- 40 batteries, Sky High Car Audio cabling throughout, boot install trimmed in Alcantara

    THANKS Zane at Brada Wheels, Henning at Gladen Audio, Mak’s Retrofits


    I wasn’t going to bow down to the air-ride gods so I stayed static.

    I always had plans for the car, however, things went further than I initially imagined.
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    2016 #Audi B5 RS4 530hp and an interior you won't believe
    Words Davy Lewis Photography Urban Style Fotographie.
    GREEN MONSTER RS4 B5 With an amazing interior.
    We spotted this stunning B5 RS4 at the Essen Motor Show – fortunately we managed to track it down…


    Of all the Audi models that we feature, there’s one that seems to get people going more than any other. It not the newest and it’s certainly not the fastest. In fact, it’s become known for its general recalcitrance and ability to drain your wallet faster than teenage kids. The car is, of course, the B5 RS4. Things got off to a good start when the car was launched back in 2000. In these more innocent times, RS models were few and far between. The RS badge was only ever available on one model at a time (imagine that now) and for a very limited run of no more than two years. They were then, pretty exclusive cars.

    The B5 had a couple of aces up its RS sleeve – namely the fact it’d been tweaked by engine gurus Cosworth and featured a hefty 375bhp out of the box. Add to this a subtly aggressive, wide shouldered style and it was clear to see why people loved them. The thing is, they still do. In fact, I’d got so far as to say B5 RS4s are loved more now than when they were first launched.



    Part of the appeal is the fact they are getting on a bit. With new car design dictated by crash test performance, resulting in higher bonnets, chunkier A pillars and much larger overall dimensions, the distinctly old-school B5 harks back to a less complicated age.

    It has a regular six-speed manual gearbox, that you operate via a clutch (yes, how novel). There’s no fancy electronic steering gubbins – just a regular PAS unit that allows you to feel what the front wheels are doing. There’s no keyless entry; nowhere to hook up your smart phone (unless you want to charge it) and if you find one with original sat nav – you’re best off using google maps on your phone. And did I mention they can be a tad – how can I put this – temperamental? Anyone that’s owed a B5 RS4 will know what I’m talking about.


    These cars needed regular maintenance when they were new, but now, fifteen years later, you need to be on good terms with your Audi specialist if you want to enjoy your B5. It’s all age related stuff – boost leaks, turbo seals blown, oil leaks, suspension failure – but it all adds up. The fact it’s an engine out job for many, seemingly simple issues is what drives the costs right up. So, let’s look at the facts: on the face of it, a B5 RS4 is quite ordinary looking. It tends to break a lot. And holds its value well. Plus spares are very hard to find. Sounds like a terrible proposition for a project car. So why do so many people in the UK and abroad love them more than a free bar at Christmas?

    The owner of this immaculate Goodwood Green example certainly agrees. He’s a member of the Hanover Hardcore club (most famous member, one Philipp Klaess – he of the 225mph, 1000bhp B5 widebody). It was on display at last year’s Essen Motor Show and attracted crowds of admirers. And with good reason. It has to be one of the finest RS4s we’ve ever seen. It looks like it just rolled off the production line at Ingolstadt and has an interior that you will not believe.


    From the outside, it looks like a very well presented RS4. The Goodwood Green paint has a mirror finish and has clearly seen more prep and pampering than most. As should always be the case, things have been pretty much left as intended here, with the few, subtle changes including the black Audi rings on the front and gloss black lower intake mesh. The front RS4 badge has also been removed for the ultimate in stealth. With many favouring the all black look, it’s refreshing to see plenty of bright work done in matt silver. The roof rails, window and grille surrounds all contrast well with the deep green paintwork.


    The biggest eye catcher outside is the ride height. Dropped very low over a set of mouth wateringly tasty BBS splits, you’d bet your last buck that this was on air-ride. It isn’t. The Gepfeffert crew have worked some voodoo with some KW V3 coilovers to create an ultra low ride height. It looks great for shows, but has to be said isn’t much fun on the road. That said, it can easily be adjusted when owner, Ewe wants to drop the hammer.

    Going back to those wheels, they really are rather delicious. A beefy 9x20in split rim with gold centres, they suit this 15-year old car to a tee. Look carefully and you’ll spot some rather high-end Lamborghini brakes tucked up behind them.

    Being an RS4, this car had to offer decent grunt as well as immaculate looks. The 2.7 biturbo has been treated to a pair of TTE turbos, which together with supporting upgrades to fuelling, and uprated freer flowing y-pipes and exhaust, give this B5 a healthy 537hp and 710Nm.


    Now, at this point I usually begin to talk about the interior, but in this case, it’s not so easy. The thing is, the inside of this RS4 is nothing short of stunning. Literally every piece of interior trim, whether cloth, leather or plastic has been redone in a fantastic tan colour scheme. Open the door and the car is awash with soft touch, high quality materials – you can even smell it. The front B7 RS4 seats are done in leather and Alcantara, as are the door cards, the centre console and the dash itself. A late-spec flat bottom steering wheel has also been lovingly covered, complete with natty RS4 badge. But it doesn’t end there. The roof lining and all pillars are also covered. Then there’s the carbon. You’ll find it on the doors, the dash, centre console even the steering column and seat bases. Inside, this RS4 feels more Bentley than B5.

    So there we have it – a possible contender for best interior of
    2016. Not bad considering it’s only February…


    SPECIFICATION #Audi-RS4-B5 / #Audi-RS4 / #Audi / #Audi-A4-B5 / #Audi-A4

    Engine 2.7 V6 biturbo, uprated downpipes, full 3in exhaust system, 630cc injectors, #TTE turbo, uprated #Wagner intercoolers, uprated fuelling, custom remap.
    Power 537hp and 710Nm
    Transmission 6-speed manual with uprated clutch.
    Brakes Lamborghini brakes front and rear.

    Suspension Gepfeffert by #KW-V3 .

    Wheels and tyres 9x20in #BBS-E88 magnesium split rims with gold painted centres, 235/30 Hankook S1 Evo tyres.

    Interior Full retrim in tan leather and Alcantara; includes B7 RS4 seats, dash, centre console, door cards, pillars, roof lining and flat bottom steering wheel, carbon trim added to doors, dash, centre console and steering column as well as seat bases.


    Exterior Full respray in Goodwood Green, refreshed headlights, black Audi rings, de-badged grille.

    Above: BBS split rims are simply stunning.

    “The 9x20in #BBS alloys are truly amazing”

    Above: B5 was one of the stars of the 2015 Essen Motor Show (note Goodwood green paint looks very different under the show lighting).

    “One of the finest looking B5 RS4s around and that interior is on a different level”

    Right: RS4 handles like a go-kart Bottom Engine now makes 537hp.

    Above: Side view shows the stunning interior Below left: Carbon has been used extensively Below right: Late spec steering wheel has been retrimmed.

    Above: Attention to detail is superb Right Custom trimmed steering wheel.
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    ALL EYEZ ON M3
    It takes very little to get the F80 M3 looking absolutely awesome, as this example so effortlessly proves. The F8x M3 and M4 have captured the hearts and minds of the modified BMW scene and it doesn’t take much to bring out the best in them. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Mike Kuhn.


    It’s taken us a little while to warm to the F3x 3 Series but we got there in the end. You’d have thought that by now it would be a bit of a make or break moment seeing as it’s been out for a good few years and while an SE on small wheels leaves a bit to be desired, an M Sport has a lot more going for it, while the M3 and M4 are a whole other matter altogether. It’s been about 18 months since we sampled the high performance duo and hopefully that’s enough time for everyone to get over the fact that there’s now an M4, and get on with enjoying it. And while the S55 sounds nowhere near as good as the S65 V8 does, the M3 and M4 can be made to look utterly spectacular with very little effort. Even in stock form the pairing ooze unbridled aggression; it spills out of every crease and angle of their styling. Tapping into this and unleashing it turns the visual impact dial all the way up to 11. It’s the lowness and wideness that does it. Both just have so much road presence and while the M4’s body is wider, the M3’s narrower body but identical track means it gets those pumped up arches that give it a stance to die for.


    Amir Khoshnevis (F80_M3 on Instagram) clearly agrees because the F80 M3 you’re looking at belongs to him. Mind you, seeing as he’s an eye doctor, you’d expect him to have an eye for these things (sorry!). But he clearly genuinely does because he’s made this M3 look so good. It’s the latest in a long line of modified M3s that the good doctor has owned, the result of growing up in a family that was into BMWs: “My first BMW love was an Alpine white E30 owned by my cousin, before I could even drive. The brand has been in my family for as long as I can recall.” For Amir’s BMWs have always been about the driver experience. “People would always say: if you love to drive, buy a Bimmer; if you want to have someone drive you, buy a Benz! My first BMW was a 1997 E36 M3 Saloon. I saved money after graduating and had nothing else in mind but the M3. I had to own it.” This was followed by an E46, E92 and E90, all enhanced with suspension upgrades, performance exhausts and M Performance goodies. And that path could only lead to one possible destination…


    “Buying the F80 was the logical progression,” says Amir. “Moving forward with the M3 brand, I had to be the first to have one. I took delivery of the first one supplied to my local dealer in mid-July 2014. While we don’t doubt that there were some thoughts about modifying swirling about his brain Amir admits he never planned to go as far as he actually has. He’s not stopped either, the modifications constantly evolving and he’s even reinvented the car since we first saw it, honing it into an even more devastatingly handsome brute of a machine.


    Alpine white is a great choice of colour, though we’re glad we’re not the ones who have to keep it clean, and it really makes all the black elements on the body pop. Amir has raided the M Performance catalogue, adding an M Performance front lip that makes the front end seem so much more complete with added carbon splitters, custom side skirts, a subtle sliver of a rear spoiler and a rather beefy rear diffuser that fills out the bumper perfectly. Below the bumper are the massive 102mm quad pipes of the GTHaus Meisterschaft GTC exhaust.

    “Another great modification is the use of Modesta glass coating for the paint and the wheels,” says Amir. “The folks at Carolina Auto Image applied the coating in order to protect the paint (after paint correction) and to ensure the paint effectively repels water. It also gives the Alpine white significant depth and enhanced reflective properties, too.”


    Judging by how incredibly glossy that paintwork looks in the photos, it’s money well spent. Perusing the paintwork you’ll also spot the gloss black grille surrounds from IND Distribution along with matching side markers and vents, while the front reflectors have been painted and there’s more carbon in the form of a numberplate cover and rear M badge. We love it not only for its relative subtlety but for the fact that all the elements combine to make a real difference.


    So, Amir had his F80 M3 looking sharp but he still needed to address the small matter of wheels and suspension. If you’ve been following Thorney Motorsport’s running reports on its M4 you’ll know that the standard setup isn’t best suited to allowing the car to comfortably and capably deliver all its power, so that’s definitely an area that needs addressing for anyone that’s intent on using the M3 seriously; and there’s no harm in a little lowering while you’re at it now, is there? As for the wheels, well, we think it’s fair to say that BMWs in recent times haven’t been sporting the most elegant or stylish of wheel designs. We’re struggling to think of a recent #BMW wheel that has come anywhere near to something like the Style 5 or Contour or M Parallel for sheer desirability. And while the M3’s 19s aren’t horrible, there’s lots of room for improvement. We all know how important wheels are to the overall look of your car and so does Amir as he’s already on his second set in about 18 months, and it’s not as if his first set was ropey. “I chose to go with MORR Wheels first because I wanted a more custom and personal build for my car. The company delivered with a beautiful set that was perfectly matched to the F80,” he explains. And, having seen those wheels on the car, we have to agree that it was a great combination. But there’s always room for improvement. “After hearing about the FI-R by BBS, I hounded IND Distribution to help me get one of the first sets available in the States,” he continues. “ They were able to secure one for me and the wait began. The FI-R is an engineering marvel. These 19” wheels weigh 16.5lb in the front and 17.5lb in the rear!


    They are not only beautiful but serve a great function, reducing unsprung weight.” The FI-Rs do indeed look fantastic on the F80, and the 19s are the perfect size for the body. IND Distribution also carried out some custom pinstriping on the wheels for Amir, highlighting the #BBS lettering and the word ‘forged’ in gloss black. And, in a world obsessed with stretch, we like the fact that a performance BMW has been fitted with some suitably serious rubber, with beefy 265/30 and 295/30 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres front and rear respectively filling the space between rim and arch perfectly, with a little help from the suspension, of course.


    “I had the KW HAS kit first (adjustable lowering springs) in order to close the unusually large wheel gap in the front of the car (mostly),” says Amir, “but I was looking for improved ride and performance and decided to change to the #KW Variant 3 coilovers recently. The difference is remarkable. The handling, road feel, cornering and balance have all improved over the stock and HAS Kit.” And let’s not forget the adjustable ride height that allows for the perfect drop.


    Fling open the driver’s door and things get very red, very quickly. That’s all good with us as we’re big fans of colourful interiors. With BMW finally fitting the M3 and M4 with the kind of seats you would expect to find in a car of this calibre – and the kind of seats that Audis and even Fiestas have been enjoying for a while – there’s little need or desire to go changing them, especially when illuminated logos come into the equation.

    Amir has, however, put in an order for a set of sexy Mode Carbon carbon (obviously) seat backs, which will go perfectly with the lashings of carbon you’ll find adorning most surfaces in the cabin, with the magical black weave coating the M Performance gear selector and handbrake lever, DCT surround and the bottom of the M Performance Alcantara steering wheel, complete with digital gauge and there’s also an M Performance pedal set.


    As good as this M3 may look, Amir is far from finished and he’s already planning the next round of modifications. “It took just over a year to do all this but I’m starting phase two now, so it’s definitely not over! I have a more aggressive build in mind and I’m starting on that project with new wheels (which are currently in production and should be the best of the bunch), an exhaust system with a tune, and some exterior enhancements to follow,” he says. Phase one was good but phase two sounds even better. When it comes to modifying M3s, the doctor is most definitely in.

    “If you love to drive, buy a Bimmer; if you want to have someone drive you, buy a Benz!”
    Very red interior has been slathered in carbon fibre.

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-M3-F80 / #BMW-F80 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW /

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION

    3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six #S55B30 / #S55 , #GTHAUS #Meisterschaft GTC exhaust with 102mm tips, seven-speed #M-DCT gearbox.

    CHASSIS 9.5x19” (front) and 10.5x19” (rear) #BBS-FI-R wheels with custom black gloss pinstriping, 265/30 (front) and 295/30 (rear) Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, #KW-V3 coilovers.

    EXTERIOR Modesta glass coating, M Performance carbon fibre splitters, rear spoiler, diffuser, front lip, custom Aeroflow Dynamics side skirts, IND Distribution gloss black front grille surrounds, side markers and vents, rear M3 emblem, cf number plate cover, painted front reflectors.

    INTERIOR M Performance Alcantara steering wheel with digital gauge, M Performance carbon fibre gear selector, handbrake lever and #DCT surround, #M-Performance pedal set.

    THANKS IND Distribution, Carolina Auto Image, Hendrick BMW.
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