- Post is under moderationSPACE INVADER 900hp #BMW-E91 / #BMW-335i-Touring / #BMW-335i-Touring-E91 / #BMW-335i-E91 / #BMW-335i-Touring-900bhp / #BMW-335i-Touring-E91-900bhp
With 900hp from an #N54 with stock internals, this E91 Touring is really reaching for the final frontier. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: RonV Photography.
The king of fast estates has traditionally always been Audi; its automotive back catalogue is filled with examples of big power load-luggers, from the legendary RS2 Avant, mental original RS4 and equally mental RS6s, though BMW has also had a go, with the E34 M5 Touring and E61 M5 Touring. These days, though, its given up on M estates, so the fastest way to transport dogs, children and sofas, possibly all at the same time, is in something with a turbocharged straight-six under the bonnet. For example, the F31 335d xDrive will hit 0-62 in 4.9 seconds, at which point you have to ask yourself: how fast do you really need to go?
Well, if your name is Marco van Weerd, then the answer is much, much faster than that. Marco’s steed of choice is an E91 335i M Sport Touring, a fine car powered by a fine engine and plenty quick in just about any given situation but, as we all know, the twin-turbo N54 has so much more to give… Marco bought the car three years ago, completely stock, but, with a couple of modified Japanese cars in his motoring past, it was never going to stay that way for long. “From the moment I bought the car, I began modifying it right away, starting with some standard upgrades like a JB4, downpipes, intercooler etc” but that was never going to satisfy his thirst for modifying and his hunger for power. You see, Marco wasn’t interested in owning just a quick car, he wanted to push the limits of the #N54 as far as he could and that’s exactly what he’s done, taking the 3.0-litre straight-six to a staggering 900hp. It takes just a quick glance into this E91’s engine bay to see how he’s done that: with an absolutely gigantic turbo strapped to the side of the engine but, what’s a little scary, is the fact that Marco has left the engine’s internals completely stock…
“I wanted to try and break the 1000 flywheel hp mark on a stock N54 because I want to be the one to set that record,” he grins, and he’s tantalisingly close. The key to that stratospheric power output is threefold, a combination of: massive turbo, fuelling mods and the right fuel. The pictures show a Comp 6465 but that wasn’t powerful enough for Marco, so since the shoot that has been swapped for a Precision 6466 turbo running at a heady 2.5bar, with twin Tial MVS wastegates leading to a pair of screamer pipes located under the car, with that torrent of turbocharged air being passed through a 190.5mm stepped intercooler from VR Speed Factory and into an Evolution of Speed intake manifold with six Bosch injectors. These are fed by an uprated fuel system running a Fuel-It Stage 3 kit consisting of twin Walbro 450 low-pressure fuel pumps plus upgraded fuel lines with a Bluetooth-enabled ethanol content analyser, necessary because the car has been set up by JB4 Tuning Benelux to run on E60, a heady mix of ethanol and 102 octane fuel. Further enhancements include cooler NGK 5992 spark plugs and a custom exhaust, consisting of a 3.5” downpipe leading to twin 2.5” pipes with twin electronically controlled cut-outs located before the rear silencer, and finished off with twin 102mm carbon exhaust tips.
You might be concerned that running that much boost through such a massive turbo means the engine is only heading in one, inevitable direction, but you needn’t worry as a forged engine is on the cards, at which point Marco’s power goal will change from 1000hp at the crank to 1000whp… When that happens, there will be a lot of transmission work going on because, at the moment, everything here, much like everything within the engine, is completely standard and that simply won’t do when the next stage of the project gets underway. In fact, only the standard brakes have been deemed unfit for purpose and have received a seriously substantial upgrade in the shape of a D2 Racing front and rear BBK, comprising 380mm discs with eight-piston calipers and 356mm discs with four-piston calipers respectively.
You might be expecting to find some sort of serious static suspension setup leaning far towards the performance end of the spectrum, but one glance at the photos will tell you that you’d be wrong. Marco has opted for a spot of air-ride, with an Air Lift Performance 3H kit handling the suspension duties and delivering some devastating lows when fully aired out, bringing this E91 to within a whisker of the Tarmac, the nifty controller mounted simply, just ahead of the gear lever inside the car. The interior itself has been left virtually standard, bar the addition of the M Performance gear selector and carbon roundel on the steering wheel, which has also been treated to an alcantara trim panel. What Marco has done is add some serious tech to help him keep an eye on what going on under the bonnet, with a Samsung tablet running the JB4 mobile app and displaying OBD controls and tuning plus a phone equipped with the Fuel-It app, displaying fuel temperature and ethanol content, with both pieces of tech connected to the car via Bluetooth.
While the engine and interior may have been left standard, the exterior has not and here Marco has taken the opportunity to put his personal stamp on the car and really make it stand out. “In my company I have my own car lift where I can work on the car whenever I want,” he says. “I tried to build the car all to my own taste and wanted to use custom parts you cannot buy everywhere,” which is why this E91 looks so distinctive. Up front, and giving this prefacelift E91 a fresh and fierce look, he’s fitted a custom 1M front bumper specially made to go with the facelift bonnet (complete with carbon roundel) and headlights he’s also fitted, and the bumper has been further enhanced with the addition of a custom carbon front lip with custom carbon winglets at the corners. There are matt black mirrors and the side skirts have been embellished with custom carbon extension lips while at the rear you’ll find a custom carbon diffuser and custom carbon fi ns at the edges of the bumper, with all-red rear lights adding the finishing touch. Marco’s custom approach to styling and inherent perfectionism and attention to detail extends to the engine bay, which has also been adorned with a selection of custom carbon parts along with a custom carbon strut brace. The wheels too are, naturally, completely custom items produced to Marco’s exact specifications, 8.5x20” up front and 10x20” at the rear, a striking twin seven-spoke design finished in Sepang bronze. You might think that would be an odd choice to go with such an extensively black exterior, but they really work and just add something to the overall look of the car and the size is perfect too. The extensive use of carbon fibre, the aggressive styling and the sheer blackness of the thing all combine to make this one of the most ferocious-looking E91s we’ve ever crossed paths with. It’s just so mean and intimidating, an utterly ruthless-looking machine and one that has more than enough bite to back up its substantial bark.
For most people, a 900hp E91 Touring would be their final goal, but Marco’s just getting warmed up and there’s a lot more to come. “I want to make a custom wide-body kit for the car,” says Marco, running through his future plans for the Touring, “another set of custom wheels, wider this time, at least 10s up front and 12s at the rear, and I’ll also build the forged engine I want so I can hit 1000whp and that will also need an upgraded gearbox, axles and diff.” Judging by what he’s accomplished so far and his dedication and determination to extract as much power as physically possible from the N54, we don’t doubt he’ll achieve his goals and the end result is going to be something truly out of this world…
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Single-Turbo E91 335i / #BMW-3-Series-Touring / #N54-PTE6466 / #BMW-3-Series-Touring-E91 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E91 / #BMW-E91 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six #N54B30 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 / #N54B30-tuned / #N54-swapp , #PTE-6466 1.0 A/r T4 turbo ( #Comp-6465 turbo shown in pictures), twin #Tial-MVS wastegates with twin screamer pipes, custom intake piping, #VR-Speed-Factory 190.5mm stepped intercooler, Evolution of Speed intake manifold with six #Bosch injectors, #Fuel-It-Stage-3 kit with twin Walbro 450 low pressure fuel pumps, upgraded fuel lines, in-line Bluetooth-enabled ethanol content reader, #NGK 5992 spark plugs, custom exhaust with 3.5’’ downpipe to twin 2.5’’ piping, twin electronic cut-outs, twin carbon 102mm exhaust tips, custom carbon engine parts. Standard #ZF6HP six-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel-mounted paddles
CHASSIS 8.5x20” (front) and 10x20” (rear) custom wheels finished in #Sepang-bronze with 225/30 (front) and 265/25 (rear) Hankook Evo S1 tyres, #Air-Lift-Performance-3H #Air-ride system, custom carbon fibre strut brace, #D2-Racing #BBK with eight-pot calipers and 380mm floating discs (front) and four-pot calipers and 356mm discs (rear)
EXTERIOR LCI bonnet, LCI headlights, custom 1M front bumper, custom carbon front lip with custom carbon tips, carbon roundels, matt black mirrors, custom carbon side skirt extensions, custom carbon rear diffuser, custom carbon fi ns, all-red rear lights
INTERIOR #M-Performance gear selector, carbon steering wheel roundel, alcantara steering wheel trim panel, Samsung tablet running JB4 mobile app, phone running Fuel-It app, 3H controller, single air tank in boot
THANKS Andreas Bäckström at PPF Racing, JB4 Tuning Benelux, custom parts by Ventura Motorsports USA, Ritchino Lippelt at MALS, carbon parts by Wheelclinic Lightweight Performance, Mike Kluinhaar at Kluinhaar Bandenservice & Design, Tim Maatman for the welding, N-XTC.com/Chemical Guys for the Quartz Coat paint protection, High Quality Detailing, Tiago Vieira at VR Speed FactoryStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation
No sleep 476HP 135i Wild 1 Series brings it on Most modified 135is we see are in sleeper guise. However, this boisterous example is loud and proud – and rightly so… Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Matt Richardson.
Last year saw this magazine nearly overrun with 1 Series feature cars. This was totally fine as far as we were concerned because a lot of you are clearly loving them, otherwise we wouldn’t have been inundated with such a huge variety of fantastic modded examples. The charms of the 1 Series are hard to resist and while some people might find the first generation hatch a little inelegant on the styling front, we reckon #BMW nailed it with the Coupé. And people clearly agree, as that’s mainly what everyone’s been modding. A quick glance at the classifieds shows that this iteration of the 1 Series is holding its value and while some people might think you’re not getting a lot of car for your money compared to what else you could buy, the appeal of a compact, sporty car that’s also practical and can be had with a huge range of engines is easy to see and hard to resist. It’s the perfect antidote to the supersizing epidemic that’s now a staple of the motoring industry. And it’s a car with plenty of potential. Just ask Dom C, because he took a fiery little 135i and turned it into a real beast. It’s most definitely not shy about what it’s capable of; with 476hp on-tap, why would you be? A sleeper this ain’t.
A glance at Dom’s car history shows you that the 135i fits right in with his taste in small, fast cars, which have included a Saxo VTR and VTS, a Toyota Glanza V turbo, a Civic Type R, and an Impreza RB5 – which is a little less small but was “mega”, according to Dom, so that’s fair enough. “I had a 120d,” he continues, “which was good on fuel. This was good for when I was going to business meetings, but I decided I wanted something really fast that would handle well and was exciting. There was nothing of this age with a six-cylinder engine and rear- wheel drive apart from a 135i, so I bought one.”
The car was purchased bone stock and the initial plan was just to fit a JB4 and an exhaust because these alone would amp up the performance in a big way. But after Dom had sampled the sweet taste of what the 135i could offer, there was no way he could go cold turkey. And he had a pusher.
“The car’s been sponsored by Hard Knocks Speed Shop,” Dom explains. “It saw that I was passionate about modding and we had a great relationship, so it offered to sponsor me. Badger there has done all the work.” With his sights set on some serious numbers, things were going to have to change…
That JB4 is now a Cobb, supplied by BW Chiptune with a custom remap by Litchfield. The exhaust is now a custom straight- through system from Hard Knocks Speed Shop, with no cats or silencing. There’s even a valve for increased loudness. There’s a video of it in action on our Instagram page (@pbmwmag) and, having heard it in person, we can confirm it’s very, very loud.
The path to 476hp is lined with a lot more than just a Cobb and a custom exhaust, though. Dom has been busy under the bonnet, with the resulting list of engine mods making for some impressive reading. The stuff you can see includes a set of BMS dual cone intakes and an HKS SSQV blow-off valve. And there’s much more going on
beneath the surface that you can’t see. The stars of the show are, without doubt, the Turbo Dynamics Stage 2 hybrid turbos that really help to push the power up. But they don’t have to go it alone; up front sits a beefy Pro Alloy intercooler, there’s a Fuel It Stage 3 uprated fuel pump, a VRSF metal charge pipe with meth bungs, VRSF cat-less downpipes, plus a BMS meth injection kit to help keep intake air temperatures down.
The end result of all that underbonnet wizardry is a very impressive dyno-proven 476hp and over 400lb ft of torque. That’s an awful lot of power to enjoy in a compact car such as this. And that dyno run took place on a really hot day with intake temperatures well over 80ºC and the ECU pulling the timing, so there’s potentially even more on tap than the figures suggest.
Of course, simply ramping up the power and hoping for the best is not the way to do things and most certainly not the way Dom was planning to do things. So those engine mods are joined by a supporting cast of chassis and drivetrain mods. The standard clutch would have been completely out of its depth with these sort of power figures so it’s been replaced with a much sturdier Spec Stage 3+ affair mated to a single mass flywheel. On the chassis front, BC Racing coilovers have been called to action, along with M3 lower control arms, and a strut brace. And that’s not all because Dom then took the car to FW Motorsport, run by Tom Walkinshaw’s son Fergus, who spent a day-and-a-half setting up the suspension after corner weighting the car. Dom is also planning to add some custom adjustable drop links.
The brakes haven’t been forgotten about either. With the 135i coming equipped with some pretty serious six-pot front calipers from the factory there was no need for a BBK, but grooved discs have been added and are clamped by Pagid RS29 race pads. Goodrich braided hoses and race brake fluid concludes the brake upgrades.
Somehow we’ve managed to make it this far without once mentioning the way this car looks – which isn’t easy because this is a 1 Series that stands out, and then some. A lot of this is to do with the Avery Denison Gloss Blue wrap. “The car was originally Monaco blue,” explains Dom, a colour that you can see lurking in the engine bay. “It had no presence and made the car not look as fast as it actually was. My neighbour had a GTR wrapped in this blue and I absolutely loved it, so I decided to get the 135i done in the same shade, and the bonnet and mirrors done in gloss black.”
With the 135i looking rather more rapid, Dom set about adding the aero addenda. This started off with the relatively subtle carbon front splitter, followed by the carbon bootlip spoiler, and then the bulging Seibon carbon bonnet with aero catches. But Dom refuses to take responsibility for that rear wing. “It’s all Hard Knocks’ fault,” he laughs. “They suggested I got a wing. I agreed and went online to buy it whilst in the pub… although I don’t actually remember buying it!” Oh dear. Still, while the APR rear wing would look out of place on many a car, the overall look of this 135i means it works here. It ties in nicely with the whole black and blue theme, as do the wheels, which are Apex Aero-7 18s, with the car’s arches having been rolled to help accommodate them. The wheels have been wrapped in super-sticky Advan AD08R semi-slick rubber for maximum grip.
As for that Gran Turismo sun strip: “I think it looks badass,” explains Dom, “and it makes a huge difference to the feel of the car when driving.” The interior has, for now, been left largely standard, bar the removal of the rear seats, but Dom was planning on fitting some bucket seats and a roll-cage, that is before he decided to sell the car…
We should be used to it by now, feature cars owners getting in touch not long after a shoot informing us that they are selling their BMW. That’s the way it is with projects, but it was still a little surprising to hear it from Dom considering just how much he’d put into the 135i. It turns out he’s gone and bought himself a Nissan GTR and, to be fair, the signs were there all along as we recall he mentioned it on the day of the shoot. We can’t really blame him either; the GTR is a hell of a car and probably one of the few things that could get his heart pumping the same way as his ferocious 135i. Could we, he asked, mention that it was going to be up for sale? Of course. But then, a month later, we received another email. The 135i was staying, a stablemate for the GTR, and Dom had, in his own words, “gone full circle”. In fact, he now plans to take the 135i to the next level: a roll-cage, bucket seats and steering wheel will transform the interior, while a race diffuser, a side exit exhaust, and a body kit will transform the exterior. “It’s come too far to go back…!” were Dom’s parting words on the email. We can’t wait to see him go all the way.
Custom-mounted meth injection kit helps keep inlet temps down and power up.
DATA FILE #BMW-E82 / #BMW-135i / #BMW-135i-E82 / #BMW / #BMW-135i-Tuned / #BMW-1-Series / #BMW-1-Series-E82 / #Turbo-Dynamics / #Apex / #BMW-135i-Tuned-E82 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six #N54B30 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 , #Cobb-V3-Accessport custom mapped by #Litchfield-Motors , #BMS dual cone air intakes, #HKS-SSQV blow-off valve, #Turbo-Dynamics-Stage-2 hybrid turbos, #Pro-Alloy front mount intercooler, Fuel It Stage 3 upgraded fuel pump, custom- mounted BMS meth injection kit, #VRSF metal charge pipe with meth bungs, VRSF cat-less downpipes, Hard Knocks Speed Shop custom Y-pipe , custom straight- through two into one 3” de-catted centre section, custom quad exit exhaust system with electronic valves. Six-speed manual gearbox, #BMWP short-shift, Spec Stage 3+ clutch and single mass flywheel
POWER & TORQUE 476hp and 400lb ft+
CHASSIS 8x18” ET45 (front) and 9x18” ET50 (rear) #Apex-Aero-7 satin black forged wheels with 225/40 (front) and 255/35 (rear) Advan AD08R tyres, #BC-Racing coilovers, M3 lower control arms, strut brace, car corner weighted, Pagid RS29 race brake pads, grooved discs, #Goodrich braided hoses, race brake fluid
EXTERIOR Wrapped in Avery Denison gloss blue with gloss black roof and gloss black door mirrors, tinted windows, rolled arches, gloss black kidney grilles, carbon front splitter, #Seibon carbon #Powerdome bonnet with AeroCatches, carbon rear spoiler, #APR carbon wing, custom carbon diffuser, #BMW Darkline rear lights
INTERIOR Factory grey M Sport leather, Cobb V3 Accessport controller, rear seats removed
THANKS Chris Bourton (Badger) at Hard Knocks Speed Shop, Fergus Walkinshaw at FW Motorsport, #Litchfield motors for mapping, #SSDD-Motorsport , and Amber performanceStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTHE MPRESSIONIST 470hp 1M-kitted 135i / HARDCORE 135i 470hp, #1M-kitted beast
With 1M looks backed-up with a lot more than 1M power, what was once an unassuming 135i is now a package of pure muscle. Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Matt Richardson
Fitting the 3.0-litre, twin-turbo, straight-six N54 engine into the 1 Series Coupé is one of the best things BMW has ever done. The engine amazed when it first appeared in the E9x 335i thanks to its combination of huge torque spread, impressive top-end, and stirring soundtrack (despite the presence of two turbos to muffle the exhaust note). And then BMW decided to stuff it under the bonnet of the smaller, lighter 1 Series Coupé creating something of a performance hero. But the story doesn’t end there because a couple of years later BMW came out with the 1M, with the E9x M3 running gear crammed under those swollen arches, more power and more attitude, this time creating a performance icon. These days you can pick a 135i up for about £10,000 whereas you’d need about £40,000 to get your hands on a limited edition 1M. Of course, the 1M is a very different prospect when compared with a plain Jane 135i but certainly as far as performance goes there’s hardly anything in it. And once you’ve whacked a remap on the 135i it’ll be the quicker car, if that’s what you’re interested in. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from buying yourself a 135i and building it up into something that’s even better than a 1M…
Meet Sachin Patel, a man who’s done just that. And while he’s got a fair bit of cash invested in his long-term love of a 135i, he’s built this beast of a 1 Series for less than stock 1M would cost to buy. It’s packing some serious firepower, enough to refuse to be intimidated by all but the most heavyweight high performance machinery. And, of course, pouring money as well as your heart and soul into your BMW is just part of everyday life when you’re a lifelong fan of Bavaria’s finest.
“Actually, I was never a BMW fan,” says Sachin. Oh well, scratch that then. “I lived in West London and saw so many so I wasn’t really interested in them at all. That all changed, though, when I drove a 120d. I was really impressed by it. I was looking for a small, powerful car that was also economical and when I read Jeremy Clarkson’s review of the 135i I was sold and went and bought one.”
Sachin always knew he was going to modify his 135i and the first item on his list was more power, because when it’s so easy to extract it would be rude not to. In order to ramp up the power the 135i was treated to a remap, along with an induction kit and a pair of uprated diverter valves. This was enough to nudge power up to the very high 300s and plenty to be getting on with. Sachin also decided to give his chassis a bit of a tweak with the addition of some thicker Eibach anti-roll bars to improve its cornering abilities. And that was enough to satisfy his needs for mods for a while.
“After I’d had the car for about four or five years I decided to sell it and move onto something else,” says Sachin. “A prospective buyer came over one day to have a look at it and said that he was going to put a 1M kit on whatever car he bought. It sounded like such a good idea that I removed the car from sale and started looking at getting the 1M kit done myself. I called MStyle, said I wanted a 1M kit, and everything snowballed from there.”
The transformation was no gentle transition, though. “The styling went from standard to this in one go!” Sachin exclaims. That’s one hell of a transformation. The kit is a Prior Design M wide-body kit, consisting of front and rear bumpers, side skirts, wider front wings and wider rear quarter panels. It’s comprehensive and means that this 135i looks every inch the 1M that inspired its makeover. Now, the kit on its own is awesome and Sachin could have left things there and been extremely happy with the results, but he didn’t. At the same time as the kit was being added a whole host of other styling additions were thrown into the mix to take the car to the next level. Up front there’s an MStyle carbon fibre vented power dome bonnet, a full-length carbon front splitter, and #BMW M Performance gloss black kidney grilles. Then you’ve got the 1M door mirrors, a carbon boot spoiler and carbon fibre rear diffuser from #MStyle , plus LCI Darkline rear lights. These elements are all pretty subtle compared to the impact of the body kit but they definitely add the perfect finishing touches.
Originally, Sachin’s 135i had been white but with its transformation to a wide-body monster it needed a fresh new look. “I’d decided I wanted a matt colour and was debating between black and grey,” he says. You can see which choice won in the end, with the car now finished in stunning Frozen grey. It’s a gorgeous colour that accentuates all of the car’s lines and gives it an otherworldly look. In addition to the Frozen grey bodywork the roof has been painted gloss black, which offers a nice contrast. With the new body kit there was no way that the M Sport wheels that the car had come with would cut the mustard any longer, nor were they beefy enough to fill those fat arches, so the hunt was on for a new set of rims that would be up to the job. Those wheels are Forgestar F14s, forged 14-spoke affairs which are, usefully, available to order in some serious widths and with astonishingly deep concave designs. Indeed, the 9x19” fronts are labelled Deep Concave while the 11x19” rears are what Forgestar calls Super Deep Concave, and that’s no exaggeration, the spokes disappearing deep within the wheel before they hit the centre. With a kit as wild and wide as this you really need to make sure your wheel choice won’t be overwhelmed by those massive arches and that it is capable of delivering its own brand of wow. Well the Forgestars definitely deliver on that front.
With Sachin’s styling plans accomplished, he decided to look at getting a bit more power out of the N54 as, while the 135i was quick, there was still a lot of untapped potential. And who better than MStyle to help tap it? As such, the engine has been fitted with a Mosselman MSL 500 turbo kit, Mosselman twin oil cooler kit and oil cooler separator. There’s also an induction kit, uprated intercooler, uprated low pressure fuel pump, cat-less downpipes, a de-cat centre section with a custom quad exhaust system, and the whole lot is topped off with a Mosselman Stage 3 remap. The end result?
A dyno-proven 470hp with a thumping 480lb ft of torque, huge gains that deliver equally huge performance and really push what was once a humble 135i to the next level.
Up until this point Sachin was still riding on nothing more than the stock suspension with the only handling aids being those Eibach anti-roll bars, so that needed to change. MStyle recommended coilovers so he whipped his wallet out and opted for a set of BC Racing height and damping adjustable items with matching front camber adjustable pillow ball top mounts. “It rides and handles brilliantly now,” says Sachin, “and there’s so much grip it’s actually scary!” He’s has kept the standard callipers because they’re pretty massive, with six-pots up front, but they’ve been given a lick of orange paint which really makes them stand out against the black wheels and grey bodywork.
Inside you’ll find red leather, which looks equally good against the exterior, with carbon trim and a BMW M Performance gear knob, Alcantara gaiter, and matching Alcantara handbrake gaiter. Since the shoot Sachin has added an M Performance Alcantara steering wheel with shift lights and a digital display. He is now thinking about fitting a pair of M4 front seats, which would look awesome.
As we finish up our shoot, Sachin asks if I’d like to take the 135i it out for a spin. I grab the key off him with such ferocity he’s lucky he’s still got a hand left. The first impressions behind the wheel are defined by the stubby gear knob, UUC short-shift kit, and UUC Stage 2 multi-puck ceramic clutch.
It all feels a bit sharp and snatchy for someone who’s just jumped in the car for the first time, so I’m gentle with the clutch and gear change and it’s clear that you’d very quickly get used to the combination and drive it as smoothly as any other car. What a short-shift kit does do, though, is make you want to drive fast and rip through the gears – so that’s exactly what I do. The performance is awesome! It’s the torque that really gets you. There’s so much of it spread over such a wide rev range that it’s always there when you put your foot down. When you do the 135i just explodes forward. It’s incredible and makes this car ridiculously rapid. It takes no effort to find yourself travelling far more quickly than you ever had any intention of doing. The mid-range is so astonishing that you find yourself shortshifting, which drops you right back into the torque plateau, but when the opportunity arises I keep the throttle pinned to get a taste of the top end and it doesn’t disappoint. There’s no let up in acceleration and the power just keeps on coming. When you tap into that heady top end the car feels ferocious and furious and it’s addictive.
The ride is firm but compliant and the chassis feels taught and precise, the 135i cornering hard, fast and flat, while the brakes feel strong with plenty of feel through the pedal providing massive stopping power. Oh, and it sounds good, too. Really good. That fully-decatted exhaust really lets that straight-six sing. It’s a great noise, the icing on a very fast cake indeed.
“I’m very happy with the car,” grins Sachin as I hand back the keys, though perhaps that’s why he’s smiling. “It gets lots of attention. I’m actually surprised just how much. It’s got the look I’ve always wanted and it’s the car I’ve always wanted.”
What Sachin’s done is taken a good car and made it great, which is the ultimate modifying goal. And when the end result is as impressive as this, that’s something you can be truly proud of.
Interior features carbon trim, a shortshift kit and red leather, which looks great against the grey exterior; orange brake calipers add a flash of colour.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-E82 / #BMW-135i / #BMW-135i-E82 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 / #Mosselman-MSL500 / #Mosselman / #UUC-Motorwerks / #N54-Mosselman / #BMW-135i-Mosselman / #BMW-135i-Mosselman-E82 / #Mosselman-Stage-3 / #BMW-1-Series / #BMW-1-Series-E82 /
ENGINE 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six #N54B30 , #Mosselman-MSL500-N54-turbo-kit , twin oil cooler kit and oil cooler separator, induction kit, uprated intercooler, uprated low pressure fuel pump, cat-less downpipes, de-cat centre section, #Mosselman-Stage-3 remap
TRANSMISSION Six-speed manual gearbox, #UUC-Motorwerks-Stage-2 multi-puck ceramic clutch, UUC Motorwerks double-shear Evo short-shift kit
CHASSIS 9x19” (front) #Deep-Concave and 11x19” (rear) #Super-Deep-Concave-Forgestar-F14 forged wheels in gloss black with 245/35 (front) and 285/30 (rear) Continental ContiSportContact 5P tyres, #BC-Racing height and damping adjustable coilover kit, #BC-Racing front camber adjustable pillow ball top mounts, #Eibach anti-roll bars, brake calipers painted in custom orange with M decals, #Quaife-LSD
EXTERIOR Prior Design M wide-body kit consisting of front and rear bumpers, side skirts, wider front wings and wider rear quarter panels, painted MStyle carbon vented power dome bonnet, MStyle full length carbon fibre front splitter and carbon fibre rear diffuser, BMW M Performance gloss black kidney grilles, OE 1M air ducts and arch liners, OE 1M door mirrors, MStyle custom quad exhaust, SuperSprint quad tailpipes, MStyle carbon boot spoiler, full respray in Frozen grey, roof painted gloss black, Darkline E82 LCI rear lights
INTERIOR #BMW M Performance gear knob and Alcantara gaiter, #BMW-M-Performance Alcantara gaiter for handbrake
“It rides and handles brilliantly now… there’s so much grip it’s scary”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationLike Hell Rocket Bunny-kitted 335i
Patrik Korpi’s 335i is as wide as a freeway and it goes like a freight train. Is he content to follow the crowd and follow conventional wisdom? Like hell he is… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Patrik Karlsson.
“The police really like the car… they pull me over three times a day sometimes!”
Anthropomorphising cars – that is, applying human characteristics to them – is easy to do. After all, you can’t really escape the fact that most cars have a pretty obvious face: the headlights act as eyes (look at the Lamborghini Miura, they can even have pretty eyelashes), there’s a grille that looks like a mouth, and in the case of BMWs you get the handy kidney grilles to represent a pair of flared, snorting nostrils, too.
It’s no surprise that a lot of people give their car a name, refer to it as ‘he’ or ‘she’ and treat it as one of the family. It helps that so many cars have been artfully anthropomorphised in the movies. Herbie, for example, the mischievous VW Beetle that likes to muck about like an unstoppable nincompoop. Or Christine, eponymous star of the Stephen King thriller, the frankly terrifying Plymouth Fury that likes to squish people. Take a lingering look at this matt black E92 335i, then, and see what sort of personality it might have. A cheery one? A happy-go-lucky sort that tips the milkman at Christmas and helps its elderly neighbour with their weekly shop? No, very far from it.
This car exudes a simmering, malevolent evil, its hellish red highlights serving to accentuate the inky blackness of the swollen flanks. If this car had a name, it’d be Obsidian or Romulus or Leviathan. It scares children wherever it goes, and you’d better not get too close to it in case it tears your face clean off. Frightening, angry thing. It’s the work of serial Swedish BMW perv Patrik Korpi and, impressively, it stands as a sort of showcase of his own personal mission to see how cool he could make the car on his own in his garage. Yep, aside from a few mates mucking in, this is a build worthy of those annoyingly gloating ‘built, not bought’ stickers you see everywhere nowadays; a triumph of vision, trial-and-error, and doing things just for the hell of it to see what happens.
‘For the hell of it’ – that’s an appropriate phrase here, isn’t it? And it’s one that’s informed Patrik’s modifying career from the very start. “I’ve had five #BMW s before this one,” he explains. “Three E36s, one of which was a 325i turbo, and two different examples of the E46 330i, all of which received various modifications, although I’ve never gone quite as far with a car as I have with this one.” What happened then? What was the catalyst for change that made the man experiment with something extraordinary?
“It was a track day,” he grins. “A friend of mine took me to a race track and we spent the day driving Ferraris and Porsches and what-have-you. This was back when I had a 330i, and he pointed out to me during the day that the E92 335i could produce incredible power from its N54 motor; I took him at his word and bought one! Having tried one on track that day I could see the potential and I really liked the car. I wanted a good base for my next project, and I realised that the 335i was the ideal car for that.”
The decision-making process was as simple as that. Patrik found a completely stock example at a Swedish dealer, in good original condition, still wearing its factory wheels and in its 306hp state of tune, and he started making a few plans. “I just thought it’d be really funny to build the car up this way,” he grins, impishly. “It was kind of hard for me having had no experience with tuning E92s before – swapping the turbos, for example, was a real pain in the backside – but the challenge is what made it fun.”
Having seen some photos circulating online of a wide-body E92, Patrik’s interest was sufficiently piqued and he knew that was the aesthetic direction he wanted to go in. And after a decent amount of research he decided on the Rocket Bunny kit, which offers the twin victories of making the car lot wider, and also an amusing amount longer thanks to its jutting spoilers. You can’t really argue with the aggression of a Rocket Bunny look, but that was only to be half the story…
“I wanted to get it done in time for my holiday, so I ordered the parts in smartly from CIKAB Garaget – my friend’s father’s company – and we put the car together in four days! There was a lot of cutting and welding at the rear to make room for the wheels, and when the kit was all fitted it was coated in matt black Plasti Dip, and then I brought it back to my garage for me to do the rest.”
Plasti Dip, incidentally, if you’re unfamiliar, is an air-drying rubberised coating that you can spray on with minimal prep work, and then peel off again if and when you get bored with it. It’s a sort of modern miracle. And with the body dealt with, Patrik turned his hand to the mechanicals.
“I upgraded the intercooler to a 7” #VSRF item,” he says, “as well as adding an #aFe-Power cold air intake system, Fuel-It Stage 2 low-pressure fuel pump, BMS charge pipe with blow-off valve, and straight 2.5” pipes. The biggest and hardest job, however, was the turbo upgrade. It’s now running a pair of Schmiedmann Stage 2 turbos but I’ve had so many problems with the install I’ve had to swap the turbos three times!” He furrows his brow before erupting in slightly manic laughter as he tells us this. “It all seems to be working well now, though, and it’s been mapped by TM Racing in Katrineholm, Sweden. Power is upwards of 400hp, and I have plans…”
Patrik’s eager to talk about these plans, as this is a build that’s constantly developing and evolving. You see it here not in its ultimate state but in one of many transitional phases. Since the shoot, he’s added a rollcage and bucket seats to further accentuate its track aspirations and, over the winter, Patrik intends to strip out as much weight as he can by junking anything superfluous. He also wants to flash the paddle-shift autobox with Alpina B3 software, as well as upgrade the brakes in some manner.
“I’ve had the car for about a year now,” he says, “and it’s certainly a lot lower and wider than it was! In terms of suspension, it’s now running D2 coilovers – I’ve lowered it as much as is practical but Sweden’s roads are completely terrible and this is my daily driver, so it’s not quite as low as I’d like. But it is usable! I use it for holidays, too, and I’ve also had it on track many times – it always runs great, and I’ve never been overtaken at Mantroppark! Well, I did have some overboost issues at one point but those overtakes don’t count… Anyway, for now the plan is to get the weight right down and start driving it in Time Attack – and then take it out on the road afterwards to go and get ice cream.”
He laughs manically again at this point, the evil spirit of the 335i evidently coursing through his very veins, intertwining with his DNA’s beleaguered helices, urging him on to ever darker behaviour. “Some people really like the car,” he muses, “and some really don’t. And they’re the comments I like best; they say it’s mad crazy and I just love the hate. The police really like the car, too, they pull me over three times a day sometimes!”
Patrik’s enthusiasm for his car is infectious; he might be slightly scary, he’s certainly a little unhinged, but dammit he knows how to put a car together. And the fact that he taught himself how to do all of this just for the sheer mischief of it is admirable indeed. As the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and if this E92’s anything to go by, Patrik’s going to be arriving in hell far quicker than most. Probably sideways. And on fire. And he’ll be cackling like a lunatic.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335i / #BMW / #BMW-335i-E92 / #Japan-Racing / #VRSF / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six #N54B30 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 , #VRSF-7 ” intercooler, #aFe-Power cold air intake system, #Fuel-It-Stage-2 low-pressure fuel pump, #BMS chargepipe with blow-off valve, 2.5” straight pipes, #Schmiedmann-Stage-2 turbos, mapped by #TM-Racing in Katrineholm, Sweden, approx. 400hp+, six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle-shift
CHASSIS 11x19” (front and rear) #ET0-Japan-Racing-JR11 wheels with 35mm spacers (front) and 55mm spacers (rear) with 275/30 (front) and 295/30 (rear) Hankook tyres, D2 coilovers, stock 335i brakes with YellowStuff pads (front and rear) / #Japan-Racing-JR11
EXTERIOR Rocket Bunny arches, wings, lips and spoilers, matt black Plasti Dip
INTERIOR Red leather interior, all chrome wrapped in black
THANKS I really want to thank my best friend Bobby for all the hard work building the car night and day in the garage. And thanks to Korpi Bygg Och Plåt AB (sponsor), and Thomas from TM racing AB
“It’s now running a pair of Schmiedmann Stage 2 turbos …power is upwards of 400hp”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationSIMPLE PLEASURES Finely-honed 400hp 1M
Man, machine, open roads, fulfilment. That’s pretty much the formula for happiness, is it not? Ah, if only life were so simple… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Peter Wu.
All you really need to know is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place.’ So wrote Douglas Adams, and he was a man of sufficient wisdom to have a decent handle on such matters; the world and everything in it (not to mention all the things outside of it) are so mind-numbingly crammed with incomprehensible minutiae that when you start to consider the logic of anything beyond what you’re having for dinner or which Kardashian’s up the duff this week, it can get a little overwhelming. What we need is simplicity. Clarity. Binary black-and-whiteness. And in the case of this crisp and clinical 1M, simplicity is exactly what you get.
It is what it is, and nothing more – no complexity, no ambiguity, just a snapshot… …except, no, that’s not actually the case at all. It’s a cunning illusion, an exercise in smoke-and-mirrors shadow play. “Many people can’t tell what came with the car and what I’ve added,” says owner Manu Sethi.
“I take that as a compliment, because the goal was to always keep the car looking OEM, even after such heavy modifications.” Part of this is thanks to the obscurity of the 1M itself, of course – they’re such a rare sight that most onlookers don’t know what they’re seeing in the first place, let alone that it’s a rambunctiously tweaked example. And this is all just the latest in a long line of BMW affection for Manu. “I’ve had a love for BMWs all my life,” he enthuses. “My first car was an E36 M3 – I had to take two jobs to afford that car, and I was happy to do it. I had a smile on my face every day I drove it! And I’ve gone through a number of BMWs along the way, from 3 Series to 7 Series. I have a deep love for the brand. My next BMW will surely be a European Delivery, it’s been an unfulfilled dream for far too long.”
Manu’s is a bona fide success story, going from those early days of working two jobs to afford the used car he desired to the present day situation that finds him with a gleaming new Lamborghini Huracán on his drive, bullishly flanked by his Audi R8 V10 and his Mercedes E-Class. But while it’s simple enough to stroll into a Lambo dealer and pick up the latest exotic ride, tracking down something as obscure as a 1M isn’t quite so easy…
“I bought the car brand-new in 2011 and, like most 1Ms, it was not an easy find,” he recalls. “I got lucky, really – I drove all the way out to Las Vegas to get mine; the dealer was initially allocated eight cars and ended up only getting two! I was fortunate enough to buy one of them – number 88 out of North America’s allocation of 740. The model was rare to begin with, and its scarcity is only increasing. From day one my car has garnered plenty of attention. Leaving the gym one time, a guy said to me ‘Is that a 1M? How the hell did you get a 1M? You must’ve had to sell your left nut!’ Lucky for me that was not the case!”
Manu’s right when he says that the scarcity of 1Ms is increasing – global economic instability has seen people investing in cars like never before over the last half-decade or so, and anything that fuses quality and desirability with lowvolume obscurity is firmly in the crosshairs of the speculators. More than a few 1Ms have been wrapped up in cotton wool and locked away in private collections, making the disheartening shift from driver’s plaything to investor’s cash cow. Thankfully, however, some people bought them because they actually wanted to use them. And in Manu’s case, that was only the beginning.
“I was excited by the idea of the project,” he says. “I wanted to make a limited car even more limited. But I bided my time to ensure everything was right; I waited two years before I hit the mods hard. The idea was to wait until every aftermarket company released parts for the 1M, and then pick and choose what I thought was the best. As you can see, the build list comprises many different brands. No compromises were made. The BMW Performance seats are a case in point: by the time I was ready to make the purchase, I was notified that they had been discontinued. It was a struggle to locate a brand-new set but the project wouldn’t have been complete without them. After an exhaustive search I got the very last set and they were worth every penny.”
Manu’s approach is founded in a refreshingly honest appraisal of the car, one which may be anathema to some of you but will resonate strongly with the values of others: that the 1 Series isn’t exactly a looker. That’s not to say it’s a fugly mess by any means but it’s arguably not as cohesive as, say, an E9x – the swoop and flow of the bonnet into the wings, the banana-shaped sills, to some eyes it all seems a bit fairground. To others, naturally this suggests brilliant uniqueness and visual drama, and we’re not going to argue with that either. It’s all about perspective.
“The M division definitely helped out with the looks on the 1M, but still there was a lot lacking,” reckons Manu. “In modifying the car, I paid attention to the existing lines and made sure to stay consistent with them. For example, the flat-bottom, half curved headlights were specifically designed with the lines of the car in mind. Similarly, the Revozport bonnet, the radial stripes on the tyres, and the BBS FIs were also chosen to complement the curves on the car.” This is all in-keeping with his optical-illusion approach, he’s basically just toying with people’s perceptions. It works brilliantly.
The game plan wasn’t purely aesthetic, either. Manu was keen to build on the mighty drivetrain of the 1M to create something that’d truly earn its place in his stable of supercars; as such, the feisty N54 now sports freer-flowing Akrapovic pipes, a GruppeM intake, a Forge intercooler, and various other natty little tricks in order to crank that peak performance figure up to something that begins with a four. And while he has almighty respect for the M Division’s chassis-honing abilities, you’ll find a certain forthright reworking underneath the skin too, principally in the form of Öhlins Road & Track coilovers and a Brembo Type III bigbrake upgrade.
“I definitely hit a few hurdles in the course of the build,” Manu admits. “Even though I went with top-notch brands, things still went wrong. You have to expect this when you’re dealing with aftermarket modifications! It’s part of the journey. Through the process I gained a lot of knowledge of the 1M and cars in general; moreover, I forged invaluable relationships along the way. At the end of the day, you’re dealing with people. Sometimes products don’t fit or perform like they should but what makes a company great is the people that stand behind it – that’s what you pay extra for, the service.
“The 1M really is a fun little pocket rocket, but practical at the same time. The rear seats can comfortably fit two and the boot is spacious; I don’t use the car as my daily driver but I certainly don’t baby it either – it goes on the canyons and on the track. It’s a hoot to drive! At times it can be scary, unforgiving even, but it’s always a thrill. It’s the immense amount of torque attached to a short wheelbase that makes it a hooligan!”
Mission accomplished, then – Manu’s created a perky little foil to the biggerbrother supercars, and achieved his goal of tricking the eye of many an onlooker. While the 1M may look relatively stock to the casual observer, the robust spec list certainly suggests otherwise. So where does he go from here? “Oh, one is always tweaking to achieve perfection,” he says, a twinkle in his eye and a mischievous grin curling the corners of the mouth. “I have some plans, just wait and see.” We guess we’ll be needing to keep an eye on his Instagram page (@msethi88). This illusion of simplicity could soon break whole new realms of complexity.
“I wanted to make a limited car even more limited”
“The build list comprises many brands. No compromises were made”
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-1M-Coupé-E82 / #BMW-1M / #BMW / #BMW-E82 / #BMW-1-Series-E82 / #BMW-1-Series / #BMW-1M-E82 / #N54B30TO / #N54B30 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 / #BMW-1M-Coupé-E82
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six twinturbo N54B30TO, #GruppeM intake, #Forge intercooler, Forge dump valves, #Evolution-Racewerks chargepipe, full stainless steel #Akrapovic exhaust system with cat-less downpipes, BMS oil catch can, #Cobb-V3 with #PTF custom map, six-speed manual gearbox. 400hp
CHASSIS 9.5x19” (front) and 10.5x19” (rear) #BBS / #BBS-FI-R forged alloys with 255/35 (front) and 275/35 (rear) Michelin Pilot Supersport tyres, MRG titanium race studs, M valve caps, Öhlins Road & Track coilovers, Brembo-Type-III-BBK / Brembo
EXTERIOR Revozport carbon fibre bonnet, OSS DTM headlights, lightweight carbon fibre front lip, Dinmann carbonfibre side skirts, Vorsteiner carbon fibre diffuser, BMW carbon fibre spoiler, BMW carbon fibre mirror caps, BMW Blackline tail-lights, Macht Schnell tow straps, XPEL clear wrap protectant film and stripes, WeissLicht LED indicators
INTERIOR #BMW-Performance pedals and footrest, LED interior lights, BMW electronic #Performance-V2 steering wheel, illuminated gear knob, BMW Homelink/Compass rearview mirror, BMW Euro visors, M handbrake handle, BMW Performance seats, Euro foglight switch enabled, carbon fibre centre console, Euro MDMStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationCHAIRMAN OF THE BROAD Wild #Liberty-Walk E92 335xi!
There are wide-bodies and there are wide-bodies… and then there’s this E92 335xi. It’s not for the faint-hearted. Josh Levy has certainly mastered the art of width, as demonstrated by his chunky E92. The extremely wide wheels and body turn this 335xi into an aggressive beast… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Mike Kuhn.
We try not to focus too keenly on one single element of a car when we’re buzzing around a shoot and formulating ideas for the story; after all, you people out there building progressive and exciting BMWs always take a holistic approach. It’s never about one sole piece of the puzzle; it’s how they link together.
This car, however… there’s one thing that just stopped us in our tracks as we were ambling around it – something at the back end of the car that got us rubbing our eyes in disbelief: the rear wheels. Now, this isn’t to sideline the myriad other stunning elements of this E92 – the bulging Liberty Walk hips, the low-slung aired-out stance, the pops and crackles from the quad exhausts – but those rear wheels really grabbed our attention.
They measure a mighty 15x18”. Fifteen inches wide! That’s insane. Remember when you were a kid and you first saw the back end of a Countach, how those wheels seemed cartoonishly wide? They were 12x15”. This brutal 335xi is packing supercar girth, and then some. We’ve got nothing but the utmost respect for that.
It could be the case that owner Josh Levy is exorcising a few demons from his own automotive past. While his personal motoring adventure has been long and diverse, he happily admits that his love for cars was sparked by a build he saw running 13” wheels – and he’s talking diameter, not width. All fit for purpose on a Mk1 Golf GTI, of course, but it shows you how far he’s come. Too much is never enough; it’s all about pushing forward.
“I started modifying cars when I was 17 years old and haven’t stopped since,” says Josh. “It all started when I first saw an ’1984 GTI dropped on 13s, with a roll-cage and just one seat. It looked awesome and I wanted to know more about it. My interest grew and I started my love/hate relationship with automobiles. Whether it’s lowering your car, adding aftermarket parts or whatever, it’s the passion we have for our cars that keeps us going. No matter what car I’ve had in the past, I always wanted to modify it. It’s fun, exhausting, and painful, but I love the feeling when it’s all done. And I actually have a 1984 VW GTI that I’m restoring now.”
A pleasingly full-circle tale then, but how did Josh end up with what has to be one of the widest and most aggressive E92s we’ve seen to date? This sort of thing doesn’t happen by accident, nor does it happen overnight. He must have been harbouring a desire to build such a thing for a while, yes?
“Well, no, I wasn’t really on the lookout for an E92 per se – or, in fact, any car,” Josh recalls. “This project just sort of fell into my lap, really! There were a few mods done to it by a previous owner. It was just an old project that had been hiding away in storage. It needed some TLC but I could see its potential. It simply needed my personal touch to turn it into something badass!”
And when Josh talks about his ‘personal touch’, what he’s basically referring to is tearing the car down to first principles and building it back up again as something fresh, new and exciting. Taking a broad view of the car – which, incidentally, is a 2009 335xi – you can see that there are three key areas to consider: first, there’s the unmissable Liberty Walk bodywork; then there’s the rims and air-ride combo. But there’s also something that’s easy to miss at first glance, given the striking nature of the aesthetics, and that’s the extensive conversion to M3 spec. While the 335xi is a formidable thing in its own right, this example has been treated to no less than the bumpers, front wings, front grilles, lock plates, combination brackets, reinforced bumper brackets and radiator support, mirrors, and side skirts from the mighty M3 – a meisterwerk of parts-sourcing and effort in itself. And that’s before we get to the really juicy stuff.
“I knew my next car needed to stand out and I wanted something that would take really wide wheels,” Josh explains. “I wanted a car that would make a statement no matter where I was going, whether it was at a show or just getting gas. I always loved the E92 M3’s body style, and with the wide Liberty Walk kit it felt like the right way to go… the M3’s body lines mixed with wide flares sure draw you in!”
The next job was rather an important one: wheel choice. “I wanted to build a street monster and show people that having wide wheels isn’t just for looks,” Josh says. “The three-piece Nine1Forged LV6 wheels gave me everything I wanted with their VIP feel and aggressive design. The huge 8” rear lips really help show off that extreme concave construct. I wanted the fitment just right and for my 15” rears to touch the fenders.”
This wasn’t as easy to achieve as Josh makes it sound and a lot of adjustments were necessary, along with rear camber arms: “After I got the fitment I wanted, I realised it was bottoming out and hitting the Liberty Walk kit so I had to make more adjustments and pull more camber out of it! As this is my daily driver I didn’t want to go too crazy, but then again what’s crazy?”
What indeed? There is a certain inevitability to projects like this, where one modification necessarily leads to another until the car’s basically unrecognisable when placed alongside a stock example, but Josh’s commitment to commuting daily in the thing does lend his own personal definition of ‘crazy’ an interesting perspective filter. The best way to categorise it at this stage is ‘exactly crazy enough’. But that’s an elastic concept, and he’s always got a new idea bubbling away.
When your car looks this extreme, you really need to have a bit of grunt to back it up, that’s just an immutable law of the universe. No point expending this much elbow grease on something that’d struggle to haul itself up a moderate incline, there’s little joy to be derived from that. Thankfully, as mentioned, the 335xi is a fiery thing – but that’s not to say that Josh had any intention of keeping the turbocharged three-litre straight-six standard.
“The only issue with buying someone else’s unfinished project is that you can’t totally know what you’re getting,” he admits. “And if you do run into issues, it could be very difficult. I had a few issues under the hood but fortunately it was soon all straightened out. The motor was pretty stock but it felt like the car needed more. I added a full exhaust and that, together with the huge front-mount intercooler, really helped the car open up.” He’s also added a Burger Tuning Juicebox, which sounds like it should be delicious but is actually a rather clever little remap gizmo that’s marketed under the alluring slogan ‘add 100hp to your twin-turbo BMW instantly’. You can’t really argue with that, can you?
So he’s got the look, the power, and he’s the envy of everyone at the petrol station. It’d be churlish not to lavish a little affection on the interior, too, wouldn’t it? After all, that’s where Josh spends a lot of his time – particularly given that he’s using the thing daily. “It came to me as a base model with no extras so I had to do something about that,” Josh grins. “The trim needed some updating along with the doorcards, seats, and there’s now a bolt-in roll-cage from House Motorsport, too.”
This outrageous E92, then, is far more than just a set of ludicrously wide rear wheels. It’s a beautifully finished and surprisingly practical daily driver with oodles of power and that intangible wow factor in spades. The wheels are a pretty good place to start though, aren’t they? When there’s this much for your eyes to process, it’s quite soothing to lose yourself in all that dish.
“Yeah, people do seem to love the car,” Josh declares, amused by the visual and aural assault he unleashes every day upon the local traffic. “I had an idea when I started of what I wanted it to look like but I never thought it would turn out like this. That’s what makes modifying cars so much fun! You can do whatever you like.”
Sage counsel indeed. And with Josh raving about his near-future plans to single-turbo the car, shave the bay, swap the dash, change the boot install, respray the body, replace the wheels and goodness knows what else, he’s certainly taking the ‘do whatever you like’ idea and running with it. We just wonder how much wider the E92 can possibly go.
Rear Nine 1 Forged LV6 rims measure an obscene 15x18” and boast outrageous 8” lips.
If the Liberty Walk kit wasn’t quite wild enough, Josh has added a carbon front splitter and rear spoiler for good measure.
DATA FILE #Liberty Walk / #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335xi / #BMW-335xi-E92 / #BMW / #BMW-E92-Liberty-Walk / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92 / #BMW-E92-Coupe / #N54B30 / #BMW-N54 / #Nine1Forged / #Burger-Tuning / #N54-Stage-3 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo #N54B30 , #Dual-AFE downpipes with custom exhaust system, #Burger-Tuning-JuiceBox4-PNP (N54 Stage 3) software, #AFE cold air intakes, M3 washer reservoir, six-speed manual gearbox, Spec 2+ clutch
CHASSIS 12.5x18” (front) and 15x18” (rear) #Nine1Forged-LV6-Extreme -oncave wheels in Blushed Monaco Gold with hidden hardware, 285/30 (front) and 305/30 (rear) Sumitomo HTR ZIII tyres, Air Lift front struts, #Air-Lift rear toe arms, #Megan-Racing rear adjustable control/camber arms, #Air-Lift double bellow rear air springs, #AccuAir management, dual #Viair-480c compressors and five-gallon aluminium tank, Forge Motorsport front brakes with six-pot calipers and 380mm discs, StopTech grooved rear discs
EXTERIOR Liberty Walk ten-piece body kit including overfenders, carbon-fibre spoiler and front splitter, carbonfibre M3 bonnet, Challenge carbonfibre rear diffuser, custom headlights, M4 headlight arms, OEM M3 upgrades comprising: bumpers, front wings, front grilles, lock plates, combination brackets, reinforced bumper brackets and radiator support, mirrors, side skirts
INTERIOR Carbon-fibre trim, Jaffster gear knob, BMW ‘Rennsport’ Performance Alcantara steering wheel with factory airbag, custom ‘race’ seats with matching doorcards, centre console, gaiter and handbrake cover, House Motorsport bolt-in roll cage
THANKS Thank you to my sponsors @Royal_Stance, @Elite_tuner, @Clean.e93, and @Stance_DailyStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationBLUE MOVIE /
This E92 335i knows all about making a big impact. A hot, loud, wild ride that seduces, screams and amuses… Back for his second stint of PBMW fame, Steve Lin shows us how to make a bold statement with BMW’s latest Coupé, the undeniably sexy 335i. Words: Louise Woodhams. Photos: Darren Maybury.
Regular readers of PBMW should remember Steve Lin’s E39 540i featured in May 2007. How could you forget? With wide-body styling, a Candy fuscia paint scheme, 20” iForged wheels and a supercharger to boot, it’s a car you’re not going to forget in a hurry! And astonishingly, little over a year later he’s back. His second project may not be as outrageous as the Five, but it is another unusual choice of base car.
Steve placed the order for his E92 335i in February 2007, taking delivery of it some months later on April 24. The Mission Viejo resident first fell in love with the blue and white roundel some 11 years ago at the tender age of 18, when his father bought him a new E36 328i, insisting that a BMW was the safest car for a teenager. If only my dad was as concerned for my wellbeing! A Ford Fiesta 1.1 doesn’t quite match up!
As far as Steve is concerned now, no other manufacturer can rival BMW’s exquisite drive, handling and performance, so it’s no surprise to hear that he’s already planning his next project, a VIP-style E60 M5, slammed on 21s and tuned to 600bhp. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, for now we want to know more about this stunning 335i. That colour’s pretty nice, isn’t it? It’s Montego blue, our man did consider Alpine white, but apparently it’s very common on the busy roads of southern California, so blue it was. A similar hue has been carried through to the lip of the wheels, something often seen on the Japanese tuning scene, and the spokes painted gloss black with contrasting polished bolts. If ever you needed an example of the adage ‘wheels maketh the car’ here’s the proof. As Vice President of operations for iForged, Steve had very little choice when it came to picking a brand of rim, so he plumped for one of his personal favourites from the Precision Series range, the Essen, the very same wheels fitted to his Audi A3.
The 335i’s dynamics are pretty much flawless straight from the factory, but with H&R anti-roll bars teamed with a substantial drop on KW Variant 2 coilovers sharpening it up even further while also providing a snug fit for those 8.5x20” wheels, we doubt there’s any complaints from Steve. With a 2.5” lip up front and a 4” lip out back shod in 245/30 and 285/25 Toyo T1R tyres respectively, it’s a winning combination of modern way-low attitude, streched rubber and custom rims.
Take a closer look and you’ll see Steve’s also made improvements to the car’s braking performace as well, with Rotora’s eight-piston calipers clamped to 15” cross-drilled discs on the front and four-piston calipers matched to 14” cross-drilled discs for the rear.
From its balanced proportions to its elegantly cut creases, the latest Coupé is stylish and sporty without reverting to radical and awkward sculpting. Contemporary BMW design has been a strangely hit and miss affair, but rather than averting your eyes for fear of seeing an uncomfortable assortment of panel gaps, shut lines and ridges, the bullseye has been firmly hit in this instance. In fact, I suspect Mr Bangle may have been on his holidays when the Board of Directors approved this machine, but as we modifiers well know, there’s always room for improvement. Steve takes up the story: “I thought the stock styling was too subtle for the car, so I fitted the Rieger body kit for a more aggressive look. I’ve always believed in building a car that’s muscular but sleek at the same time. I like the fact that people can’t figure out what I did to my car because everything flows so well together. The front end is my favourite part of the car, it just looks so much more aggressive now compared to standard.” We couldn’t have explained it better ourselves. DTM Autobody in El Monte took care of fitting the Rieger front bumper, side skirts, rear diffuser and carbon fibre splitter, having to shave the edges to ensure a flawless finish, while Steve painted the kidney grille black for a simpler, cleaner look and popped in 8000K xenon bulbs to give the headlamps a piercing stare.
The 3.0-litre twin-turbo in-line-six will blaze the 0 to 62 sprint in 5.5 seconds – although acceleration times from other motoring magazines have proved even faster than the company’s claimed figures. Steve plans on getting a front-mounted intercooler, downpipes and, eventually, bigger turbos, for now though he’s quite satisfied with the Racing Dynamics Sport quad exhaust system and #Black-Box installed by Auto Talent in Los Angeles. The RD Black Box is a self-contained ECU that works as a piggyback to the #Siemens-MSD80-DME . By controlling a variety of parameters such as boost pressure and timing advance, it delivers an additional 65bhp and 80lb ft of torque, bringing the performance of this 335i to the range of the current V10 powered M5 and far beyond the outgoing E46 M3. “The power increase was noticeable in every gear, especially in second and third,” revealed Steve. For those E92 owners interested in fitting one yourself, you might also like to know the unit can be bypassed with the provided Service Plugs or can be removed in minutes to restore your 335i to its original state.
Tuned to over 365bhp with styling to make every E92 owner weep with envy, look at this car and tell me you don’t want it. Steve’s dream would be to widen the front fenders and rear quarter panels, throw on some 13x20” wheels shod in 345/25 tyres and increase power to 500bhp at the wheels.
Given he’s done all of the above in four months, it may not seem altogether unattainable. There’s certainly no denying the car won’t be used to its full potential either, he’s already clocked 150mph on the way back from last year’s SEMA show. I seriously doubt this is the last we’ll hear from Steve. Whether it be stage two of the 335i, which bears all the promise of being bedroom wall pin-up fodder, or his next project, the M5, one thing’s for sure; we’ll bring you the exclusive coverage.
“I like the fact that people can’t figure out what I did to my car because everything flows so well together”
DATA FILE #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335i / #BMW-335i-E92 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #N54B30O0 / #BMW-N54 / #N54 / #BMW / #N54B30 / #Forged / #KW / #Racing-Dynamics
ENGINE: 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six with #Racing-Dynamics-Sport quad exhaust system and Black Box
CHASSIS: 8.5x20” and 10x20” #iForged-Precision-Series-Essen wheels with gloss black centres and #Sapphire blue lips shod in 245/30 and 285/25 Toyo T1R tyres respectively. #KW-Variant-2 coilovers, #H&R front and rear anti-roll bars. #Rotora eight-piston calipers and 15” cross-drilled discs (front) and Rotora four-piston calipers and 14” cross-drilled discs
EXTERIOR: Montego blue factory paint, Rieger front bumper, carbon fiber splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser, custom painted black kidney grille, 8000K xenon headlight bulbs
INTERIOR: Standard black leather eight-way power factory sport seats and brushed aluminium trim
THANKS: #iForged-Performance-Alloys (www.forgedwheels.com), #KW-Suspensions (www.kw-suspension.com), Rotora Brakes (www.rotora.com), Toyo Tires (www.toyo.com), Auto Talent (www.autotalent.com), DTM Autobody (www.dtmautobody.com)
Tuned to over 365bhp with styling to make every E92 owner weep with envy, look at this car and tell me you don’t want it.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTHE ONLY ONE
Japan definitely does things differently and that most definitely applies to cars, as this Far Eastern 135i illustrates.
Japan does everything differently, including modifying its cars, and this Far Eastern 135i has a look you won’t find anywhere else… Words and photos: Chris Nicholls.
The Japanese do ‘unique’ better than most. Anyone who’s ever been to the country or even just watched their TV shows will tell you that. From all sorts of bizarre toys and manga to TV shows where they do things like finding out which type of tyre flies farthest off a ski jump, or testing how long game show contestants can stand being immersed in a pool of eels, Japanese culture is about as far removed from Western norms (even today) as it gets. Their modified vehicles are often similarly ‘out there’. From the extreme wings and exhausts of the kaido racers to the utter insanity that is the decotora scene, you are more likely to find off-the-wall cars, bikes and trucks in Japan than almost anywhere else. Even in the #BMW ranks, you can find stuff that plenty of Western folks would maybe consider weird. Like a brown, camo-wrapped X6 complete with matching camo green AC Schnitzer wheels, or itasha examples of various models.
Of course, the majority of tuned BMWs, like the majority of other vehicles in Japan, are fairly subdued, but there are ones that tread that fine line between the extreme and the subtle and achieve uniqueness of another kind – instant, eye-popping greatness because they’re tasteful, but in a way no one has managed before. K. Watanabe’s 135i ‘Kai’ (Kai meaning modified in Japanese) is one of those examples. Like many things in life that are more than the sum of their parts, the basic ingredients for this daily driver are nothing new. Unusual paint colour, nice wheels, big brakes, decent drop, and a funky body kit make up the majority of the talking points, but it’s the way they’ve all come together that makes this work.
Perhaps the fact Watanabe-san is an architect has something to do with this success. Visually-minded and highly trained from the get-go, Watanabe-san is probably less likely than most to turn out an ugly dinger. But, then again, plenty of architects have designed buildings that many hate, so perhaps it’s not that. Maybe it’s just the fact Japan itself, despite the often eye-searing extremes it produces, is generally one of the more educated and aesthetically aware societies out there. Whatever the reasons behind his choices, though, Watanabe-san’s 135i is a stunner.
Obviously, it’s hard to get past the paint as it’s one of the key focal points here. Possibly the main focal point. Starting out as a black 135i when he bought it, Watanabe-san eventually had the whole car repainted in BMW Individual Atlantis blue, and the effect is remarkable. Deep, shimmering and with metal flake that picks out the light just so, it’s one of the best car colours available, in this writer’s humble opinion, and unsurprisingly, it’s also Watanabe-san’s favourite part of the build. It makes you wonder why more BMW customers don’t order their cars like this from the factory. The next major point is the 1M body kit. Studie AG, the tuning house behind the build, has a history of fitting factory widebody kits to its own demo cars, but its customer cars are often more subtle, so it’s nice to see Watanabe-san err on the more extreme side and go with these excellent genuine body panels on his car.
Accentuating the ‘big brother’ bodywork are a Varis vented carbon bonnet, carbon mirror covers, carbon front and rear lip spoilers, an AC Schnitzer roof spoiler, a dry carbon wing and a customised rear diffuser, each element carefully selected to make the most of the already muscular 1M shape.
However, nice paint, a 1M body kit and a few custom touches don’t a unique street car make. Watanabe-san wanted to make one other change so his machine stood out. “Before I purchased this, I wrote-off my E46 M3 on a wet mountain road after being a bit too enthusiastic. At the time, I wanted to replace it with a 1M, but couldn’t quite afford it, so I thought fitting the 1M kit to my 135i was a nice idea. However, I thought that just fitting the kit as-is would make it a 1M clone, nothing more, so I wanted to customise it. Having talked to the guys at Studie, we decided a one-off, centre-exit Arqray muffler coming out through the rear bumper would be the best way to do it.” And so came arguably the most unique part of this 135i. The twin chrome tips draw the eye like little else on the back of the car (some feat considering the wing) and make it go from regular street-racer-style to actual racer-style in one hit.
The remarkable thing, as no doubt you’ll have noticed, is the fact no paint damage has occurred around the tips. No browning, no blistering, no nothing. This again is down to extensive planning and Studie’s usual high level of workmanship. “I knew having the tips exit the bumper like that would prove a risk in terms of paint damage, so I made it very clear during the design phase that I wanted no damage at all to occur. Thanks to Studie’s expertise and skills, it was able to design and install multiple heat shields to ensure no damage occurred. Despite many spirited drives since, there’s not a single singe or burn mark anywhere.”
Having been privileged to sit alongside Watanabe-san as he pushed the N54 hard, I can report the new exhaust sounds pretty nice, too. A burbling thrum builds to a raspy howl as he moves through the rev range, the AFE pod filters adding some lovely intake noise to the mix as well. When he lifts, the Active Autowerke blow-off valve adds that wonderful trademark ‘chuff-chuff’ for maximum turbo enjoyment.
Given there’s only a small number of other engine mods (Okada Projects’ Plasma Ground secondary spark control and Plasma Direct coils, plus an Active Autowerke AP2 tune), the grunt itself is not ‘smash your head into the seat’ huge but with the N54 in factory spec managing sub-five second 0-60mph times in the right conditions, the extra few horses mean you’re still easily looking at ’90s supercar levels of acceleration in low gears. Perfect, really, given Watanabe-san says a love for supercars is what got him into tuning in the first place. On the handling side are a set of JDM-only 3D Design coilovers and an ARC rear stabiliser bar. While the drive to and from the shoot location didn’t really give us a chance to enjoy any nice corners, it quickly became clear from the few bumps we encountered that the 3D Design coilovers and their relatively soft (especially by Japanese standards) 8kg/mm front and 12kg/mm rear spring rates at least did a pretty decent job of masking any minor road imperfections. Clearly designed for road use more than anything else, that hasn’t stopped Watanabe-san from dreaming about hitting the track, though, even if it’s not something he’s quite got around to. “I have all the gear – spares, helmet, clothing and everything else – but I’ve never actually got around to hitting the track. At least my equipment preparation is perfect!” he laughs.
When Watanabe-san finally does find the time for some circuit fun at least his brakes will also be up to the task. The six-pot front and four-pot rear Brembos, hiding behind Advan RZ-DF wheels, clamp down on twopiece slotted rotors (355mm front and 345mm rear) and will happily slow the 135i down from even Fuji Speedway front straight speeds. Fine for the street as they may be, Watanabe-san may want to think about upgrading his current Advan V105 rubber if he ever wants to attack his local tracks in earnest, though.
Inside, the 135i remains largely stock apart from a driver’s side Recaro RS-G CL seat and a Sportster CL 100H seat for the passenger. These look almost factory, such is the serendipitous colour matching. For those wondering about the things hanging from the wiper stalk, they’re omamori or good luck charms. Available from pretty much any Shinto shrine, they’re a staple of Japanese life and can be bought with prayers inside for various specific purposes. From good study results to an incident-free pregnancy, you can ask the local gods for pretty much anything. Unsurprisingly, given Watanabe-san’s lust for speed and previous accident history, these omamori contain prayers for a safe drive.
Having already had plenty of safe fun in this 135i, though, Watanabe-san’s next step is to give all the mechanical parts a bit of a freshen-up. From the engine to driveline, brakes to the suspension, it’s time to treat this unique machine to a bit of all-round TLC. No doubt that this (together with the omamori) will help him enjoy this very Japanese #BMW for many years to come.
DATA FILE Japanese #BMW-135i / #BMW / #BMW-135i-E82 / #BMW-E82 / #BMW-135i-Active-Autowerke / #BMW-135i-Active-Autowerke-E82 / #Okada-Projects-Plasma / #Advan
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo #N54B30 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 , #AFE pod air filters, #Active-Autowerke-AP2 tune, #Active-Autowerke blow-off valve, one-off #Arqray centre-exit muffler, #Okada-Projects-Plasma-Ground -Plasma-Ground secondary spark enhancer, #Okada-Projects-Plasma-Direct coils, stock six-speed manual gearbox
CHASSIS 8.5x19” (front) and 9.5x19” (rear) #Advan-RZ-DF wheels with 245/35 (front) and 265/30 (rear) Yokoham Advan V105 tyres, JDM-only 3D Design coilovers front and rear, #ARC rear stabliser bar, #Brembo six-piston brake calipers (front), Brembo four-piston calipers (rear), two-piece Brembo discs front and rear
EXTERIOR Full factory 1M Coupé body kit, Studie customised rear diffuser section, Varis vented carbon bonnet, dry carbon rear wing, wet carbon front and rear lip spoilers, AC Schnitzer roof spoiler, carbon mirror covers
INTERIOR #Recaro RS-G CL driver’s seat, #Recaro-Sportster-CL100H passenger seat, omamori
Fitting the kit as-is would make it a 1M clone so I wanted to customise it.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWING COMMANDER
This wild 800hp Z4 boasts a genuine #BMW-Motorsport carbon fibre GT3 kit and is fully road-legal to boot. 800HP Z4 Big single turbo, carbon GT3-kitted Roadster. This might just be the most outlandish Z4 we’ve ever seen but with 800hp on tap, this carbon fibre road racer’s talents go far beyond its outrageous looks… Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Patrik Karlsson.
It would seem that modified Z4s are like buses: you wait forever for one to come along, and then you get two ridiculous builds within the space of as many issues. I was about to say that the Z4 doesn’t get a whole lot of love on the modified BMW scene but if you’d read last month’s issue and now picked up this one, you’d probably call me a liar. So let me explain. Generally speaking the Z4 is not a particularly popular BMW to modify. It’s also weird because it’s actually a really good car. The Bangledesigned, flame-surfaced E85 was a bit of a shock to the system after the more traditional-looking Z3, but it was a grower for sure and a pretty sweet drive with the more powerful sixes on-board. The E89 was a little easier on the eye and while BMW has decided against producing an M model, the 35is is a pretty rapid machine. Its performance pales into insignificance when compared with the Z3 GT3 racer, though, which is powered by a 515hp, 4.4-litre V8 based on that of the M3 GTS and which, above all else, looks absolutely awesome.
It’s low, wide and has a massive wing and scoops and ducts galore. It’s the sort of car that you might find yourself gazing at and fantasising what it might be like to own something like that, but that you could actually drive on the road.
Evidently that’s exactly what Johan Sjöstedt did but the difference between him and the rest of us is that he actually went out and made it happen. And you’re looking at the result of his fantasy right here. Hailing from Stockholm, the 40-year-old selfconfessed “serial entrepreneur” has been a #BMW fan for all his life, as you might expect from someone whose father owned a BMW workshop. And while his first ever car was a VW Beetle 1303 (a little rebellion, perhaps?), his BMW journey began at a very early age when his father gifted Johan a 1969 1800 while he was studying – a very cool thing to be trundling around in (especially as his dad could fix it for him if it ever went wrong).
An interest in BMWs, then, was established at an early age and modified cars have also been a big part of Johan’s life. He has, he says, modified almost all of his cars and has always leaned towards performance upgrades rather than the aesthetics. And with his last modified car being a Porsche 911 GT2, you can be sure this is a man who enjoys performance cars and driving them the way they were intended.
When it came to this project, Johan knew exactly what he wanted to do: create a street-legal Z4 GT3 for the Gumball 3000 event. That’s no mean feat by any stretch of the imagination. Fortunately for him Johan knew a garage that would be able to help: Westcoast Racing in Sweden. Indeed, the guys there carried out pretty much all of the work. Now, Westcoast Racing might sound like a Californian speedshop but it’s a full-on race outfit that knows what it’s doing when it comes to making racing cars. It was the perfect place for Johan to turn when it came to turning a plain Jane Z4 into a full-blown road-going racer – which is exactly what this car is. It doesn’t just look the part, it’s the complete package. It’s a full-on performance machine.
Let’s start with the body kit, partly because it looks so damn awesome but mainly because it’s the real deal: an allcarbon BMW Motorsport kit. This is what Johan wanted from the beginning but, as you might imagine, getting hold of the genuine kit was another matter altogether, with components being either very difficult to find, expensive or both. It was mostly both! Of course, getting hold of the kit was just half the battle as actually getting it to fit the road-going Z4 required a lot of work, not least because of how massively wide it is.
Westcoast Racing was clearly up to the task, though, and the end result is nothing short of spectacular. I mean, you really wouldn’t expect anything less because you’re basically looking at a GT3 race car. It’s the arches that impress the most, not just because of how far beyond the body they extend (15cm per side) but how high they are. The tops of the very outer sections actually sit above the bonnet and remind us of the Batmobile from the Tim Burton-era Batman movies. The front bumper features a massive central aperture and twin canards on each corner, while the vented bonnet looks no less wild. Viewed in profile you can see how the upper rear portion of the front arches are sliced away, exposing the tyre and the body, and then pinches in where the doors are before expanding out again with the rear arches. The side skirts feature exposed carbon splitters along their length and NACA ducts ahead of each rear wheel.
The rear of the car is arguably the most dramatic view, not least because of that absolutely vast spoiler, which almost sits as high as the car’s roof. The rear bumper and diffuser assembly is just plain crazy. The lower side sections and middle are made entirely of mesh, with the massive twin exhausts poking up and out like cannons. Beneath them sits the extreme diffuser. It’s certainly not going to be to all tastes but as far as visual drama goes, it takes some beating, make no mistake.
There’s no point fitting some wild, widearch racing car kit if you wimp out on the wheel front and the challenge for Johan was actually finding some wheels that were up to the job of filling those gigantic arches, which add half-a-foot of width to the car on each side. After an extensive search, Johan realised that there was nothing available off-the- shelf and so the only option was to go down the custom route, with Rotiform tasked with building the wheels.
That the three-piece forged SNAs measure 20” across will come as no surprise, with the fronts nine inches wide and the rears a massive eleven. And with this build being racing car-inspired you’ll find no stretch here, just ridiculously wide Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber all-round, with 285/30s up front and 335/30s at the back. This is one car you don’t want to get a puncture in. Vast Brembo calipers clamp slotted front discs while the suspension is a fully adjustable custom Öhlins coilover setup developed especially for this car.
As wild as the exterior may be, it’s possible that the interior is actually even wilder and while there’s no roll-cage that’s just about the only thing that’s missing from what might otherwise have been lifted straight from the GT3 racer. First, the entire lower portion of the dash looks to have been removed leaving just the arguably more useful and now flocked upper portion. It houses things like the light switch and HVAC controls, indicating that, for the sake of driver comfort, the air-con has been retained; after all, this is a road car.
However, that’s where the similarities with the regular Z4 end. The Sparco Ergo M seats look like refugees from the Le Mans 24 Hours, with their single-piece design and extensive bolstering and there’s also a carbon fibre intercom system for the driver and passenger. Carbon fibre plays a big part in the interior, making up many of the components and covering so many of the surfaces. The custom centre console is fabricated entirely from carbon fibre, the electronic handbrake release neatly relocated to the side, while an iPad sits in a custom shroud beneath the ventilation controls, displaying additional data. The carbon and Alcantara-rimmed AIM GT steering wheel features a digital display in its centre while an AIM MXG digital dash logger features a TFT screen that can display an overwhelming array of parameters, allowing Johan to keep an eye on all of the car’s systems. Interestingly, the standard speedo and rev counter have been relocated to the passenger side of the dash, presumably to allow those fortunate enough to get a ride in this beast to see just how fast they are travelling.
Now this is all well and good but it would be incredibly disappointing to remove that bonnet only to find a standard N54 peering back at you. But take a look under the bonnet of this Z4 and you’ll see that this is most definitely not the case: the engine is no less extreme than the rest of the car!
The first thing you’ll notice is that massive turbo, which is the main component of the FFTec single turbo kit that replaces the stock twins with a 64mm CEA ceramic ball bearing Precision turbo and includes a tubular exhaust manifold, three-inch downpipe, which leads to that straight-through exhaust system, and external wastegate. Johan’s Z4 features an uprated intercooler and injectors along with modified software and a new diff to help cope with all that power. It definitely needs it as the FFTec turbo kit turns the Z4 into an absolute monster. According to FFTec the kit is capable of putting down 650whp, which is knocking on the door of 800hp at the flywheel, and with the additional supporting upgrades that have been fitted to Johan’s Z4, this is an 800hp car, make no mistake.
Setting out on his Z4 journey, Johan knew exactly what he wanted to build and the monstrous machine he has created is the realisation of his Z4 GT3 dream: a road-legal racing car with the go to match the show. And as you might expect this wild Z4 has been getting plenty of attention. “I took it to Elmia, Sweden’s biggest show, and it won the ‘People’s Choice’ award,” says Johan with a smile. And he should be proud of this build as it’s an amazing car. Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that he’s not done yet. “If money were no object I would have bought a real one in the first place,” he laughs, “but now we are in the process of changing the engine for a V8, just like the real thing.” This might already be the most extreme Z4 we’ve ever seen but that V8 swap is going to propel this car into the modified stratosphere. You’ll never look at a Z4 the same way again.
DATA FILE Carbon fibre wide-body #BMW-Z4-35is / #BMW-Z4 / #BMW / #BMW-Z4-E89 / #BMW-E89 / #M-DCT
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six #N54B30 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 , #FFTec single turbo kit with tubular exhaust manifolds, 64mm CEA ceramic ball bearing #Precision turbo, three-inch downpipe, straight-through exhaust system, external wastegate, uprated intercooler, uprated injectors, modified software, seven-speed M-DCT gearbox, uprated diff. Approx. 800hp
CHASSIS 9x20” (front) and 11x20” (rear) #Rotiform #SNA three-piece forged wheels with 285/30 (front) and 335/30 (rear) Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, custom #Öhlins coilovers, #Brembo #Brembo-BBK with grooved discs (front), line lock kit / #Rotiform-SNA
EXTERIOR Full carbon fibre genuine #BMW-Motorsport-GT3 body kit
INTERIOR Flocked dash, custom carbon fibre centre console, iPad mounted in custom carbon housing, driver and passenger intercom system with carbon headphones, original gauge cluster moved to passenger side of dash, single piece Sparco Ergo M VTR race seats, #AIM-Motorsport-GT steering wheel with digital display and carbon and Alcantara rim, AIM Motorsport MXG digital dash logger.
As wild as the exterior may be, it’s possible that the interior is even wilder.
AIM Motorsport digital dash logger is a seriously impressive piece of kit and is complemented by an AIM steering wheel.
Fully-adjustable Öhlins suspension was developed specifically for this Z4.
FFTec single turbo kit uses #Precision turbo and, with supporting mods, cranks out 800hp.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationGENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT ROAD WARRIOR – fearsome 426hp wide-body #BMW 335i doubles as a daily driver. Sensible is a relative term, as this wide-body 335i proves. Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Jape Tiitinen. Sometimes in life, you just have to be sensible. Although as Toni Kärkkäinen’s startling 335i proves, ‘sensible’ is a malleable term on a sliding scale…
‘Life,’ sang indie stalwarts Mansun in the 1990s, ‘is a series of compromises.’ You only get to live once, so do the things you love and make time to make yourself happy, but at the same time life is not a solo endeavour – if you’re playing it right, you’ll have other people involved; it could be the clichéd 2.4 kids, spouse and mortgage scenario, or it might be your online car buddies, or the dudes you hang out with in the lockup when you’re spannering your projects together. Whatever the situation, your decisions and choices are seldom informed solely by what will make you happy. It has to be what makes you and your network happy, reaching compromises, being accommodating to all. Living unselfishly is the key to fulfilment.
Still, this doesn’t have to mean you can’t do the things you want to do. Take the 335i we’re looking at here – it screams many evocative verbs at you, but ‘compromise’ isn’t really one of them, is it? “This all began back in #2012 when our baby girl arrived on the scene,” explains owner Toni Kärkkäinen. “We had to change my girlfriend’s 1 Series for an E90 3 Series because the 1 Series was just too small. After that, I started thinking that I needed to upgrade my own car – to a newer model of course… Our E90 felt good to drive, so I started thinking about an E92 or E93 because I like two-door cars. I was looking at the M3 version, naturally, but I couldn’t afford it, and after some hard thinking I realised that the convertible E93 didn’t meet my needs as it didn’t have enough boot space, so the most sensible option was the E92 335i.”
Yep, he did just use the word ‘sensible’ there, and he’s to be applauded for that. It takes some fortitude to convince yourself that such a decision can be explained rationally – although the inherent element of perceived compromise does, arguably, make the endeavour an easier sell. Let’s just skim over the fact that the real turning point in the decision-making process was when Toni saw Prior Design’s wide-body kit for the E92… We should point out at this point that Toni isn’t your average family man with a couple of BMWs on the drive, but is in fact CEO and owner of Schmiedmann Finland. This is a brand you may be familiar with; founded in Denmark in 1996, what began as an importer of BMW parts rapidly expanded across Scandinavia and beyond, the sale of new and used official parts being augmented by its own bespoke, Schmiedmann-branded products – exhausts systems, short-shift kits, manifolds, you name it. So there is a certain business case to be made for Toni to be doing such wild things to his own car…
The man’s got form, too. His personal car history is, as you might imagine, studded with Bavarian greatness, from his E46 330Ci that he modded to M3 CSL specs with original parts (along with G-Power supercharger and three-colour leather retrim) to his old-skool E36 325i, he’s in his comfort zone when he’s doing this kind of stuff. A safe pair of hands.
So, the 335i – how, and where? “I’ve always imported my cars into Finland, either personally or with someone else doing it for me, due to the fact that it all works out cheaper and you get better equipment, like leather and iDrive and so on,” Toni explains.
“There were no reasonably-priced E92 335is in Finland at the time anyway, so I sourced this car from Germany – although it was originally from Italy. It was checked over by a trusted person from the Blauweiss import company and found to be in good overall condition. It was a basic car with basic wheels, nothing special, but that didn’t matter, as I knew that I’d be changing everything!”
So, true to his word as well as his principles, Toni set about tearing the car down pretty much as soon as it arrived on Finnish soil. Time waits for no man, eh? A stack of parts started to build up as more and more of that uninspiring stock fare got unbolted and ditched, ready to swap out for inspirational upgrades. But then events took an unexpected turn…“When we did the test installation of the Prior Design wide-body kit, we realised that we’d have to do quite a lot more work than we’d originally anticipated to make it look as it should,” Toni recalls with a raised eyebrow. “The front bumper and wing alignment was off on both sides, and there were many other similar small issues to deal with.” None of this is insurmountable stuff however, and the fact that everything now sits so straight and true is testament to the tenacity and patience of the Schmiedmann crew. It was certainly worth putting in the extra hours.
“Then – finally – came the day that the car was taken away to be painted. The decision about the colour was made a couple of days before – Matt Sparkling Graphite Metallic,” he remembers. “It was not an easy decision and I took a big risk, but it was totally worth it.” Again, though, this wasn’t all plain sailing. As amenable and eager-to-please as the 335i generally is, it has to be said that this particular one was fighting back.
“After I got the car back to the workshop, I noticed some issues with the paint,” Toni sighs. “There were too many small imperfections all around the car, so it needed to be repainted. The matt colour is not easy to paint, because all the smallest little particles are visible under the surface and you just can’t polish them away. The front bumper was repainted three or four times, the rear bumper and bonnet twice, and so on. But after I was finally happy with the painting, I started to put the car back together. Quite soon I realised that I had to get some 1M and M3 parts to get the body looking the way I wanted, like inner wheelhouse covers, brake ducts and so on – yes, of course I should have known to get these parts earlier, but I was so excited to get car done and ready for the Bimmerparty show! Overall, the build was not as straightforward as I thought it would be, but I did manage to get the car ready two days before my deadline and won the first Show ’n’ Shine prize at Bimmerparty…”
You’ll also be pleased to learn that the boisterous aesthetics are not the whole story. While the stock 335i is no slouch, Toni’s spruced things up in the underbonnet area with a pair of uprated Schmiedmann Stage 1 turbos, working in conjunction with the firm’s proprietary downpipes, a huge Wagner Tuning intercooler, Burger Motorsport filters and the guiding hand of custom management; it’s now putting out 426hp, which is pretty rowdy. The drivetrain’s been beefed up to suit, with a Quaife LSD and diff cooling plate, although Toni admits that this has crept back on to the to-do list. “I’m looking at clutch options,” he says, “as 455lb ft of torque is having some effects!”
He’s also talking about revamping the interior, although we’re big fans of how it is so far – the Coral red Dakota leather is outstanding. What a poke in the eye to the perceived wisdom that seats should be black or grey! This factory-option hide is so bright it makes other things in the world a few shades less red simply by existing. And what’s even more fun inside the car is that Toni’s seen fit to install an Awron Performance display system; this is an awesome all-in-one digital gauge that fits inside one of the air vents, relaying information about boost, torque, speed, acceleration, temperatures, all sorts. It’s like playing Gran Turismo for real.
The most important element of the story is that Toni’s stayed true to the original compromise, if we can still even dare to use that loaded term, as while countless hours have been expended on getting the aesthetics just-so and the performance enough to make the surface of the asphalt tremble with apprehension, it’s still a car that he can ferry the family about in without any trouble. “Oh yes, it gets used daily, even throughout the winter,” he nods. “We use it for our big summer family holiday trips too, which often causes amusing reactions.
People often ask how we use it so often with it being so low or how we manage to fit the whole family in there, but we do!” All of this, combined with the fact that the car seems to always be winning prizes at shows across Europe, proves that Toni has done something right. Compromise isn’t a dirty word. As this build conclusively demonstrates, it’s just another milestone along the road to project car success. Your car, your rules – if it’s right for you, then that’s just about as right as it needs to be.
Oh yes, it certainly gets used daily. We use it for our family holiday trips too.
Custom front lip and M4-style angel eye halos up front, Schmiedmann exhaust at the back.
Vibrant Coral red interior enhanced by #BMW-Performance steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake, Schmiedmann pedals and Awron vent-mounted digital display.
DATA FILE #Schmiedmann / #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335i / #BMW-335i-E92 / #BMW / #BMW-335i-Schmiedmann-E92 / #BMW-335i-Schmiedmann /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo #N54B30 / #N54 / #BMW-N54 , #Schmiedmann-Stage-1-turbos , Schmiedmann downpipes, #Wagner-Tuning-EVO-2-Competition intercooler, #Burger-Motorsport DCI air filters, #AJ-Tech custom DME software, Schmiedmann rear sport silencers with high-gloss black pipes, six-speed manual, Quaife LSD and differential cooling plate.
CHASSIS 9.5x19” ET0 (front) and 11x19” ET-5 (rear) #BC-Racing-HB29 / #BC-Racing wheels in matt bronze with 225/35 (front) and 285/30 (rear) tyres, #Lowtec H9.4R coilovers, M3 front wishbones and radius rods, M3 rear subframe bushings, #Zimmerman drilled brake discs with EBC RedStuff pads.
EXTERIOR Matt Sparkling Graphite Metallic, Prior Design PD-M1 wide-body aerodynamic kit, custom front spoiler lip, Schmiedmann EVO bonnet, Schmiedmann EVO II bootlid, LCI face-lift tinted rear lights, tinted headlights inside and out, M4-style angel eye rings, tinted M3 side repeaters.
INTERIOR Full leather Coral red Dakota interior, Schmiedmann Exclusive red floor mats, Schmiedmann Exclusive black/red alloy pedal set, BMW LED interior light upgrade, BMW Performance steering wheel with display, BMW Performance gear knob and Kinetic short-shift system, #BMW Performance handbrake handle, Awron Performance display.
THANKS Special thanks to my girlfriend of course and everybody who has helped me with this car.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.