- Post is under moderationCLEAN BANDIT Styled and tuned F82 M4. SLICK M4 F82 with power and poise. Passion brought forth the assassin… Keren Zeng’s ingrained love for the BMW brand has helped him deliver a killer blow with this M4. Flawless victory! Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Kevin Uy.
Assassins come in many forms. Followers of classic Japanese folklore will be familiar with the concept of the ninja or shinobi, whose function was to act as a covert spy and saboteur. Fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series will know the assassins to be as gentlemanly and respected as they are deadly, fusing the cloaked secrecy of the ninja with the necessity to always leave their victims with a receipt.
And, of course, there’s the ragtag group of misfit assassins that this BMW M4 falls into; rubbing shoulders with James Bond and Liam Neeson, it’s the sort of character that’ll kick your door in, carry out the lethal task in broad daylight, utter a witty quip, shoot the cuffs on their impeccably tailored suit, and effect their graceful egress. Possibly leaping off a ledge and onto a plane or something.
This car could never be a shinobi. Look at it, it’s bright orange. But it does neatly intertwine the twin cannons of flawlessly sharp aesthetics and brutal firepower; a sublimely crafted art piece packing a horsepower figure that begins with a five. It’s primarily a functional thing, as evidenced by its gait being hunkered aggressively down rather than stylistically stanced, with the tyres displaying a usefully chunky spread of sidewall. But at the same time, its looks and sense of purpose are razor-edged. This is not a thing to be messed with, unless you’re planning on that being the last thing you ever do.
This creation is the vision-made-real of one Keren Zeng, proprietor of an automotive aftermarket shop in Victoria B.C, Canada, and lifelong BMW-fancier. “When I was in seventh grade I saw the E46 M3 on the cover of Need for Speed 9 for the first time, and I immediately fell in love with that car,” he says.
“Since then my dream machines have always been #BMW-M cars. And when the M4 came out, I placed an order without hesitation!” This long-held obsession is more than a videogame-induced fantasy, however. The passion runs somewhat deeper than that. “Owning a #BMW in my home country back when I was growing up was very, very hard,” he explains. “Not just because of the price, but also the limited availability. I loved to memorise all the car brands when I was little, and my father bought me all kinds of toy cars and asked me what models they were. I remember my favourite was the BMW 8 Series, which was a birthday gift from my father. And I was lucky enough to experience BMWs when I was a little older; at the age of 17 I drove my friend’s E92 M3, and I was totally blown away by the handling, the sound and the performance of the car. And from that time, BMW M cars have planted a very deep root in my heart.”
You see, this is no cynical tale of somebody throwing a bunch of money at an on-trend motor to win Instagram points, this is the culmination of a lifetime of aspirations and yearning. When Keren came to open up his Canadian business, the time was right to dive into the fragrantly alluring waters of M car ownership. Well, almost… he had a little practice with a 435i first.
“In 2013 in Montreal, I first saw a 435i in real life,” he breathlessly recalls. “I spied it at the downtown parking lot and the colour was Mineral grey – it immediately caught my attention; the shape of the car, the M badge just up the side vent, and the aggressive face. I told myself that one day I would own a car like this. And later that year, my dream came true.”
Neat use of ‘one day’ there, this is clearly a guy who likes to get things done with no time to shilly-shally. An Estoril blue example was bought, and duly subjected to KW coilovers, Vorsteiner wheels, Akrapovič exhaust, a feisty remap, and all the aero stuff in the M Performance catalogue. With this makeover successfully dealt with, Keren felt it was time to join the big leagues and really make that dream a reality. His name was inked on a shiny new M4’s pink slip, and the planets obligingly aligned.
“I had a pretty clear plan for the M4 from day one, based on what I’d learned from the 435i,” he explains, which makes perfect sense really. Combining age-old dreaming with first-hand experience tends to forge strong mental images. “My first set of wheels were BBS CI-Rs, powdercoated satin black. However, after having them for half a year I decided to go with HRE for its Forged series, choosing the Classic 300 – I respect classic cars and wanted to combine the retro with the modern, although in order to do so you can’t just put a classic rim on a new car, the colour choice has to be very careful. So I went with Dark Brushed Clear for the outer lip and barrel, and Satin Bronze for the face, both of which match perfectly with the Sakhir orange paint.”
In order to get the car sitting lower over these broad, chunky rims, Keren opted for Swift springs to work with the stock M4 dampers, keeping in mind that the car’s a daily driver and the factory chassis setup is already pretty mind-blowing. A set of Fall- Line Motorsports anti-roll bars found their way into the mix with the aim of making the car “track ready” (Keren’s words; he’s not playing games here), while the engine inhales and exhales a lot more freely thanks to an Eventuri cold air intake and full Akrapovič exhaust system, all remapped to make the most of those bonus horses. ETG’s clever ones-and-zeroes tuning is marketed as offering gains of 89hp and 96lb ft of torque over stock, which is certainly not to be sniffed at, and it also offers a bunch of boltons such as a speed limiter removal, transmission software and traction control reflashing, and even throttle-blipping and overrun exhaust popping. As you might imagine, Keren was pretty liberal with the box-ticking that day.
“I love clean cars, so when I choose the style of my car, I always believe that less is more,” he explains. “In order to match the body colour and details, all of my exterior pieces are carbon fibre. And the same goes for the interior – the carbon fibre upgrades are there to enhance the spirit of the M Performance brand rather than try to turn it into something else.” In addition to this OEM+ approach, there’s also been a fairly substantial input from iND, whose comprehensive range of aftermarket add-ons has been raided to yield such trophies as black kidney grilles, black boot badges, painted front reflectors to eliminate the garishness of the factory items, and painted side markers in the same vein. The overarching principle here is to hone and refine the cohesiveness of BMW’s own design and the M division’s enhancements to it; think of this car as being the next little step down the M4’s evolutionary path. “My favourite modifications are the wheels and the exhaust,” Keren continues.
“The way the HREs look and the way the Akrapovič sounds are just total eye and ear candies, it transforms the M4.” And all the while, as he gazes fondly over his creation, you can hear his brain ticking away, formulating new schemes and stratagems. It’s not finished, of course: “The orange turns so many heads, people are always taking photos of it,” he ponders. “I’m considering wrapping it in camo for the show season…”
Well, that’d certainly help the M4 to fulfil its destiny as a stealthy assassin. A sneakily applied camo would help it slither under the radar and carry out its evil deeds. As long as Keren doesn’t have the engine running, naturally – all that popping and crackling is a bit of a giveaway.
DATA FILE #BMW-F82 / #BMW-M4 / #BMW-M4-F82 / #BMW-M4-Akrapovic / #BMW-M4-M-DCT / #BMW-M4-M-DCT-F82 / #BMW-4-Series / #BMW-4-Series-F82 / #HRE-Classic / #HRE / #2017 / #Akrapovic
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six S55B30 / , #Akrapovič exhaust system, #ETG remap, #Eventuri intake, seven-speed M-DCT gearbox
CHASSIS 9.5x20” (front) and 10.5x20” (rear) #HRE-Classic-300 , 255/30 (f) and 285/30 (r) Michelin Pilot Sport, #Fall-Line-Motorsports front and rear anti-roll bars, Swift springs
EXTERIOR Sakhir orange, #M-Performance rear spoiler, #RKP front lip, Kohlenstoff rear diffuser, #iND front painted reflectors, iND black grilles, iND painted trunk emblem, iND painted side markers
INTERIOR M Performance Alcantara steering wheel, #DCT console trim and DCT gear knob cover
THANKS Kevin King Uy for the photoshoot, Cat from iND for all the modifications, Kelvin from #ETG-Tuning-Group , #HRE , #Akrapovi , #BMW-Victoria , #KZ-Auto-GroupStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationFIRE AND ICE #2015
Not only has this owner bought himself two special edition E92 M3s that we never got in the UK, he’s then supercharged them and made them look absolutely awesome. Jealous. These E92 M3 evil twins show how even special editions can benefit from a good dose of modifying. Words: Iain Curry /// Photos: Matt Petrie
Is there anything more irritating than people with vast sums of disposable income and have no clue what to do with it? You know, the multi-millionaire lottery winner who continues living in a mouldy council flat and doing factory night shifts, or the CEO that’s in it only for the ‘challenge’ of business and still wears awful clothes and drives around in a battered old Ford despite untold wealth?
Then there’s the other extreme. The guy who spends his hard-earned in such a manner that we car enthusiasts can only nod our head, shake his hand and – somewhat enviously of course – agree we’d be doing exactly the same in their shoes. Who really needs two E92 M3s? Well, given the financial means wouldn’t you?
This brace of modified M3s belong to New Jersey’s Bill Jordan, business owner of Miraj Corporation which manufacturers and distributes aircraft replacement parts. And it seems business is good for the 47-year-old American car enthusiast. Beside the M3s in his current line-up is an Alpina B6, a Porsche 911 GT3, a Ferrari F430 Spyder, a Maserati GranCabrio, a bonkers Mercedes G63 AMG and a Mercedes CLA45 AMG, most receiving a decent dash of modifying too.
The man clearly has a passion for European exotica, and has good history with BMWs too, with an E39 540i, E38 740iL and E65 745Li in his previous inventory. But the lure of special edition M3s has stoked his fire in recent years, with the orange car a 2013 USA-only model called the Lime Rock Park Edition, and the black one a 2011 USAonly special called the Frozen Black Edition. The Lime Rock car is one of 200 built and finished in the Euro-only M3 GTS Fire orange paint, and came with the Competition Package, an Alcantara flat bottom steering wheel, a carbon leather dash, carbon body flashes and a lightweight titanium exhaust. The Frozen Black is an even scarcer one of just 20 built and came with matt black paint, Competition package, red stitching for the cabin, red brake calipers and 19” Gloss black competition wheels.
Both are special cars, but clearly not special enough for Bill. Each M3 has been treated to an extensive makeover to meet his preferences; including replacing some of the factory special components that already made these cars stand out from the rest. The results, as you can see, are two M3s with levels or extrovertness and hardcore racing style to have you drooling.
“I am a big fan of the S65 V8 engine – one of the best ever made by BMW and with that beautiful sound,” Bill said. “When I saw the Fire orange Lime Rock Park Edition I fell in love with the colour and possibilities to really take it to the extreme with all of the products available like superchargers, body kits and suspension, but still keep it a daily driver. I found the Frozen Black Edition by happy accident one night online. It only had 300 miles on it, and although I wasn’t planning on buying a second E92 M3, when I went to see it I fell in love and bought it that day. It looked menacing and had really nice red accents that I picked up for the customisation project.”
Bill’s motivation for modifying is typical, namely taking factory cars and adding his personal touches so they are unique. He said everything done on the special M3s is reversible: “We respect the factory setup but try to improve on things in terms of performance, sound and cosmetics. There’s also an enjoyment in building up these cars in such a way that they can compete with so-called supercars costing three to four times the price.”
Build work has been done by AutoCouture Motoring of Fairlawn close to Bill’s New Jersey home; a BMW specialist he says is regarded as one of the leading performance and custom shops in the USA. “The staff are real enthusiasts, and I make a point to stop by there on my way home from work to catch up on new builds, product trends and hang out with a great bunch of guys,” he said. Some custom parts are provided by AutoCouture, and the rest from another well-followed BMW specialist, Ind. Distribution.
Two tougher looking, beautifully stanced E92 M3s would be hard to find. And there’s the upping in performance to back the looks. Both cars have been given ESS superchargers, the main benefit of which is a significant boost to low end torque, as this is Bill’s only complaint of the S65 factory motor. “With the kits, rear-wheel horsepower is now 550hp and torque at 350lb ft, so essentially they have the power to run with the current generation stock M3/M4 turbo cars.”
Anyone who’s driven the F80/F82 cars knows they’re incredible weapons, but the turbo six-cylinders just don’t have the emotive roar of the previous generation V8s. So Bill’s passion for the model is perfectly understandable.
The style begins on the ’charged motors too. The manifolds are Melbourne red with silver metallic flake on the black car and Fire orange on the other, showing a theme that runs through both cars. Both feature BMW Performance seats (sourced through Europe as none were shipped to America), which Bill said are perfect for customising. True to his word, each car’s chairs have been painted the relevant hue, and the rest of the cabin follows suit.
The orange car has orange accents for everything from the stitching in the door panels to the centre console and even all the seatbelts. The black car does almost the same but with the Melbourne red colour, while both cars now have gorgeous Nexon Motors carbon fibre steering wheels.
Body-wise things get even crazier. The Lime Rock car is a stunning mix of Manhart Racing carbon body kit, a Vorsteiner GTS-V front bumper with carbon lip, DownForce USA three-piece carbon rear diffuser and BC carbon GTS wing just for starters, with tough-as-nails black and orange contrasting throughout. Mixing the styles up, the black car comes with RKP GT4 carbon front lip, #BMW Performance carbon boot spoiler, Varis Racing rear diffuser and Gintani carbon side skirts. Most of the body additions are finished in a satin/matt clear and with a Melbourne red detail where possible. The results are breathtaking: there’s little wonder that Bill and his cars are online superstars.
Now the all-important chassis. Both feature giant Brembo brake kits, hidden behind 19” BBS RI-D five-spoke rims for the orange car, and 20” Morr wheels for the black M3. The Lime Rock car is Bill’s choice for any track excursions, so it now has Öhlins Road & Track coilover suspension – Bill saying they are versatile enough to still give daily drive comfort. The Frozen Black M3, being one of 20, is just too special to risk on track, especially with that matt black paint. It now has very trick #Bilstein-B16-DampTronic electronic adjustable active suspension, allowing the driver to change settings on the fly.
This pair of brutally handsome M3s are both stunning builds. We can’t kid ourselves that it can be done cheaply of course. Both M3s are costly special editions for starters, and the custom parts and incredible attention to detail aren’t for those with shallow pockets. We can hugely respect Bill’s method of spending his money, however, as he has created aspirational halo M3s justifiably envied and loved wherever they’re seen.
Work is “pretty much” finished on these two E92 M3s, Bill said, but as you’d have guessed, there’s something else in the pipeline. A Laguna Seca blue F82 M4 is getting the full treatment at present, despite Bill’s early reservations about the turbo six’s exhaust note. We’re sure he’ll find away around this, and can’t wait to see and hear the final results.
“We respect the factory setup but try to improve on things in terms of performance, sound and cosmetics”
“When I saw the Fire orange Lime Rock Park Edition I fell in love with the colour”
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-M3-E92-Lime-Rock-Park-Edition
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre V8 #S65B40 / #S65 , #ESS VT2-625 supercharger with custom painted #Fire orange manifold, #Evolve Automotive E-Tronic valved exhaust with #AutoCouture Motoring test pipes, seven-speed #M-DCT gearbox
CHASSIS 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) #BBS RI-D five-spoke wheels in matt black with 245/35 (front) and 295/30 (rear) #Falken Azenis 453 tyres, #Öhlins Road & Track coilover suspension, #Dinan carbon fibre strut braces, #Brembo-GT Big Brake Kit with 380mm discs and six-piston calipers (front) and 355mm four-pistons (rear) custom finished in Fire orange
EXTERIOR Manhart Racing carbon fibre body kit including full carbon bonnet with Fire orange paint scheme and exposed carbon, carbon side skirts and fender flares, Vorsteiner GTS-V front bumper with carbon fibre lip and inserts, carbon fibre grille surrounds and side markers, OEM carbon fibre mirror covers, DownForce USA three-piece carbon rear diffuser, BC carbon fibre GTS wing and BMW painted bootlid spoiler, Fire orange body paint
INTERIOR BMW Performance Alcantara front seats custom finished with Fire orange Alcantara and painted accents, Nexon Motors carbon fibre steering wheel with Fire orange trim and custom DCT paddles, Pedal Haus custom pedals and heel plate, custom Alcantara door panels with orange diamond stitching, carbon fibre dash and door trim with Fire orange accents, Fire orange upper front/rear door trim, painted centre and rear consoles, front and rear seatbelts and rear seat inserts, orange illuminated door sills.
THANKS AutoCouture Motoring of Fairlawn NJ (for the build) and Ind. Distribution (for parts support)
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-M3-92-Frozen-Black-Edition / #BMW-M3-92 / / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-E92
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre V8 #S65B40 , #ESS VT2-625 supercharger kit featuring custom Melbourne red with silver metallic flake manifold, #Innotech IPE F1 valved race exhaust, #ACM-R upgraded coolant pump and lines, seven-speed #M-DCT gearbox.
CHASSIS 9x20” (front) and 10.5x20” (rear) Morr VS54 monoforged wheels finished in a brushed dark tinted matt clear with 245/35 (front) and 275/30 (rear) #Hankook Ventus V12 tyres, #Bilstein #Bilstein-B16 #DampTronic electronic adjustable active suspension, #Brembo GT big brake kit with 380mm discs and sixpiston calipers (front) and 355mm four-pistons (rear) custom finished in Melbourne red with silver metallic flake and black chrome decals
EXTERIOR #RKP GT4 carbon fibre front lip finished with satin/matt clear and #Melbourne red CRT stripe, BMW Performance carbon fibre boot spoiler with satin/matt clear and Melbourne red #CRT stripe, #Varis-Racing upper/lower rear diffuser in satin/matt clear, #Gintani carbon fibre side skirts in satin/matt clear, #LightWerkz custom headlights with Melbourne red film, matt black paint with metallic flakes
INTERIOR #BMW-Performance seats with red stitching and Melbourne red painted seat backs, red front and rear seatbelts, carbon leather dash trim with red stitching, Melbourne red upper door trim front and rear, Nexon Motors carbon fibre steering wheel with Melbourne red accents and custom DCT paddle shifters
THANKS AutoCouture Motoring of Fairlawn NJ (for the build) and Ind. Distribution (for parts support)
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