- Post is under moderationEdison Hwang’s E92 M3, the ‘Gold Dragon’, fuses shouty V8 thrills with a track-ready chassis; it’s a lightweight carbon fibre racing terror with a comfy interior for the journey home. And it’s won a ridiculous number of trophies… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: LopezArts.
ENTER THE DRAGON
Carbon-kitted E92 M3
To understand the ethos behind this rather outrageous E92 M3, you must first get to grips with the conceptual difference between wet and dry carbon fibre. The former is what most people would picture when they hear talk of carbon parts – the glossy stuff has an epoxy either painted onto or vacuum-infused into the woven strands; it’s strong, light, and cheaper to produce than dry carbon. But the dry stuff is the next-level formula – more costly to make, but around 70% lighter while being just as strong, each specific weave being epoxy-coated while it’s crafted. So it doesn’t have the glass-like sheen of a Halfords gear knob, but it’s far superior as a functional material. And if you scale up this sense of focus to a whole car-sized entity, you arrive presently at this golden E92.
Now, this is a car with an identity crisis. A balls-to-the-wall track car, but still a proper M3 with quality interior appointments and a clear sense of the fusion of luxury and performance. Just look at the colour for evidence of this conflict – this car has been custom-painted in a rich and vibrant shade of Ferrari Rosso Scuderia paint. But you don’t know it, because it’s hiding under a vinyl wrap in lurid Candy Lime. This, it’s fair to say, is a machine with tales to tell.
Its owner, Edison Hwang, has one or two stories of his own as well. “I’ve been into BMWs since I was about thirteen years old,” he explains. “The whole journey’s been a kinda crazy story. As a car guy and a mechanic, I love the power of the M3 and the way it handles, and there’s just no logical reason for me not to modify it. When I started changing up this car, I made a lot of new friends – my Timeless Motor Group – and now we always go to events together and help each other out. And the real turning point was when we went to SEMA in 2013: arriving at the Las Vegas Convention Center, seeing all those top-flight builds from all over the world, I had a voice in my head saying that I had to build a car worthy of this show.”
With a mesmerising swirl of images circling through his subconscious from that epochdefining show, Edison put careful thought into pinpointing just what his ideal spec would be, before rolling up his sleeves and diving headfirst into the project. At the top of the wish list was Vorsteiner’s dry carbon fibre GTRS3 wide body kit, comprising beefed up wings, bumpers, rear quarters, bonnet and ducktail boot all in the revered and magical weave. “It was fitted at Blanco Services in Maryland,” he says, “and it took six months to get the fitment perfect! Moulding the rear quarters, custommaking the arch liners, making uniform shut lines, and painting it all in Ferrari red.
It’s really a lot of work to make it perfect show car quality, and after the wide body was complete I added more details to the car, including the APR racing spoiler, APR front splitter (which I take off for regular street driving, due to height issues), bumper canards, DTM-style side mirrors, and carbon fibre parts everywhere.”
Those of you familiar with SEMA builds will know that you’re not even going to make it through the door if your car’s all show and no go; the very nature of the event dictates that cars represent a holistic approach to aftermarket modifying and, as brutally rapid as a stock M3 is, standard powertrains are a definite no-no. “The car used to run an Active Autowerk Stage 3 supercharger,” says Edison, “but I actually decided to remove it right after I showed my car at SEMA 2014, since I love the sound of the NA S65 engine.”
So now that glorious V8 rumbles unforced as BMW intended, but augmented boisterously by a supremely intelligent exhaust system specifically tailored to bellow out an F1 howl. Back when the wide body conversion was underway, Edison had plenty of time for his mind to wander. Six months is a long stretch. So it’s unsurprising that the car found itself treated to a diverse platter of additional treats during this period; a roll cage and a set of custom-built headlights being chief among its fresh new trinkets. A GT wing topped off the exterior, while inside was adorned with a pair of Status Racing seats and a veritable festival of dry carbon goodies. The M3 was given a name – ‘Red Dragon’ – and it scooped up an armful of awards on its first outing.
Rolling into the Carlisle Performance and Style Car Show in Pennsylvania, all eyes turned; rolling back out again afterwards, the Dragon was toting trophies for Best BMW, Best Paint and Finish, and Best in Show. Not bad. But that was just for starters…
“It started winning ‘Best in Show’ at every event I took it to, the judges nicknamed it ‘Competition Killer’,” Edison smirks. “But I knew it still wasn’t a SEMA car, there was more work to be done. So I put more effort in, changed a few things, and finally earned a place on the Rohana Wheels stand. My dream had come true, all the effort was worth it.” But success, it’s often said, is like a drug. We can’t all be Nico Rosberg, achieving the perceived pinnacle of our aspirations and saying ‘OK, I’m done now’. Having tasted the sweet tang of success, Edison was all-in for more. “I wanted to go back to SEMA the next year,” he grins, “and that meant changing a lot of things again.”
A helpful career turn arrived at this point, with Edison joining the Rolloface Performance Inc. family, and this pushed him to level-up to the next great thing. This was when the mighty big brake kit came, and a Rolloface driver’s seat, and various DTM touches, and… then he crashed the car in New York City. Or rather, someone crashed into the back of it in heavy traffic. Game over for the season, the car was done showing for the foreseeable future. Dark times for a trophy addict, but did this leave Edison downhearted? No! (Well, yes obviously… but not for long.) His resolve hardened, he worked more tenaciously to create a scenebreaking E92, the like of which the world had never seen.
“It was ready for SEMA later that year,” he smiles, playfully slapping fate across the chops with his mighty gauntlet of skill. “Fixed up better than new and with fresh custom parts, I decided at the last minute to wrap it in an acid yellow-green.” An inspired decision, this, since everyone would be expecting that Ferrari red to make another appearance. This game is not won by playing to people’s expectations. “There it was, the ‘Gold Dragon’. A new roll cage went in at the last minute, there was more of an aggressive racing style – the car certainly got a lot of attention.” And, as you’d probably logically assumed, Edison didn’t close the book on the M3 there. This car has always been, and will always be, about being harder, better, faster, stronger. He’s owned it since it was brand new, and it’s pretty safe to say that the warranty evaporated long ago, but ardent petrolheads care not for such trivialities.
“The M3 really is the ultimate driving machine, and the naturally aspirated V8 suits it so well,” he says. “It was always the intention to turn it into a car like no-one else had. At the moment it’s running Rolloface Performance ZR-1 forged three-piece wheels, which are really strong and lightweight, as well as Rolloface Performance three-way coilovers, and I’ve upgraded all of the chassis components to race-spec – I just love the handling that race parts provide! The big brake kit’s probably my favourite mod on the car, as it provides incredible performance on track as well as looking fantastic, but I also really love the functional nature of the carbon body parts.” And that’s pretty much where we came in – that form-meets-function quality of dry carbon fibre.
Edison’s got plans for the M3, in the form of a new custom diffuser, Ferrari F12 rain light, carbon intake system and so on, and the keystone of all he does is this: quality speaks for itself. You may see a lot of wet carbon cars at your local meet, but if you want to get into SEMA, it’s a dry carbon state of mind. “I believe that if you do something sincerely, the whole world will help you,” he says. And we certainly wouldn’t want to argue with that.
/ #Carbon-Fibre / #BMW-E92 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E92 / #BMW / #BMW-M3-Carbon-Fibre / #BMW-M3-Carbon-Fibre-E92 / #Akrapovic-Delete-R / #Akrapovic / Akrapovic / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-M3 / #BMW-3-Series-M3-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre #V8 / #S65B40 / #S65 / #BMW-S65 , #Rolloface racing intake system, custom oil cooler and transmission cooler, Macht Schnell Performance underdrive pulleys, #Kreissieg titanium floating curl tail exhaust with cat-back F1-sound valvetronic system, Macht Schnell bypass track pipes, Akrapovič Delete-R, tuning by Frank Smith Custom Tune. Seven-speed #M-DCT gearbox
CHASSIS 10x19” ET0 (front) and 12x19” ET-40 (rear) #Rolloface-ZR-1 three-piece forged wheels in gloss black with titanium bolts and 275/30 (front) and 325/30 (rear) Toyo Proxes T1 Sport tyres, #Macht-Schnell wheel studs, Project-Kics-R40 open-end black chrome wheel nuts, #Rolloface-RT-3 Competition Racing three-way adjustable coilovers, custom-rate #Swift springs, #Macht-Schnell electronic dampening control emulation module, #Bimmerworld adjustable rear toe arm set, adjustable rear wishbone set (camber adjustable), spherical rear guiding link set, trailing link bearing set, rear camber arm bearing kit and spherical front race arm conversion, #Rolloface-SR-C big brake kit with eight-piston (front) and six-piston (rear) yellow powder coated forged aluminium calipers and 380mmx32mm slotted high-carbon discs (front and rear), Rolloface Performance stainless steel brake lines (f&r), Pagid-Racing RST race brake pads (f&r), Motul RBF 600 Factory Line brake fluid
EXTERIOR #Vorsteiner-GTRS3 dry carbon fibre kit comprising front bumper, front lip, wide-arch front wings, side skirts, wide-arch rear quarters, rear bumper, bonnet and CSL-style boot lid, APA Gloss Candy Lime vinyl-wrap (with custom Ferrari Rosso Scuderia paint underneath), AeroCatch 120-2100 locking system, AutoTecknic carbon fibre wing grilles and bonnet vents, BMW M Performance black kidney grilles, Macht Schnell Motorsport tow straps, #APR-Racing-GT-250 dry carbon fibre GT wing, Rolloface custom dry carbon fibre chassis-mount front splitter, M4 #DTM-style front canards, mirrors, aero panel under chassis and rear diffuser, front lower grille painted gloss black with BMW M logo, AutoTecknic 24 SMD LED indicators, OSS Design Raptor M4 DTM-style square angel eyes with LCI inner eyebrow, white LED side-markers, Jet Black blackout and M inner logos
INTERIOR BMW M Performance Version 2 steering wheel, #BMW-M-Performance aluminium pedals and footrest, #BMW rear sunshade, BMW LED door projectors, custom dry carbon fibre shift paddles and airbag emblem, AutoTecknic carbon fibre steering wheel trim, #Storm-Motorwerks V1 titanium PVD coated handbrake handle, Awron DGA 20-in-1 gauge with Kompressor 1 option, Rolloface dry carbon fibre interior trim kit, Rolloface custom track roll cage powder coated in matt gunmetal grey, #Rolloface dry carbon fibre driver’s race seat, Status Racing custom Spa passenger seat trimmed in leather with bespoke stitching, red Schroth Racing PROFI II ASM FE four-point cam-lock harnesses, Vorsteiner mats, racing fire extinguisher, LED interior lights
THANKS #Rolloface-Performance , #Toyo-Tires , #Meguiars , #CSF-Radiators , #OSS-Designs , #Schroth-Racing , #Pagid , #Swift-Springs , #APR-Racing , #Motul-USA , #Blanco-Services , #RRT-Racing , #Tuning-Tech-by-Frank-SmithStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationROLLOFACE E92 M3
Hardcore wide-body bruiser
Rolloface isn’t one of those companies that will just rush to market with fresh, untested ideas. Sure, this isn’t the first wide-body E92 you’ve seen, but years of development have ensured that it’s one of the best… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Viktor Benyi.
Rolloface wide-body E92 M3
Performance Through Precision’. That’s the company mantra of Rolloface, and it’s one that neatly dovetails with BMW’s own ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’. This is a relatively new company on the scene, establishing itself in the performance aftermarket back in 2012 and putting in a solid few years of R&D before unleashing some frankly staggering hardware into the eager grasp of well-heeled enthusiasts. Its big brake kits are phenomenally effective, the forged wheels are pretty spectacular, and this latest E92 wide-body kit is a brutal work of art. ‘We take immense pride in what we do, just like you,’ asserts the company mission statement. ‘Let’s roll.’
So yes, let’s. The car you see before you effectively draws together the best and brightest of the Rolloface product line-up and allows it to coalesce into one supersharp, laser-sighted racer-for-the-road. Because, while it’s a formidable machine, if you thought the E92 M3 was good enough in factory-stock form, you’re probably reading the wrong magazine.
“The wide-body kit took three years to develop,” says company founder Ken Ho. “We started out with hand sketches, then computer renderings, moving onto clay renderings before, finally, production fibreglass items. We wanted a smoother look than you find with other wide-body kits too, so there are no exposed bolts here; instead, everything’s neatly moulded to the swage line.” The RF GT3 kit comprises front and rear bumpers, front wings and rear quarter panels, vented bonnet, and boot spoiler, with the option of adding various splitters and aero add-ons; indeed, Ken’s proud to say that the design offers genuine downforce, rather than merely looking race car mean.
It’s been extensively tested on track, and offers impressive high-speed stability. This, then, is a track car that just happens to be a road car too. For while the widebody kit is a flawlessly-fitting and genuinely functional piece of work, this is very far from simply being a bunch of fiberglass bolted to an otherwise standard M3. When it comes to company demonstrators, it’d be nuts not to go all-in. “This is our R&D test mule, really,” Ken explains. “And the body is just part of that…”
It only takes a cursory glance beneath those engorged, glossy arches to see just how in-depth the project became. Most obvious under there is the set of forged 19” wheels – Rolloface’s own ZR-1 design, a three-piece split-rim that exudes menace and purpose in equal measure. The specs are all customisable, as you’d expect, and in this instance the M3’s wearing a square setup that’s rocking 12” of width apiece. Which is bonkers, frankly – have you ever seen an E9x running 12s on the front axle? It’s just as well that Ken’s smoothed on such broad bodywork…
This volume of surface area allows a fairly robust contact patch, something Ken’s capitalised on with the deployment of sticky Toyo R888s to maximise the advantage of all that downforce; whereas many RWD hooligans like to kick the tail out and make some smoke, this M3 is all about grip and precision. And with supercar-aping 305- section rubber, there’s certainly plenty of adhesion to be found.
Peeping through the spokes of those ZR-1s, you’ll spot Rolloface’s trump card: those mighty brakes. Again, we’re looking at something that was the subject of years of research and development before the firm was happy to unleash them, and their performance reflects this. The discs are floating two-piece items measuring 380mm all-round, while the calipers are fully forged and sport eight-pistons up front, with six at the rear. With the wheel widths and disc sizes being the same front and back, this is the sort of setup you don’t normally find on cars like this, but it’s evidently all fit for purpose, as its extensive research will attest.
Like the wheels, these brakes are also nearinfinitely customisable and built to your own specs (a three-week delivery time is the trade-off for both performance and uniqueness) and you can even spec the calipers and disc centres in such fancy finishes as Candy Brass, Sparkle Burgundy, camouflage, two-tone fades, you name it. Form and function, working fluidly.
Now, it might seem a bit of a leap to compare this car with a Lotus, but there is one kernel of wisdom from ol’ Colin Chapman’s legacy that fits this build like a glove: ‘Simplify, then add lightness’. Ken and his team have managed to dump an impressive 180kg from the E92’s kerb weight via the brutal and uncompromising method of tearing everything out of the interior and throwing it in the bin. The dash has been replaced by a simple and sophisticated carbon fibre item which was customfabricated by GruppeM (who you might assume is a German firm; it’s actually Japanese), and everything beyond that is, well… missing. No carpets, no soundproofing, no interior trim panels – there’s a pair of bucket seats with harnesses, a meaty green half-cage with harness bar, and that’s about it. Oh, and if you look inside the boot you’ll spot the mighty bracketry for that formidable APR wing.
‘Aggressive’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. With so much weight being shorn, Chapman’s ghost will be mollified that Rolloface didn’t see fit to monkey about with the motor too much. The S65 bent-eight wears a carbon fibre GruppeM intake and a custom titanium exhaust system, but is otherwise stock; the guys estimate it has around 450hp, and every one of those horses makes itself heard with a sonorous bark through those exotic pipes. It’s all it needs to be, and with so much mechanical grip it’s not as if Ken’s frivolously wasting power by spinning the rears up and shimmying the tail on every corner. This thing just points, squats, and goes. And then stops, obviously. Because the brakes are massive.
What’s perhaps most impressive about this car is that, while it’s unashamedly touted as a development car, its fit-and-finish is sufficiently flawless to allow it to happily sit on a show stand and have the crowds gasping with delight. It’s a clear embodiment of the ethos of those customisable brake components, the E92 acts as evidence that you can have form and function in equal, forceful measure. The suspension likes to elbow its way to the front at this point too, as the car’s running a full Air Lift Performance setup.
Any of those naysayers who reckon air-ride is for posers and serious drivers run coilovers may now bitterly eat their collective hats. With the amount of testing this car’s done, it’s pretty safe to say that airbags are up to the task of deploying and controlling whacking great gobs of grunt. BMW’s own power output has only been marginally tickled here, but Rolloface’s reimagining of the M3 platform proves that all that power was pretty much enough, and the way to amp the thing up is to strip out some mass and find means to get the power down more efficiently. All very old-skool thinking. Right, Ken? “Well, actually we’re looking to turbocharge it next,” he grins.
Honestly. Some people don’t know when to stop, do they? We get the feeling that three years of R&D is just the beginning for these guys – who knows how insane this M3 may become in the future? All the signs are pointing toward the answer being ‘really quite insane indeed’, but there’s one thing we can be totally sure of: it’ll be looking utterly flawless throughout. Performance through precision? Yep, that ties it up in a neat little bundle. Rolloface’s story is only just beginning.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Rolloface / #BMW-E92 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E92 / #BMW-M3-Rolloface / #BMW-M3-Rolloface-E92 / #S65 / #BMW-S65 / #BMW / #BMW-M3-Wide-Body / #BMW-M3-Wide-Body-E92 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-E92 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre #V8 #S65B40 , #GruppeM carbon fibre intake, custom titanium exhaust system (de-catted when on track), six-speed manual gearbox, est 450hp
CHASSIS 12x19” (front & rear), #Rolloface-ZR-1 three-piece forged wheels with 305/30 (front & rear) Toyo R888 tyres, Air-Lift-Performance-3H air-ride, #Rolloface-SR-C-BBK with eight-pot (f) & six-pot (r) forged calipers with 380mm two-piece floating discs, Pagid-RS pads
EXTERIOR #Rolloface-RF-GT3 wide-body kit comprising front & rear bumpers, front wings, rear quarter panels, vented bonnet, boot spoiler, carbon fibre side skirts, carbon fibre front splitter, adjustable #APR-GT-50 rear wing
INTERIOR Stripped full carbon fibre dash, Recaro driver seat with Sparco harness, Rolloface passenger seat with Takata harness, green half-cage, rear wing mounts in boot floor
“This is our R&D test mule really and the body is just part of that…”
“We wanted a smoother look than you find with other wide-body kits”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.