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    Safety First 650hp supercharged E90 M3.

    Safety cars are always in front – they have to be, they’re there to back the pack up. But in the case of this raucous tribute, it’s in front because nobody else can keep up… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Speedyshots.

    THUNDERSTRUCK 650hp #G-Power supercharged E90 M3

    Safety cars, or pace cars, have always been a little bit naughty. This makes perfect sense, as they need to be inherently fast and capable machines if they’re going to have any hope of taming a pack of wild racing machines. Sending a farty old Lada out into a field of DTM tearaways would be the very antithesis of ‘safety’.
    On the face of it, they’re a necessary evil in motorsport; they break up the action, they slow things down. They’re sent out to haul up the pack when there’s debris to be cleared up or a surprise monsoon has suddenly presented itself, and there’s a natural perceptual bias against them in the eyes of the fans in that, no matter how fast or formidable they may be, they are – by virtue of why they exist – the slowest things on the track.

    This, of course, is all rather unfair on the poor beleaguered safety car. But fear not – there’s a groundswell subculture that celebrates these often-iconic creations, championing them for their mighty performance as much as the vital role they play in keeping motorsport ticking. This kind of thing’s been going on since the first appearance of a safety car in the Indianapolis 500 in 1911, while the first example in Formula One – a Porsche 914 – appeared in 1973. Classic NASCAR pace cars have taken on a life of their own as collectors’ items, and arguably the most popular safety cars of recent times are the BMWs used in MotoGP. 2016’s weapon of choice was the shiny new M2, and the series has variously used the M5, M6, X6 M and numerous others; each one has offered aggression in spades and, as you’d expect from an M car, blistering performance. All you need to keep a bunch of wildheart racing drivers safe!

    This E90, then, is a tribute to BMW’s keenness to push the envelope of safety car desirability: a four-door missile, caricaturised in all the right places to create something that’s frankly rather quicker and scarier than quite a lot of race cars – or, indeed, race bikes. This project is the brainchild of Karl Jungmayer, who regular readers will remember as the mastermind behind our January 2017 cover car – a 1 Series with a V10 violently shoved into it. The third Karl in line within a #BMW garage in the sleepy enclave of Geiselhöring, southwest Germany (his grandfather, Karl, set it up; he passed it down to his son, Karl, and it then transferred to the incumbent Karl), he spends his days doing unseemly and frankly unhinged things to powerful cars with Bavarian propeller badges. And as bases for project cars go, you can’t really miss the target if you’re starting off with an E90 M3… You’ve got 420hp right out of the box, a sublime chassis and more ingrained passion than you could possibly know what to do with.

    Unless you’re someone like Karl, that is. He knows exactly what to do with it. Refract it through a filter of insanity, collect the ensuing scattered beams of light, compress them into a diamond of pure retribution, and throw it full in the face of the tuning scene. “BMW is my life, my family, my hobby, that’s why they’re so special to me,” he says. “I’ve owned a lot of them, and they’ve all had modifications. And for this project? Well, I’m a big fan of the MotoGP, and I’m also a big fan of the E90 M3, so it made sense to combine the two.” There you are, that’s about as complicated as it needs to be. “It’s effectively my interpretation of a MotoGP safety car, with more power and bigger wheels!,” he grins.

    That, we reckon, is the best kind of safety car, so let’s look at that power issue first. You see, while the formidable S65 4.0-litre V8 would be mighty enough for many, Karl merely saw this as a starting block, and got on the blower to G-Power to chew over the perennial carnival affair of forced induction. The result was the acquisition and subsequent modification of an SK II CS supercharger kit, a Stage 2 setup that requires its own chargecooler system as well as, of course, plonking a hilarious mass of orange mischief right there on top of the engine like some kind of malevolent jellyfish. characteristics of BMW’s own work, rather than to radically alter and transmogrify, offering (on paper, at least) a broadly similar feel to a standard car, but amplified by several orders of magnitude.

    This, however, wasn’t enough for Karl. Too much is never enough. So you’ll also find another mischievous embodiment of modern high-octane lunacy under that freshly-stickered bonnet, in the form of a Snow Performance water/methanol injection kit. The science of this is to reduce inlet temperatures by up to a 100ºC, markedly increase fuel efficiency, eliminate detonation, and ultimately increase peak power by around 20%. Which is all good fun. It basically achieves this by squirting a finely atomised mist of water/methanol mix into the combustion chambers at just the right time in the fuelling cycle for tiny rabbits to be pulled out of hats and all manner of fi reworks to go off. So how does 650hp grab you? By the lapels, that’s how, and it shakes you around all over the place like a damn ragdoll. Just look what it’s doing to Karl’s rear tyres, for goodness’ sake.

    You’ll be pleased to note that all of this effervescent combustion tomfoolery is being channelled through a manual gearbox – six on the floor, maximum attack – and the interior has come in for a racy makeover. “It’s got the BMW M Performance seats, pedals and steering wheel,” Karl points out, “and there’s also a Wiechers rollcage, which has been colour-matched in Alpine White.” The insides are neatly fused with the exterior aesthetic, and what an exterior it is; the E90’s lines are naturally brutalist, masterfully combining four-door sensibleness with the sort of cartoonish proportions that make it look like a bodypumped bouncer in a slightly-too-small suit, and Karl’s taken all of this to the next level with an authentic-looking set of MotoGP Safety Car decals. It is, for all intents and purposes, the real deal. Well, the real deal plus 50% or so, really. And it does make for a hilariously imposing presence on the road – think about it: if you’re dressing up a project car in a tribute livery, it is – for fairly obvious reasons – unlawful to mimic the look of a police car or, say, an ambulance. But a motorsport safety car? Sure, that’s pretty much fair game. And no-one will be suspecting the utterly, unspeakably vast quantities of extra horsepower that this canny tuner has shoved into it. At least, not until the lights turn green.

    “The car is so powerful,” he muses, thoughtfully, “I like this car.” Coming from a man with a V10-powered 1 Series in his stable, alongside heavily tweaked F11s, E46s, E61s and a whole lot more, this is a stirring (if modestly stated) sentiment. “It does need more power though,” he adds, decisively. “And more boost.”

    But of course. We couldn’t expect anything less from a man like Karl. Just remember – however nuts this car becomes, it’s a safety car, it’s there for your protection. If you see him up ahead of you, you’d better not attempt an overtake – although the reasons for that on the road may be very different to those on the race track…

    “As bases for project cars go, you can’t really miss the target if you’re starting off with an E90 M3”

    “BMW is my life, my family, my hobby, that’s why they’re so special to me”

    DATA FILE #Supercharged / #BMW-E90 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E90 / #BMW-M3-Supercharged / #BMW-M3-Supercharged-E90 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E90 / #S65-Supercharged / #G-Power / #Breyton-GTS / #Breyton-Race / #BMW-3-Series-M3-E90 / #BMW-3-Series-M3

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre #V8 #S65B40 / #S65 / #BMW-S65 , modified #G-Power-SK-II-CS supercharger kit with #Snow-Performance water/ #methanol-injection , custom home-made exhaust system. Six-speed manual gearbox

    POWER and torque 650hp, 485lb ft

    CHASSIS 8.5x20” (front) and 10x20” (rear) #Breyton-GTS-Race wheels, 15mm spacers, 245/30 (front) and 295/25 (rear) Continental ContiSportContact 5P tyres, #Brembo eightpot #BBK (front), stock E90 M3 brakes (rear)

    EXTERIOR M3 CRT front spoiler with carbon fibre flaps, carbon fibre rear spoiler and diffuser, E90 LCI taillights, Safety Car livery

    INTERIOR #BMW-Performance seats, pedals and steering wheel, #Wiechers rollcage
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    THE RIGHT STUFF
    Some cars have it, some cars don’t – but this 625hp supercharged E92 M3 most definitely has a whole heap of it. From its looks, to its stance and what it’s got lurking under the bonnet, this E92 M3 gets everything right. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Mike Kuhn.

    What makes a good-looking car? The styling plays a big part, of course, but that on its own isn’t enough; how it sits is also important, as ride height and stance play a huge role in terms of a car’s visual appeal. Furthermore, the wheels are crucial as the ‘wrong’ ones can ruin even the best-looking cars. Get all of these elements spot-on and you’ll build yourself a car that looks right on every level and David Cao has done just that. It helps that he’s chosen to work his magic on an E92 M3, which is a great platform to begin any build, and as an added bonus there’s a bit of extra spice going on under the bonnet…

    We have to say that looking at the E92 (and its M3 incarnation in particular) with post-F3x eyes, it looks better than it ever did. Everything about it, from the proportions to the understated but purposeful styling, was and still is right. The F8x M3 and M4 certainly aren’t short of aggression, but the E9x M3 has such a cohesive shape that flows so well, with perfect proportions. Add the overwhelming aftermarket support for the car (so extensive that no two examples are likely to be the same) plus the fact that it’s likely to be the last naturally aspirated M3 that we’ll see and it’s enough to have you reaching for the chequebook.

    That’s exactly what David did, and he’s clearly as keen on the E9x 3 Series family as we are, judging by past and present automotive conquests: “I’ve been interested in BMWs since 2007 when I bought my first one, a 335i,” he says, which is certainly a great introduction to the brand. “I bought it because of its twin-turbo engine and the fact that it performed just as well as the E46 M3.” While that 335i is no longer part of the stable, David has employed an E91 325xi Touring for daily duties. Good as the 335i was, when the M3 was launched the lure of its high-revving, naturally aspirated V8 proved impossible to resist and he put his name down, with this white example being the result of that transaction.

    The E92 M3 is an awesome machine out-of- the-box, but it has so much untapped potential that it really would seem foolish not to tap it. David has a car history that includes a large number of modified Hondas, so the M3 was never going to stay stock for long. Also, with his modifying roots firmly embedded in the JDM scene, it is unsurprising that David has chosen to let some of those Japanese styling influences spill over to his German machine, and it’s given this M3 a fusion flavour that’s distinctively different. The front and rear bumpers come from Japanese tuning house, Amuse, and are part of the Ericsson range; the bumpers aren’t overly aggressive, just adding a touch of extra ‘swoopiness’ and it’s only really the bootlid, with its unashamedly indiscreet, obtuse-angled integrated spoiler that makes a big impact. The front bumper, with its black corner extensions, has been further embellished with an APR carbon fibre splitter, while the rear item has been fitted with a Downforce USA multi-piece carbon fibre diffuser, which blends perfectly with the bumper.

    In addition to this, Exotic Tuning carbon fibre side blades sit below the skirts on either side and there’s an AC Schnitzer roof spoiler, plus slick-looking ONEighty NYC custom headlights with super-bright angel eyes. These are complemented at the rear with a set of LCI light clusters.


    On the suspension front, David has eschewed air-ride on his E92 M3, instead opting to keep things static with a KW coilover kit, though he’s clearly a devout worshipper at the temple of lows judging by how far off the ground the front splitter sits; in fact, we’re amazed it’s survived this long! Of course, lowered suspension is crying out for the right wheels to go with a serious drop and here Dave has once again looked to the Far East for inspiration.

    “I’ve had lots of wheels for this car,” he says, “and lately I’ve been aiming for Japanese wheels, which is why I got this classic set of Work Equips.” The simple fivespoke design is perhaps not one you tend to see on E9x M3s, which makes the wheels stand out and gives this car a particular, aggressive, look. The wheels themselves, while not intricate, are gorgeous, from the detailed centre caps with their raised lettering to the contrast of the dark silver faces against the mirror-polished stepped lips, with those deep dishes front and rear catching the light. They really suit the car’s aggressive styling, the thick, chunky spokes sitting perfectly against the sharp, angular looks and giving the whole package a squat, stocky appearance.

    Venturing inside, the remnants of the once red interior offer up a nice contrast against the inky blackness of everything else and, while David hasn’t gone wild in here, what he has changed has made a big difference. The two-piece Recaro Sportster CS seats are awesome, a world away from the comfortable but slightly bland standard items, and give the interior a much more purposeful look that matches the M3’s outward appearance. They are joined by a ZHP gear knob, because this is indeed a manual, and a #BMW-M-Performance V2 steering wheel with digital display along with a P3Cars vent-mounted multi-function digital data display and boost gauge.

    Now, the E9x M3 is a pretty ferocious performance machine out-of-the-box, the glorious S65 V8 giving it some serious muscle, but it would be a shame if all that additional battle armour on the outside wasn’t backed up with a little something extra under the bonnet. Luckily, this M3 has had more than a little fettling on the engine front and lifting the lid on the 4.0-litre V8 reveals the unmistakable intake plenum of an ESS supercharger kit.

    David has opted for the VT2-625 intercooled setup, which is only $600 more than the 595 version but a hefty $1400 lighter on the wallet than the top-end 650 version, making this the sensible choice for those looking to punch through the 600hp barrier on their supercharged M3.

    As its name suggests, the 625 kits makes a mighty 625hp, 205hp up on the standard car, with 410lb ft of torque for some serious midrange muscle, with the Vortech V3 Si supercharger running at between 6.5 and 7psi of boost. That pressurised air passing through what ESS says is the largest chargecooler system on the market and an octet of uprated Bosch injectors ensure ample fuel reaches the engine to match all that additional air. Not only is it an awesome-looking kit, it really delivers on the performance front and gives this M3 more than enough of a power upgrade to match the aggressive styling. The supercharger, incidentally, is David’s favourite modification on the car: “The car feels and sounds amazing along with the F1 exhaust,” he says.

    Ah yes, we almost forget about that. The quad pipes protruding from the rear valance are far from stock and belong to the IPE Innotech F1 Valvetronic exhaust system. A bit of a mouthful that may be, but this stainless steel system goes from mild to wild at the push of a button, delivering an awesome V8 soundtrack with the valves open, so much so that we wonder if David ever bothers to close them… The finishing touch, and a necessary one to compensate for that massive increase in power, is the addition of a beefy Rotora Street Challenge big brake kit with six-pot forged aluminium callipers and massive 380mm discs up front.

    It’s fair to say that David has built himself an absolute monster machine of an M3. It looks that little bit different from the norm thanks to its Asian styling influences and combines striking styling with a whole heap of power thanks to that ESS supercharger. It ticks just about every box you could think of and it really is one of those cars that gets everything so very right.

    DATA FILE Supercharged #BMW-E92 / #BMW-M3 / #ESS / #IPE-Innotech / #BMW-M3-E92 / #BMW-M3-Supercharged-E92 / #BMW-M3-Supercharged / #BMW-E92-Supercharged / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #ESS-Supercharger

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre #V8 #S65B40 / #S65 / #BMW-S65 / #S65-Supercharged , #ESS-VT-2-625 intercooled supercharger kit, IPE-Innotech-F1-Valvetronic exhaust, six-speed manual gearbox, 625hp, 410lb ft

    CHASSIS 9.5x19” (front) and 11x19” (rear) three-piece #Work-Equip wheels with 235/35 (front) and 265/30 (rear) Achilles #Achilles-ATR Sport tyres, #KW coilovers, #Rotora-Street-Challenge #BBK (front) with forged aluminium six-pot calipers and 380mm slotted discs

    EXTERIOR Amuse Ericsson front bumper, APR carbon fibre front splitter, ONEighty NYC headlights, Exotic Tuning carbon fibre side blades, Amuse Ericsson bootlid, AC Schnitzer roof spoiler, Downforce carbon fibre rear diffuser, LCI tail-lights

    INTERIOR #BMW-Performance electronic V2 steering wheel, BMW ZHP gear knob, Recaro Sportster CS seats, P3Cars digital integrated data display and boost gauge

    THANKS Viet at Delta Auto Care, John at Speedfreak Detailing, Alex from Autocouture, Rotora brakes and Johnny, Julian and David at BMW

    “The car feels and sounds amazing along with the F1 exhaust”

    “I’ve had lots of wheels for this car and lately I’ve been aiming for Japanese wheels…”
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    BIG IMPACT #BMW

    With a whole lot of everything going on, this supercharged #BMW-E93 M3 on slick wheels with custom interior is a killer build.

    Words: Patrick Holness / Photos: Anna Taylor With big wheels, bold looks and plenty of supercharged power, this E93 M3 makes a big impression wherever it goes.



    There is a palpable level of excitement that gets you every time you see a well-executed car that has been meticulously sorted and modified. A car so well fashioned the minor details have details. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or you’ve managed to refrain from using social media, Danny Pessoa’s E93 M3 is that car. It begs the question, is it possible to improve the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine?’.

    Affectionately referred to by Danny as ‘Anna-Bella’ (Anna named after his wife, bella the Italian word for beauty, which both of his ladies possess), this car is absolutely splendid. Danny has crafted his E93 M3 to be nothing short of stunning, picturesque, and a work of art.

    Perhaps if you live Stateside you’ve seen her in the metal – Danny has taken every opportunity to show it off at just about all the major shows in the north east. The car has certainly lived up to the hype taking first place in multiple categories at each show. Regardless of the trophies and accolades he does it out of love for the scene. He is one of the cool guys, not afraid to share wheel specs or quote the price of a car part. His laid back and humble attitude makes him approachable and creates the basis for endless car talk. Perhaps this would explain why he has so many followers on IG.

    Let’s shift gears a bit to see how Danny got here. Like many of us the car bug bit him as a child. Growing up, Matchbox, Hot Wheels and the like were some of his favourite toys and his folks jokingly say ‘carro’ was amongst his first words. Once he reached driving age there was one brand and one car in particular that did it for him, the E46 M3. The power, the look, and the straight-six soundtrack lured him in and he vowed that one day he’d be an M owner. Fast forward some years later and Danny was able to purchase an Alpine white E46 M3. Ownership started off simply with wheels and suspension, and before you knew it he was a happy camper. Fueled with passion for modifying cars, Danny soon found himself chasing the next piece of machinery. A little reluctant he decided it was time to part ways with his E46 M3. With cash in hand, Danny was on the hunt for a new project, something more modern.

    He test-drove an E92 335i and was sold. This car started its life like his first project, with wheels, suspension, exhaust, M Sport bumpers, and other custom pieces. “I enjoyed the car, it was great but I missed the M3,” Danny admits and he soon found himself surfing the internet in search of an E93 M3. He had specific requirements this time around; this time it had to be white with a red interior, convertible top and manual transmission. Criteria set, Danny found himself glued to his smart phone searching numerous car sites every free moment he had. This went on for six months and while many examples popped up, they weren’t right. As luck would have it his search eventually led to a 2009 example that met his requirements. A phone call was made to the dealership and Danny found himself making the five-hour drive from New Jersey to West Virginia and wasted no time making it his.


    With his new car and a big grin on his face, he stopped by to see friend and owner of AMS Autowerks, Diogo Azevedo. Danny was looking for a set of Rotiform wheels to fill the M3’s arches, initially planning a fresh set of rims and suspension and leaving things there… On the wheel front he treated the M3 to a set of 19” TMBs, measuring a mighty 10” up front and 12” at the rear, initially in a brushed finish, followed by brushed red and finally black.

    For the suspension, Danny turned to Air Lift for an air-ride kit. Attempting to squeeze the massive rear wheels under the E93’s arches, even ones as ample as the M3’s, is no mean feat. Diogo and his crew had to pull the rear quarters out by 2” to get the perfect stance and allow them to tuck under the arches when aired out. As you can see, the TMBs are gone and in their place are a set of gorgeous 20” INDs finished in rose copper, though they’re the same width as the 19s so no further arch work was required.

    The body received a Mode Carbon front lip, side splitters, rear diffuser, side vents and Motorsport wing on the OEM bootlid, but Danny couldn’t make his mind up about the spoiler so Anna-Bella currently has a carbon fibre CSL bootlid and he alternates between the two different sets of wheels and bootlids. Headlights and tail-lights received attention as well, the former being sent to Lightwerkz for a blacked-out finish while the tail-lights were swapped for all-red items: “The car was looking great,” says Danny, “but I wanted more power…”

    With this in mind, over the winter a complete exhaust system from Active Autowerke was installed before he purchased a Gintani Stage II supercharger kit. This intercooled setup uses a Vortech V3 Si Trim blower fed by a sexy carbon fibre intake and runs at between 7-7.5psi to whip up a 650hp storm, backed up by 420lb ft of torque, giving Danny all the performance he could want. “The first time I drove it, it felt like a race car!” he grins. “I said ‘oh s**t this car is fast!’” he adds with a chuckle.

    With the engine work done, Danny focused his attention on the interior and boot. He commissioned Ryan from Exact Art to sort out the interior details and he has covered nearly every inch of the car in Fox red leather or Alcantara. The result really is a work of art.


    The steering wheel was also upgraded to a carbon fibre item, and the front factory seats were replaced with Recaro CS Sport seats which were also trimmed in matching Fox red leather. Carbon fibre was integrated into the doorcards, dash, and rear passenger headrests while a custom harness bar was fabricated and colour-matched by AMS Autowerks to accommodate the Sabelt harnesses. The doorcards received attention as well and they include the same hex arrow stitching that is inlaid in the seats. The roof has been lined with Alcantara and the floor mats have been trimmed in white to match the exterior.


    In today’s scene a proper boot install is almost a must, and Danny’s M3 delivers on that front. The air tank for the air-ride has been colour-matched to the car and custom Fox red leather straps add the finishing touch, while leather and Alcantara adorn pretty much every surface. New factory stickers were also ordered to replace those that had to be removed and special homage was paid to Johnny Walker with a crafty Blue Label setup. In total the interior and boot work took over 200 man-hours and deprived Danny of his car for nine months, but it was most definitely worth it. So, is it possible to improve the Ultimate Driving Machine? Unequivocally the answer is yes. Danny’s car is nothing short of a modern masterpiece and one that both he and everyone else can get an immense amount of pleasure from.

    Stunning custom interior and boot build took over 200 hours and nine months to complete but was worth it.

    This project is not all about looks – #Gintani Stage II supercharger kit makes 650hp and 420lb ft of torque.

    DATA FILE BMW Supercharged #BMW-E93 M3 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E93 / #BMW-M3-Supercharged-E93 / #BMW-M3-Supercharged /

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre #V8 #S65B40 / #S65 / #BMW-S65 / #S65-Supercharged / carbon intake, #Gintani-Stage-II supercharger, #Active-Autowerke exhaust, six-speed manual gearbox.

    CHASSIS 10x20” (front) and 12x20” (rear) #Rotiform IND threepiece splits in #Rose-Copper , #AirLift Performance airride with V2 management, carbon strut brace.

    EXTERIOR Mode Carbon front lip, side splitters, Motorsport wing, side vents, and rear bumper diffuser, CSL carbon fibre bootlid, rear quarters pulled 2”, #LightWerkz custom headlights, all-red rear lights.

    INTERIOR OEM M3 carbon steering wheel, dash, doorcards, centre console and rear headrest trimmed in carbon fibre, Fox red leather dash, seats, doorcards with hex arrows stitching, Alcantara roof and convertible top cover, custom harness bar for Sabelt harness, Recaro CS Sport seats, floor mats trimmed in white, colour-matched air tank with custom leather straps, boot trimmed in Fox red leather and Alcantara, bottle of Johnny Walker Blue and glasses in boot.

    THANKS My wife for all of her love and support.

    The first time I drove it, it felt like a race car! I said ‘oh sheet this car is fast!’ Danny Pessoa.
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