- Post is under moderationPOWER UP Hardcore, supercharged E46 330Ci
What was once a stock 330Ci has now evolved into a supercharged, track-focussed monster. Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Viktor Benyi.
’CHARGED BMW E46 330Ci Track-focussed full-on build…
Supercharging a “lesser” model of BMW is something that a lot of people don’t really understand. “Why didn’t you just buy an M3/ M5/M6 in the first place?” they will ask and, in absolute terms, you can see their point. Why spend arguably the same amount of money, or perhaps even more, buying and subsequently supercharging something that isn’t an M car and ending up with around the same sort of power level, when you could have just bought a fully-fledged, finely-honed M machine in the first place? It’s a valid, logical point, but logic has little place in the world of modifying. The thing is that very few people buy a car knowing exactly where they’re going with it, how it’s going to end up and with the specific plan of supercharging it. Sure, some people do, but take a look through this issue, the last issue, pretty much any issue of the mag and you’ll see feature car after feature car owner saying that they really had no intention of going as far as they did with their cars. The other thing is that, generally speaking, something like a supercharger is usually one of the last mods anyone does and that’s because it makes a lot more sense – and here logic can be applied to modding – to sort out the chassis, the brakes, make sure everything else is up to scratch before you start ramping up the power. It’s the right way to do it, really.
Which brings us neatly to Richard Kiraly and his supercharged E46 330Ci. As you can probably tell from the pictures, this is one exceptionally well-sorted 3 Series and, as you won’t be at all surprised to learn, when Richard bought the car there was no plan for anything beyond the most basic of mods, let alone creating a car as full-on as this has ended up becoming. Richard has been a BMW owner for 12 years, though that time period has been divided up between just three cars: his first BMW, an E34 525tds, which was followed by an E39 525d, and now the E46. Thing is, while he may say there was no plan of attack here, both of his previous Bavarian steeds, and a couple of cars before that, have all received some level of mild modding, so we reckon he wouldn’t have been able to leave the E46 alone anyway.
Hailing from Hungary, Richard’s hunt for the right example of what was the most affordable way of fulfilling his childhood dream of owning a frameless window coupé took him all the way to Leipzig in Germany, after six months of searching, and what was then a plain old 330Ci Sport. With car in hand, the mods began and stage one was styling. The E46 Coupé is a fi ne-looking thing, we’re big fans, but go big or go home, right? Go big it was, with Richard giving his 330Ci the M3 look courtesy of the M car’s wings and bumpers before cranking things up to 11 and taking the styling to another level. The front bumper has been seriously beefed-up with the addition of that carbon lip and those full-on corner splitters and even the intakes that funnel cooling air to the brakes are made from carbon. The bonnet? That’s carbon too, a vented GTR item that’s been painted body colour with just the slats of the vents left bare, teasing its carbon construction. M3 mirrors have been added while at the rear there’s a unique diffuser, a set of LED lights and a fibreglass CSL-style boot lid to finish things off nicely. It’s a greatlooking car, all the styling enhancements blending together perfectly and with the M3 body parts on board, the more aggressive aero elements don’t overwhelm the look of the whole car.
The wheels are Japan Racing JR3s, which suit the look and direction of the car perfectly, and while their familiar sixspoke design doesn’t get your attention, the colour certainly does. It’s a bold, bright blue that doesn’t tie-in with anything, anywhere on the car but wow, does it look good. Somehow it just works so well against that sexy, solid grey paintwork and your eyes are immediately drawn to the wheels. They’re the first thing you notice on the car and you realise that, actually, opting for that punch of colour was definitely the right thing to do as it really makes them stand out. You can probably tell that this car hasn’t been built for show, it’s all about go, and peering between the spokes of the JR3s confirms that beyond any reasonable doubt as that’s when you notice the massive brakes. The calipers come from a 135i, says Richard, with six-pots up front clamping M3 CSL discs, and two-pots at the rear while the suspension has also been suitably uprated and these mods came about when he decided to start making track outings a regular occurrence. BC Racing coilovers have been fitted here, and they deliver a solid drop, along with uprated anti-roll bars, Powerflex bushes, Eibach adjustable rear control arms and front and rear strut braces, completing a comprehensive programme of upgrades. The interior changes, too, have come about from the car’s regular appearance at track days and amateur tournaments; up front, a pair of bucket seats have been fitted, along with a set of Schroth three-point harnesses, while the rear seats have been removed altogether, as has the air-con. White-faced dials have been added to give the gauges a sportier look and Richard has also fitted a digital display in place of one of the central air vents to keep an eye on various under-bonnet temperatures.
So, to the engine. The M54B30 is a great motor, plenty of torque, a lovely top end, plus it sounds lush but by modern standards it’s not going to set anyone’s world alight and with him being so committed to track driving, you can see why Richard wanted a little more performance. NA mods are fi ne and could liberate a bit more horsepower but if you want serious gains then you have to bring out the big guns and go straight for forced induction. What Richard’s got strapped to the side of his engine is an ESS TS1 supercharger kit, which uses a twinscrew, positive displacement blower, and that means it delivers a huge hit of low-end torque the moment you hit the accelerator, perfect for punching out of turns on track. It’s an impressive piece of kit and puts out some meaty numbers, 320hp and a very healthy 302lb ft of torque. Here it’s been further bolstered by the addition an #AFE high-flow intake, a set of Schmiedmann high-flow cats and a ProEx exhaust system with racing silencer while an S54 oil cooler helps keep temperatures down on track. The transmission hasn’t been forgotten about, either, and Richard’s fitted a lightweight flywheel and Sachs race clutch plus an LSD to help him put all that power down.
We really like Richard’s E46. It’s been built with purpose after being bought with no specific direction in mind. It’s a focussed and finely-honed machine, but one that’s not so extreme that it can’t be used on the road. It looks good and it’s got the power to match the extreme aero additions; it really is an exceptional performance package. Richard has spent eight years getting the car to where it is today, but he’s not done yet and the next round of mods is imminent. “I want to cover the interior in Alcantara,” he says, “and I’ve currently got a CSL front bumper with twin brake air inlets under construction and I’ve also got an ESS TS2+ supercharger kit ready to go,” he adds, which is really going to take this E46 to the next level.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW #Supercharged / #BMW-E46 / #BMW-330Ci / #Japan-Racing / #ESS-TS1 / #ESS-Tuning / #BMW-330Ci-E46 / #BMW-330Ci-Supercharged / #BMW-330Ci-Supercharged-E46 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E46
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six #M54B30 / #M54 / #BMW-M54 , #ESS-TS1-supercharger-kit , #AFE air filter, #Schmiedmann sport cats, #ProEx exhaust system with racing silencers and black heat-resistant quad tips, S54 oil cooling system. Five-speed manual gearbox, lightweight flywheel, #Sachs racing clutch, short-shift kit, #LSD
CHASSIS 8.5x18” ET15 (front) and 9.5x18” ET15 (rear) #Japan-Racing-JR3 wheels with 225/40 (front) and 255/35 (rear) tyres, #BC-Racing coilovers, uprated anti-roll bars, #Powerflex bushes, #Eibach adjustable rear control arms, front and rear strut braces, #Brembo six-piston calipers with M3 CSL discs (front), #Brembo two-piston calipers (rear), braided brake lines, competition brake fluid
EXTERIOR E46 M3 wings, front and rear bumpers, carbon front splitter, front bumper race air intake, GTR carbon bonnet, E46 M3 door mirrors, custom rear diffuser, E46 M3 CSL-style boot lid, LED rear lights
INTERIOR White gauges, digital data display in central air vent, bucket seats, three-point Schroth harness, rear seats removed, air-con removed, spare wheel well removed, fire extinguisher
“What Richard’s got strapped to the side of his engine is an #ESS-TS1 supercharger kit, which uses a twin-screw, positive displacement blower”
BC Racing coilovers with adjustable top mounts.
135i brakes have been fitted all-round.
“The wheels are Japan Racing JR3s… and while their familiar six-spoke design doesn’t get your attention, the colour certainly does”
Bucket seats, harnesses and rear seat delete let you know this E46 means business.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationDREAM MACHINE / GOING TO EXTREMES / #BMW-E21-Dreamworks-Car-Tuning / #BMW
Stripped, caged and 2.7-swapped E21 will blow your mind! One of the most amazing E21s we’ve ever come across. Utterly spectacular from top to toe, this Dutch E21 really is something a bit special. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Ron Veth.
There are still cars that can stop us in their tracks, and this E21 is definitely one of them. In terms of visual spectacle, you’d be hard pressed to beat it on any level.
The amount of work that has gone into this car is truly mind-blowing. Based on this, and some of the other Dutch cars we’ve had the pleasure of featuring recently, there’s clearly something in the water in Holland…
It belongs to Marc Joosten, owner of #Dreamworks-Car-Tuning – a real one-stop shop for all your modifying needs.
Dreamworks is able to tackle everything from suspension and exhaust work to bodywork and paint, and this E21 is a mighty fine testament to what Marc and his team can achieve.
“I was inspired by different tuning shops like Foose, Gas Monkey Garage, Kindig-It Customs and so on,” Marc tells us. “And I also wanted to put the ideas that I have in my head down on a car, making it one-of-a-kind because most of the details on our cars are hand-made. My idea of a great modified car is of the ‘less is more’ approach, making it clean and giving it a bigger, bolder look without ruining the lines that make the car popular in the first place.” This is something that Marc has definitely achieved with this E21 because behind the classic DTM-inspired BMW M Warsteiner paintwork this remains unmistakably an E21.
It wasn’t always all about BMWs for Marc, though. “My first car was a Honda Prelude; don’t hate me for it!” he exclaims with a laugh. “It was a nice-handling car. I had a lot of fun with it. After the Honda I fell in love with BMWs because of their aggressive looks, their great engines and their reputation for being so sporty to drive. My first BMW was an E30; I always wanted to have one as, owning a car customising shop, I’ve built a lot of them over the past ten years. I found this E21 on the internet. It was ready for the scrapyard. It was literally falling apart. The bodywork was rotten and it had also failed the Dutch equivalent of the MoT inspection.” You’d be hard pressed to tell any of that now, though, as Marc treated the E21 to a full restoration before completely transforming it.
“I already had in mind the styling I wanted for the E21,” he explains, “although I also went on the internet and looked up some new cool ideas from other car enthusiasts which I then added to the car. Of course, there were several problems along the way but that’s the challenge of building cars. In life you sometimes have to crawl through the mud to get to higher ground and it’s no different with building cars.”
Funnily enough it was actually the work that Marc and his crew did on the engine bays of his other cars that inspired him to take a similar route with the styling of the E21. “When it comes to cool looks I always go for a clean engine bay,” Marc says. “It’s always a lot of work to do but it’s worth it.”
The engine bay here has been tucked and shaved to within an inch of its life and looks insanely clean. Anything that hasn’t been removed has been perfectly integrated and Marc’s attention-to-detail is insane. The brake master cylinder has now been colourcoded in white, as have all the hoses, the radiator top tank, and even the blades on the cooling fan. And then there’s the polishing that’s been going on; the cam cover, oil cap, intake manifold and even the suspension top mount covers have all been polished to perfection. The panels that cover the back of the headlights are actually stock E21 items but here they’ve been colour-coded to blend in perfectly with the rest of the engine bay and as a result look custom. The electrical wiring had to be made longer in order to be routed out of sight. You could happily spend hours just staring at the sheer bright whiteness of it all. Unsurprisingly, it’s Marc’s favourite mod on the car. “I think it’s the ultimate thing to do on a show car,” he says. “Anybody can put wheels, suspension and an exhaust on a car but there are only a few people that go all the way with their love for cars (and their craftsmanship) to do the ultimate modifications. This separates the wannabes from the professionals.”
At first glance, the engine itself might not look like anything particularly special (insanely polished intake manifold aside) but there’s more to it than meets the eye. “The engine is a 2.7 Eta from an E28 525e,” explains Marc. “After restoring it we added a Schrick camshaft, an M20B25 head and fuel injection. We also fitted a performance air intake and a tubular exhaust manifold.” The latter looks particularly sexy nestling in the white expanse of the engine bay. The whole lot is finished off with a custom RVS exhaust system that culminates in a pair of up-angled polished pipes that extend past the rear bumper.
With such a ridiculously clean bay it was only right that the rest of the E21 was given a similar treatment. The rubbing strips have been removed from the wings and doors, the locks and badges have been removed and smoothed, and the chrome has been replaced with Shadowline trim. Up front smoked E30 headlights have been fitted, along with smoked indicator lenses and a black kidney grille. You’ll also spot a single wiper conversion, too.
Then there’s the rear panel which is so clean you could eat your dinner off it. The grille section between the rear lights has been removed and the whole section has been completely smoothed, with just the two light clusters left, sitting slightly proud of the bodywork. The front and rear bumpers are custom-made items and they look fantastic on the car, the former with its low, aggressive, angular chin spoiler while the latter is a clean, minimalist design that ties-in perfectly with the smoothed rear section.
The finishing touch was the #Warsteiner DTM colour scheme, made up of the BMW M tricolour stripes painted over a custom shade of white. It really suits this E21, especially with that aggressive front bumper being only a hair’s breadth from the Tarmac, and it looks every inch the classic racer.
Of course, bodywork alone isn’t enough, especially when you’ve got a wild colour scheme to pull off. When it came to the suspension Marc knew, as he’s not an airride fan, that he was going to keep things static with the E21 but just a bit of lowering wasn’t going to be enough for him. As a result, Eibach Sportline springs and shorter Bilstein B6 shocks were drafted in. Together they deliver some seriously aggressive lowering, with Marc carrying out numerous chassis modifications in order to end up with a massive 120mm drop (that’s eight inches) over the standard car! Going so low did result in several problems with wheel clearance but the work required to sort that out was well worth it as the BBS RSs are the perfect partners to go with the whole look of the car.
The wheels measure 9x16” all-round, pretty wide for something of this vintage. On one side the centres have been painted white, while on the other they have been ceramic polished for a dazzling finish. Both pairs of wheels have been topped off with bolts and chunky, polished centre caps.
Considering the amount of work and effort that has gone into the outside and the engine bay, it’s no surprise to find that Marc and the Dreamworks team have done an equally amazing job on the inside, too.
The racing-look Marc opted for really suits the DTM-theme better than any full interior could ever have done. Everything deemed unnecessary, including doorcards, carpets and rear seats, has been removed and the interior was then painted in the same custom white as the exterior. Following this, a highly polished Wiechers aluminium roll-cage was then installed. The upper part of the E21’s dash has been retained, though it’s been given a sporty look with the addition of some white dials plus a quartet of supplementary VDO gauges. There’s a Matrix TypeX steering wheel, a snazzy Alpina gear knob, chequer plate floor protection, and single-piece Recaro seats with four-point harnesses.
It took about a year to go from scrapheap basket case to the car you see before you now, though you’d never know how close it came to meeting an untimely end before Marc rescued it. The amount of work that’s gone into it has been truly immense and it shows in every single aspect of the build. It’s the sort of thing classics BMWs like this deserve, though, and Marc was fortunate enough to be in a position to give it the attention it deserves. When it comes to this E21, it’s fair to say Marc’s living the dream.
“When it comes to cool looks I always go for a clean engine bay”
DATA FILE 2.7 #BMW-E21 / #BMW-325e / #BMW-325e-E21 / #BMW-3-Series-E21 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-E21-M20 / #BBS
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.7-litre straight-six #M20B27 / #BMW-M20 / #M20 , shaved and tucked bay with colour-coded and polished components, #Schrick camshaft, M20B25 head, fuel injection and engine management, high-flow air filter, tubular exhaust manifold, RVS custom exhaust system. Fivespeed gearbox, welded diff, #Sachs clutch. 210hp
CHASSIS 9x16” (f&r) #BBS-RS wheels with polished lips, ceramic polished centres (nearside), white centres (offside) and 15mm spacers (rear) with 215/35 (f) and 215/40 (r) Dunlop SP 9000 tyres, #Eibach Sportline springs, shortened #Bilstein B6 shocks, 120mm drop, Opel OPC front #BBK with vented discs
EXTERIOR Custom white respray, #DTM-Warsteiner colour scheme, custom hand-made front spoiler and bumpers, single wiper conversion, Hella smoked E30 headlights, smoked turn signal lenses, all-red rear lights, de-badged, de-locked, rubbing strips removed, bodywork smoothed
INTERIOR Stripped, painted custom white to match bodywork, Wiechers polished aluminium roll-cage, white gauges, #VDO gauges for oil temperature and pressure, water temperature and rev counter, Matrix TypeX steering wheel, Alpina gear knob, Recaro seats, four-point harnesses
THANKS KSC import for hardware, Nico Kunzler for technical support, Ronald Veth for shooting the feature, PBMW for featuring the car and everyone else I forgotStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationMK1 TT
1.8T with 353bhp
WIDE BOY With big arches and 10.5x18in alloys, this 352hp TT has some serious road presence…
The original TT still ranks as one of the most significant Audis ever made. When this curvaceous, bold design was unveiled back in the late 90s, it made a huge impact. Here was a production car that looked very much like the original concept, and it was available to buy. Not only did it look fantastic, its performance credentials were strong, too.
The venerable 1.8 20v turbo found in the S3 8L saw some upgrades, which took it to 225PS (221bhp). This gave the cool coupe lively performance, matched to a slick 6-speed manual box. With quattro drive, it hooked up the power and was quick off the mark, as well as surefooted when the going got slippery.
With heated leather seats, a very cool looking dash and xenon lights it was a very nice thing to own. Back in 1999, a new TT would have set you back almost £30k. Today, you can pick one up for under £2,000, making them a bit of a bargain.
Laszlo, the owner of the TT pictured saw the potential with a TT immediately.
Having owned a big old Mercedes, he wanted something, small and sporty that was also fun to drive. A TT made sense – it was the right money and offered lots of tuning potential. “I wanted to switch from the yacht like feel of the Benz, to a stiffer, lighter sports coupe,” he says.
Things began slowly with a simple air filter upgrade and ECU remap. But having seen lots of big power Audis around, it wasn’t long before the silver TT was sent to respected local tuning firm, Turbotuning.
Here, the 1.8T was stripped down and rebuilt with fully forged internals including Mahle pistons and race spec bearings. The plan was to make the car as reliable as possible, so boost was held back to a relatively modest 1.5bar. Even so, with a Garrett GT2871 turbo, plus supporting upgrades, the TT made a very handy 352hp and 531Nm. Although we hear about plenty of 400+bhp models with large turbos, I have to say around the 350bhp mark seems to offer a great balance of performance and drivability for the road. I’ve been out in lots of TTs with this sort of power and they’re great fun. Plus, there’s less stress on the relatively small capacity 1.8-litre engine – something to take into account unless you liken spending time getting things fixed all the time.
But there’s more to this TT than a decent bit of poke under the bonnet.
Up front, Laszlo has fitted a set of six-pots from a Porsche 996. These big brakes required adapting to fit, but do an admirable job of stopping the little TT. With four pots at the rear and Ferodo DS pads, this thing scrubs off speed with aplomb.
One area that any TT will benefit from upgrades is the chassis. In stock trim they’re quite soft feeling and set up for a neutral handling – as you’d expect. But with some tweaks, you can transform them. With a full complement of Powerflex bushes, the chassis and steering components now feel reassuringly tight, which translates into a much more positive feel to the steering and general handling. Bushes may not be the sexiest of upgrades, but they really do make a huge difference – especially on an older car, where the stock items are likely to be worn. With uprated anti-roll bars, the chassis is well set for hard use.
One thing you can’t miss is the rather wide wheels. The 18in Japan Racing alloys are a huge 10.5 wide, which is why a set of, what the Americans like to call “overfenders” have been fitted. Some will love them others not so much, but you can’t deny they give this little TT serious road presence.
A V6 TT front bumper has also been fitted together with the rear bumper insert, which looks much fresher. There’s also a V6 rear wing.
Inside, Laszlo has really gone to town. The bucket seats have been trimmed in leather with yellow stitching with cheeky R8 logos. The R8 theme continues with the steering wheel and gearknob, complete with open gate.
So there we have it. A Mk1 TT with an aggressive, OEM+ look, that’s also packing a nice punch thanks to the engine tuning – with the potential for a lot more should he wish to increase the boost and maybe fit a larger turbo.
Top: Rear seats have been removed Below: 1.8T is forged and runs a GT2871.
SPECIFICATION #Audi-TT-225 / #Audi-TT-8N / #Audi-TT / #Audi / #Audi-TT-Quattro / #Audi-TT-Quattro-8N / #Audi / #Quattro / #Garrett / #Garrett-GT2871 /
Engine 1.8 20v turbo, Turbotuning shop rebuilt with #Eagle rods, #Mahle pistons, stronger bearings, low compression with rebuilt head, #Rothe turbo manifold, GT2871 Garrett turbocharger, 76mm exhaust system, custom exhaust with 90mm tips, custom intake, #Ramair filter, #HG-Motorsport intercooler 12-row #Motec oil cooler, F#orge BOV and boost controller, 630cc injectors, Walbro fuel pump
Transmission 6-speed manual, stronger clutch with Kevlar disc, #Torsen rear diff
Power 352hp and 531Nm at 1.5bar
Brakes Porsche 996 fronts with 6-piston calipers, 4 piston rears, Ferodo DS pads and braided lines
Suspension Custom rear control arms (GL), #Powerflex bushings all around, GL front strut bearing without damping, custom ARBs, #Eibach spacers, wheel bearings converted to studs, #Sachs dampers, custom air-ride setup with Viair compressor and #Airlift-Autopilot - #Air-Lift-V2 (tuned by #Fakukac )
Wheels 10.5x18in #Japan-Racing-JR-11 wheels with 255/35 tyres
Exterior V6 TT front bumper and rear insert, SEAT Cupra front lip, V6 TT rear wing, #EPMAN Racing bumper mount, Porsche green mirror housings, custom arch flares made up from Nissan SX kit
Interior Bimarco bucket seats with Porsche-style leather upholstery and stitching, custom rear seat delete and crossbar, R8 steering wheel and gear knob, custom open gate, Osir gauge holder, Defi Stepmaster gauges, Porsche green details
Left: Porsche 6-pots Below: R8 open gate gear lever.
Right: R8 themed interior Below: R8 wheel and gearknob.
“The TT made a very handy 352bhp and 531Nm”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation702bhpS2 #MTM-Talladega-R / Words Davy Lewis / Photography AJ Walker
More power than an original Ferrari Enzo - MRC Tuning's original stealth bomber!
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS MRC TUNING S2
This stealthy looking S2 was the catalyst that led to #MRC-Tuning being born, and now it’s been fully refreshed – with a monstrous 712ps (702bhp)
Always remember where you came from – that’s a phrase that you hear a lot in these celebrity obsessed times. From Hollywood stars that started out as waiters, to world champion boxers that used to clean cars for a living – it’s amazing how far you can come in life. But staying true to your roots isn’t easy. The pressures of success can change people – and not always for the better.
Having worked on performance car magazines for over 16 years, I’ve seen this happen many times over. Tuning enthusiasts grow into a commercial entity and become a bit ‘corporate’. They lose touch with the very people they should be appealing to. Which is a shame.
One company that has managed to grow, and stay in touch with the real Audi fans, is MRC Tuning.
Set up in 2005, MRC is the collaboration of S2 enthusiasts, Doug Bennett and Mihnea Cottet. As a regular on the well-respected S2forum.com, Doug reached a point where no one in the UK could modify his S2 to the level he wanted, so he decided to do it himself and get Mihnea over from Europe to tune it.
The 1995 Coupe, which he purchased in 2002, had already been converted to RS2 spec and was running around 330ps. With further work from Doug, it got to a K27 turbo level of tune, and offered a good balance of power and drivability. However, as is often the case with these things, once a business takes off, a tuner’s own car tends to get left behind.
And MRC Tuning has certainly taken off. These guys are now one of the world’s most respected performance Audi specialists, with a huge flow of S and RS models going through their Banbury workshop. Always at the cutting edge of Audi tuning, MRC has created the UK’s first 1000bhp RS6 C6; cracked the 200mph barrier in a B5 widebody and an R8 turbo at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground; and they continue to the lead the way with everything from B5 RS4s, through to the very latest RS6s.
Over the last 11 years, Doug has been fortunate enough to indulge his passion for fast Audis. His S4 widebody, R8 turbo and RS6 C6 have all been featured in #AudiTuner and reinforce the fact that he’s an Audi enthusiast first and foremost. However, one car will always remain extra special.
“It’s the car I’ve owned the longest and will never get rid of,” confirms Doug. “It always gives me a buzz – from the old school lag of nothing – then bang – all the power and torque in a small power band,” he smiles.
Although the S2 was well cared for, it didn’t have the ‘wow’ factor that befits an MRC staff car. So, when team member, Stuart Fourie, offered to carry out the custom fabrication necessary to take it to the next level, Doug didn’t hesitate. The S2 was officially ‘reborn’ in 2014, but it was only relatively recently that all of the finishing touches have been completed ready for a feature.
To the man in the street, it may look nothing special – just another mid-90s Audi. But those in the know will appreciate the latent violence that simmers just below the surface of this unassuming Coupe.
The current engine spec is a master class in how to achieve reliable, big power and, more importantly, immense torque, from the venerable 2.2-litre ABY lump. At 2bar of boost, this 20v turbo delivers a sledgehammer blow of 712ps and 717Nm – more than a Ferrari Enzo.
However, don’t confuse this with the linear and relentless surge of torque that you get with a modern RS6 running similar power. In the S2, it’s much more aggressive, with the power coming in with a bang. There’s nothing progressive about this thing. It has a very old school feel – an almost Group B savagery – that is guaranteed to shock the unprepared. In fact, at last year’s AudiTuner Expo, Stuart brought the car along to display, and his mate, who was riding shotgun, recalled how he’d almost been sick when the boost kicked in on the journey to Donington. This sort of animal is, of course, not for everyone. But when you spend each and every day tuning and testing some of the most powerful Audis in the world, you need something a bit special to get your own kicks.
The engine itself is a work of art. Dominated by the big external wastegate and GTX3582 turbo, it looks as if it just came out of some special projects division at Renn Sport. Everything, from the black crackle finish on the cam cover and inlet manifold, through to the shiny alloy goodies (even the clips and hoses look immaculate), it’s clear to see a hell of a lot of care has gone into this engine bay.
The prodigious power is transferred via a B5 S4 6-speed gearbox, which is mated to a strong, 6-puck Sachs clutch and solid flywheel. It’s a tried and testing combination, that’s able to handle the immense force created with such a powerful 20v turbo. Talking of which, it doesn’t half sound good.
A stock 5-pot is a very sonorous thing to behold, but this is on an entirely different level. It’s part jet fighter, part Group B rally car – you really need to hear it being driven in anger to appreciate it. It chuffs and snorts in a real old school fashion – there’s no modern Audi noise suppression here – and it’s all the better for it.
The whole car has a very raw feel to it. In this digital world where everything from the weight of the steering, to the firmness of the dampers, the speed of the gear changes to the sensitivity of the throttle can all be controlled by a computer; this is a very analogue beast. You get in, turn on the ignition, put it into gear – and drive the bugger.
Aside from the specialist fabrication work to the exhaust, intercooler, catch can and breathers (all thanks to the talented Stuart), the rest of this S2 is dripping with tuning goodies, but as with all MRC projects, everything is fitted with performance in mind first and foremost. The chassis, in particular, has received lots of attention to ensure the power can be controlled and corners attacked with aplomb. From the #AP-Racing 6-pots nestled behind the gorgeous BBS CH alloys (which look like they were made for the S2), to the H&R coilovers and uprated ARBs, this thing is ready to rock whenever you need it to. Not wishing to spoil the fantastic 90s styling of this curvaceous Coupe, Doug has been careful to add only OEM parts to give it a little lift. The front end has been treated to genuine RS2 door mirrors, plus grille and front bumper, which look both more aggressive and affords better airflow to the hard worked engine. The rear end simply wears a neat alloy MRC badge – there’s not even a clue that this is an S-model Audi.
Inside, you’ll find a set of factory optional RS2 leather seats. They have the creases and patina you’d expect from a car made in 1995, but they’re all the better for it. In fact, the whole of the cabin has that certain feel and even smell of a mid-90s performance Audi. It feels very solid and has real character – something that’s arguably missing on the latest crop of S and RS models. It’s part of the reason that S2s, along with RS2s, B5 S/RS4s and C5 RS6s are still so well loved by enthusiasts.
So there we have it. This is kind of Doug’s life’s work. He’s owned the car since 2002 and it’s the one he’ll never let go. Considering the amount of unbelievably quick and desirable Audis this man has access to, it speaks volumes about what this S2 means to him. From humble beginnings – the car that started it all.
Top: You’d never guess it had over 700bhp. Below: Doug’s other ‘toy’ see the RS2 next issue.
SPECIFICATION #Audi-S2-Coupe / #1995 / #ABY / #Audi-ABY / #Audi-S2 / #Audi / #GTX3582 / #Garrett-GTX3582r / #Garrett-GTX3582 / #Garrett / #Audi-80-B4 / #Audi-Typ-8C / #Audi-S2-B4 / #Audi-8B / #Audi-S2-8B / #Audi-80 / #Audi-S2-Coupe-B4 / #MRC-Tuning / #Bosch / #Audi
Engine 2.2 ABY overbored, uprated rods and REC pistons, ported head with oversized valves and lightweight valvetrain, #Wagner inlet manifold (modified for throttle body to fit at 90deg), 850cc #Siemens injectors, High Octane tubular exhaust manifold, #Garrett-GTX3582R-turbo turbo, HKS wastegate, stock ECU with 4bar map sensor, #Bosch-413 fuel pump, custom intercooler, full custom exhaust, custom catch can and breathers through brace bar, #MRC-Tuning-Stage-3 remap
Power 712ps and 717Nm at 2bar / 627ps and 685Nm at 1.65bar
Transmission Audi S4 B5 gearbox, #Sachs 6-puck clutch with solid flywheel
Front: #AP-Racing 6-pot calipers with Phaeton discs
Rear: VRS Porsche 4-pots and Brembo handbrake calipers
Suspension #H&R coilovers, RS2 front #ARB , Whiteline rear ARB, #Powerflex polybushes
Wheels 19in #BBS-CH with 235/35 Yokohama tyres
Interior Factory optional RS2 #Recaro seats, RS2 steering wheel, boost and EGT gauges, RS4 Alcantara gearknob, RS2 dash and aux gauges
Exterior RS2 front bumper, RS2 wing mirrors, RS2 grille, MRC badge
Contacts and thanks MRC Tuning www.mrctuning.com, Stuart, Chris and Mihnea for helping look after it over the years, S2forum.com, Dhyllan at Automotive Addiction for the wheel refurbishment
Top: RS2 seats were a factory option Above: Gauges in custom vent housing.
Above: Interior is solid and has that special 90s feel to it.
“It’s part jet fighter, part Group B rally car – you really need to hear it driven in anger...”
GTX3582 turbo supplies ample boost. Catch can and breathers are bespoke items. Custom MRC Tuning intercooler.
Left: AP Racing 6-pots and 19in #BBS alloys – perfect Main pic: Not even an S2 badge to give the game away...
“It’s the car I’ve owned the longest and will never get rid of”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationUNFINISHED BUSINESS / #VW-Golf-II / #VW-Golf-Mk2 / #Volkswagen-Golf-Mk2 / #Volkswagen-Golf-II / #Volkswagen / #VW-Golf / #VW-Golf-07K-Mk2 / #VW-Golf-07K-II / #VW-Typ-1G / #VW-Typ-19E / #Volkswagen-Golf-Typ-19E /
Mario Verswyvel spent 20 years regretting parting ways with his first car before he had a chance to finish it. But it’s taken less than 12 months to make his teenage wish list a reality. Words: Alex Grant. Photos: Kevve.
We’ve all been there. It doesn’t matter whether it was a shed or something more showworthy, there’s something frustrating about modifying your first car. Sure, it’s the machine that gives you a new-found ability to go where you want but turning it into a project is usually a way to watch your wildest ideas get their wings clipped by minimum wages, crippling insurance and the eventual, inevitable lure of moving onto something new. So, what if you had the chance to go back and do it again? Properly this time, with a decent budget behind you, the skills to work on it yourself and the benefit of having spent years fine-tuning that all-important mental spec list.
Going by the inch-deep gloss of Mario Verswyvel’s Mk2 Golf soaking up the lights of snapper Kevve’s flash units, it’s an itch worth scratching. “This all started with a bit of nostalgia for my first car… I guess it got out of hand,” Mario laughs, slotting carefully packed Chemical Guys products back into their carry case. “I had a Mk2 GTI as my first car, and I sold it before I got it anywhere near where I wanted. I never got over that. I spent years wondering how it would’ve looked if I’d finished it… and now I know!”
He’s got every reason to be happy as there’s something about Mario’s car that has the power to stop you in your tracks. Not because it’s making a show of the performance underneath but because it’s subtly ticking all the boxes. Immaculate Oak green paint? Check. Huge power? Check. Killer static stance on one-off wheels? You get the idea. Getting here may have taken more than 20 years but it looks like it was worth the wait. And it’s not a car that disappoints once you get past a first glance.
“I knew exactly what I wanted: a nice OEM GTI, but it had to be very fast, turbocharged and Oak green,” says Mario. “Actually, I wanted this very car. I know the previous owner. I spent ten years trying to persuade him to sell it to me, and I’d almost given up on it. Then he put it up for sale just before I turned 40. The timing was perfect. I had to have it.”
As Mario runs me through the process of turning ideas into expensive reality it looks like his well-cooked plans have been left to run riot. The best example of this is the wheels. If you’re wondering why you’ve never seen a set of splitrim Zender Turbos with a centrelock before it’s because you’re looking at the only ones on the planet! Unable to find the wheels he wanted, he’s had a set specially made, turning to Mario Quets at MAQ Racing to work his magic on them. “I love centrelocks. They were always part of the plan,” Mario explains. “But the plan changed a bit. The original idea was to fit a set of magnesium BBS wheels from a 997 GT3 cup car but we test-fitted them and they were too big. I had an idea for what would work but knew it would take time, so we built the car while it was running 17-inch Compomotive THs, then swapped over to these when it was finished.”
MAQ Racing might not be the first to turn monoblock wheels into splits (Mario’s also had an E30 on upsized bottletop wheels which had been through the same process) but the added complexity of the centrelock conversion really shows off the quality of the work. It’s almost blank canvas stuff, the way the bolts are neatly tucked in between the blades, the invisible joins where the new centres were welded in place, all flawless enough to make you question whether they left the factory that way. It pays not to take ‘no’ for an answer.
“These were 15-inch Turbos originally. We upsized them to 17s with slightly staggered lips, which meant I could get the offset where I wanted it. Then we machined new centres for them,” says Mario. “It took three full days of CNC work, welding, spraying and assembly to get them this way. But I wanted something OEM+ which had never been seen before.
In addition to the hunt for the right wheels, the Golf’s offbeat spec list was keeping the two Marios busy, and replacing the concours-clean 16-valve engine was the source of months of overtime. Growing up in the Eighties and with the soundtrack of Group B Audi quattros ringing in his brain, the howl of a full-chat fivecylinder turbo was too tempting to ignore. So instead of following the straightforward route and fitting a 1.8T or looting something with an R badge, there’s a line of five cylinders under the bonnet with a monster billet turbocharger bolted just in front of the firewall. And it’s not from the donor car you’d expect. “Most people assume I’ve fitted a TT RS engine but it’s the 2.5-litre in-line five from a Mk5 Rabbit, imported from North America,” Mario says. “I don’t know why there are so few of them being used in Europe; they’re cheap to buy and very easy to find. MAQ Racing had three of them, and this one had never been used. Finding a donor TT would have taken longer, cost more and it wouldn’t be new.”
Satisfying a childhood want turned into a project all on its own. It’s an incredibly tight fit, packed full of bespoke parts and slowed down by the need to source information from the other side of the Atlantic when it threw a spanner in the works. The engine mounts had to be fabricated, the subframe reengineered to clear the oil filter, and the transmission was a parts bin job. Luckily the Mk6 GTI gearbox didn’t need to be persuaded to fit but Mario traded up to stronger driveshafts, a Sachs performance clutch and lightened flywheel to get the engine ready for more power…
A lot more power. The 2.5’s trump card is its compression ratio. At 9.5:1 it’s the same as a 1.8T and low enough to be ideal for boosting without costing a small fortune in forged internals. It meant there was no need to rebuild the box-fresh engine before bolting a turbo to the exhaust manifold. This wasn’t raided from Volkswagen’s parts bin; it’s a Precision Turbo with the potential to make 620bhp without burying all of the engine’s lowend torque under a load of lag. After all, what’s the point of building your dream first car if you can’t drive it anywhere?
Looking through the build pictures on Mario’s phone, it’s almost a shame that it’s so tight under the bonnet. The stainless manifold, barely visible at the back of the bay, is a work of art, as neatly built as the carefully routed boost pipework channeled at protractor-perfect right angles around the engine and into the Integrated Engineering plenum – another part which had to be imported. To give you some idea of how tight it is, fitting an intercooler behind the grille meant cutting the spot lamps back to just the lenses. Mario wasn’t going to be told he couldn’t keep a quad-lamp grille.
Even then, the engine wasn’t ready to be started. Having mocked up the bay, the front end was stripped and laid out on a pallet so the 25-year-old metal underneath could be stripped back, cleaned of unnecessary brackets and holes and repainted to the same gloss as the rest of the body. Mario didn’t get a blast of the turbocharged five-cylinder soundtrack until the KMS management was being setup on a rolling road. The important figures? 440bhp and 335lb ft at 0.9bar of boost. That’s dialled back to keep the engine well within its comfort zone, to be reliable and driveable enough to be used on the road.
Was it worth the effort? “Definitely. The sound of a five-cylinder is beautiful, and the power it makes is incredible,” Mario enthuses. “I’ve always liked to try new things. This was the hardest part of the build but I’d do it the same way if I had to start again. It’s really addictive. My daughter wants me to use it as a daily.”
There’s just as much attention paid to the bits you can’t see. The engine conversion meant swapping to Mk4 GTI front suspension and, in turn, that had meant offsetting 60mm longer shocks than the Mk2 was ever equipped with. Needing another one-off, Mario called on Fabrizio ‘BriaLow’ Berter to build a custom set of H&R-based coilovers to get the Golf sitting where he wanted. Fully adjustable, it’s running a 100mm drop, the wheels tucked under G60 arch trims.
If the engine was inspired by Ingolstadt, the Golf’s stopping power was imported from Stuttgart. A Porsche 964 Brembo brake setup is working harder here than it ever was on the donor car and, proficient with a CNC machine, Mario fabricated his own centrelock hub converters to hold the work-in-progress wheels in place. Unseen details, but so important.
Otherwise, it’s a fairly straightforward restoration, helped because Mario started out with a car so clean it could’ve been donated to the Autostadt in Wolfsburg. Stored in a heated garage for 16 years and never driven in the rain, you’d need a flux capacitor to find a cleaner starting point. But the Belgian perfectionist still wasn’t happy.
“It was in excellent condition when I bought it, but I knew it could look even better,” he smirks. “I wanted it to feel like a brand-new car, so I renewed everything – lights, windows, seals, wheels, brakes, engine… everything. Then I had it repainted in Oak green by my friend Carlo Orlando.”
That period-correct, heavily-optioned Mk2 Golf interior feels totally disconnected from the hooligan engine conversion. Anything even slightly worn was replaced with new, and Mario opted to keep the standard fabric seats rather than having them trimmed in leather, finishing the interior off with a 1980s Italvolanti steering wheel. It’s also a factory Digifiz car; the unit still works, though the KMS display next to it gives a fuller picture of what the engine is up to.
“Even with a clear idea of how the car would look in my head I couldn’t imagine how well it would come together in the metal,” Mario tells us. “To me, it’s perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing… well, I’d be tempted by a Recaro interior. But that’s it. Actually, I think I could get more power out of the engine, too… Other than that, I wouldn’t change it!”
You know, that’s starting to sound like a first car all over again. Mario may have a full deck here – three times its original power, brilliantly engineered and so subtly modernised that it’s lost none of that characteristic late-Eighties feel – but he’s still not finished. We’re just hoping that the lure of something else doesn’t move this one on before the final details make their way onto the car, or it’s another 20-year wait to get here again.
Literally every single area of Mario’s Mk2 is perfect in our eyes. It’s so good it could be one of our favourite Mk2s ever!
ENGINE: 2480cc ( #07K ) five-cylinder, custom engine brackets by MAQ Racing, MAQ Racing turbo conversion with #Precision-Turbo-PTE-5858 billet turbo, Tial wastegate, custom MAQ Racing three-inch exhaust system including manifold and downpipe, Golf Mk6 GTI intercooler, custom MAQ Racing boost pipework, Integrated Engineering valve cover, fuel rail and intake manifold, reinforced head bolts, #Bosch-EV14 550cc injectors, additional fuel pump, #KMS MD35 engine management with traction control, launch control and lambda control, Mk6 GTI gearbox, #Sachs clutch, lightened flywheel, modified Mk6 GTI driveshafts. / #Precision-Turbo /
CHASSIS: 8x17” ET25 (front) and 8x17” ET15 (rear) Zender Turbo wheels, converted to centrelock and upsized with 1.5- and 2.5-inch lips by ##MAQ-Racing, 185/35 Nankang NS-2 tyres, Mk4 GTI (front) and Mk2 GTI (rear) ##BriaLowUltralow H&Rbased coilovers, Mk5 GTI master cylinder, Porsche 964 calipers with custom brackets, 280mm discs (front) 254mm discs (rear).
EXTERIOR: Full respray in original Oak green, rear wiper and side repeaters removed, G60 arches.
INTERIOR: Factory 16v cloth interior, KMS display, ##Digifizdashboard, Italvolanti 16v steering wheel.
SHOUT: Carlo Orlando for the paint, ##MAQ-Racing(the best in Belgium!) for the wheels, brakes and engine, Fabrizio Berter for the suspension.
Adjustable top mounts allow the custom-made BriaLow Ultralow ##H&Rcoilovers to be angled just right.
Precision Turbo PTE 5858 billet turbo has been squeezed in between the fivecylinder lump and the firewall on a custommade manifold that’s such a work of art you could display it in your living room as a piece of modern art!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationBINARY LOVE
Building a drift car requires a certain degree of barely contained madness, and this 520hp turbo E30 is exactly the sort of crazy that floats our boat. What was your first car like? Was it anywhere near as hardcore as this E30? Daniel Lavman’s drift-focused build is a lesson to us all… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Hjalmar van Hoek.
If there’s one piece of advice from Red Dwarf’s neurotic android Kryten that we need to hold close to our hearts for all of our days, it’s this: ‘If you don’t #GOSUB a program loop, you’ll never get a subroutine’. Or, in more Lister-friendly parlance: ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’. It’s an obvious point but nevertheless one that stands to be remembered. You only live once and there’s no point spending your life thinking about what could have been. Why go off half-cocked? You’ll only regret it on your deathbed. ‘Why did I spend my thirties driving a diesel Vectra and trying to maximise my mpg instead of building a badass drift car?’ you may wonder.
That, of course, is not going to be a concern for Daniel Lavman. He, as you’ve probably guessed, is the chap who nailed together this particular badass drift car and it doesn’t really need pointing out that he’s pretty happy with it. I mean, wouldn’t you be?
The most eyebrow-raising element of this project (or, at least, the first eyebrow-raising element, for as you’re soon to discover there are a great many) is that this is Daniel’s first car. I know, let that sink in, give it some thought. I’ll just stew for a moment in the fact that my first car was a rusty 1.0-litre Nova, and we’ll regroup shortly when we’ve reassessed a few basic issues of perspective and lifestyle. Better? Okay, let’s find out what the deal is…
“Yep, this was my first ever car,” Daniel confirms. Well, that’s cleared that up. “I’ve had a few other cars over the years but no full race builds of this scale.” The implication here is that there’s a certain sentimental attachment to this project, which will probably make a lot of sense to more than a few of you. How many can say that your current car is your first car? Probably not a huge number. But you’ll never forget your first car; it means freedom and enlightenment. It’s also a means to an end, probably bought cheaply and scrapped when it broke. I know my Nova was.
(Although, to be fair, scrapping it was the kindest thing. The fewer cars in the world with 45hp engines the better.) But Daniel’s fledgling steps into E30 ownership evidently made quite an impression, as he just didn’t want to let the damn thing go.
“I’ve always liked the E30 as a model,” he says. “I think it’s because of the size, you can build it into anything. It doesn’t get much cooler than a sick E30.” This is a view that we know is shared by a lot of readers given that our voting for the 2015 PBMW Car of the Year ultimately saw three different E30s vying for the title. The retro Eighties three-box is at its zenith right now, still being relatively affordable and representing a strong ‘my dad/neighbour/BTCC hero had one of those’ vibe.
“I don’t even remember what the car was like when I got hold of it, it was that bad,” Daniel laughs. “But I know that it was in really, really bad shape; the grinder loved it! Just a few weeks after I bought it I’d totally stripped it down and welded in a roll-cage, changed the roof from steel to fibreglass, and swapped the M20B20 engine to an M50B25.” This last move was an act that planted a flag in the ground as a statement of intent, proving that Daniel wasn’t messing around. The M20 offered a sturdy but sober 120-something horsepower whereas its M50 successor knocked things up a notch with such treats as DOHC, coil-on-plug ignition, four valves per cylinder and a whole world of tuning opportunities. And with such mischief in mind the motor was never destined to remain stock; the idea behind slamming in a stronger motor was to sprinkle in a pocketful of stardust and see just how stellar the thing could be. We’re talking about a billet Precision 6262 turbo, a cooling system so clever it’s got a doctorate in engineering (er, possibly), and a Pinky and the Brain-style ECU calling the shots with a frightening demeanour hellbent on world domination. The upshot of Daniel’s relentless rebuilding and refining both inside and outside the engine? A mighty 518hp at 1.3bar of boost, bolstered by 502lb ft of torque. That really is quite a lot of torque, isn’t it?
But this car hasn’t been built for pulling tree stumps from the ground. Take a look at the pictures, you’ll soon figure out the purpose of this thing: it’s a bona fide, dyedin- the-wool drift machine, taking no prisoners but plenty of names. The selfstyled ‘Dirty E30’ spends so much time going sideways it should have wipers fitted to the doors, and the strong spec list enables this smoky prowess to be done in fine style. Consider, as a starting point, the squareon view of the tail-end. Between the smoked tail-lights, where you’d generally expect to find a numberplate, you’ll see a seductively canted radiator setup with twin fans blowing a farewell salute to whoever happens to be behind – which, realistically, is basically everyone. The bodywork has been unceremoniously sliced away beneath the bumper, while the top half sports a spoiler like a skate ramp and a neatly drilled sheet of plastic to titillate the rear-view mirror. And that’s just one aspect of the aesthetic!
Take a peep through the side window and you’ll spot a natty gear shifter with two elbows (don’t you wish you had two elbows on each side? The things you could do…), a whacking great hydraulic handbrake, an ohso- contemporary tablet to monitor the EMU ECU readouts, forthright fluid reservoirs, and an overall aura of Mad Max-meets-Ken Block. It’s a little frightening, frankly. “Back at the start, my plan was just to build a nice and fast street car,” Daniel recalls with no small amount of nostalgic amusement, “but that escalated quite fast and I changed my plans! I started to build it into a pure drift car for track use. One thing that I think is common for all car builds is that you always want to step things up, to upgrade the build, even when it seems like it’s finished. So after a few events in 2013 I decided to take the car to the next level, with a total rebuild centring around a new roll-cage from Divina Performance.”
Daniel was absorbing all manner of treats from the drift scene and the E30 chassis found itself wearing drift-tuned D2 coilovers and a fairly astonishing lock kit, along with some stupefyingly large brakes to rein in the lunacy. After all, let’s not forget we’re talking about 518hp. That’s a lot!
Remember those eyebrow-raising elements we were talking about? Yeah, we said they were plentiful. Daniel has been keen not just to build a devastatingly competitive skidder but to craft something that rewards onlookers with every glance, each fresh vista offering something new and exciting. There’s the fuel filler in the rear window, the towing-eye on the strut top (something that’s becoming a real darling of the scene these days), the way the vast turbo’s pipework snakes over the angled M50 head, the pins holding the bumpers on, the exhaust exiting through the front wing, the Aeroquip fittings… ah, hell, this list could go on all day. The point is that this E30 is a triumph of both function and form, and that’s by no means an easy thing to achieve. It goes like Thor himself has jammed a lightning bolt up its backside. It slips sideways with the ease and precision of a good ol’ boy line dancer. And it looks so animalistic it makes small children lose sleep. Now, some of you may be looking at this car and thinking ‘I’d have done such-and-such differently’ or ‘those aren’t the wheels I’d have chosen,’ but you have to remember that this is an evolving thing. It’s alive. Daniel is endlessly shaking up the formula, those ones and zeroes of its very binary code being reshuffled on a week-by-week basis.
“Shortly after this photoshoot, something happened…” he reveals. “It must have been those beers in the workshop that did it, and then the grinder came out – and soon enough the car started morphing into E30 version 3.0! Even more extreme, I started working on removable wide-body wings and bash bars, an E34 M5 rear axle and, of course, more boost. I’m building a new engine for next season, too: a fully forged M50B28 which should have 750hp+. Watch this space!” You can follow his progress on Facebook, at facebook.com/DrtyE30.
So you see this constant evolution is shaping the 3 Series into something formidable and always surprising and fresh. Daniel’s taken it out to a few Gatebil events to wow the crowds, along with a variety of local meets and drift events, and he feels so totally keyed into the car that he’ll indulge in a lot more drifting through 2016. It’s getting a lot of good reactions, too. And although a build like this polarises people – like a certain sticky breakfast spread, you either love it or hate it – if you’re anything like us, you’ll be in the former camp, your face resembling that particular Emoji that has hearts for eyes. This is binary love. And the drift-specific focus of this E30? It’s a hell of a subroutine.
Custom widened arches front and rear look the part and help to accommodate nine-inch 16s.
It must have been those beers in the workshop that did it, and then the grinder came out Daniel Lavman.
The ‘Dirty E30’ spends so much time going sideways it should have wipers fitted to the doors Daniel Bevis
TECHNICAL DATA FILE Turbo Drift #BMW-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-E30-M50 / #BMW-E30-Turbo /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.5-litre straight-six M50B25 / M50 / #BMW-M50 (non-VANOS), #EMU #ECUMaster tuned by #PSI-Motor , #Precision-6262 billet turbo / #Precision , custom exhaust manifold and system, rearmounted cooling system, Z3 rear axle with 4.10 diff, #ZF five-speed gearbox, rebuilt M20 flywheel with #Sachs 618 pressure plate and sintered clutch, 518hp and 502lb ft at 1.3bar
CHASSIS 9x16” (f & r) #OZ-Vega wheels with 215/40 (front) and 225/40 (rear) tyres, D2 Drift Spec coilovers, #T-Parts steering lock kit, #Brembo four-pots with 315mm discs (front) and two-pots with 270mm discs (rear) #OZ
EXTERIOR Fully shaved and smoothed, rear doors welded up, custom wide arches front and rear, removable bash bar, custom aluminium rear spoiler, fibreglass roof
INTERIOR #Custom-Divina-Performance TIG-welded cage, #Driftworks Cobra FIA fibreglass seats, #QSP six-point FIA harnesses, custom aluminium details, #Tilton-600 Series pedal assembly, custom shifter mechanism and handbrake, Samsung tablet for EMU ECUMaster readouts
THANKS All of my friends who have been involved in the build! Also PSI Motor, Idefix Autoworkshop, #Divina-Performance , #TBM-Performance , Thagesson Motorsport, DDESIGN.NU, Flatoutperformance.se, T-Parts, Oljemagasinet.se, Brothers Garage, Spacers.se, and Svensk Turboservice AB
Interior suitably stripped-out, with multiple gauges and a Samsung tablet displaying essential information.
Multiple cooling hoses are fed by NACA ducts in the rear quarterlights in order to supply boot-mounted rad with air.
Engine bay, and pretty much whole front end, dominated by massive 6262 turbo; vast intercooler occupies entire front area so rad (bottom right) now lives in the boot.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWHITE LINES / Words Davy Lewis Photography Jape Tiitinen.
600BHP SNOW PLOUGH
Wide-body #Audi 80 quattro. This 603hp, wide body #Audi-80-GTE was built for one thing – hooning on the frozen roads of Finland…
Our man in Finland, Jape, is always sending us cool videos. When he’s not taking amazing images of some of the world’s most exciting, and indeed powerful Audis, he’ll be capturing them in action. From riding shotgun in Philipp Klaess’ insane 225mph, 1000bhp B5 wide body, to Gatebil monsters, this man knows no fear. It was when one of Jape’s emails pinged into my inbox that I discovered this beast of an Audi 80.
The email simply said, “Hi Boss, check out this Audi 80 snowplough!” There was a link to a video in which a tough looking 1980s saloon was being given death in the snow. It looked like tremendous fun. The driver was clearly having the time of his life in this wintry playground, and given the pummelling my ears were getting from my headphones, it was clear that this thing was running a rather large turbo.
So I pinged Jape an email to find out more... Turns out the owner is a good friend of his, which doesn’t surprise me – everyone seems to be a mate of Jape’s – even our own Julian Loose in the UK (is there anyone Jape doesn’t know?!) The lucky owner of this ultimate snow toy, is a chap called Pasi Kellokumpu. A well known face on the Finnish tuning scene, he runs a trailer company transporting cars all over the place. But when Pasi isn’t towing cars, he’s driving them – sideways.
It’s no secret that the Fin’s seem to have an innate ability to go incredibly fast, in the kind of conditions that would make us Brits scared to set foot outside the house. The joke about needing a wiper on the side windows is actually closer to the truth than you might imagine. But, even in this country filled with expert sideways merchants, Pasi is still regarded as a bit of a lunatic.
Now that really must take some doing in Finland! The Audi 80 is however a mere toy for this guy. You see, tucked away in his garage, are a couple of serious power cars that he only drives in the good weather. There’s a 1000+hp Ur-S4 for track and an insane S2 packing a mighty 1319hp – surely the most powerful in the world. This out-and-out drag monster is named “Aim and Pray” which kind of says it all really. We’ll be featuring both of these truly epic cars as soon as the winter releases its icy grip on Finland. The 80 GTE is then a mere toy – something to keep him amused over the long winters. It may be a ‘toy’ to Pasi, but for most of us, it’d be a dream come true.
Based on a 1986 Audi 80 GTE quattro, this once sedate saloon has been transformed into a full-on hooligan. Under that Sport quattro-style vented bonnet, sits a fully built 2.2 5-pot lump running a #Holset HX40 turbo. This behemoth blower, together with supporting upgrades, including straight through 3in exhaust, huge 4in downpipe, massive intercooler, and uprated fuelling, helps this thing make 603hp and 660Nm.
When the big Holset comes on song, all hell breaks loose – perfect for playing in the snow. All four wheels light up in an instant and big, four-wheel drifts are easy. It’s loud too. That five cylinder howl sounds all the more glorious with the turbo chuffing and snorting away as Pasi bangs through the gears.
Talking of cogs, with more than three times the stock power, this Audi 80 has been treated to a heavily uprated box. It’s an S4 01E six-speed unit that’s bolstered by a Sachs Race 3-paddle clutch and S2 driveshafts. A lightened flywheel helps things rev – something this engine has no problem with already!
Pasi has fitted a set of Brembo brakes from a Leon Cupra R together with some S2 rear discs. This setup provides ample stopping power – when the tyres have something to grip on, of course. But then the 8.5 and 9.5x17in Fondmetal rims aren’t shod in your average ‘winter’ rubber; this thing runs proper studded tyres. However, when the snow has cleared and the sun returns to Finland, Pasi swaps to some girthy 10 and 11.25x17in wheels, which I’m reliably informed, look amazing.
Aside from the rip-snorting engine and bullet proof transmission, there are plenty of other treats built into this supersnow saloon. Inside, it’s all about performance; anything that wasn’t required was chucked in the bin. All you’ll find now are go-fast aids, such as the multi-point roll cage (handy when you’re only ever a hairs breadth away from sticking it on the roof), a pair of deep Sparco buckets with 6-point harnesses, and a tactile Nardi wheel. Once snuggly ensconced within this setup, the driver can concentrate on the task in hand – going incredibly fast. A smattering of gauges keeps Pasi abreast of the engine’s health – and that’s about it.
For me, the best bit of this monstrous little saloon is the looks. There’s no poncey ‘patina’ about this badboy. It’s battered, battle scarred, and proud – like those old fellas with flat noses you see in the pub – you can tell it’s lived an exciting life.
The styling is heavily influenced by the Sport quattro – and why not? It’s one of the most iconic and downright cool looking cars ever made. There’s a Sport quattro-style front bumper, grille and even bonnet. The bonnet features vents to help cool the engine, but it’s not all show – it’s made from carbon fibre. And so is the roof for that matter.
The front bumper has been viciously cut out to allow maximum airflow to the large intercooler and rad. To the rear you’ll find a Ur-quattro style bumper, plus a cheeky Audi 80 V8 rear light panel that’s been modified to fit and a cool looking rear diffuser. But, for me, the icing on the cake is the full set of custom steel fabricated arches designed to mimic the Sport quattro’s wide shouldered look. The rear doors have also been heavily worked on to complete the look – it’s as if Audi made a four-door Sport quattro. This Audi 80 looks squat, muscular and ready for business.
So what’s next for this 600hp snow plough? Well, according to Pasi, the engine is being taken to 800-900hp for next season. Looks like things are set to get a whole lot crazier in Finland!
Top: Front is all about the airflow Above: Ice, ice, baby...
SPECIFICATION #Audi-80-GTE-Quattro / #1986 / #Audi-80-GTE / #Audi-80-Quattro / #Audi-80 / #Audi-80-B2 / #Audi-80-GTE-Quattro-B2 / #Audi / #Ur-S4 / #Ur-S4-AAN / #Audi-S4-01E /
Engine #Audi-Ur-S4-AAN 2.2 5-cyl 20v turbo engine, #Eagle con rods, #Mahle pistons, upgraded piston pins, #Schrick high-lift cams, upgraded valve springs, Revo adjustable cam gear, #Dahlback-Racing pulley, 4in #Revo downpipe, #Holset-HX40 Super turbocharger, #Tial wastegate, custom intercooler, VW Vento radiator, 034 Motorsport coils, #Tatech ECU, 3in custom exhaust, #Fuellab fuel pump, fuel cell in boot.
Power 603hp and 660Nm
Transmission #Audi S4 01E six-speed box, 4WD, #Ojennus lightened flywheel, #Sachs Race 3-paddle clutch, S2 driveshafts
Brakes SEAT Leon Cupra R #Brembo calipers (f/r), Leon Cupra R front discs, S2 rear discs
Suspension: #H&R S2 coilovers, S2 anti-roll bars, faster steering rack (RS2), polyurethane bushes
Wheels & Tyres Summer: RH ZW1 10x17in (f) with 11.25x17in (r), 235/45 (f) with 255/40 (r). Winter: Fondmetal 8.5x17in with 9.5x17in, 225/45 (f) with 245/40 (r) studded.
Interior: #Sparco Evo racing seats, #Sabelt 6-point harnesses, roll cage, Nardi steering wheel, rear seat deleted, stripped interior, #VDO 300km/h speedometer, A’PEXi rev counter, #VDO gauges for boost, water temperature, oil temperature, oil pressure and voltage, #PLX gauges for fuel pressure and AFR.
Exterior: Sport #Quattro -style front bumper, #Sport-quattro-style grille, carbon fibre bonnet with Aerocatches, VW Transporter front lights, Sport quattro-style custom steel wheel arches, custom steel side skirts, custom rear diffuser, Audi 80 V8 model rear light panel modified to fit, #Audi-Ur-quattro style rear bumper, carbon fibre roof.
Tuning contacts/thanks www.erihinaus.fi
Facing page: Pasi runs a towing company Top: Custom rear diffuser Above: Full cage and Sparco seats Left: Just the essential dials.
“Big, four-wheel drifts are easy in this thing”
Above: Big Holset turbo dominates the bay Below left: 20v turbo five makes over 600hp Bottom: Boot houses the alloy fuel cell.
Above: Are you winding me up?! Below: The ultimate snow toy Bottom: Side-exit pipes.
See it in action… To see a video of Pasi hooning around in some full-on Finnish snow, head to https://drive-my.com/en/social/stream/item/7610.htmlStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationGRAND SLAM / #BMW-3-Series
Good as the E30 #BMW-M3 / #BMW may be, there’s always room for improvement – like fitting air-ride, swapping in an S54 and strapping on a supercharger for good measure. If you like your E30s extremely fast, stunning, and seriously lairy, this Finnish fireball will set your world alight. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Jape Tiitinen.
There’s a lot to be said for keeping things pure. We’re big fans of it here when it comes to cars, and we’re forever banging on about how you don’t need to do much to certain models, such as the E30, to end up with a fantastic-looking car. The past few issues have been home to prime examples of this super-clean, OE+ aesthetic. But, conversely, we’re also big fans of the utterly mental brigade who pull out all the stops and go well and truly bananas with their builds, sticking two fingers up at the purists in the process. We’re not the sort to judge, really. We’ve had a few of those, too. There was Nick Sahota’s S54-swapped orange M3 with air-ride back in 2014, Sam Le Fevre’s supercharged S54-powered RHD E30 M3 this year (you might see a pattern emerging here), and now we have Matti Jussila’s supercharged S54-swapped E30 M3 that’s also on air-ride for good measure. It’s like the ultimate combination of the two ultimate sins one can commit with an E30 M3: carrying out an engine swap and bagging it… and we love it.
You’re welcome to confront truck-driver Matti about his exploits, although that would involve travelling to Finland and, if watching Ice Road Truckers has taught us anything it’s that people who drive trucks in cold places tend to be pretty tough. From what we can tell he has a beard. That’s enough for us. Of course, you should not be surprised to see another wild build emerging from the cold north of Scandinavia, it’s most definitely the done thing over there, and while this E30 might be tame in terms of power when compared to some of its modified brethren, it’s not tame in any other way.
So, how does one get from some sort of starting point to building a car like this? Well, Matti has been into BMWs for a long time now, since before he got his licence in the early ’90s, and has indulged his passion to the max, starting his BMW journey with a 1987 E30 325i Sport which he owned from 1995 to 2000 and still regrets selling. But onwards and upwards and all that. With numerous BMWs following his first, including a supercharged air-ride E46 M3 Cab, it’s clear that Matti’s not new to all this modifying malarkey…
So, to the E30 M3, which shares parking space with an E118, a 1.8 Neue Klasse from 1970 – strange bedfellows if ever we did see them. “I was looking for an original E30 M3 for a long time,” Matti says. “This one was just good enough and completely standard,” which is unsurprising because, you know, it’s an E30 M3 and who on earth modifies those…?! But it was also good because what you see before you is what Matti had planned out long before buying the car and, after two-and-a-half years of hard graft, he’s turned that vision into a reality.
We’ll get onto the engine and all that in a minute but what we really need to talk about is how this car looks: it’s utterly gorgeous, all thanks to what has to be one of the most stunning colours we’ve seen in a long time. The car has been finished in Standox Red Rocket, part of the company’s Exclusive Line paint, which was launched on Wiesmann’s GT model and is an incredible shade. It’s predominantly a sort of rich ruby red with a hint of wine to it but the minute it catches the light all sorts of magic starts to happen and you get bright flashes of orange. It’s really hard to describe and utterly mesmerising. It’s rare that a paint job will leave you speechless but that’s most definitely the case here. It’s like a smack in the mouth but for your eyes instead and it draws you in, at which point you can then start appreciate the rest of the styling details.
We also need to talk about the bonnet – at first glance you might think it’s matt black but get up close and you realise it’s furry! ‘Upholstered’ is how Matti describes it but whichever way you look at it, if you didn’t like the idea of someone modifying an E30 M3 you’re definitely not going to like the idea of someone putting an ‘upholstered’ bonnet on one!
There’s far more here than just a stunning paint job and upholstery, though, and Matti has put plenty of work into getting the car’s styling just so, cherry picking some of the tastiest E30 M3 additions to give his example a bit more aggression. You’ll notice the Sport Evo front spoiler, arches and rear spoiler, along with shaved antennas, tinted front and rear lights and tinted windows. With the wheels, Matti has hit the size sweet spot, opting for staggered 17” three-piece Hartge Classics, measuring 9.5” wide at the front and 10” at the rear. With seriously shiny stepped-lips and dish to die for, plus light gold bolts offering just that little bit of contrast to the rich red paint, we think they are awesome.
Seeing as Matti had already experienced the joys of air-ride once before, it’s perhaps no surprise to see him going back to bags for his ultimate E30 build, despite how many teeth that might put on edge. He turned to K-Sport’s E46 M3 offering which was modified to fit yet it clearly does its job well. The air-ride has been combined with some decently stretched tyres and the arches rest on the tyre sidewalls when the car is aired-out. Hovering like this, with the deep front spoiler sitting a fraction above the ground, we defy anyone to try and say it doesn’t look good. Compared with the attention-grabbing exterior, the interior is more restrained but definitely lets you know that this E30 means business. A pair of Recaro buckets have been fitted up front, while the dash, centre console and A-pillars have been flocked and a custom removable bolt-in roll-cage has been fitted in the back.
And so, finally, we come to what’s going on under the bonnet. Clearly S54s and E30 M3s go together, seeing as everyone seems to be doing it. The combination of a powerful engine in an awesome chassis is a winner. You can’t really go wrong with an S54 when it comes to performance. And although Matti had already experienced the joys of a supercharged S54, he hadn’t experienced that level of power in such a lightweight car as the E30. It’s a whole different ball game and really takes things to the next level. The engine itself is running stock internals with new bearings, a modified E46 M3 rad and a modified oil pan has been fitted to clear the subframe and retain stock oil capacity. The supercharger is an intercooled Vortech V3 setup with a remapped and modified E46 M3 ECU running the show, while a Martelius Exhausts modified S54 exhaust manifold connects up to a custom stainless steel Martelius exhaust. The result is a rather serious 560hp and 406lb ft of torque at 0.7bar of boost. In a car as light as the E30 M3 that makes for an explosive driving experience, especially with all that power making its way to the road via a pair of 225/35 tyres. The drivetrain has obviously been thoroughly reworked in order to be able to cope with all that power, with a Getrag Type D six-speed gearbox from the E46 M3 being transplanted into the E30, along with an E46 M3 flywheel, Sachs race clutch and a modified E30 M3 propshaft. Matti’s M3 is a stunning car that wows and delights at every turn, impressing more and more the further you delve into its details and you can see that it’s been built with a money-no-object approach.
Everything that Matti wanted to do, everything that he pictured in his mind before he’d even bought the car, has been done and his work is clearly appreciated by BMW fans, with the car winning best in show at the BMW Syndikat 2015 show in Germany, which sounds even more impressive when you learn that some 10,000 cars were in attendance. Matti has built himself a stand-out E30 M3, and then some. As Matti tells us before he speeds off: “ The only thing left to do now is drive it and look after it.”
The combination of a powerful engine in an awesome chassis is a winner.
DATA FILE Supercharged air-ride #BMW-E30 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E30 / #BMW-M3-Supercharged-E30 / #BMW-E30-Supercharged /
ENGINE 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #BMW-S54 / #S54 , stock internals, new bearings, modified oil pan, modified E46 M3 radiator, #Vortech-V3 / #Vortech intercooled supercharger kit, remapped and modified E46 M3 ECU, Martelius Exhausts modified S54 exhaust manifold and full custom stainless steel exhaust. 560hp @ 8100rpm, 406lb ft of torque at 0.7bar boost.
TRANSMISSION #Getrag-Type-D / #Getrag six-speed manual from E46 M3, E46 M3 flywheel, #Sachs race clutch, modified E30 M3 propshaft, stock E30 differential, stock E30 driveshafts.
CHASSIS 9.5x17” (front) and 10x17” (rear) #Hartge Classic three-piece wheels with gold bolts and 215/25 Hankook (front) and 225/35 #Falken (rear) tyres, K-Sport E46 airbag coilovers with slimmer rear bags, E30 stock suspension arms, Powerflex bushes, E30 M3 stock brakes.
EXTERIOR Standox Red Rocket paint, E30 M3 Sport Evo front spoiler, front arches and rear spoiler, shaved antennas, upholstered black hood, tinted head- and tail-lights, tinted windows.
INTERIOR Recaro front seats, custom-upholstered dashboard, centre console and A-pillar covers, custom removable bolt-in roll-cage behind front seats.
Interior a lot more subtle than vibrant exterior with lots of nice touches like the sexy Recaros, flocked dash and bolt-in roll-cage.
The arches rest on the tyre sidewalls when the car is aired-out.
S54 fits neatly into the E30’s engine bay and has been bolstered with an intercooled Vortech supercharger setup for a healthy 560hp.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationPEER PRESSURE #BMW-328i-E30 / #BMW-E30-M52B28 / #BMW-E30-M52 / #BMW-328i
This slick air-ride E30, finished in Sakhir orange, boasts a 2.8-swap and delivers the perfect blend of show and go. You sometimes find yourself doing things simply because that’s what all your mates are doing. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re blindly following the herd – sometimes you’ll end up creating something that serves as an inspiration to the group… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Rick Di Corpo.
Acouple of my buddies own E30s,” says Luca Colaneri. “Back in 2010 they were taking part in a #BMW driving school event at Circuit Mont-Tremblant which I attended for the weekend. After seeing them fly around the track, the monster with four headlights kept growing on me, the purr of the exhaust note with each pass got me holding my breath… as soon as I got back home and I started scrolling through forums to gather up as much information as I possibly could. I soon learnt that so much can be done with this model of car, it was fascinating. After a drive in one of my friends’ E30s, I was in love.”
Sometimes it really is that simple. There are a lot of cars out there, and it’s not always obvious which path you’ll end up following in your fledgling years of motoring, but with influences like this you don’t really have to give the decision-making process a lot of consideration. Yes, peer pressure led Luca into E30 ownership, but peer pressure gets a bad rap. There’s nothing wrong with sharing a common interest with your mates, is there?
“Following my research, I was looking for this specific model – a 318iS,” Luca recalls. “The black shadow mouldings it came with were just like the M3’s! So I kept searching online, and after visiting maybe four or five different vehicles, I stumbled upon this gem and wasted no time in purchasing it. In a matter of 24 hours, the seller and I were trading signatures and the car was mine.” The fact that this particular car didn’t have a sunroof removed an element of concern for Luca, while he was also attracted by the notion of the M42 motor having timing chains rather than the fragility of a cambelt – not that the M42 would end up having much of a look in… but we’ll come to that.
“When I first purchased the car, I knew it was going to be a rebuilding process,” he admits. “I figured I was going to dump it on the ground, as low as possible, slap on some replica wheels and call it a day. The car ran perfectly, there wasn’t any urgent work to do on it, so I stored it for the winter ready to bring out in the springtime.” But when the sepia majesty of spring arrived, Luca had changed his mind. Pulling together some funds, he arrived at the conclusion that if any modifications were going to happen, it was going to be all or nothing. Go big or go home. “I knew that after all was said and done, this would be unrivalled and incomparable with all the other E30s in Montreal,” he remembers. And he’s not done badly in chasing that dream, has he?
It certainly helped that he’d started with a solid base for the project. Sure, he was looking at a bit of work whatever happened, but the 318iS had a mint interior – no cracked dash or worn bolsters here – with an intact headlining and rear seats that looked as if they’d never been sat on. It was the body that was presenting a few hurdles – the established E30 flashpoints of rotten rear wheel wells and battery tray, along with various bumps and scrapes to the paintwork that had lost its lustre. It was bloodied but unbowed, and Luca had the impetus to make the thing shine again. But he didn’t foresee quite how carried away he’d get!
The 318iS was duly despatched to Strasse Autowerks, a respected and revered outfit that just so happens to be owned by a great friend of Luca, who was only too happy to offer endless advice and expertise. “I approached him with the idea of rebuilding the car with a budget,” says Luca. “We started talking about what I envisaged for the car, and I ended up telling him the budget was out the window! Whatever it would cost to get it done right, so be it.”
And so the strip down began, the #BMW-E30 being torn back to first principles, with the dash and a few wires the only things remaining in situ. The floors were cut out and replaced, the wheels wells repaired, and every single iota of rust eradicated and replaced with fresh metal. While all this was going on, the engine bay was shaved to impeccable smoothness and, with the body shop in control of the metalwork, Luca focused on rebuilding the M52.
Yes, you read that right. While the car’s original M42 engine had initially been a selling point, the lure of a bigger bang proved too strong to resist. “I bought an M52 out of an E36 328i Convertible,” he smiles. “After reading up on forums, I was sold on converting it into an ODB1 motor, so I went out and found myself everything I needed. I also found a great deal on some S52 cams, so I thought I might as well…” Luca’s intention was to build the motor for longevity, so he replaced the timing chains and guide rails, along with the water pump, injectors and seals, gaskets, the works, as well as skimming the head. “I wasn’t looking for a beast of a powerplant under the hood. I just wanted to drive the car for hours at a time, one hand out the window, cruising with a reliable motor.” To be fair, the #M52B28 offers a fairly healthy horsepower hike over the E30’s original unit, so this solution offers power and reliability without compromise.
Back in the bodyshop, the subframe, trailing arms and crossmember had all returned from being sandblasted and powdercoated, and once everything was bolted back together and ready to get back on the lift it was time to set about piecing together the jigsaw of all-new AKG polybushes, fuel and brake lines, fuel tank, brakes, air-ride, anti-roll bars… the list just kept going, with everything underneath the skin being either rebuilt or brand-new.
With one eye always on subtlety, Luca was keen to keep the aesthetics relatively stock, and the plan was always to keep the body panels as factory as possible. A few choice Euro-spec conversions make all the difference here – smiley headlights, kidney grilles, the different-shaped numberplate recess – while it’s the colour that really speaks volumes. “The paint is my favourite modification to the car,” he explains. “This colour caught my eye and it stuck. I was searching and searching when I finally heard news that the new M6 would have this vibrant, bright orange; when I finally saw the colour in person at the Montreal Auto Show, it was the one of the most exciting times about this build. At that time, my painter told me the paint suppliers weren’t able to create the colour because the car hadn’t been released on the market here in North America, but after convincing them, they somehow contacted BMW in Germany to get the formula.” The shade is called Sakhir orange, and the photos really can’t do justice to how this paint pops and crackles like Rice Krispies in fresh milk. It’s borderline effervescent.
“The decision to put the car on air-ride was simply because most of my friends had it, and were pretty convincing about its usefulness,” Luca concedes. See, we’re back to that notion of peer pressure again. But if such pressures lead you to bagging your ride, that’s not something you can really complain about. You’re not a sheep, you’re a wily fox. “There are mixed feelings out there about how cars handle on air, but to be honest it was the best decision I made. It’s comfortable and very practical. When people see a lowered E30, most of the time they just glance at it; when they see a slammed E30 laying frame, that’s when they fall in love!”
And if you think the paint and the stance are a killer combo, just get a load of the wheels. There’s some next-level awesomeness going on under those four corners, in the form of a set of Compomotive TH601s. “The way they’re simultaneously convex and concave blows my mind,” Luca laughs. “I wanted something rare and wild – a set of wheels that would grab people’s attention and have them ask me, ‘yo, what wheels are those?’ When I saw these ones, I was certain they were going to end up costing as much as (or maybe even more than) a new set of wheels, but on the other hand I’d never seen another set of wheels like it before. Being the type of person who loves rare and unique things, I had to have them.”
The Compomotives fit with the plan perfectly, complementing the idea of keeping the lines stock and studding the silhouette with gorgeous detail. Simple, classy and sporty were Luca’s watchwords, and it’s safe to say that he’s pulled it off with alacrity. The crowds at Eurokracy (aka ‘Canada’s Finest European Automotive Event’) certainly thought so. “I’d been updating my build threads daily and the online reaction was buzzing in the run-up to the show,” Luca tells us. “It was a gorgeous day and the sun was shining, so the paint was looking on point.
Hood off, laying frame, parked at the Strasse Autowerks booth beside all my buds, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.” And that just about brings us full circle. This is a tale of one man’s automotive proclivities being influenced by those of his friends, who then helped him to bring into being a vision that they could enjoy together. Bringing home Eurokracy’s ‘Best BMW’ trophy was merely the cherry on the cake, but the real message here is that Luca bowed to peer pressure in the best possible way. And we’re very glad he did.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE BMW E30 2.8
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 2.8-litre straight-six #M52B28 / #M52 / #BMW-M52 / from E36, M50 intake manifold, sensors, fuel rail and throttle body, OBD1, S52 cams, 3.5” 740iL MAF, Bimmerworld silicone intake, #TRM-Tuning ODB1 tune, 21.5lb/hr injectors, 2.5” custom stainless steel downpipes and exhaust with Vibrant high-flow cat and silencer, E36 M3 #Sachs clutch and pressure plate, E36 M3 F1 Racing 14lb lightweight flywheel, E36 M3 #ZF manual gearbox, Z3M differential, UUC DSSR and stainless steel clutch line, E36 328 propshaft, Z3 short-shifter.
CHASSIS 8.5x16” (front) and 10x16” (rear) ET-12 Compomotive TH601 with custom powdercoat and gold spiked bolts, 195/40 Federal 595 Evo (front) and 215/40 Toyo T1R (rear) tyres, new front and rear OEM calipers with Brembo discs and EBC Green Stuff pads, universal Air Lift struts (front) and Universal Air Airhouse 2 bags over Bilstein Sport struts (rear), #AKG bushes for rear subframe, trailing arms, diff mounts, front control arms and transmission, AKG engine mounts and steering rack spacers, ST anti-roll bars, E36 M3 steering rack and tie rods.
EXTERIOR #BMW Sakhir orange, Euro-spec bumper trims, 318iS front lip and bootlip, Euro-spec blackout kidney grilles, Euro smiley headlights, Euro numberplate filler, MHW taillights, smoked front fogs.
INTERIOR OEM black Sport seats and black doorcards, M Tech 2 steering wheel, M Power leather gearstick and handbrake gaiters, Pioneer radio, speakers and 12” sub, custom boot build for audio and air tank.
THANKS I want to thank my parents for not giving me hell for spending all those hours and cash on a car. I want to thank everyone who was involved in this project of mine and enduring long conversations about this car. Also, all my closest friends who helped me never give up. Vitali, from Strasse Autowerks for allowing me to spend very long hours and months using his tools and shop. The support of my boys, Jamie, Flavio, Dave, Anatoli and the rest of 2LO CREW! I also want to thank everyone who’s approached me in person, or on forums and social media, giving me props on the great work that has been done on the car. Of course, #Drive-My for giving me the chance and opportunity to get my story out and show people who have inspiring goals, that anything can be accomplished when having the right mindset. Yes, money does help too! Lastly, my beautiful fiancée, Amanda. Through anything and everything, especially this build, she is my supporter, my rock.
“When they see a slammed E30 laying frame, that’s when they fall in love”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationLOGBOOK: #BMW-325i-E30 / #BMW-325i / #BMW-E30 / #BMW /
An E30 325i, nothing overly special about that you might think… well it is when you drop an E36 M3 engine into one! An E30 325i, nothing overly special about that you might think… well it is when you drop an E36 M3 engine into one! Words & images: Jon Cass.
The E30 BMW M3 has been grabbing the limelight for decades now and that’s hardly surprising given what a fantastic car it is. Even now, its rear-wheel drive biased handling, purposeful looks and outright power are a match for many of today’s sought after performance cars. And let’s not forget, it had its fair share of success in touring car racing too!
While the lust for an M3 has never wilted, the popularity for its more mainstream brethren has grown immensely over the past decade, a tidy 316 on a decent set of rims makes a very cool and practical classic to smoke around in. Even the E30 Touring has to be one of the best looking estate cars of the last thirty years. The pick of the bunch for many however would be the 325i Sport coupe, arguably just as good looking as its M3 stablemate and packing a fair amount of punch too.
Craig Morgan has been an E30 fan since he was thirteen and was smitten by his brother’s red 323i coupe right from the start. “I had to wait until six years ago before I had the opportunity to buy one for myself.” Craig remembers. “This is my second example and was bought in 2011.”
Considering the newest E30 coupe was twenty years old at the time, Craig found he had a whole range of them to choose from, all on site at the same location. In fact many E30 fans will probably recall a whole fleet of them suddenly appearing on the market at once on an internet auction site and all with the same price tag. We certainly do! The reason for this was a keen collector had been cleverly buying tidy 325s and storing them away as an investment. Sadly his circumstances changed and he had to sell all but one and these all hit the market at the same time. “I was one of the first to arrive and had the whole collection to choose from,” Craig recalls. “Although he had plenty of manual 325 cars in stock, I chose this one which was an automatic at the time as the bodywork was almost perfect. Also, because it was an auto, chances are it hadn’t been thrashed.”
Craig’s initial task was to remove the factory bodykit, which are renowned for trapping moisture and dirt to make sure the metalwork underneath was in good shape. “Luckily, as this one had been dry stored for so long, the bodywork was pretty good as was the underside,” Craig recalls. “I spent some time cleaning and under seal off the shell and replacing various worn parts such as the windscreen washer bottle, bonnet insulation and door cards.” The auto ‘box was then replaced by a 5-speed manual alternative and returned to the road for the summer of that year, still with the original 2.5 straight-six engine in place.
“Over the winter of that year, I began looking at options to increase the power,” Craig remembers. “I had a shortlist of an LSV8, an M3 Evo or to keep the original engine and fit a turbo.” Due to its ideal combination of power and reliability, it was the M3 Evo that won in the end and Craig managed to source a suitable unit along with a 6-speed gearbox from a 1999 E36 M3 with full service history.
Now that the original 2.5 and short lived 5-speed ‘box had been removed, this became the ideal opportunity to strip and repaint the whole engine bay. The S50 B32 straight six was treated to a Sachs clutch, lightweight flywheel and brand new Vanos before being slotted in place. The E30 has a smaller bay compared to the later E36, so the manifolds required some customisation and tricky welding to fit properly, as did the exhaust, which Craig points out was probably jointly the hardest task in the whole project. Look at them now and they’re like a work of art. You‘d think it left the factory that way, all testament to Craig’s skills and persistence.
Various other modifications were also carried out in the conversion including a shortened and balanced propshaft, and an Ergen steering shaft connector with E36 steering rack. “Some of the smaller ancillaries had to be replaced and relocated, due to the E30’s restricted confines, such as the brake servo that’s from a Renault Clio and repositioned 50mm from where it was before,” Craig explains. To help in the cooling department, the 325’s radiator had to be replaced by the larger M3 rad along with a Nissan Skyline electric fan. Craig also fitted a 325td oil cooler to be safe too. In fact, we should point out that he carried out all of the work himself with the exception of the wiring, where his good friend and electrical expert, Dave Bolton helped out.
As we said before, this conversion has been carried out so well it wouldn’t look out of place in a ‘90s BMW showroom, it really is that good. It drives well too as you’ve probably guessed! As we watch Craig disappear sideways and fully in control from a junction with the M3 motor on full song, the 3.7 LSD comes into full effect, as does the stiffer BMW Motorsport suspension with those 30mm lowering springs, not that he drives like that all the time! Speaking of the chassis, all the drop links and bottom ball joints have been renewed along with Brembo brake discs, Green Stuff pads make it more than capable on the road and probably the track too if Craig so wished!
For now Craig is enjoying taking the E30 to shows and loves to see the reaction when he opens the bonnet. “There are a lot of nice E30s around, but people always like to see one that’s been done a bit differently,” Craig smiles. The 16x8 Klutch SL1 alloys grab attention and look the part too, suiting the Dolphin Grey paintwork perfectly. The interior remains standard 325 Sport as Craig likes to drive the E30 whenever he can, so it has to still be practical and comfortable.
Confirming this project had been well thought out and executed right from the start, Craig wouldn’t change a single thing on his E30. “I’ve taken this project as far as I want to, I think sometimes you can go too far and start regretting things then,” he tells us. “This is the perfect E30 to me.” And when you consider the whole project took only nine months to complete, this has been quite an achievement. Completing a project does have its disadvantages (or perhaps advantages depending on how you look at it) as Craig is itching to begin work on another car. Which model it will be is uncertain, but chances are it may be V8 powered. Watch this space.
ENGINE: BMW E36 M3 Evo Engine conversion, #S50B32 / #S50 Engine with 6-speed ‘box. Lightweight flywheel, #Sachs clutch, brand new #VANOS , customised original manifolds. Shortened and balanced propshaft, Renault Clio brake servo moved over 50mm. Ergen steering shaft connector, E46 Steering rack, 3.7 LSD . Braided clutch line. E36 M3 radiator, larger 325td oil cooler, Nissan Skyline electric fan.
CHASSIS: BMW 325 Motorsport suspension, #Eibach 30mm lowering springs, Brembo brake discs, Green Stuff pads, bottom ball joints and drop links renewed, #Klutch SL1 16x8 wheels.
EXTERIOR: Factory 325 Sport bodykit, Dolphin Grey paintwork.
INTERIOR: Standard 325 Sport with grey velour seats.
SHOUT: Dave Bolton.
M-tech two goodies remain in place on Craig’s E30, including that distinctive but subtle rear wing.
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