- Post is under moderationFACTORY TUNED AUDIO EXCELLENCE
CLARION BUILDS: 1974 #BMW-2002
A year ago, Clarion set course in a new direction, straying away from building the usual highly customized show car, in favour of building cars that resonate with the masses and kicked off its Clarion Builds program. The goal of Clarion Builds is to connect with automobile enthusiasts of all backgrounds by tackling unique restoration projects of iconic cars and trucks in cooperation with key partners, hand-selected for each individual project. Clarion’s drive to “connect with automobile enthusiasts of all backgrounds" is clearly evident with the program’s first candidate - an iconic 1974 BMW 2002 - a car loved by nearly everyone.
“We’ve built custom tuners and show cars in the past and it’s certainly fun, but the fact is, most of our customers don't drive show cars. And when all’s said and done, outside of car shows and events, most show cars really can’t be used practically,” comments Allen H. Charapetian, Clarion’s head of marketing. “We had a different idea - to restore cars with a rich history to like new condition, maintaining all of their factory curves and lines. While we, of course, plan on upgrading each of our builds substantially, we want to do so in a manner that kept the modifications subtle in appearance, not to take away from the factory appeal and the original vision of these vehicles - and working with our key industry partners on this has made this possible.”
To help with the build of the 2002, Clarion enlisted team racing driver and 2X Formula Drift champion, Chris Forsberg for direction, the SoCal-based vintage BMW experts at CoupeKing to manage the build, and KONI, #TOYO #K&N , Mothers, New Century BMW and many others to take on various components of the build.
“We started with what looked like a good car,” says Jubal Leierer, Clarion Builds project manager. “But it wasn't until we got it stripped down did the car reveal its true form. Luckily this was something CoupeKing was more than happy to manage and was able to get the body as straight as the day it left the German assembly line in late 1973. The engine was tired and on the verge of self-destruction, so we pulled it and completely rebuilt it with updated components from our partners at Ireland Engineering, Pelican Parts and #BMW . We were able to increase horsepower by about 80% over stock without any forced induction. We got the suspension dialled in, with #Koni adjustable ride height struts, new springs, upgraded sway bars, Wilwood brakes on all four corners, and Toyo rubber.”
The wheels used on Clarion’s 2002 restomod aren’t 20", but instead a rare find - actual German-built 30-year-old original 15” #BBS-RS-001 / #BBS / #BBS-RS two-piece alloys that were the perfect specs for the Bavarian classic. The vintage racing wheels were straightened, sandblasted, powder coated and polished to better than factory condition.
US-destined BMW 2002s weren’t available with the luxurious “Lux” package, but CoupeKing has friends in all the right places and was able to outfit the car’s interior with the proper seats and panels in beautiful Oyster leather. The Alcantara headliner and contrasting dark grey carpet really do complete the look of this car. However, as you get to the car's centre console you start to notice that this tiny classic packs some serious sound!
Clarion wanted to give the 2002 some serious sound, but didn’t want to hinder the car’s practicality by filling the rear seat area with subs or eliminate the use of the trunk, and the guys at BP Autosound in Buena Park, CA were up to the challenge and delivered awesome results. The car’s center console was modified to hold a Google-powered Clarion NX60S head unit, which feeds a 6-channel Clarion XC6610 amp custom mounted in the trunk. Channels 1 and 2 of the amp feed the custom front kick panels which hold Clarion SRC1622S 6 V2” two- way components and tweeters. Channels 3 and 4 feed the rear package, which hosts two Clarion SRG6953R 5-way 6x9s. In the trunk, BP Autosound created all-new leather-wrapped panels that allowed them to nicely display the XC6610 amp in the floor under plexiglass, while keeping the two Clarion WC2520D subs tight up against the rear seat in a sealed enclosure. The custom LED lighting adds a tuner element to the car, while maintaining the level of class you’d expect from a classic BMW.
The Clarion Builds projects was a huge success and has been enthusiastically received by audiences on social media, and in person at a ton of events. The car will be hitting a bunch of different shows throughout the year, and will eventually be auctioned off, where the proceeds will be donated to a major national charity. Clarion already has a few ideas in mind for the next build but haven't pulled the trigger just yet. Follow the updates on this project, as well as learn about future projects at darionbuilds.com.
TECH SPECS: #1974 #BMW-2002-Clarion
• 1 #Clarion-NX605 2-DIN Multimedia Station w/ Built-in Navigation
• 1 #Clarion-XC6610 6/5/4/3 Channel Class-D Amplifier
• 2 #Clarion-WG2520D 10” Subwoofers in a sealed subwoofer enclosure
• 2 #Clarion 6.5" SRG1622S 2-Way Component Speaker System
• 2 #Clarion-SRG6953R 6"x9" Multiaxial 5-Way Speakers into the rear deck
• #Bosch Battery and Alternator
• Wirez Distribution Block
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- Post is under moderationPEAK PERFORMANCE
C2K Motorsports’ stunning, supercharged Santorini #E92-M3 is about as good as it gets. It doesn’t get much better than a supercharged #E92 #M3 , and they don’t get much better than this. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Crooks Life Photography.
Modified M4s are starting to become popular and they’re looking really good, but then you come across an E92 M3 that looks like this, a car that’s pretty much achieved motoring perfection, and you can’t help but wonder if any M4 will ever look this good…
The lucky man who’s been able to experience this BMW nirvana is Curt Wilson, pilot and aerospace engineer by trade and owner of C2K Motorsports. Unless you don’t know what an internet is, you will be familiar with this particular E92 M3 because it’s been enjoying life in the spotlight across social media for some time now, and with good reason. Take a good, long look at those pictures and you will fall in love with this E92 M3. Everything from the colour, that vivid shade of Santorini blue, to the aggressive aerodynamic additions and those stunning HRE wheels combines to create one of the most striking and visually delightful E92 M3s that we’ve ever seen.
Curt’s BMW journey actually began just eight years ago, though his passion for cars is most definitely long-standing, as the 30-year-old Las Vegas resident explains: “As a teenager I was into the import street racing scene. My first car was a #2001 #Toyota-Celica , which I built with a custom turbo kit and eventually blew up. My next car was a Dodge Neon SRT-4 with a 60 trim turbo making over 400whp. I then got into autocross and road course racing and purchased a Honda S2000 which, to this day, is one of my favourite cars! BMW has always been an iconic brand to me. I envied the E36 and #E46 M3s as I was growing up. The sound/performance of the straight-six motor, the aggressive stance and luxury yet motorsport-inspired design confirmed the phrase ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’. I remember as a kid I used to work as a field hand for a pilot whose hobby was growing tobacco. He drove a red 318i with manual gearbox that he would drive me and my friends home in. It was the coolest car I had ever ridden in! I was unable to afford a BMW until after I had started my career which only made my long-awaited ownership that much more euphoric. Having come from a street racer background the twin-turbo straight-six was the Holy Grail of performance. When I heard details about the new N54 motor in the E90 335i I knew I had to own one. I bought my first #BMW in #2007 in the form of a #E90 335i.”
This 335i was followed by another #335i , a #135i , an #E93 335i Convertible and also an #E60 #M5 with a Corsa exhaust, which, says Curt “made the most glorious noise of any of my cars but was just too big and had obscene gas consumption”. His time spent looking at M3s in his youth was not forgotten, though, and when he caught wind of BMW Individual and European delivery, he realised that an E9x M3 built to his exact specification in his ideal colour was within his reach. “I’m an active online blogger and Bimmerpost member,” he says. “I always aspired to one day build an inspirational project car like the insane builds that I had admired in various posts and publications. I remember seeing a few spy shots of a special UK edition colour for the #E92 M3 called Santorini blue. I spent hours staring at every photo I could find of the colour and decided that I must have it! I brokered an individual Euro delivery deal on a manual Santorini E92 with Speed cloth. It’s just one of eight US Santorini cars and the only one ever made with this exact spec.
Some time later I found myself in Munich after a couple months of agonising anticipation. The entire experience, from the excitement while waiting, the city of Munich, the delivery process, touring the German countryside and even driving on the Nürburgring was much more enjoyable and outright satisfying than anything I could have imagined. After the trip I had an affinity and connection with the car that eclipsed any reservations that would prevent me from building it exactly how I wanted it to be,” and so Curt began to do just that.
If you own an E92 M3 then you pretty much need to supercharge it, it’s almost like an unspoken rule, and ESS are the go-to guys when it comes to strapping blowers to the #S65 V8, so that’s exactly where Curt went. “I wanted to retain linear and useable power delivery that could match the upgraded suspensions/brakes/wheels and knew that I couldn’t reach my HP goals without forced induction. The ESS VT-1 supercharger system was the obvious choice due to their quality, reliability and customer support.” The ‘entry-level’ ESS kit is anything but basic, delivering enough power to make you sit up and take notice, but the centrifugal supercharger retains the same linear power delivery as the engine in standard form, meaning it feels similar to drive, just much quicker, the main difference being there’s a lot more power being delivered at every step in the rev range. How much power? Well, Curt says the car now makes 550whp with 330lb ft at the wheels on regular unleaded, which is around 600hp at the flywheel and a serious gain over the standard 420hp.
Every E9x M3 also deserves a performance exhaust because it makes them sound so damn good, and here Curt has opted for a full ESS Tuning system, complete with high-flow cats and thermal coating. With a lot more go, Curt’s M3 also needed a lot more stop and so he turned to StopTech, manufacturer of fine and rather large BBKs, and opted for the beefy ST-60 six-pot front calipers with mighty 380mm drilled discs and at the rear you’ll find the ST-40 four-pot caliper kit with 355mm discs, also drilled, which is big enough to serve as a front kit on some cars. The finishing touch was a flourish of Ferrari yellow paint to make them stand out and it was job done. We’d say the E9x M3 is a not a car that is particularly wheel sensitive – it’s very hard to pick a set that doesn’t look good and Curt’s selection here looks absolutely awesome on this E92 M3. “HRE was my first and only choice,” he says. “Its reputation and quality is unsurpassed in the high-end sports car community. I wanted a lightweight wheel with a design that was not too far from OEM appearance but with a special colour which is why I chose the FF01 in custom ‘Fog’ textured finish. I had a hard time letting go of my OEM GTS wheels but as soon as I saw the car with the HREs installed I knew I’d made the right choice!”
The FF01 is part of HRE’s FlowForm range and it’s a stunning-looking wheel, with its sculpted, twin seven-spoke design, slight concave shape and impeccable attention to detail. And the Fog finish really is the icing on the cake, a sort of matt, sparkling graphite that looks almost velvety. It was an inspired choice and the wheels look absolutely gob-smacking on the #BMW-M3 . They measure 9x19” up front and 10.5x19” at the back and are wrapped in seriously wide Toyo Proxes T1 Sport rubber – 255/35 up front and 295/30 at the rear with not an ounce of stretch in sight, it’s all about front-end grip and rear-end traction with this setup, with a Treadwear tyre lettering kit adding the finishing touch.
The suspension choice is also all about performance, though it has given this E92 M3 a purposeful drop, with a KW Clubsport coilover kit nestling in the wheel arches, offering two-way damping and adjustment and complete with EDC emulators, which prevent the EDC warning coming up on the dash when you switch to an aftermarket suspension setup. “The KW Clubsport kit is my favourite modification on the car,” enthuses Curt. “It changed the dynamic of the M3 more than any other aspect. The stance, stiffness and feedback that the clubsports gave the car are all vital aspects that I have come to supremely appreciate. Full coilovers will be the first modification on any of my future cars.”
With such an awesome exterior colour on top of the M3’s rugged good looks, Curt rightly didn’t want to go OTT when it came to any styling additions and his choices help to give the #BMW-E92 some more visual punch, upgrading it from a right hook to an all-out, KO blow uppercut. “I chose a relatively new company at the time, Mode Carbon, for my aero-kit,” he explains. “It makes an excellent GT4 style front lip, unique carbon fibre side skirts and rear LM series diffuser. Their fitment and quality was spot-on and since my first purchases from the company it has grown to be one of the most well-respected and recognised carbon fibre companies in the BMW and #Mercedes community.”
The carbon front splitter looks aggressive and lets you know that this M3 really means business. The rear wing isn’t shy either and the carbon additions tie in perfectly with the whole black and blue theme that Curt has got going on across the whole car, which includes the black towing strap, custom ONEighty NYC headlights and black exhaust tips peeking out from that rear diffuser. Inside, Curt has kept the same theme going with some heavy-duty upgrades that don’t leap out and smack you in the face. “I chose Stätus racing seats due to their wide variety of customisable made-to-order options. Initially I ordered the Ring FiA seats which were extremely snug but I eventually exchanged them for the wider GTX variant which is much more comfortable for my 6’3” 200lb frame.
“I ordered black suede with Santorini blue stitching. The suede seats match the Alcantara BMW performance steering wheel and knob with custom suede shift and e-brake boots. The final interior modification was a roll-cage from Autopower Industries which was moulded into the stock rear interior and painted black to retain the subtle and refined luxury of the original BMW interior.” The singlepiece seats are serious but don’t look out of place and that roll-cage is incredibly subtle thanks to its black finish and the Santorini highlights are the perfect finishing touch.
Curt says that he spared no expense on the modifications and it shows, his car wants for nothing and he loves it but he remains humble despite the fact that the car has become something of an international online celebrity. “The car is very popular on Instagram and one of my favourite and most humbling compliments is when people from all over the world send me images of exact replicas of the car that they have built in video games. It really means a lot to me that people like the car enough to take the time to replicate it down to minute details such as the sponsors on my time attack doorcard.” We’ve seen a lot of modified E9x M3s here at BMW towers over the years, all of them incredible machines but the fact that every once in a while, one comes along that still manages to wow us is the most incredible thing of all, and we couldn’t be happier about that.
Gorgeous HRE FF01 flow formed wheels in Fog finish suit the M3 perfectly and the Treadwear tyre lettering kit adds some visual flair; monster StopTech BBK offers serious stopping power. Interior has been treated to Stätus Racing Ring GTX seats with Santorini stitching and Schroth harnesses plus an Autopower Industries roll-cage; ESS VT-1 550 supercharger boasts carbon intake plenum.
DATA FILE #BMW-M3-E92
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 4.0-litre V8 #S65B40 , ESS Tuning #VT-1 550 Supercharger system with limited production carbon fibre plenum, ESS Tuning full exhaust system with high flow cats and thermal coating, standard six-speed manual gearbox.
CHASSIS: 9x19” ET25 (front) and 10.5x19” ET26 (rear) HRE FF01 wheels in Fog finish with 255/35 (front) and 295/30 (rear) #Toyo Proxes T1 Sport tyres, Treadwear tyre lettering kit, MRG Race Co titanium racing stud conversion, KW Clubsport two-way adjustable suspension with EDC emulators, #StopTech ST-60 #BBK with 380mm drilled discs (front) and ST-40 BBK with 355mm drilled discs (rear), calipers painted Ferrari yellow (front and rear).
EXTERIOR: Mode Carbon GT4 front lip spoiler, Mode Carbon carbon fibre side skirt extensions, Mode Carbon LM Series rear diffuser, Mode Carbon GTS rear spoiler, #ONEighty NYC custom headlights, iND Blackout grilles/ gills/bonnet vents, iND tow strap and painted tow strap cover, Car-Pro C-Quartz compounding and paint correction.
INTERIOR: Stätus Racing Ring GTX seats in Ultra Suede with Santorini blue stitching, Autopower Industries bolt-in Racing roll-cage, Schroth Racing quickset fourpoint harnesses, #BMW-Performance steering wheel, BMW Performance gear knob, custom suede gear lever and handbrake gaiters.
THANKS: Sam and Nick at Mode Carbon, Roman at ESS Tuning, Greg, Laurent, and Jorge at HRE Wheels, Stan at Toyo Tires, George at KW Suspensions, Matt at Status Racing, Theo and Corey at The Specialist Detail Studio, BMW David at Steve Thomas BMW, Jimmy at Crooks Life Photography, Todd at Trophy Performance and my wife for putting up with my obsession.
Carbon galore adorns the E92 M3 with a front lip spoiler, side skirts, rear diffuser and wing all coming from Mode Carbon; custom ONEighty headlights are very smart.
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- Post is under moderationUSE THE FORCE… TWIN AUDI R8 V10S #2015
Audi R8 tuning - Turbo VS. Supercharged!
When it comes to boosting performance, which is best – supercharging or turbocharging? We decided to find out with a pair of tuned R8 V10s.
There’s no doubt that the 5.2 V10 is a damn fine engine. It sounds truly amazing and imbues the #R8 with rapid performance straight out of the box. But when there are guys out there with tuned RS6s that can out punch the V10 in every respect, then some may seek to redress the balance. After all, who wants their super car to be left for dead by a family estate (even if it does have an RS badge).
Clearly the naturally aspirated V10 is already at a pretty high state of tune. It makes a healthy 518bhp and produces ample shove. Some minor tweaks may free up a little more power, but to make any serious gains there is only one option – forced induction. The question is, which method is best?
In basic terms, both systems are designed to force more air into the engine. More air, combined with more fuel means a bigger bang and greater power. But they have very distinct ways of delivering this. A supercharger is belt driven by the engine, which means it offers that instant and often quoted linear power delivery. The downside is that the supercharger is parasitic, in that it requires some engine power to actually drive the blower. A turbo on the other hand utilises spent exhaust gasses. It effectively recycles them to turn the turbines and blow more air (boost) into the engine. So it doesn’t take any engine power to run them. However, they do need to come on boost to be effective, and below a certain level a turbo will (in most cases) offer less instant power than a supercharger. However, in reality, with careful engine management and a large capacity unit like the 5.2 V10, the differences may be less pronounced than you’d think. In the interests of science (and wanting to hang out with some uber cool R8s of course!) we headed to Litchfield Motors to looks at two of the finest tuned R8s in the UK today.
With terrible weather on the day, we were unable to drive them. But having interviewed, at length, the guys that built and tested them, I think you’ll discover everything you need to know about these two forced induction beasts.
On the face of it, an R8 GT is a pretty special thing. One of just 33 UK cars, it’s packing some serious upgrades to its suspension, brakes and interior and exterior, along with a healthy 552bhp from the mighty V10 engine. It’s also 100kg lighter than standard. But when you own an #F1 team and have access to a fleet of exotica that would be guaranteed to win you any Top Trumps competition, then a bit more power is always handy.
The brief with this car was to create more grunt, but without destroying the finely balanced dynamics of the GT. So any turbo upgrades would need to work with the car as a whole. So a huge single turbo that comes in with a shed load of boost at high rpms, would not do. Fortunately, there’s a company producing a twin turbo kit for the R8 and its sister Gallardo.
Heffner Performance have spent a long time developing their twin turbo system to give a decent increase in power, while maintaining the drivability. It’s based around two #Garrett-GT35 blowers, which are each capable of 700bhp, but in this case they run just 0.5 bar of boost. The beauty of the system is that because the high-compression 5.2-litre V10 is chucking so much flow down the exhausts, the turbos spool up ridiculously quickly. This equates to a lag-free response that gives much more power, but feels like a naturally aspirated car.
The Heffner kit includes everything required, including a brace of GT35s, charger cooler and all ancillaries, and took Litchfield around a week to fit. “The GT is slightly different to the stock V10, so we had to modify a few bits, such as the turbo inlet pipework,” says Iain Litchfield. With the kit fitted, the V10 was treated to a full custom map, and it made a very healthy 850bhp on their dyno.
“With a built engine, you’d easily be looking at 1500bhp,” says Iain, “but our limit is 850bhp on stock internals.” With US Gallardos running even great power than this, on the same engine, it’s clear there’s a lot more potential, should you require it. That said, the ferocity of an 850bhp tune, makes you question whether any more is really required. Perhaps the best thing about the install is the emphasis on drivability. Whereas some turbo kits can be very on-off in their power delivery, this is all very linear. As Iain explains, “It feels like a bigger engine; there’s no perceptible boost, but it’ll still light up all four wheels in fourth!” He continues, “Around town it drives just like a stock V10 and has a very OEM feel to it.”
With the GT so highly equipped, no other work was deemed necessary. The uprated suspension is more than capable of handling the extra grunt, and there’s no question over the carbon ceramic brakes’ credentials.
The whole install, including shipping the kit over from the States, set the owner back around £30k. But for that’s he’s got what is surely the ultimate version of the R8 GT you’ll find on the planet. The owner is one of those fortunate individuals who not only has petrol running through his veins, but is able to indulge his every desire when it comes to cars. But when your day job is running an F1 team, then you need some extra special toys to keep you amused in your down time.
Daytona Grey #Audi-R8
The stock V10 R8 is no slouch. The high-compression 5.2-litre engine is a peach and sounds truly amazing at full chat. When it’s singing away over your shoulder (especially in the Spyder), you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d entered automotive heaven. These cars are also reasonably attainable too. Everything is relative of course, but for those who are considering a new RS5 or maybe used C7 #RS6 , similar money could buy a used, early R8 V10.
This car belongs to Ryan Griffiths of Syvecs Powertrain Control. His day job is producing bespoke, motorsport-spec engine management solutions, so he knows a thing or two about how to make a car drive well. The project actually came about by chance. “I was doing some work for a client in China and he said he had a VF Engineering supercharger kit, but he couldn’t get it to work on his car,” says Ryan. “He said if I could get it to work on my V10, I could have it.” Not one to pass up an opportunity like this, Ryan duly packed the kit up in his luggage, paid the excess baggage, and flew home with his new kit.
Having worked alongside Litchfield for many years, Ryan knew these were the guys for the installation work. The comprehensive kit included everything needed, such as a complete new inlet tract with intercooler and charge cooler. The engine had to be tilted back slightly to accommodate the pulleys and belts, while extra cooling pipes had to be run to the front of the car to the charge cooler. All told the installation took around a week. With the supercharger ready to go, the next step was to get it working to its full potential.
This is where Ryan’s day job came to the fore. His experience and expertise with the Syvecs management allowed him to create a custom package for the ’charged V10. It kicks out a healthy 750bhp, which comes in quite sharply and early on. With the engine-driven ’charger delivering more, instant low-down grunt than a turbo, he worked hard on the advanced traction control. R8s may be quattros, but they are heavily rear biased, so the trick was getting it to lay down the power without too much wasted wheelspin through broken traction. The larger ADV.1 alloys wrapped in sticky Toyo R888 semi-slicks certainly helped here too.
Perhaps the greatest achievement is the improvement to the gear shift. The less-than-positive stock auto ’box on earlier cars could often be left wanting, especially with more power involved. So again, Ryan worked on the software to sharpen things up for much faster, positive shifts.
The Dayton Grey R8 sits hunkered down on H&R sports springs matched to the optional MagnaRide dampers, which looks stunning, but it also produces a firm, yet forgiving ride. And with the addition of a (now discontinued) Stassis performance exhaust system, the noise this thing makes is terrific.
So, after examining both R8s in details, the obvious question is, which is best? Well, it’s not a straightforward answer. Clearly the GT is the rarer beast, and to find one with a Heffner twin turbo installation is pretty mind blowing stuff. The fact it can deliver a savage amount of power, yet behave like a naturally aspirated car is perhaps its greatest achievement. Of course the careful technical work by Litchfield, including the map, really is key to all this.
The Dayton Grey machine is arguably the better looking car. The #ADV.1 forged alloys looks sensational and with a drop in ride height, this thing can stop traffic with its good looks. It’s also the far more attainable car (well, as attainable as any used £80k R8 V10 can be!) and the supercharger transforms it into the higher echelons of the super car league. And so to the final quandary, which method of forced induction best suits the #Audi R8? The VF Engineering supercharger delivers epic performance from low in the rev range.
It’s and instantaneous slug of big boosted power, that sounds thrilling, too. As Iain states, “The supercharger gives it a sharper hit of power than the turbo, but it’s the way it’s delivered that makes the difference.” The Syvecs management boasts advanced traction control to allow the power to be transmitted to the road, and the auto box has been reprogrammed to deliver much faster, more positive shifts. It’s testament to the skills of the Syvecs team, that it’s these two areas which really lift the Daytona Grey car from an R8 with more power, to a truly fantastic car.
Both R8s are seriously fast cars. Plant the throttle and they both deliver savage acceleration and ballistic, linear power. They also both demand huge respect. The GT would be the faster car – it’s lighter and more powerful. But the supercharged grey car is no slouch – and significantly less cash.
If money was no object, I’d take the GT. The combination of rarity and that barely stressed turbo power, mated to the high-comp V10, makes it, for me, the obvious winner. However, once you factor in costs, the Daytona Grey car makes a very good case for itself. You could, in theory, purchase a used V10 for £60k, then spend a further £30k building a car similar to this one.
That would give you something that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you drive it, keep up with the best on offer from the Italians and Germans – and still cost significantly less than a new R8.
Daytona Grey #Audi-R8-VF-Engineering V10
Engine #VF-Engineering #VF750 supercharger kit, #Eaton TVS2300 4-lobe roots twin vortices supercharger, air to water charge cooling system, Syvecs engine management including advanced traction control, Stasis performance exhaust system.
Transmission Stock auto with Syvec remapped box, advanced traction control
Brakes Stock R8 V10
Suspension H&R sport springs with #MagnaRide dampers
Wheels and Tyres Advan ADV.1 wheels with #Toyo R888 tyres
Exterior Daytona Grey
Interior Stock R8 V10
Tuning contacts Litchfield Imports www. litchfieldmotors. co. uk Syvecs www. syvecs. co. uk
White #Audi-R8-Heffner-Performance GT (1 of 33 UK cars)
Engine 5.2 FSI V10, #Heffner-Performance twin turbo kit, comprising 2x #Garrett GT35r turbos, charge cooler, all ancillaries, custom remap.
Transmission Manual #R-tronic gearbox
Brakes Carbon ceramic
Suspension Uprated GT suspension
Wheels and Tyres Stock GT alloys
Exterior White GT with fixed rear wing, front canards, thinner glass, carbon fibre, magnesium and aluminium components
Interior Full GT spec ikncluding fixed back seats
Tuning contacts Litchfield Imports www. litchfieldmotors. co. uk
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- Post is under moderationBECAUSE RACE CAR
Why would you build a race car using a four-door #E30 Saloon? Well, why not? And this turbocharged, wide-body, big-winged example is as wild as they come. Why did ESM Wheels and #DTM FiberWerkz decide to build a race car out of a four-door shell? Well, because they could… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Kevin Raekelboom.
Because race car’ is a ubiquitous phrase these days, but what is the question? ‘Why have you got that enormous spoiler?’ Possibly. ‘Why can’t I ride shotgun when you go to the McDonald’s drive-thru?’ Perhaps. But if you’re Californian rim aficionado ESM Wheels, the question is: ‘why is there nothing but scaffolding there when I open your rear doors?’
The reason for using a four-door as a race car base is principally to provoke questions, of course, and it’s all the more brilliant that the superfluous back entrances still open to reveal the inaccessible Alpine white jumble of pipes within. Any doubts toward the merits of the two-door saloon’s less popular moredoor sibling are instantaneously vaporised on sight of this frankly obscene creation. It’s as wide as your dirty uncle’s grin and twice as naughty.
The reason for this outrageous E30’s existence owes to the two brands beneath the EuroStopUSA umbrella: ESM Wheels and DTM FiberWerkz – the former being a major player in the aftermarket wheel arena, the latter doing all sorts of innovative things in the field of body addenda.
“EuroStopUSA was established in #2002 and was strictly a car performance shop selling custom body kits, wheels, exhausts and lowering springs, mainly catering to BMWs,” says founder Ary Minassian. “Customers soon began to seek out the unique nature of the creative design of our own products, which naturally created the ESM Wheels brand and DTM FiberWerkz BMW aerodynamics products.” DTM FiberWerkz grew by word-of-mouth to be one of the largest BMW-focused body kit designers for street, show, track and drift, going as far as sponsoring Formula Drift star Michael Essa in his GTR widebody- kitted #E46 #M3 ; ESM, meanwhile, evolved through offering to the market that which wasn’t really available anywhere else, initially creating low-offset 16” retro mesh designs, and now selling countless designs from 15-20” in a giddying array of colours, fitments and specs. And the E30 you see before you serves to showcase where the two brands have reached in #2014 . But if they’re forging forward into the market of fresh, modern BMWs, why choose an old-skool model like this?
“When I was a kid I lurked on #BMW internet forums and I subsequently developed an obsession with 1980s DTM race cars. The designs and aerodynamics of the BMWs were just insane! I always dreamed of one day designing parts for BMWs in a similar style; this is how our brand and products evolved. And why choose a four-door? Well, it was just to be different!”
When the car was purchased it was wearing its factory Alpine white, a colour which has been comprehensively refreshed in the course of the build and is still very much in evidence inside the car; the lurid exterior hue is a wrap, courtesy of SS Motorsports – it’s Porsche Viper green, since you ask. “The car’s a #1987 #325i , and it was in okay condition when I bought it,’ says Ary. ‘But after driving it around for a while I was itching to start turning my obsession into a reality. So we stripped the car down and designed a wide-body kit that’s one of the most extreme things we’ve ever done – at that point, the DTM Obsession kit was born.” And you have to agree, it’s a devastatingly aggressive piece of design. Those rear arch extensions, for example, they’re part Eighties Touring Car, part bosozoku, and all muscle, wrapping round into a chunky rear bumper that wears a pure race car diffuser at its base, with the classic touch of a ducktail above it, crafted from bare lacquered carbon fibre. Ducktails are a big deal in BMW circles but it’s not all that often that you see them on E30s. However, you’d be forgiven for not noticing that cheeky flick of black weave straightaway, as the rear aspect is somewhat dominated by that wing. Subtle it ain’t. It’s a GT Spec race spoiler, mounted to the floor through the rear panel, and forms part of an uncompromising aero package that really helps the DTM aura to walk the walk.
Moving round to the front, you’ll find all manner of carbon-fibre trinkets, including that rather unmissable vented bonnet, necessary to waft out the vast swathes of heat that are generated beneath. You see, this is very far from being all show and no go… Under the bonnet malevolently lurks the #M20 engine, teased out to a stroked 2.7-litres in order to infuse a little extra muscle to proceedings. But that wouldn’t be boisterous enough for such a brutal aesthetic, so Ary and his boys have frisbee’d a whacking great turbo under there, too, for good measure. A Garrett GT35 sits perkily on a custom top-mount tubular manifold, hungrily fed by a frontmount intercooler – it’s enough to ensure that everything between those Alpine white inner wings is stuffed to the gills with galloping horsepower with not an inch wasted. It’s an impressively old-skool approach to stroke and blow the rumbling old M20 rather than swapping in a modern six-banger, and it’s entirely in keeping with the retro DTM vibe that Ary was keen to recreate.
All of this race-bred tuning and performance carries neatly over to the interior, naturally, which is just as serious a race track workplace as you could hope for. It’s pure function in there, with no messing about or time for frivolity. The driver nestles securely into a Sparco race bucket, clamped firmly by an appropriately named G-Force harness, with a grippy NRG steering wheel to hang on to and a Stack dash displaying the vital signs within an artfully crafted custom carbon-fibre dash. Around him snakes a custom welded-in rollcage, the handiwork of JMP Auto, with all manner of racy braces and gussets… and that’s it. It may have functional rear doors, but there’s nowhere to go once you open them – this is all purpose and all utility, because race car.
The width of those rear quarters is something that requires a second look, as it really does take the breadth of the E30 to staggering levels. Ary has left a sort of service hatch within the door shuts – necessary to allow the rear doors to open, of course – which reveals just how wide the footprint of the 325i now is; looking down from above, you can see most of the top of the R888 standing proud of the stock arch position and nestling comfortably within the DTM FiberWerkz bolt-ons, and this aspect of the car sums up the whole build rather neatly – as Ary says, the focus of their work is to fulfil the customers’ desire for unique, outstanding designs, and there are few things that would make that point quite like a bright green four-door 3 Series that’s as wide as a California sunset. And the extensive use of carbon-fibre throughout the car, coupled with the removal of anything at all that isn’t required for track action, leads to a car that belies its girth by being as light as a feather.
“It’s thanks to our sponsors that this build came about,” Ary smiles. “ #Toyo , #Sparco , #JMP-Auto , SS Motorsports, Megan Racing, NRG Innovations, they all helped to pull my vision together.” And, yes, corporate alliances are vital to modern business but that parting shot doesn’t tell the full story: this car is more than just a company showcase for Ary. It’s the fulfilment of a lifelong dream, a physical manifestation of his childhood Touring Car aspirations, and it plays that role perfectly. The combination of nu-wave rims, stance, old-skool race car looks and retro motive power adds up to a killer mix that will be turning heads for years to come. So why that wing, why so green, why no back seats, why so wide? C’mon, dude. You don’t even need to ask.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION:
2.7-litre stroker M20, MLS head gasket, ARP stud kit, custom-built turbo kit, GT35 turbo, front-mount intercooler, custom tubular top-mount turbo manifold and intake plenum, #MS2 engine management, Clutchmaster race clutch.
9.5x17” (front) and 11x17” (rear) custom one-off ESM Forged wheels (powdercoated matt black), 245/40 (front) and 275/40 (rear) Toyo R888 tyres, Mega Racing coilovers, custom front and rear roll bars, Wilwood 310mm big brake kit with braided lines.
Custom ‘DTM Obsession’ widebody kit from DTM FiberWerkz, carbon-fibre front lip, carbon-fibre side diffusers and rear diffuser, carbon-fibre roof skin, carbon-fibre M1-style vented bonnet, carbon-fibre CSL-style bootlid, DTM vented carbon-fibre mirrors, GT Spec race wing with custom designed mounting to floor, all parts designed and manufactured by DTMFiberWerkz.
Custom welded full race roll-cage by JMP Auto, colour-matched #Alpine white; Sparco racing seat, Stack cluster dials, NRG racing wheel.
ESM Wheels, DTM FiberWerkz, Toyo Tyres, Sparco Racing, JMP Auto, SS Motorsports, Megan Racing, NRG Innovations.
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