- Post is under moderationVorsteiner bodykits for #BMW-i8 / #BMW / #BMW-i8-Vorsteiner / #Vorsteiner / #Vorsteiner-bodykit
It takes quite something for a modern car to be truly groundbreaking, particularly now that we live in a world dominated by amazing hybrids and battery-powered wundercars, but the BMW i8 most definitely fits the bill. It’s a car which manages to marry technology so cutting edge that it should come with a health and safety warning; great looks and breathtaking performance – no mean feat! Better still it’s a car that has recently been added to the Vorsteiner range of Aero body components, meaning i8 owners now have the option of making their already eye-catching cars that bit more jaw-slackening.
Probably best known for its aerodynamics, wind tunnel-honed bodywork additions, carbon fibre creations and hyper-aggressive alloy wheels, Vorsteiner’s portfolio is ideally suited for the UK market.
Brought to the UK under the umbrella of The Performance Company (TPC), the Vorsteiner kit for the i8 is drawn from the much-lauded Aero range, and has the potential to utterly transform the look of this already striking-looking Munich machine.
Vorsteiner’s offerings for the genre-defying i8 are particularly special, and the full range of components includes a VR-E Aero front spoiler, #VR-E-Aero rear diffuser and VR-E Aero ‘ducktail’ rear spoiler. Striking enough in their own right, these components have been further elevated by being rendered in glossy carbon fibre. The Aero parts can be ordered separately or, for the full effect, as a complete, show-stopping package.
Those opting for the latter will create an i8 that’s quite unlike anything else on the road today, the Aero add-ons serving to enhance the already aggressive styling of this spectacular-looking car.
Pushing the boundaries of art and technology, Vorsteiner is able to supply premium composite components made to exacting standards, all realised in the finest autoclaved pre-impregnated carbon fibre.
Vorsteiner carbon fibre provides superior stiffness, aerospace strength and durability, compared to traditional hand-laid carbon fibre composites, meaning it can be counted on both to perform and look jaw-dropping.
Prices for the components are as follows:
• VR-E Aero front spoiler carbon fibre PP 1x1 glossy - £1,974
• VR-E Aero rear diffuser carbon fibre PP 1x1 glossy - £1,974
• VR-E Aero ducktail spoiler carbon fibre PP 1x1 glossy - £1,036
(all prices excl. VAT).
Call 01933 685840 or visit theperformance.co for more information.
Enhance the look of your i8 with the impressive new aero kit from Vorsteiner.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationDOUBLE DIP #BMW-E46 / #BMW / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E46
Ferocious 545hp supercharged and 715hp turbocharged carbon-clad E46 M3s tamed by one owner. Decisions are hard, especially when it comes to choosing between a supercharged E46 M3 and a turbocharged E46 M3, so why not just have both…? Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Andrew Thompson.
545hp supercharged and 715hp turbo E46 M3s
Decisions are never easy to make, especially when you’re faced with two equally appealing options. Chinese or Indian, for example, or cookies and brownies, or pizza and, well actually there’s no alternative option to pizza because pizza just always wins. Sometimes, you don’t even have to decide, like with cronuts, or a turducken, just have everything, because more of everything is always better. For example, why choose between a supercharged E46 M3 and a turbocharged E46 M3, when you could have both? That is exactly what Jaime Taylor did and we’d like to think that decision made his life immeasurably better in every way.
This man is a serial car buyer and modifier with a car history varied enough to make your head spin, including a midengined, RWD Peugeot 205 GTi and a Sierra Cosworth, a scattering of BMs and some serious big-power builds, such as a 511hp Skyline R34 GTR, a 670hp Skyline R32 GTR and a 513hp Audi RS4. Jaime is no stranger to going fast and is clearly hopelessly addicted and devoted to the modifying lifestyle, which makes him our kind of guy, and we guess answers the question: “What sort of person owns a pair of cars like this?”
What’s really interesting here is that this is really a tale of two parallel builds, which were happening alongside each other at virtually the same time. Spooky. We’ve got Jaime, who wanted to build a turbo E46 M3 but ended up going down the supercharged route, and Andy Bennett, who bought the turbocharged car and proceeded to put a huge amount of effort into getting it running as it should, then ended up selling it to Jaime, who’d actually wanted to buy it all along but was beaten to the punch by Andy all those years previously. It’s a twisting tale deserving of its own movie adaptation, so grab some popcorn, get comfy and we’ll begin.
When Jaime bought his M3 in 2014, it already had a long list of tasty bits on it, including carbon front wings and carbon bonnet, a roll-cage, BBK, CSL air box and Recaro RS seats but even better than that it had been fitted with a new engine from BMW and had covered less than 20,000 miles on it. “The new engine was a blank canvas to work on,” smiles Jaime. “At the time I didn’t know any UK company who could turbocharge the S54 but did know a company in the States. We were talking about shipping the car over there to get the job done, but it would have been gone for six months for all the new fabrication work to be done because they hadn’t done a right hand drive vehicle before,” he explains. “In the end, with a new car on the drive, we decided to go down the supercharged route so then the car could stay local,” and that’s a pretty sensible decision as the job could be done much more quickly and he’d have more time to actually enjoy the car.
The supercharger kit comes from VF Engineering, with Jaime opting for VF570 flavour, the company’s most powerful E46 M3 supercharger offering. At its core is a Vortech V3-Si supercharger, capable of running at 26psi and rated for 775hp, so producing the 570hp and 380lb ft that VF Engineering claims for this kit is a walk in the park. The kit also boasts a cast manifold with a slide-in air/water intercooler cartridge and is a serious setup, able to deliver a huge hike in power. Initially, though, that wasn’t the case, as once Jaime had got the car back from being mapped and stuck it on a dyno he found it was only making 499hp.
“On each of the five back-to-back dyno runs we did the power was going down about 20hp every time because of heat soak,” he explains. “The engine was pulling the timing and it couldn’t make the power. To fi x this we got Gary Adlington, who runs Eastwood Garage in Falmouth, to fit an AEM direct port methanol kit from the States. Gary is a genius,” enthuses Jaime, “he put a Cosworth engine in a boat and some other crazy stuff – incredible character and he also worked on Andy’s engine.” Yes, in a further coincidence, both Jaime and Adam used Gary’s services for their respective projects; it’s like fate brought everything together. With the meth injection kit on board it was time to head back to the dyno and this time the numbers didn’t disappoint. “On the first run it made 513hp, 530hp on the second and we finished with 545hp,” grins Jaime and that grin is fully justified as that’s a serious power figure. Of course, running monster power means you need plenty of supporting mods and this S54 has been treated to a Mishimoto electric fan coupled to a larger Mishimoto rad, a 55ºC thermostat, the secondary air pump has been removed along with the air con and it’s all finished off with set of sport cats and a Milltek rear exhaust section.
Handily, the previous owner had done a lot of the groundwork on the chassis meaning the M3 was already in a good position to be supercharged, but Jaime has been upgrading things along the way over the past two-and-a-half years to make sure the car was the best it could be. The chassis has been enhanced with a set of KW V3 coilovers and is joined by Turner Motorsport top mounts and adjustable Turner anti-roll bars both front and rear. In addition to this there are adjustable rear camber arms, poly bushes fitted throughout and there’s also a 4.10 ratio rear diff. The brakes are seriously beefy and more than up to the task of slowing this powerhouse of an M3; up front there’s an Alcon BBK comprising 365mm discs, utilising Reyland brake bells, clamped by red six-piston calipers and braided hoses and Pagid RS-29 pads have been fitted allround while 710 racing brake fluid tops off the brake upgrades. When it came to choosing wheels, Jaime wanted something light and good-looking that would suit his track-orientated build. “Apex wheels were the weapon of choice,” he says, “they’re lightweight, concave and when I was searching for M3 track cars online everyone was running them so they were clearly the wheels to go for.” He’s gone for the Arc- 8, which looks great on the E46, and he’s running a square setup with 10x18s all-round wrapped in sticky Federal 595RS-R tyres.
No doubt a big part of the appeal of this M3 when Jaime was shopping was the fact that it looked so flipping fantastic, with the carbon bonnet, wings and boot lid really giving it a full-on track look and over the time he’s had the car he’s built on that, giving it an even more extreme appearance. “It was actually booked in to have all the carbon painted,” admits Jaime, “but I ended up going against it and kept the carbon on show for an aggressive track look,” and we’re glad he did. The car also wears a carbon front splitter and canards, plus Jaime has carried out a front foglight delete, and added a carbon rear diffuser, all of which combine to really make this M3 stand out and it’s got a lot of presence.
The interior had already been stripped out and caged-up when Jaime bought the car, but here too there was room for improvement and it all started with the seats. “On the first track day I took the car to I realised the seats were too high as we kept hitting our heads on the roof,” he explains. So out came the Recaro RS seats and in went in a pair of Corbeau Club Sport buckets, and Jaime was now far more comfortable and able to actually enjoy driving his M3. Other interior changes include the aforementioned roll-cage, a Safety Devices bolt-in item, an alcantarawrapped wheel from Royal Steering Wheels, full carbon door cards with red door pulls, an AEM hand controller for the methanol injection, a lightweight battery, fire extinguishers and a carbon blanking plate that covers the hole where the sat nav screen once sat. We love the fact that while it is stripped out and most definitely hardcore, it’s been finished to an incredibly high standard with some very high quality materials, and it all combines to make it even more special.
While Jaime was busy getting stuck into his supercharged E46 M3 project, Andy was well underway with getting his turbo E46 M3 up to scratch. Back in late 2013, having just sold a supercharged Range Rover Sport, Andy was flush with cash and looking to buy a second home to rent out. At least that was the sensible, grown-up plan, but one brief eBay session later it had all gone to pot as he’d spotted a turbo E46 M3, this very car, up for sale and, deciding that he couldn’t not buy it, he snapped it up with a sneaky bid in the final few seconds of the auction, unknowingly swiping it away from Jaime.
Not only did the car have a claimed 650hp, but it had also been on the cover of the March 2008 of PBMW, and came with a vented carbon bonnet, carbon bootlid, BBK and ticked just about every box that there was to be ticked. Quickly, however, it transpired that the car was not in rude health, making only 465hp on the dyno, not the figure Andy had been led to believe, as well as suffering from numerous issues to do with the turbo conversion. It was not a happy car. It was decided that a new intake manifold and stand alone ECU were needed, so Andy took the M3 off the road and put it into storage while he saved money for the work it needed. It was at this time that he learned about the infamous E46 subframe failure issue and, after inspecting the state of his M3, he discovered that, lo and behold, the subframe was not in a good way...
While we can’t imagine his mood was particularly good at this point, Andy had a turbocharged M3 and he was determined to make it the best turbocharged M3 he could; where Jaime started his project with a clean slate, Andy had the perfect opportunity to not just fix what was wrong with his M3, but improve everything as he went along, and he’s definitely done that and then some.
Before he could even think about getting the engine running at full capacity, that rear end needed sorting out so the old boot floor was cut out, a new one was welded-in and Redish Motorsport reinforcement plates were installed, along with a box section welded across the boot floor to eliminate any flex. At the same time, the whole back end was poly bushed and the propshaft rubber donut was replaced by an uprated Revshift polyurethane set up. The poly bushing extends throughout the chassis now and the suspension has been thoroughly upgraded throughout to ensure it’s up to the task of coping with a turbocharged S54 above. Naturally the car sits on coilovers but they’re not the usual suspects, this M3 having been fitted with Tein items complete with electronic damping adjustment, and these are joined by adjustable front camber plates and Eibach anti-roll bars front and rear and there’s also a Strong Strut front brace with a Schnitzer item mounted at the back. A Brembo GT BBK takes care of stopping duties, with six-pot calipers and monster 380mm discs up front and 345mm discs at the rear, the red calipers contrasting perfectly against the black spokes of the 19” CSL replicas, themselves fitted with Toyo R888 tyres for maximum grip and traction. When it came to the engine Andy admits that, without the help and knowledge of Gary Adlington, he probably would have given up on the car a long time ago, which would have been a shame as he would not have had the chance to experience the fury of a fully operational turbo M3. The main components required to get the S54 performing as it should were an AEM Infinity 8 ECU, Horsepower Freaks intake manifold and boost pipe, a pair of HKS SSQV4 blow-off valves and an AEM water/meth injection kit. The intercooler was also sent off to have the end tanks cut off and new ones made from thicker aluminium welded on. The final engine spec makes for some eye-widening reading as some serious work has gone into making this S54 as powerful as it is. The turbo kit itself comes from Savspeed Racing and uses a Turbonetics T70 turbo and the engine has been bolstered with a set of Wiseco low compression pistons, Pauter con rods, VAC Motorsports head bolts and a steel-lined head gasket while twin fuel pumps feed 750cc injectors via an Aeromotive fuel filter. The result of all that is pretty spectacular, with four different power maps to choose from: the mildest map offers a sensible 500hp, which we imagine is handy for popping to the shops for a pint of milk, while the wildest map delivers 715hp, which you’d probably use for getting a pint of milk and some toilet paper. Perhaps a cheeky Snickers as well. A Clutch Masters twin-plate paddle clutch has been added to cope with all that newfound power and there’s also a short-shift kit rounding things off.
As with the supercharged car, this turbo M3 is a riot of carbon fibre on the outside, which looks fantastic against the Steel grey bodywork. It wears a Vorsteiner carbon bonnet and carbon front bumper, carbon front wings, a CSL carbon bootlid, carbon rear bumper, carbon side mouldings, carbon roof spoiler, carbon Schnitzer mirrors, even a carbon fuel filler flap. There are more carbon panels on the car now than there are regular body panels, it’s really something, and makes the car utterly spectacular. The interior is has also been treated to a whole heap of carbon goodies, including dash trim, door pulls, steering wheel trim, steering column and gearknob, gear surround and handbrake lever. It’s a veritable feast for the eyes. In the early stages of the project, Andy picked up some rather sexy Cobra Daytona seats, which were already trimmed in black Mercedes leather and black Mitsubishi Evo X alcantara and finished with gold stitching, and they look great in the car, really filling out the interior and making it a rather more special place to sit. They’re mated to threepoint harnesses, which are mounted where the rear seats used to be, and naturally there’s also a host of gauges, we’d have been disappointed if there hadn’t been what with this being a turbocharged car and all. They include an Innovate AFR gauge, a trio of HKS gauges to monitor boost, exhaust temperature and pressure and there’s also a HKS turbo timer ensuring that the turbo stays healthy.
So, man builds supercharged E46 M3 and buys turbocharged M3, drives off into the sunset, lives happily ever after etc, right?
Well, not quite… “It’s a good job Andy pipped me to the post on the turbo car,” admits Jaime, “as he spent a lot of money on this M3, so I really reaped the benefits of all his hard work. It was a pleasure to scratch that turbo M3 itch that I’ve had for years, watching all those turbo M3 videos on YouTube, and it is fricking awesome,” he grins, but after buying the car from Andy last July just one month passed before Jaime had put it up for sale himself. “I needed to try it out for a while to see if I was happy to make this my new track car, and after testing it back to back with my supercharged one I decided it wasn’t for me. I have a bond with my supercharged one and prefer everything else about it, as does my other half, Terrie, and I have to live with her so she has a big say in what I do,” he laughs. Unsurprisingly the turbo M3 sold very quickly but surprisingly Jaime has now put his supercharged M3 up for sale as well, and as we put the last of these words to paper it looks like it may have found a new home… “I’ll be very sad to see it go,” he says, “and so will Terrie as we’ve both done a lot of track days in it and she’s learned a lot from driving it and really enjoys it,” but that’s just how it goes with modified cars, we suppose, it’s very rare for them to have any sort of permanence and selling the cars we’ve poured so much of everything into is a just part of the life we lead. They do say that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, though, and while we’re not sure if Jaime is planning to go as far as this with the E92 M3 he’s thinking of buying next, he can at least say that he’s been the owner of both a turbocharged and a supercharged M3, and there’s not many people that can.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Turbocharged E46 / #BMW-M3 / #Turbonetics / #BMW-M3-Turbocharged / #BMW-M3-Turbocharged-E46 / #BMW-M3-Turbo / #BMW-M3-Turbo-E46 / #HKS / #BMW-M3-Tuned / #BMW-M3-Tuned-E46 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46 / #BMW-3-Series-M3 / #BMW-3-Series-M3-E46 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54-Turbocharged / #S54-Turbo , #Savspeed-Racing turbo conversion with #Turbonetics-T70 turbo, #Wiseco low compression pistons, #Pauter con rods, #VAC-Motorsports head bolts, steel-lined head gasket, 750cc injectors, twin fuel pumps, #Aeromotive fuel filter, #AEM Infinity 8 standalone ECU with E46 plug and play harness, AEM water/methanol injection kit with 1000cc and 500cc injectors, #HPF intake manifold and intake piping, custom front mount intercooler, 2x #HKS-SSQV4 blow-off valves, HPF five-way traction control system, custom exhaust system. Six-speed manual gearbox, Clutch Masters twin-plate paddle clutch, short shift kit
CHASSIS 19” #CSL-replica-wheels in gloss black with 235/35 (front) and 265/30 (rear) Toyo Proxes R888 tyres, Tein-coilovers with electronic damping adjustment, adjustable front camber plates, Strong Strut front brace, AC-Schnitzer rear brace, Eibach anti-roll bars (front and rear), fully poly bushed, Brembo GT BBK with six-piston calipers and 380x32mm discs (front) and four-piston calipers with 345x28mm discs (rear)
EXTERIOR Steel grey, #Vorsteiner carbon bonnet and front bumper, carbon fibre front wings, side mouldings, AC Schnitzer carbon fibre door mirrors, CSL carbon fibre boot, carbon fibre rear bumper, roof spoiler
INTERIOR Cobra Daytona seats re-trimmed in black leather and alcantara with gold stitching, three-point harnesses, rear seat delete, black alcantara gear and handbrake gaiters with gold stitching, Innovate AFR gauge, HKS boost, exhaust temperature and pressure gauges, HKS turbo timer
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Supercharged / #BMW-M3-Supercharged / #BMW-M3-Supercharged-E46 / #S54-Supercharged / #VF-Engineering / #Apex
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54 / #BMW-S54 , #VF-Engineering-VF570 supercharger kit, AEM water/methanol injection kit, #Mishimoto electric fan, Mishimoto bigger radiator, 55ºC thermostat, secondary air pump removed, airconditioning removed, sport cats, Milltek rear exhaust. Six-speed manual gearbox, 4.10 rear differential
POWER AND TORQUE 545hp, 383lb ft
CHASSIS 10x18” (front and rear) #Apex-ARC-8 wheels with 265/35 (front and rear) Federal 595RS-R tyres, stud conversion kit, 12mm rear spacers, #KW-V3 coilovers with Club spec springs, Turner Motorsport top mounts, #Turner-Motorsport adjustable anti-roll bars (front and rear), adjustable rear camber arms, fully poly bushed, #Alcon BBK with six-piston calipers and 365mm discs with #Reyland bells (front), standard calipers (rear), Pagid RS-29 pads (front and rear), braided brake lines (front and rear), 710 racing brake fluid
EXTERIOR Carbon fibre canards, splitter, front wings, boot, bonnet, rear diffuser, carbon wrap on roof, fog lights removed
INTERIOR Stripped-out, full bolt-in Safety Devices roll-cage, alcantara steering wheel by Royal Steering Wheels, solid steering wheel coupler, full carbon door cards with red pull tabs, RTD short shifter, AEM hand controller for water/methanol injection, Corbeau Club Sport seats, Willans harnesses, water/methanol tank in boot, Odyssey PC950 lightweight battery, fire extinguishers, stereo removedStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationAWESOME BMW M5 Looks good, goes great
How do you improve upon one of the best driving cars #BMW ever put together? Take a leaf out of Andrew Berger’s book. Words: Louise Woodhams. Photos: Mike Kuhn.
Styled and tuned E39 M5
There can’t be many father and sons that have individually made it on to the pages of Performance BMW with their Bavarian beasts. In fact, Andrew and Josh Berger may well be the first. Josh’s E36 M3 was featured in November last year. It’s a concours-standard build that’s been reverted back to its Luxurious spec and slammed on a set of CCW LM5Ts.
With a few choice engine and chassis mods, it’s a show stopper, track car and daily driver rolled into one. And now a year later, it’s his father’s turn to take the spotlight. The E39 M5 is arguably the best performance saloon BMW ever made, and it’s already becoming sought after by collectors and driving enthusiasts. Having reached modern classic status, various finance and automotive publications of late are claiming that it’s set to soar in value. In fact, Paul Michaels, chairman of Hexagon Classics (a man who makes a living out of buying the right collectible cars) claims an immaculate low mileage model is sure to appreciate.
It’s something I’ve been saying for the past year and I now find myself not getting very far with writing this feature as I scour Pistonheads and AutoTrader looking for one and trying to persuade my husband that this should be our new family car. Suffice to say we definitely couldn’t afford the one that was recently up for grabs at a dealership in Ohio. With just 309 miles on the clock the asking price was $149,999.
Anyway, if I’m to meet this deadline without burning the midnight oil I really must get back to the task in hand. A man fascinated with form and function, we’re surprised to learn that Andrew has only been interested in BMWs for the past 15 years, but suffice to say ever since the day he first drove one he was hooked. He did go on to own that very car, an E46 330i, but not before going through a few other 3, 5 and M Series cars. If truth be told, though, he always had his sights set on an E39 M5: “This car has been at the top of my bucket list since they rolled off the production line,” confesses the 60-year-old.
He bought the car in May last year from Gas Motorcars, a local dealership in Marietta, Georgia, that specialises in exotic, classic and luxury cars and also happens to be where his son works. He traded in his E36 M3 and M Roadster for it together with a pile of 100 dollar bills. The car had already received a few exterior modifications – some of which were a little OTT for Andrew’s taste, so the first job was to take off what he didn’t like.
As such the car now wears a Vorsteiner carbon fibre vented bonnet, front and rear spoilers from AC Schnitzer, ECS Tuning brake duct grilles, a painted matt black kidney grille, angel eye headlights and a painted gloss black rear diffuser with stainless steel exhaust tip surrounds, all of which combine to make a more aggressive statement without detracting from Chris Bangle’s original lines. The staggered 19” DPE Forged wheels with brushed faces, polished lips and chrome hardware are the perfect finishing touches.
When it came to the interior, Andrew wanted to keep things simple again so he’s retained most of the stock parts (bar the Schroth Racing harnesses) but brought them into the 21st century. As such the steering wheel, sun visors, doorcards, handbrake and gear knob gaiters have been retrimmed in black Alcantara complete with M tri-colour stitching, while the Nineties wood trim has been painted silver and the instrument rings have been swapped out for custom-made aluminium items.
The in-dash double-DIN DVD multimedia AV receiver from Pioneer is the only clue to a custom audio install which resides in the boot and includes a pair of JL Audio W7 10” subwoofers and HD1200/1 amp, which are connected up to a set of Hertz speakers, mids and tweeters. Despite having the unbeatable soundtrack of a brutal V8 under the bonnet, the ICE is Andrew’s favourite: “I love taking this car out on a Sunday, putting on my favourite playlist and enjoying my ultimate driving machine,” he tells us.
Saying that, we’re pleased to hear the engine side of things haven’t been ignored. With 400hp already on tap, sensibly Andrew has gone for a selection of mods that help to improve the breathing of the high-revving 5.9-litre engine. The combination of an AFE Stage 2 air intake, custom exhaust manifolds, mid-pipes and ECU remap by Buckhead Imports and an Eisenmann Race exhaust system not only gives the car extra horsepower, but it also lets the engine rev more eagerly and helps the lazy V8 burble really come out of its shell.
The six-speed manual gearbox from Getrag was critically acclaimed for its slick performance, but improvements can always be made. To that end a UUC short shifter, lightweight clutch and flywheel, have really helped to transform an already revered driving experience with quicker gear changes and improved throttle response. “Getting it past 6000rpm puts a smile on my face every time,” he says and we can certainly believe that.
When you factor in the host of suspension upgrades he’s made, including KW Variant 3 coilovers, Dinan strut tower bar and shock tower brace to help the car feel more planted, responsive and tauter, together with a Brembo GT big brake kit up front and slotted StopTech discs with Hawk pads out back to better haul in the power, Andrew now has the confidence to push this sizeable saloon harder on Georgia’s finest scenic and twisty roads.
Andrew’s plans for the future are to simply maintain its prestige and, with just 55,000 miles on the clock, keep it for Sunday best, and who can blame him? With supercar- chasing performance in a package that is discreet and practical, the E39 M5 is the very definition of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and Andrew’s sympathetic approach in modifying is a great lesson to anyone thinking of buying one of these Q cars. Right, can I go back to scouring the classifieds again now, please?
“This car’s been at the top of my bucket list since they rolled off the production line”
“I love taking this car out and enjoying my ultimate driving machine”
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-E39 / #BMW-M5 / #BMW-M5-E39 / #S62B50 / #BMW-S62 / #S62 / #DPE / #AFE / #BMW-5-Series / #BMW-5-Series-E39 / #BMW-5-Series-M5 / #BMW-5-Series-M5-E39
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.9-litre #V8 #S62B50 , #AFE-Stage-2 air intake, Buckhead Imports custom exhaust manifolds, mid-pipes and ECU remap, full #Eisenmann race exhaust, six-speed manual gearbox, UUC lightweight clutch and flywheel, UUC Evo 3 short-shifter
CHASSIS 9.5x19” ET16 (f) and 11x19” ET16 (r) #DPE-Forged-ST7-Hybrid wheels with brushed faces, polished lips and chrome hardware with 245/35 (f) and 285/35 (r) Toyo T1R tyres, #KW-Variant-3 Coilovers, #Dinan strut tower bar & shock tower brace. #Brembo-GT big brake kit (f) and slotted #StopTech discs and Hawk pads (r), #Turner-Motorsports stainless steel brake lines all-round
EXTERIOR #Vorsteiner carbon fibre vented bonnet, kidney grille painted matt black, LED angel eye headlights, ECS Tuning brake duct grille, #AC-Schnitzer front and rear spoilers, custom painted gloss black rear diffuser with stainless steel exhaust tip surrounds
INTERIOR Doorcards, handbrake and gear knob gaiters, steering wheel and sun visors retrimmed in black Alcantara with M tri-colour stitching, silver painted trim, custom aluminium instrument rings, Schroth Racing harnesses, full custom boot install with two JL Audio W7 subwoofers and HD1200/1 amp, Pioneer in-dash double-DIN DVD multimedia AV receiver, Hertz speakers, mids and tweetersStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationFeature Car Swiss made Porsche Panamera Turbo S quad chic and panache – Mansory tailored 4-door Porsche / Text: Faz / Photos: Kenny Yeoh / Model: Raveena
It took quite a bit of jostling which piqued two internally opposing but externally one and the same sides; the two being the designers on the one side while on the other the decision makers, before it finally become a production reality. That production reality is ladies and gents the first proper four-door Porsche – the Panamera which debuted in 2009. Genuine Porsche enthusiasts slash historians (or be it for the most part they’re one and the same) would surely recall the 989 Concept – a 4 Door showpiece which was effectively an extended wheelbase 911, with all the looks of the iconic Porsche retained.
Sure enough that 989 Concept wasn’t exactly slated for production in any case, what it was though were a number of pretty important things, as in it served the purpose of gauging the general response slash acceptance to a genuine 4 door Porsche. Of course were it to go into production the 911 nose and tail had to go. And sure enough after considerable time had elapsed following the 989 showcase, the Panamera still carry some instantly recognizable 911 styling, not the least the front end. Perhaps there’s no escaping that a Porsche is a Porsche regardless of them having four doors or two.
Be that as it may the Panamera have indeed been well accepted and they’ve been seen clothed in some hyper bodied party dresses all over the Net. Case in point being this bling-up-and-down, left and right, in and out, over and under Porsche right here. You see fellas, the sort that takes similar styling concept as this Mansory-tailored and treated examples might not be as singular (a more politically accurate word for rare) elsewhere as they tend to be over here. Just you try Googling these two key words Panamera and Modded and an impressive number of modified Panamera in a kaleidoscope of colors, with a fair number of multi-colored kitted up Panameras in the mix, and about 99% came from the Western hemisphere, or that new and funky place in the Arabian Peninsula. You know that taaaall building, and all manner of engineering and architectural wonders.
Should you be among those fortunate few (the numbers are increasing mind you as there are more and more newly rich out there) that can do like way more things than the rest, then Dubai or Monte Carlo, gold-plated Rolls Royce, 100 grand (at least) brake systems, modification program that costs more than the car itself, and all manner of opulence that covers every buyable objects are nothing or close to nothing, or a wee bit less than something. Now your confusion aside the Mansory-equipped Panamera with the scrumptious and ravishing Raveena taking quite a chunk of the Porsche’s own righteous bling, belongs right smack in the most snazzy of company – the sort of which the owners therein are able to afford doing and having all without so much as a blink of the eye.
And blinking your eyes for quite a bit might just be the case right here even more so with Raveena’s red stilettos radiating her all-encompassing feminine energy alongside. We could continue debating the merits for either one of these fine beauties, but why argue or debate such inconsequential matter when you can celebrate the synergy of this symbiotic existential coexistence. Yeah well I just heard these fancy wordplay too so I’d though I try it out. Kinda put what it describes on an entirely new level does it not?
Okie-dokie then, let’s focus on the car for now alright? As you can well see the Mansory styling package is pretty extensive covering most of the front end (carbon lipped bumper, carbon grill, vented bonnet), the sides (skirts, door sills front & back, extended wheel arches front and rear) and the back end (carbon diffuser bumper, carbon spoiler, roof spoiler and cat-back exhaust). The Mansory for Porsche Panamera program is dubbed C-One and include that one other thing – panache.
Other styling extras are those fine #Vorsteiner VFF101 forged flow 20inch wheels, which got the ‘look’ thanks to H&R spacers, full carbon interior and that ultra cool Nardo Grey paintjob by Glasurit. – one off the most premium brand in paints. The owner feels that the 500 ponies churning out of the Panamera Turbo S’ excellent engine requires no added oomph and I’d concur that much alright and thus the only supplication to that effect is the BMC intake, plus a SuperCircuit X-Pipe & Downpipe, and the earlier mentioned cat-back exhaust from Mansory. The audio system is a high ended Burmester system – a premium brand with premium quality and feel with surreal sounds that befits the Panamera’s reputation.
TECHNICAL DATA CAR: #2010 #Porsche-Panamera-Turbo-S / #Porsche-Panamera-Turbo-S-Mansory / #Porsche-Panamera-Turbo / #Porsche-Panamera / #Porsche / #Porsche-Panamera-970 / #Porsche-Panamera-Turbo-S-970 /
ENGINE MODIFICATIONS: BMC Intake, #SuperCircuit X-Pipe & Downpipe, #Mansory catback exhaust
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed doppelkupplungsgetriebe (double-clutch gearbox #PDK )
INTERIOR: full carbon trim
EXTERIOR: Mansory C-One: -Mansory front bumper with carbon front lip, Mansory front carbon grill, Mansory carbon vented bonnet, Mansory carbon side skirt, Mansory front wide arch, Mansory rear arch, Mansory side door sill (front & rear), Mansory rear bumper with carbon diffuser
WHEELS & TIRES: - 20” #Vorsteiner-VFF101 forged flow, #H&R 30mm & 23mm spacers
ICE: Burmester 16 way sound system
Mansory’s designer evening wear made to measure for the 4-Door Porsche.
All show & no go you think? This turbocharged Panamera beg to differ.
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- Post is under moderation4 THE WIN
Bagged, with gorgeous HRE splits, this BMW E93 Convertible is one slick sun-seeking ride. Eva Verzelen isn’t your average modifier, she’s a female and back with her latest toy – an E93 320i – her fourth feature in just as many years. We think you’ll like her… Words: Joel Newman. Photos: Kevin Raekelboom.
Successful aftermarket styling has been and will remain a subjective concept. What floats one person’s boat may invariably sink another. Whatever styling cues you take the chances are some will appreciate your work, others will not. However in the case of Eva Verzelen’s E93 320i we beg to differ. The subtle tweaks and revisions Eva has made to her latest motor have created one of the most desirable cars we’ve ever laid eyes on.
Don’t be too surprised though, our heroine’s had rather a lot of practice. You’re currently looking at Eva’s fourth feature in Performance BMW. Previously her ICE’d up E46 316i graced our 01/04 issue. Developing and perfecting this same car, Eva was back in 09/04 with the addition of a two-tone paint scheme, wide-arch styling and fresh leather. Following on from this, a two-year gap gave Eva just enough time to completely overhaul the family pin-up. In 06/06 the final incarnation of the E46 was completed, and this time it had grown up somewhat. Gone was the two-tone paint, replaced by a marvellous House Of Kolor Brandy hue, in place of the Racing Dynamics rollers were a set of gold powdercoated HRE rims, styling was improved with M3 bumpers and a CSL boot lid. It had, unlike so many projects, matured and improved over time. As trends and attitudes changed, the less is more approach to modifying started to catch on and quite rightly Eva was leading this field.
Like any good parent though, she also appreciated there comes a time when, however attached we’ve become, we must let go.
Some two and a half years later Eva is back once again, and she’s got a brand new look. It’s often worrying when previous feature car owners get in touch to say their latest project is ready. It can be a rather awkward situation if we feel their new creation isn’t what our readers are looking for, especially when they’ve already got it right once before. Thankfully and impressively we can put our hand on our hearts and tell you that with each successive feature Eva’s cars have got better and better.
For the past four years, Eva has steadily been building up her Internet business and the hard work has paid off. Like many of us she has always dreamed of owning a brand spanking new BMW, and deservedly she has finally achieved just that. “I’ve always been in love with the E46 Convertible, but when the E93 came out I fell in love all over again! When the hard-top arrived my lust developed to the point where it couldn’t be ignored; whatever the cost I had to have one.”
As a Belgian resident Eva wasn’t struck with the usual performance dilemma as driving a car with any thing larger than a 2.0-litre engine on this side of the Channel is an offence punishable by death, or so we’re led to believe… As such the decision of which lump to go for was removed from the equation, leaving Eva with the enviable task of picking her favourite colour and determining how she would transform the car and earn an unbelievable fourth feature. Before we go any further you need to be furnished with the facts. Eva is married to a gentleman named Geert, who just so happens to be the director of the European chapter of US-based styling forum www.Europrojektz-world.com and drives a dazzling Alpine white, chrome rimmed E60 too.
The pair enjoy weekend jaunts to various shows, sharing a passion for modified cars, as well as each other. I guess it’s fair to say it’s the kind of relationship we all hanker after; no one likes the sour look on a partner’s face when that passion is not shared and you’re trying to justify your latest outlay.
“I know they cost two thousand pounds darling, I know you’ve been wanting to go on that holiday, but just look at her, she’s 30mm lower all round!” It takes a woman like Eva, or a husband like Geert to smile and say “what’s next?”
So with ample encouragement and a sprightlier bank account than ever before, Eva jumped in head first and purchased a pristine Alpine White III E93. Being a new car Eva was free to spec it as she saw fit, which enabled her to get the foundations of her dream project in place. “I’ve always fantasised about a white BMW with Shadowline trim and a red leather interior and I was finally in a position to just tick a box and have it. Along with the six-speed manual transmission I knew I had all the bases covered, and I certainly had a good idea where I wanted to take the project.”
Even before taking delivery, Eva and her friends on Europrojektz.com had discussed which direction to take the car and unanimously the OEM plus look won the day. “I’d done the wide-arch look, I’d had the two-tone paint and at the time they really captured the scene. In the past few years my tastes have changed and standards on the scene have gone up so it was important to me that my car reflected this.” After only two days of ownership her new toy was subjected to its first enhancements. In keeping with her new clean and simple ethos, Eva ordered a carbon Vorsteiner front lip spoiler and replaced her standard rollers with a set of polished lipped, powdercoated gold 19” 540R HRE rims, the perfect complement to the white paint scheme.
Eva was then keen to get the car’s stance just right, an often under-appreciated side of chassis augmentation that can make or break a car. Regardless of which suspension you’ve opted for, getting the correct combination of ride height, wheel size and tyre profile is paramount to the way a car sits, and Eva knows it.
So much so that she took the plunge and created the world’s first E93 Cabriolet with air-ride. Although common on street rods and mini trucks and OEM on many luxurious cars from the likes of Maybach, Rolls Royce and Lexus, air suspension is still viewed with scepticism, mostly through ignorance than anything else. While it is true that in the past ’bags have been a little unreliable, today, that is simply not the case. The truth is that air-ride is not suitable for everyone.
Basically, if you don’t spend time on track and are more of a cruiser than a racer then air-ride should be recommended. It’s comfortable, useful and enables you to have your car far lower without the normal headaches. Yes it may be expensive but it makes a huge difference to the appearance of any car, and at the touch of a button makes the impractical practical. Eva entrusted the car to JV-Tuning who faultlessly installed the system, which is no mean feat considering it is a world first.
Subsequently this E93 has got its stance just right, and it’s partly because of this that everything else falls into place. The success of the project cannot be gifted to the suspension and wheels alone, as they say the Devil is in the details.
Starting with the exterior transformation Eva has been quick to personalise her ride, her first step being the redesign of the rear bumper. With the help of Jem Design the bumper has been smoothed and a custom rear carbon diffuser integrated. It’s a stunning piece of work that looks like a factory fitted item and hints at the E46 M3 CSL’s rear end. We’re aware Eva’s colour scheme adds to its appeal but BMW’s latest M3 could certainly have benefited from such defining styling cues. Alongside the custom quad exhaust Eva plumped for, it has rear of the year written all over it.
Along with the delicate integration of carbon door mirrors, black kidney grilles and the aforementioned Shadowline trim, every facet that creates the car’s image adds something to the mix.
With the car coming along rather well Eva was keen to break the mould even further. “The air-ride was something I’d always dreamed of but there were other chassis modifications I was desperate to acquire. For me, a big brake kit sets off any car and I had envisaged the look of big red calipers peering through my gold HREs. People thought it was a waste of money because it’s only a 2.0-litre engine, but it’s not the case. The brake kit not only stops the car on a penny and looks a treat, it also ties the interior in with the exterior and that for me completes the car. It is my favourite modification.”
With 335mm front and rear discs and six- pot and four-pot calipers respectively, the XYZ big brake kit was complete and Eva was finally pleased with her car’s exterior.
The interior was, as you’d expect, rather nice to begin with so with the addition of a few M-Tech goodies such as the steering wheel, handbrake, pedals and footrest, all that was left to do was throw in some custom Europrojektz mats, stuff a BMW Performance strut brace under the bonnet, take a few photos and email them to Performance BMW magazine.
DATA FILE #BMW-E93 / #BMW-320i-Convertible / #BMW-320i-Convertible-E93 / #BMW-320i-E93 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E93 / #BMW-3-Series-Convertible / #BMW-3-Series-Convertible-E93 /
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: Four-cylinder 2.0-litre #N42 / #BMW-N42 / #BMW with reworked air box, custom quad exhaust system. Manual six-speed gearbox
CHASSIS: 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) gold powdercoated 540R 19” #HRE wheels shod in 225/35 and 255/30 Pirelli PZero Nero tyres respectively. BSS air suspension with #Koni adjustable coilovers, #BMW-Performance strut brace. #XYZ big brake kit with six-pot front calipers and four-pot rear calipers mated to 355mm discs
EXTERIOR: Shadowline exterior trim, de-badged, carbon #Vorsteiner front lip, custom rear bumper with integrated carbon diffuser, carbon door mirrors, matt black kidney grille
INTERIOR: Sports seats in Coral red Dakota leather, High Gloss interior trim, black Alcantara carpets with Europrojektz logo, M-Tech steering wheel, handbrake handle and gear knob, pedals and footrest
THANKS: Jurgen at JV-tuning, Dario, Yves and my husband Geert
This E93 has got its stance just right, and it’s partly because of this that everything else falls into place
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- Post is under moderationThe Dark Knight #BMW E63 M6 / #BMW-E63 / #BMW-M6-E63 / #BMW-M6 / #BMW / #2012 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E63
Matt Jones enjoys M6 ownership, but 6mpg and a maximum range of 125 miles is the trade off for 560bhp. The E63 M6 isn’t a car we tend to see at Total BMW, but Matt Jones uses his one as a daily driver and a quarter mile tool. In the midst of a recession, how does 6 mpg sound and 125 miles to a tank?
The E63 M6 is a hugely underrated performance car. With 500bhp from a V10 that sounds like very little else on God's good earth, it has performance on the fringes of a Supercar level, to go with a sharp rear-drive chassis and a sometimes brutal semi-auto seven-speeder. Yet it has all the buttons and gadgets one could hope for and, with the M programme left dormant, is happy to mooch the city strassen or cruise the autobahn in refined comfort.
Sure the E60 M5 has all that too. but it’s a confused soul - an out-and-out performance car character at odds with its laid back executive saloon remit. Besides, the M5 looks like any other 5-Series and. while that certainly is not without appeal, sometimes you want to turn heads and induce jealous thoughts.
The M6, however, has the body style and more tightly-defined Sports GT remit to carry off the harsh SMG shifts and top-endy power delivery. It looks low. sleek and purposeful, weighs a good chunk less and has - childish yelp of glee - a carbon-fibre roof. Controversial maybe, but to these eyes the M6 is actually the better resolved package.
Of course that's not to say it can’t be improved upon, as this matte black beasty very ably demonstrates. Owned by 31-year-old Matt Jones, serial modifier and previous owner of a PY E46 M3 Vert that had been given the CSL treatment, this car is a shining example of how to do an M6 right. So we're very lucky that Matt is incapable of resisting his urges...
"Like the M3 I had specced this one exactly how I wanted and hadn't planned to modify it. It was so fast out of the box and had all the toys," he explains. "But literally the day I got it I went round to show my brother and the first thing he said was that it was too quiet! I said it'd be fine - but three weeks later I'd ordered the Eisenmann exhaust!" And that's how it started.
Matt refers to aftermarket parts for the M6 as being subject to an M Tax', so to get round that he does his shopping in the US. "I went on holiday to America and had a load of stuff delivered to where I was staying, so I could then take it back as luggage. I had two suitcases full, one with engine bits and another with the H&R springs. I thought that if I got caught and had to pay the duty I’d still be up. But I got away with it and saved a fortune!"
Clearly Matt wanted to release the M6's performance potential before anything else, and the combination of Evosport headers. Supersprint centre section and Eisenmann back-boxes. the suitcase purchases (RPI pulleys, induction scoops, block plates and oil-cooler, and BMC filters) and an E-maps remap established that potential to be 560bhp.
He regularly enjoys every one of those horses, often going on trips abroad, having done the Cannonball run a few times, and taken it to Santa Pod. “The first time there it won its class, for muscle cars, as it had over eight cylinders." recalls Matt. "It went up against stripped-out, supercharged cars, whose owners were all playing around under the bonnet. I just turned up. turned the stereo off and went for it! ” Matt says it’ll do low-12s all day long. And 206mph. though we didn't dare ask where he confirmed such a number.
This kind of performance does have its downsides, however. "The only thing I don't like is the range. The fuel tank is smaller than a normal 6-Series' because of the quad exhausts, and with fuel consumption of about 6-8mpg on a cruise (we'd hope a fast one, at least) I don’t get any more than 125 miles from a tank! I had 2mpg out of it once at Santa Pod." Ouch.
Only when the performance was well and truly there did Matt turn his attentions to the car’s, then Silverstone Blue II. aesthetics. Carbon or black details gradually made their way onto the car, like the Vorsteiner carbon front spoiler (from America), rear diffuser (made by Matt himself) and those massive 20-inch three-piece splits. You can guess where they came from...
“They’re made by a Florida company who are big on the Corvette scene, called Modular Concept. I had them custom- made and shipped over, and they’re the only ones in the UK”. To confirm their uniqueness, Matt then had them done with Silverstone centres and pin-stripes.
With the theme of Silverstone Blue and either black or carbon, eventually the only chrome left was the tips of the four Eisenmann pipes. A trip to BCP Industrial Coatings had them finished in a heat- resistant matte black, and it was job done. Well, almost. “I drove the car around like that for about a year-and-a-half. It was a similar story to the M3 I got it exactly how I wanted it and then just enjoyed it for a while. However the time came when I started to think about replacements, but I couldn't find anything as quick for the same money." Plan B, then.
"I’d looked at wrapping before, but at the time the cost was really high and the quality not quite there. Then prices came down and quality improved. The wrap was done by Totally Dynamic. The quality is amazing and since then four cars in my family have been wrapped by them!" Obviously the Silverstone Blue on the wheels then looked out of place, so Matt took them apart and sent them off to be gloss blacked.
There was a change of tyre fitment, too. "It used to have stretched tyres but that didn't look right because it wasn't quite low enough to pull the look off, ' says Matt. "I've gone for a squarer setup now to give it a beefier look, and it does drive a lot nicer as a result - although I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I went from Falkens to Continentals.
Saying that. I was rolling on the standard wheels recently and it drove a hundred times better again... it just doesn’t look as good!"
The result of this all-black theme means some very obvious parallels being drawn - by everybody.
“Everyone instantly started calling it the Batmobile when the wrap was done.’’ remembers Matt. "That’s the one comment I get all the time - people come up to me and say "That looks like the Batmobile!". I've had a lot of modded cars, but this is the most attention I’ve ever got from one: it gets a bit ridiculous sometimes!"
One thing that Matt still isn't entirely convinced about is the smoked rear clusters, but it isn’t about their looks per se. "At night they look amazing, with just the four bars shining through, and they do suit the overall look. But it's the whole smoked light image.’’ Matt says they’ll be staying for now, but it sounds like the car won't be hanging around much longer anyway.
"I’m looking at replacements again. I like the new M6. I've been up against a new MS and that walked my car, so the M6 is going to be ridiculous. But they've moved it up a price bracket and £110k for a well specced one is a lot of money for a BMW." Other options? A 911 GT3 is too extreme for the kind of use it'll get. And a 911 is a bit small for Matt's liking anyway, which rules out a Turbo. An Aston DB9 or Vantage is just too slow, as is a V8 R8, and V10 prices are a little steep. The only obvious choice is a Nissan GTR. which is what he's leaning towards - but still not entirely convinced about.
"The thing I love about the M6 is that it's nice and quiet when you're cruising about, but then you press the M button and it’s crazy," is how Man sums it up. And there's the rub: when you have such an excellent car that does so much so well, finding a replacement is very difficult indeed. We don’t envy Matt and his predicament m the slightest, we really don't.
Matt's M6 benefits from Evosport manifolds, and a blend of Supersprint and Eisenmann for the middle and rear sections.
Above right: Modular Concept 5 three-piece wheels are 9j at the front and 11.5j out back-the latter calls for a 325 section tyre.
ENGINE #S85 / #BMW-S85 4,999cc #V10 / #BMW-V10 , #RPI under-drive pulleys, RPI ram air induction scoops (custom finished in black with logos removed), #BMC air filters in OEM air boxes (with custom carbon covers), RPI block-off plates, RPI oil- cooler (30% more efficient) finished in black, #E-maps custom remap with speed limiter removed, #Evosport headers, #Supersprint centre-section and #Eisenmann Race back-boxes (powder-coated satin black)
TRANSMISSION Standard seven-speed SMG gearbox, software upgraded to suit engine map
SUSPENSION H&R Race springs. OEM electronic dampening remapped to suit H&R springs, Eibach 12mm spacers all-round
BRAKES Standard with uprated pads
WHEELS & TYRES Custom gloss black Modular Concept 5 three-piece split-rims in 9x20 (3.5-inch lip) front and 11.5x20 (5.5-Inch lip) rear fitment, with 285/35/20 front and 325/30/20 rear Continental Sport Contact 4s
BODY Full matte black wrap including door shuts, treated with Swissvax opaque wax, #Vorsteiner carbon front splitter with weave to match roof, custom rear carbon diffuser panel, matte black kidney grilles, side grilles wrapped gloss black, gloss black rear M6 badge, matte black Audi R8 V10 badges on side windows, short rear number plate, rear lights tinted with smoked film, headlights tinted with light smoke Laminex film, angle eye upgrade with 6,000k bulbs
INTERIOR Standard Silverstone extended leather. OEM iPod interface with custom ashtray- mounted holder, carbon trim. Logic 7 stereo
THANKS Scott at Totally Dynamic in Enfield for the wrap (0208 2161116), Claude. Ben and the team at Bosch Auto Services in Hitchin (01462 459459). Kevin at BCP Industrial Coatings in Hitchin for the powder-coating (01462 440 804). Andy at Pristine Coachworks for the wheels, and M6board. com and Evotechnik.net
Top right: Smoked lights are an undecided addition - the jury is still out on these.
Above right: Modular Concept 5 three-piece wheels are 9j at the front and 11.5j out back-the latter calls tor a 325 section tyre.
Top far left: Fuel stops are regular, with 125 miles to a lank being commonplace.
Right: BMC air filters live inside the standard air boxes and the V10 has been remapped by E-maps.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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POWER RANGER #2016 / #BMW-E70
We head off to Finland in search of a mighty #BMW X5M packing some serious horsepower. What do you do if your M3 is starting to feel a little vanilla and you want to explore further avenues of performance? Er, buy an X5, of course… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photography: Jape Tiitinen.
“Never apologise. Never explain. Just get the thing done, and let them howl.” So said Agnes Macphail, the first woman to be elected to the Canadian House of Commons, thereby leaving mankind a handy and quotable getout for doing things that may raise eyebrows. It’s all too easy to do things that you think people will like or approve of rather than things you actually want to do, for the sake of an easy life; this is particularly true in the sphere of car modification, especially in an age of the immediacy of social media. Perceived deviations from the accepted ways of doing things can be met with an instant backlash – ‘you’ve done that wrong’, ‘you’ve ruined that’, ‘that looks terrible,’ blah blah etc. Who cares? You only live once, your brief glimmer of time on this Earth is far too fleeting to worry about what a bunch of wallies on the internet may be judging you for.
All of which brings us to the elephant in the room here – that we’re looking at a modified X5, rocking enough horsepower to shame any 1990s supercar you care to name, and sufficient torque to knock the world slightly off its axis. Now, there will be people out there shaking their heads, tutting, passing harsh judgement over something that they view to be unnecessary and absurd. And while it’s tempting to tell these people to stick the entire X5 in their anodised aluminium pipes and try to vape it, it’s perhaps more constructive to simply attempt to encourage an openness of mind. For you see, a bighorsepower X5 actually makes a lot of sense, if that kind of thing is your bag. And even if it isn’t, you surely can’t help but admire the achievement of wringing 775hp out of such an imposing machine. Yes, you read that right – seven hundred and seventy-five horsepower. That’s rather a lot, isn’t it?
Near enough what you’d expect to find lurking between the slinky hips of the new LaFerrari, which is a fairly devastating comparison. Or, to continue the Ferrari tit-for-tat, it’s as powerful as two whole Testarossas. Two! This, then, is an X5 that’s worthy of your attention. But this was always bound to be the way – its owner, Aleksi Sorvari of Hyvinkää, Finland, has something of a taste for big-horsepower machinery. Driving trucks for a living as he does, he has a keen affinity with supersized displacement, aggressively loud turbo whistle and stump-pulling torque, so it’s only natural that this enthusiasm for telephone-number power would carry over into his private life. Before the X5 he owned an E92 M3, which replaced a Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG. Given that Aleksi is just 22 years of age, this is a fairly robust introduction into the world of motoring excess. Goodness only knows what the next step might be… “I bought the M3 about three years ago to replace the CLS,” he explains. “I loved it, and it received a few modifications – three-piece Rotiform wheels, various carbon fibre parts and so on – but after three years of ownership I felt that it was time to move forward and try something new. The X5M seemed to be the obvious answer; it’s big, it’s powerful, it’s different. It only took a few days of searching to find a decent X5M in Finland, so I bought it and that was that.” Aleksi must be in a tiny minority of people who’ve decided to chop in an M3 for an X5 on the grounds of wanting something fun and different rather than, say, being forced into the decision by a growing family or some other reason of practicality. But who says decisions like this have to be rational?
It can certainly be argued that the X5M is a solid starting point for a project. After all, this is no ordinary X5 – and as much as it may irritate the old-school badge purists, it’s a bona fide #M-car too. Debuting at the New York Auto Show in April #2009 , it was one half of the first pair of #xDrive cars to be developed by #M-GmbH , alongside the equally controversial X6M. The twin-turbo #S63 motor offered a juicy 4.4-litre displacement from eight thudding cylinders, its 555hp surprising many a soccer mom at the traffic lights on the school run. Contemporary magazine tests verified its ability to accelerate from 0-62mph in four-and-a-half seconds, which is frankly loopy for a vehicle with this sort of mass (not to mention an aerodynamic profile that laughs in the face of drag coefficients in favour of belligerently shoulder-barging the air like a breeze block flung from a trebuchet), and the tech gurus at M HQ ensured that it wasn’t just a brainless drag racer, tweaking and honing the suspension and steering to make the hulking brute handle like a nimble sports car. It’s an irritator of supercars that you can use as a van; conversely, it’s a sensible, practical family car that also happens to have launch control and paddle-shift. So no, there certainly isn’t any need to apologise for the X5M. It is mighty.
And that outstanding factory might was just the beginning for Aleksi’s #BMW-X5 . “A friend of mine found a German chap in Abu Dhabi who has superior skills in tuning BMWs,” Aleksi grins. “His name is Jimmy Pelka, and he operates out of PP-Performance in Weissbach, Germany when he’s not in the UAE. As soon as I’d engaged him to tune my X5M everything started to move forward, and progress was quite fast – as is the way with top professionals. I ended up making quite a lot of trips to and from PP-Performance while it got everything running perfectly, and the results are pretty phenomenal.”
This was very much an international build too, with Aleksi keen to get experts involved in all necessary elements of the horsepower race. The turbos, for example, were hand-built in Finland. “These are very special units built by Turbotekniikka in Helsinki,” he divulges, evidently pretty pleased with having chosen the right guys for the job. “They were hyped to be involved with the build, particularly when we started talking about targets for horsepower figures. This kind of project was something different from its average daily routine, which is usually just service and sales; in the end, they developed and constructed a pair of bespoke turbos for me comprising Garrett turbo housings with Mitsubishi Evo IX internals and billet compressors.” Impressive stuff indeed, and a very focused approach. And with these otherworldly turbines spinning freely and boosting hard, it was over to Buchloe, Germany to have a word with the eggheads at Alpina. Well, why not eh?
“We needed to get a quality custom product to work with these monster turbos, and it seemed obvious that Alpina would be the people to deliver the goods,” reasons Aleksi, clearly a man with a mind to do things properly. These custom manifolds, enjoying a ceramic coating from Martelius, now find themselves mated to a full lightweight exhaust system from Akrapovic – a company based in Slovenia, and best known for motorcycle exhausts before more recently moving into racing and performance road exhausts for cars. The geography of this build really is darting all over Europe. But that’s evidently what you need to do if you want to turn an X5M from a supercar-annoyer into a proper supercar in its own right. Some degree of legwork is required.
Much like with M GmbH’s own approach to the X5M, Aleksi has been keen throughout the project to ensure that this is a cohesive and all-pervading programme of upgrades, rather than simply shoving a load of dumb horsepower into the SUV to see what happens. A neat manifestation of this is his decision to upgrade the brakes to a setup with rather more beef. When you’ve got LaFerrari levels of thrust to rein in, it makes sense to tickle the standard fare a little, and what’s ensued here is a #Brembo-BBK upgrade featuring six-pot callipers, with the front discs a dinnerplate-like 405mm across. Fans of imperial measurements will have run a swift mental conversion and arrived at a figure of close to 16- inches and, as such, Aleksi needed some pretty big wheels to clear them. It’s safe to say, however, that his choice represents a level of overkill comparable to the bonkers figure on the dyno sheet. “The wheels are 22-inches in diameter,” he chuckles. “They’re #HRE three-piece rims, ten-inches wide at the front and thirteen at the rear.” The Dunlop rubber that tenaciously clings to them is suitably girthsome, offering up a whopping 335-section at the back. That represents a contact patch comparable to the average London back garden, although it’s wholly necessary given what the poor hoops have to contend with – 826lb ft isn’t exactly forgiving. Aleksi needs this much rubber in order to stop the very Tarmac beneath him from rucking up like an old hallway carpet.
In addition, the suspension has been hunkered down somewhat in accordance with the newfound avenues of thrust. Starting as a teetering all-terrain cruiser, it’s never going to be scraping its sills on the kerb, of course – you’d need some body sectioning, a raised chassis and tubbed arches at the least to achieve that, but that’s a whole different ballgame – but you’ll spot that it’s unmistakeably lower than your common or garden X5, in spite of wearing such vast wheels. This is courtesy of some H&R lowering springs at the front, while the stock airsprings at the rear have been gravitationally persuaded by some bossy new software.
And while the boffins at PP-Performance were busy rewriting code in the X5’s brain like some freaky DVD extra from The Matrix, they took the opportunity to reprogram the gearbox software too; the #X5M ’box is optimised for performance, but BMW probably didn’t figure this sort of performance running through it…
The nature of cohesiveness with a project like this dictates that the comfort and aesthetics are on a level pegging with the grunt, as is the nature of the entire X5 range; while stripping out the interior and fitting a single Kirkey race seat would undoubtedly bolster the performance creds, that’s not really the point of an X5M, so Aleksi has enhanced rather than pared back – after all, this is his daily driver. The comfy seats have been artfully reupholstered with black leather and white stitching by KhreliX Design in Vantaa, and the exterior has received a few treats to warn other road users that the low-slung ride height augurs something frightening. Carbon fibre abounds, from the huge diffusers to the subtler detail of the kidney grilles and badges, working alongside the darkened lights and windows. Employing carbon-fibre in a project like this for reasons of weight-saving would be an exercise in futility, but that isn’t the point; this is about presence, aggression, forthrightness.
It’s fiercely unapologetic too. Okay, there will be a lot of people out there who can’t see the purpose of a performance X5, particularly one that could show a seven-figure hypercar a clean pair of heels, but we get the strong feeling that Aleksi isn’t altogether bothered about that. He wanted an X5, so he built the best one he could, using the finest materials and resources at his disposal. The opinions of the naysayers are immaterial; there’s no escaping that number – 775hp. Seven-seven-five. If he can achieve this kind of godlike grandeur at the age of 22, we can’t wait to see what Aleksi does next.
Hidden under all that carbon and plastic is a twin-turbo V8 monster with 775hp and over 800lb ft of torque!
The interior of the X5M has been given a subtle but stylish makeover with fresh new leather with white stitching.
You surely can’t help but admire the achievement of wringing 775hp out of such an imposing machine
TECHNICAL DATA TUNED #BMW-X5M / #BMW-E70 / #BMW-X5M-E70 / #BMW-X5M-E70-Turbotekniikka-OY / #BMW-X5M-E70-Tuned / #V8
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: #S63B44O0 / #S63 / #BMW-S63 4.4-litre twinturbo #V8 , custom-built turbos by #Turbotekniikka-OY ( #Kim-Sulin ) and #Fin-Turbo ( #Niko-Turunen ), custom #Alpina exhaust manifolds with #Martelius ceramic coating, #Akrapovic exhaust system, mapping by #PP-Performance , stock transmission with upgraded software, 775hp, 826lb ft.
CHASSIS: 10x22-inch (front) and 13x22-inch (rear) #HRE three-piece wheels with 295/30 (front) and 335/25 (rear) #Dunlop Sportmaxx RT, #Brembo six-pot #BBK with 405mm front discs, #H&R front lowering springs, rear airsprings lowered with new software.
EXTERIOR: Vorsteiner carbon fibre front and rear diffusers, carbon fibre kidneys and emblems, window tints, headlight tints, rear wiper delete.
INTERIOR: Full retrim in black leather with white stitching by #KhreliX-Design-OY , #Vorsteiner floor mats, premium BMW audio.
THANKS TO: #Bimmer-Tuning-Club-of-Finland (btcf.fi)Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTWIN ’CHARGED M3s
Double dose of supercharged E92 goodness.
KLASSE OF #2014 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E92 / #BMW-E92 / #BMW /
The E92 M3 may be gone but it’s far from forgotten and this pair of supercharged examples is simply stunning.
Since its conception, the guys behind #AUTOcouture-Motoring had one thing in mind: build the cleanest and fastest cars on the road. It is safe to say that four successful years later they have graduated at the top of their klasse. Words & photos: Matt Petrie.
The Entwicklung chassis designation associated with the M3 has ceased existence along with its naturally aspirated engine. While there is a lot of excitement surrounding the new F8x platform and its turbocharged six-cylinder engine, not everyone is sold on the drop in displacement and the M3 being a saloon. Now that the E9x M3 is becoming more affordable, some people are discovering it for the first time while others are happy to use the high revving V8 engines a little more freely on the race track.
Collectively owning nearly a dozen BMWs over the years (including multiple E9x M3s), Sal and Bart, the owners of these two M3s and popular #BMW tuning outfit ACM, are no strangers to the community, and as different as these cars appear to be, their respective styles flow harmoniously. Exploring many different modifications and setups, this duo struck the right chord and delivered this stunning one-two punch of power and presence.
You may recall Sal’s first attempt at the E92 platform; a supercharged track-ready Techno violet E92 M3 that was on the cover of #Drive-My in October 2013. That E92 used to rope in 1000cc sport bikes with ease but despite how much he loved the car’s appearance and power delivery, it was still lacking the true six-speed experience. As fast as the dualclutch transmission is, while it awaits either gear up or down, the connection that one has with the car cannot be electronically reproduced on the back of the steering wheel.
For this reason, Sal knew it was time to get back into a car with three pedals. Sal’s current squeeze, this Melbourne red M3, owns its duties as a true shop car. This car represents a perfect balance of both ‘show’ and ‘go’, and has seen its fair share of track days and car shows around the north eastern United States. Its massive Varis Japan GT wing commands immediate attention from anyone who sees it. While the wing provides functioning aero, the matching body-coloured top portion complements the exposed carbon fibre underside, slightly toning down its track edge and giving it a cleaner look for shows.
A Vorsteiner diffuser tucks the Akrapovic exhaust tips away in the rear bumper while seamlessly playing off of the same angles that shape the Varis wing. The aggressive rear aero is equally balanced in the front by a BC GT4 front tray with moulded brake duct cooling openings. The chrome in the front of the car is replaced by BMW ‘Edition’ grilles and custom ACM blackout headlights with anthracite painted shrouds.
Sal chose to use Öhlins R/T coilovers on his M3 because they are competitively and comfortably suitable for both street and track. Whereas this current ride height may not optimise lap times, this M3 looks fantastic slammed on top of the 18” BBS FI wheels. Aside from being one of the best track wheels on the market due to minimal weight and incredible strength, the skinny spokes clearly reveal the 380mm Brembo GT brakes in all of their glory. The Brembo GTs are optimised when bringing Sal’s 650 horsepower Gintani Stage 2.5 meth-injected supercharger system back to earth. Both on and off throttle this car sounds like a jet plane thanks to a combination of the Schmiedmann headers leading back to a Gintani cat-less X-pipe and Akrapovic titanium rear section and dual blow-off valves.
When giving Sal’s M3 a closer look, its most distinguishing feature is undoubtedly its interior. He was not pleased with the stock interior of the car saying: “I needed something more unique; after all, the car before this was Techno violet so I couldn’t be completely satisfied with all of BMW’s factory-issued equipment.” But yet again, Sal decided to add items that were both aesthetically pleasing and functional.
In need of something more supportive for the track, he chose Recaro Sportster CS performance seats, however he did not stop there and had them wrapped in OEM Ferrari Salerno Saddle leather. This was no simple task as Ferrari only releases its leather by VIN number. Sal pulled some strings and was able to get his hands on not only enough to wrap his seats, but to also match the doorcards, centre console, lower dash, and rear seats with the hide of the prancing horse (not literally, of course). Completing the interior is a Rogue short-shift kit with weighted F10 M5 gear knob and P3 Cars Vidi gauge in his air vent and a leather wrapped performance wheel with Salerno Saddle 12 o’clock stripe.
Moving on to the second example of this dynamic duo, to the surprise of many, this is neither Bart’s first Coupé nor his first Alpine white M3. Indecisive with the amount of doors he wanted to accompany his S65, he switched from his first Alpine white Coupé to an Interlagos blue saloon with cloth seats. He then quickly developed a reputation as a certified wheel whore, accumulating more sets of wheels than he knew what to do with. Both cars were heavily modified, but the one missing piece to this puzzle was a supercharger. He longed for forced induction in his M3s, but never owned them long enough to fully commit to a supercharger system which AUTOcouture is so famous for installing. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that he found another low-mileage Alpine white M3 to call his own and he wasted no time modifying it to his own specifications.
Compared to Sal’s M3, Bart’s coupé took a slightly milder approach aesthetically. Living by his motto of ‘less is more’, his execution of the perfect daily driver was just as he had imagined it. He laughs, saying: “I initially built this car in my dreams – $40,000 later, there it was exactly as I envisioned.” Once again with the continuous, revolving door of wheels, it took Bart a few selections before he found his dream set of BBS LM- Rs.
Because a regular BBS wheel wouldn’t suffice, Bart sourced a set of Diamond black LM -Rs in Amuse fitment with more aggressive offsets. But Bart had his priorities in order; before he even considered running any set of wheels, he made sure it was properly slammed and purchased a Bilstein PSS10 coilover suspension kit and cranked it all the way down.
The understated appearance of this car means you have to really look to spot all of the modifications that have been made to it. Custom ACM blackout headlights give this M3 a sinister look paired with the gloss black Mode Carbon GTS V1 front lip, but what many people don’t notice is the Motorsport splatter in the driver’s side headlight only. Along with the front lip, there are the Platte Forme a.g. side skirt extensions, Varis rear undertray and a Challenge Carbon Kevlar bootlid. Running the length of the entire underside is a Gintani cat-less X -pipe connected to an Innotech Performance Exhaust rear section.
More commonly referred to as ‘iPE’, this vacuum actuated exhaust system allows Bart to go from “as quiet as stock” to straight-piped street terror at the touch of a button. Due to the vacuum actuation, this system operates immediately, setting it apart from other systems that use electronic servos and motors for their activation. The rapid response of the button ensures that when the police come looking for an absurdly loud white BMW, Bart can innocently point them in another direction.
The supercharger of choice was the ESS Tuning VT2 -650 with a custom painted Jerez plenum, outfitted with the Motorsport stripes, off set leading down to the front of the car. Considering this is his daily, Bart decided to keep the interior modifications down to just the driving essentials. In conjunction with the supercharger, the ACM Edition P3 Cars Vidi gauge was installed just like in Sal’s car. P3’s signature is its integration of the gauge into the stock air vent. This eliminates any unnecessary attention taking away from the cleanliness of the interior. The placement allows Bart to keep an eye on all of his engine vitals, such as boost, AFR and various engine and cooling temperatures. Amongst its many other features, it also displays 0- 60 and 0-100 times for when pride is on the line with his friends. Typically electronic OEM Performance steering wheels are Alcantara, but Bart had his wrapped in black leather. An OEM Alcantara gear knob and gaiter tie in with his suede-wrapped interior trim along the dash. Bart streamlined all of his modifications both inside and out to be unique yet functional in the simplest form.
No matter which one of these cars better suit your style, we can agree that both of them are classy and deceptive. Either M3 can be parked outside the finest five-star restaurant, or just as easily unleash their 600+ horsepower engines to dust any challenger who dares them on their way. As different as the cars appear to be, their respective styles flow harmoniously.
Bart’s M3 wears 20” BBS LM-R wheels in Diamond black and an aggressive #Varis-Japan rear diffuser.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 4.0 litre V8 #S65B40 / #S65 / #BMW-S65 , #ESS-Tuning-VT2-650 supercharger with custom painted Jerez black plenum and Motorsport stripes. #Gintani catless x-pipe, #Innotech-Performance valvetronic muffler and six-speed gearbox.
CHASSIS: 9x20” (front) and 10x20” (rear) #BBS-LM-R wheels in Diamond black with Amuse offsets, 245/35 (front) and 275/30 (rear) Hankook Ventus V12 tyres. #Bilstein PSS10 coilovers, OE brakes, and #DEFIV differential brace.
EXTERIOR: Custom ACM blackout headlights with Motorsport splatter (on driver’s headlight shroud only) and upgraded halo rings, Mode carbon front lip painted gloss black, Platte Forme a.g. side skirt additions, Varis Japan rear diffuser undertray, Challenge carbon Kevlar race bootlid, IND gloss black cosmetic kit – front grilles, side grilles and hood vents. OEM CF mirrors painted M5 theme by iND.
INTERIOR: OEM Performance steering wheel wrapped in leather, OEM Short Shift Performance knob and Alcantara boot, suede interior trim, P3 Cars/ACM Edition Vidi gauge.
THANKS: My wife and the entire crew at ACM
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 4.0-litre #V8 S65B40 , #Gintani-Stage-2.5 supercharger kit with meth injection, #Schmiedmann headers, #Gintani Race X-pipe, and #Akrapovic titanium slip-on exhaust, six-speed manual transmission with #Rogue-Engineering short shift kit.
CHASSIS: 9.5x18” (front) and 10.5x18” (rear) #BBS FI anthracite wheels with 265/35 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres (front) and 275/35 Toyo R888 tyres (rear). #Öhlins R/T coilovers and #Brembo-380GT big brake kit.
EXTERIOR: BC GT4 carbon fibre front lip, custom ACM blackout headlights with anthracite shrouds and upgraded halo rings, BMW ‘Edition’ front and side grilles, moulded front reflectors, #Vorsteiner-GTS-V rear diffuser, #Varis-Japan-GT wing.
INTERIOR: Full OEM Ferrari Salerno Saddle leather Recaro Sportster CS seats, doorcards, lower dash panels, centre console, rear seats, leather-wrapped Performance steering wheel with Salerno Saddle 12 o’clock stripe, P3 Cars/ACM Edition Vidi gauge, F10 M5 gear knob.
THANKS: My wife, my staff at ACM, Brutus, Eric at Yorktowne, Alex and Arno at Gintani, Ben and Mark at Rogue Engineering, Lucille the ‘BBS Queen’ at Sander Performance, Sam at United Collision, Alex at ESH Upholstery, Andrew at iND, Fation at Enthusiast Details.
Sal’s not been shy with his E92 M3, opting for a Varis Japan GT wing and #Vorsteiner GTS-V rear diffuser.
I initially built this car in my dreams – $40,000 later there it was, exactly as I envisioned.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationSHOW OF FORCE / #BMW-M4
Zima Motorsports has been getting busy on the #BMW-M4-F82 and its 630hp creation is a bit of an animal. The aftermarket world is constantly evolving thanks to a steady stream of new model launches. To keep on top of the game Zima Motorsports snapped up the new M4 as soon as possible and started modifying it immediately. Words: Ben Koflach. Photos: Brad Sillars.
There’s probably never been as much controversy surrounding a new product launch as when BMW announced that the new M3 coupé would, in fact, be called the M4 and that it would be turbocharged despite years of using strictly normally-aspirated motors. However, variety is the spice of life and this new format of M car looks set to be even more popular than ever before.
Chicago-based tuning shop and race team Zima Motorsports instantly twigged that this new M4 would be something of a big deal and so shop owner Steffan Sajic ordered one as soon as he could. Its arrival was scheduled just before the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas, so Steffan knew that if he wanted to showcase his company’s handiwork there he would have his work cut out.
‘Project Bella’, as the Alpine white #BMW-F82 M4 became known, was purchased direct from the dealership. “We picked up our M4 in late July at Laurel #BMW of Westmont, Illinois,” explained Steffan. “It stepped up to the plate as we explained how short our SEMA deadline was. After watching a full DTM season and seeing the hype for the new M4, we were always going to order one for the shop. The main goal was to build a powerfriendly track day car that customers could relate to.”
With such a blank canvas to work on, it was a good job that Steffan and the rest of the Zima team had worked out a clear brief. With such a new model, the aftermarket pickings were relatively slim at first but they pulled off the build just in time. This wasn’t just a case of bolting on what parts there were, either. The team put a large amount of development and fabrication into the project themselves, too. The first stop was, of course, the engine.
The controversial S55 powerplant’s displacement may date all the way back to the early E36s when it comes to M3 engines but this one has something never seen before: a pair of turbochargers strapped to the side. It has a quite a few similarities with the N54 and N55 powerplants that have powered 35i models for a number of years now and so Zima set about applying similar tuning techniques – freeing up exhaust flow and upping the boost with a piggyback ECU.
“We ended up manufacturing our own downpipes for the car from 304 stainless steel,” Steffan explained. These were coupled to a stainless steel Meisterschaft exhaust system, while the ECU benefits from a Burger Motorsports JB4 piggyback.
The results are astonishing. With these simple mods the S55 has produced 538whp and 595lb ft of torque on race fuel; that’s over 630hp and a shed-load of torque at the fly which is fed to the rear wheels through a silky smooth M-DCT gearbox.
When it came to sourcing the wheels the Zima team went to what it considered to be one of the main players in the US scene. “CCW has been a leader in the wheel game for race cars for years, so we were in talks with it for a while. It makes some amazing lightweight wheels,” Steffan told us. “The wheels we’ve got on the car are awesome, especially running a 305 tyre at the back with no arch modifications. It shows that CCW knows how to make a wheel with proper offsets!” Measuring 10”-wide at the front and 11”-wide at the rear with a 19” diameter, the T1000 wheels have divided opinion a little but for Steffan the function was as important as the look, and we think they perfectly balance these two criteria.
To get the M4 sitting perfectly over those CCWs, #Zima opted for a KW Height Adjustable Spring System. It’s a clever product that replaces the factory springs for stiffer KW items, along with adjustable spring perches. This means that you end up with effectively an adjustable coilover while retaining the factory shocks, meaning that the clever EDC electronic dampers remain untouched.
“Our M4 roll-cage is made from 1.75” 4130 chromoly steel and is hand-assembled,” explained Steffan. “We can create a fourpoint bolt-in half-cage for M4 owners that may still need to use the back seat for luggage, or we can go all the way with a bolt-in full cage with a gusseted cross brace for unparalleled stiffness. Both offerings will bolt directly into the M4’s body and both are designed to keep you safe, whether you’re a track rat or an occasional racing enthusiast.”
The track theme has been echoed through the rest of the interior, too. It features hardcore carbon fibre Sabelt GT-300 seats and six-point harnesses. In combination with that cage, the interior has been truly transformed from a comfy production car into something ready to slay any track that lies before it.
The final step was to get that exterior looking that bit more aggressive. This has been achieved with some more simple but effective steps. The SEMA show this year was saturated with wide-body builds and Zima wanted to stay away from that, with its example being a far more OEM+ type of build. To that end, BMW Performance carbon fibre mirror caps were sourced from the local dealership and Steffan went to Vorsteiner for a GTS splitter and diffuser, both in carbon fibre.
“Our aim was to create a street and track car – one that you can have fun with on the street and go to dinner in then, at the weekend, go and have fun in at a track day,” Steffan said. “When we first rolled up to the SEMA show I couldn’t have been happier when everyone gave it the thumbs-up and started taking pictures. It’s truly a car crazy event and everyone appreciates the time and effort put into each build. CCW loved the M4 when it rolled into the booth at SEMA. I was actually in the Weld Racing booth – #CCW is currently a division within Weld. The guys were truly impressed with the while build and loved the way the wheels looked on an Alpine white M4.”
From the off, Steffan has been impressed with the new M car and, as you can imagine, the modifications have only improved things further. “After owning and racing a lot of M chassis I can say the M4 is in a class of its own. The car is well balanced and moves when you want it to. The standard M4 initially was epic but after a few mods, the feeling of race seats and a JB4, it became a whole different animal. The car was hunting for grip during fourth gear pulls.
“Our future plans are to wait for the weather to clear up in Chicago and take the car out to our local race track and really take it to its limits.”
Zima Motorsports has taken this new breed of M car and not only made it its own, but shone the light for future owners of the fresh M3 and M4 models. It might be in a slightly different format, but that M magic is still there and Zima knows exactly how to make the most of it.
Exterior has been treated to a selection of carbon fibre additions including a #Vorsteiner-GTS front splitter and rear diffuser along with BMW Performance mirror caps.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.0-litre straight-six twinturbo #S55B30 / #S55 , #JB4 tune, #Zima-Motorsports cat-less downpipes, #Meisterschaft exhaust. Standard 7-speed #M-DCT and M differential
CHASSIS: 10x19” (front) and 11x19” (rear) #CCW-T1000 hybrid wheels with 275/35 and 305/30 Nitto Invo tyres respectively, #Apex wheel stud conversion. #KW Height Adjustable Spring System consisting of KW springs, spring perches and bumpstops.
EXTERIOR: #Vorsteiner GTS carbon fibre front splitter, #Vorsteiner-GTS carbon fibre rear diffuser, #BMW-Performance carbon fibre mirror caps.
INTERIOR: #Sabelt GT-300 seats, Sabelt six-point harnesses, #Zima-Motorsports four-point roll-cage.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationIncredible supercharged custom widebody air-ride E46 M3 / #BMW
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
Boasting a custom wide-body kit, air-ride, supercharger and custom interior, we challenge you to find a more complete project car than this staggering E46 M3.
Exploding onto the scene and tearing through it with the ferocity of a supercharged tornado, this E46 M3 is a devastating lesson in the theory that more can most definitely be more. Words: Elizabeth de Latour /// Photos: Tony Lopez
When building a project car there are numerous approaches and end goals you can look to achieve: some people build out-and-out show cars; some people build ferocious fast road cars; some people go for an all-out audio build; and some go to town on styling. When Rick Fontan got to work on his E46 M3 he decided to do, well, everything. We feature a lot of amazing cars in Drive-My but it’s not that often that we come across a car that has been modified as absolutely as this, on every level, and this is one of those cars that, when we first saw it, genuinely took our breath away.
Of course, we’re sure that Rick will be the first person to admit that his car isn’t going to be met with universal appeal – it has been blowing minds like a brain bomb and collecting awards like some kind of giant award-collecting magnet since he rolled it out earlier in the year for the first time but there’s plenty here that will raise many an eyebrow. Those chopped front arches, for example, the highly unconventional bonnet setup, the fact that he’s blended so many different elements that in many ways conflict with each other and brought them together in one project. It’s definitely not a conventional build and by that very virtue he’s created something incredibly noticeable. Sometimes, when you come across a build that incorporates so many different elements, the end result can be a little jarring, with components that really don’t look like they belong together and it can be a little unpalatable – it’s the meat trifle from Friends, a lot of potentially delicious ingredients coming together to make something that’s hard to stomach but somehow Rick has made his vision work.
He’s plucked that vision from his brain and translated it into a tangible object that is coherent and, more than that, genuinely good. For all its wideness, angularity and sheer eyeball-punching impact, there is an inherent smoothness and oneness to this E46 M3. Everything flows together: the bodywork is wild but the Lamborghini Grigio silver paint is quite subtle; the wheels are large and multi-piece, yes, but sport a simple design; the purple highlights that appear throughout are just right in terms of colour and number to tie numerous elements together without overwhelming the car’s overall aesthetic and while the components might be unlikely bedfellows somehow everything just feels right together. A lot of thought and work has gone into this build and it shows.
So, just what kind of man builds this sort of car and why? “I have been into BMWs since I was about 19 years old. That’s when I first started getting into cars in general,” muses the now 33-year-old Rick. “BMW has always been respected in the show scene, on the street, and on the track. I think that’s what makes it so special. It covers all aspects of what a car should be and how it should be built. I had a Mitsubishi Eclipse for about four years before selling it to buy the M3. It was fully built by the time I sold it and I had won multiple awards with that build and even landed a magazine feature. I bought the M3 in 2006 from a dealership in Queens. It was a little beat up and had about 50,000 miles on it but that didn’t bother me at all because I already knew it was only a matter of time before I would start modifying it anyway. This was my dream car and as soon as I saw the opportunity to get one, I jumped on it. My inspiration came from Craig Liberman and his ‘uber’ M3; I was obsessed with that car and just knew I had to build one of my own and I had it all mapped out. I knew exactly what I wanted to do to it before I even knew purchasing one was an actual possibility.
“Going in I knew I wanted to build a show car. I had to make sure all areas of the car were addressed, especially the motor as it is the one area that everyone asks to see. I couldn’t have a built car without any engine modifications, that’s a no-go!
“My car had to be equally balanced. I made sure to modify the engine enough to be able to put it on a track as well as look amazing just sitting there on a showroom floor.” He’s certainly delivered on that front. The engine work isn’t insane but it’s nice to see a car built on this scale running something attainable under the engine bay – although that’s not to say this isn’t a seriously powerful and subsequently fast E46 M3.
There’s no missing that Vortech supercharger, painted in Candy purple, with a TurboSmart blow-off valve but you won’t be able to spot the uprated pulley and belt that help up the boost. There’s a Vibrant front mount intercooler with custom piping, Driven Innovations intake manifold and Agency Power stainless steel exhaust manifolds which lead to custom GTR-style side exit exhausts. Rick has paid a lot of attention to the fuelling, with Injector Dynamics ID725 fuel injectors and an upgraded fuel rail, while in the back you’ll find an ATL fuel cell, an amazing ATL dual dry break filler, plus a Bosch 044 fuel pump and Aeromotive fuel regulator. What’s most impressive, though, is not what’s in the engine bay but what isn’t, as the bay’s been shaved and a full wire tuck has been carried out. It looks spectacular for it; no wonder it’s Rick’s favourite mod on the entire car. “It takes the entire build of the car to the next level,” he says. “Plus, it’s very rare to see an M3 with this style of build and a shaved bay.” He’s not wrong. The super-clean bay draws your eye to engine and the ’charger and it makes the Candy purple highlights even more spectacular against the simple silver background.
With the Vortech blower and supporting mods, Rick’s M3 is putting out an impressive 450whp and that means some equally impressive drivetrain and chassis mods are required in order to be able to put that to good use. Originally this was an SMG car but Rick has swapped in a manual gearbox mated to an uprated UUC Stage 2 clutch and UUC flywheel to deal with the serious boost in power while a short-shifter takes a bit of travel out of the M3’s surprisingly long throw for quicker, sharper gear changes. For the brakes, Rick turned to StopTech, slapping on the company’s seriously powerful six-pot front kit with two-piece slotted discs which is matched to an ever-soslightly smaller four-pot setup at the rear, with tucked braided hoses all-round and purple calipers, naturally.
It won’t have escaped your attention that this car is on air and Rick’s reasoning is sound: “I went for this setup to have the best of both worlds. With suspension like this it allows me to drive the car daily, set the ride height lower if I were to track it, slam it down to the floor or even raise it high enough to drive onto a trailer.” His kit of choice is Air Lift’s excellent offering along with the equally excellent V2 controller. The suspension mods haven’t stopped there and this E46 M3 has also been treated to uprated front and rear anti-roll bars, carbon fibre lower control arms and a rear camber kit, plus the entire undercarriage has been Stoneguard powdercoated.
We mentioned the wheels earlier and that the simple design works really well against the riot of styling that’s going on at the same time. “I’ve always liked the mesh type of wheels,” says Rick, “but with this type of build I decided to go with five-spoke wheels. I feel it gives the car an aggressive look and displays my brake setup beautifully.” We agree – the spoke spacing on the three-piece 20” SSR Professor SP1 wheels that he’s opted for is massive, meaning everyone gets a great view of those huge brakes, and the 10” front and 12” rears mean serious dish.
As far as the exterior of this car is concerned, there’s no two ways about it: it’s utterly insane. It’s not going to appeal to everyone but there’s no denying how much work has gone into it and how spectacular the end result it. “The styling of this car has been through many different stages over the years,” Rick tells us. “There were many problems and challenges along the way because of all the different shops it went to, but about three years ago my car finally landed at AMS Autowerks where the final transformation took place. Even that was a challenge in itself. Diogo Acevedo, the owner, had to rip the car apart and basically start from scratch.”
A big job then, but that’s kind of stating the obvious. So what exactly have we got here? Well, for starters, there’s the custom wide-body kit with its extreme arches and those sections chopped from the rear of each one which really makes this car unique. Elsewhere there’s carbon fibre – lots and lots of carbon fibre – with a custom carbon front lip, Vorsteiner carbon boot and roof, carbon headlight overlays, and M front, side grilles and emblems for good measure. The fat exhausts poke out from the side skirts and have been fitted with custom heat shields to stop them from melting the kit and then there’s the bonnet, or rather the lack of it. Now, at first glance you might think that Rick has popped his bonnet off for the photos, as you often see guys doing, but look a little closer and you realise that, no, what you’re seeing is the bonnet in its entirety. Rick says it’s a custom 1/3 bonnet and closer inspection reveals that basically the front 1/3 of the bonnet has been retained and mounted as it normally would be while the rest of it has essentially been chopped off and possibly discarded in a hedge somewhere. It’s very different and pretty cool for its double-take factor.
Moving inside there’s barely time to take a breather as the car continues to assault your senses. “The interior needed to look as clean as the rest of the car and to continue the exterior theme as well,” says Rick. This meant stripping stuff out and painting a whole bunch of things Candy purple. The whole interior has been trimmed in suede with purple stitching and up front Rick has plumped for a pair of Recaro Profi XL seats along with Schroth Profi 5 harnesses and a Vertex steering wheel mounted on a Momo hub. There’s carbon trim galore, along with a carbon gear knob and a custom dash housing an AIM stack cluster, boost gauge and ATL fuel gauge, plus a custom carbon bezel for the Alpine touchscreen head unit. The digital controller for the air suspension has been mounted in the driver’s air vent – a neat touch. The rear seats are gone and in their place sits a custom roll-cage, finished in Candy purple, a purple air tank and the Focal four-channel and mono amps for the seriously impressive audio setup. The front doors house the Focal K2 Power three-way speakers while the boot area is home to a pair of custom-mounted 10” Focal Utopia Be subs, which share the space with that incredible fuel setup.
So, there we have it. If you’ve ever wondered what you could achieve with your car given nine years and a truck-load of cash, hard work and determination, wonder no more because you’re looking at it. It’s not just the overall end result that’s mind-blowing, because it is, but it’s the attention to detail that’s gone into it, the thought, the creativity. Every aspect of the car makes you stop, look, look again and marvel. Do you love it? Do you love all of it? Maybe, maybe not, but we can guarantee it’s getting a reaction from you.
And that’s what this car does best: get people’s attention. “After three years of completely rebuilding the car it was debuted in August of 2015 at the Tuner Evolution car show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The crowd’s reaction was priceless as show-goers looked at it in amazement. The judges felt the same way as it was awarded ‘Best of Show’. Later that month I showed it at Wekfest East in Edison, New Jersey and also took ‘Best of Show’,” Rick says beaming like a proud father seeing his child winning a trophy at sports day. This isn’t just a car, it’s an extension of Rick, the physical manifestation of his vision and it’s the kind of car, the kind of complete car that you know was not a casual build. If you haven’t guessed, we kind of love it, it’s an absolutely awesome car on every level and proves that more is most definitely more.
Rear seats long-gone and in their place is a custom Candy purple roll-cage, air tank and two amps.
“I made sure to modify the engine enough to be able to put it on a track as well as look amazing just sitting there on a showroom floor”
“The interior needed to look as clean as the rest of the car and to continue the exterior theme as well”
DATA FILE Supercharged #BMW-E46 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E46 / #BMW-M3-E46-Supercharged / #BMW-M3-Supercharged
ENGINE 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54 , #Vortech-supercharger / #Vortech , upgraded belt and pulley, oil cooler, Vibrant front mount intercooler with custom piping, #Vibrant hoses, Agency Power stainless steel exhaust manifolds, #Injector-dynamics-ID725 fuel injectors, upgraded fuel rail, Driven Innovations intake manifold, #TurboSmart blowoff valve, Custom GTR-style side mounted exhausts, #ATL fuel cell, ATL dual dry break filler, #Bosch-044 fuel pump, #Aeromotive fuel regulator, reinforced sheet metal trunk, all braided stainless steel lines, Candy purple painted accents, shaved engine bay, full wire tuck. Est. 450whp.
TRANSMISSION Six-speed manual transmission swap, upgraded clutch, short-shift, #UUC Stage 2 clutch, UUC flywheel, Chase Bays brake booster eliminator.
CHASSIS 10x20” (front) and 12x20” (rear) SSR #Professor SP1 three-piece wheels with 255/30 (front) and 305/25 (rear) Toyo Proxes T1-R tyres, #Air-Lift-Performance air suspension, uprated anti-roll bars (front and rear), carbon fibre lower control arms, rear camber kit, Stoneguard powdercoated entire undercarriage, #StopTech ST-60 #BBK with slotted discs (front) and ST-40 BBK with slotted discs (rear) with purple callipers (front and rear), braided stainless steel brake lines, brake line tuck.
EXTERIOR Custom-built wide-body kit, custom 1/3 mini bonnet, Vorsteiner carbon fibre boot, carbon fibre front lip, custom splitter, #Vorsteiner carbon fibre roof, carbon fibre headlight overlays, carbon fibre M front and side grilles, carbon fibre emblems, custom heat shield for exhaust, Lamborghini Grigio silver paint.
INTERIOR #Recaro-Profi-XL bucket seats, Schroth Profi 5 harnesses, custom roll-cage in Candy purple, full suede interior with purple stitching, #Vertex steering wheel, #Momo hub, M Tech pedals, carbon fibre gear knob, custom dashboard, AIM stack cluster, boost gauge, ATL fuel gauge, custommounted V2 controller, custom carbon fibre bezel, interior LED lighting, rear seat delete.
AUDIO #Alpine LCD touchscreen head unit, #Focal-K2 Power threeway speakers, #Focal-FPS3000 mono amplifier, #Focal-FPS4160 four-channel amplifier, #Dynamat sound dampening, #Focal crossovers, 2 #Focal-Utopia Be 10” subs.
THANKS I would like to give a special thanks to my parents because without them none of this would’ve been possible. Their continued support throughout the years is what allowed me to pursue this passion and push me to complete this build. I want to thank all my family and friends that helped me along the way. To my girl for all her patience and support and being part of this with me, AMS Autowerks in Linden, NJ, Audio Clinic in Belleville, NJ, Branch Brook Auto Top in Newark, NJ, and, of course, to #Drive-My for allowing me to grace the cover of your magazine and show the car to the world.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.