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This E92 335i knows all about making a big impact. A hot, loud, wild ride that seduces, screams and amuses… Back for his second stint of PBMW fame, Steve Lin shows us how to make a bold statement with BMW’s latest Coupé, the undeniably sexy 335i. Words: Louise Woodhams. Photos: Darren Maybury.
Regular readers of PBMW should remember Steve Lin’s E39 540i featured in May 2007. How could you forget? With wide-body styling, a Candy fuscia paint scheme, 20” iForged wheels and a supercharger to boot, it’s a car you’re not going to forget in a hurry! And astonishingly, little over a year later he’s back. His second project may not be as outrageous as the Five, but it is another unusual choice of base car.
Steve placed the order for his E92 335i in February 2007, taking delivery of it some months later on April 24. The Mission Viejo resident first fell in love with the blue and white roundel some 11 years ago at the tender age of 18, when his father bought him a new E36 328i, insisting that a BMW was the safest car for a teenager. If only my dad was as concerned for my wellbeing! A Ford Fiesta 1.1 doesn’t quite match up!
As far as Steve is concerned now, no other manufacturer can rival BMW’s exquisite drive, handling and performance, so it’s no surprise to hear that he’s already planning his next project, a VIP-style E60 M5, slammed on 21s and tuned to 600bhp. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, for now we want to know more about this stunning 335i. That colour’s pretty nice, isn’t it? It’s Montego blue, our man did consider Alpine white, but apparently it’s very common on the busy roads of southern California, so blue it was. A similar hue has been carried through to the lip of the wheels, something often seen on the Japanese tuning scene, and the spokes painted gloss black with contrasting polished bolts. If ever you needed an example of the adage ‘wheels maketh the car’ here’s the proof. As Vice President of operations for iForged, Steve had very little choice when it came to picking a brand of rim, so he plumped for one of his personal favourites from the Precision Series range, the Essen, the very same wheels fitted to his Audi A3.
The 335i’s dynamics are pretty much flawless straight from the factory, but with H&R anti-roll bars teamed with a substantial drop on KW Variant 2 coilovers sharpening it up even further while also providing a snug fit for those 8.5x20” wheels, we doubt there’s any complaints from Steve. With a 2.5” lip up front and a 4” lip out back shod in 245/30 and 285/25 Toyo T1R tyres respectively, it’s a winning combination of modern way-low attitude, streched rubber and custom rims.
Take a closer look and you’ll see Steve’s also made improvements to the car’s braking performace as well, with Rotora’s eight-piston calipers clamped to 15” cross-drilled discs on the front and four-piston calipers matched to 14” cross-drilled discs for the rear.
From its balanced proportions to its elegantly cut creases, the latest Coupé is stylish and sporty without reverting to radical and awkward sculpting. Contemporary BMW design has been a strangely hit and miss affair, but rather than averting your eyes for fear of seeing an uncomfortable assortment of panel gaps, shut lines and ridges, the bullseye has been firmly hit in this instance. In fact, I suspect Mr Bangle may have been on his holidays when the Board of Directors approved this machine, but as we modifiers well know, there’s always room for improvement. Steve takes up the story: “I thought the stock styling was too subtle for the car, so I fitted the Rieger body kit for a more aggressive look. I’ve always believed in building a car that’s muscular but sleek at the same time. I like the fact that people can’t figure out what I did to my car because everything flows so well together. The front end is my favourite part of the car, it just looks so much more aggressive now compared to standard.” We couldn’t have explained it better ourselves. DTM Autobody in El Monte took care of fitting the Rieger front bumper, side skirts, rear diffuser and carbon fibre splitter, having to shave the edges to ensure a flawless finish, while Steve painted the kidney grille black for a simpler, cleaner look and popped in 8000K xenon bulbs to give the headlamps a piercing stare.
The 3.0-litre twin-turbo in-line-six will blaze the 0 to 62 sprint in 5.5 seconds – although acceleration times from other motoring magazines have proved even faster than the company’s claimed figures. Steve plans on getting a front-mounted intercooler, downpipes and, eventually, bigger turbos, for now though he’s quite satisfied with the Racing Dynamics Sport quad exhaust system and #Black-Box installed by Auto Talent in Los Angeles. The RD Black Box is a self-contained ECU that works as a piggyback to the #Siemens-MSD80-DME . By controlling a variety of parameters such as boost pressure and timing advance, it delivers an additional 65bhp and 80lb ft of torque, bringing the performance of this 335i to the range of the current V10 powered M5 and far beyond the outgoing E46 M3. “The power increase was noticeable in every gear, especially in second and third,” revealed Steve. For those E92 owners interested in fitting one yourself, you might also like to know the unit can be bypassed with the provided Service Plugs or can be removed in minutes to restore your 335i to its original state.
Tuned to over 365bhp with styling to make every E92 owner weep with envy, look at this car and tell me you don’t want it. Steve’s dream would be to widen the front fenders and rear quarter panels, throw on some 13x20” wheels shod in 345/25 tyres and increase power to 500bhp at the wheels.
Given he’s done all of the above in four months, it may not seem altogether unattainable. There’s certainly no denying the car won’t be used to its full potential either, he’s already clocked 150mph on the way back from last year’s SEMA show. I seriously doubt this is the last we’ll hear from Steve. Whether it be stage two of the 335i, which bears all the promise of being bedroom wall pin-up fodder, or his next project, the M5, one thing’s for sure; we’ll bring you the exclusive coverage.
“I like the fact that people can’t figure out what I did to my car because everything flows so well together”
DATA FILE #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335i / #BMW-335i-E92 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #N54B30O0 / #BMW-N54 / #N54 / #BMW / #N54B30 / #Forged / #KW / #Racing-Dynamics
ENGINE: 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six with #Racing-Dynamics-Sport quad exhaust system and Black Box
CHASSIS: 8.5x20” and 10x20” #iForged-Precision-Series-Essen wheels with gloss black centres and #Sapphire blue lips shod in 245/30 and 285/25 Toyo T1R tyres respectively. #KW-Variant-2 coilovers, #H&R front and rear anti-roll bars. #Rotora eight-piston calipers and 15” cross-drilled discs (front) and Rotora four-piston calipers and 14” cross-drilled discs
EXTERIOR: Montego blue factory paint, Rieger front bumper, carbon fiber splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser, custom painted black kidney grille, 8000K xenon headlight bulbs
INTERIOR: Standard black leather eight-way power factory sport seats and brushed aluminium trim
THANKS: #iForged-Performance-Alloys (www.forgedwheels.com), #KW-Suspensions (www.kw-suspension.com), Rotora Brakes (www.rotora.com), Toyo Tires (www.toyo.com), Auto Talent (www.autotalent.com), DTM Autobody (www.dtmautobody.com)
Tuned to over 365bhp with styling to make every E92 owner weep with envy, look at this car and tell me you don’t want it.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.