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    SCANDINAVIAN SLAM Air-ride E91 Touring
    Who says diesel Tourings need to be boring? In the land of outrageous turbocharging, one Norwegian cares more about the air-ride stance. Words: Iain Curry. Photos: Erik Berg-Johansen.

    Stance is everything, right? Feel free to lust after an M2, M3, M5, whatever, but get the stance right on any run-of-the-mill #BMW and you can turn just as many heads. This fact gives us all hope. We can’t all drop tens of thousands on a new M car, nor employ an expensive specialist to bolt on a giant turbo and associated upgraded parts to create a street weapon. But get a car sitting just right and for comparatively little coin you’re a show favourite.

    Which makes this Norwegian E91 something of a rarity. You see, our Norwegian cousins have not only an enviable quality of life, but most of them have a fair chunk of disposable income too. Sure, it costs a lot to live in this beautiful Scandinavian land, but locals are well paid to compensate. I’ve met plenty of 20- something Norwegian car modifiers who think nothing of owning both a city flat plus a holiday home by the lakes to retreat to each weekend.

    It means many have the money to drive around in new German cars, and often make their mark by adding top-end aftermarket body parts, chassis upgrades and engine mods. Think back to all the 1000hp+ BMWs we’ve featured and many will be from Norway or the equally bountiful Sweden. And just to complete your jealousy, these Scandinavians sure know how to drive too. A thousand horses through the rear treads?

    Wheels spinning in fourth gear? No problem. It’s as if they’re born knowing how to control it. Just check out the names of those who mastered the Too Fast To Race Group B rally cars of the 1980s. Yep, the Scandinavians. Showing there are more strings to their bows than just bonkers turbo beasts, Kim Arild Grindermoen has chosen pure stance over performance with his 3 Series Touring. It’s all about air suspension, something he insists is nothing to be afraid of in terms of ease of fitment and even practicality thanks to the easily adjustable ride height. Yes he’s a tad biased as he set up and runs a company called StanceShop – a dealership for Air Lift Performance suspension and AccuAir air suspension management – but he’s a man worth listening to when he can make a humble estate car look this damn perfect on the stance front.

    The 26-year-old from Otta in rural Norway is a welder by trade, and bought this totally standard 2011 320d Touring with an M Sport pack to make what he says is his “own statement; something I have never done before by taking it all the way with air-ride”.

    It certainly isn’t Kim’s first time at the rodeo. Modifying cars since the age of 16, he cut his teeth on an old Mitsubishi with the usual aftermarket wheels and lowering, before progressing to BMWs a few years later. He’s been very active since then. An E36 was first, then an E30 followed by five more E36s, four more E30s, two E32s and five E34s. Busy boy.

    While Kim is one for big power too – he’s currently at work creating a madman E34 Touring with turbocharged M50B25 turbo engine – the 320d Touring has to serve as a daily driver, so the frugal diesel engine has been left practically untouched. An updated ECU helps the four-cylinder realise 207hp now – up from the standard 184hp – which Kim says is “enough for the street to lose your licence.”


    Visual clout comes from the ride height, and Kim says the kit is “plug and play and fits without modifications”. We all like the sound of that. “It took a couple of days to get it up and running because of the wiring and air lines,” he explains, “but the struts are as easy as coilovers to install.” Kim says it’s all bolt on with no need for further modifications to the chassis or body.

    Slammed on the ground the Touring looks fantastic, and the rear end in particular looks far fatter with the back wheel arches seeming to nicely bulge with the deep-dish 10x19-inch ADV.1 three-piece rims swallowed up by them. But no, those rear arches are completely standard. Up front the 9-inch rims with skinny 225/35 Falken FK453 rubber are ideally placed in the front arches.


    Improving things are the 320d’s front arches making way for M3 items with the side indicators replaced by gunmetal stripes. It’s a subtle addition, but adds some front end sportiness to otherwise plain 320d sides. The exterior stays true to BMW’s original Touring shape with Kim going for subtle enhancements to the black body. Most obvious is smoked tape – from Norwegian company Fantasy Factory – to coat the lights around the car, once again this being most obvious at the rear which now looks very mean-looking in its darkness, complemented by a 335i diffuser. A pair of 335i-look Ragazzon exhaust tips pop out from the diffuser, but other than that the bumpers are just factory M Sport items.

    While owning an estate car means plenty of room for an outrageous air install, this has to serve as Kim’s practical daily, so that wasn’t an option, but what he has done is put together a very smart, simple install while still leaving plenty of useable room in the load area. He’s running a single, black tank, which ties in with the rest of the car’s mean and moody appearance and is running twin Viair compressors plumbed into an AccuAIr VU4 four-corner solenoid valve unit. In the boot’s side compartment Kim’s added a fibreglass eight-inch subwoofer box, backing up Rockford Fosgate speakers and updated head unit in the main cabin. He has also wired in a Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty.3 eight-channel interactive signal processor which works as an OEM integration ‘black box’ for much improved audio control. While the interior has been kept practically standard, the addition of an OEM Alcantara M Performance steering wheel is a rather welcome upgrade.

    The cabin-mounted AccuAir controller offers quick and easy ride height adjustment allowing for seamless transition from slammed show car to practical grocerygetter. Kim also says he’s given the Touring a bash on Norway’s Rudskogen raceway, reporting back that it handles just fine.

    Good modifiers are always looking to move on to the next challenge, and Kim says his air-ride E91 will soon serve as practical family transport as his first child is due by the end of the year. He says as a result he’ll be closing down StanceShop, also partly due to how difficult it is to get air-ride cars approved for Norwegian roads, which makes his creation all the more impressive. “I’ll be focusing more on the family life, but you’ll still see cars being modified in the future by me,” he says, reminding us that his E34 is going to be a boosted show special with plenty of fast road potential. So this airride E91 will soon be the official family wagon. Not only will it be the coolest thing rocking up at kiddie daycare, but just think of the endless hours of fun the kids will have raising and lowering this Touring via that control pad. Who needs babysitters?

    DATA FILE #Air-ride E91 / #BMW-320d-Touring / #BMW-E91 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E91 / #BMW-3-Series-Touring / #BMW-3-Series-Touring-E91 / #BMW-320d-Touring-E91 / #N47D20 / #N47 / #BMW-N47 / #BMW-320d-Touring-Air-ride / #BMW-320d

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel N47D20, #Ragazzon exhaust system, uprated ECU, six-speed manual gearbox

    CHASSIS 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) #ADV.1 three-piece wheels with 225/35 (front and rear) Falken FK453 tyres, #Air-Lift-Performance suspension and #AccuAir management

    EXTERIOR M Sport bumpers, E92 M3 front wings with side indicators replaced by gunmetal strips, Fantasy Factory smoked tape for lights all-round, OEM 335i rear diffuser, M tricolour stripes on kidney grille

    INTERIOR M Performance Alcantara steering wheel, updated head unit, twin Viair compressors, single air tank, AccuAir VU4 valve unit, fibreglass 8” subwoofer box in boot, Rockford Fosgate speakers, Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty.3 eight-channel interactive signal processor

    “[I wanted to make my] own statement; something I’ve never done before”
    Interior has been treated to an M Performance Alcantara steering wheel and the in-car audio has also been upgraded. Boot area houses the smart and simple air-ride install; 19” ADV.1 three-piece wheels look fantastic and really suit the E91 shape.

    2.0d engine may be nothing special to look at but it’s the perfect mill for a daily driver and a remap has resulted in a healthy 207hp.
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    TOTAL WHITEOUT
    A stunning matt white, wide-body BMW E92 335i. The E92 bar has been raised to sublime proportions with Carlos Molina’s dazzling matt white wide-body 335i. Words: Iain Curry. Photos: Eric Eikenberry.


    Perhaps the best news for us modifiers with the launch of the new F30 3-Series is the inevitable plummet in prices for the outgoing E9x models on the used market. So get yourself ready, soon these desirable fifth-gen Threes will be flooding the classified websites at prices more and more will be able to afford. That means it’s the time to get some modifying plans in place, and if you’re after a bit of inspiration, it’d be a good idea to look west to America and witness some of the latest E90/2 creations currently leading the scene.

    Carlos Molina Jr. will be a name familiar to many reading PBMW, as his cars and modifying exploits have been widely publicised on the internet and in magazines. His killer E46 show car has been long on the scene since its SEMA 2008 introduction, but inevitably Carlos was tempted by a new project by 2011, this time based on the then current E92 Coupé.

    In its sweetest of sweet-six engine guise, an E92 335i with a twin-turbocharged 3.0- litre is a talented platform to start work on. Carlos took the plunge and put his order in, ready to get busy with a Prior Design body kit he’d spied. “I saw glimpses of a full widebody kit on the internet, and was told that no one in the US had the full kit,” he said.

    This chance at exclusivity convinced Carlos to commit to the German Prior Design offering, and just one peek at the spectacular body is enough to convince most that he made the right choice. Here is an E92 that successfully maintains its attractive factory styling, but adds muscles in exactly the right places. And sat on those achingly good-looking concave polished-lip DPEs with barely-there rubber bands wrapped round them, it’s a show-stopper both on the street and in the modified car halls.

    Once Carlos had decided on the widebody, he was introduced to Michael Borja from Rollin’ Art who’d have a big say in the dramatic final results you see today. “Mr Borja was known for his meticulous painting ability, especially with matt paints,” Carlos said. “We discussed the build, and decided on a Bianco Fugi white matt pearl.”

    And what a choice it was. Fresh, contemporary and very, very sexy, this matt white hue emphasises the aggressive curvature of the wide-body and, especially under show lights and street lights, you’re left in little doubt that this is a very special BMW. The body work has been meticulously carried out, with the metal work of the rear wheel wells given relief cuts and then shaped to the glass fibre Prior Design wide-arch for added reinforcement.

    The full kit comprises the fattened arches, side skirts, front and rear bumpers and the vented and bulged bonnet. With subtle Prior Design wings for the bootlid and roof, the look is certainly not too over-the-top, more a case of elegant aggression. Such a style is seen on the likes of BMW’s new M6, with its factory 20-inch wheels sharing much in the way of desirable style with Carlos’ 20-inch DPE rolling stock.


    The wheels sit on Tein adjustable Super Sport coilover suspension for the required slammed stance, and this thing will be a mean handler with the Whiteline front and rear anti-roll bars acting as back up. The DPEs also allow plenty of vision for the anchors behind, consisting of Rotora 14-inch discs clenched by Rotora six-pots up front and four-pots at the rear. Powdercoating these white adds even more flair behind the rims, while H2 ceramic brake pads ensure the full complement is there for pulling up promptly when this E92’s fettled powerplant is properly exercised.

    While Carlos was discussing plans with Rollin’ Art in Las Vegas, it became clear that the rest of the car needed to match the level of the body. “The discussion did not end with the exterior,” he said. “I wanted the interior, engine and audio extensively worked, too.” This has been achieved and then some. Little wonder then that this E92 had more than a few crowds around it at the Accele booth at the giant SEMA show.

    Starting with the cabin, this is a plush masterpiece dripping in Alcantara and carbon fibre, with the stand-out ACE Custom Steering blue steering wheel breaking up the classy blacks and greys. In true old-school racer fashion the front seats are Cobra carbon fibre items re-wrapped in Rollin’ Art diamond stitch while the surrounding gaiters, headliner and interior pillars are Alcantara. Throw in an Active Autowerke polished aluminium gear knob, NRG carbon handbrake and UUC carbon race pedals and Carlos has a sublime area to go to work in. You’ll also find parts of the mighty ICE install in here too.

    There’s an Accele rear view mirror with integrated screen, and who doesn’t like a bit of personal voyeurism when out enjoying an enthusiastic drive? Check out the Accele mini video camera pointed at the driver, just to log all the fun goings-on this E92 offers.

    Moving under the bootlid and there’s a veritable party to discover. Once again there are acres of Alcantara for some classy lining, and it looks superb surrounding not one but two 19-inch Accele monitors. One of these is for the bootlid’s inside while the second, on the back of the rear seats, is split into four sections to display the view from the different cameras this car features. Amps, subs and a Sony PS3 all add to the beautifully lit and presented boot install, one that even the harshest of show judges would struggle to not award top marks to.

    Now that could have been that for Carlos’ E92, and we couldn’t have blamed him if the fantastic combination of six-speed manual gearbox mated to the multi-award winning 3.0-litre twin-turbo proved ample in the performance department. Not so.


    “While all the aesthetics were being upgraded at Rollin’ Art, I turned to my good friend Chad Stett, owner of Stett Performance, for some engine goodies,” Carlos said. “He provided a new dual intake, charge pipe, oil cooler and upgraded vacuum reservoirs I’d suggested. No performance upgrade there, but they sure do look great next to all the other Stett Performance items powdercoated red in the engine bay.”

    Yes, it’s pretty showy under that bonnet too with various Stett red flashes, plus there’s a BMW badged Axis Power Racing carbon fibre engine cover and braided hoses. Well, you didn’t expect it just to be dull factory plastic engine shrouds did you? As tasty as the under-bonnet aesthetics are, there’s plenty of substance to match the style.


    The boosted six-cylinder features a Nitrous Express nitrous system with the various associated accoutrements, while a full custom exhaust by SuperSport has been fabricated to work with the Prior Design bodykit. AFE has provided the downpipe and throttle body, while a Race Precision front-mounted intercooler helps keep temperatures down more effectively than the stock item not designed for the healthy leap in power here. There was also good cause to beef the transmission up too, with Centreforce providing a performance clutch and lightened flywheel to handle the increased load.

    The end result of all this? Well, it’s fantasy stuff really. The finished article is one of the finest examples of E92 tuning we’ve ever seen and is a credit to Carlos and his many sponsors and supporters involved in the build. His wide-body 2011 335i demands your attention even at a show as outrageous as SEMA and, crucially, here’s a modified #BMW that has pride of place in a show booth, tearing through the city streets under neon lights, or even out on your favourite country road thanks to its comprehensive performance and chassis enhancements.

    So there’s your inspiration. The E9x model prices are on the tumble and with examples like Carlos’ 335i to aspire to we hope to see plenty more flooding our scene in the near future. This perfectly-painted wide-body may have had more coin spent on it than most modifiers can stretch to, but we hope to see more of its ilk from those brave enough to attempt it. However, for now we’re just happy to sit back and enjoy this masterwork in all its pearly matt white glory.

    DATA FILE #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335i / #BMW-335i-E92 / #2011 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #N55B30 / #N55 / #BMW-N55 / #ESS-Tuning / #BMW-E92-Widebody / #BMW-E92-Prior-Design / #DPE /

    ENGINE: 3.0-litre twin-turbo in-line-six cylinder with #SuperSport full custom exhaust made for #Prior-Design body kit, AFE downpipe and throttle body, #Nitrous-Express remote bottle opener, purge valve kit, bottle pressure gauge, #GENX-2 accessory kit and #IntraCooler kit, Axis #Power-Racing carbon fibre engine cover, #NRG carbon fibre valve cover, bulkhead cover, PS loop cover and panel covers, Race Precision front-mounted intercooler and Ram Air scoop system, Stett Performance / #ESS-Tuning-ECU mapping, Stett Performance twin intake version 2 powdercoated Stett red, charge pipe version 2 powdercoated #Stett red with #Tial blow-off valve, #Stett-Performance carbon fibre catch can, oil cooler system, stainless steel vacuum reservoirs powdercoated Stett red and intake duct block-off plate

    TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual with Centreforce performance clutch and lightened flywheel

    CHASSIS: 10x20” (front) and 11x20” (rear) #DPE-CS5 super concave three-piece wheels shod in 255/30 (front) and 285/25 (rear) Toyo T1R tyres. Tein adjustable Super Sport coilover suspension, #Whiteline front and rear anti-roll bars, Powerflex control arm bushes, Rotora 14-inch brake discs, #Rotora six-pot calipers (front) and four-pot calipers (rear) powdercoated white by Rollin’ Art, Rotora SS brake lines and H2 ceramic pads

    EXTERIOR: #Prior-Design wide-body conversion, front bumper, boot lip spoiler, window wing, rear bumper, bonnet, front fenders, rear fender flares and side skirts, Rollin’ Art Bianco Fugi white full body respray

    INTERIOR: Cobra carbon fibre race seats re-wrapped in Rollin’ Art diamond stitch, ACE Custom Steering steering wheel, Active Autowerke polished aluminium gearshift knob, Accele rear view mirror with integrated screen, Accele mini video camera pointed at driver, NRG carbon fibre handbrake and 16- piece interior kit, Rollin’ Art Alcantara suede gearshift gaiter, handbrake gaiter, headliner, boot liner and A- and C-pillars, UUC carbon fibre race pedals

    ICE: Accele 19-inch boot monitor (split into four sections for the different cameras in car), 19-inch bootlid monitor, rear view mirror with monitor on rear view, hidden switches, actuators, FM modulator, video amplifier, video switcher and rear view camera, Sony PS3, Diamond Audio twin 12-inch subs, components, mono amp and four-channel amp, Street Wires 2* chrome cap and Street Wires audio/visual wiring throughout

    THANKS: Eric Eikenberry for helping to get my vehicles in print, Mike Borja @ Rollin’ Art for the paint and transport, Chad Stett @ Stett Performance for support and developing the vacuum reservoirs, Stan Chen @ Toyo Tires for over 12 years of tyre support, Will Baty @ CenterForce for using the 335 as a test vehicle for future upgrades, Eloy Way @ Race Precision for believing in the build since SEMA ’07, Andreas Belzek @ Prior Design, Brian Paille @ Accele for supporting another BMW build, Bob Chanthavongsa @ Diamond Audio for last minute audio support
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    STYLE CHALLENGE

    An awesome E46 323i four-door packing a #BBK , carbon goodies and #Schnitzer styling galore. At a loss how to modify your four-door E46? Let Alan Lam and #AC-Schnitzer show you how. Words: Iain Curry. Photos: Matt Barnes.

    There are some BMWs that effortlessly ooze class. These are the cars that when cruising past, you stare longingly at, not because they’re intrusively loud or garishly decorated, but because they’ve been beautifully and thoughtfully modified. Money’s been thrown in all the right places, and the owner has insisted on the best to make his ride become even more of a rewarding driving machine and easier on the eye.

    With BMW’s current 3 Series, most choose the Coupé variant as the base for modifying work. And who can blame them? The two-door is indeed a design marvel in terms of beauty and desirability, so it’s an ideal starting block. Those with the saloon version are presented with more of a modifying challenge. It’s by no means an ugly car, but a little more thought has to go into how to bring the best out of the practical four-door. Looking at Alan Lam’s ’00 323i, we think he’s pretty much cracked it.

    The native New Yorker is by all accounts one of the most enthusiastic BMW modifiers we’ve ever met – you’d be lucky to find anyone more knowledgeable and helpful about what it takes to make these cars a pleasure to look at and drive. So it’s no surprise to discover the sheer amount of work put into turning his Orient blue 323i into the feature car we have here today.

    Alan’s love affair with the marque goes back to his high school days, where the E36 M3 was his dream car. “It was only after BMW released the pictures of the new E46 I knew I had to get one, though,” he told us. “My first BMW was therefore delivered in December ’99, and it was used as my daily driver to school and work, so modifications were kept at a minimum and nothing major was planned.”

    And how many times have we heard that? It seems Alan started customising the little things, beginning with OEM clear lights all round, and realised there was no way of stopping. The bug had bitten. Before long a Supersprint exhaust and ECIS cold air intake found their way onto the car, and the results were addictive.

    “The E46 was too quiet,” Alan said, “especially driving a manual. You want to hear the engine to let you know when to shift. The exhaust and cold air intake made a dramatic difference in the car’s performance and fun factor, and I found myself blipping the throttle downshifting just to hear the lovely sound the engine now made. I even had the front and rear resonators removed to make it even louder and deeper, and it now sounds just like a stock E36 M3.”


    As you can tell from the photos, however, these mods were just the beginning. Alan discovered Dtmpower.net, Bimmervibe.com and E46fanatics.com on the Internet, and these forums opened up a whole new world of potential tuning ideas. “I found myself browsing on it all day and night learning more about what I could do to the car,” the 26-year-old IS administrator said. Inevitably he met up with like-minded enthusiasts, and knew he wanted more from his car. A lot more.

    Having an overall gameplan is an absolute necessity if you’re modifying to attain a certain look. It’s best to gain inspiration from others, see what there is on the market you think works best, and add your own personal touches. Alan can’t be faulted for his choice of AC Schnitzer styling; a brand, he tells us, he chose due to its racing heritage and reputation as the most widely respected BMW tuner in the world. We’re not about to disagree.

    “I wanted my car to be a Schnitzer car,” he said. “First thing was ordering a full Schnitzer body kit along with a set of 18” rims. I didn’t like the rear spoilers offered by Schnitzer so I decided to go with a Racing Dynamics one instead.” Also at this time, Eibach springs and BogeSachs BMW sport shocks tightened everything up, while a modern styling touch in the shape of xenon front lights courtesy of bekkers.com found their way on. With Hamann eyebrows and shadow grilles added as well, Alan had reached the end of the second stage of modifying. Once again he was satisfied with the car’s look, so you’d have thought he’d have stopped here. No way.

    Styling is one thing, but finding more power really is best for putting a smile on your face. “There were virtually no turbo kits available,” said Alan, “nor any reliable supercharger kits making any decent power at the time. Instead, Rogue Engineering had connections with an excellent BMW technician who was able to do some motor work for me. I got hold of Schrick cams, Jim Conforti Shark Injector software and ended up swapping my ECIS intake in favour of a beautiful Gruppe M carbon fibre unit.” Good choice.

    Soon after, Alan was collecting a first place trophy in the Mild category at Bimmerfest East, and was recruited by TWCompetition. Things were looking up, and so were the planned mods to his 323i. These final mods are basically the look the car sports in the photos, and the sheer amount and quality of work is commendable. Nineteen-inch HRE wheels were custom made by Peter Lee at wheelexperts.com, while the suspension was swapped for H&R coilovers set at maximum drop for the rear and about 90% at the front. That’s seriously low. Riding that close to the tarmac has obvious drawbacks, so, in Alan’s own words, “to help scan the crappy New York roads rolling on big 19s, I swapped the standard halogen foglights for 5300K xenons.”

    Nestled behind those beautiful custom wheels are some serious anchors, 320mm up front courtesy of Brembo, with a Rogue Engineering/Porsche 329mm hybrid setup at the rear. Alan assures us at the time this was done, no other E46 had both front and rear big brakes. Ever the groundbreaker, with the front bumper sporting an Schnitzer add-on becoming more common, Alan changed his for an OEM E46 M3 bumper. With this being almost 2” wider than the 323i item on each side, Ultimate Collision had a hell of a task making it fit, but have certainly excelled themselves with the finish. The addition of a new Schnitzer carbon fibre splitter completes the very tasty new look. Soon after, Schnitzer was called upon again to provide an M3 racing spoiler, a truly unique look for a saloon car.

    Then there’s the final hurrah. If you put a carbon fibre bonnet on the wrong car it’s an expensive mistake, but on Alan’s modified E46 323i it’s a revelation. It blends in nicely with the Orient paint, and completes what is a stunning four-door.

    Standing back to admire it, the final look is a thing of beauty. The custom front bumper, the large but tasteful rear wing, the huge brakes primed for action behind the flawless, polished alloys. It may be a four door, but how many coupés look this desirable? Alan tells us he knows of no other saloon in the US with this look, but we’re hoping many will take inspiration from him to create something even half as nice as his stunning 323i.


    GruppeM carbon fibre air intake – every #BMW should have one!


    DATA FILE #BMW-E46 / #BMW-323i / #BMW-323i-E46 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46 / #M52TUB25 / #BMW-M52 / #M52B25 / #M52 / #BMW

    ENGINE: 2.5-litre six-cylinder with #Schrick performance 248° cams, #Rogue-Engineering underdrive pulleys, #Gruppe-M carbon fibre air intake, #Jim-Conforti engine software, #Supersprint 76mm cat-back exhaust with both resonators removed, Imola red valve covers

    CHASSIS: 8.5x19” #HRE-448R three-piece forged alloys shod in Toyo T1-S 235/35 tyres. H&R fully adjustable coilover suspension system, #H&R Trak Plus 5mm spacers, #Racing-Dynamics anti-roll bars, #Turner-Motorsports rear shock mounts, silver M3 front strut brace. #Brembo 320mm big brake kit (front), #Rogue-Engineering /Porsche 329mm big brake kit (rear), #Hawk-HPS racing pads, #Goodridge stainless steel brake lines, #ATE Super Blue brake fluid. Rogue Engineering short-shifter, weighted selector rod and tranny mounts. Redline synthetic fluids

    EXTERIOR: Euro-spec OEM M3 bumper custom fitted onto a saloon chassis, #AC-Schnitzer carbon fibre M3 front spoiler, aluminium stabiliser struts, rear apron, roof spoiler, sport mirrors, racing wing and badges, Fiber Images carbon fibre bonnet. Hamann shadow grilles, Hamann eyebrows, #M-Tech side skirts, Nova 4 professional strobe kit, custom fitted facelift ’02 BMW rear lights, Euro-spec clear side repeaters, xenon 5200K foglight kit, xenon 5200K ellipsoid headlights.

    INTERIOR: M3 leather sport seats custom fitted into saloon, two-tone leather treatment, Sparco Clubman threepoint safety harnesses, AC Schnitzer full pedal set and floor mats. Aluminium interior trim and gear shift, NR Auto aluminium gauges, Isotta chrome gear shift surround

    ICE: Alpine 7965 CD head unit, CHA 1214 12-disc changer, SPR 176A 6.5” components, SPR 172A 6.5” coaxial. Rockford Fosgate 400 four-channel amp, 360 two-channel amp, 1.0 Farad capacitor. Allumapro BP10 subwoofer enclosure

    THANKS: TWCompetition, Peter at wheelexperts.com, Samir at Rennsport.com, Tom Chang at Bimmerfesteast.com, Ooro and Drea at Bimmervibe.com, Jimmy at Pfactor.com, Mark and Ben at Rogueengineering.com, Barry at Race Technologies, Dtmpower.net, E46fanatics.com, Cave Crew, Michael Cajayon, Rich Pinto at Rtechnic, my girlfriend Mabel, friends and family

    Above: Rogue Engineering/Porsche 329mm big brake kit for the rears! Up front are Brembo 320mm. Left: Plenty of lovely carbon fibre.
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    TWELVE INTO THREE

    If you think putting a 5.6-litre #V12 into an E30 is madness, it’s best not to mention the 300hp shot of nitrous… A 400bhp V12 with 300bhp nitrous shot is one hell of a powerplant, but fitting it into a humble 1988 E30 316i body is simply bonkers. As if you hadn’t guessed already, this sideways little coupé is another marvel from our quite mad Scandinavian friends. Words: Iain Curry Photos: Max Earey.

    After featuring an E90 #BMW-3-Series with turbocharged E36 M3 transplant last month, I said that nothing the Scandinavians could do to a BMW would surprise me anymore. Well, I was wrong. Presented here is an E30 that you simply wouldn’t believe unless you witnessed it in the flesh. Unsurprisingly, no E30 ever left the Munich factory with a V12 lump in its engine bay. Nor for that matter did any 5 or 6 Series of the same era. Only one 7 Series did, and this had a ‘paltry’ 5.0-litre M70 unit.

    Just one car in BMW’s long history has come with the fearsome 5576cc V12 S70 engine, and that was in the über-expensive Nineties gangsta luxury coupé – the 850CSi. A little over 1000 of these cars (and hence these V12 engines) were ever produced, but even with such an extreme level of rarity, one of these mighty 12-pot S70 powerplants resides in an E30 316i’s body somewhere in the snowy Norwegian countryside. We simply had to make the long journey north to see it for ourselves.

    You’re probably thinking the same thing I first thought when I heard someone had completed this transplant: V12 engine; little E30; weight distribution destroyed; pig to drive. In fact, it wasn’t simply a matter of the owner, Per Kristian Harildstad, shoehorning in whatever massive BMW lump he had lying around. No, it seems there is actually method to his madness. “The 850CSi engine is all aluminium,” the Norwegian said. “It is only 178kg, so is just 18kg heavier than an original E30 325i engine. My M350 is very nice on the track as the balance has not been affected.”


    So having a 400bhp lightweight V12 in situ is impressive/insane/ridiculous enough for most, but this being Norway, is it any surprise to see a 300bhp shot of nitrous rigged up to the intakes? This is a land where they think nothing of launching themselves off a 120-metre-high ice-covered hill with only a plank strapped to each foot, so 700bhp going through the rear wheels of an E30 on an icy road should almost be expected.

    Unlike in the UK (where people don’t go into work at the merest hint of some frozen water on the roads), people like Per take their super-powerful BMWs out on whatever surface mother nature throws at them. It was snowy and icy on the day of our photography, but Per had no qualms about taking us out on the nearest twisty road for a fine display of controlled drifting. It’s amazing how easy it looks with 700bhp going through the rear wheels on a zero-grip bit of tarmac.


    So how the hell did this mad E30 M350 with a love of sideways action come to fruition? “I originally owned an 850CSi,” Per said, “but I crashed it and ended up buying back the engine and gearbox from the insurers. At the time I had a 5.0-litre engine from a 750i in the E30, which ran a 12.6 1/4-mile on standard tyres. I’d had this for two years, so last summer I thought I’d put the 850CSi V12 in instead. It was very, very difficult to do all the wiring and ECU, there are so many complicated electrics, but I have proved that it can be done.”

    The amount of work Per has carried out to realise this E30 M350 is obviously substantial: you don’t just put a V12 up front with a nitrous shot in an E30 and not think about the rest of the car. “The problem was,” Per explained, “that it was all trial and error. No-one else has done this modification so I had to try lots of different parts.”

    The Data File does read like a Who’s Who of BMW bits from through the years. There’s an E28 M5 water cooler, E30 325i oil cooler, Alpina B7 diff, E36 323i Compact rear brakes, E36 M3 front brakes and the hydraulic braking system from an E38 750i.

    A Frankenstein’s monster of something from everything it seems, and clearly with the same potential to kill its creator such is its extreme performance. It is, of course, far prettier than the monster described in Shelley’s classic.


    The 1988 316i has been transformed with attractive M-Tech 2 kit, complemented by headlight eyebrows, de-chromed grille and bonnet vents to help cool that mighty V12 down. Rolling stock is taken care of with a set of 19” Rial six-spokes, but more sensible 17” E36 M3 wheels with slicks are used when the M350 is used for its summer track work.

    Getting the suspension just right is integral with such a beastly car, and you can’t get much more serious than AP Racing height and damping adjustable coilovers. Brakes are equally important, and with Per’s trials with E36 and E38 parts, he knows he’s got the anchor ability to shake off some of the silly speeds he can achieve.

    Above all, it’s seeing the V12 in the E30’s little engine bay that impresses most. As wedged in as a fat man on a tube train in City rush hour, the stonking 5.7-litre somehow exists in here to ensure it’s a surreal vision to all BMW enthusiasts. It just shouldn’t be possible! Per is an inspiration to all with his engineering ability, and I’m sure he won’t mind me saying a little mad for taking on this task.

    Incredibly enough, things are due to get even madder. A quick look in his substantial workshop revealed another of these 5.7-litre V12s up on a rack being worked on. Strapped to the side was a Procharger supercharger more often seen on drag cars, race cars and racing boats. Surely this isn’t going in the E30? Oh yes it is. “I’ll be putting it in next winter,” Per said, “and it could make around 1000 horsepower. We’ll never know until we test it on a dyno.” Is there no end to what these people will try?


    For now though, it’s clear not all Scandinavian BMs need to be of the forced induction variety to attain huge power figures. Per has proven that keeping BMW’s principle of naturally-aspirated petrol engines and getting substantial power gains is possible, but his efforts did involve squeezing the ultimate into an E30’s engine bay.

    So for all who’d ever contemplated it, discussed it and argued it, the proof is here that a V12 will fit under an E30’s bonnet, and shouldn’t affect the car’s handling characteristics dramatically if using the allaluminium 5.7-litre 850CSi lump. Don’t expect rigging the wiring up to be simple though, and the first job is to find an ultra-rare 850CSi engine. There’s 1057 out there, and Per’s got two of them already. Happy searching!

    DATA FILE #BMW-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-E30-S70 / #BMW-E30-V12 / #BMW-350i / #BMW-M350 / #BMW-350-E30 / #BMW-M350-E30

    ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN: 5.6-litre #V12 from 850CSi with E28 M5 water cooler / #S70 / #BMW-S70 / #S70B56 , E30 325i oil cooler, cone filter either side, custom #DIY manifold and exhaust system, custom wiring and ECU. 850CSi gearbox, 2.65:1 #Alpina B7 differential with oil cooler. 300bhp nitrous shot

    PERFORMANCE: 406bhp and 448lb ft of torque before 300bhp nitrous shot. 1360kg wet weight (standard E30 325i is 1240kg)

    CHASSIS: 9x19” #Rial six-spoke alloys shod in 235/35 BF Goodrich tyres. AP Racing height and damping adjustable suspension, front strut brace, E36 323i Compact rear brakes and baring arms, E36 M3 front brakes, E38 750i hydraulic braking system

    EXTERIOR: #1988 E30 316i body with OEM M-Tech 2 body kit from 325i, headlight eyebrows, black kidney grille, custom bonnet vents to allow cool air in, smoked lights all round, M350 rear badge made from 325i and 750i badges, exhaust heat shield for bumper, tow bar (!)

    INTERIOR: Relocated pedal cluster, NOS nitrous button, #Auto-Meter gauges, M badge and gear knob, NOS bottle in boot
    CONTACT: www.fronpower.com

    5.6-LITRE V12 #BMW-3-Series-E30

    Above all, it’s seeing the V12 in the E30’s little engine bay that impresses most. It’s as wedged in as a fat man on a tube train in rush hour.

    Cabin’s Auto Meter gauges and Nos switch.

    A quick look in Per’s workshop revealed another of these V12s with a Procharger supercharger strapped to the side. Is there no end to what these people will try?
    Two feet of laying snow means one trapped journo!

    A surreal sight: 850CSi V12 in humble E30 bay.

    Even madder: a 300bhp nitrous shot for the V12.

    Boot houses regularlyrefilled NOS bottle. Mad.
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    THE MASTERPIECE / #BMW-E21 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E21 / #BMW

    This E21 wows with its Euro-look styling, race-inspired interior and E30 M3 Evo 2 S14 under the bonnet. It is a very rare occasion when a modified BMW comes up that simply excels in every area. This German E21 is one such car. Sublime Euro-look, race-style interior, custom boot install and the inspired choice of dropping an S14 E30 M3 Evo 2 engine into the immaculate bay. A masterpiece indeed. Words: Iain Curry. Photos: Max Earey.

    I’m in love. I never thought it would happen this way, but it has. Yet I regret I’m cheating on another. At home I have my E21: a stylish, attractive and reasonably reliable partner. Yes, she’s let me down a few times, and is a bit ropey around the edges, but she deserves better than this. One short business trip on the continent, one sunny afternoon in the country, and I’ve fallen for a 24-year-old German beauty. A quick look at the automotive pornography on these pages is my only defence. How can this car not be adored by all?

    For a start, no BMW from 1982 has a right to look this good. When I say it is immaculate, I mean immaculate. There is not a flaw anywhere on the body, inside the cabin, in the boot or under the bonnet. Even the fuse box is spotlessly clean. You could almost accept a concours original E21 that’s kept in a heated museum 365 days a year to be of this incredible standard, but not one that’s been so brilliantly modified with around treble the power over its factory figure.

    Forced induction for this staggering fact? Not in this instance. This car started life as a 1982 BMW 315, a car sold in Germany with the dizzying performance figure of 73bhp. When 35-year-old Michael Pietsch bought the gutless white classic in 1990 – his first car no less – no one could have envisaged the remarkable transformation that would take place over the years. At the heart of the whole operation is the inspired choice of installing an E30 M3 Evo 2’s 2.3-litre S14 engine. The performance difference doesn’t even bare thinking about.

    The standard Evo 2 engine is good for 215bhp, and with Michael adding a Hartge engine management chip, Eisenmann E36 M3 exhaust parts and a K&N air filter, he can expect a few more ponies on top of that as well. With around 150 extra horsepower over a standard 315’s output thanks to the engine transplant and upgrades, the little E21 has been transformed into a true road racer. A conservative estimate of 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds ensures it would embarrass many more exotic machines at a traffic light grand prix, and could even shame a few modern so-called performance BMWs with a four-cylinder powerplant (that means you, E90 320si owners).

    When modifiers complete engine swaps, it’s usually a good plan to fit the corresponding gearbox at the same time. Michael has obliged by adding the E30 M3’s race-style dogleg ’box (with first gear usually where second gear is, and second gear where third normally is and so on). To make the gear changes even quicker, there’s also a shorter gear throw thanks to an M3 short-shift kit. While this was going on, an Alpina LSD was also fitted to increase traction and improve handling.

    As impressive as the engine and drivetrain set up is, this is just one part of a quite phenomenal customising job. As is de rigueur with Euro-look cars, Michael has dropped the body perfectly on deep-dish alloys to give that unbeatably squat, menacing stance. KW Variant 1 coilovers lower the body 80mm at the front and 60mm out back, enveloping the impossibly clean 8.5x16” and 9.5x16” Chevlon Racing Mesh split rims.


    Behind these delightful polished rollers sits a brake upgrade suitable for the three-fold increase in power over a standard E21 315. TarOx 307mm discs are squeezed by six-pot calipers at the front, while E30 325i discs with Ferodo pads grace the back. To round off the impressive chassis upgrades to go with the coilovers and bigger anchors, Michael has fitted front and rear strut braces and an E21 323i antiroll bar. As you’d expect, this little E21 is one hell of a good laugh to be piloting along twisty German roads.

    Looking as good as it does, it’s no surprise to find Michael doesn’t go into battle with it at the Nürburgring every weekend. A shame considering its performance, but it ensures the exterior remains looking this good. The body itself has had very little done to it: the E21 is such an attractive retro car as standard it simply doesn’t need tacky add-ons.

    Instead, Michael has ensured the body has been resprayed to the highest level in its vivid red hue, while he’s had the arches subtly pulled out 10mm at the front and 15mm at the rear to accommodate the wide wheels and lowered body. What more needs doing? A quick bit of de-badging, white indicators and a black kidney grille combined with the slightly fatter body and the look is perfect. Simplicity at its finest.

    As for the interior, well, what can you say? 34-year-old cars should smell old, be thoroughly worn through and have all the bells and whistles that came as standard back in the early Eighties (ie none). This is the case with my musty, tatty old E21 but Michael’s is an altogether different animal.

    He has managed to retain the period feel of the E21’s standard inside and combine it with delightful modern touches to make all E21 fans go weak at the knees. There is simply no other word for it: perfection.

    From the König sport seats with Schroth harnesses to the black Porsche carpets, everything has been chosen to ensure this cabin is an exceptional place to be. A Raid 320mm steering wheel is a vast improvement over the standard E21’s bussized offering, the speedo dials are Alpina items, while #VDO gauges have been tastefully mounted in the centre console with a custom aluminium surround.


    Thanks to Michael’s skills learnt in his job, he has been able to fabricate plenty of these custom aluminium parts that give the unique feel to the interior. The craftsmanship of the window winders, gear stick and surround (very Ferrari-esque), handbrake handle, door sills and door pins is exceptional, complemented with the likes of metal pedals and plenty of M badges dotted around paying homage to the improved lump under the bonnet.


    You’ll notice the Brax MultiController embedded in the dashboard, and this keeps a close eye on the highly professional ICE install in the boot. Michael was keen to show off his E21’s impressive sound quality, treating us to a selection of his German death metal hits. Well, it was certainly an improvement on the usual Euro-pop that gets blared out at German shows.

    Have you ever seen a tidier boot install? There’s still space for a few bags after embedding the Kicker Punch 1000W amp in the spare wheel well (covered by Perspex) and the 400W amp in the side pod, while two 12” Kicker Freeair subs have been neatly placed at the boot’s rear, mounted on tasteful chequer plating. There’s also a Strike LCB1200 battery on show, and a Resolution two-way crossover, while the finish is, once again, in quality Porsche black carpeting. For a bit of extra show, there are also three blue neons illuminating the boot come sundown.

    As with the rest of this E21, the boot is impossibly clean. But no matter where you look throughout Michael’s 1982 classic, there is nowhere it can be faulted. From top to toe it is nothing short of flawless, and how a car that is nearly a quarter of a century old looks in such fantastic condition is a miracle. The rebuilding job performed by Michael is the work of a genius. The engine could be from an S14 museum, the custom aluminium detailing is desirably fresh, and the body looks as though it has just left the finest paint shop in Germany. Is it any wonder he’s walked away with 56 show trophies since 1999?

    It may look as though it is trailered to every show it enters, but Michael hasn’t had all the performance upgrades done for no reason. He told me the former 315’s top speed is now 150mph, and he knows this because he’s done it on the autobahn. Must be a strange feeling in an E21! But with the incredible chassis setup and well over 200bhp on tap, how could you not enjoy exploring its potential? Best of all, when playtime is over, give it a quick polish and it’s ready to be a show-winner once again. There’s no way you can not love this quite brilliant little car.

    An inspired modification for the humble E21: transplanting an E30 M3 Evo 2’s 2.3-litre, 215bhp engine. Even though the bay is 34 years old and the engine 25, everything you see is immaculate.

    …no BMW from 1982 has a right to look this good. When I say it is immaculate, I mean immaculate. There is not a flaw anywhere on the body, inside the cabin, in the boot or under the bonnet.

    As with the rest of the car, the E21’s ICE install is perfection. Kicker subs and amps mounted delightfully with chequer plating and black Porsche carpets.

    E30 M3 Evo 2 engine swap means the gearbox comes with it. Racing dogleg it is then.
    Custom aluminium parts include window winders, door sills, gear stick, handbrake and gauge surrounds.

    Interior is still classically E21, but custom aluminium goodies and the Raid steering wheel modernise the flawless cabin.

    Above: Alpina speedo adds a custom flavour. Below: As close to an E21 M3 as there’s been.

    Michael has managed to retain the period feel of the E21’s standard inside and combine it with delightful modern touches to make all E21 fans go weak at the knees. There is simply no other word for it: perfection.

    Black BMW badges offer a finishing touch.

    Michael said the former 315’s top speed is now 150mph, and he knows this because he’s done it on the autobahn. Must be a strange feeling in an E21!

    DATA FILE #BMW-E21 / #BMW-E21-S14 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series-E21 / #BMW-3-Series / #Alpina

    ENGINE: 2.3-litre four-cylinder #S14 / #BMW-S14 with custom stainless steel exhaust system using #Eisenmann E36 M3 parts, #K&N air filter, #Hartge engine management chip, braided hoses throughout. E30 M3 five-speed dogleg transmission with short-shift from M3, #Alpina-LSD with 40% diff lock

    PERFORMANCE: 215bhp with top speed of 150mph and 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds

    CHASSIS: 8.5x16” ET7 (front) and 9.5x16” ET7 (rear) #Chevlon-Racing-Mesh split-rim alloys shod in 215/40 (front) and 225/40 (rear) Dunlop SP9000 tyres. #KW-Variant-1 / #KW coilovers lowering 80mm front and 60mm rear, front strut brace with custom aluminium strut covers, rear strut brace, E21 323i anti-roll bar. TarOx 307mm brake discs with 6-pot #TarOx calipers up front, E30 325i discs with Ferodo S 2000 pads at rear

    EXTERIOR: Arches pulled out 10mm front and 15mm rear, de-badged boot, M3 badge on front grille, black BMW roundels, custom white indicators front and rear

    INTERIOR: Black and red König sports seats, Schroth harnesses, Raid 320mm steering wheel with black BMW logo and M emblem, metal pedals with M logos, black Porsche carpets, Alpina dials, custom aluminium door sills, window winders, gear stick, gear stick housing, handbrake handle, door pins and gauge surround, VDO gauges, custom chrome screws throughout (over 100 in total)

    ICE: Clarion DRZ 960Z head unit with 12-disc CD changer, Brax MultiController in dashboard, two 12” Kicker Freeair subs, Kicker Punch 1000W amp, Kicker Punch 400W amp, Resolution two-way crossover, Rockford Fosgate 1 Farad capacitor, Strike LCB1200 battery, custom boot floor with Perspex covering, chequer plate detailing, three blue neon lights

    THANKS: Roger Hiller (painting), Armin Betzelberger (electrics)
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    LITTLE MONSTER TURBO’D E21 320i

    With a turbo strapped to its 2.0-litre M10, this E21 makes a healthy 190hp and looks great with it. This little E21 looks fairly unassuming, but that bonnet scoop suggests something a bit tasty underneath. Oh yes, we’ve got a turbo! Words: Iain Curry. Photos: Max Earey.

    What is it with BMW and not turbocharging its petrol models? The company basically pioneered turbos on production cars with the beautiful 2002 Turbo in 1974, but what since? Well, there was the rather strange 1980s E23 7 Series with 3.2-litre or 3.5-litre KKK turbo’d engine available (badged 745i for some reason), and er, that’s it. So, is it any wonder we’re seeing more and more private tuners and modifiers producing the forced induction vehicles BMW didn’t?


    From our many visits to Scandinavia it has become apparent that the older BMW engines are the easier ones to strap a turbo to. Less electronic nonsense to fuss around with it seems, and these old blocks appear to be practically bulletproof. Seeing E30s with turbocharged M20 or transplanted S38 M5 engines is not uncommon in these Nordic lands, but it is still a rarity to see an E21 with its original M10 or M60 engine boosted.

    For that we have had to travel a little further afield than Sweden or Norway, to a dusty mountain road high above Los Angeles. Here I meet a young modding enthusiast named Attila Acs and his 1978 320i. “I never really saw too many E21s that had been turbocharged,” the Californian said, “and I thought it would be different. And also because I want a fast car.”

    Okay, so this little E21 isn’t pumping out the sort of crazy horsepower figures we’ve witnessed in Sweden of late, but Attila’s car is a genuine everyday driver. Besides, an estimated 190bhp and 200lb ft of torque at the flywheel is certainly a healthy performance leap over the standard E21 320i. “It’s very hard to pull those kind of performance numbers from such an old car,” Attila continued. “Especially from one with mechanical (K-Jet), and not electronic fuel injection.”

    With the help of his father, a mechanic, Attila has stayed pretty true to BMW’s original spec for the 320i. The 2.0-litre fourcylinder M10 engine remains – it just now has a Garrett T3 turbocharger in place that was never offered from the factory. And we all like a bit of forced induction.

    You could consider this turbo evolution as a natural progression for Attila’s E21. It was owned from new by a family friend in Hungary, they had it shipped to the US, and then Attila’s parents bought it from them in 1994. On turning 16 Attila was given the car, and he openly admits it wasn’t really his thing at first. “I had contemplated selling it,” he said, “but before long I fell in love with her and started to make small modifications.”


    As with most young men, the draw of owning a fast car was irresistible for Attila. Respect to the guy though – instead of selling out and buying a tacky Japanese car for a bit of extra straight-line speed, he stayed true to his much-loved E21 and started talking with his dad about a turbo conversion. A basically brand new T3 turbo had been sitting around at his dad’s garage for some time, and it was just too tempting not to.

    “The car was shut down for about nine months,” Attila explained. “Me and my dad would work on the car after work until late, and even come in on Saturdays sometimes. The whole process was not easy by any means, and even after the likes of the turbo and intercooler had been fitted, we found the motor was not getting enough fuel and the timing was way off.”

    Once a few problems had been ironed out, and by impressively retaining the almost antique K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection, the now boosted E21 was a whole new weapon. “We had it running like a bat out of hell,” Attila said. After having a thrill ride along the twisty mountain blacktop I was pretty convinced there was enough power on tap in this little E21 to keep most people honest. It is at that magical point of being a lot of fun without being dangerous. On these roads, it’s a long way down if you lose it.

    As well as the T3 turbo (running 14-15psi) and Starion intercooler, a turbo cam, HKS blow-off valve, bigger fuel injectors and high flow fuel pump have all necessarily been added. A custom intake and exhaust have had to be fabricated, while the whole package is that bit sportier with a transplanted five-speed gearbox from another E21, a custom short-shift and 228mm sports clutch.

    There’s no sense having all this engine and drivetrain work without considering the chassis as well, and it’s good to report Attila’s E21 had no problems sticking like a limpet through the corners. Eibach Pro Kit springs lower the car suitably, while Bilstein shocks, front strut brace and rear anti-roll bars tighten it all up. Lovely stuff.

    It’s pointless trying to stuff mighty wheels under the arches of such a car, and it’s great to see Attila has stayed true to an original #BMW style by fitting 7x15” BBS RA rims. The body sits low enough so the car doesn’t look under-wheeled, while a 15” size ensures there will be no arch rubbing or a loss in handling characteristics.

    The standard E21 body is a very attractive shape already, but as Attila has proved, a few upgrades here and there truly make the difference. Notice the BBS front spoiler, Zender skirts, Zender rear apron and nice custom boot spoiler, all working well with the European front and rear bumpers. Some clear lights and headlight eyebrows to work with the gleaming bodywork truly finish things off nicely.

    So you may think Attila’s E21 is just a well-looked- after, tastefully modified classic at first glance. Then you notice the bonnet scoop. This is an original Subaru WRX item cut down and moulded to fit into the 320i’s bonnet, allowing cool air to reach the turbo, and let its hot air escape. Not a bad plan, as the temperature coming out of this vent after a quick play would easily melt anything remotely close to that T3 turbo.

    So there are certainly enough performance hints to suggest this fine example of BMW’s first 3 Series is a handy little toy. Strapped into the Corbeau CR1 race seat with threepoint harness, staring at Autometer gauges and operating the push-button start, the driver knows this is something special too. The car is a true gem from head to toe, but it’s the fact it is turbocharged that deserves the most respect. Attila stayed faithful to the car he was given, and when the teenage lust for pure performance came knocking, he did what he could with what he had. The rewards he’s reaping from such a quick, tight and beautiful car are rightfully justified.

    A twisty mountain road thrill ride convinces you this E21 has power and traction in bucketloads.

    DATA FILE #BMW-E21 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E21 / #Garrett / #BMW-320i-E21 / #BMW-320i / #BBS / #BMW-320i-Turbo-E21 / #BMW-320i-Turbo /

    ENGINE: 2.0-litre fuel injected four-cylinder #BMW-M10 / #M10 / #M10-Turbo engine with #Garrett-T3 turbocharger running 14-15psi, turbo cam, Starion front-mounted intercooler, #HKS SSQV blow-off valve, custom intake, custom exhaust, bigger fuel injectors, high flow fuel pump, 1.8-litre intake manifold on a 2.0-litre block. E21 five-speed transmission conversion, custom shortshift, 228mm sports clutch setup. Standard CIS engine management system upgraded, #MSD #Boost-Timing-Master

    PERFORMANCE: 190bhp and 200lb ft torque at the flywheel

    CHASSIS: 7x15” #BBS-RA wheels shod in 205/55 Kumho 711 tyres. #Eibach Pro Kit springs, #Bilstein shocks, front strut brace, rear anti-roll bar, vented front brakes

    EXTERIOR: BBS front spoiler, #Zender side skirts, Zender rear apron, custom boot spoiler, European bumpers, European indicators, custom headlight eyebrows, H4 headlights, custom bonnet scoop modified from Subaru WRX item

    INTERIOR: Corbeau CR1 race seats, Corbeau three-point harnesses, Autometer shift light, Autometer gauges, push-button starter

    THANKS: My dad – without him this car would not be at the stage it is. Also my family and Katie for their support, Lee at BMWPlanet.com and the E21 Legion!

    An estimated 190bhp and 200lb ft of torque at the flywheel with the turbocharger is certainly a healthy performance leap over the standard E21 320i.

    Above: Original E21 M10 engine remains, but benefits from Garrett T3 turbocharger. Result is 190bhp and 200lb ft torque in this little monster.
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    Iain Curry
    Iain Curry joined the group BMW E21 3-series Club
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    Iain Curry
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    Iain Curry
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      Posted on Monday, 29 February 2016

    E92 Whine - I have a 2006 BMW 325i Coupe E92 and there is a strange whining type noise coming from the front of the engine. It’s been narrowed down to the oil filter housing, and at first I thought it may be the alternator, but when you put your ear...

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    Best non M3 performance E46?
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