Words by : Ray Ng, Photos by : Neo, Jie Yong, Cyber Imp, E3lipse
It was Sunday, I woke up from a deep slumber to realise I was late for a photo shoot we had organised. It isn’t forgiveable as it wasn’t the first time I slept past the alarm bells. I knew I would be awake in a jiffy if the voices spoken by the Akrapovic exhaust pipes were to greet me at my apartment’s parking lot. Sleepy eyed, I drove to meet the rest of the crew at the shoot location, and immediately my pupils dilated.
I mean, what’s there to improve from a M3 out of the factory? I am sure many of you would have come across comparisons of the M3 amongst others in its class, like the Audi RS5, or the Merc C63 and it has surpassed them all. Ask Jeremy Clarkson himself and he will tell you that this is the best car, and always will be, and there’s no point in ever thinking otherwise.
In fact, many of the “M3″s I do spot on the roads of Singapore are conversions off a E92 318i, (easily spotted by a single tipped exhaust); and the real M3s I come across are mostly clean and stock. So how does one achieve the perfect balance of having form equating with function?
The answer is available in the land of the rising sun. The Japanese has always been able to make styling enhancements subtle, yet serving it’s purpose in aerodynamic excellence in its truest form. Tucked in the Kanagawa prefecture of Fujino, Varis is a legendary Japanese aero parts manufacturer that has been prominent in the racing realm since the late 70’s. With such knowledge they are the ones able to transform this beauty like a boss to the zenith state of perfection.
It stares in your face. No that’s not a grin.
Walking around the car, carbon fibre bling adorns the M3. Up front, a 8.9 kilogram vented hood is chosen, accompanied with a front spoiler with a lip guard and a front extended undertray. In Singapore, the option of having a carbon fibre lip is a tough choice.
Colour coded calipers.
Uneven shoddy roads made by cheap foreign labour who have no passion in their work, and parking lots with steep slopes and ridiculously large speed bumps suited for army tanks plague the roads here. Sacrifices have to made to drive a low car here, especially when this M3 runs on Quantum racing suspension.
Well settled in place, in a sanctuary.
A stock M3 is able to achieve 0-100kmh in approximately 4 seconds, and of course power is nothing without control. The optional 19″ M3 rims are wrapped with RE11 rubbers and braking is assisted by 6 pot billet monoblock Alcon SuperKit series brakes up front and 4 pot in the rear. Oversized rotors further assists the big brake kit all round.
Great from all angles even from above.
You may ask, with a car so perfectly made in Germany, what else can be done other than the full titanium Akrapovic pipes to improve it? BMW has certainly perfected the M3 for the past 21 years, starting from a 2 litre, four cylinder, 200bhp road racer to 4 litre, eight cylinder, 414bhp monster.
A GruppeM carbon fibre (I am starting to think this owner has a fetish for that material) cold ram air intake was added with a ECU reflash by Maximus Racing. A single side of the stock twin intake system is actually a dummy, and this GruppeM system revises that by making use of both sides and cleaning is taken care of by a K&N filter.
The tremble it makes the still waters troubled.
Having daily driven a E46 inline six before, I wondered how would this V8 German muscle would perform. I was distracted the moment I sat inside the cabin. My butt soon found home in the driver’s seat, surrounding me were high quality leather. Somehow I still feel the M3 does can be quite clueless about it’s identity as the interior makes you feel as if you’re in a luxurious car, or I am just used to sitting on my Bride bucket seat.
This M3 is filled with electronic goodies like the iDrive and the MDrive systems which takes a while to get used to. This being a 4L V8 monster, but the clutch has a light feel to it. There was a “Power” button on the centre console that tempts me to press it to unleash this beast. You can get rather carried away with the rev notes as the tacho needle moves up each marking, edging you to put pedal to the metal.
I decided to take a break as I was getting besotted to this machine. Well all those information above is only important for interested buyers of a M3. Not much intended for the general audience for our website. Let me showcase additional carbon fibre goodness.
Now let check out that ass shall we? Let’s start off with the boot, weighing roughly as heavy as a sack of rice at 5.5kg, it shaves off a lot of weight off the stock offering, and mounted on its top is a 1430mm Euro edition GT wing.
This low drag, high down-force GT wing is designed for M3 track cars. Made entirely of carbon fiber, this GT wing is incredibly strong and lightweight. Adjustable wing positions and a variety of different sized brackets allow the user to dial in the perfect settings for each individual car.
Carbon fibre surrounding the titanium Akrapovic pipes.
Deep down, a light weight carbon fibre rear skirt with a diffuser finishes off the look with style. This functional ornament extends from the rear differential, while allowing much smoother aerodynamics and increased down-force.
Ample torque makes this uphill battle ready.
Usually we have our moving shots down straight roads, some people always do them in lighted tunnels, but none of them could show a capability of a performance car other than bringing this M3 to winding country roads.
Doing this was no easy task as it was a single carriageway road, and this is an arterial road that connects two major roads. Boldly, I decided to give it a try. The Right Wrong crew was almost out on full force that Sunday afternoon, a rare opportunity for me to have 4 photographers with me. This is one of our most picture-laden post so far, similar to the AE86 shoot we did last year.
With the thick forest tress surrounding the narrow road, the exhaust notes are amplified, and it was a good sound to hear. If you see this coming down to say hello to your rear view mirror, it somehow gives off a fierce aura, an aura that seems to be warning you of it’s capabilities, both shown in it’s outlook, and hidden under the hood.
“Now you see it; now you don’t”, moment.
And then the defiant you might not want it to be in your rear view mirror, you opt to chase it instead. Wrong choice trying to be a smarty pants, as with the Mdrive systems on board, as DSC is slackened, while the throttle response is increased and reducing the steering assistance, the M3 would be able to gain an easy lead.
Handles superbly and easily, assisted by electronics.
There’s this local phrase of a chase car not being able to chase its prey – to be torn like a tissue paper. I still wonder how that phrase was coined. Our video grapher was with us but without his equipment, but how do I wish I could film a video here. They say a picture paints a thousand words, but videos speak for themselves.
Able to “tear you like a tissue paper.”
Looks like the M3 is full of win, with improved functional styling cues by Varis, and a little tweak to an already near perfect car with a rigid chassis, little body roll makes it enjoyable to drive this monster.
It’s like a wolf wearing a monster’s clothing and still look fitting and good. It is not common to be able to equate function and form, and this M3 certainly made a benchmark.
We have much in store to showcase for 2012, so stay tuned by joining our Facebook page for more updates and upcoming features! Below are assorted pictures from the shoot. If you have a wallpaper request feel free to email us!