0 comments / Posted by Marvin Roane

BMW E91 M3 Tribute

Car manufacturers have always had a history of creating specialized, very limited models as a sort of, proof of concept, or just for kicks. There have been a number of them that have always managed to captivate the masses, but a lot of the time they are usually a one off or so very limited, or released in a certain region, that the majority of us never get to see the real thing sadly. For instance, BMW had never made an official M3 wagon until the G8X platform, which means 40 years of being without a super spicy Bavarian wagon. BMW did however create an E92 M3 GTS in a super limited European-only 150 units, that sported a 4.4-liter V8 engine, striking fire orange paint, unique aero, and a near 200 mph top speed. Pit+Paddock along with Bilstein decided to change this, by combining the 4th generation M3 traits, but instead of a standard sedan or coupe, putting it in a wagon.  

Image from Pit+Paddock

BMW's Limited Edition E92 M3 GTS

Now when it comes to car builds, especially one of this scale, it can be quite an undertaking. There are tons of aspects to consider before you even begin. To assist with this undertaking Pit+Paddock along with Bilstein decided to enlist the help and support of Precision Sport Industries (PSI), a well-known BMW maintenance, repair, and modification shop based in Oviedo, Florida. Known for its commitment to quality and care, it just made sense.

Image from Pit+Paddock

An E90 M3 and E91 328i Needed As Donors

To do this and make it the most complete, OEM accurate tribute model, two running donors would be needed. An E90 M3 would provide the drivetrain, while the E91 328i would be the shell. Each donor car had components unique to their platform and would allow their goal to be achieved, create an “OEM” E91 M3 precisely how BMW would build the car. This meant not having to modify OEM components or cutting the car up too badly. The M3 had about 160k miles on the clock but was sound. The exterior was in good shape, and luckily didn’t have mechanical issues. The E91, while not being the favorite of the E9X family, was also in really great shape. Garage kept, completely stock, and only 67k miles, it was the perfect foundation to build off of. A lot of work went into making sure it was structurally sound and no corner was cut.

Image from Pit+Paddock

It's All About The Details

A 1 of 5 example fire orange m3 was brought in to ensure an exact paint match. Every piece of glass was taken off, every panel gap or lingering dent was painstakingly looked over, and all the old paint was removed. They even took into account the exact amount of OEM orange peel. As the body went to paint, the S65 went to Carbahn, who managed to turn the 4-liter V8 into a 4.6-liter monster able to produce 516 hp and 400 ft-lbs of torque. Which eclipses the e92 M3 GTS’ benchmark numbers.

Image from Pit+Paddock

Bilstein Adds a 2-way Coilovers

Bilstein served up some E9X Clubsport 2-way coilovers. This means that the E91 Tribute will be ready to perform on the street or the track. The suspension inherits Bilstein’s motorsport-grade mono-tube shocks and pairs them with a set of matched 60mm ID springs that have 10 settings of adjustability for both compression and rebound. Precision Sport Industries (PSI) didn’t stop there. They’ve included the SPL complete adjustable suspension catalog. Tie rods, lower control arms, tension rods, sway bar links, adjustable upper control arms, toe links with the lockout kit, adjustable sway bar links, and lockout kit for the OEM lower control arms. StopTech’s big brake 380mm Trophy kit makes sure will come to a stop when needed, and Powerflex Bushings have replaced to make sure everything is setup for whatever you throw at it. To keep things cool, a CSF cooling package for the E9X was used. This includes a triple pass radiator oil cooler, power steering cooler, and dct cooler. With that part handled, now its time for intake and exhaust. UK based company Eventuri would be perfect. Using their years of Aeronautic and tuning experience with 3d printing and CFD analysis, their carbon fiber intake would a no-brainer when it came to getting air into the motor. It also looks great while doing it. With it looking great, time to make it sounds great. Akrapovič brings over 30 years of experience and was up to the task. Their E9X M3 Titanium exhaust are a popular choice of upgrade and fit and finish is second to none. It sounds phenomenal with the added benefit of an extra 21 horsepower and trimming 52 lbs.

Image from Pit+Paddock

Super Rare Seats Became The Centerpiece

With all that done outside, it was finally time to get the interior taken care of. Blue Chip Automotive, a company dedicated to helping find rare parts, managed to find a set of ultra-rare, lightweight, OEM Alcantara M Performance seats. The fact these have been out of production for at least 9 years really makes this a rare find. Since the M Performance seats have such a unique design of white stitching and padding throughout, this seemed like the perfect design concept to model the rest of the interior with. The rear seats were completely reupholstered to match the rare seats, and since the door cards were already outside of the car, they too got the M Performance treatment. The goal was to make a factory-perfect car, which meant black Alcantara onto almost all the panels to bring all the interior together. But that’s not all, redoing the entirety of the interior meant that they could also put personal touches as a reminder of how special this build is. The E91 GTS logo was meticulously placed across the interior to remind you this isn’t a run-of-the-mill wagon.

Image from Pit+Paddock

BBS Three Piece E88 Wheels

To top it all off they decided to set off the entire look with a classic wheel brand, BBS. Being in the motorsport scene for over 40 years it made sense. The three piece E88 was the choice with a gold finish and a polished lip that matched nicely with the fire orange.

Image from Pit+Paddock

The Road to SEMA

As SEMA draws near this build gets more and more exciting. This thing is going to be a beast most definitely. If you feel inspired to upgrade your E9X make sure to hit us up for your tuning needs!


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