When you step into the workshops at LTMotorwerks in El Monte, CA, the relaxed atmosphere and friendly greeting gives no clue to the hive of activity behind the scenes. The output from this shop is extraordinary; seemingly not a week passes without something spectacular emerging from its doors. Take this E90 BMW 335i for instance.
While last month's cover featured the SVR Ferrari 458 built by LTMW, this time we're looking at the tuner's bread 'n butter - a 2007 BMW 335i. The BMW specialist has a reputation for putting together some incredible cars and Justin Gomba's sedan is no exception.
The highlight is undoubtedly the E90 335i widebody kit, based on the design of the BMW racers in the World Touring Car Championship. It was manufactured by El Monte neighbors, Vollkommen Design, comprising front and rear bumpers, four fender flares, side skirts and rear door extensions.
Constructed from FRP (fiber-reinforced plastic), the kit can be yours for a reasonable $4000. "It only took about a week for LTMW to install on my E90," Justin recalled.
This is particularly rapid for such a comprehensive overhaul, but LTMW has built many cars to a similar extent and took everything in their stride. They were helped by the front fenders being one-piece, bolt-on parts. The bumpers and side skirts also use the factory locations. The only tricky aspect is the rear fenders, which entail cutting the stock fenders and fixing the new ones over the top.
To complete the conversion, a new CSL-style trunk was sourced from Duke Dynamics. The E90 additionally received LCI front and rear lights, with the headlights customized by OSS Designs to replicate M4 DTM units, giving a menacing touch to the front-end.
"I never intended to take the car to this level," Justin explained, "But my wife didn't want a red car, so I ended up keeping it for myself!" he laughed.
Fortunately - and unfortunately - the overhaul was necessitated after the 335i was hit by a truck and dragged into another car. What better excuse to do a complete makeover?
Having ordered the WTCC kit, he knew it would also require new wheels, tires and suspension to find the perfect stance. Yet the sheer width of the car is mind-blowing. Its presence was unrivaled, and on a busy day in Downtown Los Angeles, we literally stopped traffic.
Justin's E90 wears 335-section Toyo rear tires, which dwarf the 911 Turbo, but at least BMW's 335i name finally makes sense on the car!
The wheels are the centerpiece of this Bavarian beauty. The BBS LM design will never get old. They're both timeless and perfect. Assembled by Floss Designs, the wheels measure 18x10" front and 18x13" rear, finished in brushed bronze to contrast the red paint.
Fitted with M3 suspension components and dropped on KW Clubsport coilovers, the 335i can drive around just about anything. In fact, it was impossible to break traction, even with the extra power under the hood. And when things get a little too hairy, the massive StopTech Trophy brakes are there to save you.
The N54 twin-turbo engine received larger RB Turbos and a LTMW custom front-mount intercooler. The airflow was helped by an Injen intake, AR Design downpipes and 3.5" VR Speed Factory exhaust, allowing the 335i to sounds as loud as it looks, whether you're revving to redline or unloading boost from the TiAL blow-off valve. All the parts work in harmony thanks to the GIAC tune that has allowed the engine to develop a healthy 530hp at the wheels.
Inside, Justin didn't skip a beat. He utilized the sought-after BMW M Performance seats as well as the steering wheel, shift knob and e-brake handle. The rear seats were then upholstered to match the fronts, with the task flawlessly performed by LTMW, making the car the complete package.
"I wanted something completely different; something nobody else would have," Justin recalled. And it's safe to say his mission has been accomplished, but he's not stopping there. Stay tuned for Justin's other projects, which also happen to be high-horsepower BMWs, and you know they'll be built at LTMotorwerks.
2007 BMW 335i
3.0-liter N54 straight-six 24v with RB hybrid turbos, LTMW FMIC, TiAL blow-off valve, Injen cold-air intake, GIAC software, AR Design downpipes, 3.5" VR Speed Factory exhaust
automatic transmission, Quaife limited-slip differential
StopTech Trophy kit with six-piston calipers, 355mm rotors f, four-piston, 345mm r
KW Clubsport coilovers, Phantom rear air cups, M3 lower control arms, sway bars and camber adjustment arms
18x10" f, 18x13" r BBS LM wheels with brushed bronze centers, 295/30 R18 f, 335/30 R18 r Toyo R888 tires
Vollkommen Design WTCC widebody bumpers, fenders and side skirts, Duke Dynamics trunk, gloss-black roof, OSS Design headlights, LCI tail lights, M3 mirrors
BMW M Performance seats, steering wheel with LED display, shift knob and e-brake handle, alcantara boots, matching rear seat
Long and crew at LTMotorwerks (ltmotorwerks.com), George at KW (kw-suspension.com), Darren at Vollkommen Design (vollkommendesign.com), James at Floss Design, Luis at OSS Designs (ossdesigns.net), StopTech (stoptech.com), Kennedy at Platinum VIP, Tiago at VRSF (vr-speed.com), RB Turbo (rbturbo.com)