When GT Haus showed up with this Flossman-kitted widebody at the yearly SEMA show in Las Vegas, opinions were mixed. Show attendants tended to either drool or throw up. Those who threw up really only pretended to do so, stating that widebodies only belong on racecars. Those who loved it, well they just ogled it, some of them touching their nether regions. And while it’s not a racecar, it looks like one and definitely can’t be hurt by the extra grip in the corners from tires and wheels allowed by the extra wide stance.
John Kang is the man responsible for this fat-tracking phenom. He founded GT Haus nine years ago. Primarily an exhaust manufacturer (Meisterschaft systems), GT Haus is also the distributor for other European brands such as Arden, Kreissieg exhausts and Neez wheels from Japan, as well as Flossman products.
Those of you who know your German goods should recognize the body kit as Flossman-derived. The ALMS GT2 widebody kit is based on the Letterman/Rahal racecar that competed successfully in the ALMS in 2008. It consists of front and rear bumpers, front arches, rear quarter panels, side skirts, a CSL-style carbon trunk, and a GT2 vented hood. The entire amalgam of body mods is covered in Lamborghini Balloon White paint and the requisite M-sport stickers.
Not all opinions concerning the E90’s widebody are so extreme. Some have said the front arches are too big and tacky and that GTH should have pulled them out to make them flow better with the chassis. Others say the opposite, that the fronts are molded well into the body but the rears are just odd and look out of place. Sitting in the GT Haus SEMA exhibit pretending to take pictures is a great way to eavesdrop and hear the pundit’s opinion.
One other industry professional was overheard commenting: My only grievances are with the near-horizontal vents in the rear arches as well as the additional set of vents in the bonnet, she said. Plus, the exhaust is a little awkward and with a kit as brazen as this it needs a spoiler. Since then, the spoiler has been added. Along with that optional GT2-style wing, a vented roof, carbon doors, and a motorsport-style dash are all available for consumption.
Looking like an ALMS racecar doesn’t come cheap. This kit will set you back about $12,500. If you’d like to save $2,500, you can opt for the fibe glass version. For that you’re getting the front and rear bumpers and the sideskirts. The latter are supposed to bolt straight on while the former require some modification. GT Haus advises that you have an expert on hand if you decide to do it yourself.
If 10 inches wider isn’t enough, there’s a Flossman GTR kit available. That one isn’t so practical for the street, so for those who would like to be able to fit through the drive-through at the local Del Taco there’s a milder GT3 version available.
Being constructed of carbon and Kevlar, the kit shown does have some practical advantages. It shaves about 148 pounds off the curb weight. I love the transformation and the fact that we’ve managed to reduce weight, Kang says. But best of all we’ve built the world’s only street version of the E92 M3 GT2.
When we first saw the car it had black 20-inch RAD Dynamics rims. The next time we spotted him was at M-Fest last May and the look had changed dramatically for the better. A slight change in the graphic-and-paint scheme was accompanied by a set of Savini three-piece forged rims measuring a little smaller in the front along with a suspension drop in the same area. These wheels, measuring 10.5x19 fore and 11.5x20 aft, are wrapped with Nexen N3000 tires. Years back, a young entrepreneur came out with a wheel that had neon spokes primarily intended for the mini-truck market. Those flashy rims obviously disappeared with that hideous little fad. But Savini appears to have found a magic paint that has almost the same effect as neon. With their deep orange-copper hue, they seem to glow like four cylindrical spinning portals to Hades.
Such macabre metaphors don’t apply to the ride height. Kang and crew dropped the front to the dirt by lowering the KW coilovers over an inch to the ground as compared to its height at SEMA. These springs use an isolator box to prevent BMW’s Electronic Damper Control system from interfering while avoiding fault codes being thrown up.
Initially, Kang told me he had a supercharger ready but was waiting to break in the motor a little more before putting the supercharger on. Then at M-Fest he said that since his was an exhaust company, he didn’t want people thinking that the charger made the sweet sound that would really be coming from the Meisterschaft GTC (EVC) controlled exhaust system with an LX mid pipe that deletes the secondary cat. While the sonorous note from the pipes is nothing if not rapturous, like a dinosaur that just devoured a V8, we’d love to see GT Haus put their money where its mouth is with some forced induction.
Until then, we’ll just have to wonder what that wide stance could do with more power. But in the meantime, an E92 with M-power and a track 20 inches wider than stock is no stick in the mud.
The alms GT2-style kit is based on the Letterman/Rahal racecar that competed in the ALMS in 2008.
2009 BMW M3
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
4.0-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve.
Meisterschaft GTC exhaust
Wheels And Tires
Savini SV-34s, 10.5x19 (f), 11.5x20 (r)
Nexen N3000, 255/25 (f), 285/30 (r)
Flossman widebody kit: front and rear bumpers, front arches, rear quarter panels, side skirts, CSL-style carbon trunk lid, GT2-style vented hood, GT2-style wing