2008 BMW M3
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
4.0-liter V8, dohc, 32-valveEisenmann exhaust system with quad 83mm "Le Mans-style" tips, custom 2.5-inch non-resonated X- pipe with catalytic converter delete
H&R sport lowering springs with factory Electronic Damper Control (EDC)
*Wheels and Tires
HRE Forged Monoblock P43,9x20 (f), 10x20 (r)Nitto Invo, 255/30 (f), 285/30 (r)
Euro-spec front bumper, CA Automotive carbon grille, Vorsteiner dry carbon fiber front lip, rear diffuser, trunk assembly
From the driver's seat
*One thing we all found surprising about the stock E92 M3 was the modest exhaust note-for some, a little too understated. The Eisenmann system and custom IND pipes give the car what most enthusiasts want to hear from their high-performance V8. At full song it sounds downright vicious, a proper roaring V8 bellow with a hint of Lamborghini Gallardo fanfare at higher revolutions. The downside is the drone that appears out of nowhere between 2500 and 3000 rpm, your normal cruising comfort zone. It's actually more comfortable to downshift and let the needle nudge past 4000, but we cringe to think of what that does to your fuel economy.
In spite of the addition of the lowering springs and 20-inch wheels, ride quality doesn't seem to have suffered. This may have something to do with the Nittos, which in our experience have softer sidewalls and allow for a more comfortable ride than standard factory fare. EDC remains functional in all three modes. Another issue we had with the stock car was that it seemed to sit too high above its wheels, but the springs and plus-one wheel and tire package close the fender gaps nicely and give the car a much more convincing stance overall. Even with the larger tires we detected no rubbing issues.
Handling, too, seems to have been largely unaffected by the modifications. Normally, tires with a more compliant sidewall like the Nittos would sacrifice turn-in to some degree, but with the E92's laser-guided (figuratively speaking) steering any compromise is hardly detectable. With stability control switched entirely off the car is still completely tossable and totally catchable. The new tires do give up a little earlier than the stock Michelins might, particularly when flinging the tail out on throttle or under heavy straight-line braking. But then again, that makes it all the easier to go sideways in the turns. -Karl Funke