The chassis has been dropped over a set of matte-black VMR VB3 alloys, 19-inch's worth front and rear, using KW Variant 3 coilovers. The Variant 3s include fore and aft EDC code "isolators" to preclude factory electronic damping system fault codes, and although this negates the EDC's three-way adjustability, the coilovers themselves retain individual height adjustment and 14-way compression damping (though you'd have to physically get up underneath the car to make your adjustments).
On-road grip is maintained by Yokohama Advan AD08 rubber, measuring 265mm wide in front and 295mm in the rear.
Behind the mesh-style VMR wheels, the factory brakes have been swapped for race-bred AP Racing hardware: Six-piston calipers and 368mm slotted rotors in front, four-piston calipers and 356mm rotors in back. While Brembo seems to get all the press in the States, AP is big in Europe and a major supplier to top-gun competition series like F1, DTM, WRC, and LMS. These are hands down the coolest brakes we've seen on a new M3.
Electronic mods include the Mods4Cars remoteKEY module, a trick piece of circuit-work that allows operation of the power windows and sunroof using the key module, as well as the power folding mirrors. There's also a Macht Schnell TPMS emulator, which facilitates quick wheel/tire swaps without throwing the tire pressure sensors into a frenzy. The sole audio modification is a mObridge iPod integration kit, which expands on the somewhat lame OEM integration, expanding playlist capabilities with a larger data processor and providing charging capability for the iPod unit (not present with the O.E. setup).
A Braille "No Weight" lightweight race battery powers the system, sunk into the trunk inside the well where a spare tire might live. It is secured by a heavy-duty Macht Schnell anodized billet battery enclosure. While the tiny Braille wouldn't really hold up to frequent periods of inactivity, this setup is useful for the sometime track-day enthusiast looking for every bit of weight savings; the battery brace/battery combination saves some 40 pounds over the OEM power source.
2008 BMW M3
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
4.0-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve. VFE Stage 1 supercharger system, Macht Schnell intake scoops, Macht Schnell X-pipe with high-flow catalysts, Remus mufflers, GIAC software
Six-speed manual, Rogue short shift kit
KW Variant 3 coilovers
AP Racing six-piston calipers with 368mm rotors (f), AP Racing four-piston calipers with 356mm rotors (r), stainless lines, Macht Schnell Line Lock kit
Wheels & Tires
VMR VB3, 9.5x19 (f), 10x19 (r)
Yokohama Advan AD08, 265/30 (f), 295/30 (r)
BlackOut kidney grilles and fender gills, Angelibright headlamps, Ericsson trunk lid
BMW Performance steering wheel, Recaro Pole Position sport seats, Macht Schnell Floormount brackets, Macht Schnell gauge panel with Stri instrumentation, EAS matte-finish carbon trim, Macht Schnell battery bracket with Braille B2317 "No Weight" battery (r)
Peak Power: 610 hp
Peak Torque: 430 lb-ft
Drive it to the track, drive it back home
At the international 135i Coupe launch two years ago, the BMW 1 Series was nothing new to Europe. It had already been sold there going on three years in hatchback form. People over here though went batshit-crazy, partly due to sneaky advertising that touted the Coupe's advent as the "2002's second coming."
In our opinion, not so much; the new-generation 1 Series was marginally lighter and less expensive than a comparable 3 Series, and an out-of-the-box track-day weapon it was not. But there was little doubt it had great potential with a bit of post-factory tweaking, especially considering this launch marked the first time the 300-hp, sequential-turbo straight six would be implanted in a 1 Series platform, here or there.