You cheated. You already scanned the images of this article and drew your own conclusions. You like it, sure, but its another M3. Maybe you drive one too and you're looking for ideas. Maybe not. Whatever the case, if you're still reading you're hooked. After all, it's an M3, and subtle or sexed up, it deserves a second look.

After driving SUVs, then attending local car shows in Scottsdale Arizona, Christopher Gee decided he needed to step it up a bit. Shrewd investments in mutual funds and real estate allowed him the freedom to make expensive purchases his college dorm mates could only dream about. He purchased this slightly used 2002 in February 2003. Why anyone would want to get rid of it after little more than a casual fling puzzled him. "Right away, I wanted to drive the hell out of it," Gee says. "What better way to get the feel for a car than to put 1000 miles on it in 72 hours?" The trip would be the car's initial shakedown and help Gee decide where alterations were needed.

His approach on the exterior has been modest and non-invasive. He did opt for a more aggressive look, so a Schnitzer front lip and race wing serve as bookends to keep the vehicle on all fours. Umnitza Predator headlights and Lumatek foglights lead the way, while smoked carbon taillights follow behind. The windows are lined with dark limo tint to further enhance the wraparound blackout look. A molded CSL diffuser, Euro-spec bumper and Mashaw carbon fiber hood complete the extremities. Carbon has also been extended into the interior. Carbonworks supplied the carbon fiber dash and door trim, armrests and e-brake. Schnitzer pedals nestle beneath the driver's feet, and Schroth Quick belt harnesses keep Gee and his passenger snug in their seats.

Stopping this M3 with speed, ease and authority are a pair of Stoptech calipers and 14.2-inch front rotors, steel braided lines, and Axxis pads. Grip comes courtesy of Toyo T1R tires, and the iForged Monaco light-alloy wheels offer a tantalizing glimpse into all that braking power. Ground Control coilovers with Koni double adjustable shocks drop the chassis over the wheels, and UUC anti-roll bars help Gee hang the tail out when he's so inclined.

At the time we shot it, the engine only had minor upgrades. But they're good ones. An AFE intake, Supersprint X-pipe and B&B Triflow exhaust open up the airways, and custom software adds new, aggressive ignition maps. Additionally, the stock rear diff received a pardon and a 4.10:1 unit was called into action. By the time you read this, the supercharger install by EES Tuning should be finished. The car will then be a black streak, as the supercharger will thrust over 500 horsepower, which is reason enough for the Milano seat upgrade plans. Already, Gee has installed new headers to support the transformation. And while a stock M3 is a blast to drive, the additional power... well, use your imagination.

One look inside the trunk will leave Audiophiles panting. But the aesthetic beauty of the custom stereo install remains intact. Expertly fitted MB Quart subwoofers and amplifiers are showcased with a plexiglass enclosure that incorporates the BMW roundel (I know your eyes are wandering so go ahead and look at it). Occupants will be dazzled with the Alpine IVA-D300 head unit and entranced by the MB Quart Premium components. Until someone else offers a more unique stereo sponsorship, the audio will see little change.

A self proclaimed "chatterbox," Gee first looks at what others have done successfully and draws ideas from a combination of resources. Many of the modifications that go into his car are either recommended by E46lunatics.com or suggestions from sponsors or friends. Europrojektz also helps bring all the ideas harmoniously together.

Gee claims community feedback gives the car a "worldly" appeal. He suggests because he is willing to talk to anyone, he learns a lot from other people in the scene and is never shy about asking for sponsors. And he can talk about cars all day; for him, the topic never gets old. We can relate.

By Kevin Cadra
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