While the European tuner scene doesn't normally take center stage at SEMA, this year we found a number of impressive and hard to miss BMWs. From the contest Bilstein 'Just Add' Sweepstakes 335i to likes of Liberty Walk and booth displays like Injen Technology's 328i, there was a lot to see. Below is a small grouping of Bimmers that caught our eye in addition to the many others found throughout the show and featured in the gallery.
Whether you prefer widebody conversions, carbon fiber, slammed show offs or corner killers, this list has something for everyone. Let us know in the comments section below which you like best.
Slek Designs BMW Z4
If this car looks familiar that's because it was previously featured in our event coverage of the LTMW Summer show. We found this Slek Designs widebody Z4 at the Ksport booth looking especially clean in full carbon fiber. Slek Designs says every panel has been replaced by carbon fiber except for the top pillar, which is molded into the chassis. The build took a total of nine months.
Carbon fiber is inherently lightweight and Slek Designs took advantage of its properties. The hatch, doors and hood were swapped for carbon variants. A single production door fully assembled with the window is 92 lb, while a single carbon fiber door with the window is 32 lb. The production hatch weighs 71 lb, while the carbon fiber hatch weights 17 lb. The production hood is approximately 40-50 lb while the carbon fiber hood also weighs in at 17 lb. The production seats are also on the heavy side, weighing 80 lb each compared to one carbon seat, which weighs 24 lb. That is a total weight savings of over 300 lb.
A kit like this will run you about $25000 including the doors, hatch and roof. For $17000 you can purchase the kit minus the doors, hatch and roof. The less expensive route would be a fiberglass body for $13000. Slek's motive behind this kit's construction was to demonstrate that building a full carbon fiber body doesn't have to cost $100000+.
Other Z4 modifications include: VF stage 2 570 supercharger kit, Magnaflow exhaust, CSL headers (to be installed), RSV three-piece wheels, Ksport USA performance brakes and suspension, Status carbon fiber seats and an SAE Motorsports roll cage. This car will be on track in the coming weeks testing out its brand new carbon fiber body.
Standard Suspension 2008 BMW 335
We found this modified 335 at the Standard Suspension booth. Drawn in by the carbon fiber hood, we wanted to know what was going on underneath.
After inquiring into the modifications we were presented with: motor swapped for a 2010 335 motor, larger twin-turbo turbines, Step Performance twin-inlet intake, charge pipe, blow-off valve, custom vacuum tubes, catch can and oil cooler system, Race Precision intercooler kit, ram air scoops and exhaust, upgraded internals, Centerforce clutch and flywheel, Forgeline three-piece wheels (20x10 front and 20x11 rear), Standard Suspension R3 suspension coilovers and brake kit with 380mm rotors, carbon fiber covers, Whitline front and rear suspension components, Powerflex control bushings, Prior Design full widebody kit, Seibon carbon fiber GTR hood, three interior monitors and five cameras placed strategically around the car.
The lesson here is don't judge a car by its exterior; you never know what lies beneath the hood.
LiteSpeed Racing 2010 BMW M3
With track-ready looks, this M3 at the LiteSpeed Racing booth deserved a second look. The main attraction of this car, according to LiteSpeed Racing, is the forged composite three-piece wheels. This wheel technology features a center that is 45% lighter than forged aluminum while the outer remains traditional forged aluminum.
The benefit of the aluminum outer is the ability to pop out dents and buff out scratches. This provides a lightweight wheel with added durability. In this case, an estimated five-to-six pounds per wheel is saved. There are also the advantages of less rotating mass, which include improved braking, acceleration and handling.
Past the trick wheels are the following modifications: LiteSpeed Racing titanium exhaust system, H&R Cup Kit suspension, and carbon fiber goodies such as a Challenge USA front splitter. The exhaust swap saved about 50 lb and added approximately 10hp. The BMW M Power badging across the hood screams performance and with the builders' focus on shedding rotational mass, we're sure this M3 would slice through corners like a hot knife in butter.