By now you've seen plenty of BMW M3s grace these pages, and many fit the common mold of a supercharger, nice wheels and coilovers. So you'll understand that when we find a unique take on this insanely popular platform, we're all ears.
The most likely source of a different approach to the E9X M3 is IND Distribution of Chicago, IL. The company specializes in "unique" and managed to bring together these two M3 coupes that had us green with envy.
The first car, identified by its gold BBS wheels, belonged to track-hungry Victor Gutierrez. It started life as a pristine '08 M3 in Alpine White. "He had it out on the track at Autobahn Country Club within the first 600 miles of owning it," laughed IND Project Manager Ilia Smolov. "That's who Victor is: he pretty much beat on it ever since!" Ilia told us.
And because Victor likes to use his car, he took a gradual approach to modifying it. He started with wheels and coilovers, then Brembo brakes and an ESS supercharger. However, he eventually decided that a Porsche 911 GT3 would be a better daily driver than his track-dominating M3, and this is where the story of project Green Hell really began.
You see, the Porsche dealer was disturbed by things like holes in the carpet from a previously installed roll-bar and wasn't prepared to give him top dollar for his trade-in. So Victor unhappily drove his now-stock M3 back home and abandoned the Porsche plan. Unhappy with its blandness, he decided to return the BMW to IND.
Having sold every part previously installed on the car, everything had to be purchased again - that's two supercharger kits, two sets of KW Clubsport coilovers... you get the idea. And while IND provided guidance for the first build, this time Victor handed over the keys and asked them to, "Make it really cool and give it the ability to be driven daily but reliable on the track. Just do what you need to do."
It was music to Ilia's ears. "He didn't specify the appearance, style or theme, so we had a huge amount of creative freedom," Ilia smiled.
With his affection for Porsche, adopting the GT3 RS green paint was a bold move, but with its aggressive motorsport styling, the M3 looked better than any E92 we'd previously laid eyes on.
The exterior was complemented by aggressive - and extremely expensive - items such as an RKP GT4 front lip, Motorsport 24 trunk lid and wing, plus a Vorsteiner GTS-V diffuser. That's what it took to give the car some serious attitude, finished off by uber rare 18" BBS FI wheels finished in gold.
Staggered at 9.5" wide front and 10.5" rear, the BBS carry massive Falken rubber measuring 275 and 315, respectively. In fact, they required IND to flare the rear quarters to ensure a perfect fit without rubbing.
KW Clubsport coilovers along with a slew of Rogue Engineering suspension parts and RD Sport sway bars keep Green Hell on track, providing a balanced setup without even a sniff of understeer. And, despite what our photos might show, until you really overdrive the car, the rear-end is planted, too. But in the hands of professional Formula Drift driver Dai Yoshihara, Green Hell had no problem providing a sick sideways smoke show, as you can see here and in our video at europeacarweb.com
We can't forget to acknowledge the ESS Tuning VT2-625 Supercharger Kit that appeared to make third-gear drifts a breeze, even with the ultra-wide contact patch.
Dai drives a V8-powered Nissan 240SX in the FD pro championship, but IND's creation put a grin on his face the entire day. Most impressive was the utter reliability the car. With the thermometer hitting 126?F at Chuckwalla Raceway in Desert Center, CA, the humans were sweating and panting, yet the car was unfazed. Water and oil temps remained normal, even after hours of abuse, mainly thanks to the remarkable Motorsport 24 radiator and oil cooler.
Inside, the motorsport theme continued with Sparco Pro 2000 carbon fiber buckets, richly embroidered with green and gold thread. There was also an OMP steering wheel, AutoPower roll-bar and color-matched trim.
IND certainly delivered on this project. The owner demanded a fast and reliable car, which is exactly what they gave him. So it's a shame Victor landed a job in Australia. "I'd never part with it again, and I won't sell it," he confirmed. So he left the keys with IND, who offered to store it indefinitely if they could take it to the occasional car show and maybe drift it around a racetrack for the Falken Tire video shoot we gatecrashed for our photoshoot.
So you're probably wondering about the second almost-identical green M3 in the photos... It belongs to US Marine Pilot Jason Ellis, who was instantly inspired when photos of Green Hell leaked online. "I'd been wanting an interesting color, and was set on GT3 RS green after seeing Victor's car," Jason admitted.
Unfortunately, it turns out that when IND was mixing their paint, they added a few different colors for impact, giving the final choice more blue than Porsche intended, explaining the slight difference between them.
We can't quite decide which we prefer. Individually, both cars are stunning, but together it feels as if your eyes are playing tricks.
Rather than have IND paint his M3, Jason simply requested Porsche green from BMW Individual, who duly responded. Admittedly, it took nine months for the car to arrive after it was ordered, but you've got to admire BMW's dedication to its customers' wishes.
Jason used the nine months to formulate a plan. "I spoke to IND weekly," he laughed. "I wanted a car that combined the RLL ALMS motorsport theme with previous IND builds such as Green Hell and Martin D's grey car. So my car is a combination of those two."
As for the green wheels, they weren't painted but are actually 18" TE37s in Volk's Takata Green. IND had brought them to Jason's attention and the colors are almost identical, with something truly menacing about the setup.
Jason liked IND's exclusive parts, so fitted carbon fiber BMW Motorsport mirrors on custom IND mounts to fit like factory. And if you're wondering how much these gems might cost, unfortunately you probably can't afford them...
Keeping the rare parts flowing, Jason asked IND to find him an OEM M3 GTS titanium exhaust, making his one of only two regular M3s fitted with this system. "The car sounds amazing but is still tame enough for highway drives," he claimed, as we can attest.
In fact, Jason's car hits a happy medium between sporty and daliy driver, unlike Green Hell that sounds truly ferocious whether at idle or wide-open throttle thanks to a Challenge Engineering Race pipe, X-pipe and Eisenmann sport exhaust. (You should replicate this if you have the funds and don't care about waking your neighbors. Hands down, it's the best sounding M3 we've ever heard!)
Fitting most of the parts in his home garage, Jason knew the naturally aspirated V8 would need more, so he opted for the 535hp ESS VT2-535 Supercharger Kit. It provided him with a healthy boost in performance, with the option to upgrade it easily.
The extra power would require more stopping ability, so our Marine opted for Brembo's 380mm kit with six-piston calipers front and four-pistons rear, which were painted by IND. The car drives like Green Hell thanks to the same KW Clubsport coilovers.
Once the go was sorted, Jason decided the looks department would use the same RKP GT4 front lip and Varis Japan GT wing on a Challenge carbon/kevlar trunk lid, with BMW black grilles.
The cabin retained the factory seats, although Jason assured us he's looking at Recaros. In the meantime, the BMW M Performance steering wheel is accompanied by a TWM competition shift knob and M3 GTS door sills - keeping it nice and simple.
Most impressive is that Jason built the car on his own on the floor of his San Diego garage. With guidance and support from IND, Jason's own Green Hell is another unique creation you can't forget. Together, the two Bavarian beauties look like brawlers on the track, with each driven hard to the redline thanks to the quality of the parts used and the chassis they're fitted to.
And with these two cars we see that IND continues to set the standard for high-end BMW M3 builds, which is no easy task in such a saturated marketplace.
2008 BMW M3
Engine BMW 4.0-liter V8 with ESS VT2-625 Supercharger Kit, Challenge Engineering Race and X-pipe, Eisenmann Sport exhaust, Motorsport 24 radiator and oil cooler
Drivetrain six-speed manual transmission, Rogue Engineering short-shift kit
Brakes Brembo GT six-piston calipers, 365mm rotors f, four-piston, 345mm r, custom painted calipers, Pagid RS29 pads
Suspension KW Clubsport coilovers, RD Sport sway bars, Rogue Engineering control arm bushings, adjustable toe arms and rear wishbone bushings
Wheels & Tires 18x9.5" f, 18x10.5" r BBS FI wheels, 275/35 R18 f, 315/30 R18 r Falken FK453 tires
Exterior RKP GT4 front lip, Motorsport 24 trunk lid and dual-element rear wing, Vorsteiner GTS-V diffuser, IND-painted front grilles, side markers, and badge, car painted Porsche GT3 RS green
Interior Sparco Pro2000 carbon fiber seats with custom embroidery, Macht Schnell seat brackets, AutoPower roll-bar painted gloss black with green flake, painted interior trim, 350mm OMP Corsica steering wheel on IND custom hub, gloss black iDrive knob
2013 BMW M3
San Diego, CA
Engine BMW 4.0-liter V8 with ESS Tuning VT2-525 Supercharger Kit, Challenge Engineering X-pipe, BMW M3 GTS titanium exhaust system, Motorsport 24 radiator and oil cooler
Drivetrain six-speed manual transmission, Rogue Engineering short-shift kit
Brakes Brembo six-piston f, four-piston r, 380mm rotors f&r
Suspension KW Clubsport coilovers, MRF Engineering alignment
Wheels & Tires 18x9.5" f, 18x10.5" r Volk TE37 wheels, 265/35 R18 f, 285/35 R18 r Falken FK453 tires
Exterior RKP GT4 front lip, Varis Japan GT Wing, BMW Motorsport carbon fiber mirrors on IND mounts, carbon/kevlar Challenge trunk, BMW black kidney grilles, Macht Schnell tow strap, IND-modified tow cover
Interior BMW M Performance steering wheel, TWM competition shift knob, M3 GTS door sills