Kean Suspensions has been around since 2008, and its known all around Europe for, you guessed it, exceptional suspension work. The name Kean is a combination of the brothers/cofounders Kenny (KE) and Andy (AN) Neirinck. We featured their gorgeous Ferrari 308 GTB earlier this year in our first-ever Euro issue, but they've also got a few other tricks up their sleeves to showcase their handiwork, like this '03 BMW M3, for example.
What looks like an extreme and custom show car today started out as a bone-stock E46 three years ago. The brothers reworked the suspension first as they fitted their own in-house Kean Performance air struts. A KNTRL auto-leveling air management system adjusts ride height manually on the fly or automatically. "The suspension is our own state-of-the-art custom struts," Andy explained. "[They are] fully adjustable in hardness and damping. It's what most of our customers ride with."
With the stance up to standard, the duo decided to keep the powertrain stock since that's not what they were trying to show off. All their time, money, and energy went into the car's style and exterior, with one-off carbon-fiber bodywork. Jumping into carbon was new territory for the family business, but the brothers seemed to have a knack for it. The laundry list of custom carbon pieces is impressive and includes the front bumper, hood, fenders, doors, trunk, and the air intake that replaces the driver-side headlight. They needed the carbon to contrast more from the original black paint, so they wrapped all the non-carbon areas with Phoenix Yellow vinyl, a BMW factory color.
Interesting story about the fenders: The rears are your standard fiberglass Rocket Bunny pieces while the fronts are re-created in carbon. At SEMA, the brothers asked Kei Miura, the man behind Rocket Bunny, if they could have permission to make a carbon-fiber copy of his kit for their project. "Miura gave us his blessing," Andy says with a smile.
Throughout the interior, there are plenty of carbon-fiber accent pieces in addition to Kean's own hydraulic handbrake. If the sheer amount of carbon wasn't enough to get your attention, you can't miss the VIP Modular four-spoke wheels, Kirkey Racing seats, and Wiechers rollcage—all finished in a bright candy red.
The Neirinck brothers' M3 stands out like no other, even at the annual W rtherseetreffen in Austria, which sees tens of thousands of modified European cars. If you didn't know the Kean team before, you'll know who they are now and that they do more than just suspension.