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1996 BMW M3 GTR Replica - Europanese

We Discovered This BMW M3 GTR Replica In Tokyo; A Hybrid Of European Technology And Japanese Creativity.

Greg Emmerson
Oct 26, 2009

BMW M3 A few months ago we were emailed by a reader who had caught sight of a particularly wild E36 M3 GTR online. He wanted to know more about it and requested our help.

Eurp_0912_01_o+1996_bmw_m3_gtr_replica+front Photo 2/8   |   1996 BMW M3 GTR Replica - Europanese

As it turns out, our search was easy since the car clearly belonged to Japanese BMW specialist, Studie AG. Regular readers will be familiar with its history of producing some of the coolest BMW project cars in the world, and we've made it our goal to try and feature them all. To date, we've photographed Studie's bright blue 130i widebody, Pink E92 M3, orange 335i/M3 replica, bright green Z4 M Coupe widebody and there are others we've forgotten.

Anyway, the E36 M3 in question had all the trademarks of a Studie car - a motorsport-inspired widebody, clean exterior, competition interior, lack of stickers (very rare for a Japanese tuner) and the shop's name on the front screen - that was what gave it away!

Eurp_0912_02_o+1996_bmw_m3_gtr_replica+rear Photo 3/8   |   GTR-style widebody kit was custom-built by Studie AG in Japan

On behalf of our reader we contacted Yasuaki Suzuki, who owns the Studie empire, and requested a photoshoot with the car. He kindly obliged and provided his brand new Tokyo store as the ideal location (see separate story on the world's coolest tuner shop).

With our limited communication skills, we were able to ascertain the history of this impressive BMW. And while it may look like its ready for a GT race at the Nürburgring, it was actually built as a road car in homage to those racers.

Eurp_0912_03_o+1996_bmw_m3_gtr_replica+owner Photo 4/8   |   Yasuaki suzuki, the man behind some world-class BMWs

Unlike previous projects, such as the 130i and Z4MC, the body kit on this M3 isn't genuine BMW Motorsport equipment. In fact, the entire body kit was custom-built by Studie for the project, including both bumpers, the side skirts and all four fenders.

The body kit is an almost perfect replica of the M3 GTR built for GT racing by PTG in the American Le Mans series. However, the carbon rear wing from SARD Racing is closer to those used in European competition. Up front, the tuner also sourced a carbon hood from Japanese supplier, Varis.

Eurp_0912_05_o+1996_bmw_m3_gtr_replica+interior Photo 5/8   |   Interior boasts Recaro SPG seats and Weichers 12-point rollcage

The extremely wide fender flares allowed a set of 10x18" BBS GT2 wheels to be fitted. In keeping with the motorsport theme, these lightweight rollers were manufactured in magnesium to reduce the unsprung weight. However, the tires are relatively narrow to exploit the wider track but keep the car agile. In this instance they are Conti's latest SportContact 3 tires, sized 225/35 R18 front and 245/45 rear.

The Bilstein coilovers are also motorsport-derived, allowing variations in ride height and damping forces. The AP Racing brakes use four-piston calipers with 330mm rotors.

Eurp_0912_06_o+1996_bmw_m3_gtr_replica+gauges Photo 6/8   |   1996 BMW M3 GTR Replica - Europanese

Whereas many of the Studie project cars have minor engine mods, this E36 is the exception. It boasts an Arqray stainless steel rear muffler from Japan and a Göke Carbon Technik air box from Germany. The latter is a popular motorsport application for genuine M3 GTR racers in Europe. However, the star of the show is the MoTeC M800 engine management system. Designed for modern engines such as the double-Vanos S52 3.2L engine, precise tuning of the ignition and injection maps has allowed super-fast throttle response and a higher rev-ceiling, boosting the 321hp motor to 350hp.

The motorsport theme was continued inside, where the M3 boasts a pair of Recaro SPG seats surrounded by a Weichers 12-point rollcage. Viewed through the Momo steering wheel is a custom carbon-fiber dashboard housing a Stack display with an analog rev counter and digital readouts for road speed, temperatures, etc. The tuner also provided a series of warning lights for oil pressure, brake fluid level, ABS operation, etc.

Eurp_0912_07_o+1996_bmw_m3_gtr_replica+s52_engine Photo 7/8   |   3.2L S52 "Euro" engine boosted to 350hp with MoTeC engine management, Arqray exhaust and Göke carbon air box

Occasionally seen wandering the streets of Tokyo, this M3 GTR must strike fear into the hearts of the domestic machinery as it traverses the crowded highways and narrow city streets. But it's another cool Euro that's bound to be winning converts in the Japanese domestic market.

Tech Spec
1996 BMW M3
Owner: Yasuaki Suzuki
Location: Yokohama, Japan
Occupation: owner of Studie AG

Engine: 3.2 liter S52 motor with MoTeC M800 engine management system, Göke Carbon Technik air box, Arqray stainless steel rear muffler

Eurp_0912_08_o+1996_bmw_m3_gtr_replica+crossbars Photo 8/8   |   1996 BMW M3 GTR Replica - Europanese

Drivetrain: stock six-speed manual with short shifter

Brakes: AP Racing four-piston calipers front and rear, 330mm two-piece rotors

Suspension: Bilstein motorsport adjustable coilovers

Wheels & Tires: 10x18" BBS GT2 wheels with 225/35 front, 245/45 R18 rear Continental SportContact 3 tires

Exterior: Studie AG custom front and rear bumpers, fender flares and side skirts, Varis carbon hood, SARD Racing GT Wing Pro rear wing, painted BMW Alpine white

Interior: Recaro SPG seats, Weichers 12-point rollcage, Momo steering wheel, custom carbon fiber dashboard, Stack display, auxiliary warning lights


By Greg Emmerson
1078 Articles



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