SEMA Preview: Carl Taylor’s BMW E46 M3

Published: 01 November 2015

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Back to showroom

SEMA projects are usually hidden under a shroud of secrecy, but with just a few days left to go there’s one build already causing a massive stir – Carl Taylor’s E46 M3. Now residing in California, Carl has celebrated his first year as a US citizen in style with the help of a few talented friends, and having been responsible for countless magazine cover cars over the years you can guarantee any project Carl takes on is going to be good!

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The E46 M3 was no slouch from the factory, but standard never won any awards at SEMA. Instead, the stock 6-cylinder S54 motor has been ditched in favor of something much more American – a 6.0-litre LS2 V8 motor, good for upwards of 400bhp. Never one to leave things standard, Carl and the team over at Benzworks (responsible for the conversion) added a giant Vortech supercharger to the mix too. All show and no go? Not a chance.

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Wide arches are all the rage right now, thanks in part to Japanese tuning legend Kei Miura – otherwise known as Mr. Rocket Bunny. Miura-san has designed super-cool bodykits for everything from the latest Toyota GT86 right through to Lamborghini’s Murcielago and the Ferrari 458 (sold by Liberty Walk). In more recent years he’s also turned his attention to various Euro models too, and the E46 M3 is the latest platform to get the wide arch treatment. Officially known as a Pandem bodykit, this is Rocket Bunny’s Euro divison of styling, and it looks seriously cool!

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When you’re going wide you need even wider wheels, and it’s safe to say Rotiform have absolutely smashed the latest design fitted to Carl’s E46. The 18in Rotiform HUR are forged for maximum strength and minimum weight, while monster 295/30/18 Toyo R888s fill those Pandem arches to perfection. To give you an idea of how wide this is, the rear wheels measure in at 18×12.5in… it doesn’t get much better than this!

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Big wheels and wide arches are nothing without stance, and as a pioneer of getting cars millimeters from the ground there was only one solution for this M3 – Air Lift Performance suspension. Don’t be fooled by the show car exterior: with super-sticky Toyos, a supercharged V8 and Brembo brakes this is no trailer queen and will be used hard – just as BMW intended. The Air Lift Performance suspension provides superb handling and adjustable damping without compromising the handling, and at the touch of a button allows Carl to raise the M3 to clear even the biggest obstacles – a total win-win in every situation.

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With the show officially opening on Tuesday we cannot wait to see this E46 M3 in the metal, and rest assured it’ll be kept shining all weel with a little help from Meguiar’s. Make sure you check back for a full gallery on this incredible build over the next few days!

 

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