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Friday, August 7, 2009

The Devil in White

Devil In White

Two doors. Two turbos. One awesome ride. This could very well be the devil in white.

Straight out of the box, the BMW 335i is a pretty capable vehicle sporting the German automaker’s newly designed powerplant. For those wondering, it’s really not a 3.5 liter as the model designation might suggest, but rather a 3.0 liter in-line six fitted with a pair of slugs. An all-new aluminum construction allowed for a higher compression ratio, which when coupled with the benefits of twin-turbocharging, yields easily accessible power throughout the rev range.

But stock can get boring at some point…so let the modifications begin!

With the car’s inherent crisp lines, the best way to further accentuate the coupe’s sexiness is to swap the original rollers for bigger shoes. Enter the impressive 20-inch DPE rims. Proving to be a popular choice for European-car owners, this brand exudes class and sportiness perfect for discerning enthusiasts. Measuring 20×8.5 up front and 20×10 in the back, the 5 spoke wheels are constructed out of forged aluminum ensuring lightness and strength. The eye-catching rims are wrapped in Falken 452 tires sized 245/30/20 (F) and 285/25/20 [R].

Going with a racy yet understated look, the car’s new appearance is miles apart from stock. Quickly noticeable is the use of carbon fiber, starting with the Vorsteiner Power Dome hood and lip spoiler. The kidney grille has also been blacked out to get that sporty touch. Over at the other side, the entire rear bumper was swapped with a new M-tech piece, while the rear diffuser was replaced with one made of carbon fiber. Completing the aesthetic make-over are little bits taken from its M3 brother, namely the side-mirrors and the ducktail lip spoiler in the back.

A car that’s all show without go? No sir. Unlike the slew of Bimmers with impressive looks but with anemic stock 1.8 liters, this one is quite different.

With a manufacturer rating of 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, this car gains more muscle with an aftermarket intake kit from Gruppe M. Beneath the bonnet, the new intake looks pretty impressive with its carbon fiber housing. Helping expel spent gases better are the Supersprint downpipe and center pipe, which are truly effective mods since turbocharged mills react positively to less restrictive exhausts. Rounding out the exhaust upgrade is the Eisenmann muffler, with four pipes no less! A PROcede V2 piggyback unit alters the factory ECU settings for enhanced output. As a pre-cautionary tool, an HKS blow-off valve was thrown in to help prevent compressor surge.

This Bimmer can carve corners too. It’s kitted with KW variant 2 coilovers, designed to allow not only ride height adjustment but rebound damping as well. This makes it perfect for the occasional track sessions where the owner can simply dial a bit more firmness for sharper handling, then revert back to a softer ride for everyday use. To help handle the stress of white knuckle motoring, Hawk performance brake pads were employed to resist fade.

The fun doesn’t stop there though, as this 335i is also a drop-top. It’s got a three piece fixed roof that tucks in neatly in just 22 seconds. First to be done by BMW in this application, the fixed roof provides a stiffer chassis all together, not to mention a more silent cabin at speed. With the roof down, one can get a nice look at the red upholstery that’s a welcome change from the sea of black found in most BeeEms. Hamann bits have also been fitted inside such as in the handbrake and foot pedals.

Over-all, this tuning effort takes an already impressive vehicle and bumps up the testosterone level way up. It looks fast. It can go even faster. The only thing left is a wide open road to let this thing loose and hear that wonderful exhaust note gnarl!

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