Agent Orange

Fire Orange paint and bold HRE wheels make this M3 a bravura showcase for Arkym's sexy bodywork. A 604-hp supercharger from ESS makes it an ultra-intense driving experience, as well.

October 16, 2011
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With its ground-scraping stance, black HRE alloy wheels and retina-searing Fire Orange paint, this project M3 would be expected to have an audible bark to match its visual bite. Push the Start button, however, and the BMW’s engine comes to life with a distinctively stock-sounding exhaust note.

Huh? Where’s the boisterous noise we’ve come to expect from heavily modified M3s like this one?

Oh, it’s there. All you have to do is press this little button on the remote and blam! Hidden valves open in all four exhaust pipes, allowing the uncorked roar of the S65 V8 to be heard in all its glory.

It’s a brilliant idea when you think about it. Loud exhausts are fun and exhilarating…to a point. The point at which they become decidedly un-fun may be when you drive past a police officer who eyes you suspiciously, or when you want to park in front of a restaurant without shattering the windows along the sidewalk.

With this M3’s iPE Innotech Valvetronic F1 exhaust system, a simple press of a button reduces the engine note to a polite burble, one that’s quiet enough to convince the local constables that your taste for bright orange cars doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a speed-addicted lunatic.

But let’s be realistic: If you’re driving an M3, you probably are a speed-addicted lunatic, something that’s most definitely true if you’re driving this particular M3. Masterminded by Arkym, a relatively new company that specializes in aerodynamic body parts for BMWs, the car has been built to showcase those parts as well as the tuning philosophy behind them.

Fire Orange firebreather

Painted in Fire Orange, the same color used by BMW on the Euro-only M3 GTS, the car’s stock front bumper has been replaced with Arkym’s AeroRace carbon fiber bumper, which features an integrated carbon splitter as well as aggressive side intakes that arc upwards from the outside before diving back towards the center opening. At the rear, its stock trunk lid was binned in favor of an AeroRace carbon fiber equivalent and its stock rear bumper complemented by Arkym’s carbon fiber diffuser.

HRE supplied a set of P43 alloy wheels, which measure 10.5 × 19 inches at all four corners and are wrapped with Toyo Proxes 1 tires that measure 255/35ZR-19 at the front and 295/30ZR-19 at the rear. A Brembo big brake kit uses 380mm rotors at all four corners in conjunction with six-piston calipers, while a set of KW Clubsport coilovers allow ride height and damping rates to be dialed in precisely for a variety of conditions.

Also from Issue 103

  • Turbocharged E24 Alpina B7 with 330 hp
  • First drive in the new F13 6 series coupe
  • We drive a Z4 with the new N20 turbo four
  • Latest tires allow more miles per gallon
  • E30 3 Series: The next collector BMW?
  • How to buy a good used BMW
  • We drive a 1939 327/328 Coupe
  • The Vintage East Coast BMW show
  • Interview: BMW Motorsport's Jens Marquardt
  • Paddock Talk: BMW Motorsport's Dirk Werner
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