Live Wire

James Clay fell in love with the S65 V8 engine—and the E92 M3 wrapped around it—but he wasn’t satisfied with its performance until he’d made his M3 a supercharged screamer.

January 19, 2017
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Ask any enthusiast what makes the E92 M3 special, and almost everyone will name the engine, a high-revving V8 derived from BMW’s Formula One-inspired V10.

“I love the engine in that car, and I don’t think it’s on the horizon for BMW to ever make a normally aspirated V8 engine like that again,” says James Clay, who as the owner of BimmerWorld Racing has raced more than a few fast BMWs, including an E92 M3.

Thinking the car would be the last of its breed, he bought one for the road just before production ended. To make it extra-special, Clay ordered his car in medium blue paint from BMW Individual and with blue stitching on its black leather seats.

“After going through the hundred or so colors that you can order from BMW Individual, I decided to order Santorini Blue,” he says. “I took Performance Center delivery, and in the front room was this dark blue E92 M3. ‘That’s cool,’ I thought. ‘I wonder who’s getting that?’ Then they told me it was mine!”

Rather than Santorini blue, Clay’s car had been sprayed the darker San Marino, an M6 color.

“It was too late to order another one, so it came down to take it or leave it,” Clay says. “I’ve grown to love it, but it took me a while to warm up to it.”

Clay’s E92 M3 was delivered in June 2013, and he started modifying it as soon as he got it home to Virginia.

Also from Issue 145

  • VS&R-restored Schnitzer 1602 racer
  • 2017 G30 5 Series first drive
  • 2017 F30 330e road test
  • Engine chief Ilka Horstmeier
  • Buyer's Guide: Durable BMWs
  • BMW saves its trademark in 1949
  • BMW saves its kidneys in 1961
  • Andrew Korinis' 2012 1M Coupe
  • Craig Zaller's 2001 E39 M5 & 2002 Z8
  • TC Rivers' 1966 1800
  • Tim Duncan's 1972 E9 3.0 CS
  • Jeremy Barbakow's 1982 E24 645 CSi
  • Britt Vail's 1995 E36 M3
  • Antoni Miller's 1976 2002
  • Jack Deren
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