Ben Custard profile picture Ben Custard 10 months ago

This Mean E30 BMW 3-Series Is Hiding A Supercharged 1UZ V8

Look closely and you’ll see this car’s far from a standard BMW 3er, with side-exit exhausts and widebody kit

Remind me later
BMW - This Mean E30 BMW 3-Series Is Hiding A Supercharged 1UZ V8 - Tuning

You’ll have probably seen thousands of modified 3 Series coupes, each with varying degrees of style and execution. We’ve even made one - remember our 3 Series Compact build? But few look anywhere near as good as this one from South Africa.

Built by Ace Customs, the initial plan was just to tidy the car up, give it a better finish and remove a load of previously fitted mods that had cheapened the look. It’s fair to say that quite a bit more work went into this BMW than was first planned.

BMW - This Mean E30 BMW 3-Series Is Hiding A Supercharged 1UZ V8 - Tuning

The first thing you’ll have spotted is the new fender flares, which are a little reminiscent of Liberty Walk’s back catalogue. Cast your eyes downwards, just in front of the rear tyres, where there’s one of the next biggest changes. Like a Dodge Viper, this E30 has four side-exit exhausts with curled tips. Meanwhile, at the back, there’s a custom ducktail spoiler that contrasts with the E30’s boxy lines.

It’s one of those things that gets better the more you look, because the garage really has sweated the small stuff over this car. The quality of the finish and the finer details are what truly makes the car stand out, from the vented bonnet to the shaved engine bay and the black Japan Racing wheels. The inner pair of headlights have been swapped for air intakes, and a host of black trim pieces have been added to offset the custom paintwork. It might look like unoriginal Nardo Grey but in fact it’s a colour mixed specifically for the customer.

Open the vented bonnet and there’s a 1UZ Lexus V8 to get excited about. It’s a bit smooth and lazy in standard form, but made more eager by adding a supercharger. It also sits on BC Racing coilovers and even has a limited slip diff.

Inside, it hasn’t merely been stripped out. All of the bare aluminium was handcrafted to fit this specific car, even down to the door panels. A race-spec digital dashboard replaces the original gauges, but one thing that has remained is the five-speed manual gearbox. Oh, and there’s a nitrous kit between the seats to indulge your ultimate Fast & Furious dreams.

BMW - This Mean E30 BMW 3-Series Is Hiding A Supercharged 1UZ V8 - Tuning

We’re delighted to report that this is no garage queen; it’s been built to race. In multiple disciplines, too, because the owner plans to use it for drag racing, gymkhana and track days.

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