As some of you know I started my performance driving in a 1995 BMW M3 E36. She started her life as a street car but once I got my hands on her I started down that dark path of converting her from a daily driver to a track car. It began with suspension, Dinan parts, and a wheel and tire set. But over the course of three years the modifications continued until the point where there was a custom half cage, racing seats, aero, data and video system, and countless accessories. As far as dual purpose cars go I felt she was perfect.
Unfortunately her life was cut a bit short when she went into the wall at Sonoma. But her spirt continues as her parts helped other cars transform from commuters to track demons. After her passing, I shifted my driving focus from GT cars to prototypes and bought a 2009 Radical ProSport 6. While I loved my 95 M3 dual purpose car, there were certain sacrifices I had to make with her and in the end she only had modest HP. So needless to say I welcomed the shift to an open cockpit, high revving, purpose built race car....for a while. Eventually I missed the simplicity of a GT. Something that could be streetable (barely) but also a good track car. I also missed the countless hours you could spend thinking about, and buying, aftermarket parts to make the car your own unique creation. And while all high performance cars require love and attention, a GT tends to be less demanding on track days compared to a prototype.
So when my personal life required me to rethink my garage lineup, my mind quickly reminisced to the fond days of driving the 95 M3. Yet one thing had already changed in my garage....I now had an M2 to contemplate modifying. I purchased the M2 from Enthusiast Auto Group, who I have bought a few cars from as they have a unique ability to get their hands on hard to find BMW M cars (vintage and new). When dealers had one M2 on the lot, EAG had a dozen. EAG was able to source a low milage (like 12 miles) Alpine White M2 and get it to me within a couple of weeks. So after hours of thinking about which direction to take, I finally decided to take my 2016 M2 and turn it into my vision of what BMW would have created if they had dared to make an M2 GTS. But rather than simply copying the M4 GTS, I wanted something that was not restricted to the BMW parts bin. The purpose of this build was to have a streetable car (even if just barely) that would be a track animal for HPDE days as well as something that could reasonably compete in Time Trial events with NASA. The hard part would be to do all that while trying to keep the BMW "factory look". For me this would be the recreation of my 95 M3, but with modern advancements.
In my opinion, The M2 is a perfect starting point for a project like this. Arguably, the M2 is the rebirth of the E36 and E46 M3 era. Small, balanced, high revving 6 cylinders, and a focus on the driver above all else. I went with white to pay tribute to the classic BMW Motorsport cars of long ago. I added a few things when I first got the car (well maybe more than a few things) and had EAG install most of them before I took delivery. I will admit I went with the DCT option versus the manual. I won't bother going into why, as that will just lead to a religious debate, but needless to say I had my reasons. Here is the build's starting point:
- BMW M Performance grill
- BMW M Performance gills
- BMW M Performance carbon fiber mirrors
- BMW M Performance carbon fiber spoiler
- BMW M Performance carbon fiber rear diffuser
- BMW M Performance carbon fiber steering wheel trim
- BMW M Performance pedals
- Dinan carbon fiber air intake
- Dinan tune (stage 1)
- Dinan resonator delete
- Mach Schelle exhaust control unit
- Rennline two hook (front and rear)
- Cool Carbon ST Plus brake pads
- Bimmercode custom ECU coding
I am working with Edge Motorworks in Mountain View, CA to help me piece together the rest of the project. They helped me with my 95 M3 and have extensive experience in racing and helping customers create their BMW dream car. Along with Edge I am working with select companies that have products or services that match the kind of build I am doing.....which I summarize as "high performance, purpose built, with excellent fit and finish". Over the course of the build I will post updates and photos and explain why I went the direction I did. If you are in the Bay Area and go to the Portola Valley cars and coffee event each month, or frequent the local tracks, you are sure to find me and I would be happy to discuss the build or the Silicon Valley Motor Club. Check out the club calendar to track me down or shoot me an email. And with that, its time to open the pocket book and begin the build.