Features

Sal Benanti's E92 M3

Photography by Matt Petrie

If you own an E9x M3, there’s an 88% chance yours is Alpine White.  While this statistic is fabricated, there is no denying the surplus of the Alpine finish on the E9x platform.  Not saying that this is a bad thing, despite it being a classic BMW color, looking good on any chassis, it easily gets lost in the sea of cars that are in dealerships and at local shows.  Sal Benanti, co-owner of AUTOcouture Motoring in New Jersey, knew that in order to make a statement he had to do something totally out of the box while paying homage to the BMW Motorsports heritage.  It’s absolutely unanimous that he accomplished this with flying colors in two ways:  an OEM Techno Violet respray and his famous “Motorsports Spatter” paint scheme on his manifold and trim pieces.  Now dubbed “Big Purp” all across the internet and social media, Sal has certainly set the bar when it comes to modifying the E92 platform.  Creating a truly unique M3, there is not one aspect of this car that has been overlooked and every modification was thought out and ties in perfectly with the next.

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Sal has never been shy in the performance department with any car he has owned, but this is certainly his most powerful.  He chose the ESS Tuning VT2-650 supercharger kit, custom painted with the Motorsports Spatter by IND.  All of the mechanical work was done in house by his certified technicians Jay Stromeyer and Thomas Limatola, including the custom modified exhaust system.  The primary cats were deleted and replaced with their ACM test pipes and the factory exhaust was modified to give it a better sound than most aftermarket exhausts all while retaining the factory look and visually undetectable to void the warranty.  In order to stop all of that power he chose an Alcon BBK.  At 405mm, calling it a “big” brake kit is an understatement, so you can be sure that all of his 600 horsepower gets halted with the slightest ease.

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Seeing its fair share of track days, Sal chose to go with Volk TE37-SL’s in 18 inches (f – 9.5 / r -10.5) with KW Club Sport coilovers and Racing Dynamic sway bars.  To complement the Techno Violet paint, he added a European Spec OEM M3 front bumper with a Mode Carbon V2 carbon fiber front lip.  Local lighting guru, Jehad Zeidan at LightModz, retro fitted quad projectors into his headlights and completed the updated look with OEM LCI tail lights and a Vorsteiner double sided CSL style trunk out back.  Techno Violet painted roundels by Xclusv Autosport completed their paint job in the most fitting way.

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Recaro Sportster CS seats were rewrapped in OEM Fox Red leather by Xclusv Autosport to hold true to Sal’s slightly extreme OEM+ theme in and out of the car.  To match the plenum, the interior looks like a motorsports crime scene with light blue, dark blue and red spattered about the cabin.  His P3 boost gauge, integrated in the trim, allows for proper readings at a glance without any trouble or unwarranted attention.  Lastly, as any driver can relate to is the importance of the steering wheel.  The flat-bottomed OEM Alcantara Performance wheel with ACM extended DCT paddles makes the driving experience just that much better.

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The car will be undergoing major reconstruction in preparation for the 2013 track and show season so expect the bar to be raised yet again by the team that brought to you Big Purp.

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