M Coupe

Features

Gerard Cerna's Z4M Coupe

Photography by Sam Rashty

In today’s car scene, it’s become very difficult to find something truly unique from the rest, something that stands out at a moment’s glance. When I heard that there was a Z4M coupe with a custom M4 front bumper conversion, I automatically assumed the worst and questioned what most gear heads would, "why?"

However, when you see the phenomenal custom work by 2M Autowerks you'll notice that it truly enhances the rest of the car while still retaining the OEM quality. That's something rare that typically doesn’t work too well in most cases.

For example, when an E46 M3 front bumper is mounted on an E36, the lines just don’t match up and is not flattering aesthetically. But one look at this Techno Violet beast, and I think most would agree that this is a beautiful exception.

The first thing I noticed is that everything on this car is fitting, from the custom rear diffuser to the APR splitter complimented by a set of Work Meister wheels.  The sound is unforgettable, I was immediately grasped by its presence of the moment it approached the shoot location. That tone was the harmonious combination of Status Gruppe headers, Supersprint x pipe, an Eventuri intake followed by a tune. 

Being an E36 fanatic myself, to see someone use Techno Violet on a new gen M Coupe is utter perfection. The curves on this car left me speechless as if my eyes could wander aimlessly for hours.

The owner Gerard, actually decided to purchase the Z4M when he was searching for an E46 M3 in late 2009. While browsing through the forums, he stumbled upon a Z4M, which at the time intrigued him greatly because he didn’t even know they existed. Instantly, he fell in love with it and knew he had to buy one instead. After all it was not something you’d see everyday. After 6 years of ownership and the recent work done by 2M Autowerks, the car's bound to grab the attention of enthusiasts from all spectrums of the car scene.

Features

Brandon Phan's Z3 M Coupe

Photography by Brandon Phan

I’ve always been drawn to BMWs. Maybe it was the aesthetic appeal, or because my parents have always had one or two in the garage as I grew up. 

My M Coupe was the longest relationship I had with a car. Before it, my E39 touring lasted a few months and then the E46 only 9. I was always intrigued by the “clown shoe” and desired to own one eventually in my life. As the car seemed to appreciate over the years, the wait for one would be longer I thought. 

It was the beginning of summer 2013 when I started to feel bored of the E46. I was stumbling through Craigslist and saw a listing for a 2000 Estoril over Estoril M Coupe. It was priced within reach and it only got me more excited thinking I could own one. After a few weeks of discussing with the owner, we agreed on a trade, my E46 plus cash for the car. 

The car seemed a little neglected when I first acquired her, but after some attention to the paint, and a good cleaning, she was presentable. I told myself that I would keep the car stock as long as I owned it, but after a year, I began to itch. 

First was tint. I thought I could stop there, but the temptation from browsing stance blogs and having these large wheel arches, I just had to. I just had to do something. Right about that time, I was reading all about these Fortune Auto built coilovers called Broadway Statics. Everyone was raving about the ride and how low they could go. I knew those were the ones for me after seeing some of the results on the E36 builds. I contacted them and I was able to decide that I would be going with 16k fronts and 18k rears. My set was the first M Coupe set from them and after being the guniea pig for 9 weeks, we got it right. Next was wheels, I wanted to be different. I didn’t want to put a set of CCW Classics on there or BBS RS’s. I wanted a set of HRE 505s or Rotiform TMBs but they were out of my budget. Conveniently, CCW had just released their LM5Ts. Now for the measurements. I wanted to push something more aggressive than what had already been done, so I consulted with my friend James. Some of you may know him as Floss. We settled on the 18x10" et19 up front and 18x12.5" et15 out back. And for tires, 225/40 and 295/30.

While spending so much money on modifications, I neglected crucial maintenance. BMW has always been known for a weak cooling system and I got to experience that the hard way. One day while driving to work I noticed my AC had stopped working and then the temperature gauge sprung to red... I immediately pulled over. I looked in my rear view mirror and billows of smoke was exiting from my exhaust. I knew something bad just happened. Next I checked my oil dipstick, and when I pulled it out, it was like chocolate milk. My head gasket was compromised. 

At the time I couldn't afford to have that kind of work done by a shop, so I had to learn to do it on my own. With the help of some great friends and my dad in my garage at home, I was able to get her back on the road.

The urge to do more to it was dangerous. I had done most of the maintenance and aesthetic modifications I envisioned, but being me it wasn't enough. I wanted to do a metal wide body and turbocharge it. After planning out the finances for such work, it broke me. 

I loved my M coupe, but as time passed, I matured. For me, this was all the car I could ever want, but it was the wrong time. I'm not somewhere in my life where I am financially stable enough to pursue my dreams of traveling and own this car. There can always be another M Coupe for me down the road, but my youth and travels won't.


Features

Elliot Abeel's X5M & Z3 M Coupe

Photography by Matt Petrie

The X5M is undoubtedly one of the best daily drivers out there. If you can afford one, there is really nothing better you can ask for in a vehicle. The power, comfort, handling, and the space; it's all present. Alright, I suppose you could ask for a few more MPG's, but the feeling you get when you can keep up with the best sports cars on the road quickly engages amnesia on its fuel efficiency.

Having a black X5M, Elliot had the vision of creating a purely evil truck.  As with any “murdered out” theme, the little pieces around the truck were darkened.  Turner Motorsports carbon fiber kidney grills and iND black side gills and reflectors completed that look.  In my opinion, what sets this truck apart from other attempts at murdering out is that Elliot avoided tinting the headlights and tail lights as well as blacking out the roundels.  People often smoke or tint everything for the sake of the black out, when it really just takes away from the classiness of the vehicle; he gets the point across without going overboard.  As a matter of fact, Meguiar's car cleaning products recognized this truck among a select handful of cars in the euro techniks car club as an outstanding vehicle to represent their company with a full sponsorship.  

The size and stance add to the sinister demeanor of the truck while the Lux V3 angel eye bulbs anthropomorphize this SAV into a true monster.  Aggressively lowered on KW V3 coil overs, he wanted to slam the truck as low as he could while maintaining the functionality for daily usage.  Elliot and I were laughing over the reactions his truck received from the online BMW community and on social media.  Many people argued that it was pointless to lower an SUV as much as he did, deeming it useless as a truck.  In actuality the X5M was designed to be a fast family hauler allowing you load up the hatch at Home Depot, and then dust a domestic muscle car on your way home.  Aside from lowering the truck he also added a BPM tune pumping the truck to over 600 horsepower, raising the bar from domestic muscle cars into the next tier.  Putting that power down to four wheels helps, but planting it with 295/325 tires ensures that this truck will stick during launch control and feel confident around any corner.

21” 3pc BC Forged HC052 wheels with a gloss black lip/flat black face fill in the wheel wells perfectly and has just the right amount of contrast on itself to cleverly play into the all black theme.  Around the back, a blacked out custom exhaust built by AUTOcouture Motoring gives the truck a great sound without drawing any attention to the rear end.  Up front a BMW Performance lip adds to the fierce prowess this truck has as it rides up on you in the rear view mirror. 

This X5M would be more than plenty for anyone, but when the weekend rolls around Elliot has a little trick up his sleeve in the form of a Z3 M Coupe.  He always had a certain love for these cars and knew one day he'd own one.  To many peoples' surprise, this is actually his second M Coupe.  He lost his 30,000 mile black Z3 M Coupe to flooding during a hurricane that blew through the North East a couple of years ago.  Once he and his family squared away the other damage that had been done, it was time to get back on track to find a replacement Z3.  After a couple of months of searching, a Titanium Silver, California car turned up. To his benefit he found one that was just under 8,000 miles at the time of purchase.

Being that it is a later model Z3, it is powered by the S54 engine, tuned down slightly to compensate for the lack of weight compared to its E46 M3 counterpart.  Despite the power difference, it is still more powerful and rarer than the previous S52 motor.  Elliot wasn’t ready to settle for just a low mileage S54, he still needed more.  He fitted this car with genuine 18” Kinesis K28 wheels that were previously refinished in a two stage gunmetal color which plays off of the silver well.  He lowered the M Coupe on KW V1 coil overs and sourced an equally rare Meisterschaft Titanium GT exhaust which has a distinct sound as the S54 rips through the power band.

In doubling the miles on the car since he bought it, Elliot is clearly not worrying about absolute preservation, however it does live most of it's life in the garage.  As a garage queen there’s always plans in store for the future of the car, but he wants to keep it simple and not overdone.  We can respect that because we understand 9 times out of 10 less is more, especially with a car as unmolested as this one. 

With all of that power packed into a lightweight sports car, you could image how much fun he has romping on it through the quiet, winding farm roads in his area.  When he comes home he has an X5M waiting for him to pick his friends up for a night out in the city. On a beautiful day, the choice between which vehicle to take can be rather stressful, but isn’t it a dilemma you’d love to find yourself in?