Our customer Phil M. hails from Arizona and is what one might call an “avid” enthusiast. And by that we mean this man adores his car and has modified it to an almost obscene level. He has dubbed his F80 M3 the “Stormtrooper” and has poured his heart and soul into building it into something he can be proud of. Obviously a lot of people like what he’s done with the car as it was recently featured on the cover of Performance BMW magazine (see below). We want to give Phil a big thank you for providing us with some stunning pictures of his M3 and for giving us some awesome feedback about various parts of the modding process on his F80 M3.

 

 

Right off the bat this M3 is extremely eye-catching, it absolutely radiates a feel of style and performance. At the front you see the AC Schnitzer Carbon Fiber Front Lip and Splitter for great looks and improved aerodynamics. The Gloss Black Kidney Grilles and Side Markers give a more streamlined look to the M3’s accents and compliment the carbon fiber pieces nicely. It may be hard to tell but Phil has also installed some Carbon Fiber Headlight Covers to further compliment the lower CF parts. At the front we also see one of the most distinctive features of the car, the MCP Racing Lower Bumper Grille with the front holes paint matched to the car. These are reminiscent of a classic Star Wars Stormtrooper’s helmet’s front air filters and kind of give the car the look to match its name. Moving along the side we see some Enlaes Carbon Fiber Side Skirts which give the side of the M3 a lower look while acting as a bridge that connects the lower body lines from the Front Lip/Splitter all the way back to the Kohlenstoff Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser. A PSM Dynamics Carbon Fiber Roof Spoiler and a Dinmann Carbon Fiber Trunk Spoiler serve to extend the Carbon Fiber theme upwards to the rest of the car and tie the overall look in with the OEM Carbon Fiber roof.

 

 

Now on to the wheels. Wheels are so very important, they make or break the look of a car. If you have every performance part imagineable but you have wheels that fit badly or are a design that doesn’t fit well with your car then that is all people will notice. Luckily Phil chose his wheels very well, they look fantastic and fit perfectly because they were custom built by BC Forged. This particular design is called the HCA162S. It is a 2-Piece wheel (BC Forged calls these their “Modular” line) with a Brushed Black center and a Gloss Black lip. The hardware is Titanium which matches the Titanium lug bolts holding on the wheels. Phil’s lug bolts even have little Stormtrooper Helmets lazer etched into them (unfortunately not pictured as we have no close-up shot of them fortunately pictured below as Phil sent us some photos!). For tires Phil went with some Toyo Proxes T1 Sports for some added performance. Lastly, this M3 is riding very nicely on H&R Super Sport Springs, although by now Phil may have already installed his new Airlift 3P Air ride with Airlift Struts, giving him the freedom to minutely control his ride height and parked height.

 

 

Ok, so we’ve established that this car looks great, but good looks aren’t enough to get you on the cover of BMW Performance magazine (although they are a big part of it). Your car needs to be something special, after all, BMWs are all about performance. Well how does 565 Wheel Horsepower and 591 Foot Pounds of Torque sound? That is F90 M5 levels of power and even more torque, in an M3 which is about 400lbs lighter. Basically, this thing is stupid fast (and soon to be faster with the addition of a Methanol kit and more aggressive tuning). Currently Phil has equipped his car with Pure Turbos Stage 2 HiFlow Turbos and had it custom tuned by Cary Jordan. To let the engine and the Pure Turbos breath he has an MSR Open Air Intake and a GTHaus GTC Exhaust + Midpipe. You can tell he also cares a lot about reliability as well, which is good, whenever you’re putting a lot of power into a turbo car you need to remember that the more the air is compressed the hotter it will get. To ward off overheating and heat soak issues Phil has a CSF Charge Air Cooler, Heat Exchanger, and DCT Cooler. When you look at this car as a whole it is easy to see that Phil absolutely adores this car and want it to be the best it can be, and we love and appreciate that.

 

 

We sent Phil a few questions to get a little insight into his mindset when it comes to modding his car so here are a few of his responses.

What is the core reason why you modify your car?

“It’s just a great hobby you can do yourself if you choose to. All of the part modifications that didn’t require a Lift were done by me in the comfort of my own garage. It gives me great joy to feel a little bit like an Artist. I look at the Car, have an idea, and start working on it. It’s like putting a puzzle together (With DIY instructions and Youtube videos to [be] fair). The fun is [in] putting it together and just to look at the final result. Car [enthusiasts] like me are never finished, which continuously provides us the adrenaline to push on and get it just right.

Of course driving [my] own creation and [being] able to share it with others is incredibly rewarding to me.”

 

The reason we ask this question to people is because there is such a huge variety of answers and we love hearing them all. You, as you’re reading this article, probably have an idea in your head about why you like modifying cars and what it means to you. Some people love just modifying cars and getting new latest and greatest thing to play with. Some have a single platform that they are a huge fan of and love modifying because of the community they’re a part of. Some people do it because it brings them closer to friends and family. Just remember that no matter what someone’s reason, we’re all enthusiasts and we all love cars, so try to appreciate and respect other people’s work even if it isn’t quite your style or a car you feel is worth modifying.

 

 

What is your favorite mod on the car so far?

“…my favorite part is not a modification at all. Its my daughters Recaro Child seat. It looks like racing seat and makes me incredibly happy to know how lucky I am being her father [while] at the same time knowing she’s safe. Hopefully I can get Recaros to Replace the OEM seats as well.”

 

For a lot of us it can be very hard to pick a favorite modification because our mods work together to transform the car as a whole. Phil thought a bit outside the box and picked something of real significance to him. He loves the Recaro Car Seat because it lets his daughter ride in safety and style, and it allows him to share his passion for cars with her. Sharing our passions with our loved ones builds memories that will last our whole lives, so even if you don’t keep your car for very long you’ll have those memories for years to come.

 

 

Any advice for other potential f80 m3 & f82/83 m4 owners?

“It’s a great Platform for everyone. You can drive it and build it, if you wish, to anything you want. Family Car, Weekend getaway, Track or Race Car, Family Sedan. The sky is the limit. When you do decide to modify the car, make sure you buy your parts like you buy your Car. Educate yourself, read up on reviews.

You bought or leased your M3/M4, which isn’t cheap. So don’t settle for less quality when buying your parts. Trust a company like Modbargains to vet these companies for you. When [it sounds] too good to be true, it usually isn’t.”

 

This is exactly why the F8x M3 and M4 are two of our favorite cars at Modbargains, it’s such a versatile platform that you can really customize it to meet your wants and needs. Phil has a daughter so generally a two seater low slung sport coupe is not ideal, but he can have just as much fun with an M3 while still having plenty of passenger and cargo space.

 

 

What is your experience with dealing with Modbargains?

“The communication has been outstanding with every part I purchased. From answering [questions about] a part [and] specific configurations possible, to order details, invoicing, shipping, and tracking. The team at ModBargains is knowledgeable and always available to answer any of my questions.”

 

Hey thanks Phil! We pride ourselves on the knowledge and experience of our Mod Experts so anyone who calls in gets the best help possible, new and existing customers alike.

 

 

What is the next mod you’re adding?

“I currently have the following parts on order. With the exception of the PSM parts, everything should be installed this month.”

An enthusiast’s work is never done it seems.

 

 

 

Current Mods:

*WARNING* This list is not for the faint of heart, those suffering from wallet envy should consult a doctor before continuing.

 

Exterior:

  • AC Schnitzer Carbon Fiber Front Spoiler
  • AC Schnizter Front Splitter
  • Wheels: BCForged HCA162S 2piece Brushed Black center, gloss black lip, Titanium hardware
  • Front: 20×10 Rear: 20×11
  • Tires: Toyo Proxes T1 Sports 275/30ZR20 305/25ZR20
  • BMW OEM GTS Carbon Fiber Hood
  • Enlaes Side Skirts
  • Hood Dome Wrap by Signature Graphics AZ
  • Gloss Black Side Markers
  • Gloss Black Grills
  • Carbon Fiber Headlight Covers
  • Mineral White Painted Front Bumper Reflectors
  • Carbon Fiber Hood Emblem
  • Carbon Fiber Trunk Emblem
  • Kohlenstoff Tuning Carbon Fiber diffuser with 3rd F1 style Brake Light
  • MCP Racing lower bumper grill custom painted Mineral white
  • Dinmann Carbon Fiber Trunk lid spoiler
  • PSM Dynamics Carbon fiber roof spoiler
  • Carbon Fiber Undertray custom fit to work with the Kohlenstoff tuning diffuser (12h of labor)
  • Tikore Titanium Lugs with blued tip to match Exhaust tips
  • Lugs have custom laser etched Stormtrooper helmet logo

 

Interior:

 

 

Performance/Engine bay:

 

Other:

  • Fully custom coded
  • Recaro Performance Racing Child Seat
  • Escort Radar detector (hardwired)

Planned Mods:

  • Recaro Sportser CS seats
  • Carbon Fiber Center speaker trim
  • Carbon Fiber HUD trim
  • Carbon Fiber rear AC trim
  • Carbon Fiber passenger compartment
  • BMW OEM Black seat Emblems

 

 

Once again a big thanks to Phil M. for providing these pictures and letting us feature his car here. If you want to see more of Phil’s M3 and the transformation it has gone through since he got it be sure to check out his Instagram: @stormtrooper_f80. The amazing photos are courtesy of @evolutionized_photography taken for @pbmwmag. If you are looking to mod your own car be sure to contact our General Manager Alan, who helped Phil with all the parts he has ordered from us. He can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at (714)-582-3330 x8006.