If you are a BMW guy/member of the BMW UAE club, Gintani fanatic or a fairly active Instagram user, chances are that you have drooled over this particular E90 M3 sedan. If you are someone who wears reflective glares and does not use the turn-signals in his mother’s X5 or puts M badges and LED strips on his 1998 318i, chances are that you have no idea why we do what we do at carculture.ae and why I feel this might just be the best M3 in the country.
Ghassan, a Japanese car fan-boy at heart is not new to modifying cars. Having previously owned an 800WHP Supra and a boosted Honda Odyssey, yes. The family van. However, his attention turned to Bavaria when BMW released the E90 M3 sedan. A four-door sedan with a manual gearbox that could go naught to hundred in under five seconds, Ghassan was in heaven when he picked up his M3 in 2009. Up until 2014, the car served as his daily-driver sporting only a front lip and rear add-on spoiler. That is around the time that the F80 M3 and F2 M4 were released. Realizing that his NA V8 predecessor was lacking in the torque department, Ghassan figured it is high-time to do something about it.
He then walked into Kinetechnik Motorsport, the Gintani UAE dealer at the time and very soon struck a deal with them for a complete overhaul, which also served the purpose for Kinetechnik. They could showcase what they capable of, a quality that is evident in the final result of this build.
The exterior, which is unmistakably ‘Nardo’ grey features a bunch of IND items. Such as the keyhole delete kit, kidney grilles and logos. The aggressiveness of the E90 M3’s front end is further accentuated by the OSS Iconics headlights and carbon fiber hood, which also helps in shedding some weight. (We’re told that this M3 is the only one in the Middle-East with these headlights). The weight saving is continued at the rear, where a carbon fiber CSL trunk replaces the stock one. Other carbon fiber goodies are the front lip, mirror-caps, side-grilles and side-skirt extensions. Ghassans love for the weave is so much, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a carbon fiber toilet at home.
The interior is just as beautiful as the outside, where a BMW performance steering wheel and M performance shift knob greet you the second the door is opened. The interior was then completely redone with black napa leather and alcantara upholstery, with Laguna Seca Blue stitching. Custom upholstery meant custom IND floor mats as well. And perhaps when the floor mats went in, Ghassan decided that the pedals needed a change as well. So an Ultimate clutch pedal, M performance aluminum pedals mat-plate find home in this interior.
Great power comes with great car trouble, and helping Ghassan keep track of engine vitals are an Awron DGA gauge, Ethanol content analyzer gauge and DEFI CR multi-gauges sitting in an MS ashtray gauge pod.
However the exterior and the interior of this car are not even the cause this car makes me salute the owner and the guys at Gintani UAE. The real reason, lurks under the hood. The engine, was simply taken out, yanked apart and rebuilt with new oil/water pumps, gaskets, fluids, rod bolts and bearings before a Gintani Stage 3 supercharger kit was bolted on.
This motor however, is the first in the world to run on Ethanol, otherwise known as ‘race-fuel’ or E85. The result? A mouth-watering 790 horse powers on a otherwise stock S65B40 motor. Helping the motor keep cool is a M24 oil cooler and a CSF race-spec radiator, and the music to Ghassans ears is amplified by ARH long-tube headers and a Meisterschaft GT2 exhaust system. This monster M3 stops just as fast as it goes off the line, thanks to a Brembo 380mm BBK (Big Brake Kit for the unaware) with slotted disks. Last but not the least, the rubber of choice is a set of Toyo R888’s, in 295 and 265 sizes respectively. However, we at carculture.ae have seen first-hand that this M3 needs stickier tires.
The reason I feel this M3 is perhaps the best in the country, is because no aspect of the build has been overlooked. Agreed, it does help to be a project car for a brand like Gintani, but one cannot discount the effort an owner puts in. It’s not like Gintani just sent a WhatsApp message to Ghassan saying ‘Hi mate, your M3 is really cute, we would like to make it angrier and less cute. Drop by your shop and pick it up after a week, will you?’ No. It is not even remotely close to that. Enthusiasts like Ghassan are only just slightly supported by brands. They still need to visualize their plans, do the research, they spend hours at the shop working things out and above all, part ways with their children’s college fund. Being a car enthusiast is being a mad-man, in this sense. And after all, M does stand for madness, wouldn’t you agree?