Out of sight, out of mind. That’s a prevailing theme among forgettable cars in the auto industry. But every so often, a car captivates the business to no end that people have a hard time keeping them away from their memory palaces. The previous-generation BMW M3 counts as one of those vehicles. At one point, Automobile even described it in reverence on the level of how a four-year-old treats Santa Claus. It’s safe to say that the E92 BMW M3 will remain relevant for a long time and we can all look to the aftermarket tuning scene as a big contributor in keeping the last of the M3 coupes’ spirit alive. G-Power counts itself in this group and it even has a new tuning kit for the “old” M3 that pops the coupe’s power all the way up to a staggering 709 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque.
Officially, the German tuner calls its creation the M3 GT2 S Hurricane. It’s a nod to the old Hurricane programs that the E92 M3 was treated to when it was making hay as one of the best performance coupes in the world. It’s good to know then that even if the M3 coupe has been out of commission for three years now, owners of the model still have the opportunity to turn their prized M3s into certified rockets on four wheels. That’s exactly what this new Hurricane program is all about. It may not be for everybody, but for M3 owners who prefer to tap into the coupe’s full potential (with the aid of an engine swap), the GT2 S Hurricane program from G-Power is a good key that can help unlock it and more.
“The aesthetics of the E92 M3 didn’t depart too much from its 3 Series brethren, but it’s hard to make that out here because of G-Power’s new carbon fiber, wide-body kit.”
The current-generation F80 BMW M3 has shown itself to be a popular car in its own right, even with the loss of its coupe body to the M4. But back when the M4 – and the M2, for that matter – still didn’t exist, the M3 was the go-to sports coupe among fans of BMW’s M division. The aesthetics of the E92 M3 didn’t depart too much from its 3 Series brethren, but it’s hard to make that out here because of G-Power’s new carbon fiber, wide-body kit. There’s a heavy dose of the premium material on this program, as prominently shown by that incredibly large rear spoiler. The M3 also gets a new intake and cooling vents made out of carbon fiber. Likewise, the car’s hood and two doors are also made from the same material.
“Finishing off the exterior upgrades is a new set of 19-inch lightweight forged competition-grade alloy wheels.”
Finishing off the exterior upgrades is a new set of 19-inch lightweight forged competition-grade alloy wheels. The same wheels are then wrapped in 295/30ZR19 and 325/30ZR19 tires in the front and rear, respectively. Backstopping these alloys is a new racing brake system that’s made up of ceramic brake discs that come with six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers at the back.
The E92 M3 was a popular car among tuners
Let’s paint a picture on how popular the previous-generation M3 was. Jeremy Clarkson fawned over it when he was still at Top Gear. It was also called the “world’s single greatest car” by Motor Trend and the world’s “all-around best car for the money” by Car and Driver. Oh, and it was also the subject of hundreds of tuning programs in its lifetime. Obviously, I’m not going to run down the list of all the programs developed for the M3. What I did do was pick the most stand-out examples, starting with this subtle program from Hamann that brought out the M3’s aggressive personality. The kit itself wasn’t much as it only included a front spoiler, a rear skirt and spoiler, side skirts, and a nice rear spoiler. Where it lacked in quantity though was made up for with a good amount of aerodynamic balance.
On the other end of the cosmetic spectrum is the GTRS3 Candy Cane program from Vorsteiner. In terms of aesthetics, this was the BMW M3 in full aggressive bloom. Not only did it come with a hefty carbon fiber wide body kit, a vented carbon fiber race hood, and a VRS carbon fiber trunk lid, it also featured plenty red cosmetic treatments, none more egregious – or awesome depending on your preference – than replacing the blue elements on BMW’s logo with red.
These two exterior upgrade programs from Hamann and Vorsteiner are just two of many of their kind. Trust me when I tell you. If you still have a previous-generation BMW M3, you’re going to have to make tough decisions regarding a potential aftermarket tuning kit. There’s literally too many to choose from.
note: side-by-side photo of the 2008 BMW M3 by Hamann and the 2011 BMW M3 GTRS3 Candy Cane by Vortsteiner.
Contrary to some of G-Power’s more traditional tuning programs, the interior work for the M3 is arguably more significant than the exterior upgrades on the coupe. The most prominent change in the cabin can be found in the rear where the seats have been completely taken out. A full rollover cage now occupies a big section of the rear to help improve the coupe’s structural stiffness and overall safety. Make no mistake, the M3 GT2 S Hurricane is a car that’s built completely for the track. In keeping with the weight-savings theme of the interior, most of the metal panels in the cabin of the car have also been replaced with carbon fiber panels while the sound insulation materials were also sent packing. The tuner didn’t say how much weight it was able to strip out of the M3, but considering all the changes, an estimate of around 150 to 200 kilos (330 to 440 pounds) should be around the ballpark.
“The most prominent change in the cabin can be found in the rear where the seats have been completely taken out.”
While performance may be at the heart of G-Power’s kit, it still provided the M3’s cabin with enough premium materials to keep it from going completely spartan. The Alcantara trim on the dashboard, sports seats, and headliner stand out, but there’s also a new digital multi-function display and G-Power’s own supplementary display to keep note of. The latter, in particular, should come in handy for the driver since it monitors all relevant information concerning the performance of coupe’s new engine.
A lot of M3s were track-tuned back in the day
Turning the previous-generation BMW M3 into track cars made tuners a lot of money so it’s no surprising that some of these companies followed a similar blueprint as the one G-Power used in developing the M3 GT2 S Hurricane. Back in 2011, CLP Automotive went into overdrive in turning the M3 into a perfect track machine. The exterior was heavy on upgrades, but the case was the same for the interior where the tuner installed its own body cage in the interior to go with Recaro sports seats and some doses of Alcantara trim.
While we’re on the theme of completely revamped interiors, this program from motorsports company RS Racingteam showed its wares back in 2013. I described it then as being a “cozy interior” but with the benefit of hindsight, I’d probably take it back. See, “cozy” isn’t the first thing people should think of when discussing RS Racingteam’s interior upgrade program for the M3. Like G-Power and CLP Automotive, the motorsports racing team installed its own race cage to go with front sport bucket seats with six-point harnesses, a new racing steering wheel, and racing brake pads, and of course, touches of carbon fiber installed in various parts of the cabin.
|2011 BMW M3 GT Interceptor by CLP Automotive||BMW M3 RS-M3 by RS Racingteam.|
There’s an art to building a tuning program that covers a wide swath of a car’s needs, or in this case, turn it into a full-fledged track racer that can lay waste to anybody that stands in its way. G-Power’s engine upgrade program for the E92 M3 involved a lot of work and a lot of putting new pieces in place to complete the whole process.
The first order of business was to disassemble the 4.0-liter V-8 engine and replace the lightweight forged pistons and connecting rods. The tuner also installed a long stroke forged crankshaft to increase the engine’s capacity from the stock 4.0 liters to 4.5 liters. From there, G-Power dropped its ASA T1-724 supercharger system into the mix and all together, the tuner was able to achieve an output of 720 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Do a little mathematical gymnastics and the numbers add up to an increase of 300 horses and 184 pound-feet of twist.
As intense as those figures are, the madness continues in the performance times where the M3 GT2 S Hurricane is now capable of sprinting to 124 mph in 9.8 seconds before peaking at a top speed of 205 mph. Imagine having those kinds of performance credentials on the drag strip or the race track. The M3 GT2 S Hurricane is going to turn a lot of heads in both environments.
A lot of variety as far as power and performance are concerned
Given the sheer number of engine upgrade programs that the previous-generation BMW M3 was subjected to, it’s perfectly normal for power figures to vary dramatically. Take CLP Automotive’s M3 GT Interceptor for example. It had the look of a full-fledged racer, complete with a full-body roll cage. But the tuner only managed to massage 30 extra horsepower out of the 4.0-liter V-8 engine, resulting in an output of 450 horses and 318 pound-feet of twist. The result is a dramatically slower car than the M3 GT2 S Hurricane that can hit 124 mph from an idle position in 14.7 seconds and a top speed of just 186 mph.
Meanwhile, RS Racingteam’s program for the E92 M3 has a lot more to offer than CLP Automotive’s own kit, but it’s still well short of what G-Power achieved. The racing team opted for a software upgraded with its kit, which largely explains the disparity in power to G-Power’s Hurricane kit. Still, that software upgrade was enough to boost the coupe’s output to 600 horsepower, a little over halfway between the power outputs generated by CLP Automotive and G-Power.
Other tuners like Precision Sports Industries and VF Engineering were able to achieve similar output numbers as the RS Racingteam. PSI, for example, got the M3’s V-8 engine to produce 600 horsepower and 427 pound-feet of torque while VF Engineering offered a number of programs of its own, including the VF650 kit that saw the coupe’s power numbers rise to 650 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.
Then there’s Manhart Racing, which did a list replacing of its own. Instead of disassembling the M3’s V-8 engined and swapping stock parts for new, aftermarket ones, Manhart went the route of replacing the M3’s engine with a bigger S63 engine that was then found on the BMW X6 M SUV. A few ECU mods and a change in exhaust also contributed in Manhart generating an output of 724 horsepower and 641 pound-feet of torque out of the last-run M3.
Check out the table below to see the diverse engine upgrade programs that the E92 BMW M3 received to earn its status as one of the most tuner-friendly performance cars in the industry.
|Tuner||Horsepower||Torque||0 to 60 MPH||Top Speed|
|BMW M3 GT2 S Hurricane (G-Power)||720 horsepower||479 pound-feet||3.0 seconds*||205 mph|
|BMW M3 GT Interceptor (CLP Automotive )||450 horsepower||318 pound-feet||5.7 seconds*||186 mph*|
|BMW M3 “RS-M3” (RS Racing Team)||600 horsepower||430 pound-feet*||4.0 seconds*||196 mph*|
|BMW M3 (Precision Sports Industries)||650 horsepower||427 pound-feet||3.5 seconds*||200 mph*|
|BMW M3 (Manhart Racing)||724 horsepower||641 pound-fee||3.0 seconds*||205 mph*|
The BMW M3 GT2 S Hurricane is a track car so naturally, a lot of work was also put into improving its suspension. The most prominent of these upgrades is G-Power’s own coil-overs that come with a Nürburgring set-up, or specific tunes to the ride height and dampers that will allow the sports coupe to maximize its worth around the Nürburgring. In addition, G-Power also added a race pneumatic lift system, or simply known as air jacks. These should prove particularly useful when the car’s on the track and trying to go in and out of the pit lane to swap tires as quickly as possible.
G-Power is letting everyone know off the bat how much the BMW M3 GT2 S Hurricane is going to cost and it’s not cheap. According to the tuner, those interested in availing of the whole thing, car and program included, will have to shell out a logic-defying amount of €292,883. That converts to just under $330,000 based on current exchange rates. Like I said, prepare for your finances to bleed out should you decide to take G-Power up on its offer of turning the E92 M3 into a full-fledged rock star of an exotic.
BMW M3 By Velos Designwerks
We can spend all day picking apart which tuning program from which tuner put out an impressive kit for the E92 BMW M3. Instead of doing that though, we’ll just go with two more tuners, beginning with Velos Designwerks. It doesn’t have same level of esteem as the likes of G-Power or Hamann, but back in 2012, it presented its program for the sports coupe that featured its own ESS VT625 supercharger kit. With the kit in place, Velos Designwerks was able to boost the output of the M3’s V-8 engine to 620 horsepower, good enough to sit in that sweet spot between the power gains achieved by the RS Racingteam and Precision Sports Industries.
BMW M3 By Alpha-N Performance
By now, the name Alpha-N Performance is pretty recognizable for all of the significant programs it’s released in recent years for some of the world’s finest performance cars. It’s funny though that one of the most impressive programs the tuner developed in the last two years was actually for the previous-generation BMW M3. Introduced in 2015, the BT92 5.8L V10 Part 2 (yes, that’s its official name) was introduced and it was a doozy. Not only did it feature an aero kit and a new set of wheels, it also came with an engine swap. Gone was the M3’s stock 4.0-liter V-8 and in its place, Alpha-N put in a 5.8-liter engine with two extra cylinders, effectively turning it into a full-fledged V-10 mil. The result was impressive as the tuner was able to coax out 640 horsepower.
What’s really left to say here other than “wow?” I can point out to so many aspects of this monumental creation and it still wouldn’t fully describe the kind of work G-Power put into making the M3 GT2 S Hurricane the way it is. So in the absence of that, let me just say that owners of the previous-generation BMW M3 who are looking to get creative with the coupe’s power and performance capabilities, G-Power is only a phone call away.