545bhp BMW M4 F82
Sliding through the mist like an ephemeral assassin, this sublime M4 effortlessly blends minimalist style and the perfect selection of personal touches for maximum impact.
Words: Elizabeth de Latour
Photos: Jason Dodd
Effortlessly combining subtle styling with individual flair, this bagged F82 M4 really delivers.
If you're looking for a modern M machine, the F8x M3 and M4 are hard to beat. The M4, in particular, has become very affordable in recent years, and thanks to its twin-turbo S55, it feels monstrously quick out of the box, with heaps of torque that makes it very easy to drive, combined with a ferocious top-end and a seriously sharp chassis. It'll even deliver decent fuel economy too. As an all-round high-performance proposition, it's a very enticing one, and that's before we've even touched on the vast amount of aftermarket upgrades out there and the ease with which the S55 will deliver a serious helping of extra power. The M4 ticks all the boxes you could think of, and then finds a few more and ticks those too, and it's easy to see why Ross Wilson (@gh05t_xw) is so enamoured with his Mineral white machine.
Unlike a lot of our feature car owners, who are often lifelong BMW fans, Ross’s interest in BMWs did not start manifesting until relatively recently, probably only in the last eight years or so, he reckons, but it’s fair to say he’s making up for lost time in a big way. “The look and feel of the M cars are just so special,” Ross enthuses, and he’s clearly one of us now. Of course, one does not simply walk into M-car ownership (well, sometimes one does, but there are usually some steps leading up to that), and for Ross, the BMW experience started in a somewhat more subdued manner.
“My first BMW was a 2015 BMW 420d M Sport with loads of options. I kind of fell out of love with the whole car scene and wanted a change from what I had (Mitsubishi Evo VIII), so I went to my local BMW main dealer to have a look at an E93 335i, and… somehow ended up buying a brand new 420d,” he laughs. And, while the 420d is a fine everyday offering, it failed to fire Ross up in any way whatsoever. “The 420d was the most boring car I’ve ever owned, so slow, and it sounded like a taxi. I thought it would stop me wanting to modify cars, but it made it worse,” he chuckles.
“The M4 had only been out a little while in 2015, and I couldn’t afford one. I had the 420d for 18 months, then my M4 came up for sale at my local BMW dealers, so I went and test-drove it and then traded in the 420d,” and the rest, as they say, is history. While this might be Ross’s first M car, it’s certainly not his first foray into modding, and past projects have included a few Mk3 Escorts, three Renault 5 GT Turbos, including a show build from the glory days of the Max Power era, as well as the aforementioned Mitsubishi Evo VIII, and coming into M4 ownership, he had a plan in mind. “I knew I wanted to modify it, take my time, and do it properly,” and it’s mission accomplished on all three of these fronts. Ross’s M4 does a great job of combining personal style with added flair while keeping everything looking subtle, and he’s put together a fantastic-looking car.
Ross started with the small details, such as the essential black grilles to get rid of the ugly standard chrome items, along with black side vents and a black M4 badge from a Competition. While carbon is what most people go for when it comes to styling additions, Ross didn’t want to follow the crowd, so he’s added his own personal touch to the aero elements on his M4. “My side skirt extensions and rear V-Style diffuser are painted gloss black, which matches the one-of-one gloss black, massive ducktail spoiler from the guys at Dark Ghost Developments,” he enthuses. “At the front, I’ve gone for carbon corners and uppers from Carbonwurks, with a body-colour painted M Performance lip,” and this really gives this M4 a distinctive appearance.
The combination of contrasting carbon elements with the body-colour lip at the front is really striking and works so well, and the gloss black finish on the other components makes them pop against the Mineral white bodywork. Ross has also treated his M4 to a set of custom roundels and German flag M badges, while the calipers have been painted gold and finished with Brembo decals. All this works together to give this M4 a lot more presence, all while keeping things subtle, and it’s a top-tier combo.
Naturally, one of the first things that anyone’s mind turns to when they pick up a new car is wheels, and Scott got started with a set of forged wheels, but since then, he’s moved on to another set. “I should have really kept my forged ones and my original 437Ms, as both were nice wheels, but I love the ones I’ve got now as the concave is crazy,” Ross grins. The satin black Z-Performance 20s he’s opted for look fantastic on the car, and the colour ties in perfectly with the various contrasting black elements he’s added, bringing everything together flawlessly.
Of course, no one who’s out to mod their car would be happy with leaving the ride height stock, and while Ross initially opted for a set of Eibach springs, he’s moved on from those, as you can probably tell. “I like a low car, but if you want to get anywhere, it’s a pain. So, air was the only answer,” he reasons. “I’m running a full Air Lift 3H kit, twin Viair 485c compressors, 3/8 lines, a seamless tank, Stealth bags and struts with fully adjustable top mounts and custom rear arms, all from Intermotiv,” he says. Air still gets plenty of haters, especially when it’s fitted to an M car, but you can’t argue with the sheer practicality of it, and when Ross drops his F82 on the ground, it looks seriously spectacular. The finishing touch is the neat boot build, handcrafted by Ross himself.
So far, we’ve been enjoying the visual enhancements that this M4 is wearing, but with that twin-turbo S55 under the bonnet, it would have been rude not to at least give it a little tweak, and Ross has done just that. “My wife bought me an M Performance Exhaust with the carbon tips, and this sounds amazing,” he grins. “I’m also running front-mount intakes with Ramair ProRam induction filters and a bootmod3 Stage 1 map with custom settings and GTS gearbox software. The bootmod3 is great; it gives you that little bit extra power that makes all the difference,” Ross enthuses, but it’s not a little bit of extra power, it’s 545hp and 538lb ft of torque, and that’s made this M4 into a proper performance machine, with a soundtrack to match. When Ross bought his M4 five years ago, he said he wanted to take his time and modify it properly, and it’s fair to say he’s absolutely achieved what he set out to do.
This car looks great, with plenty of tasty individual touches that make it stand out from the crowd, some seriously nice additions, and a healthy helping of power to boot, and it makes this M4 the perfect modded performance package. As for which part of this package is Ross’s favourite, it’s a dead heat between two mods: “It’s between the air suspension and the M Performance Exhaust. It looks so good aired out, but also sounds amazing with the exhaust,” he muses, and we’re not so mean as to force him to choose one of those.
And, while the past five years have really transformed this M4, Ross is far from finished. “Since the photo shoot, I’ve added a GTS/CS bonnet. I think I’d better do some bits to the interior next!” he exclaims, “and I really need a set of the Icon 2 headlights. And maybe a new set of wheels… Does it ever end?” Ross laughs, and we’re going to say with some confidence that the answer is a resounding ‘no’. Having managed to get his hands on his first M machine, Ross clearly has no intention of letting it go, and this ongoing project is going to keep on going.
The interior features a custom steering wheel with German tricolour flag stitching. The twin-turbo S55 has been treated to a few performance upgrades and now makes 545hp. The air suspension can be controlled by Ross from his phone – both very cool and extremely handy, too.
TECHNICAL DATA BMW M4 F82
- ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION: 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six S55B30, front-mount intakes, Ramair ProRam air filters, M Performance exhaust with carbon tips, bootmod3 Stage 1. M DCT seven-speed gearbox
- MAX POWER AND TORQUE: 545bhp and 538lb ft
- CHASSIS: 9.5x20” (front) and 11x20” (rear) Z-Performance ZP2.1 wheels in satin black, Michelin PS4 tyres, Air Lift Performance 3H air suspension with stealth bags and struts, custom gold calipers with Brembo decals
- EXTERIOR: Mineral white, M Performance front lip sprayed Mineral white, carbon corners and carbon uppers, black grilles and side vents, GTS/CS bonnet (fitted after shoot), M Performance side skirt extensions sprayed gloss black, V-style diffuser sprayed gloss black, one of one ducktail spoiler, tinted front lights and reflectors, GTS-style rear lights, custom black M4 badge and grille badge in German flag colours, custom black and white BMW roundels
- INTERIOR: Sakhir orange interior, flat-bottom Alcantara and leather steering wheel with German flag tricolour stitching, dual Viair 485c compressors, custom boot install
- THANKS My wife Sarah for putting up with my car obsession for the last 26 years, Lucas @touch_of_gloss detailing for getting the paintwork looking this good/general help and occasional storage