Atlantis blue 560hp BMW M3 F80
With huge helpings of style, potent performance and serious four-door flair, this utterly magnificent F80 M3 is nothing short of a modified masterpiece.
Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Patrick Lauder
M3ISTERSTÜCK This awesome Atlantis blue F80 M3 build takes everything to the next level.
AWESOME F80 STUNNING M3 BUILD
Ever since the F80 M3 Saloon appeared, with its narrow body and wide-arch combo, it was clear that BMW M’s four doors were bringing some serious flair to the party. Those muscular looks are irresistible, serving up some serious aggression and road presence. And when you start tweaking the styling, throwing some enhancements into the mix, and getting it sitting low over the right wheels, well, the results are simply breathtaking, and Andrew Kahrimanian’s (@bmdoubledru) example is exactly that. We’ve seen a lot of modded F80 M3s over the years, but a perfectly executed build still has the power to make us go weak at the knees, and this is that kind of car. Just look at it. The colour, the way it sits, the carbon, it’s just perfect. And, if you couldn’t tell, there’s a lot of very good stuff going on here.
Andrew’s first encounter with BMWs came in the shape of his dad’s E28 528i in Cirrus blue metallic, and he would look for any excuse to take it for a drive once he’d got his licence. “After my first drive in that car, I was hooked on BMWs. There’s nothing like the way they handle, look, and even smell!” he enthuses, and we know what he means all too well.
Andrew’s personal BMW journey began with a 1993 BMW E36 325i Saloon, and this was followed by several Bavarian machines, including an E60, an E39 and an F10, and it’s clear that he’s got a taste for four-doors.
So, while it’s no surprise that he ended up with another saloon, and you don’t need an excuse to buy an M3, what led him to this car in particular? “My entire life, all of the vehicles I had ever owned were used cars. I never had the opportunity to go and choose the exact specs of a vehicle I wanted, and I always told myself that one day I would get a car where I got to choose every last detail,” says Andrew. “After owning my F10 for a few years, I decided I wanted to go back to a 3 Series size, and I had always loved the F8x platform. One day, while I was at the BMW dealership having a service done on my F10, I started playing around online with building an F80. It became a reality that same day, and I placed a deposit on an Individual F80 M3,” he grins. As you can clearly see, while Andrew may have specced his perfect F80 M3, that didn’t mean he wasn’t about to roll up his sleeves with some mods. And when we say some, we mean a lot.
“My plan was to build a car that wasn’t something that you see every day and was wellrounded,” he explains. “I was very impatient while waiting for the vehicle to be built, as ordering an Individual model takes months to be built and then transported overseas. I had my garage ready for the F80’s arrival, and during my months and months of waiting, the garage started to fill up with parts. I actually had parts laid out in the garage that started to take the shape of a car,” laughs Andrew. “Once the M3 arrived, I brought it straight to my friend’s detail shop and had it immediately paint-corrected and ceramic coated.
Once that was done, the parts from the garage started going on the car.”
And while he had everything planned out, there was no doubt in Andrew’s mind how things were going to get started. “Wheels and suspension are always first!” he exclaims with a grin. “When it comes to wheels, It’s all about the details,” Andrew explains. “One of my best friends, Wendell Willkom, paved the way for me to fall in love with BBS wheels. I have always loved BBS LM-Rs, so a friend who has built many sets of baller wheels for Wendell, Mark Perrault, built a custom 20” three-piece conversion set of BBS LM-Rs for me.
“We specced them out from start to finish so they would accommodate a front and rear BBK down the line while maximising lip depth and having the perfect offsets. They were 20”x10” and 20”x 11.5” with hand-brushed gloss titanium faces, 3” and 3.5” highly polished lips, and matt black barrels, all put together with candy gold hardware,” enthuses Andrew. However, he ended up selling those and commissioning Mark to build him a custom set of three-piece 20” BBS RS-GTs, complete with custom 5.5x20” space-saver.
These were, unsurprisingly, awesome, but Andrew found himself pining after the LM-Rs. “I eventually sold the RS-GTs and had another set of BBS LM-Rs built, exactly the same as the first set, and this second set of LM-Rs is what I am rocking today… and I will never get rid of them!” he grins. And we’re not surprised to hear that because they look awesome and suit this build perfectly, especially paired with an equally perfect drop. “I have always run KW suspension on all of my previous vehicles, so I decided on KW suspension for this car,” explains Andrew. “The M3 is running KW Variant 3 fully adjustable coilovers. Since I specced the vehicle with EDC, BPM Sport and Performance Technic completed a custom EDC delete for this setup.” The coilovers have got this F80 sitting indecently low, and it looks outrageously good as a result.
With the wheels and suspension sorted, Andrew now moved on to the exterior styling. “I wanted to maintain the aggressive lines of the car but enhance them with my own flair,” he reasons. “Over the past few years, I tried different front lips and rear diffusers. I originally had the OEM M Performance carbon lip and opted to upgrade to the RSC Tuning lip for a more aggressive front, coupled with Sterckenn upper splitters and M Performance lower splitters. I also started out with a Vorsteiner rear diffuser but wanted to go more aggressive and chose a PSM-style rear diffuser and undertray. To finish off the front and rear, I added RKP carbon fibre side skirt extensions. I then added Dinmann FRP deep vent fenders and an OEM forged carbon fibre GTS bonnet all wrapped in Stek PPF installed by Artdeshine Studios in Concord, CA. The rest of the exterior has been finished off with GTS-style OLED tails, installed by the team at SV Bimmer, and lots of bits from Goldenwrench, Future Classic and IND,” and that’s an awesome selection of styling upgrades, but there’s more.
“It’s all about the details,” Andrew continues. “With the car being Atlantis blue and my chosen accent colour being red to go with the Sakhir orange interior, Performance Technic worked with Race Technologies to build a custom front and rear BBK setup. I wanted to bring the interior colour to the outside, so we opted for the new Brembo BM aluminium monobloc six and four-piston calipers. Race Technologies put the 380mm front and rear BBK together and had the calipers custom- finished in BMW OEM Sakhir orange paint to bring a little pop of the inside, outside,” he says with a smile. The combination of all those elements is just spectacular. This F80 M3 looks unreasonably good – it’s just awesome. All that carbon, the ultra-aggressive bonnet, the Sakhir calipers, it all comes together perfectly, and this is a sensational-looking car.
Satisfied with his styling efforts, Andrew turned his attention to the eminently tunable S55 sitting beneath that sculpted carbon bonnet. At the business end sits a carbon GruppeM dual intake system, while at the rear, you will find a Remus Valvetronic exhaust system, but there’s been plenty more finetuning beneath the surface. “I wanted the typical S55 sound to be significantly better, so I went with an Active Autowerke mid-pipe, which helped, but it still didn’t sound how I wanted it to. So, I upgraded that midpipe to the Active Autowerke resonated equal-length midpipe and added on Akrapovic titanium cat-less downpipes plus carbon fibre Eventuri charge pipes. This made it breathe and sound better, but I wanted a cleaner sound, so I worked with Performance Technic in Fremont, CA, and Mike at BPM Sport to make a custom tune for me, which included silencing the burbles and I got the sound I was after,” grins Andrew.
“With the car breathing significantly better and with the reduced back pressure, the Stage 2 BPMSport custom tune, coupled with a custom red carbon fibre CSF charge cooler, Mosselman Turbo Systems billet oil thermostat and a six-speed transmission, I am in love every time I drive this car and start rowing through the gears,” grins Andrew. The finishing touches are lashings of carbon fibre engine bay elements, red caps and covers from Goldenwrench, along with a Downstar billet dress-up kit.
Andrew’s final stop on his modifying journey was the interior, and if you thought this build was impressive on the outside, the inside is on another level. “It’s all about the details!” exclaims Andrew, and he’s not kidding. “I wanted to play off the Sakhir orange and carbon colour combo as that’s how I custom-specced the car when I was having it built. And, since I brought some of the interior colour to the exterior, I wanted to find a way to bring some of the exterior to the interior,” he reasons.
“So I first opted for most of the carbon fibre M Performance goodies and added on to the carbon fibre with a slew of custom carbon fibre parts from Dinmann. For years, I had been following LG Trimming on IG due to their incredible work and attention to detail, so I asked Lawrence, owner of LG Trimming in the UK, to build custom seats for me,” and that’s commitment to the build.
“We ended up ordering a set of Recaro SPG XLs, had them sent to the UK, had them fully stripped, then had the entire exterior shells carbon fibreskinned in OEM matching 2x2 carbon fibre. After that, Lawrence was able to find Sakhir orange Bentley leather that perfectly matched the BMW Sakhir orange and expertly re-trimmed the Recaro seats and finished them off with embossed Recaro text in the headrests,” says Andrew.
“Since I am into all the small details, I had him carbon fibreskin new seat belt receptacles, make custom Sakhir orange- piped floor mats using OEM Porsche black carpet, and he made Alcantara zip-up harness pads for my Schroth Enduro racing harnesses that he stitched with Sakhir orange thread. At the end of the project, we had some leather left, so I asked him to make a custom Sakhir orange leather duffel bag with my stamped initials, M tri-colour detail striping, and a shoulder strap made from the OEM M tri-colour seat belt material. To keep the theme of bringing the inside out and outside in, I had a StudioRSR Cartesian roll-cage fitted and refinished in OEM Atlantis blue. This, for me, completed the interior and tied everything together,” he smiles, and we need a moment to take all that in.
The seats are something else, and we just have to say that Sakhir with Atlantis is a bold choice and one we’re fully on board with. There’s just so much to take in here — the attention to detail, the acres of carbon, all of it combines to create one of the most downright sensational cabins we’ve seen in a long time, and we love it.
Andrew’s F80 M3 has left us feeling a bit breathless, such is the sheer amount of work and dedication that’s gone into this car, and this was certainly no overnight build. “The build started in June of 2018, and it’s never finished! Five years and counting,” he grins. And, with so much work having gone into this build, it’s unsurprising that Andrew can’t choose just one favourite mod, but we’ll let him off. “I would say my most favourite mods would be my wheels, seats and bonnet/ fenders. My wheels finish the exterior of the car and the details, giving the perfect stance that makes you look back at the car every time you’re walking away. My seats are one-off, built to order, just like the car. The details are ridiculous. And my bonnet and fenders — I love mods that when you look at a car, you know something is definitely different, but it takes
you a few seconds to figure it out because everything flows so well. The OEM GTS bonnet, coupled with the Dinmann deep vent fenders, do just that,” he enthuses.
Up until this point, Andrew has done everything he wanted, exactly how he wanted, which is awesome, but he’s not done with the mods just yet. “I plan on doing a rear seat delete, a trunk setup that will incorporate an extension of the roll-cage along with some sound equipment, and once the factory warranty is over, I’d like to upgrade the turbos. I’d also like to build out the suspension and chassis more,” says Andrew, so it’s clear he’s going to be busy for some time to come. And that’s no hardship because working on, driving, and simply owning this epic F80 M3 is a joy, and Andrew is a very lucky man, indeed.
Remus Valvetronic exhaust with carbon tips.
Lawrence was able to find Sakhir orange Bentley leather that perfectly matched the BMW Sakhir orange and expertly re-trimmed the Recaro seats and finished them off with embossed Recaro text in the headrests
This F80 M3 looks epic from every angle. Stunning Dinmann carbon fibre steering wheel The interior is packed full of details, like the M Performance gear knob, pedals and handbrake handle. The engine bay is a riot of carbon fibre, including the custom red carbon finish on the CSF chargecooler. The S55, meanwhile, makes a healthy 560hp.
I wanted to maintain the aggressive lines of the car but enhance them with my own flair
TECHNICAL DATA BMW F80 M3
- ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION: 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six S55B30, GruppeM dual carbon fibre intake system, Eventuri carbon fibre charge pipes with red accents, CSF chargecooler finished in custom gloss red carbon fibre, Mosselman Turbo Systems billet oil thermostat, Eventuri carbon fibre engine cover, Akrapovic titanium downpipes with cat delete, Active Autowerke Resonated Equal-Length Mid-Pipe, Remus Valvetronic quad exhaust system with 102mm carbon exhaust tips, Goldenwrench Blackline Performance Edition red oil filter housing, Motorsport red washer fluid cap, red fuel cap cover, red coolant cap tank cover, Performance Edition red oil cap cover and Performance red charge cooler tank cap, Dinmann carbon fibre upper cowl covers, Downstar billet dress-up hardware, BPMSport Stage 2 software with GTS-spec start-up, top-speed limiter removed, customcoded TPMS, rev-matching enabled and burble delete. Six-speed manual gearbox
- POWER AND TORQUE: 560hp and 600lb ft
- CHASSIS: 10x20” (front) and 11.5x20” (rear) BBS LM-R wheels with custom three-piece conversion, high-lustre 3” (front) and 4” (rear) lips, hand-brushed and cleared faces finished in Titanium Gloss, Candy Gold-plated assembly hardware, matt black powder-coated barrels, BBS red/gold centre caps and polished shorty valve stems and caps, 265/30 (front) Michelin Pilot Super Sport and 305/25 (rear) Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres, Macht Schnell 5mm rear spacers, Apex 75mm stud conversion, Project Kics R40 Iconix Racing Wheel Nuts, BBS RS-GT 5.5x20” custom three-piece spacesaver spare wheel, Apex ARC-8 10.5x19” (front and rear) satin black track wheels, KW V3 coilovers, BPMSport EDC delete
- EXTERIOR: Individual Atlantis metallic, OEM BMW GTS forged carbon fibre bonnet, M Performance gloss black kidney grilles, Dinmann arches with integrated Porsche arch vent trim, RSC Tuning full carbon fibre front lower lip, shaved and moulded front bumper side reflectors, M Performance carbon fibre lower splitters, Sterckenn carbon fibre front upper splitters, RKP carbon fibre side skirt extensions, M Performance carbon fibre side mirror covers, PSM-style carbon fibre rear diffuser, PSM-style carbon fibre rear undertray, IND colour-matched rear reflector delete, IND gloss black front and rear BMW roundels, F90 M5 Competition badging, GTS-style OLED rear lights, Goldenwrench Blackline rear light overlays, Fall-Line Motorsports red front and rear tow straps with colourmatched surrounds, Future Classic Track V1 track number set, Ceramic Pro ceramic paint coating, Stek PPF, Future Classic windscreen club decal
- INTERIOR: Recaro Profi SPG XL racing seats trimmed in colour-matched Sakhir orange Bentley leather, skinned in 2x2 weave carbon fibre, embossed Recaro lettering in headrests, Recaro Racing seat side brackets, VAC Motorsports seat floor mounts and seat belt adapters, Schroth Enduro 3x2 six-point racing harnesses, custom Alcantara-trimmed zip-up harness pads with Sakhir orange embroidery, RSpro harness collars, BPMSport custom-coded SRS system, carbon fibre skinned OEM seat belt tensioners with Sakhir orange leather sleeves, StudioRSR Cartesian roll-cage finished in colour- Matched Atlantis blue, custom-moulded rear seat outer bolsters to accommodate roll-cage arms, custom-moulded and embroidered rear mats to accommodate roll-cage legs, Fall-Line Motorsports halon fire extinguisher and extinguisher race seat mounting bracket, Dinmann carbon fibre flat-bottom steering wheel finished in perforated leather, Sakhir orange colourmatched stitching with centre stripe, Dinmann carbon fibre steering wheel centre and rear trim, door pulls, speaker trim surrounds, headlight switch trim, centre console rear vent trim and carbon fibre rear headrest shells, OEM BMW floor mats re-piped in OEM Sakhir orange leather, IND red start button retrofit with gloss black trim, IND red M1/M2 steering wheel buttons, Carbonex aluminium bonnet latch handle, Future Classic four-button key upgrade by Gates Innovations, Rennline ExactFit F8x phone mount, M Performance carbon fibre shift knob, Alcantara gaiter, carbon fibre handbrake handle, Alcantara centre console with carbon fibre trim, and accelerator/brake/clutch/dead pedals, BMS short-throw clutch stop
- THANKS My wife Camille and three boys, Joshua, Nathan and Sammy, for putting up with my car addiction! Nick Icasiano, Wendell Willkom, Winston Adams, Carlo Cabalquinto, Mark Perrault, Alex Eugenio, the NFJ fam, the Endless Projects fam, Joe, Brandon, Courtney, Dillon and Kendall at Performance Technic, James, Vernon, Joey and David at BMW Concord, Mike from BPMSport, the SVBimmer team, Mert and Marlowe at Lyfstyle Motors, David from Obsessed, Joe Yazon and the team at Ardeshine Studios, Lawrence Gray from LG Trimming, Mario from Goldenwrench Supply Co., Homan Cannan from Dinmann, RSC Tuning, RW Carbon, Sean from Mashimarho, IND Distribution, Future Classic, and Justin from Auto Talent