Not only has this BMW E91 Touring been endowed with M3 looks and underpinnings, but it’s also been enhanced with a supercharged S65 beneath the bonnet, making it a Touring that’s not to be trifled with.
Feature from Performance BMW magazine. Photos: Matt Woods.
BMW has, for one reason or another, shied away from performance estates. You can count their efforts on the fingers of one hand and have enough spare to, well, do whatever you might want to do with three fingers. There was the LHD-only E34 M5 Touring, and then there was the E61 M5 Touring, which nobody bought, so that might be the reason why BMW has been a little cautious about dipping a toe into the high-performance estate market once more.
It is happening in M3 form for the first time with the imminent release of the G81 Touring (check out our G81 Estate news story), but if you don’t happen to have north of £75k to hand for a seriously rapid BMW wagon, there’s one other option. As the saying goes, if you want something done, do it yourself.
That’s exactly what Paul Jones (@jdgarage2018) did, and, as you can see for yourself, he’s done an incredible job of his supercharged BMW E91 M3 Touring.
Let’s be honest, building an E91 M3 Touring is no casual undertaking, but then Paul is no casual BMW fan. “I’ve always loved the M cars, ever since my science teacher at secondary school bought a new E36 M3,” he tells us, and it clearly made a big impression on the young Paul as he’s gone on to make BMs his profession: “I own JD Garage & Performance Centre,” he smiles, “we specialise in BMWs.”
Naturally, with both job and passion fully occupied by BMs, you would be surprised if he didn’t have a selection of BMs in his fleet and that he most certainly does. While his first venture into Bavarian ownership (an E53 X5) wasn’t an M3 like his secondary school self would have probably wanted, his current stable is a diverse mix of offerings. There’s an F30 320i, an E82 118d, an E60 M5 and this supercharged BMW E91 M3 Touring, serving up a pretty much perfect blend of sensible and silly, just how we like it.
So, why does someone decide to take a perfectly good E9x M3 and transplant everything that makes it an M3 into a E91 Touring body? “Having seen a few overseas I’ve always loved the M3-converted estate, and as I hated how the E93 M3 that I owned drove, I decided to rip it apart and build this,” says Paul, matter-of-factly, and that’s as good a reason as any to undertake such a massive project.
Step one was to acquire a Touring, and with any E91 being suitable, a car was located, Paul’s friend was dispatched to collect it from way up north, and once it was back at project HQ, the build could begin. “First, the Touring was stripped of everything, it was a bare rolling shell, and then this was sent away to have the engine bay painted,” Paul tells us. “Next, the M3 was stripped, and once the Touring shell was back, the engine and subframe were fitted, along with the rear subframe, fuel tank, diff and propshaft etc. plus the wiring loom, and all modules.
Next, the dash and the whole interior were fitted, and then the rear quarters were cut out, and then it went back to the body shop to have all the M3 panels fitted. Three weeks later, it was back for the finishing touches,” he says, and that’s a very condensed tale of what is clearly a massive undertaking.
All the work was unquestionably worth it because this car looks awesome. First of all, the Touring’s body lines lend themselves extremely well to the M3’s additions – it just works so well, especially around the rear, where the swollen arches balance out the estate boot area perfectly.
The Urban Grey paint job only serves to further this Touring’s visual appeal as it suits the car perfectly, adding a sense of imposing menace and purpose to it, and then there are the additional enhancements that Paul has applied. Up front, there sits a carbon lip that fills out the front bumper and makes the car look that much more aggressive, and it’s joined by gloss black double-slat grilles, carbon mirror caps and an aggressive carbon boot spoiler.
The finishing touch is the custom headlights that Paul made himself, with their carbon brows and 3/4 DTM angel eyes nestled in a carbon surround – perfection.
Of course, styling is one thing, but the whole package must be cohesive and appealing, so there is no stock ride height or stock M3 wheels here. A set of Eibach springs have been added to get the Touring sitting just that little bit lower, and the drop they deliver makes all the difference, while Paul’s chosen set of wheels also does some serious work on the visual front. “I did have a different set of wheels, some Rota 360° Flow Forged wheels, really lightweight alloys that were done in a bright orange, but my partner stole them,” Paul laughs.
“These wheels were the ones that were originally on her F30 and ended up as my hand-me-downs. They were going to be temporary, but I really like the look of them, and kept them on the car,” he says, and we agree. They are 19” 763M-style alloys, and they work so well here, especially against the solid grey bodywork, and they suit the car perfectly.
In terms of the interior, it’s largely standard BMW E9x M3 fare, which is no bad thing, but there are a few tasty additions that you will find here. These include the carbon centre console trim, the red M button on the steering wheel, the black extended paddle shifters, and the AK Motion digital display mounted in the vent.
We have decided to save the best for last here because while an S65 V8 (check out our guide to all M engines)nestling under the bonnet of this Touring would be reason enough to celebrate, seeing as it is one of BM’s engine masterpieces, this one is most certainly not stock.
When the engine was still in his E93 M3, Paul firstly had the rod bearings done, with ACL Race bearings fitted in place of the standard ones along with ARP rod bolts, and then he went and slapped a massive supercharger on top of the V8.
The supercharger kit in question comes from what used to be G-Power and is now known as infinitas, easily identifiable by its bright orange aluminium plenum and, sitting next to that, is a substantially-sized supercharger. And it is a serious piece of kit, serving up a devilish 666hp along with 443lb ft of torque, and it’s endowed this M3 with some next-level performance. And, of course, a car that looks and performs like this deserves a soundtrack to match, and the custom twin 3” exhaust system delivers a thunderous V8 symphony that could wake the dead.
This supercharged BMW E91 M3 Touring project took Paul three months to complete, which is pretty quick considering the amount of work that was involved, but there’s a bit of a funny story with this car. Because of the way the publishing world works, Performance BMW had this shot a while ago now, and, as is often the case with serial modders like Paul, once the project was complete, he sold it.
In fact, you may have even seen it around because it went to one of those car competition companies that there seem to be 100s of these days. And then the lucky winner, pretty much the day after receiving the car, gave Paul a call asking if he’d be interested in buying it back, as he’d rather have some money instead of the car. And, naturally, Paul said yes. “I just really missed it,” he laughs, and so it came back home, and it’s easy to understand why he regretted selling it and jumped on the opportunity to own it again.
It’s an awesome build, this supercharged BMW E91 M3 Touring, that looks fantastic and is a hell of a lot of fun to drive thanks to one particular addition. “My favourite mod has to be the supercharger kit,” grins Paul. “It really transformed the way the car drives and accelerates, and the sound,” he enthuses, and we get that.
So, now that the supercharged BMW E91 M3 Touring has come home, what’s Paul’s plan? Enjoy the fruits of his labours and just chill? Of course not… “I’d like to strip the underside down, powder coat everything, and get it all like brand-new. Everything was just taken off the old M3 and swapped over, so I didn’t really take the time to clean everything up. I would still like to do an F80 M3 carbon-ceramic brake conversion and fit some Recaro CS seats as well,” Paul says, so it sounds like his M3 Touring adventure is far from over.
As for what’s next, he’s not telling… “You will have to wait and see,” he chuckles with a mysterious smirk, and we know, but we’re not telling either. We’ll just say it’s definitely of the standard you’d expect from someone who’s got a build like this under their belt. BMW may have an M3 Touring about to drop, but we love an E9x M3, and a supercharged V8 wins every time for us – and this car is a whole lot of win and then some.
Tech Spec: Supercharged BMW E91 M3 Touring
Engine & Transmission:
4.0-litre V8 S65B40, infinitas intercooled supercharger kit, modified exhaust manifolds, custom twin-3” exhaust system, Powerflex engine mounts. M DCT seven-speed gearbox
Power & Torque:
666hp and 443lb ft
8×19” (front) and 9×19” (rear) 763M-style alloys, full M3 suspension, Eibach springs
Genuine M3 body panels, full respray in Urban Grey, carbon front splitter, mirror covers and rear spoiler, custom homemade headlights with carbon internals and eyebrows
E90 M3 interior, ABCarbon trim, vent-mounted AK Motion digital display, red M button, black extended paddle shifters