From its incredible carbon wide body to its mind-blowing interior and astonishing built S55 engine, everything about this BMW M2 Competition is quite simply on another level, and it’s one of the most sensational modified cars we’ve ever seen.
When it comes to modified cars, there are builds, and then there are builds. There are people who go all the way, and there are people who go beyond. John Lau is most definitely the latter. It only takes the briefest of glances at his absolutely mind-blowing wide body BMW M2 F87 Competition to see that. This car is truly something else, and that’s just taking in the exterior. Once we take a deep dive into the car modifications on this thing, your jaw will be well and truly on the floor.
BMW M2 Competition F87
As for the car itself, well, the M2 Competition needs no introduction. You take the awesome BMW M2 package and then put the twin-turbo S55 from the F8x M3/4 under the bonnet, massively upping performance and modding potential, and John has taken advantage of every last drop of that. This is a breathtaking build and one that is a serious commitment, but then John is very serious about his cars.
John’s Car History
“I’ve been into BMWs since I was a kid when my mom bought a 7 Series, back in the late ’80s,” John tells us as we chat. “It was special to me because it wasn’t the same as everyone else’s Mercedes. Our BMW looked better, handled better and was way cooler. It was an awesome feeling to have as a kid!” he grins, and he’s getting to enjoy that feeling again as an adult with this build. John’s first foray into BMW ownership was a very tasteful choice that we’re sure everyone can appreciate. “My first BMW was a 1999 E39 528i. I bought it because I loved the clean lines and smooth handling. It was really comfortable for long drives, too. I drove it often on road trips to places like Las Vegas. My particular model had some beautiful polished BBS OEM wheels as well,” he smiles.
Of course, things have come a long way since then, and John has owned a selection of incredible cars, and he’s not shy when it comes to modding. “I have probably modified about 30 other cars,” he muses, “some basic with suspension bits and aero to full-on race cars, like my 900whp McLaren 570S. I have other wide body cars, too, like my Liberty Walk Nissan GT-R and my RWB Porsche 964. Also, I’m building a 1997 Toyota Supra RZ for SEMA 2023. It will be 1200hp, featuring a 3.4-litre HKS stroker motor, single turbo and sequential gearbox,” and as we said, John is very serious about cars.
Planning The Modified BMW M2 Build
When it comes to this build, John has been a fan of the F87 M2 for some time, so it seems inevitable that one would find its way into his collection, and with such a prolific modifying history, there was no way it was ever going to stay stock. “I have always loved the M2 and was just drawn to it,” he smiles. “Others had done a wide body on the car and I never thought it did the car justice. I wanted to challenge myself to build something better,” he grins, and we think it’s safe to say he has done just that.
For this build, it was all about the wide body, and that’s where John got started with the project. “We performed the kit installation, bodywork and paint first. I already had a vision from the beginning,” says John “It was actually an existing kit from DarwinPRO and was modelled after the BMW Vision GT in Gran Turismo 7, I believe. I worked with Linh Nguyen of Garageworks in Hayward, CA to paint, mold and install the carbon kit on the car. No one has ever molded it before, and it gave the car a much cleaner look. He and his team did the build in three months but worked like 18 hours a day on it,” John tells us, but all that was time very well spent.
Carbon Fiber Wide Body Kit
So, first of all, this is a full carbon kit – all of it is made from carbon. In a few places, such as the strips leading to the rear intakes, the biplane rear wing, and on the bonnet (complete with viewing window), you can see that gorgeous gloss weave. Molding the kit to the bodywork means it’s absolutely seamless and looks like it could have come from the factory like this, and the fit is incredible. The finishing touch is the gorgeous blue hue in which this wide body BMW M2 has been painted, with John opting for a bespoke version of Ferrari’s Avio metallic, an absolutely stunning shade of pastel blue that really makes this car stand out even more.
Wide Body BMW M2 Chassis Upgrades
With the styling sorted, John now turned his attention to the suspension and wheels. This M2 needed to ride right, and it needed some serious wheels to properly fill those massive wide arches. “The suspension is kind of a controversial topic because I went with an Air Lift system paired with a full SPL suspension package that included control arms, end links, traction links etc.,” explains John. “I wanted to be able to use this car for shows but also race it. With this suspension, we have been able to record 60-130mph times of five seconds, even with a passenger.”
This is a show build, so while there are undoubtedly going to be haters when someone dares to put air ride on an M2, we doubt that John has any time for them when the end result looks this good. Plus, it means he can air out at events but then can also actually enjoy driving his car without having to worry about how low it rides.
As for the wheels, well, they’re exactly as special as you would expect them to be on a build of this caliber. “I partnered with Brixton Forged wheel company and never considered anyone else. I have 12 sets of their wheels, and I use them for circuits, drag racing and shows. They always know the right fitment and have become great friends over the years,” enthuses John, and these HS1s are stunning.
First of all, what might be surprising is the size, because while even the standard M2 Comp wheels are 19s, John has chosen to downsize, opting for 18s, not that they look small at all, and they suit the car perfectly. The complex faces look fantastic, and both the faces and lips have a matt finish, while the hardware is titanium. Oh, and in terms of filling out the arches, the fronts measure 11” across, while the rears are a monstrous 12.5” across, and the fitment is simply perfection.
Wide Body BMW M2 Interior Modifications
Now, considering how wild the exterior is, when we say that nothing can quite prepare you for what you’re going to see when you open up the doors on this M2 lets you know that it’s going to be something else. “For the seats, I knew exactly what I wanted, which were the Recaro Podium Carbon Buckets. My car has the only set in North America,” grins John. “They look amazing and fit one’s body very well, perfect for the track or a casual drive around town. Nothing looks better than these seats, in my opinion. Also, I did a yoke-style wheel to be different, and it’s quite eye-catching, coupled with my fondness for carbon fiber everywhere,” and with all that you have a show-stopping interior.
The carbon buckets are seriously wow, framed by a Studio RSR roll-cage and fitted with Schroth harnesses, while the yoke steering wheel(?) is just jaw-dropping. We’ve never seen anything like this in any car we’ve ever featured, and John’s statement that it’s “quite eye-catching” is selling it rather short. The rest of the cabin is adorned with carbon and Alcantara, and look closely, and you’ll notice a lighting bolt design that has been laser-etched onto the latter, and it’s this level of attention to detail that really sets this build apart.
Wide Body BMW M2 Engine Modifications
This build is already on an incredible level, but we haven’t even touched on what’s going on under the bonnet, and this is going to be, for many of you, the really special part here. “The engine is a fully built S55 with ASR Kratos titanium turbos, with fueling that consists of direct and port injection and runs on ethanol,” says John, but that’s just scratching the surface of how much work has gone into this engine build.
The S55 has been fitted with CP pistons, Carrillo rods, a Maximum PSI pinned crank hub, King main bearings and ACL rod bearings. The turbos, as John mentioned, are ASR Kratos items with titanium compressor wheels. They are joined by Eventuri intakes, a CSF uprated intercooler and ASR radiator, IPE titanium charge pipes and a Valvetronic straight-pipe exhaust system with custom extended flame-burnt tips.
The fueling, meanwhile, is taken care of by EU5 high-pressure injectors, Dorch Engineering high-pressure fuel pumps and an HPFP upgrade lift, Fuel-It low-pressure secondary fuel rail, Injector Dynamics low-pressure fuel injectors, a Fuel-It dual-pump fuel basket, Walbro 450 low-pressure fuel pumps and port injection, and the whole setup has been tuned with bootmod3 by Nick Costello at Paul Johnson Tunes and runs E85. John has a few maps to choose from because you don’t need maximum power all of the time, but with everything turned up to max, this M2 is making 1000whp, and that’s simply outrageous. This M2 is an absolute animal, and woe betide anyone who makes the foolish mistake of assuming it’s simply all about show because all that go will knock you into next week.
We said John was serious about his cars, and we weren’t kidding. This M2 build is on another level entirely, and the work that’s gone into it, the attention to detail, all of it, is just something else. Everywhere you look, there’s something wild and amazing happening, from the work to get the carbon kit molded to the car and the sheer audacity of the kit itself that gives this M2 presence like nothing else.
Then there’s the interior, that steering wheel, those seats, and the engine, with its mind-blowing power output. No corner has been cut, no stone left unturned, no cliché imaginable untouched by the sheer extravagance of this M2. It’s honestly awesome in the absolute sense of the word.
And it should be because John put everything into this build. “I really didn’t let money hold me back and did everything I wanted to on the project,” he says, and that’s how you get results like this. One and a half years of work have been poured into this build, and it is done, and are you surprised?
John’s done everything he wanted to, everything he could have done, and that leaves just one last thing to do. “The plans are to race it now,” he grins, and what better way to enjoy the fruits of your labor than by really using the powerhouse of a car that you’ve built. This wide body BMW M2 is truly something else, and John’s passion and vision have combined to create a car that truly embodies what it is to take your build to the next level and beyond.
Photos: Patrick Lauder.