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Project E92 M3 Adds Stopping Power to its Growing List of Mods
BY Mike Maravilla //
April 13, 2023
Photography: Brandon Cody
  • StopTech’s Trophy line is designed to offer the very best braking performance for track-day enthusiasts and pro-am drivers alike.
  • The Trophy’s unique caliper profile allows adequate clearance for some of the most popular 18” E9X M3 wheel options.
  • Optional bi-slotted rotors offer increased initial bite and cooling capabilities over their drilled or slotted equivalents.

Looking back at our Project E92’s progress to date, we’ve worked our way through a series of impactful upgrades: the exhaust, suspension/wheels/tires, interior, and carbon engine bay enhancements. With the car’s demeanor transformed, one remaining void is all too glaring now — thanks to Stoptech, it’s finally time to turn some attention toward the E92 M3’s outdated brakes.

StopTech was founded in 1999 with a principal vision to manufacture high-performance brake components and complete systems for both street and track use. They were actually the first aftermarket brake company to tout front upgrade options that were compatible with a vehicle’s OEM rear brakes. Due to their continued commitment to engineering Balanced Brake Upgrades™, it’s no surprise to see them as mainstays in well-known motorsport classes worldwide. Our go-to destination, R/T Tuning, has welcomed us back for this latest chapter to ensure our E92 M3 is well sorted.


Harder, better, faster, stronger. No four adjectives have been better at describing the Trophy Kit for the E9X M3 — they are built as the uncompromising choice for track-day enthusiasts — and as such, are trusted by some of the most discerning drivers in World Challenge, Grand-Am/IMSA, NASA, and SCCA. The Trophy caliper (and its corresponding hardware) is forged instead of cast, shaving 20% of mass from the standard Stoptech BBK. The accompanying rotors tout a 50% increase in airflow and utilize floating hardware between the hat/disc to eliminate pad knock-back. Tech advantages aside, the kits are immediately distinguishable by their finish — the Trophy-specific calipers are hard coat anodized, providing a much more durable finish to withstand wear from heat and impact over time.


While two front rotor sizes are available for the standard Stoptech BBK (355x35mm and 380x35mm respectively), the Trophy kit (sto83.160.6D00.F7) exclusively commits to the larger of the two options. The Trophy’s unique 6-piston caliper shape provides the appropriate clearance for 18” diameter wheels, including the ever-popular BBS E88 and RI-A wheel sets that we have for our E92. The accompanying rear kit (sto83.160.0047.F7) offers a 4-piston caliper with a capable 355x32mm rotor.


Not to gloss over one of the most iconic wheels ever produced by BBS, you’ve probably noticed that we swapped our Diamond Black RI-As for a set of Gold E88s — the benchmark for any well-executed E9X M3 build, but also a rather telling case for just how proficient the Stoptech Trophy BBK is at providing adequate clearances. The E88 is made by BBS’s Motorsport division; as a three-piece wheel, it sandwiches a distinctive forged aluminum face between an inner and outer barrel to create a whole. By meshing the appropriate center with these barrel halves, you’re able to achieve virtually limitless combinations to suit your application.

As a venerable tag team, the Trophy brakes and E88s provide a decidedly circuit-inspired punch that takes our Project E92 up a few notches on the cool-o-meter.


Like many of the components that we’ve installed on our Project E92 M3, the Stoptech Trophy BBK is a bolt-on kit that includes everything you need to make your time in the garage an enjoyable one. With the exception of trimming the rear dust shields (this is the only non-reversible step) and replacing a portion of the OEM hard lines with flexible stainless versions, the installation is as straightforward as replacing your factory brakes. Should you need to switch pad compounds, the removable bridging on each caliper makes quick work of the chore.

We followed up the meat of the installation with a proper flush using, appropriately enough, Stoptech’s own STR-600 brake fluid. A thorough bed-in process allowed us to experience the Trophy kit for the first time and, as expected, the performance delta is massive. Not only is the initial bite characteristic more pronounced but the feel through the brake pedal is substantially improved. With the platform tuned to enhance overall driver feedback and confidence, the brake upgrade provides a much-welcomed final tweak to that effort.


We’ve done a fair bit of work on our M3 so far. As we talked about in our introduction to this build, the constraints of mass production have left the E92’s performance ceiling untapped. But the ceiling wasn’t necessarily the goal — this is and is still intended to be, a street car at the core — so every mod to date was chosen to reflect that balance. The Akrapovič exhaust allowed our E92 M3 to lop off a significant amount of weight, but not at the expense of our (or our neighbors’) eardrums. Every suspension upgrade provided a sizable improvement in both aesthetics and feel while preserving the car’s ability to cope with real-world roads. The subsequent wheel/tire combo and interior mod worked to further enhance the E92’s innate connectedness without losing an ounce of practicality. The full Eventuri suite has brought out the best of this generation M3’s induction noise to compliment the sonorous exhaust. And now, with the StopTech big brake kit fitted, our Project E92 M3 finally has the confident stopping power it deserves with adequate clearance to accept a wide array of wheel options — including both our RI-As and new E88s.

I’m not sure where we went wrong, but practicality has, in some ways, gone out of fashion in the automotive aftermarket. It’s not “enough” if the car doesn’t end up with a roll cage, a big wing, widened body panels, or threaten to scrape the living daylights out of the underside to be “complete”. I think that this car, in its discerningly evolving form, proves otherwise. Sure, there are deliberate compromises here to preserve drivability, but that doesn’t take away from just how much our Project E92 M3 has transformed. Because these upgrades have managed to accentuate every area that the factory left muted, it makes you want to grab the keys to this machine every day and just drive.

There’s bound to be more to come in the future for our M3, so stay tuned for the inevitable next chapter!





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