- Varis Japan MFG Co.ltd (generally known as “Varis”) is a high-end manufacturer of racing-derived carbon fiber aerodynamic accessories for JDM and European applications.
- Varis leverages over 40 years of in-house experience in composite engineering artistry to craft its expansive product catalog.
- While mostly a JDM-focused aero company, Varis has created components for BMW since the E36 (1992-1999) 3-series generation and forward.
I’ll speak for the whole of European car ownership in saying that, on more than a few occasions, our aftermarket focus can be somewhat “narrow”. To be fair, we don’t have as many options as our JDM counterparts, especially when it comes to styling. But thankfully, some high-end Japan-based styling houses, like Varis, take an interest in European cars to widen our pool.
While the first five parts of our Project E92 M3 focused on what I’d consider essential upgrades to the exhaust, suspension/wheels, interior, engine, and brakes, this sixth chapter is the first that takes aim at addressing “tweaks” — items that won’t revolutionize the platform but will still make a considerable impact in the way the car is perceived. Varis products live here; they aren’t going to shave seconds off a lap time, but they will make a bold visual statement that immediately sets you apart from the crowd.
As with every other chapter, we entrusted the work to our Montgomeryville, PA stomping ground: R/T Tuning.
VARIS AND BMW
Although most don’t know it, you’d have to go all the way back to the E36 M3 to chart Varis’s entry into the BMW aftermarket. There, Varis crafted a single product: a two-piece carbon fiber rear diffuser (VAB-3608) that adds a dramatic, aerodynamic presence to an otherwise spartan exit. Since then, Varis has taken a bigger interest in Bavaria’s offerings. It has created full carbon fiber aero programs for the ever-popular E46 M3 — hood, trunk, wing, canards, ducting, front bumper, and rear diffuser — and fortunately for us, have continued through to the E9X M3 and beyond.
With every generation, there is a consistent through line: a two-piece carbon fiber rear diffuser. It has gotten more daring with every chassis, but we think the E92 M3’s treatment is in a real sweet spot that doesn’t require you to add wings, canards, or a full widebody kit to pull off the track aesthetic accordingly.
THE VARIS DIFFUSER FOR E92 M3
The Varis diffuser (VAB-9207) for the E92 M3 is a two-piece, carbon fiber design that consists of an upper and lower section. The upper piece envelops the exhaust cutout section like a conventional diffuser; it isn’t as aggressive as other pieces on the market, but this is by design — its slimmer profile allows it to mate seamlessly with the aggressively-finned carbon undertray beneath. These strakes direct airflow over the diffuser’s control surfaces at specific angles of attack to improve aerodynamics.
Aside from its strakes, the lower diffuser features a pair of NACA ducts which, as intended, allow air to flow inward for cooling with minimal disturbance to flow. As good as this piece looks, it brings real racing concepts with it. But while most motorsport-grade components don’t often boast the same finishing quality as street-destined parts, the Varis diffuser’s gloss 2×2 twill weave pattern adds to the emboldened aesthetic. It is truly the best of both worlds.
THE OTHER BITS
Once you have a car with aspherical mirror glass, it’ll be hard to go back. These OEM glass replacements have a partially curved mirror surface. By using convex glass, these mirrors increase the viewing area substantially, allowing you to see into (what would otherwise be) your blind spot.
The other mod is nothing revolutionary — there have been angel eye upgrades for the better part of two decades — but these are some of the brightest we’ve seen. While it’s been common to see 6000K (blueish white) LED bulbs fitted, we opted for a 3200K (yellow) hue that gave off a more OEM flavor. Compared to the OEM halogen H8 bulb, these LED units are definitely bolder and at least three times brighter without robbing too much attention away from anything else. If you’re on the fence about color, you can see a color comparison between the same brand’s 3200K (left – passenger side) and 6000K (right – driver’s side) in the reference image above.
The biggest hurdle you’ll face with installing the Varis diffuser is Japanese instructions. Thankfully, the photos were helpful, but modern phone technology allowed us to translate things when we needed clarification. Aside from that, everything was by the book.
There’s a pretty obvious order of operations here: the upper diffuser should be installed first using the supplied double-sided tape. Adhesion promoter was applied to both the upper diffuser and the rear bumper panel before the Varis piece was affixed.
Before installing the rear diffuser, a set of brackets need to be bolted to several existing mounting points at the rear of the car. Leaving these slightly loose helps position the carbon fiber undertray.
There are small indents in the tray that accept the extended upper diffuser tabs so the chance of misalignment is slim to none. We did clearance the diffuser area aft of the NACA ducts to make a bit more room for the exhaust’s connecting pipes, but after that, the installation was as simple as tightening all the hardware.
The aspherical glass and LED angel eye bulbs were even simpler. To make popping the OEM glass free of the mirror base easier, it’s best to tilt the mirror as far down as it will go since it will allow access behind the panel. The bulbs are a quick plug-and-play affair.
Although we feel like we’ve come a long way, we’re also realists. As with most car projects, there’s rarely a defined end. What do you think we should do to our Project E92 M3 next? We will see you in our inexorable next chapter soon enough!