Akrapovič Day: The First Mods on the T14 G80 M3 Competition Build for BMW CCA’s Dream Car Raffle

Photography: Brandon Cody

  • Akrapovič brings over 30 years of manufacturing and engineering experience to OEM and aftermarket car and motorcycle applications.
  • Akrapovič’s world-championship-winning exhaust systems are crafted from proprietary titanium alloys, producing an unmatched aural experience.
  • Its recent carbon fiber composite work is a welcomed entry, injecting its long-standing precision and style into exterior enhancements and aerodynamics.
  • These products set an impressive foundation for future mods to create this year’s Grand Prize in BMW CCA’s Dream Car Raffle.

We all remember our first. It seems rather fitting that this year’s Turn 14 Distribution G80 M3 Competition build for BMW’s Car Club of America (BMW CCA) would start with a bang, showcasing a suite of Akrapovič products.

This Slovenia-based outfit has created some of the most iconic exhausts for cars and motorcycles over the last 30 years. Its work has earned Akrapovič entry into the several, prestigious motorsport categories and has become the trusted supplier for world-championship-winning teams since. This motorsport technology has tricked down to the cars that we drive every day, allowing us to enjoy the fruits of Akrapovič’s proud engineering efforts.

AKRAPOVIČ TITANIUM EXHAUST

Akrapovič’s latest BMW slip-on exhaust for the G8X family (S/BM/TI/33H) is a stunner and boasts a 35% weight reduction versus the factory unit, thanks to its propriety titanium alloy construction. BMW’s in-house handiwork looks downright pedestrian by comparison — its visual bulkiness matches its physical heft — and the muted sound doesn’t match the car’s presence.

The new Akrapovič unit does more than drop weight, too. The system adds an additional 10.9 hp and 10.2 lb-ft to complement the new aural experience and weight loss. But Akrapovič sought to make the G8X exhaust even more special. This is the first exhaust system that wears its optional octagonal carbon fiber tip set — a styling exercise that echoes BMW’s chiseled aesthetic — and immediately sets the car apart from others in the lot.

AKRAPOVIČ CARBON FIBER DIFFUSER

Speaking of carbon fiber, Akrapovič has been busy growing its composite range as well. Applying similar philosophies and dedication from its exhaust manufacturing experience has created styling products that challenge convention. Again, comparing the stock diffuser to Akrapovič’s remix strikes a sharp contrast. Even today, aftermarket diffusers are usually just a garden variety of vertical strakes to enhance the sportiness of the car. Even BMW’s own factory treatment has followed suit, but it’s tired.

The Akrapovič rear diffuser (DI-BM/CA/9/G) builds upon the tried and true format and integrates some of the G8X’s angular cues to handsome effect. Since some of the diffuser intersects with the tow hook cover, an additional sliver was manufactured to maintain a continuous line of carbon fiber.

AKRAPOVIČ CARBON FIBER REAR WING

Akrapovič’s composite progression has been swift. After only a handful of years developing rear diffusers, mirror caps, and the like, its engineering team took a big swing to fashion an impressive rear wing (WI-BM/CA/1/G) for the G8X platform. The new piece leveraged the services of DTM Champion Marco Wittmann and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to ensure optimum functionality, meaning that it actually creates meaningful downforce without ill side effects like additional air turbulence or noise.

The analysis also proved that Akrapovič’s design direction was correct. The “swan neck” uprights create a more aerodynamically efficient platform in both straight line and cornering. This tactic allows the underside of the wing to operate without the airflow separation that is inherently present with traditional mounting solutions. At the trailing edge of the wing blade is an integrated Gurney flap that, in layman’s terms, also provides additional downforce. As you’d expect for a true motorsport-grade wing, it’s also adjustable; there are three positions integrated onto the top side of the blade.

The Akrapovič carbon fiber mounting brackets were crucial to ensure the trunk panel had adequate support to cope with the amount of force exerted on the wing. It’s almost a shame that they are hidden away behind the trunk’s beauty panel because they are beautifully engineered pieces.

THE INSTALLATION

Titanium Exhaust: The engineering and quality that we’ve come to expect from Akrapovič is only matched by its ease of installation; Akrapovič includes everything you’d need from start to finish, including bolt sealant. The OEM exhaust hanger bushings and valve actuators transfer directly onto the Akrapovič’s provisions and the whole system installs just like a factory unit. The tubing that routes from the main canister protrudes further outward, making it easy to see which tips are meant for each side.

Rear Diffuser: While the exhaust was out, we took the opportunity to put on the Akrapovič carbon fiber diffuser. This piece repurposes all of the factory mounting holes, so once you’ve lined it up onto the bumper panel, it’s just a matter of pushing the diffuser in to seat all the tabs. The same treatment applies to the tow hook cover that we mentioned earlier.

This was the first time I’d seen the octagonal tips in person and they floored me. The angular cutouts in the rear diffuser complement the avant-garde tips perfectly and I’m not sure I could picture this car with any other setup with good conscience.

Rear Wing: Admittedly, we took our time with the rear wing. It was the first one in North America and we knew we had one shot to drill the trunk correctly, or else we’d set the build back substantially. Fortunately, we had the capable hands of Thompson BMW at our disposal. I backed away to let Eric and Mikey, our Thompson BMW tech, do all the hard work.

Understanding the weight of the job, Akrapovič does supply a handy drilling template that will work for both G80 (sedan) and G82 (coupe) configurations. Still, it was a lengthy process of “measure twice and drill once”, but the test fit made the tedious effort worth the squeeze.

FINAL IMPRESSIONS

Stepping back after installing the rear wing and closing the trunk was breathtaking. The rear end of the Turn 14 Distribution G80 M3 Competition took on an entirely new personality; there was no mistaking this car for “just” family sedan anymore — its intent is unmistakably a sports car — and it made us all incredibly excited to dive deeper into that enormous pile of mods that begged to be unboxed. Until the next chapter!

Thank you to all of our build partners: Akrapovič, AST Suspension, BBS, CSF, Eventuri, Future Classic, IND Distribution, Slicer, and Thompson BMW.



First time here? Check out Part 1 of the Turn 14 Distribution G80 M3 Competition build for BMW CCA.


OFFICIAL PARTNERS

OFFICIAL PARTNERS