Dialing In the T14 x BMW CCA G80 M3 Competition Build with Suspension, Wheels, and Tires

Photography: Brandon Cody

  • The G80 M3 is a rightful M car, but its 3,800 lbs curb weight means that aftermarket upgrades (especially in terms of reducing rotational mass) are helpful in extracting the chassis’s full potential.
  • AST/MOTON’s 5100 Series 1-way coilovers are perfectly suited to an M car’s “dual-duty” usage, offering greater performance without sacrificing road comfort.
  • BBS has leveraged “technology through motorsport” and has equipped pro race teams — including teams in Formula 1 — with wheels they can count on.
  • Thanks to its commitment to premium manufacturing standards, Future Classic wheel accessories — in this case, wheel spacers and titanium stud conversion — have become the definitive choice for discerning BMW and Porsche owners.
  • This suite of upgrades helps the Turn 14 Distribution x BMW CCA G80 M3 Competition look and feel like a proper sports car.

Regardless of the platform, the connecting points between the chassis and the road have always been the same: its suspension, wheels, and tires. These components provide the drivers and their other occupants with valuable feedback and, arguably, stand to be the most important upgrades you can make to a vehicle to improve its road-going demeanor.

The G8X M3/M4 has packed on the pasta and added over 300 lbs versus its outgoing F8X brethren. Despite the extra weight, the G8X manages to be formidably nimble in stock form. Nevertheless, BMW left a considerable amount of margin on the table and the aftermarket industry’s most notable players — like AST/MOTON, BBS, Future Classic, and Michelin — have been quick to develop products that will sharpen the new chassis in unique ways.

ONE WAY TO DO IT

Adjacent to its success in motorsport, AST/MOTON has injected over two decades of engineering experience into developing high-end suspension solutions for European platforms like the BMW M3. The G8X 5100 Series coilovers (ACU-B2114SD) is a product that was born for the BMW M lineup — it acknowledges their unique Jekyll and Hyde personality — and ensures your car’s road-going behavior goes unspoiled by its new ability to support hobbyist track day workouts. These one-way adjustable coilovers are able to achieve this unique balancing act by way of cutting-edge damper technology. 

On the track, AST’s inverted monotube shocks provide better damping forces, heat dissipation, and overall fluid capacity versus its twin-tube counterparts. The result of this is superior, and importantly, repeatable performance at the limit. On the street, these coilovers provide the lowering range that everyday enthusiasts demand. Since the dampers are designed to work optimally within AST’s wide window, the 5100 Series coilovers work just as well at stock ride height as they do at the lower limit.

DEVIL IN THE DETAILS

This isn’t the first time that we’ve mentioned Future Classic, but this well-recognized brand has made it a point to deliver a handful of products for the G8X M3/M4 community from the start; in this case, its ever-popular 5×112 wheel spacer kit (FC-BWSK-112) and a titanium stud conversion set (FC-M14STUD-TI). These components aren’t the most outwardly visible to untrained eyes, but the most discerning enthusiasts have gravitated toward its products for good reason.

Future Classic’s studs make wheel changes faster and easier. Each set is constructed from 10.9-grade titanium (exceeding OEM grade) for strength and safety. Despite an 80mm overall length, these studs contain enough thread area to accommodate a 15mm spacer. This means that, in most cases, you can forego the unnecessary weight penalty of a longer 90mm variant.

Even though wheel spacers started as a trusted motorsport solution, its trickle-down into street car culture has also come with less-than-stellar production quality. As a result, we put up with wobble as a side effect of the product. Until Future Classic changed the written standard. Future Classic spacers were the first to bolt directly onto the hub, which not only makes them easier to line up when you put your wheels on but also ensures they stay put during fast pitstops. True to their original intent, FC’s spacers are designed for motorsport use where every ounce matters and the lightweight, pocketed design is CNC machined and race-tested to guarantee no wobble.

TECHNOLOGY THROUGH MOTORSPORT

Thus far, we have chosen products that maintain a strict no-compromise standard and largely, that’s been a conscious exercise to prepare for this: the BBS RI-D. It’s impossible to think about wheels and not mention BBS. It’s been producing the highest-quality wheels for street and professional motorsport use for more than 40 years. The company continues to create revolutionary designs or advanced materials to perpetually move the wheel industry forward. 

At first glance, this may look like an FI-R without holes, but the unique center cap is a small clue that it’s vastly different. These one-piece forged wheels are produced by BBS Japan using a special 7000 series aerospace alloy called “Duralumin”. This cutting-edge material helps make this wheel as strong and light as possible. It’s the perfect wheel to complement the build’s overall mission. The RI-Ds were sourced and provided by resident BBS guru, Slicer. Brett has been responsible for helping BMW enthusiasts find their dream wheels in the perfect sizing. His work has affectionately earned the nickname “Slicer Spec” because very few have been able to do it as well as him.

RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD

The Michelin PS4S is the enthusiast’s street tire, bar none. Since its introduction in 2017, this ultra-high-performance tire has silenced any doubt about the legacy Pilot Sport lineup. The “4S” combines the best aspects of the old benchmarks, the Pilot Super Sport and Pilot Sport Cup 2, to create exceptional steering precision and grip on wet or dry roads.

THE INSTALLATION

Thompson BMW was once again at the helm to ensure another round of transformations on the Turn 14 Distribution x BMW CCA G80 M3 Competition went through without issue. Thankfully, each product was installed with very little fuss. We opted to install the AST 5100 coilovers with an EDC cancellation set to defeat the warning lights on the dash. The EDC cancellation does not come with the coilover kit by default, so make sure you order it at the same time to save yourself some trouble. Unlike coding, these devices allow you to easily revert back to stock without having to go through that remote process again.

FINAL IMPRESSIONS

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the cumulative effect of installing suspension, wheels, tires, and a few accessories makes a huge difference in terms of both visual effect and on-road performance. While the G80 M3 Competition is already a standout in its segment, we continue to widen the gap between it and the 1-of-1 example we are creating for this year’s Dream Car Raffle grand prize. 

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


Archive: Part 1 – Introducing the Build | Part 2 – Akrapovič Suite | Part 3 – Engine Mods



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