Exterior Mods Make a Big Impact on the T14 x BMW CCA G80 M3 Competition Dream Car Raffle Build

Photography: Brandon Cody

  • The latest upgrades to the Turn 14 Distribution x BMW CCA G80 M3 Competition add small but significant OEM+ changes to the exterior of the car that make it stand out from the crowd.
  • Acexxon rear reflector inserts, color-matched front reflectors, and a Sterckenn carbon fiber front lip — all provided by IND Distribution — provide a clean, European aesthetic to our sport sedan.
  • Motorsport+ plug-and-play yellow daytime running lights add a motorsport-inspired touch that complement the optional laser headlights perfectly.
  • The Alpha N vented carbon Kevlar hood is an aggressive replacement for the OEM bonnet and helps offset the Akrapovič swan neck rear wing.
  • While Thompson BMW provided its technical expertise throughout the build, it also added its meticulous paint services for this round of modifications.

While the upgrades we performed in our last chapter may be vital to improve the Turn 14 Distribution x BMW CCA G80 M3 Competition’s road-going mannerisms, it’s hard to deny the visual impact of the right exterior mods. A final suite of upgrades from Acexxon, Alpha N, Motorsport+, and Sterckenn provided the crucial missing ingredients to a perfect OEM+ build.

NO DRAWBACKS

Although front lips provide an immense change to the front fascia’s demeanor, it often comes with one big drawback: adequate ground clearance. Sterckenn, a BMW-focused manufacturer of carbon fiber upgrades, has made it a top priority to balance the aesthetic facelift with sustainable practicality. By producing a pre-preg multi-piece splitter, Sterckenn’s add-on (SN-GBX-S1) is able to complement our G80 M3’s factory body lines while adding a performance-minded flavor to the front end. Save for a couple areas at each end that require drilling for additional reinforcement, the splitter installs using a combination of BMW’s factory mounting holes and double-sided tape. The V-weave pattern is a Sterckenn signature and elevates our G80 to another level.

LESS IS MORE

Most cars (outside of the United States) don’t have to deal with the ghastly amber reflectors in the front bumper, but the contrast between markets makes them a glaring eyesore for us here. IND Distribution has made a name for themselves creating a turnkey solution for US-spec BMWs and were kind enough to provide us with a set of reflector cores that we could respray in BMW Individual Voodoo Blue on our own. The visual upgrade is immediate perceivable, and it cleans up the front end of the car nicely.

YELLOW (LED)BETTER

It’s almost impossible to think about race cars without noticing their yellow-tinted headlights. Aside from simply looking cool, the color cuts through inclement weather conditions better and helps with depth perception at speed. The M4 CSL has borrowed this aesthetic to further distinguish it from the rest of the M car lineup. Motorsport+ has fashioned a set of yellow Daytime Running Lights for the standard M3/M4 (MSP-G8X-YDRL-11P) for the rest of us who can’t park a CSL in our garages and we think the observable difference was well worth it — especially paired with the optional BMW Laser headlights.

SIMPLE AND CLEAN

Although the rear reflectors don’t clash nearly as much as the front, once you see a G80 M3 fitted with a set of Acexxon honeycomb inserts (R17-10-2), it’s hard to ignore. Indeed, these have earned rank as one of the more essential mods on any modern BMW and for the G8X, they come in two patterns — honeycomb and slat — depending on your personal preference. In our case, we opted for the honeycomb variant to coordinate with front bumper mesh. Since these pieces were modeled off of an OEM rear reflector, they snap in just like a factory unit for a satisfying install.

BALANCE IS EVERYTHING

Aerodynamic upgrades are all about balance. Since we fitted an Akrapovič rear wing in our first wave of modifications, it was only a matter of time that we addressed its front-end complements. The Sterckenn carbon fiber front splitter was only part of that equation; Alpha N’s carbon-kevlar vented hood (AN-G8x009) provided the other supporting punch we’d need. Alpha N is a German-based composite shop that specializes in carbon fiber aero upgrades for F and G-chassis BMWs. Since it’s based in Germany, it also has the additional benefit of touting the highest TÜV certification for its product line. The Alpha N replacement weighs an impressive 40% less than the factory hood. The additional layer of Kevlar inside provides stability while the integrated vents help extract heat from the engine bay.

Aside from offering us its beautiful dealership facility and technical expertise throughout the build, Thompson BMW opened its collision center doors to us for this round of mods, too. It was here that the Alpha N hood received a unique paint scheme. It was largely color-matched Voodoo Blue, save for two distinct wrap-around areas near each hood vent. The underside was left exposed so onlookers could admire the carbon-kevlar combination. The OEM front reflectors that we mentioned before were paint-matched Voodoo Blue here, too.

THE INSTALLATION

Like most of the parts on this build, this round of exterior mods was entirely plug-and-play. Under the expert guidance of Thompson BMW’s staff, we were able to knock out all of the mods in no time. The most tedious part of the process was removing any remaining adhesive inside of the front bumper panel during the front reflector install. Taking the extra time to do this properly ensures the painted replacement has a flush surface onto which it can adhere.

Ingress and egress of each DRL module is facilitated by removal of the fender liner. Each Motorsport+ replacement comes with special thermal tape pre-applied for worry-free longevity, which we thoroughly appreciate.

FINAL IMPRESSIONS

The Turn 14 Distribution x BMW CCA G80 M3 Competition has taken immense strides forward at every stage and these exterior mods are no exception. It’s proof that even small pieces can have a huge cumulative effect to a car’s presence, and we have IND Distribution to thank for being a helpful resource and a leader in aesthetic upgrades within the BMW market space. In its totality, this M3 earns the right to be called the Grand Prize in this year’s BMW CCA Dream Car Raffle. Only one thing’s left: the final reveal of the car. Stay tuned for the last episode of this year’s build and be sure to grab your raffle tickets while you can.



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OFFICIAL PARTNERS