- The Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 M3 GTS inches ever closer to its SEMA debut as Precision Sport Industries (PSI) incorporates an impressively thorough interior refresh.
- A rare set of OEM Alcantara M Performance seats, sourced by Blue Chip Automotive, helped determine the course for the rest of the cabin.
- Alongside the interior makeover, several loose ends were also tied up around the car, including fitting the front and rear bumpers, a 3D Design roof spoiler, and an Alpha N carbon fiber front lip.
Building a car often comes with a set of surprises. Although admittedly most of those unforeseen discoveries add stress and time to the build’s ideal completion, there are usually a handful that truly help the project come alive. There have been several examples of the latter here; the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS was always an ambitious undertaking but the level to which we have committed to creating the ultimate E92 M3 GTS tribute was higher than we ever thought.
Indeed, the Pit+Paddock and Precision Sport Industries (PSI) teams often pushed each other to do more, pivot creatively, and dig deep into our collective bank of BMW knowledge. As you’ve been able to tell, the constant egging has been beneficial to the product we are trying to create.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
The interior makeover was the primary beneficiary of this mutual encouragement. After an uber-rare set of lightweight, OEM Alcantara M Performance seats were sourced by Blue Chip Automotive, a company dedicated to helping owners find rare parts and enthusiast cars alike, the floodgates fell open to a world of new possibilities of how we could reimagine the cabin.
Since the M Performance seats have unique white stitching and padding throughout, we saw it as an opportunity to extend that treatment throughout the entire car. The rear seats were removed and redone to mimic the design details and M Performance insignia on the OEM front set perfectly. Since the OEM door cards were already out of the car, too, they were treated to a full refurbishment, and completely reimagined. Custom Alcantara inlays, with white contrast stitching, were fitted to the door car inserts for good measure.
The full respray allowed us to make an honest assessment of each interior piece. In most cases, especially since the E91’s original headliner was light grey cloth, fresh, black OEM replacements — a sunroof switch panel, and every imaginable trunk panel piece amongst others — were deemed necessary to reflect our foundational commitment to creating a factory-perfect car. Black Alcantara was chosen to carefully reskin the headliner, the sunroof panel, sun visors, and each A, B, and C-pillar sections. Alcantara was swathed onto the E90 M3 center console to carry that treatment more cohesively throughout the cabin.
The full interior re-think also afforded us space to consider some small pieces where we could adorn the E91 GTS logo. The trunk hatch and rear vent area were prime candidates for this treatment, as subtle reminders of the special magnitude that this wagon carries.
We borrowed a bit of inspiration from another rare E9X factory special — the E90 M3 CRT — and fitted aluminum dash and door trim next. Although the carbon leather trim is the more sought-after option, the brushed Aluminum trim has become a rare treat to see and we think it provides a nice contrast to the all-black interior.
Since the true E92 M3 GTS’s steering wheel was round — in contrast to the flat-bottom M Performance variants that are readily available today — we wrapped our OEM wheel in Alcantara. We carried through the M3’s signature tri-color stitching to suit, too.
A FEW MORE TWEAKS
Although a majority of the attention for this round was paid to the interior, there were a handful of loose ends that still needed to be tied up elsewhere. Another round of coding from Alex at Alpine and Carbahn was first on the list, followed by exterior items like new rear quarter glass, a new windshield, Fire Orange roof rack deletes, and a fresh Fire Orange shark fin.
The OEM front and rear bumpers, the 3D Design roof spoiler, and the Alpha N carbon fiber front lip were the last items to be installed. The 3D Design roof spoiler adds a much-welcomed dynamism to the rear of the wagon. Since it extends further outward than the OEM unit, the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS’s roofline appears much sportier than before and helps complement the rest of the exterior aesthetic. The total effort during this round marked another hugely important milestone to hit with its debut right around the corner.
If you haven’t tuned in to our YouTube channel yet, now is the time to play catch up so you’re ready for the last two episodes!