- The Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 M3 GTS receives its final round of mods at Precision Sport Industries (PSI) before transport shuttles our wagon westward to SEMA.
- Highly coveted 18” BBS E88 wheels are the highlight today, supplementing the E91 GTS’s motorsport ethos and standard for excellence equally, and were graciously provided by Slicer.
- Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tires and Future Classic M12x1.5 chromoly studs are complimentary enthusiast-worthy upgrades to the gold E88s.
- MOTUL’s latest brake fluid breakthrough — the RBF700 — supplants the 600 and 660 variants as the king of the hill and will allow us to explore the limits of our StopTech Trophy BBK.
In only a handful of days, a lot will change. The fervent bustle that we have all grown accustomed to hearing all around us, the anticipatory build anxiety we’re accustomed to feeling at every moment of the day, and the all-encompassing fine-toothed comb that has dictated the last few months of our lives during this project will all give away to one pivotal moment: the public debut Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute build.
It’s a practice that we, as almost two-decade-long veterans of the industry, have absorbed into our yearly routine. But this year’s titanic task of creating a final product that could’ve rolled off of BMW’s production line added a pressure that we haven’t felt since our earliest years. That pressure has brought a youthful excitement to the effort, though. Now that we are in the closing stages of the project, the anticipation to get this car finished and loaded for its debut at the SEMA show is higher than ever. This final round of upgrades is the proverbial cherry to our E91 sundae.
PUMP IT UP
Before diving into the upgrades, our StopTech Trophy big brake kit was freshly bled with MOTUL’s latest flagship fluid: the RBF700. This DOT 4 fluid has become the new industry leader in the segment, toppling its long-standing competitors and its own RBF600 and RBF660 variants in one fell swoop. Its loftier temperature threshold means that the RBF700 can deliver highly consistent braking power at extreme limits. In professional circles, MOTUL’s product is more than brake fluid; the RBF’s proficiency allows teams to reduce brake duct cooling efforts, which improves aerodynamic drag, and with it, its ultimate lap times.
Beyond any doubt, there is one wheel company to rule them all: BBS. The company has been producing the highest-quality wheels for street and professional motorsport use for more than 40 years and its commitment to do so is only matched by its racing achievements.
The three-piece E88 is one of its most iconic designs of all time. It pairs a backfilled spoke, forged aluminum center with inner and outer rim sections for a delicate balance of strength and weight savings. The gold finish we selected — with matching Red/Gold BBS wheel decals — pays tribute to the aforementioned motorsport achievements and coordinates well with the Fire Orange exterior hue. The overall specs were recommended and fulfilled by BBS magician, Slicer, who has dedicated a large portion of his operations to creating enthusiasts’ holy grail wheels. His work in the BMW market is unmatched and he’s earned a stellar reputation for doing all the right wheel/tire/suspension math that most of us couldn’t handle. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires will help take full advantage of our E91 GTS’s suspension upgrades, translating the chassis’s precision from driver input to the road with little to no buffering time. The compound was developed in partnership with some of the most demanding street cars in production today to ensure the tire can deliver its best where it matters most.
STRENGTH AND SPEED
Before the wheels were bolted to the car, a set of Future Classic M12x1.5 wheel studs was fitted first. These chromoly studs are a considerable upgrade in tensile strength over the OEM lug bolts. Thanks to a unique 80mm threaded body, these studs accept up to a 15mm spacer without adding unnecessary rotational mass. Overall, the bullet-nosed studs will help speed up wheel changes and add yet another motorsport touch to the wagon.
SETUP AND SHAKEDOWN
Once the wheels were installed and the car was on the ground, it gave us our first chance to assess how we were going to set the car up for its debut. We moved the car onto the alignment rack and got to work to ensure the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute would sit perfectly on the SEMA show floor. Our Bilstein and SPL suspension upgrades paid dividends here — making all the necessary adjustments was incredibly easy as a result — and the new wheels and tires looked right at home underneath the E91 GTS’s M3-cladded body. After a quick shakedown to ensure the car’s road mannerisms performed as expected, we re-torqued the wheels and finally stood back to take in all of our hard work.
The Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute has come a long way in a matter of months. Between our team and the hard-working staff at Precision Sport Industries, our carefully selected build partner on the project, we have thrown an exhaustive effort at creating a wagon that would properly pay tribute to the E92 M3 GTS. All that’s left is to unveil its final form and let you be the judge as to whether we’ve actually done it.