The Evolve BMW Park Lane Takeover Meshes A Celebrated Reality with An Enthusiast’s Dream

Photography: Michal Fidowicz

  • Evolve Automotive is a UK-based tuning company devoted to BMW performance solutions, personification, and perpetuating modern car culture through social media and local events.
  • Park Lane is a flagship BMW dealer and retailer in the heart of London, overlooking Hyde Park, and a worthy event host for the Evolve takeover.
  • The Evolve x BMW Park Lane takeover has been the talk of the town, bridging the gap between aftermarket and OEM.
  • The latest installment meshes BMW’s best with cars that it never (but should’ve) made, including the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute build.

Every time my dad had to take his car in for routine service at the dealership, I’d get excited. While we were waiting, it was a golden opportunity to walk around and admire the multitude of new cars that I hoped to own one day. I distinctly remember getting into an E36 318ti and taking in that unmistakable new BMW smell. I sat in the driver’s seat and even though I couldn’t see over the steering wheel, I rowed through the gears thinking that it was the perfect size for a small fry like me. The dealership, then, became a symbol of ambition and a measure of just how far I’d “made it”.

The aftermarket industry taught many of us that just buying the car was only half the fun. Modifying cars became second nature, an obvious extension of car ownership that allowed us to improve upon the factory recipe. While most enthusiasts stop there, Imran Arshad, the founder of Evolve Automotive, wanted to find a way to bring the entire journey full circle: curating a collection of well-modified cars into a dealership space.

It became known as the Evolve x BMW Park Lane takeover and, just as the new car showroom inspired many of us back in the day, so too would this for an entirely new generation of enthusiasts.


Evolve Automotive and BMW Park Lane are outliers of their respective niches. The former is a UK-based tuning company devoted to BMW performance solutions, personification, and perpetuating modern car culture through social media and local events. The latter is the only non-franchised dealership in the country, and its unique position has afforded it the freedom to do things differently since earning its flagship designation in the 1980s. The Evolve x BMW Park Lane takeover is the result of combining two entities that understand the modern BMW enthusiast and providing them with a forum where they can mix and mingle with each other among the cars they know and love.


For its third go, Evolve and BMW Park Lane made a concentrated effort to do something unique. As per usual, the sprawling showroom space was decked out with some of BMW’s special editions—the E36 M3 GT, E90 M3 CRT, F82 M4 GTS, and G82 M4 CSL—but in contrast to previous efforts, these rare models were strategically paired with cars that BMW should have built, like the G87 M2 GT Tribute, Evolve’s own G81 M3 CSL Touring, and the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute, and which recently crossed the Atlantic for its European tour.

The concept brought with it much-deserved fanfare on Friday’s invite-only opening night. The showroom was packed with like-minded BMW fans, enthusiasts, admirers, and influencers who were able to enjoy each others’ company, high-end catering, and a buzzing atmosphere among some of the industry’s most notable players.


The way that Evolve curated the space made it easy to recognize where these enthusiast-bred cars got their inspiration from. The G87 M2 GT Tribute was parked in tandem with the E36 M3 GT, allowing a lot of the modern car’s nods—the British Racing Green paint, wheels, wing, and LTW-style splitter—to be easily compared.

Evolve’s long-loved F87 M2 project (nicknamed “Starla”) followed the theme and showed its clear bloodline similarities to the M4 GTS nearby. As cool as it was in “Art Car” guise, I’ve always been fond of how the OG M2 looked in Mineral Grey; the hue seems to bring out all of the car’s body lines well and I think it, along with the F82 M4 GTS, are some of the best bargains of the BMW M lineup right now.


I will say that the four-door showcase took the cake. BMW Park Lane was our wagon’s first stop since landing in the UK and it was incredibly special to see the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute parked side by side with Evolve’s uber-rare E90 M3 CRT. This car was admittedly one of the reasons why we chose to retain the brushed aluminum trim inside the wagon and seeing them nearby helped validate that choice. As biased as I am toward the E90’s form factor, the E9X M3 chassis really does look fantastic in long roof guise. The super loud Fire Orange paint was a beautiful contrast to the CRT’s Frozen Polar Silver Metallic hue. And I have to say, the CRT seats take the cake as some of the coolest BMW factory seats ever made. I could see where the G8X buckets borrowed cues from these, though frankly, the more subtle CRT treatment is far superior in my opinion.

After checking out all the heat inside, a breath of fresh air outdoors was welcomed. It was cool to step back and admire what Evolve and BMW Park Lane had accomplished from afar. They’ve accomplished something truly special here and successfully blended the lines between BMW as a brand and a foundation for the aftermarket. We left taking in one of the wilder cars of the day: a Koenig Specials (KS) BMW E24 635i that belonged to avid BMW collector @m635bmw. This wildly 80s machine is likely one of just two in the United Kingdom and is a well-enjoyed piece of the owner’s vast Bavarian collection.

Thank you to Imran Arshad, the entire Evolve Automotive team, and BMW Park Lane for putting together this incredible event and hosting the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute. You are incredible pioneers who have pushed the envelope for BMW fans all over the world and will help sustain the enthusiasm for the brand (and its aftermarket support) for years to come.

Be sure to check out another interpretation of this event via Speedhunters.