Turner Motorsports BMW F80 M3 Project Car

BMW M3, Models, Tuning | February 11th, 2015 by 3
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The words BMW and M3 are synonymous with each other. Since the first generation E30 M3 was unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show nearly three …

The words BMW and M3 are synonymous with each other. Since the first generation E30 M3 was unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show nearly three decades ago, BMWs most iconic and revered model has cemented a legendary reputation around the world as a sports car by which all others are judged.

Turner Motorsport have built their own reputation as one of North America’s premier suppliers of BMW OEM and performance parts, particularly with each generation of BMW M3. Turner Motorsport have constantly pushed the envelope the technology and performance for BMWs, using knowledge gained on the road and on the race track. After months of waiting for their F80 M3 to make its way across the ocean from Germany, it has finally arrived.

The F80 M3 is a drastic departure from all previous generations of BMW M3s. In order to maintain adequate power and performance figures with increasingly efficient engines, BMW changed their engine philosophy throughout their entire vehicle range. With the introduction of the current generation of M5 and M6, BMW gave birth to a new era of turbocharged, direct-injected engines in their top-tier M cars for the first time in the company’s history, something that has continued to the powerplant in the F80 M3.

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Gone is the extremely high-revving, naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter S65 V8 from the E9x generation of M3, and in its place is is the S55, a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged and direct-injected unit producing 425 horsepower between 5500-7300 rpm, and 406 lb-ft of torque from as low as 1,850 rpm. While we love the high-revving nature of a naturally-aspirated BMW inline-six or V8, BMWs Twin-Power Technology delivers a product with great top-end horsepower, but produces a much greater amount of torque at low RPMs, making for a more friendly power band in normal, everyday driving.

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The Project

Their goal was to take this fifth generation M3 and make it unique. They are going to hand pick the best possible products and accessories for this project car so they can learn first-hand the true potential of this latest generation of forced induction BMW power plants.

First Impressions

Turner Motorsport Project F80 M3, finished in eye-catching Sakhir Orange Metallic paint certainly has plenty of presence in stock form. The lines make the M3 looks very aggressive with the flared fenders and wide front fascia. Inside their project car, Turner chose the cloth/leather combination. The cloth material has a carbon fiber-like texture and appearance to it, and together with the carbon fiber trim it completes the interior into a state-of-the-art cockpit.

The new F80 M3 is a great piece of modern engineering and lives up to the “M3” badge that adorns the rear trunk. The styling, engine, brakes, transmission all perform very well in stock form. However, Turner Motorsport is always looking to improve upon a very good product, to make it something truly memorable.

Black Front Grills for F80 M3

If there’s one things that transforms the exterior and overall appearance of a BMW more than any other, it’s the addition of black front kidney grills. The front kidneys are literally the “face” of your BMW. Whether it’s standing still in your driveway, parked a car show, or cruising down the highway; distinctive Gloss BMW Black Kidneys are the first thing owners and drivers see when they look at your car. The stock factory chrome grills look OK, but these gloss black examples truly set your car apart from the rest of the pack. Overall fitment and quality is top notch, just like factory BMW parts.

Installation of these black front grills is straight forward. It took Turner approximately 15 minutes to remove the stock chrome units and installed the black ones. Depending on one’s experience installing grills, we would expect the average installation time to be between 20-30 minutes.

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Turner Interlocking Technology Spacers for F80 M3, F82 M4

The Turner Interlocking Technology Spacers are engineered precisely for BMWs, with multiple features that other brands don’t have. They feature an exclusive design that combines a flat wheel spacer and a BMW hub extender in one product! They have a bridged support structure that fits in the voids of the unique M3/M4 hub. This gives a mesh interlocking fitment for the spacer and a new lip for the wheel to rest on. They are available in 5, 7.5, and 10mm sizes.

The shortcoming of any flat spacer is that not enough hub is left over for the wheel to safely rest on. BMW engineers their wheels to rest on the lip protruding from the hub. The bolts alone are not designed to support the wheel. Placing a flat spacer on the lip reduces the amount of lip available and transfers more stress to the wheel bolts. Since the bolts alone were not designed this way, the bolts and the hub will fail eventually. So their research and development department came up with an ingenious combined Spacer and Hub Extender that incorporates a new hub with a flat spacer (a true hubcentric 10mm spacer).

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Their Project F80 M3, like all current generation M3s and M4s, comes from the factory with a somewhat aggressive stance. However, manufacturers usually create vehicles with conservative wheel and tire combinations, leaving enthusiasts looking for a more aggressive and pronounced stance. The F8x M3 and M4 are no exception. Turner’s 12.5mm wheel spacers on all four corners work extremely well with the factory 20″ BMW wheels, delivering the perfect combination of added stance, while maintaining the vehicle’s everyday drive-ability and characteristics.

The addition of the spacers fills out the fenders, without protruding beyond them. The slightly smaller 12.5mm are also recommended if you plan on adding performance springs or other suspensions modifications that lower the vehicle, as a 15mm will cause the car’s wheels to rub against the fenders.

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Color Matched Front Side Reflectors for F80 M3

Along with the addition of gloss black front kidney grills, they also ditched those unsightly orange front bumper reflectors. The difference between the stock orange and color matched painted front reflectors is dramatic, and together with the black kidney grills brings together the entire front fascia of the M3.

Installation is straightforward. In order to reach the back of the stock reflectors you need to remove four screws that hold the plastic cover on inside the wheel well. After the screws are removed you can pull back that portion of the cover and gain access to the reflector. To remove the reflector you will need to carefully loosen the adhesive tape that holds it in place, as pushing too hard from the outside without loosening the tape can result in permanent damage to the bumper. Once the backing tape and stock reflector has been removed the color-matched piece simply pops into place. Professional 3M adhesive is included to make sure your new reflectors stay in place.

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BMW F80 M3 Dyno Day
Every time they receive a new project, Turner Motorsport wants to see what the true capabilities of the vehicle are, as the manufacturer stated figures for peak horsepower and torque are always open for interpretation. In addition, manufacturer estimates for horsepower and torque are always assumed to be calculated from the flywheel, not the rear wheel. This can throw off an owner’s understanding of what exactly is being delivered (in terms of horsepower and torque) to the pavement.

In order to get first-hand power and torque figures are at the wheel, Turner put their Project F80 M3 on a dynometer. During the three pulls on the dyno their stock M3 delivered strong numbers, putting down 401 hp and 416 lb-ft of torque, beating out BMW’s claims when calculating in a 17% drive loss between the flywheel and the rear wheels.

Turner Performance Tuning Module for F80 M3, F82 M4

The Turner Performance Module is a direct plug-in to the existing engine harness for factory appearance, fitment and an instant 60hp gain @ 6650 RPM and 75ft-lbs of torque at 6500 RPM. Installation takes approximately one hour and is completely reversible.

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Turner Performance Module for F80 M3/F82 M4

Turner’s M3/M4 upgrade solution plugs in ahead of the engine computer on the wiring harness. It’s not the run-of-the-mill ‘piggy-back’ style upgrades you find for less. Unlike other modules that require extended downtime to install, this performance module is extremely easy and straightforward to install.

All that is required is the removal of the engine cover, connection of the three factory-style, weather-proof plugs to connect in-line with each boost pressure sensor, camshaft position sensor and manifold pressure sensor on the engine. After connection with the plugs, we arranged the wires so they were neatly organized and hidden, and stored the module under the right hood cowl. All of the factory safeguards remain in place, including overload protection and warm-up protocols to preserve longevity and factory drive-ability. If BMW updates the computer software to fix any small bugs or issues, the Turner performance upgrade is not lost or overwritten. A valet connector is included and installs in minutes to bypass the performance module and revert the car to factory settings. Total installation time ranges between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on skill and ability level.

Turner recently took the F80 M3, equipped with the Turner Performance Tuning Module to the drag strip to see how it stacked up in the quarter mile. The results were very impressive. In 100% stock configuration the F80 M3, equipped with the 7-speed DCT transmission will complete the quarter mile in approximately 12.1 seconds. With an additional 60 horsepower and 75 lb-ft of torque on-tap, the M3 ripped down the strip in a blistering 11.7 seconds! That’s an improvement of four-tenths, all from a product that takes minutes to install. The company says they did not use launch control to get off the line, since the M3 has not reached the 1,200-mile minimum requirement.

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Turner Edition P3Cars Integrated Vent Gauge for BMW F80 M3

Just as the exterior design, the interior of Turner’s BMW F80 M3 is beautifully designed and engineered to be a comfortable and functional space for the driver, as well as accompanying passengers. With that being said, with each passing year car manufacturers incorporate more technology and driver’s aids into their vehicle offerings, limiting the amount of information the driver receives, especially when it comes to vital vehicle data. Up until now you could gain additional data through ill-fitting auxiliary gauges. However, those aren’t designed specifically for your make and model, sacrificing the overall appear of your interior. Those days are over!

The Turner Edition Integrated Vent Gauge by P3 Cars is the answer. P3 Cars has developed a product that not only monitors and displays critical engine and performance information, such as engine intake temperature, coolant temperature, boost/vacuum, exhaust gas temperature, speed and RPM, but does so with a beautifully engineered unit that is extremely easy to install and use. It ooks like a factory-issued option from BMW because it has been designed specifically for each BMW. Turner Motorsport F80 M3 unit features special 0-60, 0-100 MPH and 60-0, 100-0 displays, unique to the Turner Edition vent gauge.

The F80 M3 P3 gauge is available in two different configurations. The first is a pre-installed unit that comes ready-to-go in a OEM vent, while the second is not pre-installed, requiring you add the unit to your stock vent cluster. With the unit already installed you simply have to pop out the stock air vent. remove the dash board side and foot well, plug the unit into the OBD port and connect the remaining wire into the rear of the digital display. Once everything has been connected, you place all of your panels back into place and turn on the car. Installation with the pre-installed is approximately 10 minutes, while the uninstalled unit took them 30-40 minutes.

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BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber Front Splitters for F80 M3, F82 M4

These BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber Front Splitters can be added to the F80 M3 and F82 M4 front bumper for a much more aggressive appearance. These pieces are made of 100% real carbon fiber and are genuine BMW parts.

Installation of these front splitters is very quick and easy. All that is required is removal of the 8mm screw and washer that holds the under panels on. Once removed the carbon fiber splitters easily mount over the existing outer cooling ducts, and is used to direct air either into the air duct or the air curtains. The optional lower M Performance horizontal splitter makes the front end even more aggressive. Together, the two M Performance Splitters have a dynamic and pronounced visual impact to the M3 / M4 bumper.

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BMW M Performance Lower Front Splitter for F80 M3, F82 M4

In addition to the BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber Front Splitters, Turner added the corresponding BMW M Performance Lower Front Splitter. These two parts are designed to work in conjunction with one another, and together really bring together the appearance of the M3. While the two side splitters are comprised of carbon fiber, the lower splitter is finish in high-quality ABS plastic in a matte finish.

Installation of the lower front splitter takes about one hour. If you already have the carbon fiber splitters installed, you will need to remove them to gain access to the under trays, which also have to be removed. The lower splitter is held in place with a number of plastic rivets and small screws. Making small holes in both the bottom of the carbon fiber splitters and the bottom of the front bumper is required for the pieces to be properly secured. The end result are pieces that are not only great looking, but are attached to the car well too.

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BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber Mirror Covers for F80 M3, F82 M4

To complete the carbon fiber look on the face of their Project F80 M3, they installed the BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber Mirror Covers. These carbon fiber mirror covers replace the factory color matched pieces on the front portion of the mirror. The mirror covers look great on their own. However, when combined with the BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber Front Splitter and the Lower Front Splitter they really give the F80 M3 a more exotic appearance.

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Painted Engine Cover for F80 M3, F82 M4

The engine is the heart of any automobile, and is the part of the vehicle most people are naturally drawn too. The powerful S55 powerplant in the F80 M3 is no exception. With its dual intakes, intercoolers and heat exchangers, together with the uniquely-shaped carbon fiber engine/strut brace, there are plenty of interesting aspects to look at.

However, as with most modern vehicles, the M3/M4 engine bay is laden with an overabundance of black plastic, the largest and most prominent of which is the large black engine cover. With this project, Turner Motorsport thought this area could use a blast of color to make their Project M3 stand out from the rest of the pack. These Painted Engine Covers make a world of difference when it comes to the engine bay of your M3/M4. Each painted engine cover is prepped for paint, painted with the same color code as your M3/M4, and then clear-coated to a high gloss finish. When installed your engine bay will deliver just as much punch as the S55 delivers to the pavement.

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Forgeline GA1R Forged Monoblock Wheels for F80 M3, F82 M4

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If one exterior modification transforms the appearance of a vehicle, it’s the addition of a different set of wheels. This F80 M3 is no exception. For this project, they chose the Forgeline GA1R Monoblock Wheels. Complete with stunning “Transparent Smoke” finish, these wheels improve the aggressive appearance of the exterior. The wheel finish compliments the BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber pieces adorning the front and rear of the M3.

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Despite the awesome presence both while at stand-still and traveling down the road, these fully-forged wheel provide the M3 with more than just a different look. The company chose to wrap the 20″ Forgeline GA1R’s in high-performance Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, measuring 265/30/20 in the front and 295/30/20 in the rear. Driving characteristics have noticeably improved with the introduction of the Forgeline wheels.  The KW Clubsport Coilover Suspension push the limits of what was possible for a street car to achieve when pushed on the race track.

When driven on the street, the H&R 30mm Front Sway Bar delivers excellent lowered stance and appearance for the F80 M3, along with offering great overall handling and ride quality, making the M3 the ultimate street machine, without going for a more advanced coilover setup.

*Disclaimer* This F80 M3 is not equipped with EDC suspension. If you plan on adding a coilover suspension to your EDC-equipped F8x M3 or M4, you will need to have a module capable of disabling your EDC warning light.

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H&R Front Sway Bar for F80 M3, F82 M4

Turner Motorsport added numerous sway bars to their builds throughout the years. They even developed their own sway bars for the BMW E36 and E46 chassis’. Because of the improved handling and cornering control that result from the addition of a sway bar, they had to try one out on their newest project car, the recently acquired BMW F80 M3. H&R Sway Bars are among the highest-quality piece on the market, so it should come as no surprise they decided to go that route when installing one on their BMW F80 M3.

Installation takes about one hour to complete, depending on skill and experience level. The front sway bar on the F80 is located beneath the front subframe, making installation much easier than if it was located above it. Before locating the factory sway bar, multiple plastic under-trays need to be remove in order to gain access. Once they removed the factory from the sway bar links and had the bushing removed from their housing, the 30mm H&R unit was put into place by attaching it to the same mounting points.

The H&R 30mm Front Sway Bar for F80 M3 made a noticeable difference in the way the car turned into corners, reducing the amount of lateral body roll and increasing stability. Ride comfort of this F80 M3 was not affected by the larger (30mm) H&R sway bar.

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3 responses to “Turner Motorsports BMW F80 M3 Project Car”

  1. […] the BMW F80 M3 and BMW F82 M4 came out, many tuners were certain they would be great models when it comes […]

  2. […] Turner Motorsports BMW F80 M3 Project Car If there's one things that transforms the exterior and overall appearance of a BMW more than any other, it's the addition of black front kidney grills. The front kidneys are literally the “face” of your BMW. Whether it's standing still in your driveway … Read more on BMWBLOG (blog) […]

  3. […] Turner Motorsports BMW F80 M3 Project Car Since the first generation E30 M3 was unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show nearly three decades ago, BMWs most iconic and revered model has cemented a legendary reputation around the world as a sports car by which all others are judged. … The F80 M3 … Read more on BMWBLOG (blog) […]

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