If traditionalists can get past the controversial concept of a BMW modern classic sports sedan with a Honda engine, they’ll learn to appreciate this build. The 3 Series E30 was supposed to have the high-performance version of the K20 engine from the 2000s Civic Type R and Integra Type R, but it ultimately received an F20 from the original S2000.

The naturally aspirated mill revs up to a screaming 9,000 rpm and looks quite tiny in the engine bay. Although the project was intended as a showcar for SEMA this year, the man behind the wild E30 build aims to make it fully street legal without cutting any corners. Bear in mind the custom build did not start off by sacrificing an actual M3, but rather a lesser 1985 318i that had been collecting dust for about seven years.

It’s not running just yet, but it’s only a matter of them before the BMW with a Honda heart will be fully operational and ready for track days. Elsewhere, it’s rocking a Pandem widebody kit combined with a carbon-fiber roof and the rear wing from an M3 E30 Evo II resting on an original M3 E30 trunk lid. It rides on 17-inch Rotiform IGS wheels shod in 255/40 front and 275/40 ZR17 rear tires, with the stopping power sourced from a newer M3 E36.

BMW 3 Series E30 Honda engine 3 830x553
BMW 3 Series E30 with Honda engine from S2000

Being built primarily as a track toy, the interior follows the “less is more” theme by stripping out almost everything to shave off weight and keep only the bare essentials. It boasts a fiberglass dashboard, body-hugging seats with a racing harness from Momo, much like the steering wheel and shift knob. The latter is hooked up to the S2000’s OEM transmission, which further goes to show the custom build took a lot of effort so far.

You won’t find a radio or air conditioning in there since the vehicle was conceived primarily for track use, hence why the rear seats have been replaced by a roll cage for extra safety in case something goes horribly wrong while racing. The hump behind the driver’s seat is the fuel tank sourced from the S2000, shaved off at the top in order to fit, before being welded onto the E30.

Even though the car didn’t manage to attend SEMA under its own power, it won’t take long before the high-revving engine will sing its loud tune under the E30’s hood.

[Source: Hoonigan AutoFocus / YouTube]