Video: 1,300-HP E30 M3 Snags A 7:32 At The ‘Ring

They’re odd partners, but like salt and caramel, they work surprisingly well together. Take an E30 M3, and in the place of its underpowered four cylinder, swap in the king of all turbocharged tuner motors. Some might imagine a car with an iron 2JZ-GTE anchoring the front axle might not make for a great corner carver, but they’d be wrong. Even with the colossal heft and power of the 3.0-liter six, Vidar Jødahl’s wildly-tuned BMW is able to put on a show at the Nurburgring and blast past just about everything in its way.

The 2JZ is far from stock; using forged pistons and rods from Powerhouse Racing, an enormous Garrett GTX4294R turbo, billet main caps, a ported head, and a Pectel T6 management system. With the boost cranked up to 43 pounds, the engine makes an absurd 1,305 hp at the flywheel, 1,138 hp at the wheels and 1,089 lb-ft of torque, which can effortlessly turn the rear tires into tar.

The turbocharger model name is cut out of its supporting bracket, which is absolutely necessary as the snail is the size of a melon. Photo credit:

The Garrett turbo is predictably laggy, and the tidal wave of power comes on very abruptly, but once it spools the horizon arrives at Jødahl’s feet. Incidentally, this car can cover the quarter mile in 8.96 seconds at 159 mph, but that doesn’t mean it’s a one-trick dragster. For something driving four-digit figures to unweighted rear wheels, depressing the throttle pedal without the driven wheels spinning furiously is a serious accomplishment.

That power is harnessed, somewhat, by toughened E34 M5 differential, which has power sent to it via a Sellholm MPG sequential gearbox. The same company manufactures the coilovers, and sitting alongside them are K-Sport six-piston brakes up front and standard E46 M3 brakes in the rear. Housing the stoppers are 18″ Compomotive MO wheels wrapped in Michelin slicks, which do their best to apply the power, but it’s obvious they’re struggling under the load.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise the car is traction-limited in the slower corners, which Jødahl generally short shifts through to keep the turbocharger lit but still reasonably low in the rev range. Without torturing the tires too much, he’s able to keep up a good pace and use its acceleration to nip past Porsche GT3s and other serious machinery without breaking a sweat.

However, this car is far from an overpowered tuner car. It remains agile and predictable due to little weight and the right selection of suspension components. The interior is stripped and spartan with a full roll cage, Sparco buckets, and a STACK gauge sitting prominently in the middle of the dash.

Photo credit: Vidar Jødahl

It’s well balanced too, and handles the faster sections beautifully. Though, Jødahl still needs to tread carefully on the loud pedal, since this car is willing and able to smoke the slicks at any speed. Good thing he has the necessary talent when the rear does decide the snap suddenly.



About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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