Auto Talent M3 – A Cheetah in Zebra’s Clothing


Massive 19×11 Forge Star F14 rear wheels paired with steam roller 305/30 tires provide extra grip to match the power.  Stop Tech Trophy rear BBK with 4-piston calipers and 2-piece rotors handle the stopping duties.
A closeup of the Stop Tech Trophy brake caliper and 2-piece rotors.  Why choose the Trophy setup?  Notice that the caliper has excess material removed to shave even more weight off.  Look closely at the hub surface of the Forge Star wheel that can be seen between the spokes; excess material is removed there too, reducing weight.  I’ve also seen this done on the OEM Ferrari 458 wheels.

To take advantage of the extra rubber being put to the ground, the suspension has been suitably upgraded also.  KW Clubsports were chosen for their incredible performance and ride qualities. The Clubsports have a more aggressive track oriented valving than the the high performance street Variant III’s.  The compression and rebound damping is independently adjustable and the bodies are made of rust resistant stainless steel, meaning that these are truly all season coilovers. To add a bit more roll stiffness, a RD Sport anti-sway bar kit was also added.


The E92 M3 uses the traditional BMW front MacPherson strut design.  The KW Clubsport strut bolts in easily along with the RD Sport anti-sway bar.  The Stop Tech brake setup is also easily visible here.  Notice how the Stop Tech brake line uses the OEM mounting bracket on the upright for ease of installation and maximum reliability.  Also notice the ample clearance between the KW Clubsport strut and the wheel/tire.  Auto Talent did a good job selecting the wheel offset.
KW Clubsports come with Uni-ball pillow ball mounts.  In the case of a front strut suspension, they are also adjustable camber plates.

The stock spring rates for the M3 are 160 lb/in front and 550 lb/in rear.  Remember that the front suspension is a strut arrangement while the rear is a multi-link with spring located more inboard and separately from the damper.  Using some basic physics and calculating the moment forces, it becomes obvious why the rear spring rate must be higher.  The KW Clubsports for the M3 increase the spring rates to 508 lb/in front and 800 lb/in rear.  Due to the KW’s sophisticated valving, the added stiffness has little ride quality penalty despite the great increase in control.

The KW Clubsport damper is mounted more outboard.  The spring is mounted more inboard.  The RD Sport rear anti-sway bar can been seen snaking its way down.  More Stop Tech goodness on the rear. 

The next upgrades required are for the driver.  Being strapped in securely is now an absolute requirement with the greatly added performance capabilities of the car.  To hold the driver in place, Sparco Corsa seats in conjunction with Sparco 6-point harnesses are employed.  Anytime a harness setup such as this is used, the car requires some type of rollover protection as the driver has no possible way to duck if the car ends up on its roof and the roof collapses.  An Auto Power 4-point roll bar setup was installed and also serves as a mounting location for the harnesses.


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