In this day and age, it’s not uncommon to hear a shop say that they’re “putting together a car for SEMA” and reach out to those involved for the latest and greatest to showcase on it. It’s also not out of the norm to acknowledge the lengths and distances these shops go to in order for the car to be there… What we will say is out of the norm, at least in any sane mind, is taking planes, trains, and boats to get it there… and by there, we mean from London to Miami, Miami to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Las Vegas to Essen Motor Show. We’ve spun the globe enough times to determine where this BMW Touring will land, but it’s clear the team at R44 is just getting their feet wet.
Starting in July of 2023 with a Brooklyn Grey BMW G81 Touring, the car arrived from London into Miami with a team of 4 eager to change the game. Dylan, Gina, & Jake were led by their fearless leader Rhys for what was about to be 6-months of the biggest build of the year and the sleepless nights to go along with it. Now, anyone who knows the car scene these days understands just how “big” you have to go to get everyone’s attention– luckily for this team, they simply will not stop at mediocrity. The team called on their friends at CSF & Air Lift to keep not only the engine temps low and the performance high, but to lay this family hauler out in the Florida sun properly on air suspension. Of course the factory colors are never enough, so Khaki Green from Inozetek was the first outfit of choice for the debut.
If you didn’t know already, the team at R44 & MHC have a tendency to make some carbon fiber parts from time to time– so every panel, including the roof, was removed and replaced with the carbon alternative. Although the power additions came from PSI in Orlando, we’ll take the credit for it being in Florida since nothing stays stock for longer than break in miles here. One critical piece to this puzzle was the ECU, and since the crunch was on for MPact in the Pocono’s, Rhys decided to overnight ship Dylan and the ECU to their tuner back in the UK and return with it revamped.
While Dylan ran a quick errand back to his house, Danny and the team at Slammered got to work on lowering this behemoth properly– With the help of Turn 14′s lighting-fast shipping times, this wagon was on the ground, literally, within 3 days and able to stop the show at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach. For the summer debut, the R44 team chose our 20″ Vossen Forged S21-02 finished in Brushed Gloss Clear to help bring some light to the one-off EBC stopping power.
If you ever want to understand the true meaning of Nooks and Crannies, ask Jake from Base Wraps how tedious Rhys is when it comes to wrap installation. The M3 Touring had the doors, hatch and hood off the car before the first lunch break.
Once the car had those small modifications completed, it was off to MPact to start the Coast to Coast tour– The R44 team doesn’t like to take any shortcuts, so they started much further north on the coast to get the full effect, besides it was Sea Turtle Season in South Florida anyway.
After making it’s rounds at Turn 14, IND, shop here shop there and shop over there, the calendar months flipped over to October and the team found themselves on driving down PCH with what felt like a stock car. Luckily, boredom is the only person not making this intercontinental trip. If you follow Rhys on his social platforms, you know that he want’s the max amount of power in everything, even the shop car. That being said, down he went to Studio RSR, found some extra room in the engine bay and made some calls to build the world’s first Single Turbo setup for the factory platform and Mr. Tom Wrigley went to work. We all want big power in a small package, but this Precision Turbo setup quite literally was fabricated in the UK and stuffed in Tom’s suitcase at Heathrow. While it was down for some open heart surgery, why not change the color of the car, right? And while we’re at it, let’s add more carbon (if these guys could make a carbon fiber dip stick they would) and dress up the engine bay with gifts from Golden Wrench. When you were kid, who didn’t think every car need LED’s and the most satisfying Paddle Shifter’s ever, thank you JQWerks for making this childhood dream a clicky reality.
And if you forgot where you were reading this blog post, of course the shoes were changed for SEMA, and Carbon? Of Course. We decided to debut our all-new Vossen Forged S21-08 in a Patina Gold to make this car pop if it didn’t already (if you’re wanting the same pop, this wheel could be yours in early ’24) After those were done, it was off to cruise through the desert one last time before the debut at the CSF Booth, front and center at the 2023 SEMA Show.
Fast forward a few more weeks and the station wagon was headed back to Europe for Essen Motor Show– We’re not sure how many of you have booked flights for cars recently, but First-Class, Extended Leg Room, and 5-Checked Bags doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface for cost, let alone the meal isn’t included…
The car made a quick stop for the family back home before taking the stage at our friends Camber Inc’s booth at the 2023 Essen Motor Show– Slammed and showcased front and center for the week-long extravaganza, the Narwhal Blue boosted family hauler was the guest of honor for the private party and hid it’s jet lag better than anyone there.
If you haven’t seen photos of this feat of a machine yet, below you’ll find every angle of it in its latest form. This is the first of many builds with us and R44 Performance, we respect their continued viewpoint of not stopping until it stops the show– What’s next? Who knows, but it’ll be full bolt ons before its first oil change.
Vossen Forged S21-08 – Dymag Carbon Barrel
Wheel Specs: 20×10″ 20×11″
Tire Specs: 285/30/20 295/30/20