Car Feature>> Trackculture V10 M3

Building an aggressive street car nearly always involves making some sort of compromise along the way. As much as we would all like to think we could live with a stripped and caged daily driver, we all know that the reality would quickly wear thin. Especially in our modern motoring world where it would seem that every government is doing their utmost to remove the joy of driving from us.

When Phil Morrison bought this E46 M3 as a daily driver he wanted to keep things simple and civilized. But when you have a 720+BHP Nissan S15 in your garage, everything else is going to feel rather tame in comparison. As some of you know, Phil is the co-founder of Driftworks, which we published a story about earlier in the week. Earlier this year, Driftworks announced a new brand, Trackculture, to appeal to track day junkies and fast road car owners.

The modifications started quite soon in this E46’s life once under Phil’s ownership. A healthy 370 odd horsepower was extracted from the original motor but knowing Phil, this was never going to be enough.

It’s also worth remembering that when your sister company’s flagship car is the Driftworks S15, building something tame was never going to be an option.

Phil’s vision for his M3 was to keep it sensible and retain the everyday drivability of an M3 whilst improving power and delivery but not detrimentally affecting the weight distribution or handling of the car.

The first time I popped the bonnet, it was to be honest a sort of anti-climax but for good reason. The engine just looked like a factory install. That’s no mean feat considering swapping an S85 into an E46 is not exactly the easiest of conversions.

Thanks to the help of Dynotorque (one of the UK’s leading LS motor swap shops), they managed to get the five litre S85 engine into the bay with the use of custom engine mounts and crossmember, an RX7 steering rack and a custom steering column.

With 500+BHP now being delivered, adequate stopping power was required. Behind the three piece AC Schnitzer wheels (18×9.5 up front and 18×11.5 at the rear) …

… lie 360mm discs with CA Automotive six piston calipers for the front and Stoptech four piston calipers with Stoptech pads for the rear.

The subtleties on the outside are what really help this car shine in my book. To a regular passer-by it looks like just another E46 M3 but to a trained eye, all the details begin to reveal a much bigger picture. The rear bootlid is a carbon CSL item …

… with the addition of an AC Schnitzer roof spoiler.

The inside has retained all the expected creature comforts of an M3.

CSL front seats …

… and ACS white kevlar dash and door trim.

As far as I know the European E60 M5 never came with a manual gearbox – although the USDM version did – so Phil’s research revealed that an E9x M3 six speed would mate perfectly to the S85 engine.

A Dynavin headunit takes up radio, TV and navigation services.

Trying to get the engine up and running with the M5’s extremely complicated electronics was a going to be a big no-no. With the help of KMS Racing Engines in the Netherlands, a company with great experience in running the S85 in track cars, Phil sourced a Pectel SQ6M12 ECU and paired it with a Cosworth Motorsports engine loom which all tied into the above Cosworth Pi Omega Dash2.

The rear arches alone required nearly 100 hours of labour to flare them for an extra 40mm of clearance whilst still retaining an OEM look.

The effort was worth it however, as there are no issues whatsoever with the 285/30/18 Federal RSRs (245/35/18 at the front) fouling the bodywork or inner-arch. Remember how I’m always harping on about how you can have a fully functional track car with stance and not have issues? This is how it can and should be done.

The exhaust is a custom stainless steel item built by Dynotorque with an Eisenmann back box with a QPR Electronic Exhaust Bypass Valve. The resulting sound is something like this …

What appeals to me most about this car is that it offers the complete package – it has the power, the looks and the comfort to match.

What more could you want?

Paddy McGrath

Street Cars & Sleepers Special Stories on Speedhunters

BMW’s M3 on Speedhunters


Trackculture V10 M3 Build Thread

Phil would like to say a special thanks to:


KMS Racing Engines

Sky Insurance


Vehicle Specification


BMW V10 S85 5.0litre

KMS Racing Engines manual cable throttle linkage assembly

KMS Racing Engines modified S85 race Alternator,

E60 M5 Water Radiator

Huge Setrab engine oil cooler

Trackculture Power steering cooler

Custom intake Snorkels

Pipercross filters in bumper.

Dynotorque custom Stainless exhaust, into Eisenmann back box with QPR Electronic Exhaust Bypass valve for those ‘straight through V10′ moments

Dynotorque custom crossmember and engine mounts

Custom engine belly plate.

Custom 2 litre swirl pot and lines with new standard fuel lift pump and Bosch 044 main pump – ‘Necessary because it pulls way more G’s than a stock M3, and starves fuel on sweeping right handers. This solution has eliminated that.’ – Phil Morrison


Pectel SQ6M12 ECU including configuration and engine dyno map file from KMS Racing Engines

Cosworth Motorsports Engine loom

Cosworth Pi Omega Dash2 Motorsports dashboard

All brand new Bosch engine sensors


BMW E90 M3 6 speed manual gearbox

M5 Twin plate clutch with modified fork and bearing assembly, modified S54 slave cylinder and pivot.

Carbonetics Carbon Limited Slip Differential with 3.6/1 Ring and Pinion

DaveMack custom propshaft

Driftworks Gearbox oil cooler

Dynotorque Custom shifter and linkage

Dynotorque Custom gearbox mount

Suspension & Chassis:

Nitron 3way full coilovers

Custom front anti roll bar

Rear H&R anti roll bar

Eibach adjustable rear lower arms

Tom Schirmer solid offset front lower bushes

Powerflex rear trailing and subframe bushes

Dynotorque rear load spreading turret bar – To allow use of full coilover rear suspension

Strengthened and plated rear subframe mounting points

Notched chassis rails for custom steering column and radiator


Mazda RX7 Steering rack

Custom Steering column with extra linkage to clear manifolds

Trackculture prototype adjustable bump steer tie rod ends


CA Automotive 6-pot 360mm front big brake kit with Pagid blue pads

Stoptech 4-pot 360mm rear big brake kit with Stoptech pads

Goodridge braided brake hoses

ABS removed

Wheels and Tyres:

3 Piece AC Schnitzer type 2 with new barrels and stainless steel lips

18×11.5” Rear with 285/30/18 Federal RSR Track day tyre

18×9.5” Front with 245/35/18 Federal RSR Track day tyre

Fronts have 10mm AC Schnitzer spacer to clear the large front brakes


Front and rear CSL Alcantara Seats

CSL steering wheel

AC Schnitzer White Kevlar dash and door trims

Dynavin Sat-Nav / TV / Stereo


Heavily flared and pulled arches front and rear

AC Schnitzer carbon fibre front lip spoiler

Carbon Fibre CSL bootlid

Custom Black paint work recently prepared by Meguiars

Clear sidelights

LED rear light clusters



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I don't mind hellaflush cars but seriously how can a car with so little suspension travel be a well tuned track car? It looks great and has loads of power but this is street culture at most... not track culture... Same goes to the Porsche earlier... Is just me or are all the posts from the UK lately just trying to hard to be cool?


Damn thats smart as F**k a true sleeper and tastefully modified, one of the best modded cars ive seen


Near on perfect street car for me. I wouldn't call it a track car though, too many missing elements, but an awesome street car none-the-less.


damn. i approve.


Beautifull but stickers should not be on a sleeper!


What more could I want? How about this on MY garage?




Oh my god! What a build!



Have you ever seen the dtm cars from the 90s...? They are slammed on their nuts, this is definitely Track culture


Quite an install! I'd love to watch him take to a BMW service center and see the tech's reaction :D


Street Cult? Sure. But I love how this car was executed. A hella-flush head turner and everything, but in an OEM manner and these are the modifications I respect most. I would've retained the OEM white headlight housing, other than that its perfect.


Gorgeous and breath taking, iWish I had one of these; weekday work car, weekend track car :)


they need to make this a shop option. just call them up, get a quote and do it.....its beautiful and scary at their best.


Lol @ fumiyasu


This is just beautiful.


I would commit so many crimes to get my hands on that car.



I'm not a Beemer lover by any means but I could turn for this car.


I need a new pair of shorts


Beautiful car, love the E46's. Truly the complete package. Can't wait to build my own >:)


That is just perfect, and it sounds like a LMP prototype. Awesome


most people dont even go to the tracks, so why build a track car!? this is a perfect street car. LOVE!



@fumiyasu: Not race car.


Damn..its sure looks good..feast for the eyes!


this is the perfect example of how you can modified your car and turn your daily drive in a track car... the track culture...


Damn! You do some nice features! Love it!


wow!! there is a lot happening with this car.. i love the engine swap. - the wheels are a good choice too, suits the car to a tee. def. one for the Video Roll. hmmm the electronics aren't that technical for the M5, i might be biased as i work for BMW tho' - Thanks for this one


Lets face it, browisers, no M3 that looks like this can be considered a sleeper. Especially one with a V10 under the hood... you can hear the differnce between the V10 sound and the stock I6 sound. And no sleeper is wearing custom wheel arches, AC S badges all over, and AC S wheels rollin on it. Sleepers are basic looking and sounding to give the impression that they have nothing to offer beyond stock to moderately modded performance to surprise the competitor. This things no sleeper.. it looks like its got something to offer.

Anyways... The things the illest without even seeing the V10. The V10 just sent it to the moon on my "sick as fuck-ometer". Much respect.


i have only one word for this bimmer. *DREAMCAR


Daily driving a v10? wish i was on that sort of budget


@ dballs - DTM cars were never intended to be driven on the streets, and their suspension geometry was redesigned to match. These cars have very little in common with their street going counterparts, and their suspension systems bore little resemblance to anything driven on the street. Fumiyasu hit the nail on the head. With so little suspension travel this car either has super-stiff coil springs or rides all day on its bumpstops. If you know anything about suspension, it won't be long before you realise that this isn't good for either street or track driving.

@ dballs & Bradders - please, do some reading and watch this vid before you post on SH again.


im not a bimmer guy, i like slammed 80s models, but this is just so damn perfect!

The rear widened fenders are so right, and the stance is so perfect it will make any other bimmer look wrong.

Until sometime ago i thought i would never own a new car cause i hated i still think i will never own one, but because its too damn expensive to make it look right.


Wow - a clean execution of a brilliant concept. Large motor, small (relatively) car. Chassis upgrades to match, and street usability retained. This gets at least 58 thumbs way up. Even if this wasn't as spotless as it is, the exhaust note alone is worth the hassle of conversion. HOLY SNARLY!


maybe they sould call it the M13 combining the M3 body with M5 engine


This could be the greatest sleeper ever.


Best e46 ever? I think so.



I don't know if you've been to or are from the UK but the E46 M3 is a pretty common sight so I'm sure most people don't really know the difference when they meet Phil on the road. Also, when the exhaust bypass valve is closed, the car is so quiet that you can't differentiate between the I6 and V10 sounds.

@Tony240Z & Fumiyasu

I don't think either of you are giving Phil or the Track Culture team much credit. These are some pretty well experienced guys and have had help from some even more experienced people at DynoTorque and KMS so they have built a car that works really, really well. With fitment that tight, I can see why you think there isn't much suspension travel but the arches have been modified to allow the wheels to travel into them with fouling the tyre or rim (You've to remember when the suspension compresses, the wheel will camber negatively so its direction of travel is in and away from the arch edge also)

Anyways, I'm away on holidays for a couple of weeks.

See you all on the other side!




That exhaust sounds disgusting.


This thing is sick. Well done and all the above...I would want nothing more...



90s DTM cars are different, they were low but not "hellaflush", their wheels were tucked inside the fenders instead of touching the fenders. I.e. they would be able to move up and down. With hellaflush fitment, the fenders sits right on top of the wheel leaving very little space for the wheels to move...

Don't get me wrong, I am not a hater, I love all BMW builds but I just find the usage of words very funny here...




well said Paddy. I've always appreciated your insight into the cars you feature. I hope that these guys continue to build proper cars like this. The stance guys might not approve, but going to the track as often as possible myself, I would be in envy of this car passing me on any part of the track. Hope you enjoy your vacation.

-The Bear


pretty cool!


I like BMW e46, but i think that this wheels don't fit into this car.


@Tony240Z & Fumiyasu

This car was taken onto the Millbrook test track and the professionals there (who work on the set up of everything from tractors to supercars) stated their surprise about the grip levels the car had. Look at the coverage the car had in Redline magazine for more info.


@fumiyasu: Hi, this is my car. I own Trackculture and Driftworks. Suspension set up is what we do. The suspension on my M3 is not compromised by 'stance' or 'hellaflush' or whatever stupid word dicks are using to describe a car being low and having good wheel fitment these days :D. I personally spent 100 hours on the rear arches to give 100% tyre clearance and full suspension travel with corners like the Foxhole and Karussel at the Nurburgring. This is all done to work with the custom outboard full rear coilover set up I designed and built with specific spring rates and damper settings for performance, not looks.

I am a firm believer in making a car perform well primarily, then if you are good at what you do, it's not a compromise to make it look good secondarily.

@Carlos Costa: Sorry for the confusion, I gave Paddy the wrong letters ;). you can find the bypass here:

Thanks for the kind comments guys. I'm in the final stages of perfecting this car now, and we should have some track video's soon. Be sure to check out for the full build thread of this car on our forums.


Wondering if any of u guys watch WRC ...... tarmac mode they look hellaflush and their suspension setup is hella functional .... it is all about travel guys


Finally NO ls1 NONsense, it getting tired of ls swaps.



This is one of my all time favorite cars, honestly.




The interface of Dynavin looks so AUDI, LOL

Edmond Luphahla

Do you guys do this only for yourselves or someone can secure your services to do this for them?....