Do you like your car to be subtle? Do you shy away from any sort of visual upgrade that would alter the stock look of your ride? Do you prefer to drive a car that takes a more ‘sleeper’ approach to things? If your answer is yes to any of these questions then there is a very good chance you won’t understand the way Liberty Walk does things.
The tuning world is a very competitive place. Often, companies only have a short amount of time to make an impact with their products – especially when they’re predominantly dealing in aesthetic upgrades. They have to get in there quick, come up with something unique and put all of their efforts in promoting it. This is one thing Kato-san of Liberty Walk is rather good at. He’s a man that makes the right decisions quickly and then gets on with the job of turning them into reality.
His specialty is making bold statements, and here at Speedhunters we are definitely no stranger to his style of modifying.
I’ve been meaning to drop by Liberty Walk for a while now to check out its latest project…
… and last month I was able to do just that.
It takes about five minutes with Kato-san to understand what he is all about. He oozes energy and never wastes a minute; he is out to make his cars stand out and is always thinking three steps ahead. He’s good at what he does and his success in truly deserved. Like everyone, I have been seeing the Liberty Walk E92 BMW M3…
… doing the rounds on all corners of the social media-sphere over the last few months. There have been a few other cars around the world built with the same kit, but regardless of how many times you’ve seen them in pictures, nothing compares to seeing one in the flesh.
For example, I never realized just how wide those screwed-on over-fenders actually were. They barely contain the 19-inch three-piece forged Rotiform SNA rims which measure 10.5-inch wide up front and a massive 12-inch wide at the rear.
Despite the Liberty Walk location being rather cool compared to most JDM tuning shops, I really wanted to see the M3 out on the streets and screaming down the empty stretches of highway that are just a few moments drive away.
Kato-san was very accommodating, grabbing a few other cars so we could head out for a very memorable cruise.
It wasn’t until later in the afternoon when the bright summer sun had subsided a little that we stopped by Kato’s house for a few cold drinks and a look at one of his rather cool garages. It was there that I had some time to really have a look at the M3 in detail…
… starting under the hood. With the naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V8 delivering a healthy 420hp it was decided to leave things as they were…
… and concentrate efforts on developing a soundtrack to match the menacing looks of the aero.
This was achieved through a Liberty Walk titanium performance exhaust system, which does away with pretty much any type of muffling. The idle is deep and raspy, intensifying into a ridiculously loud F1-car like scream as the revs rise.
At the rear the carbon fiber trunk lip spoiler is a subtle touch…
… matching the carbon lip spoiler that is offered as an option, along with the rest of the LB Performance aero. To achieve the slammed stance the M3 has been fitted with CKS adjustable dampers, and as you may have spotted, there’s also a pretty substantial brake upgrade hiding behind the deeply concave rims. The 6-pot front and 4-pot rear calipers are courtesy of Japanese brake maker CSD, all finished in the same metallic lime green used to highlight the fender vents and side mirrors.
Like the Liberty Walk over-fender kit for the Murcielago and Aventador, the M3 parts are designed and made by Miura-san at TRA Kyoto. If you are wondering why so many shops out there use Miura for their aero, stay tuned because I’ll be showing you why next week.
Swing open the driver side door and you are greeted with a very tastefully and lightly upgraded cabin…
… featuring retrimmed quilted seats front and back…
… as well as the door cards and rear trim.
You may argue the cars Liberty Walk create are more form over function, but every time I visit these guys I’m reminded just how damn hard they drive them. If they are having fun…
… and in the process creating these sort of wild projects, who are we to criticize them? I hear some of you saying that hacking off wheel arches and bolting FRP over-fenders to Lamborghinis and BMW M3s is sacrilegious behavior, but that’s because you probably haven’t seen what’s coming next. If you are out to shock and impress you might as well go the whole nine yards…
… and really enjoy yourself. That’s precisely why that every time I stop by Liberty Walk I leave exhausted, but with a massive grin on my face.
Dino Dalle Carbonare
Liberty Walk BMW M3
BMW 4.0L V8, Liberty Walk titanium exhaust system
CKS adjustable suspension, CSD front & rear brake upgrade
Rotifrom SNA three-piece forged rims 19×10.5J -10 front, 19x12J -50 rear, Pirelli P-Zero 275/30R19 front, 305/30R19 rear
Full Liberty Walk wide-body aero, Liberty Walk carbon front lip spoiler, Liberty Walk carbon rear trunk spoiler
Liberty Walk quilted leather seats, Liberty Walk quilted leather door inserts, Liberty Walk carpets
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQtg7cXBe_4Here's a clip of what I think is that same car revving. It's hard to get a read on just what it sounds like because it was overloading the mic on whatever was filming it.
Beautiful car, and beautiful kit. Much harder to get flares bolted on clean like that, than to blend them in.
Get the right offset and you don't need those stupid fenders. An E90 can swallow an 11 inch rear stock.
I am a wide wheel, deep-dish lovers. But somehow that overfender's sucks. Rocket Bunny 86 kit is wayy better.. BUT! Waiting for that white prancing horse patiently, I will.
To be honest, I'm not really getting the hype over these kits: bolted-on overfenders and a few lips and that's pretty much it, same for the Rocket Bunny 86. Can someone enlighten me?
I'm a certified stance hater and am all about function. But I don't think this kit was designed with the whole "form over function" thing in mind. Wide body kits like this allow for wider tires, i.e. much larger contact patches, i.e. better handling (too a certain extent, I know wider wheels add weight). However, it would make a lot more sense to have those fenders/wheels/tires on an M3 that was putting down more power with a VF or ESS SC'd motor. Either way, looks great and probably sticks to the ground like glue.
I'm not a fan of this one, looks cool from some angles but the whole over fender thing doesn't work with the lines of this car.
As far as JDM styled M3's, I think Ericsson/Amuse did the E92 M3 the best
I love Liberty Walk's work. It is easy to knock them for focusing on form over function, something I am not a huge fan of, but the machines they work on function just fine. Modifying an already quick car to look (subjectively) nicer? Sounds like balance, and balance is good.
Love the wheel package, perfect fit for this M3. Love how he left the engine stock, I drove one once and it was nuts how it accelerated on the I-10.
Bet the handling is sweet with that setup.
did this kei mura guy pay you guys to advertise?? blend the fender man. looks unfinished to me. still looking good silhouette but not liking those fenders men. imam komad svog peniša un tri split dijelaš,americano
Eh, the exterior looks cobbled-together, but I'd certainly like to learn from whomever stitched together that interior... Mmm, diamond-quilted seats...
I'm just not a fan of Liberty Walk, and this M3's no different. I can respect the workmanship and quality that goes into a car like this, though.
Please Please Please tell me that I will be seeing a white F50 with overfenders. I love the way that the Japanese modify European cars. I love the LBW and RWB design philosophy of wide, low and racy with gorgeous paintjobs. Keep them coming!
wider tires, better brakes, aero = performance upgrade...no rice here. it's not always about the engine, an M3 has plenty of power, the kit helps to bring it down to the asphalt. IMHO
@F1Fan426 Be proud of what you got man! :)
@koknyol It's coming....
@DWQuattro Ask and thou shalt receive. ESS Supercharged M3 w/ dyno. http://cantechautomotive.com/2012/11/29/supercharged-bmw-m3-by-ess-tuning/. Still screams like a banshee, shifts like lightning and now breaks traction into 4th.
@DWQuattro Hell yes all about function!, and those enormous brakes support your point, its not like its a VIP kind of stance! l see it as a funcion improvement that gives it a lot a lot of style
@Frozzy That was a good one too:
@LouisSoon Got a spotlight coming :)
@JSequoia That too...and something silver
@Brandon Motteram Oh someone noticed it lol
@koko san Yeah I can't see any of those mods impacting performance. Sure it's not going to drift with all that grip but some people like that (look at RWB cars for example)
Yeah listen to the rice of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQtg7cXBe_4
@ITB Well, it IS an M3 engine, you know, so even in stock form it cannot be confused with any mere Civic mill.
Protip: "Protips" are played out.
Something that's consistently been around since the 70's and is functional can't be "played out."
@vector52787 Look aggressive? looks like it cant even full lock or the fenders will rub off..cant hit curbing on track, cant hit back roads? just my guess, what do u think? Enjoy life.
@milkplus Well, somehow they manage to be.
@vector52787 They work fine, no rubbing :)
I agree with you I don't think it would perform that great. But LibertyWalk is about looks. So I say it LOOKS aggressive..
@speedhunters_dino @totophi @ITB Yeah, but thats a whole lotta shoutin' n only a bit faster than a 'bog standard' M3.