Car Spotlight>> Driftworks E46 M3

If you already own one of the most extreme build drift S15’s on the planet, what kind of car you would drive on a daily basis? It is the same question that Phil Morrison had to answer, in the end he chose this BMW E46 M3. It isn’t the most modified M3 out there but it will surely turn some heads with its Eissenmann exhaust.

The CSL bootlid is very popular amongst the BMW enthusiasts, this version is entirely made out of carbon to save extra weight. You also see the four exhaust tips from the Eissenman exhaust that is connected to a Supersprint pipe that runs from the manifold to the backbox.

The wheels are genuine CSL’s in 19″, but he only uses these when he’s cruising in downtown Birmingham. The drop has been achieved thanks to HSD Monotube coilovers. For a stiffer ride Phil opted for a set of H&R anti roll bars.

For the better stopping power Phil went for Stoptech 4 pot calipers with 360mm rotors in the back and CA Automotive 6 pot with 360mm rotors in the front.

These set of wheels are the latest addition, Phil was one of the first that rocked these Rota Grids in the UK. All thanks to his partnership between his company Driftworks and Rota. The wheels measure 18″x10 ET15 allround with 265/35/18 and 245/35/18 Federal RSR track tires.

Rod already warned me that we as Speedhunters, we would get flamed because of the Rota’s on this car. So I asked Phil why he chose these wheels, he had this to say:  “Simple reason is because they are light, strong, and most importantly I didn’t have to go through a load of idiots telling me that I wouldn’t be able to, and shouldn’t fit 10’s all round”.

From the side the wheels like look mighty aggressive, and because it’s an M3 he has the power to back it up. The engine has been upgraded thanks to a carbon airbox to make breathing easier. Kellerners provided sport cams and A L tuning made sure that everything work with a new remap. The engine now has 369bhp.

-Jeroen Willemsen




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Come on... Rota's are strong? Compered to what?!


Why boast the Comps are legit and then down-talk the shadiness of the Rotas?


Rota should make their own wheels instead of copying others....


he got the rota's for free for shure. :D


CSL's look much better, oh well...


Okay, don't hurt me, but please explain why Rotas are a faux pas on this car?


CSL's are Boss. Dunno about the Rotas. Feels funny but whatever the driver loves he should do. I personally think a set of Gram Light 57F's in Bronze would look killer and be lighter, but I respect the owners decision.


you guys really hate rotas dont you. Think you all need to stop being little bitches.. big woop that he got rotas, end of the day its a sweet car!


That is one nice daily driver.


My old Rotas survived 20 autocrosses, 2 track days at Sebring, and 50,000 road miles without so much as a hiccup.

They were 17.5lbs and around $150 each.

They're currently living life on another person's car.

Do the math.


@ Barbarian:

"We" (I think speak on behalf of those that think alike here). We don't HATE Rota's per se.....we personally don't like companies that don't have enough sack to come up with something original, legit, something innovative, something on their own. 99% of Rota's lineup are the "exact" designs of Advan, Volks, Spoon, Gram Light and so on.

How would you feel if you're in business and try to come up with something original and legit and I come along and steal your idea? Same principle.

I am a bit shock to hear that Phil Morrison think that Rota's are light and strong! There are many other genuine JDM wheels out there that are much lighter and much stronger.....

Phil Morrison built a beautiful S15 few years ago....indeed well-thought-out car, but his decision to put Rota on a faux BMW CSL.....not a wise choice....


Rotas: Stop the Copy


LOL @ aholes crying because his wheels are'nt Rays!!!................i wonder how many of you rock TE37s on ur rides......dude got 400hp on tap in one of the greatest performace cars ur thing Phil!!!


I own rotas. They are the only car that they should b on and that is a honda. I recognize that mine are probably copied from the sprint hart wheels but at the end of the day my car is sik and i get props on it rotas or no rotas. Lets b real if its a daliy driver your not buying real jdm to roll daily. One reason is your car is instant thet target and second too many potholes. I dont need a third reason because you all are agreeing right now. KEEP TUNING PEOPLE


I love Rotas, but "strong"? ha ha Looks great, rotas and all!


Rod already warned me that we as Speedhunters, we would get flamed because of the Rota's on this car. So I asked Phil why he chose these wheels, he had this to say: "Because I could get them for free". fixed. On-topic really nice car, but for the love of god keep the CSL wheels on it, they already look great. Other then that it's an M3, nuff said.


Haha bring on the rota hate.

own a set ffs, then moan after. ive owned roats and they are excellent replica wheels. 99% sure the haters for them have not owned a set so get GTFO!

car looks smart, seen better of pics of it though that do it more justice!


CSL wheels are booring.

this one looks cool and original.


nice car....and i agree with alex. if they made there own design and stop making knock offs then they would be something great. but i can understand he got them for free so its all good....and he said he only used them on the track.(i hope)


Rotas are fine for what they are.. Cheap/disposable/good fit/looks and great cost/coolness ratio. They are copies because the world is filled with people that WANT TE37's or (insert other copied cool wheel here) but cannot afford them..and if they can.. they dont wanna go out and mangle them drifting or whatever. . so rotas look decent, are cheap, and if you wreck them .. no biggie. . Driftworks is a FULLY legit outfit and their choice to run Rotas on all of their drift cars makes sense. If I had a sponsor that wanted to give me free wheels for my daily i certainly wouldn't say no either..



Makes me want an E46 M3 again; nice car! The CLS are tried and true (props for being genuine OE). Perhaps that can counter-balance the Rotas. Personally, I think they look pretty good on the car. But I can't help but feel it'd be so much better if they were real Volks, mostly because of the design stealing they do. IMO, what Rota does is lazy and unethical.

But hey, free custom-fit rims are hard to argue with. And besides, who am I to tell someone what they can and cannot do to their ride? There are people who'd flame on me if I wanted to put Volk CE28s or Advan RSs on my E36 (which I do) because it's "rice" in their eyes, so do what you want!


Haha The Rota hate is strong here :D. Some serious JDMbummer rage going on.. Would I ever buy a set of TE37 even if Rota had never made these wheels? The answer is a simple no. They are massively overpriced for what they are, and the designs nearly 20 years old, so wah! :D

Those who are mocking the fact I say they are strong need to do some research. We have used Rota wheels on our road cars, track cars and drift cars for 5 years. I've personally owned about 20 sets, and we have sold over 1000 wheels. We have never had nor heard of a failure that wasn't due to a crash.. .

I actually use this car for a lot more than daily driving. It's my track car as well when I don't want to drift the S15 I take this car to a local track or to the Nurburgring. It get's some serious abuse, and deals with it all day long. I never thought I'd say it about a BMW, but I think it's an awesome car, and will only let it go when a 997GT3RS makes it's way into my life.

Thanks for the article on my car Jeroen :)


Where to start? Well, car looks amazing w/ CSL & would look great w/ TE37's too. It would be nice if, knowing how the community would react, Speedhunter's would have just passed on covering this car in knock-off trim. Look, regardless of what you people think, Rota and similar companies are very bad for this industry. Doubt that? Look at all the people trying to justify these wheels being "ok"... most of them don't even know what wheels their Rota's are knocking off. Rota's having nothing going for them other than price and looks, which they can't even take credit for. Strong? No. Lightweight? Fuk No! Cheap? Yes sir!

100% craptastic.


I love this car !!!


Both sets of rims look great on the car! Period!

It's funny everyone flames Rotas but if you check the Wheel companies in America, most of hem take some form of styling for Japanese wheel companies who bring out their wheels at some point and shortly after you see their style from some American wheel manufacturer.

Everyone copies someone from rims to clothes, shoes, watches, ovens, refrigerators, food, lighting etc etc . So buck up and stop being bitches. As long as something looks good and works you guys really feel some people across the world care??? Seriously? NO!!

Annoys me how grown men behave like little boys in every post i see on this site. Silly rabbits, do you and let others do their own thing.


ooh, this is so clean! The Rotas are nice, but I would prefer the CSLs. The CSL bootlip is awesome I recently added a CF bootlip to my E92


Seibon does the same thing with their carbon hoods, wings and everything else they make. they steal other peoples designs and build them with cheap quality materials.The qualitys not as good the fitiment is off because they dont do theyre own R&D. ive personally seen someone break a rota wheel before, and im pretty sure im not alone on here. Companies like that are whats ruining the tuning scene, because now the companies that make the high quality parts arent making them anymore because everyone is just stealing their ideas and designs and they dont want to lose the money.


You guys need to cut the crap about stealing not everyone can afford TE37, the cheapest 13x5 wheel is 400.00 what if Rota makes a knockoff, don't buy it!!!....what the guy next to you is ruining ur day because he has Rotas on his car, @ Gaijin u can break any damn whell if u smack it hard enough, no such thing as an unbreakable wheel!!!.....Don't be so narrow minded, just because it isnt JDM does'nt mean it can't be on speedhunters........and another thing @ Gaijin, WTF is "cheap quality material"?......and "ruining the tuning scene"......WTF qualifies you to determine when someone is ruining car tuning?



How do you know that they're not all little boys that wish they could afford real Volks and instead like to hate on anyone who doesn't share their views on tuning and brand loyalty?

On to the CSL parts. Putting CSL wheels, trunk lids, and front bumpers on M3's is the BMW equivalent of putting JDM Integra Type-R parts on a USDM GSR, or Silvia front clips on 240SXs. I understand why people do it, but after a while, or after 100 people do it, it starts to look played out and unoriginal. It's almost like a right of passage for some M3 owners to automatically install CSL wheels. I myself run 19" BBS CH wheels on my M3, which is a common setup to see, but not as common as the CSL style.

I'm waiting for BBS to start making the RS mesh wheel again, and in sizes bigger than 18".

BTW, Rota's on a M3 is not the worst thing he can do. He could put a 2JZ or RB26 in it. LOLZ


Looks tuff in both guises! but the BBS are all class, while the Rota's are all... fitment ;)


He has cash and could put what ever wheels he wants on it. I see a lot of top level cars around the world using Rotas...they look good, have good sizes, are light and at the end of the day are great value...if you go shopping for clothes or the like most of you will look for bargains and not pay top dollar for a name...why should it be different with wheels?


He has cash and could put what ever wheels he wants on it. I see a lot of top level cars around the world using Rotas...they look good, have good sizes, are light and at the end of the day are great value...if you go shopping for clothes or the like most of you will look for bargains and not pay top dollar for a name...why should it be different with wheels?


LOL he only put rotas on cause they cheap

wtf is wrong with this guy, its a m3 for godsake, way to ruin the car mate.


lovin the grid on the bimmer. but if it was me, id stick with the CSL's. ^_^

i dont hate rota or anything. just for this build, i think the CSL's look more fitting. ^_^

rota manufactures OEM rims for different car manufacturers. having all the experience i dont know why are they only limited to copies and not much originals. they do have some originals but the copies sell like hot cakes thats why they wtick with it.

im from the PI from where they manufacture these rims, one thing i would like to suggest to their company is to hold a rim design contest. think about it. there are lots of potential designers here but most of us lend our talents to overseas brands. Heck if i owned Rota, i will organize such events every year. why? because again there are lots of talented designers here that have the skills. Its about tme rota had to design originals be it cast or forged so that they could start making better reps for themselves. I still love rotas. hehe.

going back on topic, what color is on the car? is it an OEM color? if so, what color is it? its llike some sort of dark blue but i want to get the exact name for the color. ^_^


A lot of you guys are nuts.

I want to know how many of you have TE37s.....or even cars worth rocking TE37s.

Furthermore, anyone who hasn't reached the level of success as Phil (who even wasted his time justifying his wheel choice to a bunch of broke, daydreaming, haters!) Morrison with their own drift team, wins, and a spare E46 M3 to take to the 'ring, needs to get a job and buy or do something on your own before wasting your time as a critic.

Hatin' from the sidelines........

Good post.

Keep up the good work.

Kudos, Phil.


Why do you think the US divisions of Japanese companies have claimed bankrupcy in America? It is because cheap ass US car "tuners" would rather argue that Japanese parts are too expensive or are inferior for the price, when in reality they're priced well in japan and create a lot of demand, but that shit is NOT free to get over here. You are paying for hype, but you're also paying for the name, repute, r&d, and most importantly SHIPPING to get that stuff over here.

If you wanna buy cheap ass trash parts go ahead. But eventually they'll run out of stuff to copy. When was the last time us car ANYTHING made anything NEW, affordable and innovative that made you want it for your "JDM" or "DTM" whip?


By supporting their inferior quality products (which are a direct knock off of japanese wheels), would give lesser incentive to the proper jap wheel makers to actually distribute their good quality wheels at an affordable price. In fact, it would push the price up on the quality product -> just to distinguish itself from sh*tty Rotas. But then shipping is ridiculous...

Its not something against ROTA personally, just a whine about all companies in general who show no originality.

Car is still awesome though !


@utah dragon

he expected criticism in the actual article - can we not express our views as well?

if hes so successful, why would he go for ROTAs? see if he explained it that he got the wheels for FREE, then there wouldn't be a problem. but he said the wheels were "light" and "strong" & were perfect fit.

Ps. i drive on the street, have TE37's and they are ULTIMATE. but i must say those ROTAs fit fukn well !



I believe Rotas are made in the Philippines...

For all the flamers, hating on Rotas, yeah sure their build quality might not be as top notch as Volk or any other notable brands out there, but considering the price per wheel, it's a steal. Rotas don't weigh much more in comparison to Volks and some other brands. They may weigh one, two, maybe a little bit more per set, but do you think you're really going to be any better off with just a few extra pounds shed? Face it, for the price, Rotas are good wheels for people who just want to use them for everything. Road racing, auto crossing, drifting, daily use, etc. while maintaining a much lower price then a lot of brand name wheels.


i think rotas are good wheels but there is no reason to brag about having rotas and the same time there is no real reason to hate on them so much,


When a Rota wheel fails, it doesn't just fail, the car collapse on the rotors, crashing the brakes, and you end up going off the road (and potentially kill yourself).

If you can't afford good quality wheels, don't buy anything and keep the OE wheels.

Seriously, some of you still think that it's ok if the wheel is "disposable" and cheap, and it can be changed if it fails. If it fails, the car is gonna hit the ground hard, and other stuff is gonna brake as well (usually the brakes)......and having no brakes it's not a good thing, is it?

Now, Phil spent some serious $$$ on a E46 and cheap out on the wheels because they were free?

Is your life worth that little Phil?


wanna rock a fake watch? go ahead. i'll still save for the real thing, advans on my lexus, stop the copy.


if hes so successful, why would he go for ROTAs?

rotas = £800 wheels

genuine TE37 = £2000+ especially in bmw fitment

bit of a now brainer considering its his daily driver car that faces the UK's weather and road conditions day in and day out


Also, if Rota's are so terrible, why do people like Javad (who runs a 700+bhp A4 VR6T in the Eurotuner GP and owns the successful Audi tuning brand 034motorsport) use them on their race cars?


Im just saying, if I buy a set of rotas, it's because a set of "real" JDM wheels are 2 or 3 times the price. That difference =/= the quality difference. Simple.

JDM wheel companies want to sell more wheels here? find a way to do it cheaper. simple.


I'm laughing at the internet rage going on here, it's like a bunch of lonely old women arguing, wheels are wheels.


lol@hating on rotas. yeah so what, they break, everything has a breaking point. even volks and other "baller" wheels. my only gripe is, shoulda went 19s! lol. awesome ride.


dont say that the industry is dying because of rotas. if there were no copies, people would just be buying used sets of baller wheels or steeling them. there will also be all the idiots who pay 2200 dollars for a wheel and tire package for their civic, which they wont even want 2 years later. i rock rotas all day, every day and have never had a problem. go buy your volks, and when you get tired of the scene in two years, you will hate yourself for dropping 2k.


Jesus, there's some people here that really need to get a life . I bought the wheels because I like them, end of! If you hate seeing something different so much, then perhaps you should ask Mommy to disable your internet account.

I've got to say having read the dumb ass comments over something as simple as a boring M3 with some Rota's on it, I'm really looking forward to the reaction our new 2010 Driftworks build will invoke. I may actually change some bits to make you guys happy.... Oh no wait, I don't give a shit, We'll do our own thing :)


18x10 grids? i thought the widest they go is 18x9.5?


I am not really one to care for Rota wheels, but they do look rather nice and fill up the arches nicely.

JoePhillips Shaw

how did you get the front so low with the HSD's. i have them on my car and at the lowest setting they are not as low as that one.