Builds>> Mike Essa’s Bmw Z4

The other day, I made a stop by Mike Essa's shop, GSR Autosport, to check out his new Formula D race car, a BMW Z4. His 2010 FD contender, the 350R was not competitive as he expected so it will be seeing another life as a road racer. This short wheel base roadster should prove to be much more competitive than the much bigger and much heavier 3 Series.

With everyone in the paddock seeming to go to the V8 direction, Mike is one of the few FD drivers with a new car that isn't running a V8. Instead, he's opting for a BMW M3 inline six, the S54, and also strapping on a Garret GTX turbo. 

I'm sure we will all miss the scream which the 350R's V10 made, but a turbo charged inline six should sound just as good –if not better! 

The interior has been completely stripped out, and the cage is finished. 

The Tex Racing 4 speed transmission has been fitted…

…and the Wilwood pedals has been installed.

The quick change differential is now easily accessible with the removal of the trunk. 

The rear end is currently being developed but it is once completely finished it should easily removable and quick to repair. 

Mike is currently weighing out his exterior body kit options, but he also likes the Z4's stock body with its current good wheel fitment. This fitment has been brought to you by KW coil overs.

Final livery and wheel color is still to be decided as well. Finishing the car and testing it takes top priority. 

Mike has hooked up once again with the guys from Enkei and he will be running the NT03 wheel, continuing his partnership with Nitto Tires and will be running NT05s. 

With two months until the start of the season, Mike's got quite a bit to do. Knowing Mike's sense of car styling, we're looking forward to the finished car.

The Z4 is scheduled to start testing early next month and we hope we can make it out to see how this Z4 performs with Mike behind the wheel.




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Huzzah inline 6's.


I like where this is heading good job


S54b32 Gods gift to his people via the engineers at BMW. Should rev to about 8500 or 9k rpm in final tune, I cannot wait to hear it.


I agree with Fooman. The S54 is my favorite engine. I might step up to a Z4 after my Miata bites the dust.


I say reuse the 335i and give it to DeNofa or build him another Z4 as a second car on the team.


Glad to see something different. Can't wait to hear it.


i find it ironic that Mike, with his V8 FC, isn't dropping a V8 in there. i love seeing something different though


I dig it, turbo s54 is a good way to make big reliable power on the cheap.


Looking good...looking REAL good!


I like where this is heading good job


Love it! How about a GSR E30 demo car in the future too! ;-)


When i see this, i think of John Candy in Spaceballs.


Inline 6 engines rule and sound heavenly. Props to BMW for still making them these days.


i will surely miss the scream of the v10! with its unreal tone but im definately excited to see something differant in the now boring FD line up


Damn - Mike Essa is a PIMP!



If he was a better driver I could see him chosing such an unknown variable as his last 2 cars but...


Gotta love the choice in engine. I'm biased though, I love my S54 :).


As a fellow Z4 owner I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS CAR. This is Badass. I could only wish I had the monetary funding to be able to do this. Cause I just LOVE IT. The Z4 is an amazing car. Good luck guys and Kick ASS.


this should be a cool build, can't wait to see more.


Another convertable... Gay


Why use four speed?


I like where this is going. BMW > errthing, plus the fact that he doesn't use a V8 makes me grin like this :)


WTF? GSR Autosport is not Essa's shop! Techtrix motorsport was, which is now under GSR autosport


fck those convertibles. Hardtop would be much nicer!


Please put Aero on this car, last year's car sounded great but looked like a stock 3 series


Michael is now part owner in GSR Autosport so in reality GSR is Michael's shop.


wow, multiple builds going on that arent using v8s... sweet. i just hope this isnt another stock bodied monster truck ride height formula d car... lets get some aero going...


on second thought, he should go back to a fc chassis and since he likes bmw so much drop a bmw engine in there


this guy does not know how to build cars


I like seeing a car so new being stripped down like that. Taking away all the unnecessary and keeping just what is needed.


Love the S54, but turbo'd? It'll kinda ruin the essence of the engine don't you think?


Cant imagine it will handle all that well even if you get great angle with the knucle set up. Going to be extremley peaky, no?

QuickStyle Drifting

"keep drifting alive"


This is brilliant


Finally something different than Vipers, Corvette and all that USA BS, on FD!