Ferrari Powered: Not Your Average Pandem M3

In this day and age, ‘scene’ cars, those built mostly/wholly for Instagram fame, generally follow a pretty simple formula. You start with a popular platform – the more exotic the better; select an appropriate wide-body kit; have your fenders cut to fit said kit; install air ride; and spec a set of large, wide wheels. Optional, but recommended, is painting or wrapping the exterior with some wild colour or theme, and race-theming the interior.

Vaash Govender, the South African owner of this Pandem-kitted BMW E93 M3, will surely garner many internet likes for his build, but that’s not why this car exists in the form you see it here. He’s just a mad car lover with a dislike for anything stock. And this one is far from that.

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I’ll get to the details in a moment, but first I want to delve into the history of the car and the stages it’s gone through.

When Vaash picked up the BMW a few years ago, the first – and immediate – modification he made was a set of Work Rezax wheels. They didn’t suffice for long, and shortly after the car was wrapped and the wheels changed. This was followed by a Liberty Walk wide-body conversion and another colour. It was in this form that the M3 suffered an engine blow, leaving Vaash time to consider the possibilities…

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During the time the BMW was sitting idle, another E93 owner showed an interest in the LB kit. Vaash subsequently sold it, allowing him to give the car a fresh look with Kei Miura’s Pandem kit.

A New Start
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The kit arrived from Kyoto, Japan in late 2018, and Vaash wasted no time getting it and the car over to J&K Customs for the initial fit. Ktech did the finishing work, sealing over all the rivet holes for the clean, integrated look that Vaash desired.

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The rest of the body was then prepped for paint, where instead of going loud, Vaash chose paint code M9A from the Porsche pallete, a colour more commonly known as Chalk. He also opted for the Pandem ducktail spoiler over a GT wing, to keep with the car’s understated look, and subtly tinted the badges, headlights and aftermarket LED tails.

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Around the front there’s a black-painted Pandem splitter, and up top the folding roof mechanism was removed so it’s now a permanent hard-top.

The Goods
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The wheels are 19×11-inch and 19×13-inch BC Forged KL Series mono-blocks, but Vaash isn’t their first owner. He originally saw them on another Pandem-kitted BMW, and when its owner Josh decided to change the wheels, Vaash was first in line to buy them. On arrival from the USA, the BCs were sent straight over to Martines Mags & Tyre, who took them from bronze to gloss black and wrapped them up in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, 295/30R19 at the front end and a solid 325/30R19 out back.

As for the brakes, they remain stock M3 spec, save for a calliper repaint to yellow and EBC pads at all four corners.

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I mentioned J&K Customs a moment ago, and that company also helped Vaash with numerous other aspects of the build, including the custom air suspension setup. This is built around Air Lift Performance struts, and the boot install features a single air tank with dual Viair 444C compressors.

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When you’re running a low car, such a setup is really helpful here in South Africa, as roads regularly go from amazing to absolute rubbish in the space of a corner.

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Open one of the doors, and you’re greeted by a pair of Sparco Ergo seats with matching Sparco harnesses, and a CSL steering wheel with a bit of a chop off the top.

Inside the dash binnacle is a MaxxECU display, which works seamlessly with a MaxxECU engine management system. The ECU is staying, but the display will be removed soon, as in the time since my shoot, Vaash has received new CANBUS files that allow the OEM gauges – and cruise control – to work with the new engine. Take note for later that the stock gearstick is also retained.

Can You Say Ferrari?
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So what exactly is under the hood? Well, the title has already given the brand away, but now it’s time for some details.

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When the M3’s engine blew, Vaash had his sights set on a 2JZ-GTE conversion, but after an issue with a shop building the motor, that idea was scrapped. And luckily too, as there’s something far more exotic powering the car now.

It was never about making crazy power, but more of a statement to go along with every other modification made to the car, and according to Vaash’s research, this is a swap that only four other cars around the world have received. Behold, a beautiful Ferrari F136, otherwise known as the Ferrari-Maserati engine.

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Vaash settled on this outside-of-the-box swap after finding a crash-damaged Maserati GranTurismo S. The 9,000km-old car was bought and Vaash got in contact with Rapid Garage, who are known for their crazy engine swaps and custom fabrication work. In short order, the M3’s blown engine gave way to the 4.7L 32-valve V8 from Maranello. The F136 has since been upgraded with a custom air intake, 90mm throttle body, custom exhaust manifold running into a dual 76mm exhaust with an x-pipe to quad tips, and a custom radiator to keep the temp in check.

To get the motor to fit, Rapid had to lower the front crossmember 10mm and notch out the back section 30mm, while boxing it up to bring rigidity back to the subframe. The sump needed to be cut back by 20mm too. Finally, custom polyurethane mounts were made to support the new engine and exisiting gearbox combo.

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Yes, as alluded to earlier, the Ferrari works with the original BMW M3 6-speed manual gearbox, something Vaash was adamant about from the start. He really didn’t want to use the automatic gearbox that F136 engines usually come with.

The engine connects to the gearbox with a custom adaptor plate, and clutch-wise there’s a twin-plate setup. Both clutch plates are BMW items – one a customised 4-puck copper piece and the other an organic type – while the pressure plate is a Maserati item.

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The MaxxECU Sport ECU, as setup and tuned by RBTS Racing controls everything perfectly. There are no dyno numbers yet as the swap is pretty fresh, but in stock form the F136 makes 324kW(434hp) at 7,000rpm and 490Nm at 4,750rpm, so tuned it should make even more.

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While the M3 seems complete, Vaash still has some more plans for it. He’s currently on the hunt for a suitable set of ITBs, and will also be installing a custom roll cage.

But then there’s his other project…

You may have spotted Vaash’s yellow (now black) Lamborghini Countach in one of the photos of the E93 wearing its original Liberty Walk kit. The Lambo is destined to become a real one-of-a-kind machine, and from what Vaash has told me, it’ll make his Ferrari-swapped M3 look like it’s not even trying. In the meantime though, who wants to hear the BMW?

Stefan Kotzé
Instagram: stefankotzephoto

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That's an interesting build, with an uncommon path taken and beautifully realized.

Nonetheless, calling it a Ferrari engined and putting the prancing horse badge on it seems like a bit of a stretch. Of course, yes, the F136 is an engine developped by Ferrari and Maserati and built by Ferrari, but as a matter of fact, there is litterally a dozen of different versions of that engine. And most importantly, Ferrari versions and Maserati versions (let alone the Alfa Romeo 8C's version) are very different. Most obvious differences being that the Maserati versions are wet sump and crossplane crank, opposed to dry sump and flatplane crank on Ferrari's. The crankshaft disposition itself is enough to create 2 very different engine characteristics.

So no, that M3 isn't Ferrari engined, it's Maserati engined. And calling it by it's name doesn't make it any less awesome.


I think we should submit your complaints in writing to WIKI for listing the engine as a Ferrari F136 @ Nakagawa


Even though I'm not sure what you really mean and if you really understood what I wrote, your reply tells a lot about the poor level of knowledge of the so called "car guys" that have been on this website since a few years. What I meant is that this particular version of the F136 is absolutely exclusive to Maserati (and the Alfa 8C), and has never been in any Ferrari, even though it's been engineered by them. I was only wondering why it wasn't advertised as Maserati powered instead of Ferrari, which wouldn't make this build any less great than it is. From my point of view, it's the usage of the engine that gives it's pedigree, not where or by whom it's made. Would you call a Audi RS2 or a Mercedes-Benz E500 a Porsche just because it's been engineered or built by them ?

Oh yes, and also, Wikipedia isn't the most reliable source of information, even though it's the most accessible to general public. I wouldn't recommend getting your education through it, you would be surprised. But if you do, it explains a lot about your answer.


who cares


Every one who loves cars


Best comment of the day


I love the E9X series and this build is simply awesome. However, if you disable the convertible roof you get all the downsides (weight, complexity) from the E93 without having the only advantage (roof down driving) compared to an an E92.


It's just temporary as far as I know. The car will still be getting a rollcage at some time as well, so functionality should return. I agree it would be epic enjoying it with the roof down


The profile of the Pandem kit is good, though its just a bit weird how the guards don't line up with the door gaps and meet around the tail light areas too. sort of creates extra messy lines when they could have had it flowing a bit better with no extra effort. hmmm


Original kit is for a 335 with the 335 flat side skirts , I have them but it’s a differentiation feature using the m3 skirts for me. When I get anal and ocd then I’ll change them to the 335 flat side skirts .. for now I’m loving it as is.. perfect .. with its imperfections for me


I knew I couldn't be the only one who saw it. The rearquarter doesn't match with the line on the side of the car at all and it's messy at that sideskirt as well. It looks like they used a widebodykit for a way smaller car, haha.


Those rear quater panels should match the line at is in the stock M3 body. That would make this kit 100 times better.
Hopefully they make a V2 of it and fix that. That should convice me to fit a kit on a e92 M3.


Shew! Love the local talent Stefan! Please keep up the good work..... But what about that Countach over there


Maybe my english isn't that good but how do you wrap 19 inch tires on 18 inch wheels? - "The wheels are 18×11-inch and 18×13-inch BC Forged KL Series mono-blocks, but Vaash isn’t their first owner. He originally saw them on another Pandem-kitted BMW, and when its owner Josh decided to change the wheels, Vaash was first in line to buy them. On arrival from the USA, the BCs were sent straight over to Martines Mags & Tyre, who took them from bronze to gloss black and wrapped them up in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, 295/30R19 at the front end and a solid 325/30R19 out back."


Thanks for noticing, just a simple mistake. It's supposed to be 19 indeed.


In short order, the M3’s blown engine gave way to the 4.7L 32-valve V8 from Maranello.

Is that a typo as well? Ferrari 550 Maranello has the 5.5L V12 F133 engine according to wikipedia.


In this case, Maranello doesn't refer to the Ferrari model you mentioned, but to the location of Ferrari's HQ in Italy. Ferrari is often mentioned as "The brand from Maranello", among other names.


Nope, Maranello is where Ferrari's are made.


beautiful photos made spectacular by the great ARCHITECTURE as the backdrops !


Should have went w/ a Chevy LSX. With way more power available for later upgrades, better durability and a much cheaper oil change!


All those points are valid, but the LSX doesn't sound half as good as this would...


Wow! That ride is NASTY! Holy smokes! Unbelievable!


In the meantime though, who wants to hear the BMW?
I DO!!! no sound bite?


I'm not one to debate the whole engine thing, I just think it's freakin' awesome that they swapped it in. It just gives the car a muscle car "kick your ass" attitude. Can just imagine a deep throaty exhaust. I have to agree with the body kit, there's a lot that doesn't line up or flow. Being OCD or not I think most will notice the disruption of flow or attention to detail. Just looks like you put a kit from a totally different car on (which is kind of the case..). All it really needs is the rocker panel pieces.
All that said, this is an amazing build that I would love to test drive!!! Mean as hell!


Stunning! great work on the car. Props to the photographer too!


Cool engine swap but not a fan of the kit. The front looks ok but the rear Quarters and boot lip look a bit cheap, Although these Pandem kits are anything but cheap to purchase.


Call me a hater, but there is absolutely nothing about this "build" that speaks out to me apart from the engine swap. Everything is mainstream and drab. I've seen countless Pandem and LB kitted E9X M3s and it really bores me to death seeing another Pandem kitted M3 on this website. Even the owner was going to make even more boring by 2JZ swapping the car. Thank God he chose the F136 instead of that heavy and horrible sounding engine. This car's only saving grace is the engine swap (although the original S65B40 is a wonderful engine), but apart from that it looks like a car that a young man aged 21-28 with a big wallet would "build" to please others rather than himself. Car culture is slowly becoming boring with all the similar builds and engine swaps.


What a boring waste of a MASERATI engine. And Speedhunters was doing so well...


What a waste of a MASERATI engine. Boring despite a nice body kit, and you guys were doing so well with the articles...


If they paid a tad more attention to the hose clamps on that swap it would look darn near OEM, but they were all over the place with size and orientation.


Title should be Maserati swapped M3... Replacing the Maserati badge with a Ferrari badge is such a poser move. Those blue and red hose-end fittings with what looks to be silicone hoses, just don't match up to the quality of "engine-swap". All that power and bucket seats but no investment in a proper brake setup still on stock rotors and calipers... why use the ergo seats, does the owner even have a helmet or go to the track?


Ya know what engine comes stock with ITB's (No "sourcing" required), makes similar power, has a similar redline and requires much less maintenance? A BMW S65B40...


everyone has their own vision, i personally am not a fan of these kits. A better engine swap would have served better