Why BMW’s G8x Platform Is The Next Big Thing

Getting old is inevitable, and it’s something we all have to face whether we like it or not. That’s quite a weird opening statement for three highly-tuned BMWs on Speedhunters, but stick with me because I promise it will make a bit more sense very soon.

Now, the most obvious indicator of age is that number which precedes us. But the real indicator of how old you actually feel, is the number of back-in-my-day moments that crash into your mind on a daily basis. And if you’re still a bit confused, let me share one with you.

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My first car was an E30 BMW, and I must stress I didn’t buy it new. I’m old… but I’m not that old. As a BMW owner in the ’00s, I distinctly remember when the E36 chassis still seemed modern and the E46 some kind of spaceship.

I imagine it’s the same way E21 owners felt when the E30 first hit the scene, especially the later models with their ‘fancy’ plastic bumpers.

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And yet before you know it, the E46 was also replaced with the E92. The fact you see so many of them as cheap track/drift cars today does feel a bit bizarre when I think back to how ‘halo’ they felt compared to the E30 I had. But hey, let’s not get into E30 values now for my own sanity…

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Fast-forward to a few years back and we enter the F80 era. I’m a BMW nut through and through, so while the F80 series did enter what feels like a new chapter – especially with the M3/M4 now turbocharged – I didn’t really form much of an opinion on them.

But that’s also partly my fault; any BMW less than five years old is likely something I’m not going to own for the foreseeable future.

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But then we get to the current G8x generation. Oh boy, there’s no risk of not forming an opinion on this one, is there? And I think I joined most people initially by having a guttural ‘it’s not for me’ reaction first time around.

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The grille, yup we’ll talk about it quickly. I reckon you could fit five to six E30 kidney grilles inside one of these. Because back in my day, BMW kidney grilles were a design cue rather than a defining factor. And there we have it, several paragraphs in and I’m already harking back to ‘in my day’…

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That was three years ago. And you know what? Maybe the joke was on us and BMW knew what they were doing the whole time. Because the grille – and the styling as a whole – has actually grown on me to the point it actually looks pretty cool now.

Even if you’re still not sold on the styling, BMW made sure the car’s out-of-the-box performance couldn’t be ignored. And hey, when you’re behind the wheel, the grille is not something you have to look at anyway.

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Let’s get onto that powerplant. The S58 – a 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged straight-six – has been used in all the G8x platforms (3 Series and 4 Series), and while it may not have the sound of earlier M-cars, the way it delivers performance and sends it through an equally capable chassis is mind-bending.

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Paired together you’ve got one of the best sports cars in modern motoring, and you’ve still got the option for a proper manual which is a rare commodity in 2023.

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However, this is Speedhunters, and no matter how impressive a car is stock, we all buy into the fact that – with the right know-how and engineers on board – things can always get better. And if there’s one area the G8x platform has bettered even its predecessors, it’s how well it responds to tuning – something CSF Cooling was only too happy to explore.

Firstly, an uprated charge cooler/intake manifold allowing more boost and more power to be forced in while keeping those all-important intake temperatures down. Secondly, an upgraded heat exchanger and transmission cooler to ensure that, with more power being added, the cooling for both engine and transmission could be matched accordingly.

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It’s no surprise then, to see that three of the most complete and powerful G8x builds on the US East Coast all run CSF upgrades in their quest for building the ultimate modern M-car. Let’s take a more detailed look at each one…

Blue Steel
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Fun fact: all-wheel-drive examples of BMW’s 3 Series have existed in North America since 1991 with the launch of the 325ix. Compared to the current xDrive platform, that original system was downright archaic even for its time, being particularly sensitive to both ride height and power changes.

That’s not something xDrive has to worry about. First introduced in 2003, this replaced the previous viscous coupling system with an electronically-actuated clutch pack and differential which has remained the basis ever since.

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Why the talk of xDrive? Because the Precision Sports Industries M3 pictured here is the only all-wheel-drive example of these three modified M-cars.

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Not that you could tell from the outside, with Vorsteiner FR-305 wheels finished in white gold (with a polished lip) completely changing the overall look against the Santorini Blue paint.

AST adjustable lowering springs (ALS) allow the stock adaptive dampers to be retained, while a Vorsteiner carbon splitter and M Performance side skirts/diffuser bring the whole stance lower to the ground.

Carbon is slathered on all three BMWs here, both inside and out. Precision Sport Industries have also added a carbon wing blade and limited edition 1/30 Eventuri matte carbon intake alongside the Vorsteiner and M Performance parts.

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Don’t be fooled by the unassuming engine bay. The CSF charge-air cooler manifold is perfectly integrated into the OEM fitment with no other modification necessary, and having it powder-coated in Santorini Blue is a neat touch which just integrates it further.

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Out back, the carbon exhaust tips only tell half the story here. There’s Active Autowerke GESI catted down-pipes feeding into an Akrapovič mid pipe, before exiting out of the titanium Akrapovič slip-on exhaust.

If you weren’t sold on the G8x sound initially, this combination gives a deep yet brutal tone at all revs.

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There’s been some wild paint options in recent years, but Santorini Blue has to be one of the best available. Everything about the Precision Sport Industries M3 just looks right; performance and four-door practicality is my kind of language.

Fire Emoji
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Titan Motorsports is a name that needs no introduction on Speedhunters, but if you thought all they tuned were monster-power Supras, think again. Let’s not forget that the latest-generation Supra is fundamentally a BMW underneath – certainly its powertrain – so it only makes sense for this Florida-based tuner to branch out into BMWs.

Not one to do things by halves, Titan Motorsports started with possibly the best base imaginable – a 2023 M3 Competition painted in the ultra-limited 50th Jahre edition colour known as Fire Orange. Punchy, isn’t it? But with black details throughout it manages to look super aggressive too.

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They’re not just black-painted details though… they’re carbon. From Vorsteiner, there’s a carbon grille, spoiler and diffuser. And from MHC, there’s carbon mirrors, side skirts and front air ducts. This combo feels quite reminiscent of the E92 M3 GTS.

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For the handling, Titan turned to KW Suspensions for a Height Adjustable Spring Kit, allowing the ride height to be lowered accurately, while still retaining the original dampers. The stunning Fire Orange cars has been dialled to sit perfectly over the 20-inch Vorsteiner V-FF 107 wheels.

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Just like the PSI M3, Titan’s G8x runs a colour-coded CSF charge-air cooler manifold, heat exchanger and ZF8 transmission cooler, and the super-limited Eventuri carbon intake for added performance, but with the addition of yet more Eventuri carbon with the full-sized engine cover. Titan Motorsports dared to cut this cover immediately upon delivery to show off the intake. This turned out great!

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You might think this looks like a solid, complete build, but Titan assures us they’re only just getting started with their G8x development. With some tuners reporting horsepower into four-figures already, just how far can the S58 really go?

Not So Mellow Yellow
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Autocraft’s BMW is undoubtedly the most visually changed G8x of these three, and that’s not just because it’s an M4 with two less doors compared to the M3. For a start there’s the colour, Sau Paulo Yellow.

I feel sorry for Darrien here, because it’s one of those colours that seems to shift between green and yellow depending on the time of day, but it goes a long way of highlighting all those curves, creases and flares the M4 leaves the factory with.

Here’s where it gets spicy though. While everyone else was busy photoshopping the G8x with F80-style grilles, ADRO had the clay model out redesigning their own version.

And, while it may not be the ‘classic’ kidney grille look people initially cried out for, it goes a long way of softening up the M3/M4 front end without simply predating it with an older-looking bumper instead.

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Just like Titan’s G8x, ride height is taken care of by KW Suspensions, but this time with a coilover system and the wheel design taking inspiration from AC Schnitzer’s classic design in the form of custom 20s. It’s not the obvious choice, but it does give a nice retro nod to the past.

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Under the bonnet is where Autocraft’s M4 packs the biggest punch. It might not look much different to the other two cars, but with the addition of E85 fuel it’s able to lay down over 1,000 wheel horsepower.

Why use E85? Simple, because it packs the highest octane (at the pump) which in turn makes it less prone to detonation/knocking, and that means more ignition and more boost. Oh… and a lot more fuel is required too, which is why the CSF intake manifold now incorporates 1,000cc port injectors.

While it may be possible to run that kind of power on a stock S58, to do it safely and with any kind of longevity meant cracking open the engine and dropping in a range of upgrades including VAC Motorsport pistons and rods along with titanium retainers and new valve springs. With the cylinder head off also, it was ported and polished for better flow.

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This is all to support the Pure Turbos Stage 2+ upgrade in order to flow enough air to reach the four-figure horsepower. And don’t forget, all of that is going through just the rear wheels. Spicy.

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Regardless of your thoughts on the G8x styling, the fact that this level of performance is already being unlocked – and with much more to come yet – is something worth celebrating in 2023. And while the G8x is far from cheap, give it another couple of years and we’ll soon see values creeping into more affordable levels.

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Back in my day, the idea of having a 500hp BMW M3 sounded outrageous and surely would’ve had to feature some kind of engine swap. So the fact this current generation are able to double that – without even breaking a sweat – just goes to show the tuning world is still in safe hands, even if the internal combustion engine’s time is now limited.

Dave Thomas
Instagram: stanceiseverythingcom

Photography by Darrien Craven
Instagram: _crvn_

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Um, no. Nice try.


Do or do not there is no try.


I like everything but the grilles. They're still as ridiculous looking niw as they were when they unveiled them. I do like the yellow car the best, though.


Beautiful car


The nose.......just cant stop looking at the nose.


Because the grille – and the styling as a whole – has actually grown on me to the point it actually looks pretty cool now.

Nope. Still garbage.


Looks are subjective. But I am also a few years more senile.


Because the grille – and the styling as a whole – has actually grown on me to the point it actually looks pretty cool now.

Finally, someone who's okay with the whole BMW redesign of the front grille. To be completely honest as a BMW lover, i wouldn't say it's "The WORST" BMW take on it, in fact the concept cars of the G8 M3/M4 grille looks awful than this. Idk why everyone hating on it so much ( maybe bcuz the old kidney design was the best, in which i cannot argue with that ). It's a decent looking grille, but definitely not on my Top 5.


You sound like you're developing "Fanboitius Denialitus", a syndrome that affects many where one tryhards very try hard to justify the laying waste of grand and incredible Heritage with lyfestyle products that are total camels and knuckledragging-the-wrong-way. You want a muscle car? Dodge does that right. You want a sports car? Porsche and Mazda still make those for real. BMW lost the plot over a decade ago, and these can't even keep up w cheaper Teslas without embarrassing yourself draping this ugly body over a funnycar. Don't worry, there's help out there, especially if you drive an OG BMW that isn't a fat copy of a asian hatch with a grille that screams "Audi won, but we gotta be pretending, so pig it hard". Back then, they tried to copy BMW...

This is not the next big thing, that's so sad it's not even funny. This design, and the one coming yo replace it, it just digging a deeper grave, and the pricing on these plastic globs of Korean-wannabes that can't even make 1000hp from the factory and STILL aren't EV's and still cost too much, etc. The new M2 may not be the best design, but at least it matches the new Nissan Z in offering a sort of "entry level", "I just landed my first adult job" coupe that makes for a solid highway driver. Just don't call these appliances sports cars unless you toss out their chassis and bolt it all to a tube frame, maybe, even then, the heavy engines and lack of robust reliability (not to mention parts costs), might just prefer an LS or k24 swap anyways. Some things make sense, others are just try hards.


You sound really hurt. Who hurt you? Did someone in a BMW hurt your feelings once upon a time? LOL!


You sound like you're developing "Fanboitius Denialitus", a syndrome that affects many where one tryhards very try hard to justify the laying waste of grand and incredible Heritage with lyfestyle products that are total camels and knuckledragging-the-wrong-way.

First off all, no i am not a BMW fanboy. I'm all neutral with all of my arguments, and it's all based on my honest opinion. And second, yeah i know that BMW has lost their reputation for a decade due to their "Questionable" body design. It's not the best thing in the world, and yet there's people out there who's okay with it ( especially me. First thing when i saw it, i hated it. I STILL hated the way BMW designs the grille, and their body design )

But, hey. To each of their own, if you hated it, that's fine. If you loved it, that's okay too. People can be weird about their love of cars sometimes, but always remembered that at some points, they're going to discontinued it, and we don't know when it'll be.


More troll BMW these days than buy them, both record #s.


P.S Those BMW's on the post are sexy, ngl.


I live downtown @ busy intersection, ONLY BMW & Lexus are distinguishable during rush hour bumper to bumper gridlock, most striking vehicle I've seen was M4 Convertible in Sao Paulo Yellow, V12 Lamborghinis more commonplace.



My neighbor has a 2022 M8 Competition. Nasty and fast as hell! The grill on the G8 is STILL U G L Y!!! Whoever designed it should be tortured.

I also don't like the 4-door body style. Doesn't look right. Other than that it's fine.


Well on the m3 the grille looks... Well, I can sort of accept it. The blue one looks best with it. But still, the previous generation looked way better. But then again even the G-series is still far from being as hideous as the E60


E60 M5 V10, who cares what it looks like?


I was in the hate camp for a while but agree that these have grown on me so much that I've considered coming back to BMW M from AMG. If they brought the wagon here, I'd already have a isle of man green on caramel competition ordered.



Yeah I was hate camp for a long time then other things (and more and more CUVS) came along and I chilled a lot


Maybe if the lower half of the grille gets body color treatment. Other than that, pass. I prefer a more subtle approach to cars. Some of these have a little too much "look at me/boy racer" look for me. To each their own. Not knocking them, just not for this girl.


A 3/4 series is not a sports car


It's not meant to be. It's a 4 door sedan.


And I quote "Paired together you’ve got one of the best sports cars in modern motoring"


Doesn't stop them from doing record Nurburgring lap times.


Here, here.

If fan bois stop accepting/buying these insults to everyone else's intelligence, then BMW will get the message they need to hire some real car people and get back to their roots, stop slapping M's on everything, and actually make a race car that can race fairly and without paying to win. The e30's legacy can't end like this...


Let's be fair. Most companies are NOT listening to enthusiasts much at all.


BMW have doubled volume this century on models they didn't even sell in the last, Spartanburg X crossovers have also made them largest Amerikuhn exporter of vehicles for past 8 years.


I just see that angry little german‘s moustache from the 40‘s in that grille. Why did they mess up the M3 like that?


Guess you've never seen Mille Miglia-winning 1938 328, inspired post-War classic XK120.


BMW design chief recently pointed out they have 40 million followers on social media, or 20X their record annual sales, these comments demonstrate why.


The M3's front end has kind of grown on me. In the right colour, with the right mods, it actually looks decent. I guess people just prefer non-descript, run of the mill, boring looking cars.


Ah yes, the only two types of cars out there - boring looking ones and those that look "decent" with "the right colour and mods"


I see I've triggered one of those boring car lovers. Who said anything about there only being 2 types of cars? I literally used 2 other descriptions in my comment alone, but there's also fantastic, sharp, boxy, sleek, sporty, wild and the list can go on. It's not my problem if "2" is maximising your brain capacity for tallying up numbers or using words to describe things, but maybe try taking off your stockings in future and attempt to use all your toes, as well as your fingers to count beyond your mind's power without having something to touch as you move up through the numbers. Now, back to your Camry boring car guy.


I know air to water intercooler is probably way better than air to air intercooler, but It would look super rad to have a a massive front mount intercooler behind the giant kidney bean face holes.


I've seen both the M3 and M4 G8x numerous times in person and honestly it really grows on you and you'll like it almost every color
The pictures here are amazing don't get me wrong but seeing one in person is a whole different thing
Yes it is probably the most controversial car ever made but at least for something that has a straight six, RWD, and still a manual you got to give it to BMW for still making a car that lives up to the name and heritage
As a longtime BMW fan, I honestly don't understand their creative decisions and their change in branding but at least they still know how to make good cars and they still make good cars
At least we still get something like the M3, M4, and even the M2 in this day and age something that's different and unique too


Though i'm not a big fan of the grill in factory trim, with a well placed splitter etc..., the car falls right into place. Art of Attack has pretty mean looking M4 as well. I'd be more than happy to call one of these my own. (as a bonus I'll never have to use my blinkers again! jk jk)

Freddy Truthler


You can only get two out of three…if you’re lucky.
It’s always a shell game. Choose carefully.

They need to fire their chief designer. Yesterday.


I do think the M4 struggles with it's looks a little. The M3, grille aside, and I hate it less than I did when I first saw it, just looks a better proportioned vehicle. I'm all for it, they're great cars.


Can’t tell who doesn’t like the grille because they actually don’t like it or who doesn’t like it because they convinced themselves it looked bad when it debuted. I’ve never had a problem with it- and that’s not even the point of the article, people!
On topic, these are three expertly executed BMWs. Looking forward to seeing more tuned examples out in the wild, haven’t seen too many yet.