September 26, 2022

Serving up over 1000hp and able to cracking 200mph, this astonishing Modified BMW E30 Turbo is an absolute beast of a construct.

Function from Efficiency BMW journal. Pictures: Jape Tiitinen.

In accordance with the 2022 World Happiness Report, Finland is ranked because the world’s happiest nation. In reality, Finland has been named the world’s happiest nation for 5 years operating now. Finland can be dwelling to numerous huge-horsepower turbocharged BMW builds. Coincidence? We expect not…

We haven’t met Mikko Q, the proprietor of this modified BMW E30 turbo, however we are able to think about him being a really joyful particular person certainly. How might you presumably not be while you’ve constructed your self an epic turbocharged E30 on this scale? It’s not simply stupidly highly effective both, we love the way in which it appears – it’s bought poise and goal prefer it’s about to launch itself on the horizon at any second, which it in all probability is.

Mikko’s day job is, in his personal phrases, “IT stuff.” With what we think about to be a wise and strait-laced 9-5 (really, most Finnish firms work 8-4, there’s a helpful truth for you), we are able to image him eagerly awaiting the weekend in order that he can blow off some steam in his E30, and we are able to’t think about a greater type of stress aid than this. It’s actually fairly the step up from his first automotive, a 1991 Toyota Carina II, however BMWs are unquestionably a severe ardour of his.

“I’ve at all times appreciated the look of the two-door E30 (and particularly the M3),” says Mikko as we chat. “I don’t know why BMW, however for some purpose, after buying the primary one, I’ve slowly ended up in a scenario the place there are not any different automobiles aside from BMWs within the family,” he grins, and that’s what we like to listen to. And, when Mikko says his is a BMW family, he actually isn’t kidding.

underside of modified BMW E30 turbo

“The opposite BMWs are three E30s (one mission, one for components, plus one for driving on the ice in wintertime), an E28 which could find yourself as a mission at some point, and an E38 (which might be dismantled for components and is donating its engine for my future mission). The day by day drivers are an E39 530d Sport Touring and an E60 530i,” he says with a smile, and that’s the kind of dedication to the blue and white roundel we wish to see.

After all, what we’re actually fascinated about is that this E30, and whereas we’ve already established that it’s a bit particular, there’s numerous element to get into with this construct. “This E30 is definitely the primary BMW I purchased,” smiles Mikko as we chat. “A very long time in the past, I made a decision that as quickly as my life scenario permits and I’d have premises the place I might work, one ought to be acquired for a mission. The items fell into place in the summertime of 2012, after which I might begin the hunt for an appropriate candidate,” Mikko explains.

“I wished a two-door, authentic 325i, pre-facelift – I looked for greater than half a 12 months however with no luck. At the start of 2013, I bought phrase {that a} good friend of a good friend of a good friend of mine had an unfinished mission E30, which may very well be on the market at an affordable worth. This data turned out to be right, and I organized a gathering with the proprietor to see the automotive.

Sparco bucket seats inside of modified bmw e30 turbo

“The automotive was a two-door pre-facelift 323i, and the inspection papers had a be aware a couple of bigger displacement engine swap within the early Nineteen Nineties. The particular person promoting it had owned the automotive for greater than six years, out of which the final 5 years it hadn’t been pushed and was a mission. Nearly every part that may very well be eliminated was eliminated and what was left was the naked shell, together with the chassis.

Numerous corrosion repairs had been performed, and a full roll-cage was about 85% fitted. After that, the motivation for the mission light away, and the automotive had been left on axle stands within the storage, awaiting its destiny. Given the quantity of labor already carried out on the mission, the present situation of the chassis, and the asking worth, I merely couldn’t refuse, and the deal was performed. Nevertheless, I used to be just a little nervous about the truth that I hadn’t dismantled a automotive on my own earlier than, and I had no prior expertise with E30s, so how would I get all of it again collectively…” says Mikko, however that clearly wasn’t an issue.

Front driving shot of e30 turbo

“As soon as the chassis was moved to my storage, the one clear imaginative and prescient I had in thoughts was that the automotive would grow to be a turbocharged summer time toy,” grins Mikko. “Turning that imaginative and prescient into actuality ultimately took about two and a half years to finish.

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At that stage, I had no concept what it actually meant to construct a automotive from these beginning factors. It took much more time than I might have ever imagined to make the automotive the way in which I wished it to be. The chassis got here with a really restricted variety of components so, for instance, I ended up shopping for a second donor automotive for the mission plus dismantling components from not less than half a dozen completely different donor automobiles round my space. Because of this, my circle of BMW acquaintances/associates expanded fairly a bit,” he chuckles.

“The strategy I took with the mission was clear: if it was a used half, it was totally inspected and reconditioned. All of the worn-out components have been changed. My checking account stability actually appreciated this strategy,” he laughs. “The aim in the course of the mission was additionally to do as a lot as attainable on my own and never simply purchase completed bolt-on components, although I had solely restricted earlier information/expertise. Thankfully, I had some associates who already had some information of automotive constructing at that time, from whom I bought some good suggestions and assist,” he says, and when a mission brings in your folks, it turns into that rather more particular.

The most important a part of this modified BMW E30 Turbo is, no doubt, the engine. It’s not simply what makes this automotive so superior, it’s additionally been the driving power behind the mission, and what’s saved Mikko pushing for ever extra energy, taking this E30 additional and making it sooner at each flip.

Portrait engine shot on modified bmw e30 turbo

The preliminary construct noticed Mikko hit 500hp in 2015, and after pouring an unimaginable period of time and work into the modified BMW E30 turbo, that was an exciting second for him. “In the identical summer time, I went (out of pure curiosity) to check out the standing mile for the primary time on the Lappeenranta Aviation Days. I did a few runs, and one of the best one was measured at 282km/h (175mph). After that occasion, I might say that one thing modified in me, and I set myself a brand new aim: to attempt to break the 300km/h mark. On reflection, this may be stated to have been the second when the main focus and mindset had shifted in direction of a top-speed construct,” says Mikko, and that dedication has formed the automotive you see earlier than you.

Mikko’s first time hitting – and exceeding – his aim was in 2017, when the automotive, in 755hp trim, smashed the 300km/h barrier. “The radar studying was 312 km/h. My good friend, who was sitting within the passenger seat in the course of the run, swore that he would by no means get into the automotive once more,” he laughs. And that’s the place this story might have ended, however with this construct, it’s honest to say that Mikko was in too deep to see a method out, so all he might do was to maintain going.

“The aim had been achieved, I assumed. I had greater than sufficient lengthy days and nights within the storage, I assumed. Perhaps I ought to focus on one thing else than automobiles for some time, I assumed,” he says. “Effectively, as you may need guessed, on the drive dwelling from the occasion, I delighted(?) my spouse with an concept: ‘What if it was just a bit bit sooner?’” he laughs, and that’s what resulted within the automotive reaching this stage in its evolution.

“I spent a ‘few’ evenings within the storage over the next winter,” Mikko chuckles. “I upgraded all of the brakes, changed the camshafts, constructed a brand new dual-plenum-style consumption manifold and made different minor repairs. Within the spring, throughout a two-day dyno tuning session, I additionally upgraded the intercooler. All that work paid off, and the end result was over 900hp within the modified BMW E30 turbo. The summer time of 2018 was memorable,” he smiles. “Within the spring, I did a brand new private finest within the standing mile when the automotive reached a pace of 325 km/h.

I gained the highest pace competitors at Bimmerparty (the biggest BMW occasion within the Nordic international locations) with a really shut hole to second: solely a 1km/h distinction in my favour. Within the autumn, I made a decision to take part in another standing mile occasion earlier than the lengthy winter forward. The primary run’s end result: 335 km/h! That was sufficient to make the automotive the quickest BMW over a standing mile in Finland (and it nonetheless is),” he smiles proudly, and that’s over 208mph in an modified BMW E30 turbo!

Close up photo of the turbo on modified bmw e30

The humorous factor is that since his insane top-speed run, Mikko has carried out some additional mods, taking the automotive to an unbelievable degree of efficiency. The engine is a mixture of M50 and M52, with cast JE pistons, Eagle H-profile con rods, Enem cams, King Racing bearings, and the aforementioned dual-plenum-style consumption manifold. There’s a twin-scroll exhaust manifold for the huge 72mm turbo, an enormous 600mm {custom} front-mount intercooler operating a Garrett core, and a critically beefy E85 gas system, which options one Carter and two AEM pumps, a {custom} ReWoN Motors gas rail and monster 2200cc injectors.

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Having blown a gearbox after his record-breaking run Mikko’s new transmission has been constructed to make sure it may well deal with what his engine is placing out. The ’field itself is a six-speed GS6-53DZ that’s been mated to a {custom} flywheel with a Tilton twin-plate cerametallic clutch, there’s a {custom} 3” propshaft, a BMW Sort 210 LSD with modified ramp angles and a custom-made diff mount, and {custom} PPF driveshafts. Lastly, there’s a transmission and flywheel security blanket and three driveshaft security loops to make sure that ought to something go bang, nobody goes to get damage.

After finishing up his upgrades, it was time to get some numbers down on the modified BMW E30 turbo. “The dyno journey, which had grow to be a practice virtually each spring, started to tackle tragicomic components by the point the fourth pair of rear tyres (borrowed from the day by day driver) have been fitted. The earlier three pairs had given up on the rollers in numerous methods because the tuning and dyno classes had progressed. With the final accessible pair of tyres I had, the rise in increase stress above 2.5 bar lastly introduced the specified end result: over 1000hp and over 1000Nm (738lb ft) of torque. Perhaps that’s sufficient in the meanwhile…” he chuckles.

We see numerous highly effective BMs gracing these pages, however we are going to at all times be impressed once we see numbers that large as a result of they’re simply unimaginable, and Mikko’s construct is an absolute beast.

After all, energy is nothing with out management, so there have been loads of extra mods utilized beneath the floor to make sure that the remainder of the E30 can cope when Mikko unleashes hell, and that features the E36 steering rack that’s been fitted and modified for elevated steering angle. “I wished to have loads of adjustability, in order that’s why I went with the BC Racing suspension and H&R anti-roll bars,” he explains. “Among the modifications have been dictated by another mods I’ve chosen to do. For instance, to suit this measurement of exhaust system on an E30 required some ‘changes’ to the firewall and passenger-side footwell,” grins Mikko.

Rear portrait shot of modified bmw e30 turbo

The place most individuals can be winding their coilovers all the way down to get their BM sitting as little as attainable, this modified BMW E30 turbo construct may be very completely different, and so the suspension has been set as much as ship what’s finest to get all the facility to the bottom, and we love the raked stance it leads to. The brakes, in the meantime, utilise E36 325tds calipers with 284mm discs up entrance and 272mm objects on the again, together with Ferodo DS2500 pads, HEL braided traces, and there’s additionally an E32 750iL grasp cylinder.

When it comes to styling, there’s loads to love right here. “Lots of the exterior-related choices are coming instantly from the M3, just like the bumpers and rear spoiler,” says Mikko. “I didn’t wish to go full-on duplicate with the automotive, although, as a result of on the finish of the day (sadly), it’s not an M3. I simply wished to have some components from it, and the remaining I made a decision no matter regarded good in my eyes,” he explains, and it really works for us.

In addition to the M3-look entrance and rear bumpers, Mikko has added OEM E30 Touring aspect skirts, he’s had the entrance and rear arches widened, the aspect mouldings have been eliminated and smoothed, the lights have been blacked out throughout the automotive whereas a pair of AeroCatch fasteners maintain the bonnet in place, and the entire automotive has been handled to a respray in its authentic shade of black.

After which, after all, we’ve the wheels. “In my view, these wheels match completely for an E30. I simply love the look,” says Mikko, and we wholeheartedly agree. He’s opted for a set of 16” Borbet As, measuring 7.5” throughout on the entrance and 9” throughout on the rear, they usually look superior. They’re iconic interval wheels that are simply excellent for this automotive, particularly wrapped in fats rubber for that purposeful sq. sidewall look.

Lastly, we come to the inside or, as Mikko laughs, “Inside? What inside?! Because the earlier proprietor had already began becoming a full roll-cage, I principally began following that path and saved the inside form of ‘race-spec’. I haven’t actually regretted that call because it turned out to be an excellent name after I bought enthusiastic about driving quick on the standing mile,” he provides. As Mikko says, the inside has been absolutely stripped to maintain issues good and lightweight, and every part that has been fitted has been added for the aim of driving this E30 as quick as attainable.

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A pair of Sparco Professional 2000 seats make sure that Mikko and passenger are saved snugly in place, secured by a pair of matching four-point harnesses, with a Sparco steering wheel additionally added. Light-weight aluminium door playing cards exchange the inventory objects, the fusebox has been moved from the engine bay to beneath the sprint, and the automotive’s electronics have been mounted rather than the glovebox. A trio of auxiliary gauges present increase, AFR and oil stress, and there’s additionally a hydro handbrake and a Coolerworx shifter.

By Mikko’s calculations, it took about two and a half years and over 1000 hours to get the automotive to its 500hp incarnation again in 2015, and you’ll see how far more work has gone into this construct since then. It’s been an enormous dedication and an enormous a part of Mikko’s life for a really very long time. “I can’t identify a single modification as a favorite one,” he muses as we chat. “I’m happy with the entire thing: the way in which it appears and what it may well do. And most significantly, many issues I’ve performed on my own with none prior information or know-how, so I’ve actually discovered loads in the course of the years,” he provides with a happy smile.

“I doubt I’ll ever name it ‘completed’,” Mikko continues. “I’ve a Stroud Bonneville-spec brake parachute, which was a present from associates in 2019 and continues to be on the shelf ready for set up, plus a do-it-yourself entrance strut brace, a hearth suppression system and 101 different plans,” he laughs. Not solely that, however Mikko is at present constructing a second E30 for his spouse, so he’s going to have his fingers full for the foreseeable future. However, that’s no hardship when E30s are your ardour, and also you’ve constructed your self an unimaginable top-speed machine on this scale. And, with life returning to regular, you possibly can wager Mikko and his beast of a construct are going to be setting some new information collectively very quickly.

Rear shot of modified bmw e30 turbo

Turbocharged BMW E30 Pictures

Tech Spec: Modified BMW E30 Turbo


M50/M52 straight-six hybrid, JE cast pistons with {custom} dimensions, Eagle H-profile con rods, Enem camshafts, double valve springs with {custom} Chromoly retainers by Rasis, Athena Cooper Ring head gasket, ARP bolts, 6mm metal help girdle for the principle caps, King Racing crankshaft and con rod bearings, race-spec timing chains and oil pump with E36 M3 cam chain tensioner, chain tensioner added to grease pump chain, uprated crankcase air flow system with {custom} do-it-yourself catch cans and many others., do-it-yourself dual-plenum-style consumption manifold, do-it-yourself twin-scroll exhaust manifold, do-it-yourself stainless-steel exhaust comprising 4.5” downpipe and 4” piping to single rear silencer, 72mm turbo, 3” do-it-yourself increase pipes, 600x300x100mm do-it-yourself intercooler with Garrett core, JAZ security gas cell, do-it-yourself swirl pot, 1x Carter and 2x AEM gas pumps, Nuke gas filter, 0.5” PTFE gas traces, ReWoN Motors {custom} gas rail, Fuelab stress regulator, 2200cc/min gas injectors, operating E85 solely, ATDriveBoard ECU, IGN-1A coils, NGK floor discharge spark plugs

Energy & Torque:

1000hp+ and 738lb ft


BMW GS6-53DZ six-speed handbook gearbox, {custom} flywheel by @mikkeee7, Tilton twin-plate cerametallic clutch, Coolerworx Professional short-shift, do-it-yourself 3” propshaft, BMW Sort 210 LSD, modified ramp angles, do-it-yourself {custom} rear diff mount, PPF custom-made driveshafts with 128mm Chromoly CV joints, uprated OEM E30 rear axle and trailing arms, transmission/flywheel security blanket, three driveshaft security loops


7.5×16” ET 20 (entrance) and 9×16” ET 15 (rear) Borbet A wheels with 205/45 Kumho Ecsta LE Sport KU39 (entrance) and 245/45 Toyo R888R (rear) tyres, BC Racing BR Collection suspension, H&R anti-roll bars, Powerflex bushes all through, E36 steering rack modified for elevated steering angle, E36 325tds calipers with 284mm (entrance) and 272mm (rear) discs, Ferodo DS2500 brake pads, E32 750iL brake grasp cylinder, HEL Efficiency braided brake traces all-around, hydraulic handbrake


Full respray in authentic Jet black, widened arches entrance and rear, side-mouldings eliminated and smoothed, bonnet roundel eliminated and smoothed, do-it-yourself boot roundel, OEM E30 Touring aspect skirts, E30 M3-look bumpers modified/tailored to suit with different physique modifications, E30 M3-look rear spoiler, tinted lights all-around, E46 aspect repeaters, AeroCatch bonnet fasteners


Absolutely stripped, full roll-cage, Sparco Professional 2000 seats, four-point harnesses and steering wheel, light-weight aluminium door panels, increase, AFR and oil stress gauges, fuse field relocated beneath dashboard, electronics positioned in glovebox, firewall and passenger-side footwell modified to accommodate exhaust system