What happens when you combine two of BMW's most iconic creations? A predictably transcendent experience.

this v-10-swapped bmw e30 m3 is the most delightful kind of overkill

These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone crazy enough to buy a perfectly stock E30-generation M3 and modify it. The first-ever M3 is a fast-appreciating collector car, after all, with factory examples with low mileage demanding over six figures. But just a few years ago, these cars weren’t worth as much. Which is why this Australian man felt okay swapping out the legendary S14 from his M3 and dropping in a 500-hp V-10.

The Fullboost YouTube channel caught up with the owner of this pretty red M3, Bob, to get the details on this incredible swap. The V-10 is also a BMW product, you see, taken from either an M5 or an M6 from the mid-2000s. In this application, it runs on a standalone ECU and revs all the way to 8300 rpm. Bob sourced a six-speed manual transmission from an E90-generation M3 to get the power to the rear wheels, though amazingly, the differential still uses an E30 housing. Inside you’ll find an upgraded locking center from Quaife.

Most interesting is Bob’s claims that he didn’t have to cut any part of the chassis or firewall to fit the powertrain inside this E30. He did, however, have to fabricate an entirely new subframe, new oil pan, and a heavily modified steering rack to get everything to work.

Bob says he built this M3 to drive to the track, claiming a curb weight under 3000 pounds and a near 50-50 weight distribution. It’s all pretty incredible considering the car has more than double the cylinders it used to. Of course, the fantastic power-to-weight ratio means it makes for a solid drag car as well. Oh, and it sounds wonderful. We’re not jealous. Not one bit.

Brian Silvestro Road & Track staff writer with a taste for high-mileage, rusted-out projects and amateur endurance racing.

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