You all remember our street-sleeper Project 335i, which proved to be a seriously awesome car for the money. Over four years living that four-door life, tons of R&D and some awesome partnerships, I just started to become annoyed by its weight, extra doors, ease of stability and lack of rawness / aggression. The 335i left me wanting something else and missing my old cars dearly. At 3680lbs with me in it, I dreaded the thought of gutting it for track use, so I sold it to an awesome new owner who will enjoy keeping it a street car.
I thought of buying a multitude of cars, from a high mileage s52 M Coupe, e36 M3s, another e46 (had a turbo one, miss it dearly), an e92 M, a Cayman S -- you name it. Two weeks on Craigslist and a hell-of-a bargain later, I was the proud owner of a 2009 BMW 135i, 6-speed manual, M-Sport package, no-nav, black headliner and 60,000 miles on the clock. This wasn’t beat to death and modified with eBay parts, either, it was a one-owner, zero accident, bone stock and dealer maintained beauty, and it was less than half the price of an E92 M3… Sold!
Weighing just 3250 lbs from the factory, the E82 135i is 300lbs+ lighter, four inches shorter and an inch narrower, meaning it’s less stable at the limit, quicker on its feet and truthfully, way more fun to drive. The weight split is less than ideal at 52% front, 48% rear, but with overall weight reduction and proper suspension tuning, harmony can be found.
If I’m being honest, most of these numbers meant next to nothing to me. The E90 was fun for what it was, but I never felt anything when I looked back at it. It was easy to drive fast because it was big and stable and had 265-series track rubber at each corner, but I missed going fast and feeling scared. I wanted to fight with the steering wheel and dance over curbing. I had no desire to gut the ol’ E90 and ruin its street prowess, but a two-door coupe like the 135i begs to be stripped down to buckets and a shifter. So that was that… The new RX Speed Project 135i was born, and its street manners quickly ruined. This thing eats a full rack of ribs and declines the wet nap. It doesn’t care about your comfort; it just wants to go fast. The goal? A sub-3000lb, 500hp+, CSL-inspired track toy with a license plate.
No exceptions will be made with this build. We are teaming up with the best in the biz to build the perfect track weapon. So, if this at all interests you, you should go buy an N54-powered 135i right now, because prices are sure to skyrocket in the coming years.
Stay tuned for updates as we tackle every single area, from chassis stiffening to spring rates, weight reduction to power adders, and brakes fit for the ‘Ring.