The latest episode of Motor Trend‘s The Downshift reveals a special surprise for the upcoming 2013 SEMA show in Las Vegas. GSR Autosport has specially tuned a high-performance road-going 2011 BMW 335i at the request of Bilstein. Bilstein invited fans to vote for modifications on the car, and winner David Smit will take the Bilstein tuner car home after the SEMA show.
“Bilstein came to us and said, ‘What could you do with a street car and not take it too far?’” explained Nick Richards, co-owner of GSR Autosports.“Going through how you can get a car to handle and to perform without going down that slippery slope into the race car zone or the serious track day zone. It’s a delicate balance, because it’s always compromised.”
Perhaps the most significant upgrade installed during GSR’s build is the Bilstein iRC fully-adaptable suspension, which can be custom-adjusted using a smartphone and on-board Bilstein computer. Available preset modes include Comfort, Normal and Sport, with more fine tuning of lateral and longitudinal assist and assist time that can be managed in real-time. Other improvements include a larger intercooler from Evolution Racewerks, 6-piston Brembo brake kit, AFE intake, HRE wheels, and racing-spec sway bars.
“It’s going to be pretty impressive with the added power, and with all the suspension modifications it’s going to be comfortable but it’s also going to perform really well,” said Michael Essa, GSR Autosports co-owner and 2013 Formula Drift champion. “It’s the car you can drive every day and take out to the track on the weekends and have a lot of fun with it.”
On the exterior, the GSR-tuned 335i displays light-blue and yellow racing stripes along the car’s profile as well as blue mirror caps, rear-deck spoiler, and matching Bilstein and GSR decals. The overall effect is sporty and eye-catching without being ostentatious or frivolous.
Watch The Downshift below for more details, and be sure to check out the car at the 2013 SEMA show in Las Vegas.