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Staff Cars: Dan's E36 318is

What happened to all my big power Jap cars?!

Sorry, it's not an M3 :(

Oh man, times have changed. I’ve gone from driving Jap turbo monsters with at least 350bhp and all the bad attitude of Jordan on a boozy bender, to an old Beemer with half the horsepower that I’d sheepishly describe as OEM+, at best. Tut, tut.

To make matters worse it’s the same silver as Millsy’s E46 M3, but with none of that car’s legendary status. Do I like it when Millsy drives a sweeter car than me? About as much as I like treading in hot dog shite!

Still, there’s a way out of non-modified mediocrity. It’s to get Maxing. And, as much as it doesn’t look like it, my BM has actually had quite a fettle since I bought it bone-stock two years ago. Here’s the list.

>>>Bilstein lower and firmer shocks and springs

>>>Powerflex poly bushes for the front lower wishbones and rear subframe – two places where the E36 needs them most

>>>ECU remap to, wait for it, 155bhp (from 140bhp) and 200Nm (from 175Nm), and a Simota high-flow panel filter

>>>E30 318is OEM clutch, that has a lighter flywheel

I also replaced the brakes and exhaust with fresh OEM items, so with the mods, the car drives and handles a dream. To complete the current tuning picture, I just need an LSD, which my chums at Garage-D are hunting down for me. At this point it’d be a pretty stock-looking but sweet handling 318is that’s everyday useable, and actually reasonably jazzy on the back lanes.

That’s all kinda cool I guess, and the E36 coupe is a handsome little devil and gently creeping up in value. But there’s so much more sexiness to be had – just look at any modded E36 M3 and you’ll see where I’m coming from.

But, there are plenty of these around already, and while I love a hot M3, like Millsy, it’s tough to think of mods that set you apart while still keeping these Bavarian beauts great to drive every day.

Rims are woefully tiddly

So, I’m gonna get thinking. Do I Max this car to the hilt, or get something else to go mad on and keep the BM handy for daily use?

Silver, just like Millsy's M3. LAME!!

Regardless, I’ve ordered some new motorsport-inspired 17s which I think will look pretty cool, and if this fires me up to Max the little 318is right up, then so be it. Or I might get a Saxo and drop a Honda K20 motor in it!

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