What ingredients do you need to break the internet? Stance? Power? Looks? Originality? A shitload of carbon? Mark's 135i M-Sport ticks all these boxes.
Once show season has ended and winter sets in the members of the modified car community can be found in workshops and garages all over the country. For me it was no different as I spent large periods of time at Paintworx in Bangor working on my car, prepping and rebuilding before and after the respray.
I wasn’t the only show car with a new look to come out of that workshop this winter however. Sat beside me was a grey 135i M-Sport, bagged on a set of Schmidt Race 2000s. It looked great and many people would have been content just to leave it at that and be happy with it… but this 1 series belongs to Mark Stewart and if you’ve read our feature of his PS13 you’ll understand that things don’t stay the same very long when Mark is involved.
After buying a set of Comsis xt206r’s (18×9.5 ET10) and having them custom drilled to 5×120 it soon became apparent that some major work was required to fit them. Off came the standard front end, being replaced with 1M front wings, bumper and a carbon V8 M3 style bonnet – even the washer bottle had to be modified to get this thing sitting on the floor! The rear arches where then treated to a date with a hammer and a roller as the factory metal was pulled and shaped to size.
The new 1M front end created a problem – the side skirts no longer joined the new wider wings. Originally the plan was just to reshape them and line them up with the edge of the wing, then a better solution arose – custom canards! Not only did they solve a problem but gave the car a real aggressive side profile when attached to the custom made carbon running boards.
Owning a bodyshop the dull grey never stood a chance and the car was stripped, rubbed down and then sprayed in a thick layer of BMW M4 Marina Blue paint supplied by PPG which certainly catches the eye.
Mark then used his local business connections and called upon Chris Gaw to make carbon spoiler, diffuser, mirrors, indicators, kidney grills… if it could be made in or skinned with carbon it was done. Stevie Carlisle was the next man on the job, bending and welding a custom roll cage which was painted Maserati yellow to match the BMW Performance 6 pot brakes and accompany the Recaro CS seats and custom Defi gauge mount in the cockpit.
The final icing on the cake was to create more power. An Injen performance intake was added, an AC Schnitzer exhaust fitted, both cats removed and then a remap by Auto Tune who brought the 3 litre twin turbo engine up to 386bhp and 400ft/lbs – sufficient power for a smokey burnout!
To this day we still don’t know if Mark knew he was going to sell Paintworx when he was building this car but we like to think that he knew what the future held and wanted to build a ridiculous car to go out with a bang – if he did, then he certainly achieved it.