Replicating the original: a multi-year project coming to fruition
An OG Connex revisited
360Carbon's 5 pieces FRP chassis mounted lip for the E9X M3 has been a staple on EuroConnex. It was the 2nd social buy I ever organized prior to launching EuroConnex.
Over 200 of these lips were sold worldwide and appreciated for the true GTS aesthetics, great fitment, lower adjustable lip and chassis mounted brackets.
The lip was then offered in pre-preg carbon fiber for enthusiasts looking for a OEM level carbon lip.
2x things were missing to make a true OEM GTS replica.
BMW M never manufactured the OEM GTS lip in FRP or Carbon Fiber.
They used ABS plastics for the lips and aluminum for the brackets.
ABS is commonly used by manufacturers with actual motorsport pedigree because it is light, durable and affordable to replace.
Porsche GT3 guys have been using OEM ABS plastic front lips as consumables for a while and Porsche offers replacement lips for relatively cheap.
It is impossible to find a replica lip made in ABS. OEM is the only option before being discontinued.
It was available for over 5,000$ US.
1:1 GTS front lip replica: the Development.
I have been chatting with Markus @ 360Carbon & Zaero Design on developing a kit as close to BMW M's original specifications at an attainable price point for most owners.
This is it.
The lip will be branded under ZaeroDesign as it is Markus' main focus for 2022.
Secretive Data to achieve 10/10 fitment.
The replica project is the closest thing to the OEM GTS lip. The CAD designs were created using secretive data to perfectly mimic the OEM curvature of the lip and its chassis brackets.
This will be the best fitting GTS lip short of OEM.
It's a promise Markus feels very comfortable to make, and that I will validate personally before making this product available.
Chassis metal brackets.
The previous FRP and CF lips had matching material for their chassis mounting brackets.
They were prone to cracking on high force impacts and it was a problem for guys at the track, or in a mismanaged city :)
Markus went back to the drawing board to re-engineer the 3x pieces chassis mounting brackets using high-strength aluminum.
The brackets are laser cut & powder coated in black for a clean finish. They went through a few revisions in Q1 & Q2 2022 to achieve an OEM matching fitment. They were test fitted with the CFK variant of the lip.
I received the prototype brackets for me to review and test on my lower FRP splitter.
It's quality - and feels it can take the hits over the FRP versions.
The lower lower bracket will have threaded inserts on the production version for an easy bolt-in bolt-out adjustment action.
Properly aligned and cut to the adjustable slots on the lower splitter.
ABS Upper Lip and Adjustable Lower Splitter.
ABS Material Development
The ABS composition was developed in close partnership with an OEM sub-contractor in Germany.
Markus worked with them to come up with the closest possible match to the OEM matte black finish straight out of the mold without paint.
The final finish will be smooth as pictured below. The example at the bottom is the selected ABS material for final production.
The top example is ABS material that is commonly used in aftermarket applications as it is readily available. We're going the extra mile to offer the best aesthetics possible.
The lower spitter is slotted to allow length adjustments for clearance and aerodynamics.
The crowdfunding project.
The major differences between producing these lips in FRP and CF versus ABS is the manufacturing process and its inherent requirements.
ABS requires much higher Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ), furthermore when considering the unique ABS material Markus selected with the ABS supplier.
We will need to raise funds to achieve this as a community.
The first 50x backers will get access to never-to-be-seen-again pricing in order to make this project a reality.
Payments will be required in full, and remain fully refundable until I have confirmed fitment with the first prototype of the mold.
This is expected to happen within 6 weeks of green lighting production.
The initial prototype will be manufactured with the ABS material with a textured appearance.
My priority is testing the fitment.
The crowdfunding will be launched shortly.