Your first stop to a GTS conversion
"This single entry is part of my Interior Program for The Stripper. I seek to create my own blueprint to a GTS interior, with a bit more flare.
In this entry, I chat about the GTS armrest delete.
Will I miss the storage space? Meh."
Your first stop.
When I first got my Fire Orange M3 in 2018, I was dreaming of converting it to GTS spec - a dream is all I thought it would remain as I shopped some of our favorite BMW M parts importers in North America.
My starting point what was I thought would be the most affordable component; the armrest delete.
A beautiful, minimalist piece by BMW that conveys the values of a GTS build.
Most of us want it.
Yet, the only aftermarket GTS armrest I could find was 900$ US.
Urgh - M tax again.
Meet the family: Chris.
I was casually scrolling instagram when, yea, you guessed it, a GTS armrest delete that looked OEM popped into my feed.
I bought his armrest without telling him. I received and installed it: it's a beautiful OEM like piece.
That's when I decided to reach out for the Connex.
We ended up chatting for hours about cars and 5 minutes about doing this Connex.
He's an E9X M3 enthusiast living in California and sports a classic Alpine White E92 M3 with E88s, GTSR 5 piece lip amongst many other goodies.
He's a diehard GTS fan and is also on his way to his very own conversion by supporting us with more GTS style products in the future.
He has wrapped it satin black since.
The product development backstory.
Chris spent lots of time detailing how he developed his product in-house, from his V1 version to V3 version newly listed on EuroConnex.
His GTS style Armrest Delete is upholstered with Original Motorsport Alcantara in 9002 just like OEM GTS parts. It is also optionally available in Deep Black 9040.
Chris tested multiple adhesives to finally select one that would be suitable for all climates and the panel's curvature, providing the necessary adhesion to his underlying, lightweight plastic armrest.
It isn't as easy as it looks.
Every other month we see a Facebook group member trying to replicate the armrest and miserably fails.
250$ iS tOo mUcH!
- [insert name here]
One of the secret to Chris' armrest is in the OEM like black foam used to fabricate the block that is ultimately the leading indicator of OEM like fitment, or a piece you'd want to throw out after a week.
Chris has tested multiple variants of foams to find the OEM matching variant with precise compression specifications for the snug fit we expect.
The OEM fitment is highly predicated on the curvature of the plastic panel. Chris has spent considerable time matching the exact OEM curvature.
He has set manufacturing processes to ensure it matches on every single piece produced by using laser cutting.
BMW M GmbH had automated, expensive tooling to achieve a perfect fitment every single time.
He cuts the foam blocks by hand according to his specifications and test fits every single of them to ensure an OEM like fitment.
Support enthusiast owned operations.
Beyond the product, the most impressive aspect about Chris' was his commitment to the community.
He spent considerable time detailing how the few initial V1 units that had adhesive issues were all returned and exchanged for new V3 units.
Every single component used to manufacture the V3 GTS armrest delete is sourced in the USA and assembled in California by Chris himself.
Overall, I'm impressed and satisfied with the aesthetics of the GTS armrest from Chris. I haven't missed the storage one bit either.
You can source this armrest year long here.