R3born is a reincarnation of the iconic BMW 323i of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The idea of tackling a classic car has been around for a
while, but it only took shape when I bought myself a BMW 3-series model E21. The playful character and creamy six in line give this car the typical appeal for which BMW is known, The 323 was for many the first fast 3-series at the time, long before there was the M3.
Project R3born is not a back dating like in the case of Singer
Porsches, but a complete make over with a modern approach.
Everything starts with the body that, in addition to a complete
restoration, also undergoes the necessary modifications. This
ranges from internal reinforcements over discrete cosmetic
changes to replacing all steel body panels with carbon fiber
ones. The entire ‘skin’ of the car is made of carbon fiber with
the intention of maximum weight saving. The fenders are slightly
modified during this process, the main change is widening of
the wheel arches.
This modification is made entirely in the style of the car and is necessary to house the bigger wheels that the car gets. Smaller body parts such as the bumpers, side moldings and trunk spoiler are also made of the same light material.
The latter is also our own design with a nod to the current generation ‘M’ models.
In terms of mechanics, just about everything is taken care of and modified. Classic BMW’s are infamous for their tricky character, especially on wet roads. To remedy this problem, the entire rear wheel suspension can be adjusted and equipped
with the necessary upgrades. Every R3born will be receive fully adjustable Bilstein suspension as standard, optionally we can offer an Öhlins tailor made system that makes the car more track oriented. A self locking differential is
standard. Engine-wise there is a choice of three different power outputs. The entry level is a 3.0L with 240hp. This engine is focused largely on street use and is distinguished by its lineair character and comfortable running culture.
Following stages are 280hp and 350hp, respectively from 3.0L or 3.2L naturally aspirated 24-valve engines. Each power source is linked to a manual 6-speed gearbox. Major steps are also taken towards braking. A tailor-made braking system
ensures the much needed slowing down of every R3born. Just like with motorization, various options are offered here too. The customer determines what he will use the car for and tailors his choice to the intended use. Wheels are our
own unique design and strongly refer to the classic multi-spoke Alpina rims of the time. Every R3born will be on 17 inch wheels, a necessity to house the brakes and to be able to transfer the extra power to the road surface.
Finally the interior is discussed. Just like the rest of the car, this is completely rebuilt. We go for a mix of various classic and exotic materials that contribute to a homogeneous whole with a high level of finish. Several things are changed, especially the lack of rear seat is one of the most striking modifications, but the raceshifter is also a prominent appearance in the drivers cabin. An integrated sound system with the necessary contemporary functions contributes to the comfort on board, but the atmosphere is focused on sportiness and style, electric windows or heated seats are not on the order, other auxiliary systems ans drivers aids are also unavailable. Low car weight is crucial for this project, as is efficiency and driving commitment.