“The philosophy here was the same one followed by Singer Vehicle Design,” explains Atanas Vilner, boss of tuning house Vilner Garage. A philosophy that marries the more powerful straight-six lump of a later BMW M3 to the classic E30’s bones. Merry Christmas, everyone.
Yup, this unique build is straight out of Singer’s playbook: take a much-beloved body shell, modify with choice components, sit back, hold for applause. Choice component number one: the S50B32 from the E36 M3.
So, out goes the old E30’s four-pot, in comes a 321hp/349Nm straight-six that revs to 9,000rpm. This is matched to a five-speed manual and, of course, rear-wheel drive. And while no 0-100kph time is quoted, the regular, heavier E36 M3 recorded somewhere in the region of mid-fives. This Vilner E30 is only 1,200kg, so therefore faster. Probably.
Inside, there’s a set of Sparco seats wrapped in checkered textile fabric with leather edges. That same fabric is laid over the doors, the shift boot, the ceiling, and the parcel shelf, too. We’re told it’s been used everywhere because “it’s very robust and comfortable.” Ah, yes...comfortable. Hence the metal floor panels that read ‘Race Shoes Only.’ And the roll cage. And the race harnesses for the seats.
“Christmas miracles do exist, and the E30 M3 Evo by Vilner is a very bright example,” says Vilner. You decide.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.