The Formula Drift scene is amazing right now, offering representations from brand new Japanese sports cars like the Nissan Z or the Toyota GR86. However, historically speaking, Europeans like to go sideways as well, only they tend to use German cars like the BMW 3 Series.
The Nissan Silvia is probably still the most frequently used drift car, globally speaking, but I have seen many promising amateurs start with this thing instead. The E36 generation of the BMW 3 Series is Goldilocks of German drift machines, having the right kind of platform and engine for the job.
You might think the E36 is a beat-up 20-year-old BMW, but it’s actually already a classic. Production began way back in 1991, and there are certain things you can do with this shell because it’s becoming so desirable, especially a nice 328i or an M3.
That’s why the ideal E36 drift car has to come from the digital world. Specifically, the German rendering artist Andreas Richter (ar.visual_) has “gone bananas” with a coupe that’s now part Cyberpunk and part JDM legend.
Virtually nothing is left intact on the E36 Coupe, and that’s what makes this such an entertaining rendering. The magic starts with a completely rebuilt front end, now housing the famous 2JZ engine out of a Toyota Supra, as well as a gigantic turbocharger.
Widebody and bash bar spec
A gigantic intercooler sits right behind a caged-in front bumper. Drift cars live hard lives, so their front and rear end usually feature a “bash bar” which is basically like a smaller roll cage made out of tubular steel. Some people don’t even run plastic bumpers over the top, but Andreas rendered out both looks, with and without the original E36 fascia.
From the side, it’s obvious that the E36’s stance has been improved. She now has much wider wheels that tuck inside the body with a little help from bolt-on fender flares.
Andreas really thought of everything, as he added a vent to the roof of the car, thus ensuring the tire smoke from all that sideways action is ventilated out, and the driver can see. And at the back, we notice window louvers, a fart cannon exhaust, and an imposing wing.
Both sets of lights have also been upgraded to a Cyberpunk-style LED design. Such an extreme E36 unfortunately doesn’t exist. However, if you own such a BMW model, Khyza’s company LTO makes an excellent widebody that you can buy. They’re also masters of window louvers.