When you think of the name Turner Motorsport, what comes to mind? An aftermarket BMW parts company that has succeeded in racing BMWs, right? Well, yeah. Over the last couple of years, however, Turner have been hard at work making some of the best cars BMW have offered even better. They’ve been testing the products they offer for sale, whether it be on the race track or the street, and making sure it’s something that’ll make the experience of owning The Ultimate Driving Machine that much more special.
Now Will Turner, the founder and owner of Turner Motorsport, has been a gentleman racer for for more than two decades, and started TMS in 1993. As he told Christiaan Conover and I on RoundelTable, the company was basically started in his old E30 3-Series BMW when he’d sell products he raced out of the trunk of his car.
Two very unique projects they’ve recently started on are rather special in and of themselves. One is the 2012 1-Series ActiveE that Turner Motorsport have jumped right into. Honestly, even as much as I don’t like it, electricity is a large potential for the future of automobiles. TMS have realized this and started trying to figure out how to make a boring car more interesting and involving. First they started on revising the non-BMW-like suspension (the E82 1 ActiveE weighs 800 lbs more than a 135i), adding a Bilstein PSS10 coilover system, which they said,
“The Bilstein’s somewhat stiffer ride and lower height gave the car something it was missing before, a feeling that made you not want to lift off the accelerator pedal. Not to say that the Bilsteins made the car better in any way, but they do make the ActiveE feel like a proper Turner Motorsport project car. They give it a racier feel; Exactly what Will Turner is looking for.”
The second most recent project car is the new F30 335i. Now this is a car we’ve tested in both Sport and Luxury trim here at RawAutos. Both times we loved the car, but felt as though a bit more feel and emotion could be added to the car’s steering. And, in the case of the Luxury trim, I believed the car could do with some wider tires front and rear without a sport package to help with cornering.
Turner Motorsport set out to make the new 2012 335i even more the car it could be from the factory. Having a base line of 276.88 rear-wheel horsepower, and 308.50 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels, the F30 335i is one beast of a car. In a short period of time Turner were already tuning the N55 inline-6 for extra potential, adding a Hartge “Engine Conversion” making an extra 56 hp and 59 lb-ft of torque. What this modification does is, well, I’ll allow the boys at TMS to explain this to you:
It has factory-style plugs to connect in-line with the water temp sensor, fuel rail pressure, turbo boost pressure sensors, turbo wastegate valve, intake camshaft sensor, 12V power and ground. The module then sends a modified signal to the engine computer allowing it to increase boost by varying amounts depending on load, engine speed, and other factors.
All of the factory safeguards remain in place, including overload protection, warm-up protocols, and the engine tuning is unchanged below 70% throttle to preserve all factory drive-ability and emissions certification*. One of the key advantages of this type of ‘piggyback’ system is that it is unaffected by factory BMW updates and service. If BMW updates the computer software to fix any small bugs or issues, the Hartge performance upgrade is not lost or overwritten. This is key on a new model like the F30 because BMW is constantly releasing small software updates. All of the factory diagnostics and service access is retained.
Get all that?
So far they’ve changed the wheels to the amazingly sexy Forgeline CF3C Forged Alloy Wheels wrapped in Continental DW 225/40/20s up front, and 275/30/20s in the rear. All of this is helped by the H&R Sport Springs that lower the front 1.3 inches, and .6 inches in the rear. This allows the car to roll less in the corners, making more speed and allowing better cornering dynamics. And lest we forget that TMS have also added the new BMW Performance big brake kit (made by Brembo) that add M logos on the 4-piston calipers, and actually work better with vented and cross-drilled rotors that are larger front and rear.
Now why does all this stuff really matter to you? Well, first of all, Turner Motorsport are one of the premier companies when ordering aftermarket parts and accessories for your BMW, as well as OEM stuff, too. But more than that, many of the things they sell are race tested just for you.
What’s more than that, Turner are allowing me, the person Stig of RawAutos.com, to come up to their HQ in Amesbury, Mass. this week. So in the coming weeks you’ll see video, pictures, and text on what it’s like to drive the ActiveE and the 335i that TMS have put a lot of time and effort in to. So stay tuned, as they say.