Who doesn't enjoy a ridiculous engine swap? The Ferrari-swapped Subaru rally car was memorable, as was the unhinged Dodge Demon-swapped side-by-side designed to do burnouts. But when it comes to clean, street-style swaps, the Driftworks V10 E46 M3 is one of the greatest of all time. Despite being built in 2010, that car is still evolving. Now, it has the wildest 10-into-1 headers I’ve ever seen.
While the car was originally built to be a street-style drift car with an S85 V10 from an E60 BMW M5, it sat unused for quite sometime after its debut. Recently, U.K.-based drift-and-performance shop Driftworks started documenting the restoration and upgrade of the car on its YouTube channel after bringing it back from the dead. Just two years ago, the coupe was damaged and dilapidated. Today, it’s fully restored and has a set of custom headers from exhaust maker Celeritech.
The idea behind bonkers headers like these is to make extra power by helping the engine scavenge its own exhaust gases. If designed right, the headers should take advantage of pulses happening in the exhaust pipes to effectively suck the gases out of a neighboring header tube. Of course, the science goes much deeper than that, but there’s also another effect that results from the header design: A totally unique exhaust note.
Because the pulses are effectively evened out, it makes any engine sound totally different. In particular, the odd-firing and odd-sounding S85 becomes much higher-pitched and smoother than before. Regarding power, Driftworks hasn’t dyno’d the car with the headers yet, but I’d wager that more power was never the goal. This was all about style and sound. And the headers look like a genuine bundle of snakes. Behind the headers, a so-called five-exit exhaust utilizes the E46 M3's stock quad tips with the option of an open exhaust dump.
Hearing the V10 at full chat will be an experience to behold. But for now, enjoy the absurd sight of the headers and some light revs for your afternoon enjoyment.
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