Watch This S54-Swapped BMW E30 Scream Up a Hill Climb at 9,000 RPM
Tarmac rougher than the Andes won't stop this BMW.
As the years roll by, racing series across the globe generally get tamer. Why? Because we keep finding fresh ways to make cars faster. Composite materials, dual-clutch transmissions, widespread application of forced induction, and better tires mean that race cars built today can swat yesteryear's best down without much effort. As a result, the upper echelons of motorsport have become strictly regulated—because without rules to limit speeds and force competition, the winners would always be the team with the biggest budget...or the one most willing to risk killing its drivers. (Just look at Group B.)
One form of racing has remained relatively unrestrained, however. Hill climbing remains a contest of combining as many go-fast parts as you can, and then doing your best to wrestle the result up what is often a bumpy, narrow public road. Be it Pikes Peak or Goodwood, few hillclimbs in the world are anything other than hairy, and the cars built to race them are often equally hard to master.
Now picture this: the S54 inline six from the E46-generation BMW M3, but de-stroked to allow the engine to rev safely to 9,600 RPM and grind out 440 furious naturally-aspirated horsepower, then dropped into a caged, stripped-out E30 chassis, the two weighing but a metric ton all together—that's a power to weight ratio of 400 horsepower per ton. Next, picture this feral machine unleashed on a bumpy Lebanese hill climb, with the only thing standing between it and a date with the cinderblock wall being a healthy dose of opposite lock.
Sound delightful? Yeah, we think so too. Fortunately, Sibakat recorded this very car in action during two rounds of the Lebanese Hill Climb Championship, and shared the footage with their partners at Hillclimb Monsters on YouTube.
Give it a watch if you like the unparalleled beauty of a revvy NA engine. Or, you know, just stay for the landing of a jump that looks like it'll tear the radiator off.