Race BMW E46 M3 with LS7

What do you do when you need a quality racecar on a budget? Castro Motorsports used a very popular recipe from the engine swap cookbook. First start with a base consisting of a two-door BMW then stuff with lots of Chevy small block.

Once we found the car we wanted, we knew that the suspension and brake options were plentiful, and that the stock 3.2L S54 inline 6 was a great engine on and off the race track. While we could have built the S54 into an impressive naturally aspirated, 400+hp motor, or gone with the forced induction route to achieve the power figures that would keep the car competitive, all of those options were going to be expensive. The NA engine build wasn’t going to have enough power for the money spent. A centrifugal supercharger didn’t provide the torque numbers we wanted, for the amount of money spent. Finally, with HPF (Horsepower Freaks) being the only available option for a reliable, off the shelf turbo kit, the price for high powered kit was going to put us over budget. Then we had a better idea, which would get under the skin of many BMW enthusiasts, especially the purists in love with the M3 platform. With the GM LS engine platform becoming such a popular choice in recent years, and with Kalon having recently owned and loved his C6 Z06, we chose to give the Bavarian sports car an American heart.

The LS7 engine was built by Cunningham Motorsports and consists of a Darton sleeved over-bored LS7 block, factory balanced LS7 crank and titanium connecting rods, custom Wiseco forged pistons, West Coast Stage 2 heads, and a Dailey Engineering Stage 3 dry sump system.

Source: LS1Tech and Facebook Gallery

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