BMW 1 Series E82 2010 

During the era of the E36 and E46 BMW models, there was a special series of cars called the compact. Essentially, these were more budget-friendly versions of the “3-series” in the popular hatchback body style. We won’t delve into the technical differences between the compacts and the regular 3-series, but many people were skeptical about hatchbacks from BMW, saying, “What kind of BMW is this? And the design is questionable.” With the E9* generation, the hatchbacks were removed from the 3-series lineup and became their own separate model – the 1-series.

In reality, the newly created 1-series consisted of 3-door and 5-door hatchbacks, coupes and convertibles. Introduced in 2004, it spent 9 years on the assembly line and achieved decent sales and even had fan clubs. With a wide range of engines from inline-four cylinders to inline turbo-sixes, the most powerful of which exceeded 300 horsepower, rear-wheel drive similar to the “adult” models and a decent interior design, it was clear that the “junior” models should not be underestimated. However, the modest size somewhat deprived the car of the traditional Bavarian aggression. The hatchback itself had a quite unique appearance, which didn’t prevent it from competing in its class, but the 2-door models were missing something. Even the M versions. Perhaps they lacked a quality body extension?

Expanding the body by making non-standard fenders or arch overlays came into widespread use from motorsports. The width of the wheels and the track of the car directly affect its cornering speed. This is especially noticeable in circuit asphalt racing due to the significantly greater grip with the road compared to rally racing. However, the body of a regular car does not allow you to install wheels whose width greatly exceeds the factory parameters – they simply hit the fenders. Additionally, the suspension of a sports car is significantly lower than that of a production vehicle. One could simply cut away all the excess and let the wheels stick out beyond the body, but that would be unaesthetic, work against aerodynamics and often be prohibited by regulations. Thus, various overlays had to be devised in order to cover the protruding wheels.

Nowadays, so-called wide body kits are a whole tuning trend, inherent in cars belonging to different subcultures. There are universal options for arch overlays that functionally perform their tasks excellently but strongly lag behind stylistic custom extensions designed specifically for a particular car. In addition to the possibility of using larger wheels, any visual extension makes the car appear more flattened – precisely in the spirit of emulating sports performance, although it may not have been the initial goal.

This is a car from one of the workshops of Clinched. For those who haven’t come across their products, let’s explain that this workshop specializes in body kits and widebody conversions. Without excessive advertising, we can state that they are so successful at it that they have become well-known beyond Russia. Recently, the company changed owners, but a new organization called was created, which already showcases excellent kits.

The work begins with sketches and concept development. After that, 3D visualization of the widebody is done, which needs to be applied to a 3D model of the actual car, which, as you can understand, needs to be found and scanned. Once all the modeling work is completed, the finished samples are sent to the engineer for the production model construction. When the engineer finishes their work, the models are sent for production, where tooling and final widebody components are made. The technological process is not simple or inexpensive, so it is not possible to order a custom widebody based on your own sketches, only pre-made kits are available.

Please note: if this BMW had just been fitted with a widebody kit without any additional modifications, it would have looked quite average and this applies to any project. The choice of wheels plays a significant role, considering both their visual appearance and technical specifications. It is essential to choose the correct wheel width and offset. The suspension also needs to be modified unless you want to achieve the look of a rally car. In short, the world of widebody conversions is not that simple! But the result can transform almost any car into a unique and aggressive model.

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