Baumgartner Brand Schiltach – more commonly known as BBS – has collaborated with BMW for over 40 years. During this time, they’ve created numerous classic mono block, 2- and 3-piece wheel designs for BMW road and race cars. Therefore, when searching for the perfect Redux wheel, other manufacturers were considered but the quality and heritage of BBS Motorsport’s division proved impossible to resist.
The current selection of aftermarket custom wheels is overwhelming and shows no signs of slowing down. Social media delivers a steady stream of bloggers, vloggers, forum addicts and car collectors waxing lyrical about which brand, design, offset, fitment and stance they’ve chosen for their cars; we should know, we’re fellow wheel aficionados.
So, which wheel did we choose and why? It’s a BBS Motorsport E87, which is a 17″ 3-piece, custom forged aluminium, lightweight wheel. The E50 magnesium is more closely associated with E30 M3s and was used in period by the race teams; however as you know by now, we at Redux like to keep moving things gently forward in line with our ethos of ‘Enhance. Evolve’. The E87 is a classic 10-spoke motorsport design and when used as both a road and track wheel, offers greater strength than the cast magnesium E50, which can potentially be more susceptible to cracking – this was recommended by BBS, so we followed their advice.
Once the centre design had been chosen, we supplied BBS Motorsport with CAD drawings of the front and rear set ups to calculate the correct fitment and offsets. Due to the bespoke 3-way Exe-tc suspension, AP racing 6-piston front calipers and 4-piston rear, 330mm front and 304mm rear discs, plus the slightly wider front track, the measurements needed to be precise to ensure everything fitted into a relatively tight wheel arch, originally designed for 15″ or 16″ road wheels, and smaller discs and calipers. The final edition race cars did run 18 x 9j BBS monoblock wheels all round but overcame this by extending the front inner arches into the engine bay to give more room and then dialed in more negative camber to help tuck these larger wheels under the arches. We found 17 x 8j front and 17 x 8.5j rear wheels offer the best balance from both a performance and aesthetic view point.
We didn’t stop there. BBS Motorsport supply their E87’s in silver, gold, black or raw aluminium and their outer lips come in a polished finish (not chrome). Our client requested one set of body colour centres and we chose an OE-style silver set, plus he requested the lips be brush polished to give a matte finish. A young chap called Isaac Brain was recommended for the task who, as you can see by the attached pictures, has done an outstanding job of delivering exactly the brush polished finish we wanted on the lips – with a coat of tough, clear lacquer to protect them – sourced the right shade of powder coat for the centres and painted the barrels black. We’re delighted with the results and can’t wait to see them shod with their Toyo R888R tyres and fitted on the car.
You may remember in an earlier newsletter, we mentioned designing our own wheel centres. They were created by our friend Steve van der Vorst and look stunning; they’re undergoing further research and development with a view to fitting them to later edition Redux.