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Long Term Project (Part 6): 2011 9-3 Aero XWD

May 2016:

There seems to come a time with every single one of my project cars where I might have gotten a little carried away, and this car would turn out to be no exception. In retrospect, this part of the upgrade process started months earlier when (after paying a visit to Hirsch in Switzerland) the boss returned with a few odds and ends to sell that Hirsch had found on shelves in their warehouse, among which, was a carbon fiber bodykit. At the time, I had shrugged it off because it was an incomplete kit that was missing the rear bumper extensions. As I would later come to find out this was one of the early prototype/test kits that Hirsch produced (which also explained why it didn’t have their trademark deer logo embedded in the rear side skirt pieces). Originally slated to go on Till’s 9-3 Sport Sedan, we decided to go in a different direction with his car (more on that in another post), so that allowed me the opportunity to take the project to a new level.

Once the kit arrived, I armed myself with a fresh tube of SikaFlex 221 and got busy…

After allowing the bodykit to cure in place overnight, it was time to see how the finished product came out…

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

What was that I said a few posts back? The wheels maketh the car? Yup, that’s what I said, so let’s fast forward a few months…

November 2016:

Having spent an awful lot of time looking at this picture:

…well you can see where this is going…

By sheer chance, a customer of ours had a set of these wheels (Hirsch 19″ 6-Twins in Diamond Black) set aside and offered them to us in exchange for some parts he wanted for one of his cars. Having concluded that deal meant that these wheels would go up for sale on our shop, so after crunching some numbers, I decided to go for it.

Once they had arrived, it was time to go shopping for tires, again… This time I selected Nokian ZLine high performance summer tires.

Soon we were ready to rock’n’roll.

All that was left to do was fit them to the car…

(Photo credits to Mark McCourt of Hemmings Motor News)

The photos do not do the 19″ rims justice, but they have changed the whole personality of the car. Before with the silver finished 18″ 5-Twin wheels it was a very subtle, refined car. Now it borders on an unhinged monster. In short, I love it, though… I can’t help but feel like something is missing…

 

To be concluded.

 

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