Andrew Attalla’s LS-Swapped E46 BMW Drift Car

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All throughout his childhood, Andrew Attalla’s father was into cars, but it wasn’t until he attended his very first drift event, and got a glimpse of the drift community and all the excitement, that he realized cars would be a way of life for him from now on, and that’s what eventually got him completely hooked.

How It All Started

It was back in 2009 when Andrew had his first ride inside a drift car at Dai’s Driving Academy.  Just a few years later, he bought his very first 240sx, determined to learn how to drift. “I guess it kind of sucked me in, and I don’t think I’m getting out of it anytime soon,” Andrew said. Ever since that day, he has been chasing his dream of becoming a professional driver–and now, he is well on his way to achieving it.

We were searching around for the newest LSX-related news and just happened to stumble across Andrew’s current car on The Smoking Tire’s Youtube channel. Matt Farah recently did a video review on it which left him “ooh’ing” and “awe’ing”; so, wanting more insight on his build, we searched for Andrew’s contact information and decided to reach out to him. Being the friendly guy he is, he offered to bring his car out to our facility in Murrieta, CA all the way from his hometown of Los Angeles so we could check it out, take some photos, and experience it for ourselves first-hand.


We couldn’t do any drifting on the public roads– a rolling shot will have to do.

Andrew is pretty much a full-time college student slash race car driver slash drifter slash badass. He had big plans for his old 240–yes, we’re talking about an LS swap. But, he found this E46 on Craigslist in 2014 and really liked it, but didn’t have money at the time to purchase it cash. Four months passed, and the owner of the E46 called Andrew and let him know that he still had the car. “I was like seriously, still?!” said Andrew. “My mom always says ‘If it’s meant to be, it will work out, and it will happen’ and that’s all I could think when I got that call– it must be meant to be.”

So, after checking it out and haggling for hours, he purchased it with a blown motor for a mere $2,300. “Little did the owner know, I didn’t really care about the motor because I already had the LS just sitting in my garage and already knew this was going to be a race car.” Andrew went straight home to return all the parts he had just purchased for the 240’s swap and, two days after picking the beamer up, the teardown process began and the LS1 swap project was officially underway.

The Beginning

Knowing this was going to be a time and money consuming project, Andrew started by calling up local shops and sending out sponsorship proposals. After dozens of denials and over-priced labor quotes, he started the project himself, stripping the car down to the bare chassis and fabricating the majority of the custom parts that were needed. “I took my time to make sure everything that went into the car was of the highest quality,” Andrew said. “This wasn’t something I wanted to rush.”

A couple months into the process, with school work piling up, he decided to, again, reach out to some shops and friends for help. He claims the car is now a collaboration piece with help from multiple friends, DR Concept, and many other companies. Andrew actually ended up purchasing a totaled M3, taking all the body parts off of it, and transferring everything over that he could. So, yes, this thing is the perfect combination of three cars- a 330Ci, a E46 M3, and a Camaro.


The Build

The LS1 was officially dropped into this completely stock car on March 24, and brought it from technically 0 horsepower to a whopping 410 horsepower, after all the mods of course. It now sports CX Racing headers, a CX y-pipe, a CSF radiator, a CSF oil cooler, a Tennessee clutch, a Aeromotive A1000 6 gallon fuel cell, a custom 3-inch straight pipe exhaust, and an Isky Racing custom ground cam with 233 degrees of duration, .595 lift on the intake and 243 degrees of duration, .610 lift exhaust, with a split lobe separation and advanced timing.

Close-ups of Andrew's ESM wheels, rear overfenders, and some of his stickers from his sponsors.

As it sits now, the exterior features an M3 hood, a CSL front bumper with carbon fiber splitters, custom-made M3 overfenders in the rear, a custom livery by Fuzion Teknique, and 18×9.5/18×10.5 ESM-017 wheels with Achilles tires. It sits on Feal 441 coilovers with 9k Swift springs in the front and 4k Swift springs with a true coilover conversion in the rear. Massive Brakes dual caliper brackets hold Brembo brakes in the front and Wildwood brakes in the rear. An M3 rear differential, crash bars, SLP control arms, and a SLR super angle kit make for the perfect drift machine with with up to 70 degrees of angle.


Sit in the Bride bucket seats and buckle yourself into the HPI harnesses and you’ll see the Racepak dash, S2R carbon fiber cluster delete, S1 Motorsports hydraulic handbrake, GS Werks custom roll cage, S1 Motorsports switch panel, and the NRG hub/quick release combo that holds the classic Sparco steering wheel.

I spent 2 years and every dollar I had to build this car exactly the way I wanted it and I love everything about it. – Andrew Attalla

Andrew’s visit to Power Automedia consisted of the usual “car talk,” a quick little tour of our facility, an interview, and photos–lots and lots of photos.

“I spent two years and every dollar I had to build this car exactly the way I wanted it and I love everything about it,” Andrew said. He claims this car will never be finished and that his main sponsor, CX Racing, is throwing a turbo on the car in the next month or so, and offered to bring this monster back after the upgrade. We happily obliged.


The E46 in action.

Photo gallery


About the author

Jenna Schiebe

Jenna’s passion for cars began at the age of 16 during the process of purchasing her first vehicle. Soon after being introduced to modifications and the car scene by her brother, she became addicted to all things automotive. With a special interest in Japanese vehicles, Jenna has recently taken an interest in euros, as she is eager to learn the ins and outs of all vehicles over time.
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