Rare classics, supercars, mentalist modified creations and out-and-out show cars, we detail them all on a daily basis here at Auto Finesse. Perhaps that's what we're best known for. The truth of the matter though is that the humble daily driver is actually the bread and butter of what we do.
You see, not only do we love getting the best from cars that are used and abused on the regular, but there's nothing that beats a car that offers plenty of practicality without any of the stress. Everyday ease of use is key, and you just don't get that with a bagged Lambo or super stiff track day hero. They're normally more of a challenge to transform than any pampered show car, too. And we like that.
So, whether you're looking to Spring clean your daily, add the hardiest ceramic protection or even prepare your daily driver for winter, we've got you covered with the detailing products and the detailing guides you need to take any beater to the next level.
But, what about us? Well, it goes without saying that we covet our own daily drivers here at AF. And that's because, let's face it, you can't really hop into a 1954 Chevy Pickup, 900hp Liberty Walk kitted S15 or Pandem GR Yaris to get to work every day, can you? Well, actually we could, even our most insane AF Project Cars are road legal, but we quite like the thought of holding on to our licences. Points don't necessarily mean prizes.
Anyway, as you can imagine there's plenty of different daily drivers on the staff fleet, you may even see them pop up in our guides from time to time. We have everything from BMW X5s to TTs and Fiesta STs rolling in and out of the AF Factory and Detailing Academy every single day… and that's without all the AF load luggers and detailing vans.
But, despite all this, it has to be said that the all-time king of the daily driver has to be our James. As the boss of all things Auto Finesse he has been known to roll up in the odd posh daily from time to time. In the last couple of years, we've seen quite a few including a tuned Golf R, bagged RS4 Avant and the big, bad Revere X-Type pickup that performs the showtime towing duties for our AirStream Pop Up Store.
But there's one small problem, it's show season right now so with the truck being utilised just about every weekend, a new "practical' daily driver was clearly in order for 2023. And, as often happens here at AF, that soon transformed into the search for the ultimate example. But why not? Just because a day-to-day workhorse is needed, doesn't mean that it has to be a donkey, right? And there's no doubt that this new addition to the AF fleet is a full-on thoroughbred…
Yeah OK, we've all seen a 3-series Touring before, and we don't have to preach the merits of estate cars when it comes to day-to-day practicality. Normal cars with a big chasm at the back that you can fill with anything - the family dog, the weekly shop, or perhaps a pallet load of the world's finest detailing products. But what makes this particular wagon so special that it constitutes the ultimate daily driver? Well, for a start it's the G81 is the very first M3 Touring every produced by BMW.
The truth is that, being a true blue fan of the M-Badge, James has had his name down for one of these since the car was announced. It's easy to see why - the G81 M3 Competition Touring xDrive is a bona fide hyper wagon. And, as there's already a BMW M2 Competition on the fleet that's fully set up for any track work that may come about, it doesn't stretch the imagination too much to realise why its big brother - this all-wheel-drive monster - has been selected for daily driving duties. That's just how it works, right?
That's not to say that the G81 wagon wouldn't absolutely annihilate any circuit out there, too. The spec is immense. With a turbocharged 6-cylinder kicking out 510bhp it gets to the magical 62mph in around 3.5 seconds, you get supercar stats packed into what - if you squint a bit - could be mistaken as a family workhorse.
And then of course, there's the torque - all 480 ft/lbs (650Nm) of it! What we've got here is the sort of sheer grunt that doesn't so much launch the car down the road - this BMW simply sits in the same place and pushes the planet around underneath it.
In the same vein as the M3, it's also quite the looker. Wide arches, massive wheels, brakes the size of small planets, it's got the lot. And that's just on the outside.
What's the other crucial requirement for the ultimate daily? Well, it's got to be a nice place to park your backside, hasn't it? And we have to say there really is no better. This one is nothing short of spectacular.
Carbon backed seats, acres of leather and a huge central screen that wouldn't look out of place in the Currys TV Section are just a few of the highlights. In a way you could say that the inside is even nicer than the exterior, and that's pretty handy because that's exactly where we'd all be more than happy to spend all of our time.
Of course, even though the G81 M3 Competition Touring may be the ultimate driving machine straight out of the box, there's ultimate and there's AF ultimate. In other words, the standard wagon is a thoroughly awesome bit of kit, but you'll may have noticed that this one isn't quite what you'd call standard. In true Auto Finesse style, it stayed stock for about the time it took James to drive it home from the dealer.
Instead, this uber estate was dropped straight to BMW tuners, R44 Performance, to upgrade the finer details even further… or more specifically to be fitted out with more carbon than your average diamond mine!
Grilles, splitters, vents, interior parts, diffusers - you name it - if it can actually be swapped for the highest quality carbon weave it has been. In fact, we think we're correct in saying that we've got the entire R44 catalogue here… and we wouldn't expect anything less.
Naturally, while it was with the specialists, our G81 it was also given the essential altitude adjustment courtesy of a set of hot-off-the-press KW V4 coilovers. These kits have only been available for about 3 minutes, but they certainly enhance the handling, not to mention complete the overall look.
The last part of the puzzle was a MST Performance intake kit and full Milltek exhaust, because what could possibly be better than having 510 ponies under your right foot? That's right, having just a few more.
So, that's how our ultimate daily stands for the moment and it's just gone into service for full daily duties. What's more, short of James landing at the factory in a helicopter next week (which wouldn't even surprise us that much), we're pretty sure that this one's going to be a keeper.
But, even so, we can't see it staying quite this way forever, either. There's no doubt that more upgrades will turning up pretty soon, it's almost a given. After all, the G81 M3 Competition Touring may be the ultimate daily driver, but when it comes to modifying, that's merely the beginning of the story….