Gear: Redesigned BMW E30 Door Handles Are Our Kind Of Overkill

Redesigned BMW E30 Door Handles Are Our Kind Of Overkill

By Michael Banovsky
September 27, 2016

It’s not something you necessarily consider when modifying a vehicle to your taste, but it’s the first thing you touch before driving—so why not install a more beautiful door handle on your car? A company by the name of Ästhetik thought the same, and came up with a design for any BMW E30 that, surely, must be the right kind of overkill.

After reverse-engineering the original BMW part, designers Dmitriy Orlov and Nick Caron sought to  honor the ethos that “everything is important” with their reimagined component. Three-dimensional prints were made, CNC machining was used, and the distinctive M Motorsport-inspired halftone pattern on its face was a “random idea,” but one that “relayed the idea clearly” of getting into the car, Orlov writes.

“The handle itself is machined from 6061-T6 aluminum and then hard coat anodized. It then goes back into the mill for the pattern (a 45deg chamfer endmill pecks the surface, creating small cone shapes in the metal),” he says. “The part is then laser engraved with brand and part number.”

It’s a project that’s very much—as Orlov admits—a wait-and-see proposition, but Ästhetik’s approach isn’t going anywhere. “We agreed that if it barely gets any traction, we will continue to do more and see how it goes,” he said.

I’m excited to see what’s next, and if car owners are soon able to fit more substantial, well-designed aftermarket components to their classics. What do you think of these reimagined handles for the E30…and what should be next?

H/T to Ästhetik


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Gábor Ugron
Gábor Ugron(@gabor-ugron)
5 years ago

I will probably get some hate for this but I don’t like these at all. I get that it’s a quality product with a lot of thought put into it, but – even after reading the article – it strikes me as a cheap aftermarket part. I mean why on earth would you want an M logo on your door handles? (Especially on a car that has probably nothing to do with the M division in the first place.) You know when people fill their interiors with cheap aftermarket junk that has an M logo on it? Carpets, gear lever, handbrake, seat covers, the lot. Even those little door lock knob thingies. That’s what this door handle reminds me of. It’s pointless and distasteful. At least it’s expensive though.

Pedro Macedo
Pedro Macedo(@linkerman)
5 years ago

Damn, they look really cool. If they weren’t so expensive I’d get a set for my sedan right away.

Geoff Danielson
Geoff Danielson(@geoff-danielson)
5 years ago

Even with the hard anodization, I’d be reluctant to sit aluminum next to steel.

Galvanic corrosion is nothing to trifle with.

Blair Winter
Blair Winter(@blair-winter)
5 years ago

The OEM part is also made from aluminum…

Christian Bouchez
Christian Bouchez(@bouchezphotography)
5 years ago

It looks great – I’ll be getting a set for my E30 Touring