The envy of the automotive business, BMW offers one of the most comprehensive aftersales accessory range of any OE manufacturer. While many might have wheels or floor mats, the M Performance Parts catalog includes everything from body kits to wheels, suspension, brakes, interior pieces to exhaust, with software tuning on the way.
We don’t need to tell you good news about this: not only do you get to hold onto your oh-so-important factory warranty while bringing your plain-Jane F30 closer to OEM-plus show-car status, but the quality of the parts is better than almost anything else on the market.
In the past, we’ve fitted M Performance Parts to a BMW 135i and E90 M3. Each time we were wowed by the perfect fit and can confirm everything is put together with the utmost care. Perhaps the only downside is the price, but you don’t need us to remind you that you get what you pay for…
Following the introduction of the latest F30 3 Series sedan, BMW North America announced the release of all-new M Performance Parts for this car. Select items fit both 328i and 335i, and we had exclusive access to the first outfitted F30 to capture these photos.
It’s worth noting that several of the exterior pieces are intended for cars fitted with the optional M Sport body panels, so these won’t fit any of the early 3 Series in the US. As a result, some parts aren’t available here yet, but expect them later this year. However, that still leaves a large number of tasty parts for your car.
Previously known simply as BMW Performance Parts, the new M Performance title indicates everything was developed in conjunction with BMW M GmbH. And you can see the difference – the body styling is more aggressive, it sees the introduction of matte carbon pieces and several new finishes among the other highlights.
We had a chance to sit down with Eric Riehle, Product Manager - Performance and Motorsports Parts at BMWNA, to get an idea of BMWs approach to individualization, and where it’s going.
EC: How successful have BMW M Performance Parts been?
ER: We’re very pleased with the success thus far. When we started in 2008, hardly anybody knew we even offered factory-backed performance mods. It took a few years to establish ourselves, but the popularity of the product line has grown tremendously. Our catalog of performance parts increases every year and we offer products for many new BMWs, including M models.
What feedback have you received from consumers and enthusiasts?
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We’re known for offering innovative, premium products and there’s an appreciation that customers have for performance parts developed and tested by the same BMW engineers who designed their vehicle. Customers also like that they receive added residual value on their lease if they have certain Performance Parts installed. This is a huge benefit considering some parts can decrease the value of the vehicle.
Do you anticipate popularity for the F30 parts?
I think this will be the most popular line yet. The new 3 Series is a great looking car that performs really well, but adding M Performance Parts transforms the vehicle. These parts are particularly aggressive in design and considerably enhance the driving experience.
What were BMW’s goals in creating these factory-approved mods?
Our goal was to fill the void between original factory equipment and aftermarket performance parts. Customers had asked for performance parts that were covered under warranty and meet the same quality standards, and BMW M Performance Parts are the direct result of this.
Do you ever see ECU software and power-adders being made available in the us?
Absolutely. We’ll offer a Power Kit (ECU recalibration) for 335i models in early 2013. I don’t have all the details about other components it will contain as yet, but you can expect the increase to be similar to what we currently provide for the 135i and (E9X) 335i models (20hp/32 lb-ft). We’ll also offer an M Performance suspension kit for the 335i, which I’m really excited about because the chassis engineers have spent countless hours developing it on German racetracks. This new kit will significantly enhance the handling while maintaining a balance between street and track compatibility.
With the front spoilers, side skirts and rear diffuser unavailable at present, F30 owners can customize their cars with gloss carbon-fiber mirror caps as well as gloss black kidney grilles. There’s also a carbon trunk spoiler arriving later in the year. Although minimal, you’d be surprised at what a difference these parts could make to your car. The mirrors and grilles are a straightforward DIY fitting.
If you’re feeling really bold, the broad M Performance stripes are available in either white or black to make your car stand out.
Measuring 20x8" on the front and 20x8.5" rear, the ten-spoke M Performance wheels certainly fill the arches, having ET36 and 47 offset respectively. The lightweight forged wheels carry the M logo and have grey spokes with machined faces. The wheels are then clearcoated for durability and won’t rub when used with stock suspension.
The wheels were designed for 225/35 front and 255/30 Pirelli run-flat tires. You’re able to buy them as a complete set with mounted tires, or as individual wheels.
There’s also an M Performance Big Brake kit for 18" wheels or larger. It uses a four-piston Brembo front caliper and two-piston rear, available either in red, yellow or orange with the M Logo included. The rotors are both drilled and grooved, mounted to a riveted aluminium hat and measure 3670mm front, 345mm rear. Those rear discs must be ordered separately for some reason, but it still adds up to a competitive price for a full BBK, especially with factory warranty on these high-performance parts.
A future addition will be an M Performance suspension kit. This wasn’t fitted to the car in our photos, which is why it appears to teeter. We used a similar BMW Performance suspension kit on our 135i and it offered a slightly lowered ride height with firmer settings but a good ride.
Our favourite additions to previous project cars have been the M Performance interior pieces. In the past, these were all carbon fiber, but the new F30 kit includes some alcantara pieces for greater luxury. It replaces all four door handles with silk matte-lacquered carbon fiber, which also appears on the dash trim to replace the Sport strip, while alcantara is used on the main dash trim piece.
Cars with manual transmissions can be equipped with a matte carbon shifter and alcantara boot, while automatic versions get a carbon gear selctor.
Finally, there’s the M Performance steering wheel, covered in alcantara, with a red centering stripe and flat-bottom. The wheel in our photos displays data such as fuel efficiency, water and oil temp, stopwatch, lap and sector times as well as g-force in a LCD display, while the LED lights suggest shift points and rev limits. This wheel should also be available at a later date.
With the promise of an ECU software upgrade to come, 335i owners can currently enjoy a BMW-approved sports exhaust system.
Manufactured from stainless steel with chrome tailpipes, BMW doesn’t claim any power increase but you’ll certainly like the sound of this addition in our experience.
|black kidney grille - left||$65|
|black kidney grille - right||$65|
|carbon fiber mirror cap - left||$325|
|carbon fiber mirror cap - right||$325|
|sport stripes - black||$250|
|sport stripes - white||$250|
|20" 405M wheels with tires - complete set||$4750|
|20" 405M wheels one wheel, front axle||$725|
|20" 405M wheels one wheel, rear axle||$775|
|rear brake discs||$200|
|carbon fiber and alcantara interior trim kit||$950|
|carbon fiber gear shift knob with alcantara boot||$225|