Building on the success of BMW's M cars and M Sport models, BMW is launching BMW Performance, a new range of driving-oriented aftermarket accessories.
Designed to focus purely on the driving experience, the range of individual retrofit components includes upgrades to the engine, braking system, suspension and wheels, as well as interior and exterior enhancements, all for BMW 1- and 3-Series cars.
The BMW Performance products were showcased on the recent BMW 1-Series Concept tii concept car at the Tokyo Motorshow in 2007.
Rather than BMW Performance offering a complete car, as BMW M does, the company expects customers to mix-and-match the elements of the range that are most important to them.
The strength of BMW Performance is the depth of its engineering. To deliver improvements in engine performance, the owners of six-cylinder 1- and 3-Series models can specify a BMW Performance carbon fiber air intake system. This offers improved airflow to the engine. It also delivers a particularly sporting induction note for those who appreciate the unique sound of a BMW straight-six. Customers can also opt for the BMW Performance sports exhaust system that enhances gas flow from the engine to improve efficiency. It, too, is designed to improve the acoustic experience without compromising comfort on long-distance journeys.
A BMW Performance sports brake package for enhanced stopping power can be specified. Featuring 17" cross-drilled brake discs on the front axle, as well as motorsport-derived six-piston fixed calipers, finished in BMW Performance yellow, the package sharpens braking response as well as cutting braking distances.
Those drivers wanting to enhance the agility of their cars will select BMW Performance suspension. Delivering even better handling and driving dynamics than the `stock' car, the BMW Performance suspension package comprises recalibrated shock absorbers and coil springs. It also lowers the ride height of the car by 10mm to reduce the centre of gravity, thus delivering even more nimble handling. Cars equipped with BMW Performance suspension can be identified by their yellow coil springs. A BMW Performance carbon fiber front suspension strut brace adds torsional rigidity to the front of the car.
Finally, a unique BMW Performance alloy wheel is available. The double-spoke lightweight wheel is available measuring 18" or 19", depending on the model.
Exterior body styling is the most obvious visual definition of the BMW Performance range. Offering a unique package of aerodynamically-enhanced styling components for 1-Series, the kit comprises a new front spoiler with fully integrated black high-gloss kidney grille surround as well as sculpted and contoured side sills.
Model-specific exterior carbon fiber accessories are also available. BMW 1-Series owners can opt for carbon fiber door mirrors. Alternatively, 1- and 3-Series drivers can select the new BMW Performance carbon fiber rear spoiler or carbon rear diffuser to enhance the appearance of the car as well as the aerodynamics.
The BMW Performance philosophy reaches into the interior of the car too. Using motorsport technologies and design, BMW Performance sports seats are offered. With bucket seat contours and black Alcantara covering, these sports seats offer the highest levels of lateral support. To ensure continued driver and passenger safety, the car's side airbags are incorporated into the seat. The seats are available on all 1- and 3-Series models except the Convertibles.
The BMW Performance short-shift gear lever will appeal to those drivers who appreciate a particularly dynamic driving experience. The short shift gear lever shortens the gear lever travel by 25% to deliver the fastest gear change.
Taking its steer from the world of motorsport, the BMW Performance multi-function sports steering wheel provides information directly into the driver's line of sight. Thanks to a small LED display in the upper section of the wheel, the driver is kept abreast of information such as oil and coolant temperature, lateral and forward acceleration rates and ideal gear shift points. The multi-function buttons on the steering wheel enable the driver to scroll through the available information.
Finally, to complement the motorsport-derived interior equipment, owners can specify BMW Performance carbon fiber interior components. Weight-saving carbon fibre components for the dashboard, front and rear door panels and center console are available. Customers can also specify foot pedals and a footrest made from lightweight aluminum.
Prices for all components will be announced at a later date. BMW Performance will be available from European BMW dealers from April 2008 and all products will carry the comprehensive BMW warranty. We are currently trying to ascertain which parts, if any, will be coming to the US. Check the May 2008 issue of eurotuner Magazine for an update.