Aren’t parts bin upgrades the best? You know the type; grafting the V12 7 Series brakes onto a V8-powered example, or replacing all of the bushings and arms beneath a 1 Series with the E92 M3 counterparts. More currently, modern four cylinder BMW’s like a 228i or 330i can be equipped—from the factory, mind you—with the larger M Sport brakes that are typically reserved for the six cylinder cars, via opting for the Track Handling Package.
But since the E46, and significantly picking up pace with the E90 3 Series and then the F30 3 Series, there has been another, higher tier of potency available to owners of certain BMW models. First conceived as BMW Performance Parts and more recently rebranded as M Performance Parts, these refined and high-quality offerings have the ability to truly transform an otherwise pedestrian model into something that’s much more geared towards high-performance and spirited driving, while bringing with them a more individualized appearance as well. In the past, the special parts were typically announced later on in the production run, but as of late, they’ve been appearing closer and closer to their applicable model debut. This time, the all-new line was revealed almost concurrently with the main G20 3 Series unveiling, and there’s certainly a lot to talk about.
Starting with the exterior, no less than ten different parts and appearance treatments will be available within M Performance offerings. These items include the side graphics visible on the lower portions of the rockers, doors and front quarter panels, along with tinted tail lights that continue the same pattern on the rear end. The kidney grille, trunk lid spoiler and front splitter will be available in a choice of carbon fiber, gloss black or matte black finishes, and the latter will be sold in standard and pro versions. There are also carbon fiber mirror caps, and like the other parts made up of the same material, they are hand made. M Performance tailpipe finishers round things out, and their finish makes use of a highly corrosion resistant combination of titanium and carbon fiber with a distinct appearance.
Three different sets of wheels will also be joining the parts catalog, with a total of four designs in two sizes. The eighteen-inch style 796M double-spoke light alloy version will come finished in matte black, and are said to be suitable for both summer and winter use. Stepping up to the twenty-inch size, forged cross-spoke style 794M wheels will wear a bicolor finish that is burnished in a jet black theme. Those who’ve been paying attention to recent Competition-suffix models and previous M Performance parts offerings are no stranger to BMW’s recent devotion to Y-spoke wheel designs, which have appeared on the M5 Competition, in M2 Competition M Performance Parts line and on the M2 Competition M Performance Parts Concept. The collection of parts for the new G20 3 Series will also contain a set of forged Y-spoke wheels, this time taking the form of the style 795M items which are worn by this car. The design actually uses what look like two individual y-spoke layouts integrated together, and they’ll come finished in either a bicolor scheme using matte ferric grey and a gloss that is achieved using a lathe, or simple matte black.
In our full rundown of the G20 3 Series, we discussed how the standard models used a set of unfinished brake calipers all around, while M Sport brakes add the familiar blue calipers many of us have become used to seeing over the past generation of BMW models. M Performance brakes, finished in a recognizable red color just like those available for the M2 Competition are another improvement. Detailed numbers aren’t available yet, but the setup is significantly larger than the stock M Sport counterpart. BMW also says it offers higher thermal resistance, or a higher threshold to fading in more general terms, while some other highlights include perforated and grooved rotors which are bound by aluminum four-piston calipers.
BMW has also thought about those who will be reserving a set of the aforementioned wheels for track or autocross use, and is offering a set of M Performance tire bags which help keep both the wheels and the car interior clean, along with providing markings for mounting positions. A few of us are already hip to this game, and own a set of admittedly less attractive but just as functional BMW Tire Totes, part number 36110397168. The writer of this article happens to keep some handy, and can confirm that they come as a set with two in a box.
Moving inside, owners will soon have a number of distinctive items that change the visual and tactile nature of the cabin quite nicely available for purchase. There’s an M Performance steering wheel which features distinctive grip areas, large thumb rests and a red stripe at twelve o’clock, along with a rim that’s partially wrapped in Alcantara with silver-grey, hand-sewn cross pattern stitching. Carbon fiber shift paddles can also be added if the vehicle is equipped with the sport automatic transmission, while an additional trim panel made of carbon fiber but with an Alcantara insert can be fitted to the steering wheel—check out the full setup below.
BMW didn’t forget trim either, and is continuing the current trend of an open-pore carbon fiber structure serving as the design. M Performance floor mats tie things together, and feature an M flag along with simulated leather edge surrounds with contrasting stitching used for the seam. For egress and ingress, M Performance or M-themed LED door projectors can be fitted to replace the standard greeting display. Another ancillary item is the M Performance key wallet, which uses more carbon fiber and Alcantara, along with construction that necessitates the fob being screwed in place for true protection.
And finally, the M Performance drive analyzer and camera mounting setup that’s been available for some time now will be continued as well. These items, which have wide-ranging compatibility which stretches back to BMW’s such as the E82 1 Series include an OBD module that interfaces with a smartphone app for logging of various metrics from the engine and car itself. GPS is used, and the module can be set up to record video via a smartphone with a corresponding overlay added to the file. There are also handy mounts for action cameras like the GoPro. These mount come in the form of a simple metal rod that screws into the tow hook receiver ports, or another than can work with the travel and comfort system which fixes to the head rest pins for an in-cockpit perspective.
The new 3 Series hasn’t even gone on sale yet, but BMW has already released an array of parts and other bits which seem like they can effectively transform any variant. Throw the entire catalog at an M Sport Line example like the one captured here, and you might have a decent indication of what the next-gen M3 could look like, which will also be getting its own specific line of even more enticing M Performance parts.—Alex Tock.
[Images courtesy of BMW AG.]