Concurrent with the unveiling of the G30 5 Series LCI (lifecycle impulse, or facelift), BMW has also announced a new array of M Performance Parts for the mainstay mid-size executive sedan. Over the past few years, BMW M Performance parts have drifted away from engine software and suspension systems to be more focused on aesthetics, lightweight parts made of carbon-fiber, wheels, and brakes. BMW still offers M performance suspension parts for cars like the M2 Competition, but for the rest of the fleet, the parts and modifications are less focused on substantially modifying the car for which they are intended.
BMW’s practice of throwing the entire M Performance Parts catalog at an Alpine (or Mineral) White example of their new model hasn’t changed with the 5 Series facelift, and might just be because of the excellent contrast the black and carbon-fiber parts create with the exterior. In addition to some of the more superfluous items, like the decals, low-hanging bits of carbon-fiber, and tinted light lenses, which some might just skip over completely, the new set of parts for the updated 5 Series still offers a number of more subtle pieces that can transform the look (and feel) of the car.
The first one on our list is the steering wheel. Overlooking the carbon fiber pieces used for trim and the paddle shifters behind it, BMW’s M Performance steering wheels are a great upgrade that you’ll get to touch and feel every time you drive your car. With a chunky rim and a combination of leather and alcantara, the latter of which is situated at grip positions, the upgraded steering wheel for the 5 Series facelift likely feels as good as it looks. There are various other M Performance Parts for the cabin, but none have a bigger impact than the steering wheel.
Although they’re not actually an M Performance Part, the new BMW Individual Air Performance wheels for the 5 Series are one of our favorite accessories. Why? Just look at them. BMW offers two different sets of M Performance wheels for the 5 Series LCI; you can choose between the rather busy looking style 732 multi-spoke design, or the orbit grey (more like black) set which have a habit of getting lost and blending in with the wheel wells and tires.
The Individual Air Performance wheels, on the other hand, use one of the best current BMW wheel designs (BBS Y-spoke) for weight savings, while the gaps formed where the spokes intersect with the rim are filled nearly flush. The idea is to minimize airflow disruption around the wheels, helping to decrease the amount of resistance (drag) the new 5 Series encounters as it travels.
BMW has also released photos of two different mufflers as well; one for the diesel models which won’t be sold in the U.S., and what is presumably an exhaust for gasoline models. Again, no details have been divulged, but we can see some familiar carbon-fiber tailpipe finishers, and if we had to guess, we’d say it’s probably for the six-cylinder B58-powered 540i.
There’s also a large braking system, but again, detailed specifications and model application(s) have not been released. Nevertheless, the dimpled rotors look sharp gripped by large M Performance calipers which bear the M logo. It’s the same color scheme that debuted with the G20 3 Series, which has been continued on cars like the M2 Competition and CS.
There are various other pieces, like carbon-fiber mirror caps, a trunk lid spoiler, side skirts, a splitter, and even an illuminated kidney grille. Whether or not the entire catalog is your cup of tea, we see a number of items, especially the BMW Individual Air Performance wheels, that look like they can enhance the newly updated 5 Series nicely.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]