While the recent announcement of new M Performance Parts for the 2012 BMW 3 Series and the 2011-2012 BMW 5 Series pertain to both vehicles; the new 3 Series gets the majority of the attention in this list of new performance components.
First of all, the BMW M Performance division has added a new set of forged 20” aluminum wheels that are constructed using a special forging process that allows these slender spoke wheels to weigh 2.4 pounds less than a similar wheel using a standard construction. Lighter wheels allow for more power to the ground, improved acceleration and improving handling with less weight at each corner. The new M wheels for the 2012 3 Series and 2011-2012 5 Series feature an alternating color design with high gloss black and “Ferric grey” paint so a striking, sporty look. These new wheels, which are available for both the 3 and 5 Series sedans, are the largest wheel and tire combination officially approved by BMW.
Next, the M Performance group has added a new Brembo big brake package for the 2012 BMW 3 Series and the 2011-2012 BMW 5 Series sedans. This package adds 4-piston calipers up front with lightweight cross drilled / slotted brake rotors measuring 14.5 inches while the back stoppers feature 2-piston calipers and 13.5” drilled /slotted rotors – all of which are clamped down on by high friction brake pads. Those who opt for the new M Performance Brembo brake package can select from red, yellow or orange calipers for an extra measure of customization.
There are a variety of exterior dress-up items available for the 2012 BMW 3 Series and 2011-2012 BMW 5 Series thanks to the M Performance division. This begins with a set of high gloss kidney grille inserts and carbon fiber mirror caps for both German sport sedans. 2012 3 Series owners can also add a set of PVC film stripes (shown in the image on the right) that is offset to the passenger side – available in either black or white. Owners of the 2011 and 2012 BMW 5 Series sedan can now add an M Performance designed carbon fiber deck lid spoiler; adding to the attitude and aerodynamics of the 5 Series sedan.
Inside, the new M Performance division items include a new trim package that adds lots of carbon fiber and Alcantara trim throughout. The carbon fiber trim features an open pore matte finish, proving a nice contrast to the high gloss trim typically found in the standard 2012 BMW 3 Series that includes trim on the dash and the shift knob; whether it is a manual or automatic transmission. The new 3 Series sedan also offers a new race inspired steering wheel with a flat bottom, angled sides and integrated grips along the top – all of which are trimmed in black Alcantara. There is also a red stripe in the top-middle of the M steering wheel for a point of reference while driving.
Finally, the BMW M Performance group has developed a new high performance stainless steel exhaust system for the 2012 335i and 535i. The announcement explains that this high flow exhaust system improves the sound of the twin turbocharged inline 6 cylinder engine while also reducing backpressure. This typically adds some power as well but BMW hasn’t quoted any power gains from the new M exhaust system. Out back, the new M exhaust system for the 335 and 535 feature 80mm exhaust tips with laser etched BMW logos so the system is noticeable even when the engine isn’t running.