For most automakers that have a high-line dedicated performance sub-brand, the marketing potential of that halo brand is not lost on the accessory division. As such, you can find a number of non-AMG Mercedes-Benz, non M BMWs, and and non-R Volkswagens running around with accessories and adornments bearing the hallowed logo of their performance brethren. BMW is perhaps the most masterful at leveraging the recognition and enthusiast fondness for the M brand, and just in time for the holidays, has released a new selection of parts and accessories for the 3 and 5 Series models.
Starting with the exterior gingerbread, the 3 Series is available with a BMW M Performance front splitter, rocker panel blades, rear spoiler in black or carbon fiber, rear diffuser, side stripes, and rocker panel decals. For those of you for buyer's remorse for not getting the M Sport Line originally on your 3, it's now available as a retrofit kit for the standard 3 Series.
The accessories for the 5 Series are predictably a little more restrained and understated, consisting of a performance rear diffuser and a carbon fiber front splitter. Like the 3 Series, the 5 also offers an M Sport retrofit package.
On the inside, stainless steel pedals and driver's footrest is available for the 3 Series, along with M Performance floor mats. The most interesting interior feature has to be the M Performance Steering Wheel. Featuring a flat-bottom rim and wrapped in Alcantara, and offers three driver-selectable display modes, EfficientDynamics, Sport and Race. The Race Mode is the most full-featured of the modes, featuring storage for up to 50 lap times, a drag-strip simulator with an LED light countdown, and logging of reaction, 60-ft, 330-ft, 1000-ft, 1/8-mile, ¼-mile times and trap speed.
To complement the trick steering wheel, a handbrake accent package is available with a carbon fiber handle and Alcantara boot.
The M Performance steering wheel for the 5 Series comes without the electronic features, but adds a red stripe at the 12 o'clock spot. The consolation prize for the 5 Series is a carbon fiber trim package that replaces the door handle pulls, center console, ashtray lid, cup holder lid, and dashboard insert with genuine carbon fiber. Stainless steel pedals are also available for both manual and automatic-transmission 5 Series models.
Finally, getting down to the hardware that really matters to enthusiasts, the M Performance suspension kit for the 3 Series offers new coil springs to lower ride height by a subtle 0.4 inches over the regular M Sport suspension, and by 0.8 over stock. To complement the suspension, 20-inch M Performance double-spoke forged alloy wheels are available. But what good are upgraded wheels with puny stock brakes? To remedy that situation, a high-performance Brembo brake system with 14.6-inch four-piston front and 13.6-inch two-piston discs are available. Buyers can choose between red, yellow or orange calipers with the BMW M logo. Finally, an M Performance exhaust is available for both the 328i and 335i.
For the 5 Series, a sport exhaust is available for the 535i, and the 5 Series also gets optional 20-inch M Performance wheels.
We weren't able to find prices on all the announced accessories, but we were able to find a few, to give you some idea of what your post-holiday credit card statement might look like.
- M Performance Electronic Steering Wheel: $1653
- Performance Suspension: $1579.94
- M Performance Exhaust: $1500-1695
- Carbon Fiber and Alcantara Interior Trim: $950