BMW Announces M Performance Parts Accessory Division; What Makes It Different?

Earlier today, BMW announced the arrival of BMW M Performance Parts, a new line of powertrain, suspension, aerodynamic, and cockpit components that will trade under the iconic “M” badging. The idea behind using M is to further reinforce the sub-brand’s appeal to performance enthusiasts, says BMW, although some will surely see this extension as a dilution of the iconic M name. Intended to enhance engine power, reduce weight and optimize aerodynamics for tangible increases in driving dynamics and performance, the first products are designed specifically for the 3- and 5-series sedans (and the five-door 1-series in Europe). Bits will include black kidney grills, M Performance exhaust systems, carbon-fiber front splitters, and an M Performance steering wheel.

Interesting news to be sure, but other than the addition of the letter M, what differentiates this new line from the current entity known simply as BMW Performance Parts? You know, the aftermarket division that’s happily been peddling components to BMW-wielding speed freaks for years?

We reached out to BMW for some answers; the company’s responses are below:

Is this change one being made in name only from BMW Performance Parts?
“No. BMW Performance Parts were designed without input from BMW M. These parts are still available for X5, X6, 135i, and the E9X 3-series. All future performance parts will be BMW M Performance Parts (with development input from BMW M).”

Why are parts currently available for just two models (the 3- and 5-series sedans in the U.S.) when the previous performance parts catalog is still on offer?
The 3- and 5-series are the first vehicles to benefit from performance parts developed with the input of BMW M. The previous parts are still available.”

Will an owner now be able to upgrade their vehicle to M levels of performance and styling in a piecemeal fashion by selecting parts from the new BMW M Performance Parts catalog?
No, these parts are not simply M3 parts being installed on a 3-series. They are parts that enhance . . . the BMW 3-series. For example, more than 80 percent of the parts in an M3 are unique to that car (and not shared with the regular production 3-series).”

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