BMW has a loyal following of tuners. People love to get their hands on BMWs and tinker with them. Making them faster, louder, look cooler and handle better. There is an endless amount of aftermarket parts available for owners to use to improve their BMWs. Not that Bimmers need much improvement, but some owners like the added customization, so it would be an improvement in their eyes.
The most common and popular customizations are probably exhaust and suspension upgrades. These are the most common due to their relative ease. No one feels like cracking open an engine and upgrading the camshafts. People do that kind of thing too, but it’s few and far between. There are easier engine modifications, intakes, intercoolers, chips, but I’d say that suspension and exhaust are the most common.
Some of these modifications can add nice improvements over the stock cars. A good exhaust can make a good sounding car sound great. And for cars with somewhat toned down exhaust notes, like the F80 M3, an exhaust upgrade can go a long way toward making the car sound like it should. Sports cars should sound powerful and exotic, so sometimes an aftermarket exhaust is necessary to get the sound an owner is looking for. Though, this can get tricky, as some aftermarket exhaust systems can make a good sounding car sound terrible. So it takes some time and effort to choose the right one.
Suspension upgrades and probably the most substantial, as they have a serious effect on how the way the car looks, rides and handles. But again, one must be careful in choosing a suspension upgrade, or they can make the car handle worse. BMWs are already great handling cars, so getting a cheap suspension setup can ruin the car. But getting a quality one, like Bilstein’s adjustable PSS10, can make significant improvements in both handling and looks. Quality setups like these are expensive, but worth it.
This is the extent of the modification that I’m comfortable with, as I like my cars as stock as possible. The way I look at it is, BMW is far better at designing and building a car than I, or anyone else I know, so I should leave it the way it is. But I’ll admit, it is fun to customize the car and make it my own. But suspension and exhaust upgrades are the farthest I’ll go. I don’t want to mess around with engine chips or tunes, as I feel that they’re just headaches waiting to happen. But other people do use them and have awesome results, so who am I to judge.
There is so much more. There are millions of ways to customize and modify your BMW. These are just a few. BMWs are fun cars to tune, because they are such good cars already. I’m currently making some decisions on what I should do to my aging E36, and it’s a fun process. So what kind of modifications have you done or would like to do in the future?