Almost every car brand with even semi-sporty intentions offers fun little sport and track packages for their cars. However, they’re usually just marketing exercises to make young execs feel dangerous. Especially when they’re sold on less expensive, less powerful cars. Take the BMW M240i, for example. It’s an M Performance car, not a true M car, the sort of car that’s been mocked by BMW enthusiasts for its ‘M’ really standing for ‘marketing.’ However, despite it not being a proper M Division product, its Cooling and High Performance Tire package is no marketing gimmick. It actually works.
During Car and Driver’s recent Lightning Lap 2023 test, they brought the BMW M240i along, despite having tested it last year. The reason for that was because BMW now offers the aforementioned cooling and tire package, which it didn’t before. That packaging brings about a larger cooling fan, an additional oil cooler, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. The former two keep the engine running at optimum temperature, regardless of how many laps it runs. That means it never gets robbed of power from heat. While the latter helps it put its fastest possible time down, thanks to the added grip.
Aside from the cooling and tire package, Car and Driver’s 2023 test car was mechanically identical to the 2022 car. And yet, it put down a lap time around Virginia International Raceway (VIR) that was more than two seconds faster than the 2022 model. That’s a big difference, especially on a track like VIR. So that $2,400 package is likely well worth the money if you track your car often.
Admittedly, you could get very similar results for a lot cheaper, simply by getting aftermarket Michelin PS4S tires installed. The new package’s sticky Michelins were likely the main reason of the M240i being so much quicker. The additional cooling helped for future laps, too, as it prevented the engine from heat soak in the brutal heat.
Obviously, the BMW M240 didn’t win the competition, as there were Corvette’s and Lamborghinis running around all over VIR that day and the little M240i was outgunned. However, that’s not the point of the story. What’s important is that BMW offers an impressive upgrade for the M240i, one that actually makes a significant difference on track. Not only did the Cooling and High Performance Tire kit cut two seconds from its lap time at VIR but it will help prevent overheating in the future.