I wanted to create an M Performance thread focused on the 8AT, since the existing reviews seem mostly 6MT centric. Looking forward to hearing from feedback from all you 8AT guys running an MPPK or MPPK + ___ , as well as sharing my experiences as I continue to learn more about this car. Hopefully this will help the community decide on whether or not the M Performance Power kit is the right tuning solution for them!
My vehicle: 2014 F30 335i M Sport with Sport Auto (M Performance Power Kit and M Performance Exhaust). Given that it's a MY14, it has launch control.
$1250 shipped from BMW of El Cajon via eBay. The second most competitive price I was able to find was $1350, with MSRP being $1500. If you order from these guys I'd recommend dealing with Allen. The rest of their crew was pretty rude when I called for status updates, which is why I now use Sterling exclusively for parts and accessories. If you're in the process of a build, definitely add the M Performance Power Kit as a port installed accessory! Invoice is a tad over $900 and installation is free. I didn't build my car, but had I it would have been a no-brainer.
$850 shipped from Chris
Heck at Sterling BMW in California. The MPE was a last minute addition, and I ordered 5 days before my MPPK was scheduled to be installed. I had already had my MPPK installation appointment and was concerned that the exhaust might not arrive in time. Chris literally shipped it 15 minutes after I ordered it and it arrived on time. Chris is now my go to guy for parts. He has consistently beat every other competitor price on a variety of BMW products, he responds to emails within a couple of hours, ships same day in most cases and sends me a tracking number without even having to ask for it.
BMW of Montgomery installed the MPPK and MPE for $125 out the door. They gave me a significant discount, and I can't say enough about how good my experience was there. Brand new location, so the service area was spotless. The service manager was great to work with, and he assigned me the "car guy" as my service advisor. Turns out my service advisor had the same car as me, along with the MPPK and MPE! I lucked out. They assigned my install to one of their master techs who actually came out to get me (he actually just waved me in through the giant viewing window as I was taking pics) prior to tightening up the exhaust to make sure I was completely happy with the fitment. After about 15 minutes of adjusting, I was happy with the fitment and he tightened everything up. I asked how long the software update would take and to my surprise it had already been completed while I was drinking coffee and chowing down the complimentary cookies! I was in and out with all paperwork completed inside of 2 hours. Really impressed with their service, and I highly recommend them as an enthusiast minded dealership.
III. DRIVING IMPRESSIONS
I've only driven my car maybe 300 miles since the 1200 mile break-in period so comparing the before and after is difficult. I've only had my 335i since January 24th, and coming from the 320i it was already night and day for me. My initial feeling was "surprise" at how smooth it was, and at first I wasn't satisfied. The jerkiness of the stock system conveyed speed, and while the car didn't feel any slower - it didn't feel as sporty. This all turned out to be a temporary fluke, or learning period. After about an hour of driving, the car suddenly woke up and became violently fast with a newly refined smoothness. Now that I've thought more about this, I can describe the power as coming on very early and smooth. Whereas before if you went half-throttle to full-throttle you'd feel a jolt of acceleration. After installing the MPPK there is so much more power applied early on, that half-throttle to full-throttle isn't as big of a jump. That's what I mean when I describe it as smooth. Acceleration from a stop is obviously faster which was to be expected, and if you go from no throttle to wide open throttle beware. You really need to secure loose items or they'll go flying from the front cabin to somewhere in the back. What I didn't expect is how hard it now pulls from 60 mph onward. You floor it at 60 mph, it downshifts to third and just pulls like it had gobs of power to spare. This car loves third gear. On a non-public road without a speed limit, I easily hit 100+ mph and it just kept pulling. My comfort level was reached a lot faster than the end of the 335i power band. It shifts lightning fast, burbles on downshifts, rumbles on upshifts and is an outright animal. It has the most satisfying roar at wide open throttle as if to say "This is why they call me
the Ultimate Driving Machine, don't you ever even consider
leaving me for an Audi or a Merc." The exhaust on startup is the perfect tone. I think it's loud enough as it is, especially for a sport sedan but I'm excited to hear it after the 1000 mile break-in. I'm glad I went w/ the MPE over the Borla. The MPE gives you the sound of performance while still sounding like a BMW. Other reviews that point to how it now sounds like it has "character" hit the nail on the head. I find myself driving in manual mode a lot more than usual, because at Comfort and Eco Pro the sound is largely unchanged from stock. I think this is a good thing, as the modes are even more definitive of how the car will drive and sound. [S]Another cool thing I wasn't expecting is that the Auto Start/Stop is now defaulted to OFF.[/S]Update: Auto Start/Stop only defaulted to off for the first two days, and has now returned to normal. I have no idea why it changed initially.
I don't have much to say about Comfort mode, as I will never intentionally use it. It doesn't yield the gas saving benefits of EcoPro, and doesn't offer the excitement of Sport. This mode is a compromise between the two, and compromise is never a good thing when it comes to Ultimate Driving Machines. Is the car still going to feel fast in this mode? Yes, of course. The newly added HP and TRQ are still there, but the throttle sensitivity is not. If you feel the need to use Comfort Mode because you want to drive conservatively, just use EcoPro.
Usually the only time I'm in EcoPro is when I'm hypermiling or when I'm driving in strict speed limited areas. In these situations, I accelerate and decelerate exclusively using cruise control. For the sake of the review, I did a short drive around town in EcoPro so I could give you guys some feedback. Compared to Sport, EcoPro is very tame. However, passing traffic and gaining speed isn't a difficult task - it's just not as fun. MPPK + EcoPro = no need for Comfort mode.
SHOULD YOU BUY THE M PERFORMANCE POWER KIT/M PERFORMANCE EXHAUST?
I would definitely recommend this setup if you can get a deal on the parts and the labor. It is expensive, and I do feel like BMW should have produced the car with the MPPK and MPE from the factory (At least the M-Sport anyway). I feel good knowing that the car is under BMW Warranty, and I like the fact that the parts were engineered by BMW. The M Performance parts have a fit and finish that aren't found in most third party solutions. I know that aftermarket solutions produce more power, but I'll never track the car and as it is I can rarely floor it without running into traffic or exceeding the speed limit.
IV. POWER KIT HIGHLIGHTS/BENEFITS
1. Horsepower increased to 335hp (35hp gain).
The only real way to measure this is to dyno it, so if I do get around to making a few runs I'll post the results here.
2. Torque is increased to 332 lb-ft
Again, no way to know for sure without a dyno. As far as the butt dyno is concerned, I don't know exactly what +32 ft/lb of torque feels like, but if you're looking to be pressed back against your seat you won't be disappointed.
3. Faster acceleration:
A. 0.2 seconds faster than the standard 335i model from 0 mph to 60 mph.
I used BMW's M Performance App to record a baseline prior to the MPPK installation. I then retested after the installation. The point of this test was not to measure an accurate 0-60 result, but rather to measure the change. So even if the app is inaccurate, if it is consistent
then the test results are still useful. Update: With slightly warmer conditions I was still able to beat BMWs advertisement. I had a feeling that their estimate was conservative. Both attempts were done using launch control in Sport+ using S in the M/S mode. If the numbers are accurate, it's .4s off from Motor Trend's
335i test. Not too shabby for an amateur. I'm anxious to get it on the track to see how close the app is.
B. 0.5 seconds faster than the standard 335i model from 50 mph to 75 mph.
Can't really measure this as I didn't measure a baseline, but like I mentioned power in this range feels just like taking off of the line.
4. More dynamic accelerator pedal calibration in Sport Mode.
It is enhanced in Sport Mode and response is slightly quicker, but it is not a night and day difference. More like a night in the city versus a night in the country difference. This is probably my biggest complaint about BMW not really coming through on what they advertise. Maybe it will continue to get better. There is still a huge delay in kick-down mode, which I guess is to be expected given that the transmission is usually shifting down 2-3 gears when it does kick down.
5. “Exhaust burble” sound during engine overrun conditions.
Oh most definitely! The burble occurs when you let off the accelerator or when downshifting. This is probably one of my favorite things about the MPPK, which pairs up nicely with the MPE. Even when driving an entire trip in EcoPro, right before I park I'll roll down my windows, kick it into Sport and burble my way into my parking spot.
6. Sport Display now shows increased power figures (400hp and 400 ft/lbs) to reflect increased performance.
7. Vehicles retain the original emission certification.
Mine did not come with a CARB sticker because it didn't change anything to require one. I believe this applies to the older power kits.
8. Vehicles maintain the original fuel efficiency ratings.
The most I've been able to get out of the vehicle stock was 31 MPG. Once the novelty of 24-7 Sport Mode wears off I'll retest to see if my MPG has remained the same. Lately, I've been averaging about 20 MPG. It's difficult to drive this car conservatively.
V. M PERFORMANCE EXHAUST
The exhaust is still breaking in, but it's already getting louder by the day. I was driving out of the gas station in EcoPro and I could hear it with the windows down. It's such a rich, refined tone - and it takes on many characters depending on how you're driving the car. But in all cases, you can hear the quality. My only complaint is an undertone of vibration/noise during cold starts (can only be heard while outside the vehicle). Cold starts, by the way - sound amazing and loud enough to turn someone's head in a parking lot. It gets you excited to drive.
This was taken through a really clean window from the customer waiting area. These techs have nothing to hide!
Master Tech Taylor didn't mind me snapping photos in the work area as we perfected the fitment of the exhaust. We even brought up some pics of the M Performance demo vehicles to judge it from different angles. I think he did a pretty good job.
Top down view of M Performance Exhaust. Goes great with the Carbon Fiber M License Plate Frame and Bimmian Emblems.