BMW 2 Series M Performance
How to improve on what's an already pretty attractive sounding package in the BMW M235i? Well, one short of the off the shelf race car revealed last week, a plundering of the BMW M Performance parts catalogue sounds like a pretty good punt
BMW has confirmed its range of parts for the 2 Series, which includes all manner of Alcantara and/or carbon trim bits for the cabin and various aero additions for the body. Black grille trims, carbon details, M-badged side skirts, M Performance stripes and wheel options are all included but beyond this 'optical' tuning as our German friends call it there are more substantial mechanical ones too.
A power kit for the 220d adds another 16hp to give you 200hp in total and there's an M Performance suspension kit with recalibrated dampers, 20mm ride height drop and shorter (red painted!) springs and a 'high capacity' braking system with a choice of caliper colours too. The latter two are available across the 2 Series range but it's the parts for the M235i that'll be of most interest to the likes of us.
The sports exhaust produces a "striking, sports-style sound" which tickles our fancy more than the branded "tailpipe trim elements" in carbon or chrome. Best 'til last though - yes there'll be an official mechanical limited-slip differential upgrade too. BMW talks euphemistically of "traction optimised distribution of drive torque" and an ability to "accelerate out of a bend more dynamically" but we all know what that means in reality...
Next questions you'll be pondering are 'when', 'how much' and 'can I put the diff on a 1 Series?' A BMW UK spokesman was a little vague on all of the above, describing M Performance parts as "a grey area" and "if the diff fits and works" on the 1 Series he sees "no reason why not" it wouldn't be available. Pricing, fitting costs and availability on all models are according to dealer discretion so if you're looking to order an M235i for March onwards delivery and fancy the sound of some of the upgrades best start making eyes at them now.
Or you could just bypass that and go aftermarket, Birds offering an off the shelf Quaife differential for the 1 Series fully fitted for a smidge under two-grand. Stands to reason this would fit the 2 Series too if your BMW dealer seems a little non committal about plundering the darkest recesses of the official accessories catalogue there is an alternative.