BMW offers M Performance Parts for 3- and 5-series

BMW opened up its M Performance Parts catalog to the new 3- and 5-series, the company said on Friday. The German automaker will offer chassis, brakes, aero upgrades and exhaust improvements for the 2012 3-series and the 2011-12 5-series. BMW revealed the line for its diesel cars in Europe in January, but those cars won't be coming here. Starting on the outside, a 20-inch forged-alloy wheel set is offered for the 3-series.The wheels reduce unsprung weight by 2.4 pounds per wheel.

BMW says it helps improve steering response and handling characteristics. A similar set is offered for the 5-series; both are two tone with high-gloss/low-gloss finishes and the BMW M logo. Moving inside the wheels, BMW offers a Brembo big brake kit with painted calipers. The upgrade consists of four-piston fronts and two-piston rear calipers with improved thermal resistance from cross-drilled, vented rotors. Colors include red, yellow and orange. For the exterior, BMW has high-gloss black kidney grilles. For the 3-series, it offers M Performance sport stripes printed on PVC film in black or white. Carbon-fiber mirror caps are available for the 5 and the 3, while a carbon-fiber spoiler is available for the 5-series only. The carbon motif extends to the inside of the M Performance equipment, including a shift knob and trim set. BMW also has an M Performance Alcantara steering wheel with a flat bottom and a red stripe at the 12 o'clock position. In June, a stainless-steel exhaust system will be offered for the 335i and 535i sedans. It has two chrome-plated exhaust tips with the BMW M logo. Now, none of these upgrades improve the performance of the car to a great degree, and they don't even get it close to full M status. But the upgrades would make your 3- or 5-series a bit more intimidating at the stoplight. Whether you decide to go for it on green is your decision.

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