A few months back, we put together a list of the most $$$ mods for the M2 Competition. Today, we’re following that list up with another for BMW’s original S55-equipped M’s—the M3 / M4. Now that the F8X platform is winding down in production, it’s a good a time as any to examine what makes BMW’s quintessential M car shine. It's made such an impression on the aftermarket community that even still, there are parts in the queue from some of our favorite manufacturers. Let's take a look at the list:
We started off our M2C list with a GTS style hood for good reason—the GTS hood is one of the best and most noticeable features of the M4 GTS. It provides an air exit path similar to the Porsche GT3 to create more downforce at the front of the car at speed, but even sitting still, the way it transforms the look of the car is worth every penny.
What it Does: The M3 / M4 GTS hood is an OEM piece through and through. As such, it is a direct replacement for the OEM panel and, thanks to its carbon construction, manages to shave valuable weight and extract hot air from the engine bay in addition to its downforce benefit.
Defining Features: The GTS hood is defined by more muscular, hard-nosed shape and features a center-exit air pathway as previously mentioned. Pop the hood and you’re greeted by a face full of glorious carbon fiber weave which is lain in a very unique pattern—a dead giveaway for being a true OEM piece.
We live in an age where carbon fiber is king. 3D Design has gone the extra mile with the F8X M3 / M4 and produced not only their usual aero package, but also more aggressive full bumper carbon replacements that truly transform the look of the M3 / M4 into a total animal.
What it Does: The plastic front and rear bumpers are ditched in favor of dry CFRP replacements to save weight and add an incredible presence to your M3 / M4.
Defining Features: While both the front and rear mimic the OEM units up top, the lower portions brings out a much more intimidating aesthetic. Up front, a full-length lip has been integrated into the bumper. The adjoining bumper sections have been massaged ever-so slightly to mate up with the more aggressive profile. Out back, a flared out “air curtain”, revised bumper lines, and an integrated diffuser makes the car appear significantly wider even though the bumper retains OEM proportions.
When it comes to brakes, there’s only one name that has make itself synonymous with the absolute best: Brembo. The GT-R kit sits at the throne of their vast product range, offering professional, motorsport-grade build quality and performance with no expense spared.
What it Does: The M3 / M4 is by no means a featherweight, so the OEM brakes definitely have their work cut out for them at the limit. The GT-R monobloc calipers are beautifully machined out of a single block of billet aluminum and, paired with the 2-piece rotors of choice (we love the Type III disc pattern for all-around use) shed perceivable weight. Brembo themselves deem this kit the “most advanced expression of all Brembo’s experience in braking system design”.
Defining Features: The GT-R kit features an exclusive nickel-plated finish with the red Brembo logo inset CNC machined into it, which sets it apart visually from the rest of the Brembo lineup. Underneath the skin, the GT-R pistons contain stainless steel radiators that aid heat dissipation to guard against premature pad / rotor wear during aggressive and sustained track use. Did we mention that the front rotors measure 405mm? Sign us up!
KW’s achievements in suspension design has made them one of the most popular choices for any BMW platform, offering up a delicate balance between exceptional handling and comfortable ride quality. Touting a true 7-post suspension test rig (one of only fifteen facilities in the world with this equipment), KW is able to introduce true Formula 1-level technology to the masses and has helped propel them to victory in several professional motorsport series.
What it Does: KW’s 3-Way Clubsport combines their high-end racing technology with maintenance-free KW OEM quality components—this is the kit that is specifically designed to help realize the full potential of the M3 / M4’s chassis at the limit.
Defining Features: The Clubsport line includes adjustable top mounts, distinctive linear springs, and external reservoirs to help extract maximum performance. In addition to independent rebound, the 3-way kit boasts highand low speed compression adjustability for ultimate fine tuning.
The FI-R was spawned as a bold statement to the burgeoning wheel industry at large—it aptly reminded everyone who BBS has always been: the king of the hill. Since their founding in 1970, BBS has been aimed at extracting maximum performance on the racetrack, and soon after, the street as well. Indeed, performance and integrated technology have become cornerstones of BBS’s philosophy, so much so that their motto has fittingly become “Technology through Motorsports”.
What it Does: In any finish or size, the FI-R makes a similar statement about you and your car: you only want the very best. The wheel’s split 5-spoke design has been a go-to for this chassis since its release, but the FI-R takes this design to the next level. The GTS spec M3 / M4 FI-R is unique to other setups—it’s a double staggered configuration wherein the front is a 19” while the rear is a 20”.
Defining Features: While the FI-R may look like an evolution from the previous FI, this new iteration has taken more of a leap forward in terms of design and shedding weight. Although it remains a one-piece 6000 series forged aluminum wheel, the FI-R’s spokes are not only scalloped but are actually perforated at specific points to maximize weight loss without any sacrifice to strength. As a result, the FI-R’s weight more closely resembles the venerable RI-D which uses a special 7000 series alloy.
KMP is a drivetrain and motorsport specialist based in the Netherlands. In addition to their world-renowned gear, differential, and driveshaft offerings, KMP proudly supplies aftermarket racing steering wheels for BMW and Porsche.
What it Does: The plug and play BMW F8X M3 / M4 Racing wheel has four different button layouts. This version is fully configured with four native button functions: M1, M2, horn, and DTC. The complete assembly comes with a F8X hub, quick release, OMP racing wheel and all necessary electronics. TL;DR This wheel will plug right in, have zero error codes, and works great.
Defining Features: Operation of the KPM wheel comes with a decidedly more mechanical and confidence-inspiring feel. Alcantara wraps the smaller 330mm wheel in its entirety, ensuring optimal grip in all driving situations and quicker response over the stock unit. A yellow motorsport stripe adorns the wheel at 12 o’ clock as a perfect finishing touch.
We hate to leave out the F80 M3, but this is a product that had to make the list. RKP has spawned a trick rear seat delete set that is designed to work directly with the OEM GTS roll bar.
What it Does: As you might imagine, the RKP set replaces the OEM rear seats. Once replaced, you’ll enjoy perceivable weight loss without also losing any fit and finish—the RKP rear seat delete looks like it could’ve come straight from the factory.
Defining Features: While track guys are always after unique ways to shed weight, the RKP rear seat delete doesn’t do so without sacrificing aesthetic. Rather than making the delete out of cheap materials, the RKP unit actually has a carbon core underneath all of that gorgeous Alcantara, which is a really nice touch.
Fall-Line Motorsports Full Suspension Package
As the popular expression goes, you do it once and you do it right. Fall-Line has a reputation for winning not just races, but championships; their years of experience in motorsport have given them a test bed to create some of the very best components for the cars in our garage, including the M3 / M4.
What it Does: By replacing a generous helping of the OEM rubber and fixed arms with spherical and adjustable units, the car feels much more alive in your hands without drifting into full blown racecar territory stiffness. The added benefit of this sweeping change is the ease of adjustment hereafter—alignments and subtle tweaks to change your car’s behavior are done in a fraction of the time—saving money and giving you more time behind the wheel. And when it comes to money, these parts are the best you can buy.
Defining Features: In a word, the chassis feels communicative. The M3 / M4 is no slouch straight from Bavaria, but will the full suite of Fall-Line components installed, you feel supremely confident that the car is going to respond instantly to your inputs with pinpoint accuracy.
Eisenmann and BMW go together like peanut butter and jelly. Indeed, as two products spawned and manufactured in Germany, it’s a synonymous pairing to say the least. As BMW’s first foray into the turbocharged “M” world, Eisenmann paid special attention to the M3 / M4’s system to make sure they got it just right.
What it Does: Eisenmann’s Black Series exhaust is a direct replacement for the OEM unit and is modular all way from the downpipe to the rear section. The valved exhaust is capable of being mild around town, yet uniquely proficient at unleashing the S55’s unique character at full chat.
Defining Features: We might be biased, but the M3 / M4 exhaust is one of the most beautiful systems from Eisenmann in recent memory. Each 304 stainless canister is proudly stamped with Eisenmann’s signature “E”, which looks even more dramatic in Black Series trim. While the OEM exhaust is clearly visible from the rear of the car, the Eisenmann neatly tucks away, drastically improving the look of your M3 / M4 from behind.
Eventuri F8X M3 / M4 Engine Package (Coming Soon)
Okay this one actually isn’t out just yet, but it’s one to look out for in the coming months. Eventuri has been on the top of their game lately and use their expertise in carbon fiber to create an all-new set of carbon charge pipes for S55-equipped cars. This welcomed addition joins the ever-popular carbon intake and engine cover to dress up an otherwise pedestrian engine bay.
What it Does: As aforementioned, the trio does away with the boring OEM equipment in favor of a more modern, tuner appeal. The carbon intake remains one of the few, if not the only, intake that manages to extract proven power gains from the S55 and the upcoming charge pipes have been pointing to similar results.
Defining Features: Eye candy is, arguably, as important as the performance it gains—the Eventuri engine package is one that allows you to have your cake and eat it too. Pop the hood and you’re greeted to a sea of carbon fiber, which coordinates swimmingly with the OEM strut bar. Don’t let your engine bay be the downfall of your build—it’s time to step it up with some Eventuri goodies.