I’ve was tinkering with the idea of fitting the BMW performance silencer to my E90 320d LCI for a long time before I decided to take the plunge and splurge the cash. I was under the impression that the only difference would be cosmetic, but I was wrong, very wrong.
Most E90 320d drivers despise the look of the droopy exhaust tailpipe BMW decided to make the 320d leave the factory with. A few years ago BMW decided to address this problem by producing a replacement silencer under their “BMW Performance” brand. This silencer comes in the form of a completely hollow, free flowing, stainless steel back box with twin chrome tailpipes, big ones. No major surgery is needed to replace the stock silencer either.
The BMW Performance Silencer
When opening the box you will be excused for thinking they might have sent you the wrong silencer. The tailpipes are massive, shiny and covered with lightly oiled terry cloth socks to keep them looking good. Knock against the silencer box and you are met with a very hollow metallic sound. The inner diameter of the tailpipes measure 71mm each, with an outer diameter of 73mm. On the bottom you find a welded on plate that says “BMW Performance” with several numbers of which I have no clue. The left tailpipe is 21mm shorter that the right, giving it a very nice esthetic appeal once fitted. A bag with a new bracket, bolt, pipe clamp and rubber exhaust hanger is also included.
Fitting the BMW Performance Silencer
Once on a lift, the original droopy silencer is removed by cutting the exhaust pipe as close to the curve in the pipe as possible (the engine side of the curve). Once removed, the new exhaust bracket is bolted into place, into thread that mysteriously already exists under your rear bumper, the silencer hanged and the pipe clamp secured. That’s it, you are done. You can also opt to rather have the two pipes welded, which is what I did.
You don’t need to worry about replacing the rear diffuser. The new tailpipes fit perfectly.
Your horrible looking tailpipe is now gone and you have the most awesome looking 320d tailpipes on the road. For this reason alone it is worth paying the BMW premium. What came as a surprise to me is the difference in throttle response and exhaust note. The throttle is noticeably more responsive and you definitely feel the turbo spool up quicker. This is obviously caused by less exhaust back pressure keeping the engine from performing as it should. What made this even more surprising is the fact that, even with the BMW Performance Diesel Power Kit I fitted a few months before, you could still feel a difference. The two definitely compliment each other.
The change in exhaust note is not very obvious at idle or while the engine is still cold. Only once the engine heats up and you put it under load do you really hear the difference. Imagine clearing your throat really loudly and violently…”GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG”. That’s the sound you will be hearing from now on. From inside the cabin it’s not very loud, but from outside it is and you will be turning heads racing down the road in your 320d. To quote my wife: “It sounds like the road under the car is being ripped apart!” I often find myself opening my windows and putting foot down a road with barrier walls on either side. The sound bouncing off the walls are awesome and sounds completely different to your standard diesel setup. This does not help fuel consumption though, as you tend to drive the car a lot harder.
Do not expect the same thunderous results you get when fitting a BMW performance exhaust to a petrol model. If you do, you will be disappointed. Diesel engines have a very unique compression cycle, causing low combustion noise, but moving a very large volume of air doing so. The sound produced by the BMW performance silencer relies mainly on the air volume being pushed through the exhaust. With the silencer box being completely empty, the airflow do not get restricted and the full force of air coming from the engine results in a very loud, deep “blowing” sound from the exhaust.
Would I pay for this silencer again? With my own money? Absolutely!!!
Once again, Juan Bezuidenhout from BMW Menlyn Auto made all this happen without a hitch. If you are looking for any BMW performance parts, he is your go-to-guy!!
Part Number: 18 30 2 185 803