So, I finally got my BMW Performance Exhaust installed on my 2011 335i MSport Sedan this past Saturday. Below are my comments and thoughts as well as a few comparison videos for you.
I picked up over the President's Day Holiday (discount, thanks Patrick) and came in right around $1289 shipped. The install at my local BMW dealer ran me about $125 + tax. All in, pretty happy with the price and probably could have installed myself, but not having a lift would have been a major PITA since you have to cut the pipe.
Being an OEM part, there is obviously no fitment issues. Seeing that there is cutting involved, however, there could have been, so I thought it best to let BMW do it just in case. I'm pretty comfortable doing some things with my car, but cutting my new $1200+ exhaust wasn't one of them. I must say, however, this seems like a "low rent" way for BMW to offer an OEM performance exhaust and do have some concerns about it leaking or coming loose down the line because of the clamps.
The PE pretty much looks exactly the same as the stock exhaust that came off of the car except for the tips and the PE came in 3 pieces. The piping was a tad different with what I would call "denting" on the PE, whereas the stock was round all the way. I'm not quite sure why this is, but apparently it is normal from what I gathered online and my SA didn't say anything when I asked. The actual mufflers were also identical, at least on the outside, to the stockers. Obviously, there was a change going on inside the mufflers. The tips stick out a little further than stock and they look subtly aggressive, if that makes any sense. You can see the tips in the video.
Ok, I'm a dummy. In all my excitement I actually forgot to weigh the PE. It is apparently about a 8-9lb weight reduction to stock from my research. I have yet to weigh the stock unit, but it was pretty damn heavy as I moved it out of the car and into the garage (yes, it fits in the 3 with the seats down and tons of protective blankets, towels, etc.). Performance claims from BMW are about 5hp from 6500rpms. Throttle response felt a tad better, but couldn't really feel the huge 5hp bump...ha.
Probably the main reason I bought this exhaust, other than the huge power gains. :D Also, seeing that my car is new, I thought it better to go with an OEM part, although I liked Turner's cat back and of course the Akrapovic ($$$). I know I probably wouldn't have any issues with another exhaust, but playing it safe I guess. Anyway, to me, the sound is perfect. A bit more aggressive/throaty/bass-y over stock, especially when you get on it. There really is no drone from the PE, but depending on how you are on the throttle, you can create some. I didn't find it annoying inside the car and all's you have to do is adjust the throttle slightly to get rid of drone if you happen to get some. The one thing I liked (not sure why) is that as you slow down and the car downshifts (I have an auto) it makes a "gurgle" sound, which just adds some aggressiveness or something that caught my ear. I'll let the videos "say" the rest and hope you can get a sense for what I'm talking about. WARNING: It's always hard to tell from a video, however, but the PE does sound great, IMO.
"All in all, I love it. I'm a low-key guy who prefers the subtle approach to most things in life, and this exhaust suits me perfectly. If you like to go big and want something that will set off car alarms and wake the neighbors, then this is not the exhaust for you. However, if you want something that will give the car some character while staying tasteful, it's just what the doctor ordered."* (*aajami - m3post.com. He wrote these 3 sentences reviewing his new M3 PE and I couldn't have said it any better with respect to my 3 Series PE, so yes, I copied...but am giving credit, so don't sue me).
Now, for the fun part...before and after videos. If you have any questions, let me know, or if you live in the Philly area and want to hear in person, shoot me a PM.
PS. First time doing videos, so may be a tad long, but you get the idea. Videos came from my phone...pretty impressed with the quality. I have a street run I'll post soon.
Stock - Cold Start http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNeyd75v30w
PE - Cold Start http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nilnZvpcFI
Stock - Warmed Up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPFBoCT7jUM
PE - Warmed Up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETZ6_ozLjI8