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20 HP For $599: BMW Announces Power Kit Packages

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More power! That’s what BMW is hoping enthusiasts will be saying in droves as it unveils new performance upgrades aptly called Power Kits. Aftermarket power chips are a way to easily increase power for a car; but as they aren’t sold from the manufacturer, can void the original warranty. Its fine if you’re out of warranty, but probably isn’t when you just recently bought a new BMW. Thus, Power Kits are an easy way to increase power while being entirely within warranty.

There are two packages: Version 1 Power Kit and Version 2 Power Kit. Version 1 is about increasing power, via “performance-optimized engine software.” In other words that amounts to reworked engine control software.

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BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder makes 300 horsepower and 332 pound feet of torque in its standard iteration. With the Version 1 Power Kit, those numbers are increased by 20 hp and 32 pound feet of torque, for a total of 320 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque with an automatic.

With a manual or dual-clutch transmission, torque increase is down to 17 lb-ft. Version 1 can be had $599, and it is available on all model year 135i and 335i models as well as X6 crossovers produced up to April 2010. So this is available for new models as well as retroactively. BMW has specs on how it impacts performance as well; the upgrade shaves 0.2 seconds off the 335i’s 0-60 time and 0.5 seconds off 50 to 75 mph passing power. Nice.

Version 2 includes the new ECU software, and adds on an auxiliary water cooler and enhanced radiator fan to “reduce the higher thermal stresses on the engine during extreme driving.” It can had for $1,199, but it doesn’t include installation, which is likely to cost a pretty penny. Both include an “Exhaust burble” sound during engine overrun conditions, which BMW hails as a new feature. The aftermarket can do better than this for the price, but you void your warranty, which will end up costing a lot more in the long run. For BMW the $599 is all profit. Version 2 is available on 135i and 335i models – sorry X6 owners.