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Basic Specs and Helpful "Cheat Sheets"

Q: I have got my 135/ 335i / xi... Now What?

Good question... No doubt about it, these are the hottest cars on the market to modify in years, stealing most of the M-car thunder and essentially turning the modification world on its head.

For the majority of our 335 & 135 customers, they continue to use their cars each and every day. That means we need to make recommendations based on this. We seek to improve performance, while also being reliable. This is important on the track and the street, and this outline can be used for cars that see either or both uses...

So here our our recommendations, in the order that we feel work for most customers and allow them to reach realistic goals and awesome performance levels at realistic price points.

  • Cobb Access Port $895 *or* Burger Tuning JB4 $495
    Add just about 100HP and torque in under and hour? Yes please!
    These in expensive options offer flexibility and fun at affordable prices. We like the Cobb slightly better because even though its more costly, we think the features and flexibility are worth the additional cost.
  • Quaife *or* OS Giken Limited Slip Differential
    Arguably, many folks do this mod first, but if you haven't already; the extra power from an ECU tuner like those above will already have the chassis spinning wheels! Without an LSD, your 335 is 'castrated' simple as that. Improve acceleration, cornering and safety, all with an LSD.
  • AR Design Downpipes *or* Fabspeed Downpipes
    Flow is one of the most important factors in a turbo charged cars performance. Unlike most cars, the rear exhaust has very little impact on performance on these BMWs, but the downpipes. Huge!
  • ETS Intercooler;  5" core / 7" core
    After fitting about a dozen different brands, we decided we wanted to start to stock the ETS units. Extreme Turbo System as they call themselves have been leaders in the Intercooler market for other makes and models. It shows because these are our favorite with great made in USA quality, features, and loads of data to back up there claims that these are among the best available at any cost.
  • Active Autowerke Methanol Injection Kit
    Once you have all the goodies above, heat will become your main enemy and then you want chemistry on your side . Unlike Nitrious Oxide that boosts power by being an oxygenate, Methanol is a fuel and also called a "chemical intercooler". Far more safe, and in some way even beneficial on the N54 and N55 engines: "Meth injection" harnesses the power of a mixture of water and alcohol, or straight alcohol to dramatically lower intake temps, as well as improve the detonation resistance of your fuel. Both of these qualities make turbocharged vehciles faster without effecting engine safety in a negative way.
Q: What is 'PS' ? What is 'Nm' ... what does that mean for the engine?

PS is an abbreviated symbol for pferdestärke, a German word for "horsepower" (sometimes referred to as "Metric horsepower" or DIN-hp).

In both German and Japanese automotive literature and media, you may see engine output as rated in "PS". How close is PS to SAE-hp (Horsepower rating used in the US)? Close enough that for the sake of fun comparisons, you can usually interchange them at just at a glance and a bit of mental math.

Actual calculations reveal:
(1) pferdestarke = (0.9863201) horsepower

If we look at the E92 M3 for example:
414 horsepower  = 419.74204059 pferdestarke... or just about 420PS aka DIN-hp.


Nm is an abbreviation for newton meter, it is a measurement of torque.

1 foot pound-force= 1.3558179 newton meter

Again, the E92 M3 is rated in the US at...
295 foot/pound = 399.9662805 newton meter. Again just about 400Nm

You can use this handly website for power conversions:

Having Trouble Finding specific Products or Question

To make the most of the VAC Motorsports website, click the Products tab to see a large layout of all categories available. Continue to select though categories until you find the product you need.

Sometimes, due to the volume of parts we have, this is harder than it sounds; in this case use of the Search Box at the top corner of the page can be priceless - If you can't find something in the catalog, or want to locate something quick, just type in the application and or the product name, or manufacturer to see relevant products. You can also type in our SKU numbers or parts of a SKU.

If you can’t find something on the site, chances are, we just haven't listed it yet.
Please feel free to contact our friendly
staff, we can get anything you need for your BMW.
Don't be shy Email us, our contact information is located in the Contact us link.

Q: What are all of these 'E car' codes, and what BMW or Mini do I have?

BMW associates an "E code" for each generation of a series. 
"E" stands for Entwicklung, German for development or evolution.
These chassis codes change to signify a major redesign of a series, or the introduction of a new series.

The "F" designation has begun with the release of the new 7 series (F01) and will continue for their future models, the next being the F10 5 Series replacement in late 2010.

This is a fairly complete and accurate list, though a few details may be off.

BMW Vintage:
BMW E3 — (1968–1977) 2500-3.3Li Sedan
BMW E9 — (1969–1975) 2500-3.0 CSi/CSL Coupes
BMW "E10" — (1968–1977) 1600-2002 Sedan/ Touring  (ti, tii as well)
BMW E12 — (1972–1981) 5 series
BMW E20 — (1974) 2002 Turbo
BMW E23 — (1977–1986) 7 series

BMW E87 (USA Coupe) — (2004–present) 1 Series
BMW E88 — (2008) 1 Series Convertible 

BMW E90 — (2005–present) 3 Series 
BMW E91 — (2005–present) 3 Series Touring/Sports Wagon 
BMW E92 — (2006–present) 3 Series Coupe 
BMW E93 — (2007-present) 3 Series Convertible 
BMW E46/5 — (2000–2004) 3 Series Compact 
BMW E46/4 — (1998–2005) 3 Series Sedan 
BMW E46/3 — (1999–2005) 3 Series Touring/Sports Wagon 
BMW E46/2 — (1999–2006) 3 Series Coupe 
BMW E46/C — (1999–2006) 3 Series Convertible 
BMW E36 — (1991–1999) 3 Series/Z3 (as E36/7) (the only 1999 model E36 sold was the M3)
BMW E36/4 — (1991–1999) 3 Series/4dr variant (not available all years)
BMW E36/5 — (1995–1998) 3 Series Compact (some markets known as "ti") 
BMW E30 — (1982–1991) 3 Series 
BMW E21 — (1975–1983) 3 Series 

BMW F14 — (2011) LC5 (light crossover?)
BMW E11 — (2011- on) 5 Series Touring/Sports Wagon 
BMW F10 — (2011- on) 5 Series 
BMW E60 — (2004–present) 5 Series 
BMW E61 — (2004–present) 5 Series Touring/Sports Wagon 

BMW E39 — (1996–2003) 5 Series 
BMW E34 — (1988–1995) 5 Series 
BMW E28 — (1981–1988) 5 Series 

BMW F12 — (2011) 6 Series Coupé 
BMW F13 — (2011) 6 Series Convertible 
BMW E63 — (2004–present) 6 Series coupe 
BMW E64 — (2004–present) 6 Series convertible 

BMW F03 — (2008) 7 Series "Protection"
BMW F01 — (2008) 7 Series
BMW F02 — (2009) 7 Series long wheelbase
BMW E65 — (2002–present) 7 Series short wheelbase 
BMW E66 — (2002–present) 7 Series long wheelbase 
BMW E38 — (1994–2001) 7 Series 
BMW E32 — (1986–1994) 7 Series

BMW 8 Series
BMW F04 — (2009) 8 Series "Light Base" 
BMW E31 — (1991) 8 Series 2dr coupe

BMW E89 — (2009) Z4 roadster 
BMW E85 — (2003–present) Z4 
BMW E86 - (2006-present) Z4 Coupe 

BMW E36/7 — (1997–2002) Z3 

BMW E52 — (2000–2004) Z8 


BMW E70 — (2007-present) X5 
BMW E53 — (2000–2006) X5

BMW F25 — (2011) X3
BMW E83 — (2004–present) X3

BMW (Other Models)
BMW E26 — (1978–1981) M1

-BMW Mini

1st Gen MINI

2001-2006 (Mk I hatchback)
2005-2008 (Mk I convertible 

  • R50: One & MC Coupe
  • R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
  • R53: MCS Coupe

2nd Gen MINI

2007-present (hatchback)
2009-present (convertible)
2007-present (Clubman)
2007-present (pickup truck)

  • R55: Clubman
  • R56: One/MC/MCS Coupe
  • R57: One/MC/MCS Convt.
  • R60: MINI SUV