A Guide to the Best BMW Performance Parts Brands
BMWs have been one of the most popular cars for decades and have built a reputation as being equally at home on the track and the street. Due to this dual use, many aftermarket parts suppliers have been making performance parts for these cars, and many of these brands have been developing items specifically for older BMWs. Below are some of the best brands when it comes to aftermarket performance BMW parts, they have been track-tested, and Condor Speed Shop approved!
DIYAutoTune has been around as a company since 2004 and makes custom and programmable engine control units. They offer fully customizable stand-alone engine management systems which require custom work but also offer Plug-N-Play engine management systems that are just as simple as they sound and require very little if any fabrication work. Their most popular products for BMWs are Plug-N-Play control units for E30’s and M50/S50 engines. Condor Speed Shop first tested out a DIYAutoTune control unit at the Ultimate Track Car Challenge in 2011 with great results and have been offering this made in the USA product ever since.
Öhlins was founded in 1976 in Sweden, and they have been producing some of the best racing parts for decades. They make competition-proven components for cars and motorcycles, focusing on suspension parts, and have won a combined total of over 300 championships on two and four wheels, including victories in the World Touring Car Championship, World Rally Championship, and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Condor carries Öhlins Road & Track Coilover Kits for several 3 Series models that will allow you to quickly change the stiffness of your shock absorbers. These kits let you fine-tune the suspension of your car to get the most out of any track day and then switch back to road mode for street driving that is less aggressive but will still be far more responsive than a stock setup.
Any serious track car will have upgraded wheels, tires, and brakes, and a big part of making these upgrades are replacing your stock lug bolts with longer racing wheel studs and spacers for wider wheels and tires. The best wheel studs and spacers available for BMW are produced by Motorsport Hardware in Europe. Their wheel studs can be installed by any knowledgeable and competent BMW enthusiast and are ultra-strong with a 10.9 grade hardness rating. Their wheel spacers are made from Aerospace Aluminum Alloy, which makes them lightweight, but also extremely strong. Condor Speed Shop carries Motorsport Hardware studs, lug nuts, and spacers for multiple BMW models. Whether you are heading to the local autocross or are entering an around-the-clock endurance race, safety is the most critical factor to consider. Don’t put your trust and safety in the hands of Chinese wheel studs when you can get the best available from Motorsport Hardware.
For road and race cars, correct wheel alignment is extremely important. If you are having alignment issues, then you will suffer uneven and premature tire wear. Good tires are expensive, so you will want all your alignment issues sorted out by installing fully adjustable SPL performance suspension parts. SPL Parts are made in the USA out of the best materials available, making them both lightweight and strong. They are used by everyone from the top pro racing teams to everyday enthusiasts due to their adjustability, which allows you to get the perfect custom setup for your needs. Condor Speed Shop carries SPL front-end links, rear camber links, tension rods, and tie rods for multiple BMW models to help you sort out your alignment needs.
Kinematic’s Speed Race Shifter is a universal short shifter designed for BMWs with manual transmissions. Performance driving can be made easier, and responsiveness can be increased by installing a short shifter. Kinematic offers a made-in-the-USA product made from high-quality CNC machined aluminum, and they fit in the stock center console of some of the most popular BMW models, such as the E36 and E46. Their shifters auto-center, which allows for precise shifting every time you change gears, and the increased height over a stock shift lever allows for more effortless movement between the shifter and the steering wheel.
KW, which started in the early ’90s, makes some of the best racing parts in the world, and their coilovers are used by some of the top racing teams and drivers. Condor Speed Shop carries KW coilover kits for the most popular BMW models. These kits feature versions that can be used on street cars where the only modification needed is lowering of the stock ride height, and there are also far more aggressive fully adjustable kits that are used on all-out competition machines. All of the products offered by Condor Speed Shop are track tested, and KW coilover kits are no different. KW products are found on winning race cars all over the world and have taken victories at some of the most prestigious races in the world, including multiple wins at the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring. Condor Speed Shop also won a NASA National Championship in the Super Tour 5 class while testing the KW Clubsport kit in its 2006 BMW 330.
Nine Lives Racing
Nine Lives Racing (NLR) produces some of the most popular “wings” available for BMW racers. These airfoils mounted to the back of a car aid in producing massive amounts of downforce without sacrificing speed. Nine Lives Racing’s products are custom built in the USA and allow for customization, including different endplates and flaps, and come with all the hardware needed to mount directly to your BMW. They are built by racing enthusiasts who have experience in every form of motorsport, from open-wheel to Le Mans, and are no strangers to the winners' circle. Condor Speed Shop offers multiple versions of NLR’s wings custom-tailored for your BMW and designed to bolt directly to your car.
SPAL Automotive was founded in Italy in the late 1950s and is a major producer of electric fans and blowers for many automobiles, so they are the best in the fan game. Many track cars and custom performance builds require extra cooing and adding a custom cooling fan can solve this problem. Condor Speed Shop offers electric SPAL fans and wiring kits for several popular BMW models that allow you to delete the factory fan clutch and give you control of your cooling fan's operation. This is an extremely popular modification and a must for a track car.
BMWs come from the factory with adequate front and rear sway bars, but if you plan on doing any performance driving, you will want to upgrade, especially for 1980s models. Condor Speed Shop carries Suspension Techniques (ST) sway bar kits which will reduce body roll and increase traction. ST was founded in the early ’80s in the USA, and their sway bars are made out of high-quality aircraft grade steel. They have been track tested for decades and continue to be an excellent upgrade for BMW race cars.
OMP was founded in 1973 and produces performance car parts focusing on safety such as seats and brackets, steering wheels and hubs, and fire suppression systems. OMP’s products have been tested in racing conditions for decades and are a favorite for racers around the world since they meet global safety standards. Many of the products are not only a safety and performance upgrade, but are also a stylish upgrade with many OMP parts finding their way into show and display cars, especially their seats that are inspired by BMW Motorsports colors. Condor Speed Shop carries a variety of OMP products that will help keep you safe on track.
Upgrade and head to the track
When upgrading your BMW for performance purposes, safety should always come first. It is essential to purchase your parts from a reputable site that carries the best and safest parts, and one that offers technical and how-to articles and videos is a big plus. Condor Speed Shop has multiple brands of performance parts to give you the best available options for your BMW. They even produce their own brand of made in the USA UHMW suspension bushings, which are the best you will find. All the items Condor sells are tested at tracks around the country every single week. So check out our performance parts, upgrade your BMW, and hit the track!