BMW has always been a leader in luxury cars, known for its innovative style. They’re famous for their sleek design and powerful performance, symbolizing status and sophistication. If you’re a car enthusiast who wants to customize your ride, this guide is perfect!
We’ll explore the 8 best BMWs that are great for modifications, from classic E36s to modern F90 M5s in 2023. These vehicles offer endless opportunities to personalize and make them your own.
Overview: The 8 Best BMWs to Build, Modify, and Tune
BMW is famous for pushing the limits of car design and being open to modifications like no other car company. BMW provides all the essentials for car enthusiasts looking for a project or those who want to stand out on the road.
They offer many different models and endless ways to customize them, so there’s something for everyone. People were only interested in expensive and rare sports cars before. But now, even those on a budget can have fun with modifications, thanks to BMW.
Check out our selection of the 8 best BMWs models, perfect for building, modifying, and tuning!
|E46 3 Series
|M-Tech II body kit, CSL trunk lid
|E9x 3 Series
|Cold air intakes, exhaust systems
|ECU tune, suspension upgrades
|Sway bars, spoilers
|E36 3 Series
|Coil-overs, fresh paint
|Improved intake, beefier brakes
|Upgraded intercoolers, custom wrap
|ECU tune, upgraded downpipes
8 Most Mod-Friendly BMWs on the Market
Look at the 8 best BMWs available, ranging from robust sedans to race-prepped coupes!
E46 3 Series (Best for Under $20k)
The BMW E46 3 Series remains a symbol of innovation from the late 90s to the mid-2000s, even as generations come and go. This Bavarian marvel is not unique but also represents class and performance mixed with modern aesthetics that make it stand out.
E46 3 Series is one of the few cars combining style and function. It has a nearly perfect balance in weight distribution, making it handle curves well and go fast in straight lines. Not only does it have great acceleration, but it also provides a smooth ride even on bumpy roads. Owning this car feels like dancing on clouds.
This series has become well-known in the auto enthusiast community. 325i and 330i models have inline-six engines (M54B25 and M54B30) that provide a balanced yet strong drive. These cars can be further improved with expert tuning to enhance their power, performance, and potential.
They are ideal options for those who want to build their ultimate driving machine. For enthusiasts seeking the prestigious ‘M’ badge, look no further than the E46 M3 with its legendary S54 engine under the hood. This car easily meets high-performance desires and offers durability and exciting speed capabilities.
There are many ways to make your E46 car more fun and relaxed. You can make it faster and louder by changing parts like the air intake and exhaust systems or tuning the ECU. This will increase its speed.
You can also improve how your car handles turns by adding coil overs, sway bars, and performance brakes. This will make your car drive smoother and safer. Remember the appearance! You can enhance it with a luxurious M-Tech II body kit or a sleek CSL-style trunk lid. Shiny new wheels will also make your car stand out! Just remember that the only limits are your imagination and budget.
E9x 3 Series (Best for Under $30k)
The E9x 3 Series is a stylish car that followed the famous E46. It was produced from 2005 to 2013 and gained immediate popularity among car enthusiasts. This car has different variations, including one with a sleek appearance and another with a removable roof. Each variation incorporates impressive new features.
Enhance the car’s performance by modifying certain aspects of the 335i model, which has a powerful N54 N55 engine. This engine enables the vehicle to achieve high speeds, allowing for simple or complex upgrades. It is lightweight due to its aluminium construction, making it easy to drive while remaining sturdy. E9x is an excellent option for those who like fast cars and making them faster.
Once you’ve decided to customize your E9x, there are numerous possibilities. It is essential to identify the main objective of your build before making any performance improvements. Performance upgrades like cold air intakes and exhaust systems can significantly boost horsepower and torque, but finding a harmonious balance between power and everyday drivability is vital.
Suspension upgrades should also be factored into your modification plan. You must pick the proper coil-over setup for your driving style and the roads you drive on to make your ride lower and handle better. Remember that modding and E9x is like embarking on a never-ending journey – there’s always something new to explore and experiment with.
F87 M2 (Best For Track Use)
F87 M2 is a small but powerful car that proves size doesn’t matter for performance. This little Bavarian beast looks sleek and athletic, turning heads wherever it goes. It’s not just about looks, though. This car is made for pure driving pleasure.
Its compact size allows for easy maneuverability, making cornering an absolute thrill. What sets the M2 apart from its competitors is its engine. The standard M2 comes with BMW’s trusted N55 engine, which delivers impressive power and performance.
For an extra dose of excitement, choose the M2 Competition. Its powerful S55 engine from the M3 and M4 models takes things to a new level of exhilaration with its forged internals and twin-turbocharging.
If you want to take your F87 M2 to the next level, consider an ECU tune or piggyback tuner. These tweaks optimize power delivery and unleash hidden horsepower. But don’t stop there – upgrade your intercoolers, downpipes, and exhaust system for better airflow efficiency and a powerful sound that turns heads.
The visual mods give your vehicle a unique look and perform better with lightweight parts.
E36 3 Series (Best for Under $10k)
The E36 3 Series may be budget-friendly, but be aware of its price tag. It can undergo a remarkable transformation that will catch everyone’s attention on the road. Its solid structure and extensive range of aftermarket options make it an ideal candidate for upgrades. You can enhance its suspension and modify its engine without spending a fortune. This classic BMW can reach new heights without emptying your wallet.
For those who need help deciding which model to pick, the 325i and 328i models are excellent options. These cars have inline-six engines, specifically the M50B25 and M52B28, known for their powerful performance and dependable nature. You can enjoy the exciting driving experience that BMW is renowned for without breaking the bank.
Improve your E36 by adding suspension modifications. Adjust the height and stiffness of your ride with coilovers for better control. Reduce leaning when turning by adding sway bars, making corners easier to handle. Make a statement with an M3 body kit, giving your E36 a more aggressive and sporty look while improving aerodynamics. Complete the transformation with new wheels that match the new look and provide better grip, turning heads as you drive by.
You also have the option to give your E36 a new coat of paint. Numerous colour choices are available, and you can even design a custom look. This will make your car stand out and attract attention. Feel free to personalize your cherished E36; it will be a worthwhile modification.
F90 M5 (Best For Most Horsepower)
The F90 M5 is not your typical luxury sedan with a powerful engine. It completely changes how we think about power and performance, bringing a new level of excitement to driving. The car’s colossal 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine produces an incredible 617 horsepower, showing that it doesn’t hold back in terms of power. It not only emphasizes power but also places a high value on control.
The advanced all-wheel-drive system ensures that every ounce of horsepower is efficiently transferred to the road surface, providing excellent grip and preventing any worries of losing control while accelerating. This allows you to fully experience the engine’s strength without compromising stability or peace of mind.
The F90 M5 is already a formidable car, boasting a powerful twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine that produces 600 horsepower in the standard model. M5 Competition also offers an even more exciting adventure with its 617 horsepower.
This extra power launches the car from zero to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds, leaving all competitors behind. What’s impressive about these two versions of the F90 M5 is their potential for even more excellent performance through modifications.
To make your BMW F90 M5 feel like a rocketship, you have to unlock the hidden potential of its V8 engine. Optimizing its performance with an ECU tune or piggyback tuner will give you more power and improve acceleration and overall driving experience.
F80 M3 (Best For Overall Performance)
The F80 M3 is not your average sports sedan. It’s a high-performance powerhouse that will leave you amazed. Its aggressive design, with flared wheel arches, a sculpted hood, and a menacing front grille, shows it means business. But it’s not just looks; the M3 also delivers thrilling dynamics that excite every driver.
It has a powerful S55B30 engine under the hood. It is perfect for track days or spirited drives on open roads. It strikes a perfect balance between raw power and everyday usability.
You can improve your BMW M3 by tuning the ECU or using a piggyback tuner. This will make it more powerful and give you a better driving experience. The engine’s settings will be adjusted to increase power and torque, which means faster acceleration and a smoother ride.
Improving the airflow can make the engine perform better. This can be done by upgrading the intercoolers, downpipes, and exhaust systems. Adding coilovers with adjustable damping settings can also enhance performance.
Remember to upgrade your brakes, which will help you stop precisely and feel more confident when pushing your M3 to its limits.
Consider adding some unique visual elements to your M3 to stand out from the rest. Carbon fibre body parts make your vehicle lighter and give it a more aggressive look. Custom wraps also let you show off your unique style while driving.
BMW 1M (Most Fun To Drive)
The BMW 1M is not like other compact cars. It’s a powerful car packed into a small and agile body. Driving it feels exciting, even for everyday trips. It has precise handling and responsive steering, making you want to move it as much as possible. One thing that stands out about the 1M is its N54 twin-turbo engine.
It’s not only powerful but also has great potential for customization. The combination of performance and style makes the BMW 1M different from other cars. It looks confident and sporty with its aggressive design and incredible exhaust sound.
Take your BMW 1M to the next level by upgrading its turbo, intake, and exhaust system. This simple modification will unleash a new level of power and performance you won’t believe. You will experience improved acceleration and an enhanced driving experience overall. You can also gain confidence and precision on difficult back roads by investing in coilovers, sway bars, and stronger brakes.
The upgraded suspension will keep your car firmly planted on corners while reducing body roll for an exhilarating driving experience at every turn.
F82 M4 (Best For Looks)
When you see the F82 M4, you can’t help but be amazed by its aggressive look and strong presence. This car was made to get attention from every angle and succeeds. But what makes the M4 special is that you can customize it to make it one of a kind.
There are so many options to enhance the M4’s appearance, from adding carbon fiber accents for a sporty touch to getting a custom paint job that makes a bold statement. In the aftermarket world, there is something for everyone.
The M4’s S55 engine is powerful, but it can become even more impressive with some adjustments.
F82 M4 is a powerful car with its S55B30 engine. But an ECU tune can make it even faster if you want even more excitement. Adjusting the engine’s settings allows you to get more horsepower and torque, turning your M4 into a fast car. Imagine passing other vehicles on the highway effortlessly or driving through winding mountain roads.
There are also other upgrades available to improve your M4’s performance. Coilovers help control the suspension and let you adjust the height and stiffness of your car. Sway bars reduce body roll when turning, making the car more stable and responsive.
You will have more confidence driving your M4 at high speeds by upgrading to larger brakes, improving your stopping power.
4 Tips for Upgrading Your BMW
Personalizing and enhancing your driving experience is made exciting by upgrading your BMW. With the numerous upgrade options available for BMW owners, you can improve performance, add new technology features, or give your vehicle a fresh look.
Always Prioritize An Excellent Maintenance History
Taking care of your BMW is essential if you want to upgrade it. Just like with pets, proper maintenance is necessary for longevity and performance. Make sure your Bimmer has received appropriate care before making any modifications.
A detailed maintenance history will provide a good base for upgrades and give you confidence in handling extra power.
An Engine Map Is The Easiest Method To Unlock More Power
Boosting your BMW’s performance is made easy with an engine map. Consider it a cheat code that reveals untapped power by adjusting fuel, air, and spark through an ECU tune. This optimization allows you to unleash the full potential of your BMW without breaking the bank. The process is simple: plug in a device to your car’s diagnostic link connector (DLC) and choose from multiple engine options available.
Investing in an ECU tune from companies like RaceChip can improve your BMW’s performance and make installation and maintenance hassle-free. You don’t have to worry about complicated modifications or extensive mechanical work. Just plug in the tuning box and enjoy the increased power at your fingertips. The RaceChip can increase the power and performance of your BMW by up to 30%, and it can also enhance fuel efficiency by up to 20 miles per gallon.
Use High-Quality Parts Only
It’s important to remember the golden rule when modifying your BMW: always remember that you get what you pay for. Cheap parts that claim to offer significant performance or aesthetic upgrades are often disappointing. Think about it: do you want to sacrifice the quality and integrity of your beloved car to save a few bucks?
Investing in high-quality components might seem expensive initially, but it will prevent future problems and regrets.
Don’t Forget To Upgrade The Suspension And Brakes
Enhancing our cars with more power and speed is something we all love. But let’s remember the significance of handling and stopping, too. You can significantly improve how your car handles on the road by upgrading its suspension using coilovers or sway bars.
It doesn’t matter if you’re taking sharp turns or cruising down the highway; a well-tuned suspension system will make driving more enjoyable and give you greater assurance.
BMW offers a wide range of models that are easy to customize, including the E46 and E36 3 Series and the F90 M5. There is a BMW for everyone, regardless of your preferences or budget. The key is to have fun and enjoy learning as you work on your car, whether making minor adjustments or completely transforming it. This guide will help you choose the 8 best BMWs available.
Looking for more fascinating lists about BMW models? Discover them here!
What are some popular modifications for mod-friendly BMWs?
Popular modifications for mod-friendly BMWs include performance upgrades such as engine tuning, suspension enhancements, brake upgrades, aerodynamic body kits, wheels/tires upgrades, and interior/exterior cosmetic changes.
Are there any limitations or restrictions on modifying a BMW?
It’s necessary to adhere to local laws when modifying your BMW, particularly regarding emissions and noise levels. Specific alterations may require professional assistance for optimal performance.