When the E82 BMW 1-Series ended production, it left a small RWD-BMW sized hole in our hearts. As if they heard us, BMW then announced the F22 BMW 2-Series that would take its place.
Like the E82, the “Baby Bimmer” 2-series also packs the full-potency turbo six from the F30 335i / F32 435i in the M235i, and even the base-model F22 BMW 228i with its N20 Turbo Four engine, the low-end models have a ton of potential. We’ll be going over a few of the basic mods currently on the market for the F22 BMW 2-Series.
We’ll start with the simplest first.
1st – Wheels
A sharp looking set of wheels can make all the difference in the aesthetics of your 2-Series, but like the 1-series before it, thanks to its high offsets, getting wheels for F22 BMW 2-Series in the right fitment can be a real challenge. When you see a car with other mods that’s still on stock wheels, it always looks kind of “off”, like there’s something missing, and yet, wheels alone always look great. However, with so many numbers like offset, width, diameter and the tire specs to worry about it, it can feel a bit overwhelming to think about your fitment. Luckily for you, the Mod Experts are here to help you out and will guide you to the fitment that’s right for your F22 BMW 2-series. Here are a few of the options that fit your 2.
F22 BMW M235i on Black Forgestar CF5V 19×8.5 / 19×8.5
F22 BMW M235i on Gloss Gunmetal Forgestar CF5V 19×8.5 / 19×8.5
Forgestar Wheels are custom-made to order with the specific offsets of your F22 BMW 2-Series, factoring in whether or not your lowered, brake setup and so on to ensure that every fitment is perfect for each customer’s car and are available in your choice of colors. While it does take 8-9 weeks to custom-manufacture each set of Forgestar Wheels like the 19×8.5 Forgestar CF5V wheels for F22 BMW 2-series shown above, we do stock a few pre-made sets of the most popular Forgestar fitments for customers who can’t wait.
Forgestar F14 Matte Black 18×8.5 / 18×9.5 on BMW F22 228i
Forgestar F14s for BMW 2-Series are another great looking option from Forgestar, offering a concave face wheel with a split 7-spoke face that offers a mesh look.
HRE Performance Wheels has long been a go-to name for the finest quality aftermarket BMW wheels, and the F22 is no exception – HRE now offers a new line, HRE Flow Form wheels at a much more attainable pricepoint, including the HRE FF15 Wheels for BMW on the M235i above (19in, Tarmac Finish) as well as the handsome HRE FF01.
Want the performance and light weight of a flow form, rotary forged wheel without the premium pricetag? For just the price of a set of inferior cast wheels, the Sportline 8S offers style and performance without breaking the bank.
Featuring the classic style of a CSL wheel, Sportline 8S are a handsome wheel option for virtually every BMW, but goes especially well on the F22 2-series.
VMR V803 19in Hyper Silver Wheels on F22 BMW M235i
Another great flow form option is from VMR Wheels, like the VMR V803 in Hyper Silver shown here. With its split 5-spoke design and concave face, this is a wheel that suits the styling of the F22 and its fitment.
VMR Wheels V710 19×8.5 / 19×9.5 Gunmetal on BMW F22 M235i
If a set of flow-form wheels is a bit too spendy, a set of iconic VMR V710 wheels for BMW F22 are a great way to give your M235i or 228i that classic BMW Motorsports look. VMR’s V7XX-series wheels are cast, rather than flow form, meaning they’re not as light but they’re strong and more affordable than a flow form wheel.
VMR V804 Hyper Silver on F22 BMW 2-Series
VMR V804 Hyper Silver on F22 BMW 2-Series
VMR V804 Hyper Silver on F22 BMW 2-Series
VMR V804 Hyper Silver on F22 BMW 2-Series
VMR V804 Hyper Silver on F22 BMW 2-Series
Hyper Silver VMR V721 Wheels for BMW 2-Series
If a multispoke wheel is more your thing, check out VMR V721 Wheels for BMW 2-Series, which are offered in both gunmetal and hyper silver. The multispoke style suits the smaller body of the 2-Series well, creating a motorsports inspired look.
BMW F23 M235i Cabrio on Avant Garde M310 Hyper Silver 18×8 ET35 / 18×9 ET38
Avant Garde Wheels also offers some great wheel options for the F22 M235i & 228i as well – Avant Garde M310 Wheels are available in Matte Black or Hyper Silver and enhance the aesthetics of the car quite a bit.
A set of Avant Garde M310 in Matte Black is also a great way to accent the lines of the F22 2-Series, and is available in the offsets necessary.
Avant Garde M359 Hyper Silver 18×8.5 / 18×8.5 on F22 BMW M235i
Avant Garde’s M359 also looks great on the 2-Series, especially if you have a bolder color like the 2 above, and it’s available in Hyper Black or Silver to suit your style and tastes and offers some of that “classic BMW” look.
Avant Garde M621 Matte Gunmetal 19×8.5 / 19×9.5
Avant Garde M621 Matte Gunmetal 19×8.5 / 19×9.5
If you’re into the directional wheel look, be sure to scope out Avant Garde’s new M621s.
There are also some handsome budget friendly options as well, like the SPARTAN Wheels in Matte Black from Beyern for BMW F22 2-Series.
These flush face mesh wheel evoke a classically BMW look that suits the lines of the car brilliantly.
And they look great from behind, too.
Hopefully the above gives you a rough idea of some of the wheels available to you that’ll fit your 2-series, but in case you’re wondering, here are some general fitment guidelines for 2-series from the Mod Experts:
Recommended 2-Series Fitments
Front: 18×8 / 18×8.5 / 19×8 / 19×8.5
ET 35 – 40 Front
Rear: 18×8 / 18×9 / 18×9.5 / 19×8.5 / 19×9.5
ET 45 Rear
Tire Widths suggested For 19in wheels (w/o Rolling Fenders)
225/xx-19 / 255/xx-19
For more specific information, give the Mod Experts a call at 714-582-3330 or chat live at ModBargains.com to get advice on your set of wheels for BMW 2-Series from experienced guys who know BMW fitments like the back of their hands.
After the wheels, the next thing to think about is the ride height of your BMW 2-Series, which means it’s time to mod your 2-Series Suspension. Lowering your F22 2-Series Suspension is simpler than you’d think and can be done one of two ways – lowering springs (and preferrably shock/struts to match) or coilovers. Air suspension is another option but no 2-series fitments are available as of press time.
A set of lowering springs like Vogtland Springs for BMW F22 2-Series is a great place to start, and Vogtland springs are ideal if you’re concerned about maintaining your OEM ride quality even after you lower the car. While not everyone’s heard of them stateside, they’re pretty well known across the pond and have been in the automotive spring making business since the 1910s, and are TUV approved.
BMW F22 M235i on H&R Springs for F22 with VMR V710 19×8.5 ET35 / 19×9.5 ET45 Wheels
If you want springs that are on the sportier side, a set of H&R Sport Springs for F22 2-Series are a great choice and will sharpen your 2’s handling even further. ST Suspensions Springs for F22 2-Series are also available for the 2-series, and fall somewhere in between the H&Rs and the Vogtlands.
However, with any sport spring that lowers a vehicle, you should plan on upgrading the shocks/struts at the same time or in the near future- first and foremost, because a sport spring and sport shock absorber that are designed to work together will handle better than a worn OEM shock with a lowering spring. The reason for this is because when you lower the car, the shocks are no longer operating in the range they’re designed for, and thus will fail much sooner than they would with the OEM springs. This is why you should install upgraded shocks at the same time, otherwise you’ll be paying for labor twice (or doing twice as much work) when you need to replace the blown out OEM shocks a few months after lowering the car.
Once you factor in the cost of a full set of shock absorbers when you’re installing your Lowering Springs, Coilovers become a surprisingly economical option.
Coilovers, Coil-Overs, Coil-Over-Shocks – whatever you want to call them – merge the spring and the shock absorber into one unit, and feature adjustable spring perches, so you have precise control over the exact ride height of your 2-Series suspension. Coilovers are available with a variety of adjustments and features that make one different than the next. While the common thinking is “coilovers are just for track cars”, that’s actually not the case at all. In fact, a set of coilovers can ride better than the OEM suspension on certain cars if you set it up right.
BMW F22 2-Series on Vogtland Coilovers for F22
An incredibly affordable set of quality coilovers for the BMW 2-Series are Vogtland Coilovers for F22 2-Series – featuring the same Galvanized KW shock bodies used by ST Suspensions in their coilovers and their own in-house manufactured springs, these TUV approved coilovers are a solid choice.
Vogtland specs out shock valving that maintains a comfortable ride, while also delivering enhanced handling performance – and of course, full height adjustment. Because the shock valving’s already been set, it’s what you call “fixed”, and that also means there’s nothing to fuss with. Also available are Vogtland Force Adjustable Coilovers for BMW F22 2-Series, which are a great option for the more performance-oriented driver, featuring a performance spring and adjustable Koni shock bodies that are great for a weekend-trackday daily driven 2-series.
BMW F22 2-Series on KW Coilovers for BMW F22 M235i with Forgestar CF5V Black 19in Wheels
KW Suspension also has a few options available for the 2-series – and which way you go has a dramatic effect on the performance and price. If you’re looking to go racing, KW Clubsport Coilovers for BMW F22 are the way to go, and KW Street Comfort Coilovers for BMW F22, as the name suggests, are a solid choice for the comfort-oriented daily driven 2-series.
One final budget coilover option for 2-series to be aware of are ST Suspensions ST-X Coilovers for BMW F22 2-Series, which are another fixed damping shock but features ST’s own springs and valving for a sportier ride than the comparable basic Vogtland Coilovers for F22.
Our friends at Hotchkis Suspension also have a package coming out for the F22 2-Series later this year.
Not sure what suspension setup is best for your 2-Series and where you drive? Ask a Mod Expert for their advice – call 714-582-3330 or chat live at ModBargains.com
After you’ve gotten your 2 sitting right with prettier wheels and upgraded the suspension to get rid of the wheel gap, now let’s talk about beefing up the turbo motor under your hood.
BMW tends to build their cars with extremely quiet exhaust systems and intakes – robbing you of the joy of hearing your turbo six or turbo four sing at full gusto. An upgraded exhaust system does several things for your car – it changes the character of the car by changing the exhaust note, it changes the look of your car by altering the tip style, and it changes the performance of your car by freeing up horsepower and torque lost to the restrictive factory mufflers.
When it comes to what exhaust for BMW F22 2-Series is best, the only person who can truly answer that question is you – while our Mod Experts can guide you and offer advice, ultimately, all that matters is whether or not YOU like the sound of your exhaust.
If you’re looking for a customizable, high quality exhaust system that won’t drone and yields more horsepower and torque, look no further than the new AWE Tuning Touring Catback Exhaust for BMW M235i – available with your choice of tips and with or without a resonator. AWE Tuning is renowned for their work with Audi performance, and they’ve recently expanded to BMW as well, bringing their same painstaking attention to detail they’re known for. Check out the sound in the video below.
The Fabspeed Valvetronic Cat-Back Exhaust for BMW M235i [F22] looks fantastic and offers a different tone than the AWE systems due to the difference in the configuration of the rear silencers and the midsection. Take a listen to the sound below.
One last option we want to mention before we move on comes from Remus Innovation.
As an OEM manufacturer of exhaust components for the likes of BMW and Audi, Remus offers outstanding quality systems at a great pricepoint that work beautifully with the rest of the car. The unique Carbon Fiber trim of the Remus Exhaust for BMW M235i “Street Race” tips adds an aggressive custom touch that really sets off the car when you pair it with a Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser, and like all Remus systems, has that unique “German” sound. Check out the tone in the clip below.
Of course, there are many more Exhaust Systems for BMW F22 2-Series available, but there’s simply too many to mention them all here.
Not sure what sound is right for you? Ask our Mod Experts, who can recommend options based on your preferences – give em a call at 714-582-3330 or chat live at ModBargains.com.
Now, after you’ve handled the exhaust, let’s take a look at the intake system.
4. Upgraded Air Intake
BMW’s OEM intake setup tends to be pretty restrictive – and quiet, denying you the pleasure of hearing your turbo spool up for real, rather than some simulated noise pumped into the cabin. An intake yields around 10-15whp on M235i models and more surprisingly, closer to 15-20whp on N20 powered 228i models.
The Injen Intake for BMW F22 M235i is shared with the F30 335i and F32 435i, meaning this intake has already proven itself on those applications – people have dyno’d anywhere between +7whp and +12whp with this intake setup with decent gains across the rev band, and this intake will likely have a CARB E/O number in the future, meaning it’ll be smog legal when your new 2013+ BMW has to smog for the first time, a whole 6 years after it’s new. The Injen intake for N55 motors features a heat shield and an open style filter to draw in fresh air.
The Injen Intake for BMW F22 228i with N20 motors is a semi-sealed type airbox design which closes off the airbox to eliminate the possibility of drawing in a hotter air charge. Have a California car with the N26? Injen offers a N26 intake as well.
Burger Motorsports offers this BMW Roto-Molded Intake for BMW N55 F-Chassis vehicles, which is less prone to heat-soak than a metal intake due to its plastic construction (a natural insulator), but it’s a bit more crude and reuses the lower half of the OEM airbox.
Feeling a bit spendier? The Gruppe M Carbon Fiber Intake for BMW N55 M235i is a gorgeous piece of underhood jewelry and offers a sealed airbox design as well as a modest increase in performance.
Now that we’ve addressed the intake and exhaust, let’s look at the other important performance parts.
5. POWER Mods
Before we get started with this section, we have to say this- none of these options are legal for use in California and we can’t offer them to customers in California – we’re sorry but we’re in the same boat as CA residents ourselves. However, if you live in the 49 other states in the USA or abroad, this next section’s for you.
The BMS JB4 is an institution in BMW N54/N55 performance and the BMS JB4 for BMW M235i is no exception, offering a nearly +50whp gain right off the bat – more as you modify the car more. These piggy back style tuners are actually physically installed under the hood and do not alter the ECU itself.
If you’ve got a 228i (or 220i), you’ve still got options. The BMS Stage 1 Tuner for BMW N20 228i is a great starting point, and just connects to four sensors in the engine bay and Stage I gains are up to 30whp and 40wtq. The gains for this setup are conservative, but keep in mind – that’s just Stage I.
Remus Innovation has long been known for their outstanding quality exhaust systems and has expanded their line into performance tuning. Like the BMS, the Remus Powerizer for N20 connects to a few sensors in the engine bay, in no way modifies the ECU itself, and can be removed without any trace. The Powerizer offers significant power gains of up to 52whp and 60wtq on an otherwise stock car right out of the box, but it is on the pricier side. But as always with Remus, you’re getting a quality, thoroughly engineered product. Also available is the Remus Powerizer for BMW M235i (N55) which yields similarly potent gains.
The Most Important Performance Part if you’re Modding for POWER:
We can’t overstate the importance of the intercooler on any turbocharged (or supercharged) car. While the intercooler doesn’t make “Extra” horsepower, it keeps you from LOSING horsepower and allows you to consistently make optimal power, WOT pull after pull. The intercooler is more important than your intake by far, if the intercooler is efficient enough, the intake temperature at the filter inlet doesn’t matter anywhere near as much, so don’t skip the intercooler – especially if you live somewhere WARM like Southern California, Texas etc.
One other thing to mention about intercoolers – they actually help your engine run better by running cooler, and typically speaking they don’t alter your emissions.
If you have an M235i, check out the Evolution Racewerks Intercooler for 2014+ BMW M235i [F22], seen next to an OEM M235i intercooler. The huge increase in surface area and core volume means that it can cool the incoming air charge much more effectively than the undersized stock unit, offering a gain of approximately +20whp and consistent power. If you have a 228i, the Evolution Racewerks Intercooler for BMW 228i is a great choice and offers the same benefits as the M235i version.
Another intercooler from across the pond comes from our friends at Wagner Tuning. Engineered in Germany, the Wagner Tuning Competition Intercooler for F22 BMW 228i/M235i also offers a huge increase in core volume, but Wagner Tuning offers a stealthier look and parts engineered to be a perfect fit, direct bolt on replacement for the OEM unit, making them an attractive option for anyone wanting to keep a low profile.
The WT Competition Intercooler features a stepped core design, allowing it to fill as much space as possible while still also fitting behind the OEM crash bar.
Wagner Tuning painstakingly tests all of their performance parts and publishes the data from their testing so you can see in cold hard numbers just what the difference is over stock.
Before we move on, the last big power part to consider is a downpipe.
Though typically not technically legal in California, a catted downpipe is usually legal in the other 49 states, but catless isn’t ideal for the street, especially if you don’t like smelling stinky gas in your exhaust when you’re at stoplights or idling parked – not to mention not legal for street use in any of the 50 states, so catted is really the way to go. A performance downpipe will yield around 20whp and 20wtq with a tune.
Have questions about getting more power out of your 2-Series? Ask one of our Mod Experts – call 714-582-3330 for advice or chat live at ModBargains.com.
Now that we’ve addressed the handling, wheels, tires, intake, exhaust and performance – let’s take a look at making your 2-series look the part.
The simplest place to start with the appearance of your BMW 2-Series is a BMW Performance Front Lip Splitter for F22 2-Series, which looks great, and as you’d expect of an OEM part – fits perfectly. It looks great, but its ABS plastic construction is a bit plain.
Which is why a Carbon Fiber Front Lip for BMW F22 2-Series is a great option – while it will take more effort to get it to fit properly than an OEM BMW part (like any aftermarket body part), the carbon fiber adds an aggressive touch. And for a cleaner look, installing a set of Painted Front Reflectors for BMW 2-Series sharpens the look of any color.
For something a little different and more motorsport inspired, this Carbon Fiber Front Splitter for BMW F22 2-Series is a slick looking option.
Not to mention a set of OEM BMW Gloss Black Kidney Grilles for BMW 2-Series are another great way to sharpen the look of any 2.
If you’ve got a carbon fiber lip, usually it looks best if you have a few other Carbon Fiber accents to tie the look together – BMW Carbon Fiber Mirror Covers for BMW F22 2-Series fit perfectly and work beautifully with other CF pieces.
Of course, if you’re on a budget, these Carbon Fiber Mirror Covers for BMW 2-Series are a bit less spendy than the genuine BMW option, but of course, don’t fit as perfectly.
As we were just saying, if you’re going to do carbon fiber, it works best if there’s more carbon to tie it all together – like this F22 Carbon Fiber Trunk Spoiler and Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser for BMW F22 M235i. A diffuser will frame your exhaust beautifully and really enhances the appearance of the rear of the 2-series.
While there aren’t a ton of BMW F22 exterior upgrades on the market for the 2-series, more will come out with time.
That about wraps up our recap of the 6 best mods for the F22 BMW 228i and M235i.
Whether you want to just get another 20hp out of your M235i or you want to turn it into a fire-breathing beast, you can count on expert advice from the Mod Experts at ModBargains. Call 714-582-3330 today to speak to one of our enthusiastic experts today, chat live at ModBargains.com or stop by our showroom, ModAuto, in La Habra, CA on Lambert Rd at Harbor Blvd. Need something installed? Click here to make an installation appointment.
Story by Nicholas Gregson