I'd like to share my initial experiences with the upcoming new Borla axle back muffler for the BMW 1-M.
In January, I had the great oportunity to loan the guys at Borla my car to test fit some new prototype products they are working on specifically for the 1-M. I eagerly picked up the car last Friday and can report that I'm very happy with the results!
Since owning the car, I have felt that the stock car has a fairly muted exhaust note. I once heard that something approaching 50% of a person's emotional impression of "speed" and "high performance" is tied into the noise they hear their vehicle making. Having come from a 2004 VW R32, I felt that the 1-M could use a more visceral exhaust experience but also wanted something that was livable for everyday life. This was my motivation for being a test guinea pig!
Quick thoughts after 200 miles:
- The new exhaust increases exhaust volume under power while maintaining a refined sound and timber similar to the stock muffler with no noticeable resonance, rattles, or heavy metallic notes
- Outside the vehicle, the muffler makes the exhaust note more prominent (compared to the engine mechanical noise or turbo noise) by adding a healthy amount of "growl"
- Inside the vehicle with windows down, exhaust note sounds great making heel/toe down shifts more rewarding =)
- Inside with windows up sounds amazingly composed and quiet at cruise throttle. It's still very quiet inside because of the great sound deadening of the 1-M. I actually believe the 2100-2400RPM highway cruise "drone" is reduced compared to stock. I'll take it! No other noticeable cruise "drones" at other highway RPMs.
- The butt-dyno reports that the car still hauls buns!
- Exhaust tips look very good with a similar design, diameter and fit in the bumper cover to stock.
- The muffler uses the stock exhaust mounts and exhaust clamp location (bolt on mod)
- Have no problems "sneaking around" town and the neighborhood. The new exhaust can be easily driven in a manner to not draw attention toward your car. The fact that I'm driving a bright orange 1-M... not much I can do about that!
Based on my first few days, I think their new muffler is really how the car should have been equipped from the factory. I know a lot of testing and development time went into this muffler and it shows.
I'm planning on attending the 1-M meet up Feb 26 in southern California. I'm looking forward to hearing the relative differences between the Borla and another stock vehicle in person and also recording a quality back to back sound file to share on the forums.
Here are a few photos and a brief video link: