Updated with my review:
So I spent the afternoon at EAS getting the exhaust installed (and ogling a VF Engineering-supercharged Lamborghini LP 560-4 as it underwent dyno testing -- what a beast).
Anthony shot a number of pictures during the installation process and of the final product on the car, and if I do say so myself, it looks great. We also shot a number of before and after videos with my Eisenmann Sport and the M Performance to give you guys a better sense of how this exhaust sounds. At any rate, those pictures and videos should be up by Monday according to Anthony, but here's a pic that I snapped with my iPhone of the install:
Here are some general thoughts on the exhaust after putting about 30 miles on it, half on the freeway, and half on surface streets.
Needless to say, there are absolutely no fitment issues given that this is an OEM unit. The ceramic coating is spectacular in person, and I couldn't have imagined it coming out any better. The black coat definitely give the entire unit a more slender appearance than without. The tips are the same diameter as stock, but they look ever so slightly bigger because they're single-walled and thus have a larger inside diameter. That said, I think they can stand to be another quarter- to half-inch wider.
The M Performance exhaust weighs about half as much as the Eisenmann Sport unit, which itself weighs just about the same as the stock exhaust. Can you feel the weight difference? Probably not, but it's nice knowing that the car is now that much lighter on its toes.
Zero beyond the weight savings. We didn't even bother with the dyno, as BMW doesn't advertise any HP gains, and anyone looking to gain any power from an axle-back exhaust is going to be disappointed anyway.
This is the real reason that I bought the exhaust, and really, the only reason anyone should consider this thing. In short, this is exactly the sound I was looking for. I was generally happy with my ES, but it was simply too bassy for me (and my girlfriend) down low, it tended to have a light drone at cruising speeds, and ironically, it quieted down to stock levels above 3,800RPMs or so. In this regard, the M Performance is almost the exact opposite of the Eisenmann Sport. It's very civilized at startup, has no drone at all at any RPM, yet remains noticeably louder than both stock or the ES at WOT from 3,500RPMs until about 6,000RPMs, when the sound of the engine starts overpowering the exhaust (and everything else).
Speaking of which, another aspect of the M Performance exhaust that I'm starting to appreciate is that it doesn't drown out the engine, but instead subtly amplifies the different characteristics of the S65 as it winds up through the power band. Between the 900RPM and 3,500RPM range, the Eisenmann Sport really overpowered the engine, giving the car a very flat note under normal driving conditions. The M Performance exhaust's note, while not as deep as the ES, is much more interesting and dynamic and amplifies the engine's interesting intonations.
Lastly, this exhaust has a very throaty rasp. I can best describe it as a cross between the note of a C63 (with its hollow and guttural snarl) and an E46 M3 (with its signature metallic whine).
All in all, I love it. I'm a low-key guy who prefers the subtle approach to most things in life, and this exhaust suits me perfectly. If you like to go big and want something that will set off car alarms and wake the neighbors, then this is not the exhaust for you. However, if you want something that will give the car some much-needed character while staying tasteful, it's just what the doctor ordered. Our cars should have come from the factory equipped with this exhaust.
At any rate, videos will be up after the weekend. If anyone's interested in hearing the car in person, I'll be at C&C tomorrow in Irvine, and at the Individual photoshoot on Sunday. In the meantime, I'm happy to answer any other questions you may have.
Thanks for reading.
I picked up the recently released M Performance exhaust at a significant discount from the (pretty ludicrous) BMW list price through Steve Thomas BMW (thanks GOLFFRR) last week, and it arrived today. Wanted to show you guys some pics of the unboxing before I ship it off to EAS for ceramic coating. Enjoy.
And finally, the laser engraved tips:
I also picked up these as a bonus:
I'm not sure why some of the images auto-rotated when I hosted them...
I'll post up more pics of the finished exhaust installed on the car in a few days.