Jun 1, 2019 update to the BMW 318is project car

Project BMW 318is: Exhaust Never Sounded Better

The original exhaust system on our 318is was—to be nice—junk. On past BMW project cars, a decent aftermarket exhaust always sounded right and made a bit more power than a stock system, so naturally we decided that if we could still find one, an aftermarket exhaust system was a must for this project.

It has been nearly thirty years since this one-year only car was produced, so we figured we might have to design our own system, rather than find something off the shelf. Still, we looked around and found two companies still produce an exhaust system for this car: Supersprint and Billy Boat. As we have had great luck with Supersprint exhaust systems on other project cars, we went that route, calling Turner Motorsports—now a part of ECS Tuning— the U.S. distributor for Supersprint.

A close up look shows us the Supersprint system is made of stainless steel throughout. We had some minor fitment issues, but with those resolved, the system looks and sounds great.

As luck would have it, Turner Motorsports did have the exhaust system in stock, so we decided to go for it. As we expected, the Supersprint exhaust system, which is fabricated from stainless steel, was a work of art.

Compared to the stock exhaust system, the Supersprint system is 4.6 pounds lighter, most likely because the resonator has been removed in the Supersprint system. The total weight of the Supersprint system is 25.8 pounds, versus 30.4 pounds for the stock system. Taken as a percentage, this is a significant weight savings.

Installation was a bit tricky. First, you will either need to get an OE exhaust system hardware kit or use your old stuff. The system does not come with any mounting hardware. Not a deal breaker to be sure, but plan ahead. Second, it took us three tries to rotate the pipes around and shim the muffler while trying to not let the exhaust system hit the car’s body or suspension members. While these two conditions are not hard for a competent exhaust shop to work around, they might frustrate a home installer.

Once installed however, our perseverance through the minor frustrations proved worthwhile. The Supersprint system soothes our collective souls great going through the gears, but does not drone at highway speeds. We’re so glad that we decided to forego buying stock components as the Supersprint exhaust did improve our 318is markedly.

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