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Upgrading the interior of the G8X M3

I add an M Performance armrest, floor mats, BMW M door pins and M Performance seat backs to my G8X interior.

g8x-m3-interior

One of the biggest improvements of the G generation M3 is its interior. It’s on par with the F90, and miles ahead of anything from Cadillac, Lexus, perhaps even Porsche (though not Mercedes). Still, since this is a build story, surely we can improve upon it. Let’s upgrade the G8X interior.

I’ll go through the process of adding BMW M door pins, an M Performance Center armrest, and M Performance seat backs. Everything here is pretty easy to do yourself, if you feel mechanically inclined.

First, the least favorite item…

The BMW M Performance Floor mats

M Performance Floor mats
If you have another option, do it.

These were the very first thing I changed on the car, and with good reason. Even my X3 M40i had little M stripes on the floor mats. But the M3 gets nothing – same as every other 3 Series.

Older M3s used to have an embroidered badge on them, along with a heel section that could better withstand your footsies. The M Performance mats of the previous F generation were made of a sort of rubber that held up well.

Current M Performance mats get none of that – simply a label and a little M stripe. Hardly worth $250 in my opinion, but at least they match the rest of my G8X interior.

M Performance Floor mats
The embroidery isn’t very nice.

BMW M Door Pin installation

BMW M Door Pins

I’m not sure if this is “cheesy” – It gives a little pop to the interior. Your opinion may vary.

To install, BMW gives you a rubber/gummy sleeve. Wrap this sleeve around each door pin and pull with your fingers. Lower the windows when you attempt this, or you could smack your hand against the glass.

If you have an M4, you need one box of these. M3s will need two sets.

You should not need pliers to pull the pins out, but if you can’t do it with your fingers, make sure to still use the gummy for protection.

BMW M Door Pins
The door pin design hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years. Start by unlocking the car and lowering the windows.
BMW M Door Pins
Wrap the gummy around the pin for proper grip.
BMW M Door Pins
Takes a bit of pulling, but it should come off without much of a fuss.
BMW M Door Pins
The new ones slide right on. I prefer the M facing me, not you.

The BMW M Performance armrest installation

BMW M Performance Arm Rest

There’s nothing wrong with the Kyalami Orange leather armrest in the car, but we can tie it together with the seat backs and add some M colors.

You’ll need a pair of pliers, a flat head screw driver, and a plastic trim tool. Before you start, move both front seats all the way up, it’ll make it much easier.

BMW M Performance Arm Rest
Open the arm rest. Move both seats forward fully.
BMW M Performance Arm Rest
Using a plastic trim tool, remove the rear air vent trim. It should pop right out.
BMW M Performance Arm Rest
No need to remove the wiring.
BMW M Performance Arm Rest
Use a flat head screw driver to push out the pins around the spring.
BMW M Performance Arm Rest
Once enough of the pin sticks out, pull the rest with pliers.
BMW M Performance Arm Rest
Using the flat head, pull down on the center of the spring until you feel it release. Then, lift up the old armrest.
BMW M Performance Arm Rest
Two white clips can be removed – BMW gives you all new hardware.
BMW M Performance Arm Rest
Install the two new clips.
BMW M Performance Arm Rest
Place the new armrest on, closed.
BMW M Performance Arm Rest
Add the new spring. Use a screw driver to push it down and lock it into the center clip.
BMW M Performance Arm Rest
Push the two pins back in.
BMW M Performance Arm Rest
Reinstall the vent trim. You can just push it back until you hear it snap.
BMW M Performance Arm Rest
Done!
BMW alcantara armrest BMW alcantara armrest

BMW M Performance seat backs with gloss carbon fiber installation

The biggest change to the G8X interior can be found in these seat backs. If you did not choose the carbon fiber bucket option for whatever reason, this is a nice way to make your interior just as special.

You can choose from open pore (matte) or gloss carbon fiber. I chose gloss to match the rest of the car.

These are very easy to install. You’ll need a plastic trim tool and a T25 Torx bit.

M Performance seat backs
Begin by moving both seats up as far as you can.
M Performance seat backs
There are 2 screw covers on the bottom of each seat.
M Performance seat backs
Pry the covers off with a trim tool.
M Performance seat backs
Use a torx bit and remove both screws.
M Performance seat backs
At this point, lift the covers up slightly, then give them a gentle tug. They come off easily.
M Performance seat backs
Find the hooks on the sides of the new backs.
M Performance seat backs
Guide them in here.
M Performance seat backs
There’s also a hook in the headrest that you must align. It’s easiest to start here and then fit in the other two.
M Performance seat backs
Replace the screws and the covers. You’re done.
M Performance seat backs
BMW quality control is top notch, even for after market parts.
M Performance seat backs
There are two cloth tabs on the very bottom that must be folded back in before you screw them back on.
M Performance seat backs
I like the alcantara look.
M Performance seat backs
White stitching pops – using M colors wouldn’t show up properly.
M Performance seat backs
And the carbon is of excellent quality.

What about kids?

My daughter really is excellent when it comes to how careful she is getting in and out of my car. Remember that she must first dodge those carbon fiber fins as well.

If you’re concerned about dirt, I recommend using AMMO Shag to keep them clean. It’s a better option than pure carbon backs, because marks and scratches are a lot harder to get out of that.

What’s left to upgrade the G8X interior?

BMW alcantara armrest

BMW makes an Alcantara steering wheel, but I’m not sure about how it’ll hold up. Even with frequent cleaning, Alcantara can get gross. They also make carbon fiber rimmed versions, but I believe the things you come in contact with inside should be soft. When you opt for carbon fiber trim in the G8X, it includes the wheel, so I don’t see anything offering a huge change.

Elsewhere, the manual shifter has limited options. There is an M Performance shifter from the previous F8X generation, but to get it to fit will take come customization. I believe the best time to do that upgrade would be if I go with a short shift kit.

For now, it’s time to turn my attention to the next step in this build – under the hood.

BMW alcantara seatback

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