Dinan Packages: Proven Performance, Lower Prices


Dinan Packages: Proven Performance, Lower Prices


For more than four decades, Dinan has focused exclusively on taking the performance of BMW vehicles to the next level. Founded in 1979 by Steve Dinan, the company’s early efforts were largely concentrated on motorsport development, enhancing chassis response and ratcheting up the power on in BMW race cars. By the late ‘80s, ‘chips’ started to come into play,” notes Dinan’s Nathan Fette. “And at that point, it became more of a holistic approach to improving vehicle performance.”

As time went on, Dinan formed a closer relationship with BMW’s dealership network, eventually offering complete upgrade packages for road-going production vehicles like the iconic E46 M3 and E39 M5 through those outlets.

Recent years have seen Dinan continue these efforts with Power packages as well as Signature packages, the latter of which included a plaque with Steve Dinan’s signature which signified that a vehicle’s performance had been broadly enhanced with a range of Dinan performance components. The company’s latest offerings, the Foundation and Experience packages, carry on the tradition of providing proven performance for the current roster of BMW vehicles.

“Foundation signifies that these are the fundamental building blocks of a performance-tuned vehicle,” Fette explains. “And the Experience packages, meanwhile, offer the full experience – not just power and sound, but also handling. And that delivers a balanced improvement which helps ensure that you can fully command all of the upgrades.”

Building The Foundation

Launched earlier this year, Dinan’s Foundation packages focus on BMW’s latest enthusiast models – think M240, M340, M2, M3, M4, M5, X3 M, X4 M, X5 M, and even the MKV Toyota Supra, among others. As with Dinan packages of the past, Fette says that part of the goal is to remove the guesswork that’s common with aftermarket upgrades and provide enthusiasts with proven solutions that tangibly elevate performance.

“One of the biggest advantages is that these packages provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for enthusiasts – it’s an easy way to ensure that what you’re putting on your car is going to function the way you expect it to, and that all of the parts that you’re bolting on are designed to work together,” Fette says.

“There’s no need to do research on the forums and sift through information that may or may not be useful. The parts included in these packages were all developed and tested together, and they’re proven to work harmoniously with one another. You install it and you’re done – there’s no issues or loose ends to figure out after the fact. In recent years, mixing and matching aftermarket upgrades from different brands has become much more commonplace, and we’ve seen the number of issues soar because of it. Between these issues and the aforementioned research, it often ends up requiring folks to dedicate a lot of extra time to these upgrades, and it’s still a leap of faith until it’s completed. But with these Dinan packages, you already know it’s going to work the way you expect it to.”

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Foundation packages are primarily consist of three Dinan components: a cold-air intake, an axle-back exhaust system, and either a high-flow turbo inlet for more power, or an x-pipe for a more aggressive exhaust note.

“Since these packages are all hardware based, it’s more about providing a more visceral driving experience rather than big horsepower and torque numbers,” says Fette. “It’s about the sound, the sharper throttle response, and that type of thing. And it comes with the peace of mind that what you’re getting is designed to work well together.”

He also says that Foundation packages offer a substantial cost savings over purchasing the package components a la carte. “It equates to a ten percent discount compared to buying the same parts individually. With cars like the M340 and GR Supra, you’re basically paying for the intake and exhaust, and getting a turbo inlet for free – along with an extra $50 in your pocket. With some of the bigger packages that are available, you can save as much as $730.” While Dinan can occasionally make small tweaks to package orders, the intention is to keep things simple and include everything you need under one part number.

“These are set packages based on the most popular parts that we offer for a given platform,” Fette says. “And by doing that, it’s made it much easier for us to offer these packages through our distributor network than it has been in the past.”

Getting The Full Experience

Like the Foundation packages, Dinan’s Experience packages are based on a comprehensive approach to improving vehicle performance. Here that philosophy is taken a step further with components that bolster a vehicle’s cornering capability as well.

“So that means a basic Experience package will include what you’d get in a Foundation package, along with either a strut brace, a spring and bump stop combination, or coilovers, depending on the vehicle platform,” Fette says. “To me, the biggest changes that you’re going to see on the chassis side are more immediate turn-in and the feeling of greater connection to the road. It’s difficult to quantify what better handling feels like, but that connectedness and the additional information that it provides from the road really enhances the driving experience.”

Experience packages typically also come with one other piece. “In Dinan’s early days, that additional component would typically have been a set of pedal pads, and we wanted to bring that tradition back where possible. It’s also worth noting that this extra component usually completes the ‘ten-point journey,’ which means that the vehicle qualifies for a Dinan badge on the rear decklid.”

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That badge might sound relatively trivial at first glance, but Fette points out that it puts an eligible vehicle in rarified company.

“We don’t sell those badges; they have to be earned through that ten-point journey. There’s a lot of different ways of getting there – any part that we offer which has a performance-enhancing element to it has a point value. So while ignition coils and spacers do not have a point value, an exhaust system does. Most of our parts are subtle or hidden in the car, which makes it more difficult to notice that a car has Dinan tuning. And we also want to reward folks for getting to a point where the vehicle’s modifications have achieved the essence of a full Dinan-tuned vehicle. The badge has meaning: A Dinan-tuned E39 M5, for example, commands a premium in the second-hand market.”

Experience packages are available for all of the same platforms that the Foundation packages support. And like the Foundation packages, they also offer a cost savings when compared to buying these components individually.

Looking ahead, Fette says that Dinan expects to have support for the latest X3 M40i by the end of this year. The company is also currently developing ECU tuning solutions for the latest batch of BMW performance vehicles, which will allow enthusiasts to increase horsepower and torque output even more, along with opening up additional levels of packages in the future.

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