"This entry is part of my Interior Program for The Stripper. I seek to create my own blueprint to a GTS interior, with a bit more flare.
In this entry, I unbox the pre-preg carbon center console from René, remove the OEM leather console and test fit the carbon console to gauge the small adjustments needed."
A rare spec.
I had been on the fence about completing my carbon interior trims for a while: there were few examples of properly done complete carbon interiors. BMW didn't even have a carbon center console for GTS, opting to introduce it on limited edition, late production runs.
BMW produced a complete carbon trim set exclusively for the Frozen & DTM "Editions" cars.
Back in the Winter of 2023, I decided to give it a shot. I commissioned a carbon center console from René.
My previous carbon dash and door trims had been spec'ed in 2x2 and matte clear coat. I kept the same specs.
I received the console in early March while the V8 was still in storage. I unboxed it and was glad to find no damages had occurred during shipping, except the cubby holder unglued - urgh, UPS.
René uses the same process as BMW used on the Genuine trims. He uses carbon pre-impregnated with resins, commonly called pre-preg for a thin, precise finish.
Like BMW, René uses the pre-preg carbon over slightly sanded down OEM plastic trims. They come with all the required clips. You will need to transfer the foam pads over from the OEM center console.
Additionally, he positions the weave in the same optical direction as OEM. This is usually an immediate giveaway the trims are aftermarket whenever I've come across carbon center consoles that don't mimic the angle BMW used.
The ashtray cover comes with the kit as well. René re-glues the OEM chrome accent. You can also spec your console without it.
The cubby holder came off during transport, we'll get this fixed during the final install. If you have iDrive, this shouldn't be a concern.
René can source any OEM center console: whether you have MT or DCT, CIC or CCC or single hump - and even convertible. Prices do vary per application due to the price structure set by BMW on trims.
Getting the OEM center console off is extremely easy. There are no bolts, use plastic trim tools and pop the center console clips by working the edges.
The metal clips are fit snuggly into a few holes. There are no bolts here.
A little controversial touch: BMW called this the DKG internally.
You'll need to unplug a few connectors: the shift knob, the Drivelogic (if DCT) and the EDC / DSC / Power trio.
The ashtray itself is held by 4x Torx bolts. The ashtray cover is held into place by the top clips and the lower alignment tabs, that's all. Pop them! The noises will be uncomfortable.
The foam pads under the metal clips can be easily removed to be transferred to the carbon center console.
Test fitment notes.
I wanted to get the console test fitted immediately to get a feel for the preliminary fitment and adjustments that would be needed. Test fitting the new carbon console was overall quite straight easy.
I transferred the foam pieces, test fitted the buttons and clipped the console and shift boot in.
The fitment of the outline was perfect. I had no issues pushing the console in along its clips. It fit in snuggly.
The Drivelogic button was surprisingly my main worry. The button had started squeaking and losing some of its black coating by rubbing against the OEM leather.
There was more clearance with the carbon console: no rubbing - nice!
The ashtray cover didn't fit right away. Here, it's clipped in at the top, but it wouldn't slip in over the tabs at the bottom. We will need to slightly trim the inner lower section to fit snuggly.
Overall, I was happy with the preliminary fitment and could see easy paths to the adjustments required.
Up next: we get this to David at RCVR to get the final adjustments made and the center console fully fitted.