"In this Special Series, I document the backstory, unboxing and driving impressions of the S65 OE+ Carbon Plenum.
In this entry, I document the backstory to the first ever group buy I organize for the M3 V8 and my unboxing impressions covering the technical features of the plenum."
As a Canadian, I didn't feel like spending 5,000$ on a complete carbon plenum. I was mainly looking for the added induction sound, the motorsport carbon look and additional finish options that other OEM style carbon plenums didn't have.
I started working my supplier network in Europe to find rare parts for my personal E92 M3.
I ultimately got introduced to René @ CarboProject in Germany. I launched a group buy on M3 forums and quickly gathered over 50 V8 owners.
My unboxing impressions.
My plenum was in the 2nd batch of the original Group Buy. I opted for the Export version with M Power stickers, Gloss clear coat finishing and OE screws top.
I received it from UPS air shipping in 4 days from Germany.
Immediately upon unboxing the plenum, one thing was evident: this was a quality piece and mimic'ed what BMW M could have done.
The OE+ signature.
The M Power stickers recall the CSL airbox of the S54 and earlier engine builds. The stickers are under the clear coat for a seamless finish,
I didn't find dust specs or pops in the clear. This has been wet sanded and polished, a quality touch.
The OE lid bolts.
The OEM plenum is a hard ABS plastic. Funny enough, the bolts are functionally pointless.
The original units from the group buy had the bolts incorporated as well. This was later eliminated in favour of a flat top lid. It's now standard.
The carbon lid flexes.
As I begun the installation and manipulated the plenum, I couldn't help but think the lid was flexible, and somewhat thin.
I was a carbon fiber beginner back then. René introduced me to the concept of pre-preg & autoclaved carbon fiber: the highest level of carbon fiber construction quality.
This will flex, but never crack. This thinner lid is how the induction sound reveals itself in all it's glory - but I didn't know it yet.
The weave is perfectly aligned.
René uses 2x2 weave pattern for the lid. It is ideal to maintain optical aesthetics on complex curvatures.
Up next: I quickly instal it and go for a drive.
I document my driving impressions, write couple notes and record a video clip.
Does it sound any louder?
Is it worth it?
Let's find out.