This is my first BMW. I used to own a MR2 (AW11), Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9, Honda Accord SIR-T and Subaru Legacy Wagon(2.5i), all are fun to drive, X1? a car for moms isn't it?
Not quite. This is in fact a proper FR car, almost 50:50 front to rear weight ratio, share the chassis of last generation 3 series wagon, only taller. When it first came out, it was the first luxury small SUV(actually it is a very basic car, not much luxury items you could find on this car), immediately became one of BMW's best seller. In 2012, BMW gave X1 a facelift, refined the style, and added a very fine engine for the series. This is the mighty 2.0 turbo in-line 4 engine, which produces 184bhp and 27.5kgm torque, matched with the excellent 8 speed transmission to drive the rears two wheels. This almost sports car specification immediately caught my attention, and I bought one with sport line package in a car show in early 2012. The package included 18" wheels and sport suspension, red leather interior and large sunroof. It can corner quite well under this setting, I am very happy with this car.
In the past 5 years, I had my car maintained by BMW Service Centre in HK, no mod, all original. Recently, a service light went on and BMW told me that I have to change all 4 brake discs and pads. It is a bit too soon I reckoned as I only drove 60000km. What really shocked me was not the short life span of these parts, it was the cost: HK$15xxx.00 for 4 odinary brake discs and pads. I was not really fond of the original brake anyway, so I search for replacement, and finally fixed my target at AP racing. (I just dont like brembo, dont know why)
There are some shops in HK selling sets of AP Racing front braking system (pair calipers, disc, steel hose, pads, and oil) for as little as HK$10k, but the adaptor(bridge) and hubs are chinese made, not AP Racing factory product. So cheap? any thing I missed? I kept searching and discovered that there were some cases of bad installation, problematic setup and use of suspicious/counterfeit goods...etc about these shops. These are not exactly concret accusations but its hard to tell what is true or is simply attacks from business competitors. While there are no first hand experience from my friends/reliable source, and very little real-life cases sharing in the internet, I had to take the risk to find/choose one reliable shop to do the replacement job. At last I discovered a small garage, located at Mongkok, which seems less controversial.
I first established whatsapp communication. The contact person of the garage was very informative and replied resonably prompt. The quotation is a bit higher than the cheapest shop in the market but the difference is not much. I got a quotation on AP Racing's CP9440 (4 pistols) racing series caliper (special edition in silver color), new AP J-Hook disc, GB stainess steel brake hoses, Ferodo DS2500 pads and AP brake oil for HK$14100.00 (labour inclusive). Then I went to the shop and let them make a preliminary measurement. Which was quick and I had chance to observe the garage and the mechanics. I found that it is actually a garage not only provide performance mod but also normal car services, repairing. This is a good sign as their mechanics should be more professional and be able to setup things more professionally. After the preliminary check confirmed the size, they asked for HK$3K deposit and they said they would order the set at HK Distributor PRS. I did what they asked and wait.
Three weeks later, I received a call from the contact person, I was informed that the parts arrived. We then made arrangeme
nt for installation. The day came, I drove my car to the shop, and here you go:
The Set I choose
The Limited edition CP9440, very light weight, and most important of all, very handsome!
This is important, genuine product has this authentication QR code sticker, you can register your product by scanning this code via an app in your phone
Another angle of this beauty
And the new J-hook Disc, the bell is made by PRS the HK AP Racing Distributor, I was told. ANyway, nicely done. Note, the bolts are all AP Racing products
The adaptor (bridge for fixing the caliper) are also made by PRS
Trial Fitting, last time to confirm the set is fit for my car
After confirming the set fits, the shop helped to register online (authentication at the same time)
Look at size difference!
Fixing the Stainless Steel brake hose
The installation took about 3hours, and I think they have done the job professionally. They would seriously check and test, proceed with cautious. At last they will take you to test drive with them and show you the result. I am quite satisfy with their service.
The car now stop in a very smooth and powerful manner. I was told after run-in the power will be much stronger. Will see, at the moment the braking power comes in a very linear way, which is even better than the original brake system. For the price I paid, I think it is much more economical than using BMW original brake parts.....