Those are the first words that pop into my head when I think of the cars performance with the VF 540 kit. Thank you to VF Engineering for the new-found love for my car. Since I picked up the car last Wednesday I've had the opportunity to do some heavy driving, back and forth from Anaheim to Redondo Beach twice, and a trip to Vegas and back over the weekend. I've been able to drive it normal and also push its limits at high speeds. At first I admit I was intimidated; the thought of the new beast under its hood and not knowing what to expect or if I could handle the power. However now that I've been able to drive it almost 800 miles since last week I can't believe I didn't supercharge it sooner. The car has truly come to life! I am far from a professional driver however here is my experience thus far:
- This one is a no brainer. The car has 50% more horsepower to the wheels and as much torque now as my car put out in whp prior to installing the kit. See for yourself in the dyno plot below. My car is DCT and I have done most of my recent driving with the Power button on in S5 and M Dynamic mode. When cruising around town from stoplight to stoplight, or in cruise control on the freeway it drives normal. However the second I step on it is a whole new experience. Pull, pull, pull. Even in low RPM ranges the car pulls much harder than before. Then in the higher RPM ranges I get kicked back in my seat. I've also been able to drive with a 2nd and 3rd passenger and 40 lbs of luggage in the trunk and the car still pulls, whereas stock it would have a real tough time going anywhere in a hurry. It's a nice feeling to be on the freeway, drop into third or fourth gear and get kicked back into my seat immediately even starting at high speeds. And the sound is epic, well let's talk about that later...
- What can I say? I am nowhere near mastering 1st gear from a dead stop. And that's with traction control on! If anyone has this figured out please let me know! I haven't even dared step out and go DSC off yet, although I hope to get there soon. Even when switching from 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to 4th, the tires want to leave the pavement. At high RPMs in any gear I find that it wants to lose grip as well. I can't imagine what the bigger kits must be like and I have a feeling I will be buying a lot of rear tires in the next few years. Even though the car has all this power and the traction is not as effective as before, the car still makes me feel like a professional driver even when the tires slip out a little around a turn.
- It sounds like I am now driving with a jet engine under the hood. The spool from the supercharger is priceless. That, mixed with the deep throaty akrapovic evolution exhaust system is by far the best sounding M3 I've heard thus far - and I go to a lot of meets. It's a deep throaty muscle car sound with a touch of supersonic jet. And is it loud enough? Yes. I see a lot of arguments about how the akrapovic system is not loud enough. If you are questioning this hit me up and lets go for a ride - it sounds perfect. I've been told by other buddies with M3s that have cruised with me recently that the car sounds like a beast. Even when sitting still at a light I've already had compliments from nearby everyday drivers and lots of pointing and thumbs ups!
- Would I say the car is now more fun? You bet your ass it is! I think this is what the car should have been and what I would have expected coming out of the factory. I feel like it went from underpowered to just right. Paired with the proper amount of power and the epic exhaust/engine tone, I don't think this car will be leaving my family anytime soon.
Big thanks to EAS for the dyno time! Here are is a snapshot of the car's stock dyno (in blue - 324 whp) and my car now which includes the VF 540 kit and full akra evo exhaust (in red - 477 whp) - this was a mid level dyno run, a couple runs put out less power and one run put out more. This dyno plot is corrected SAE. It was 90 degrees in the shop and the car was running on 91 octane. Big thanks to EAS for the dyno time! I've also included a couple pics of the car courtesy of VF: