Months ago I had Mike Benvo of BPMSport do some coding to my 08' E90 M3. I was in the middle of a CIC retrofit and I knew I would need some expertise in getting the car's brain dialed in and working again. We spoke via email, txt and telephone a couple times before I decided on, and committed to having Mike help me out. I found him very competent, knowledgeable, and professional (although slightly cocky, deservingly so). His understanding of my car, it's electronics, and how it all works, was the most impressive part of our talks. You get the impression he could make your car do anything you want it to. Blink, breathe, speak, and move exactly the way you want. With my new NAV working again, mirrors folding, lights blinking, door unlocking, windows rolling, wipers stopping, engine conserving, and cool new traction control, I was left very happy as I disconnected the ODB cable. I live in Salt Lake City and so he handled it remotely. That was months ago.
Recently, I loaded the family into the family truckster and headed south to Disneyland. Any chance to drive my car at zero altitude is a trip worth driving. Those of you having never lived with your M at a mile-high, certainly don’t appreciate the California coast the way I do. The performance difference is staggering. While in LA I met up with Mike to have him update my OEM software to 240E, and suck the original-owner VIN out of my head-unit so I could update my maps (the dude knows how to do everything – again, impressed). It was a pleasure being able to talk in person, talk mods, and future options. Updating my OEM software was obviously going to overwrite my EVOLVE tune I've been running for a year or so. That would be ok for the time being, although when I arrived home I’d need to get my tune updated thru Evolve, but I didn't want to make the drive home with no tune, given my existing mods. He talked about his performance tune. It includes a few things the other tunes don’t offer. So.., after a couple hours of talking and showing me some of the geek side of what he does (as my kids and wife fell asleep on his couch (add: very gracious as well)), I opted in for his engine tune as well. I was excited to see the difference between my just-overwritten Evolve tune, and new BPMSport tune. Here’s my impression, and a few things that stood out, or that make Mike’s tune a bit different –
Throttle response and smoothness – similar to the Evolve, but you notice the smoothness in which it does it, a bit more with Mike’s. The speed of the response itself, again, very close, but the BPM tune seems to do it more elegantly. It felt more…, the way it should
respond. Idle, sound, feel, touch, execution. I LOVE the new feel. Speed, acceleration, all great, ALL perfect. A certainly noticeable improvement.
Lowered rev-limit on cold engine – I hit this accidentally a couple times the first day being back home in Utah. I never intentionally over-rev my motor when it’s cold, but it quickly illustrated how easy it is to, in fact, over-rev before the engine is ready. It’s also cool to watch the orange dial move further, and have a clear indicator of how quickly the engine warms.
6MT launch rev hold – this is pretty cool. Clutch in, accelerator to the floor, and the revs sit at 3500 rpm. Drop the clutch and take control again. It makes for a very nice launch, not too much wheel spin. Very cool.
Increased MPG – this was not noticed until I was headed thru Baker Nevada somewhere. I noticed, and continued to watch an increased fuel efficiency. Driving DOWN to Southern California was around 19.5 mpg, average. Driving home, UP, I managed to pull off around 21.5-22 mpg. It was difficult to believe. But, I know I’ve never achieved an mpg average above 21, and nowhere near 21 if averaging 85 mph. This makes me really happy. The tune pays for itself! Haha.
Cold-start – I was under the impression I had this with my old tune, and was certain I did, but after experiencing BPM’s cold-start reactions early in the morning, I’ll say Evolve’s cold-start option simply wasn’t included, or didn't work. I remember the cold-start affecting the sounds level with my old tune, but nothing quiet as efficient as this. I’m catless with Challenge Race X, and Revinora Race. Needless to say, my neighbors HATED me, or should have
hated me. Now, it sounds completely stock upon start, and now ALL are happy – even those I’ve never met. Well done.
Something that made me feel super comfortable was I felt the tune doesn’t stretch the limits of what I would want in a tune. I think Mike works within a conservative standard, to remain safe, and reliable. I like this mentality. I don’t want to feel like I’m squeezing everything I possibly can out of the engine. And for as well as I could understand all the geek stuff, it feels very safe. I like that. It’s important. If you speak geek too, you could talk for hours.
I was (AM) surprised how great performance feels, and noticeable when coming from another competitive tune. However, what stands out with BPMSport is the service and detail. Mike is stud. He’s accommodating, and like I mentioned, extremely knowledgeable. He’s had his moments on the forums in ruffling some/many feathers, but if you’re considering any feature coding, or a performance tune, DEFINITELY take the chance to have a conversation with Mike. It makes making a decision easier. A more experienced, knowledgeable, professional, and accommodating guy you won’t find.
I don’t want this to come off too sales’y. But, I’m not too impressed, with too many people, too often, in my life. In fact, most people disappoint me. When I find someone I like, that meets, and exceeds my expectations, I like to talk about it, and make a big deal. That’s all.
Thanks for the great service Mike. You’re a quality guy.