Originally Posted by LarThaL
Well, for comparison, the ESS 535 kit costs $8500. So you get 115hp for $8500, or $73 per hp. $1000 for 15hp equals $67 per hp, so actually you are getting more bang for your buck than you are with a supercharger.
Of course, the counterpoint is that $1000 for 15hp will give you no performance gain, while $8500 for 115hp will give you a substantial one. So while from a power standpoint, the SC is a no better value, dollar for dollar, from a real performance standpoint, it is a far better value.
There is, of course, the whole issue of a change in the subjective driving experience and feel of the car, but we shouldn't confuse this with a real power or performance gain. That said, I am not discounting the subjective experience whatsoever. It is, after all, the subjective experience that led me to choose an M3 over a car like the GTR.
ESS doesn't make the 535 anymore, they are now 550 kits. I'm not sure, but I think the price is the same. Looking at it from a standpoint of adding hp/dollar is a bad approach. Here's what I mean. Lets say, someone spends $700 on an intake, yields 8whp. Then he spends $1,000 on tune and yields 10whp. If that person than decides to go SC. Then all this money is out the window. Making the SC more expensive in the long run
. If a tune is where the person would like to end his quest for power, then yes, $1,000 for 10-15whp can be justified especially given the fact that Mike's tune makes the car so much better to drive on a daily basis - as per other people. However, remember that power is addictive, and some people might not stop there. Many VT1 kit owners have upgraded to VT2,3.
It all comes down to the consumer. If all they want is 15hp increase than the tune option is for them. ECU tunes are also perceived as less risk in terms of warranty and blowing up the motor compared to SCed cars. Some people are just not comfortable giving up that safety net, and there is nothing wrong with that. Although given the track record of ESS (the most popular choice for blowers) I don't see how something can go wrong. Perhaps a better approach would be for potential buyers to get a ride in a SC car compared to a tuned car. This however would be hard to find.