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      04-28-2010, 07:04 PM   #1
First Lieutenant
Palantirion's Avatar

Drives: Z4 MC, M5, 540iT
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SoCal

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Driving ESS's stable at LVMS (even the monster 4.6L stroker!)

A couple weekends ago I had the opportunity to test drive three ESS supercharged BMWs, in addition to my own Z4 MC, on LVMS's outside road course. These were:
Z4 M Roadster with VT1-445
Z4 M Coupe with CFR-500
E90 M3 with VT2-575
E92 M3 4.6L with VT2!!!

In order of HP...

The Z4 MR VT1-445 was a great ride. I was surprised how close to my own CFR500 the 445's power was. Different, sure, but still so much more powerful than stock it really gets your attention! This is one of ESS's newest kits, designed with much in common with the older CFR series but aimed at a different price point and with more power upgrades than the CFR's blower could handle. In true ESS fashion the powerband is incredibly smooth, usable from just off idle to redline. It's great on the track because the power comes on so smoothly it makes it much easier to put power down coming out of turns.

For more info, here's a thread on the kit:

Here are some pics:

The CFR-500 on my Z4 M Coupe was my introduction to ESS. I was initially skeptical, having heard various horror stories about other companies blowing BMWs. I talked at length with AJ at Bimmerfest two years ago, and did a demo ride in Roman's CFR-500-equipped Z4 MC. That was enough to convince me. I've been tracking the car for over a year with the CFR-500 and overall it's been fantastic! One lingering limp mode issue has been systematically hunted down, between my testing and AJ's tuning. Regardless, the kit's been bulletproof on the street and even returns stock MPG!

Some pics:

The VT2-575 I drove was on Larry's E90 M3. I was asked to drive the car to show him around the track, and also to flog the powertrain and see if I could find anything that could be improved. In short: NO! The car was rock solid, with tons of torque and nice smooth power delivery. Even with 107F ambient temperature and my hard track driving it didn't overheat (sorry 335 owners). Later in the day I took three of Larry's friends out in his car (at the same time) and they were suitably impressed as well. If I had an E90/92 M3 there is no doubt that this is the kit I would have on it!


And then there was this BEAST. This was Robert's E92 M3 with a 4.6L stroker motor AND an ESS VT2 kit on top of it!!! Sick!!! I drove it with "only" 91 octane and the 5.5psi pulley - so I think it was something like the wheels! It also had a taller-than-stock rear gear ratio and was running on tracked-out PS2s. Let's just say it was "interesting" to drive on the track! Even at 3000rpm in 3rd gear it would easily break the rear tires free coming out of slow corners. It was more important than ever to get the rear of the car to squat and gently roll onto the throttle. Do it right and the car just pulls like a freight train! Mash the throttle and you get an amazing drift machine, hehe. Most impressive to me was the telepathic throttle response of this motor. I love my S54, and my M5's Dinan S62, but I WANT this 4.6L in my cars! The response was awesome, the torque was awesome, the smooth predictable powerband from 1000-8400rpm was awesome!

Some pics:

And a short vid of one of my laps (remember this is on street tires and with a very tall rear gear!):

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