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      09-12-2012, 02:30 AM   #1
ucla bruin
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Drives: daily moped
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: CA

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Thumbs up Innotech valvetronic exhaust review. Pics. Dyno. Video.

After much research, I finally decided to pick up a set of Innotech valvetronic exhaust. This wasn’t talked about much when it came into the scene. Could be due to its price point. But after I was pointed in the right direction, I found a good vendor that offered IPE at a hard-to-resist intro price. Very knowledgeable about the products they carry, good people, good pricing. Definitely would do business with again.


Quality

The packaging was solid. Lots of foam and padding. Neatly packed and all parts were accounted for. I was pleasantly surprised at the craftsmanship of the exhaust. The welds were perfect. I liked that there were a lot of etching and labels on nearly every removable part of the whole system. Shows they took the time to address the little things. Definitely well put together. The guys at EAS were also very impressed at the level of detail and quality.



























Install

EAS did a great job fully integrating it to the car. Sammy and Steve worked their magic and knew exactly what to do, running the vacuum hose into the car, wiring the IPE ECU remote….etc. It is not as simple as a straight bolt-on but they did a fantastic job. The fitment was also excellent. We all agreed that it was an 8.5-9 out of 10, which is pretty much as good as it gets.


Performance

My car is a 2008 and I have updated the software to the latest. I also installed a BMC filter. These are all factors that would affect the dyno results. So out of fairness, I didn’t think my car would fairly represent what IPE alone would do for our cars.

Side note: I highly recommend for everyone to get the SW update and all the coding from Tom at EAS. I think this is something has been undervalued. I have the headlight amber delete, side mirror folding, windows roll down, and latest SW update so far and love all of them. It’s great how Tom can help you customize these little things to unlock more features or even to help the car run smoother. I’m sure there’s a huge list somewhere on EAS site but if it’s too overwhelming, Tom can customize individual packages to match each person’s preference as well.

Actually, here is it:
http://www.europeanautosource.com/pr...eas-bmw-coding


Ok I digress. Performance.

Since my car wasn’t the prime candidate to find out what IPE is all about, and I was dying to know, I enlisted the help of my friend with a 2011 e93 M3. He is the first and only owner of the car with stock intake, engine, and exhaust, ideal for direct comparison of before and after IPE.


Dyno.

I originally got the F1 version as shown in the pictures then later paid a little more to get the non-F1 x pipe as well. Difference between F1 and non-F1 is in the x pipe. These are the results of non-F1.



Maybe we could’ve gotten more out of it but we were absolutely thrilled to see a healthy +15hp and +10ft lb of torque! This was very good result but what’s even better is the fact that there is consistent gain across almost the entire power band, usable power that is there every step of the way. This was big because I’m sure most of us don’t spend too much time near the 7k rpm range. The version I ordered has cat bypass near the second O2 sensor. Most of the time I actually don't have any CEL but it does come on from time to time. When it does come on, it manages to go away on its way after a while. Doesn't really bother me since CEL is almost unavoidable with primary cat deletes. Later I learned that I could have requested for IPE to remove the cat bypass at no extra cost. Tom commented that if those were removed, it probably would have freed up at least another +5hp or so. Oh well. In the end, we were all very pleased with what we saw.


Overall experience

I wanted something different from the typical deep sounding and droning exhaust. A lot of them, after a while, start to all sound very similar (boomy) too. Innotech's price range falls somewhat closely below Akra. So naturally, that was my target of comparison. No doubt that Akra wins in materials because it's Ti and IPE is not. I've never owned Akra so I can't speak for its quality but I'm sure it is top notch. That said, IPE's quality seems to be very good as well. The conservative +15hp, +10ft lb tq gain and consistency across the entire band are definitely good enough for an exhaust of this caliber. So the trade-off I narrowed it down to is this: Akra with weight saving vs IPE's valvetronic technology.

With Akra, you get Ti and better weight saving, which is important. But in my opinion, unless you are serious about track and every lb matters to you, which I think most of us are not, I’d much rather have the ability to control the exhaust volume/tone. Plus, Akra's exhaust note has always been a little on the quiet side for me. Not as aggressive as I'd like unless you really push it. Would I feel a difference in just daily commuting if I had the lighter (but more expensive) Akra? Of course. But in the end, it was much more worth it to maintain pretty much the same level of performance and be able to change my exhaust note from "comfortable" to "intoxicating" at the push of a button. IPE won me over with its better pricing and valve controls and I’m glad it did.

(Don't take this the wrong way, I am not slamming Akra, not sure if that's possible anyway haha. This is just my comparison and personal opinion in my decision making.)

Aside from comparisons, IPE does very well holding its own. Each time I get in the car, I can enjoy it fully without having to worry about it being constantly too loud for cops, family, neighbors....etc. The fact that there is no drone is huge plus too. You can also set a target rpm by which the valves open automatically in “auto” mode. I really like this feature. Setting the rpm was very easy to do. Took me less than a minute. Once you set it, you press the “auto” button on the wireless key fob to put the system in auto. I’ve set mine at 4k rpm. So now, when in auto mode, 0-4k rpm, my valves are closed. But when I push it over 4k rpm, the valves open instantaneously and stay open until the rpm drop below 4k. It is very useful and convenient that you can dictate this. A cool selling point.

I believe IPE’s valvetronic makes the exhaust a much more sophisticated system both mechanically and electronically over the common bolt-ons. It gives the drivers best of both worlds. Valve closed, it sounds like a BMW performance exhaust, perfect for driving the kids/clients/wife/gf around and morning commutes. Open valves, it transforms into an exotic beast unlike anything I've heard on the M3 before. Unexpectedly sexy. I still can't get used to it sometimes



Huge thanks to Tom, Steve and Sammy at EAS for all of their time and effort. Much appreciation to the team at www.lmted.com on getting me the best pricing on IPE anyone can find. Highly recommend it if you’re thinking about it, or even if it’s just to ask questions. I felt very taken care of and was treated with respect and honesty.

Last edited by ucla bruin; 09-12-2012 at 02:59 AM.