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    • Power under the curve - Comparing the Active Autowerke Level II and ESS VT2-625 + VT2-650 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kits and HP/TQ curves

      All centrifugal superchargers for the BMW S65 V8 do not produce the same powerbands. For example one kit with a certain supercharger compressor map may have much stronger mid-range punch and another may have a much stronger top end. It is this aspect that sparked a large debate after a video was posted of BimmerBoost members akh23456 and LostMarine comparing their Active Autowerke and ESS M3 supercharger kits respectively.


      Fanboys and vendors from all sides came out stating their cases and why their system must better than the other. BimmerBoost will not be choosing favorites in this battle but wishes to expand on the topic. It is with this that BimmerBoost member @flipm3 (third party with no affiliation with any of the E9X M3 supercharger producers) posted the comparison below of dyno chart overlays of the Active Autowerke Level 2 system and ESS VT2-625 and VT2-650 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kits. The graphs clearly show one compressor used has more mid-range and area under the curve and the other has much more top end. These kits are similar yet have different approaches making for different curves. BimmerBoost will explore doing a similar comparison to this with all the kits although readers should keep in mind that paper results are not the same thing as real world.




      Since this seems to be the master thread of comparing the AA Stage 2 with Meth versus a plethora of ESS kits, I figured I would share some of the DynoJet data that I have been looking at in WinPEP7. I asked Andrew@activeautowerke if he could send me a DynoJet DRF file of an average and standard AA Stage 2 with Meth. He kindly replied with an attached file and clarified that it was a normal AA Stage 2 with Meth complemented by a 100% catless exhaust system. My assumption is that it's running 93 Octane fuel considering the dyno was conducted in Florida, from my understanding. It must be noted that the DRF file that I received was actually of an older Stage 2 running the HKS GTS5550. It is proposed that the present and newer HKS GTS5555 may hold power better at the top end.

      Now having a hold of a single DRF file of the AA kit, I decided to look at the vast amount of data on the large online dyno database publicly accessible to download DRF files from various E9X M3s.

      There has been a hot debate on the difference between the AA Stage 2 and a multitude of ESS kits. Me, trying to stand a neutral ground and currently no where near being in the market for a supercharger, I decided to simply just compare dyno results. This is only that. Comparing solely dyno graphs. I am noticing a large trend on various message forums of people focussing on max values. What some may or may not understand is that, max values tell only a very short part of the story. What people often forget is to observe the shape of the curve or the area under the curve. Although not always 100% indicative, this could very well help predict how car will perform on the street and track.

      What I decided to do was choose a handful of different ESS VT2 kits that would look like a good match to compare with the AA Stage 2 with Meth. I based this solely off personal judgement. To be fair, I chose what I thought to be the "best" run for each respective ESS kit. To me "best" means which had, not necessarily the highest max value, but what had the strongest curve and looked to provide the most power throughout the power band.

      Please Note: The following dynos are property of Active Autowerke, ESS Tuning, respective owners of the vehicles, and the publicly available S65 dyno database. My intention is not to prove that one kit is better than the other, but solely to entice people to take the time to really study dyno graphs. Although dyno graphs are not the end-all be-all, it can very well depict how a car performs. Of course there are endless variables that play into role, but I choose not to get into that right now. So as I always say, take all these dyno graphs with a grain of salt and even skepticism. Also please note that all of these dynos were conducted on different DynoJets and in some cases, different States. This alone provides a potentially influential confounding variable.

      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs Lalit@ACM ESS VT2-625
      SAE


      UNCORRECTED


      CONDITIONS


      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs DLSJ5 ESS VT2-625 (95 Octane)
      ​SAE


      UNCORRECTED


      CONDITIONS


      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs Sal@ACM ESS VT2-650
      SAE


      UNCORRECTED


      CONDITIONS


      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs m33 ESS VT2-650
      SAE


      UNCORRECTED


      CONDITIONS


      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs m33 ESS VT2-650 w/ Meth
      SAE


      UNCORRECTED


      CONDITIONS


      Again, this post is simply to provoke discussion, as well as, raise the awareness that there is more than simply max values. I hope that many of us, being hardcore automotive enthusiasts, will take the initiative to make it a habit to study dyno graphs with a bit more thought. In addition, for anyone in the market at buying anything related to your car, I encourage you to take the time to do the research, to contact respective tuners, current clients, all simply to gather as much data, information, and opinions as you can. Ultimately, it's you who chooses what you put on your car. ESS Tuning, Active Autowerke, VF-Engineering, G-Power, Gintani, and Evolve Automotive all make amazing supercharger kits. In the end, regardless what route people take, I don't think anyone will complain with the monstrous power that they add to their car. I have much respect for all these companies simply because it is a very cut throat industry, but their passion for automotive tuning prevails and they keep improving upon themselves and their products. To all the tuners and companies out there, keep at it because competition is what pushes you to better your product and service. Now a days, I don't even think there are "bad" options anymore since everyone will have many pros that may very well out way, some of their own cons.

      I forgot to add another comparison which I think is very relevant!


      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs DLSJ5 ESS VT2-625 w/ Meth
      SAE



      UNCORRECTED


      CONDITIONS



      One thing that I purposely did not bring up was boost levels. The biggest reason being that I didn't see all the logs within the embedded DRF data. It must be noted and appreciated that all of these cars are making more or less power at different levels of boost. I'll be the firs to admit that I am fairly new to really digging into the engineering of Forced Induction. So my level of understanding of overall kit efficiency, boost efficiency, size of pulleys, intercooler design, etc is still fairly new to me. Instead of trying to prove a point with evidence that I am not 100% comfortable with, I chose not to bring in that variable. Although it is very important!

      These comparisons are solely just comparing curves. Simple as that. How they play into role during a road coarse or straight line race, I don't know. How they play into role in the 1/4 mile or from a rolling race at varying speeds, not sure about that either. This is just to provide a visual aid in the difference between a handful of kits.

      There is no doubt that the ESS and Vortech V3si have AMAZING power up top. It holds a very steep slope of power increase nearly until the very end of redline. On the other hand, the HKS GTS5550 seems to have a very nice foothold in the midrange. Once again...pros and cons. The consumer should do their research and pick what meets their demands the most.

      I hope you all enjoy the visual aids I posted. Again, this is still a very short page in the book of comparison.


      This article was originally published in forum thread: AA level II and ESS VT2-625/VT2-650 dyno comparisons started by flipm3 View original post
      Comments 87 Comments
      1. flipm3's Avatar
        flipm3 -
        ...Dang...I made some silly typos and I can't edit it, haha...

        I must note though. In the last paragraph, I accidentally deleted "Gintani" when I went back to add "G-Power". So yeah, Gintani...you're on that list too!
      1. lulz_m3's Avatar
        lulz_m3 -
        I know quite literally nothing about the M3's, but damn those ess kits seem to run quite lean, no?
      1. akh23456's Avatar
        akh23456 -
        Great Post @flipm3 i need to hit the dyno so i can overlay the new blower graph over these ones...I am glad you understand Peak HP means nothing in our M3 its all about the power under the curve.
      1. flipm3's Avatar
        flipm3 -
        I forgot to add another comparison which I think is very relevant!

        AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs DLSJ5 ESS VT2-625 w/ Meth
        SAE
        Click here to enlarge

        UNCORRECTED
        Click here to enlarge

        CONDITIONS
        Click here to enlarge

        One thing that I purposely did not bring up was boost levels. The biggest reason being that I didn't see all the logs within the embedded DRF data. It must be noted and appreciated that all of these cars are making more or less power at different levels of boost. I'll be the firs to admit that I am fairly new to really digging into the engineering of Forced Induction. So my level of understanding of overall kit efficiency, boost efficiency, size of pulleys, intercooler design, etc is still fairly new to me. Instead of trying to prove a point with evidence that I am not 100% comfortable with, I chose not to bring in that variable. Although it is very important!

        These comparisons are solely just comparing curves. Simple as that. How they play into role during a road coarse or straight line race, I don't know. How they play into role in the 1/4 mile or from a rolling race at varying speeds, not sure about that either. This is just to provide a visual aid in the difference between a handful of kits.

        There is no doubt that the ESS and Vortech V3si have AMAZING power up top. It holds a very steep slope of power increase nearly until the very end of redline. On the other hand, the HKS GTS5550 seems to have a very nice foothold in the midrange. Once again...pros and cons. The consumer should do their research and pick what meets their demands the most.

        I hope you all enjoy the visual aids I posted. Again, this is still a very short page in the book of comparison.
      1. Andrew@activeautowerke's Avatar
        Andrew@activeautowerke -
        Great post. Are there any other kits you can overlay such as gpower,gintani,VF??
      1. flipm3's Avatar
        flipm3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by akh23456 Click here to enlarge
        Great Post @flipm3 i need to hit the dyno so i can overlay the new blower graph over these ones...I am glad you understand Peak HP means nothing in our M3 its all about the power under the curve.
        Thanks @akh23456 ! I'm glad you enjoyed the images I posted. I am very curious at looking at the curves of the HKS GTS5555 as well! I really think that everyone has a preference in the end. There were debates in the E46 M3 community as well between having more power throughout the curve versus having strong peak power. In the end, I think people should choose the kits that they will enjoy the most for their own personal needs. I think there is a strong market for people who really enjoy that peak power then on the other hand, there are those who want more power throughout the midrange.

        There is no denying that most of the record 60-130 times and 1/4 mile times are posted by people with ESS cars. With that, they have AMAZINGLY fast times, very impressive to say the least. I am hoping that more and more AA, VFE, Gintani, G-Power, and upcoming Evolve owners will do the same. These facts alone play a bigger role in power delivery than these two dimensional dynos. As I said before, there are so many things to consider. It's fun discussing pros/cons and benefits to different philosophies. In the end, there is no denying that all of you with your boosted E9X M3 make us NA E9X M3 owners feel rather obsolete and very very slow, haha.

        Definitely grab some DynoJet data for us if you can!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by flipm3 Click here to enlarge
        ...Dang...I made some silly typos and I can't edit it, haha...

        I must note though. In the last paragraph, I accidentally deleted "Gintani" when I went back to add "G-Power". So yeah, Gintani...you're on that list too!
        Let me know where the typos are I'm putting this on the front page.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew@activeautowerke Click here to enlarge
        Great post. Are there any other kits you can overlay such as gpower,gintani,VF??
        Absolutely but I think this should be done in a separate article. Let's focus on these two for now.
      1. flipm3's Avatar
        flipm3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Let me know where the typos are I'm putting this on the front page.
        PM sent Click here to enlarge

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew@activeautowerke Click here to enlarge
        Great post. Are there any other kits you can overlay such as gpower,gintani,VF??
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Absolutely but I think this should be done in a separate article. Let's focus on these two for now.
        Definitely possible if one had all the DRF data together.

        I wish I had more personal hands on experience with all these kits because I am most interested in seeing how these dyno results translate to street performance. For all I know, differences in power curves and delivery might equal out in the end, haha....then everyone is a winner Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Intro paragraph for front page post post accompanying flipm3's article:

        All centrifugal superchargers for the BMW S65 V8 do not produce the same powerbands. For example one kit with a certain supercharger compressor map may have much stronger mid-range punch and another may have a much stronger top end. It is this aspect that sparked a large debate after a video was posted of BimmerBoost members akh23456 and LostMarine comparing their Active Autowerke and ESS M3 supercharger kits respectively.

        Fanboys and vendors from all sides came out stating their cases and why their system must better than the other. BimmerBoost will not be choosing favorites in this battle but wishes to expand on the topic. It is with this that BimmerBoost member @flipm3 (third party with no affiliation with any of the E9X M3 supercharger producers) posted the comparison below of dyno chart overlays of the Active Autowerke Level 2 system and ESS VT2-625 and VT2-650 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kits. The graphs clearly show one compressor used has more mid-range and area under the curve and the other has much more top end. These kits are similar yet have different approaches making for different curves. BimmerBoost will explore doing a similar comparison to this with all the kits although readers should keep in mind that paper results are not the same thing as real world.

        Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Typos fixed.
      1. fastgti69's Avatar
        fastgti69 -
        Amazing!!!! Crazy how the graphs differ in midrange and top end. The power falls off at with the hks blower while the vortech is climbing. Pretty badass I must say. I wish I knew more about PSI vs pulley vs etc. I have no clue about that stuff either.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fastgti69 Click here to enlarge
        Amazing!!!! Crazy how the graphs differ in midrange and top end.
        Yep, pretty big difference in the compressors and this illustrates it quite well.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by akh23456 Click here to enlarge
        Great Post @flipm3 i need to hit the dyno so i can overlay the new blower graph over these ones...I am glad you understand Peak HP means nothing in our M3 its all about the power under the curve.
        Well peak HP doesn't mean nothing it's just a part of a bigger picture. People often discount area under the curve and solely focus on peak values which many of the people who don't understand the other perspective routinely do.

        Please get updated graphs!!
      1. flipm3's Avatar
        flipm3 -
        Amazing indeed. I think what those specific dynos show is that both kits look to have different characteristics that could formulate into a different street and track experience. To say that having higher peak power or having more midrange power is fairly subjective because purposes can be different.

        I hope someone can build upon the foundation that I established and elaborate more on boost/pulleys, intercoolers, kit efficiency. All the stuff easily surpasses my knowledge base as of now. I am looking forward to learning more about the differences of all the kits out there. So hopefully we can continue a strong informatively based discussion.

        Good stuff guys. Let the conversation keep growing! Click here to enlarge
      1. M&M's Avatar
        M&M -
        Area under the curve is a misleading phrase. For performanct, you need to look at area under the curve in the racing powerband. Which in a DCT is 7000-8300rpm. Look at the area under the curve there.
      1. flipm3's Avatar
        flipm3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M&M Click here to enlarge
        Area under the curve is a misleading phrase. For performanct, you need to look at area under the curve in the racing powerband. Which in a DCT is 7000-8300rpm. Look at the area under the curve there.
        Very right! I am glad someone brought it up. At the same time though, that poses another variable considering that the AA Stage 2 w/ Meth has a different redline, so it looks like it's "racing powerband" would be shifted.

        I was waiting for someone to bring this up because it is a very important variable when it comes to acceleration runs, especially in a straight line.

        Great insight! Click here to enlarge
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        Great how people are talking about racing power bands and rpm shift points.Nicely represented Alex.You can clearly see how the two kits are aimed at doing differen things.
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        One thing to look at here.The conditions.Notice how the ambient temperatures are very very close on all comparisons.The humidity has very little effect unless you start going real high. Even then the difference is small.So what's causing the SAE and the uncorrected graphs to be quite different?The ambient air pressure.Now I can tell you this, ambient air pressure in the regions shown typically gives a skewed correction factor on these v8 engines no matter if the are blown or not. This is from actual experience testing.Therefore, the uncorrected graphs are the ones that represent the more accurate comparison.This is backed up by the fact that you see a consistent difference when looking at these graphs.Had the ambient air pressure been much wide apart then maybe the SAE can be used as a better comparison but this variance is within the boundaries where SAE over corrects.This would also explain why in the real world these two kits are quite evenly matched.Other forums need info like this.
      1. Andrew@activeautowerke's Avatar
        Andrew@activeautowerke -
        I still see an advantage from 7000-8300 when comparing our 625 kit to the ess 625 kit.. Our level 2 is rated at 625 crank after all.