• 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
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      UNCORRECTED


      CONDITIONS


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


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      CONDITIONS


      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs Sal@ACM ESS VT2-650
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      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. akh23456's Avatar
        akh23456 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SunocoCAM2 Click here to enlarge
        Not for nothing but I would have to disagree with you ! The only time your seeing bennifit of the power under the curve is in 1st and 2nd gears and more or less 3rd, that ESS650 ( M33 ) car will eat all the cars listed in the Dyno graphs on this thread , not only is he pretty much matching the curve of the AA car but his car actually goes to redline with an additional 50whp and 10wtq that stretches to redline also now if you add a 2-6th gear run it will pretty much put 3-4 cars on its competitors.
        A good run would be the 625 ESS car with the AA car

        Great post BTW!!
        i have to disagree.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        really depends on if any dyno tricks were used to achieve these #'s to compare; tires, spraying water on heat exchanger, standard tuning or dyno only tuning ect..
        +1 he has stated that spraying water on his intercooler will give him 20-30 hp.
      1. SunocoCAM2's Avatar
        SunocoCAM2 -
        You going to this Atco event ? ( directed at Akash )
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SunocoCAM2 Click here to enlarge
        You going to this Atco event ? ( directed at Akash )
        are you? if so what car?
      1. akh23456's Avatar
        akh23456 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SunocoCAM2 Click here to enlarge
        You going to this Atco event ? ( directed at Akash )
        Yes, are you?
      1. SunocoCAM2's Avatar
        SunocoCAM2 -
        I wish I had a blower otherwise I would come :-/
        but I'm in the market for a blower so I'm curious to see the turn out , good luck to you guys !
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SunocoCAM2 Click here to enlarge
        I wish I had a blower otherwise I would come :-/
        but I'm in the market for a blower so I'm curious to see the turn out , good lunch to you guys !
        you speak with such authenticity of knowledge with a blown s65 though, surely you frquent other forums, what would the name on those be?
      1. benzy89's Avatar
        benzy89 -
        Click here to enlarge


        PS -- Who cares if the manifold looks "pretty", I'd rather have something that's dog $#@! ugly & gives max constant, efficiency. Can always add paint if it bothers you that much to dress it up.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SunocoCAM2 Click here to enlarge
        that ESS650 ( M33 ) car will eat all the cars listed in the Dyno graphs on this thread , not only is he pretty much matching the curve of the AA car but his car actually goes to redline with an additional 50whp and 10wtq that stretches to redline
        this is with meth as an octane enhancement though too, not just cooling, correct me if im wrong............ but a 650 car should beat a 625 car, as it supposed to make more power Click here to enlarge
      1. akh23456's Avatar
        akh23456 -
        Please remember that the AA graphs are from the 8550 blower and not the 8555 that i have. What kind of car do you drive @SunocoCAM2 ?
      1. singletrack's Avatar
        singletrack -
        Not interested in SCing, but this is a great post. Nice job!
      1. Andrew@activeautowerke's Avatar
        Andrew@activeautowerke -
        3rd page and no fanboys just pure discussion. I am truly impressed Click here to enlarge
      1. M&M's Avatar
        M&M -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by akh23456 Click here to enlarge


        +1 he has stated that spraying water on his intercooler will give him 20-30 hp.
        Water on the cooler doesn't even add 5hp from my experience. Icing the manifold makes more of a difference than spraying the cooler.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M&M Click here to enlarge
        Water on the cooler doesn't even add 5hp from my experience. Icing the manifold makes more of a difference than spraying the cooler.
        he said about 30hp by spraying water on it. if i had a heat exchanger, i would test it. I know it was a trick on a few previous platforms ive had as well
      1. akh23456's Avatar
        akh23456 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        he said about 30hp by spraying water on it. if i had a heat exchanger, i would test it. I know it was a trick on a few previous platforms ive had as well
        +1 i am going by what he said thats all.
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        You have all moved away from the shift points.
        This is a crucial crucial area.

        What you have all missed too is that you need to be compared the uncorrected graphs in these comparisons for the reasons I have mentioned in my previous post.

        What's going to be really interesting is what happens with the 8555 blower. That should pull hard to what ever red line AA choose.

        No matter what though, it is a massive over statement that one car will walk over another. It takes a massive amount of extra power to pull away from another car.

        Another area which is being missed out is that both of these kits could be displaying glory runs! What happens in the real world ? Temperature my fellow enthusiasts will take it's toll. How good is the charge cooler on the ESS? How good is the intercooler on the AA? What is the recovery time on both?

        Remember, a dyno graph tells you nothing about how responsive a setup is. Response alone makes a huge difference.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        You have all moved away from the shift points.
        This is a crucial crucial area.
        I haven't...
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        Something else for you guys to chew on.

        The dynojet is an inertia type.

        So the wheel drive the rollers and there is no load applied.

        It would interest you to know that the AA runs take on average around 6.8 seconds to complete.

        While the ESS graphs take a best range of 8.6-9.6 seconds to complete.

        While there is a difference in final road speed due to the fact the ESS cars have a 200rpm higher redline, this would account for a very small amount of that time as the engine is still ramping up in power towards the red line so the time taken to complete that additional 200rpm is minimal.

        The time taken is just another dimension into the realms of dyno analysis.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        It would interest you to know that the AA runs take on average around 6.8 seconds to complete.

        While the ESS graphs take a best range of 8.6-9.6 seconds to complete.
        This is an interesting point I have not seen raised before.
      1. flipm3's Avatar
        flipm3 -
        Hmmm....INCREDIBLE point Sal! This adds a whole different dimension to studying dynos.

        So here is my understanding....what way to look at these dyno graphs is to:

        1) Set compared runs at the same RPM/Speed
        2) Measure time between that point and the end of the run
        3) Observe rate of acceleration, speed, power delivery, etc etc
        4) Make one's own conclusion

        I think that kind of makes sense....correct me if I'm wrong....this is fun...haha
      1. folgrz's Avatar
        folgrz -
        Wow there is a ton of info in this thread and it's a really enjoyable read, keep up the great work guys! @flipm3

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