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


      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs Sal@ACM ESS VT2-650
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      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs m33 ESS VT2-650
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      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs m33 ESS VT2-650 w/ Meth
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      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



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      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. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        So yes,

        make sure the same gears are being used and the starting rpm is very very close on both dyno runs to compare.

        I just sat here and compared a ton of DRF's I downloaded.

        It's all very interesting.

        Just don't get too carried away with this point as it is over the entire rpm range and not really applicable to high rpm races.

        What it does tell you is the response time and how much faster one car will be point to point through the gears.

        Here both the time and torque spread is in favour of the AA kit.

        Want to see some non meth runs though as AA do state that if 93 octane is used the power will be produced without smoking de meth Click here to enlarge
      1. flipm3's Avatar
        flipm3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by folgrz Click here to enlarge
        Wow there is a ton of info in this thread and it's a really enjoyable read, keep up the great work guys! @flipm3

        Subscribed Permanently...
        Thanks!! I can say that it is enjoyable to read not because of my own posts, but because of the great contributing discussion from all the participants in this thread. Great stuff indeed.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        So yes,

        make sure the same gears are being used and the starting rpm is very very close on both dyno runs to compare.

        I just sat here and compared a ton of DRF's I downloaded.

        It's all very interesting.

        Just don't get too carried away with this point as it is over the entire rpm range and not really applicable to high rpm races.

        What it does tell you is the response time and how much faster one car will be point to point through the gears.

        Here both the time and torque spread is in favour of the AA kit.

        Want to see some non meth runs though as AA do state that if 93 octane is used the power will be produced without smoking de meth Click here to enlarge
        Man....absolutely mind boggling right now....Pretty cool stuff to say the least.

        We need more AA Stage 2 data STAT!!!!...and Gintani...and GPower...and VFE...and Evolve Click here to enlarge
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        We'll be calling you 'master dyno' soon Click here to enlarge

        Indeed strong with you is the Force!
      1. akh23456's Avatar
        akh23456 -
        lol hopefully next week guys with the 8555 blower.
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        Don't let us down Akash!

        We are waiting......
      1. flipm3's Avatar
        flipm3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        We'll be calling you 'master dyno' soon Click here to enlarge

        Indeed strong with you is the Force!
        Hahaha...far from it...just someone who analyzes everything to the most minute detail before deciding what to buy...

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by akh23456 Click here to enlarge
        lol hopefully next week guys with the 8555 blower.
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        Don't let us down Akash!

        We are waiting......
        Click here to enlarge DO IT AKASH!!!!!!!
      1. akh23456's Avatar
        akh23456 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        Don't let us down Akash!

        We are waiting......
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by flipm3 Click here to enlarge
        Hahaha...far from it...just someone who analyzes everything to the most minute detail before deciding what to buy...




        Click here to enlarge DO IT AKASH!!!!!!!
        i will try Alex and Sal. Hopefully i can get it done asap but this blower feels amazing to drive.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by akh23456 Click here to enlarge
        ... but this blower feels amazing to drive.
        It sure is!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by akh23456 Click here to enlarge
        Hopefully i can get it done asap but this blower feels amazing to drive.
        I kind of want to try it.

        Wish HKS had something big for my application.
      1. akh23456's Avatar
        akh23456 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I kind of want to try it.

        Wish HKS had something big for my application.
        if you ever come out to NYC i have apt we can chill at and your more than welcome to try the car out. I hope by winter i have something planned either big Hp for the m or new car.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by akh23456 Click here to enlarge
        if you ever come out to NYC i have apt we can chill at
        Don't tempt me, I'll show up. Just don't wake me up early I am not a morning person.
      1. M33's Avatar
        M33 -
        It would be an honor to see you here in the east coast.
        But if you had any balls you would show up to your local events but word has it your nnot wanted there Click here to enlarge
        see now me on the other hand I will be attending the shift sector with my car Click here to enlarge either way I would love to run into you...
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M33 Click here to enlarge
        But if you had any balls you would show up to your local events but word has it your nnot wanted there
        I'm not? First I've heard.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M33 Click here to enlarge
        see now me on the other hand I will be attending the shift sector with my car
        That's awesome but I'd be embarrassed to show up with a car as weak as yours. Perfect for you though.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M33 Click here to enlarge
        either way I would love to run into you...
        You'll see me at Shift Sector then. Weird I'm attending it if I'm not wanted at my local events and apparently don't have balls? Ask other members who have met me. You aren't the first to talk tough and that's all it will be as always, you trying to type scary like some kid in high school L O L!

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M33 Click here to enlarge
        It would be an honor to see you here in the east coast.
        Well I haven't made it to the East Coast yet but I was just in Ohio for shows, going to SEMA for the third year straight, LA auto show, OC Auto show, Mfest, Famoso, Sacramento etc. Haven't seen you at any of them and haven't heard about anybody missing you either. Probably because you aren't relevant anywhere other than in your own head.

        Regardless, this thread is about a technical comparison between the two kits which is clearly above your critical thinking ability as you would prefer to imply high school bull$#@!. Grow up little man, and I'll be more than happy to tell you the same at Shift Sector.

        Now either get on the topic or get lost.
      1. M33's Avatar
        M33 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I'm not? First I've heard.



        That's awesome but I'd be embarrassed to show up with a car as weak as yours. Perfect for you though.
        you have enough embarrassment to worry about I mean you've been building your car for what 3 years now ? And have nothing to show for lol your gay...

        You'll see me at Shift Sector then. Weird I'm attending it if I'm not wanted at my local events and apparently don't have balls? Ask other members who have met me. You aren't the first to talk tough and that's all it will be as always, you trying to type scary like some kid in high school L O LClick here to enlarge if you say so ...

        Well I haven't made it to the East Coast yet but I was just in Ohio for shows, going to SEMA for the third year straight, LA auto show, OC Auto show, Mfest, Famoso, Sacramento etc. Haven't seen you at any of them and haven't heard about anybody missing you either. Probably because you aren't relevant anywhere other than in your own head.
        I've been at Sema for the past 3 years as well as been to Mfest this past year .
        but hey.... Keep talking smack champ .

        Regardless, this thread is about a technical comparison between the two kits which is clearly above your critical thinking ability as you would prefer to imply high school bull$#@!. Grow up little man, and I'll be more than happy to tell you the same at Shift Sector.
        Now either get on the topic or get lost.w
        We'll see what you have to say then .
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M33 Click here to enlarge
        We'll see what you have to say then .
        Please, tell me more.
      1. benzy89's Avatar
        benzy89 -
        Let's stay on topic & not fall for the troll bait -- This is probably some of the best dyno analysis/discussion I've seen on any of the BMW forums
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by benzy89 Click here to enlarge
        Let's stay on topic & not fall for the troll bait -- This is probably some of the best dyno analysis/discussion I've seen on any of the BMW forums
        He's removed from the thread, don't worry about it. Not going to let him ruin a great thread.
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        Ok,

        so I especially drove today with our supercharged car with this thread in mind.

        You see, modifying our cars is not solely about racing others. It's primary for 99% of people to enjoy the thrill of more power and therefore G Force... on the road safely.

        What does a bigger wider power band actually give you in the real world?

        Few examples:

        1) Coming out of a junction in 2nd gear, being at around 3000rpm and planting the throttle. Car with wider power band will instantly accelerate much harder.
        2) Joining a slip road at 60mph, dropping down to 3rd at around 5000rpm, planting it... instant power, brutal acceleration.

        That middle mid and upper midrange are so important in every day driving and thrill seeking.

        Now, let's look at a car with the total opposite power band to these supercharged cars. A bone stock E60 M5. Low end torque is not really that much, response of the engine is not at all great down there. You are always finding yourself shifting down to get into the narrow 6000-8000 rpm power band (over 8000rpm the power plateaus to 8250rpm red line).
        It's rather frustrating if you want to go quick.
        In comparison the E39 M5 in bone stock format has 100hp less but has an undurstable torque curve upto 6000rpm. It delivers more torque and ease of acceleration without having to find the power band is so much easier.

        The E39 M5 vs E60 M5 is a much much bigger different in peak power than ESS vs AA scenario yet you drive both and the difference is massive and very much in favour of the E39 M5.
        However, modify the E39 M5 to around 480hp (we have 2 of these done now), they equal the E60 in top end acceleration (weight difference) but the E39 is way way more versatile still.
        I own both E39 M5 and E60 M5 also.

        An even better example than this is the E39 M5 vs E92 M3. Both have approx 400hp. One has way way more torque than the other. The E92 M3 has the upper hand with more revs and around a realistic 20hp advantage.
        This is almost a perfect comparison for the ESS vs AA.
        Which is the faster on the road? The E39 is way quicker despite being heavier, point to point. In a drag race using full rpm's the E92 just about has the edge. The different is however not as big as you might want it to be.

        What are we looking at here? An average of 20hp top end power difference? Out of a potential 600hp? HA! I'm afraid to say when you put things into real world contexts and the reality is so so different from just the peak number on a dyno graph.

        Just another angle. Maybe a little extreme but the E39 vs E92 example should really hit home for those who have owned or driven both in good examples.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        Which is the faster on the road? The E39 is way quicker despite being heavier, point to point. In a drag race using full rpm's the E92 just about has the edge.
        It definitely has an edge especially the DCT.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        Just another angle. Maybe a little extreme but the E39 vs E92 example should really hit home for those who have owned or driven both in good examples.
        I never struggled with an E39 with my E92 and let's not forget the E92 is a bit lighter as well. I understand your point though.
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        We have to compare manual vs manual here as the gearing is so close and we are trying to compare power bands.

        The majority of tuned E39's are not even producing stock figures. Take a low mileage E39 with setup cam timing and hardly any carbon build up and then it's a fair comparison.

        One has way more torque, the other has min 20hp on top and more revs to use.

        It is such a good example.