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    • Evolve gains 46.8 wheel horsepower naturally aspirated on an E46 M3 S54 with their carbon airbox and Alpha-N tuning for a total of 326.8 wheel horsepower

      Wow, some incredible gains and results on the E46 M3 S54 motor from Evolve Automotive. The vehicle here is an E46 M3 which completely stock put down 280 wheel horsepower in SAE correction on the dynojet at ICS Performance. After the baseline, the car received the Evolve airbox which alone raised output to 295 wheel horsepower. Combined with European E46 M3 headers (which differ from US headers as they they do not have the integrated catalytic converter) output went to 312.9 wheel horsepower.

      312.9 by itself is a very nice horsepower number for the E46 M3. To fully take advantage of the Evolve airbox though, an Alpha-N tune was necessary. The result? 326.8 wheel horsepower, naturally aspirated. Simply incredible results and gains that were once unheard of from the supposedly "maxed out" S54.

      To put 46.8 wheel horsepower gained in perspective, this would take the S54 engine in this M3 to about 388 crank horsepower good for 121.25 horsepower per liter. That is elite specific output territory on a naturally aspirated six-cylinder motor especially above 3 liters of displacement. And it is achieved with just an airbox, tune, and Euro spec headers.

      Great work by Evolve Automotive who continues to astound with their tuning prowess. Dynographs in SAE, uncorrected, and showing weather conditions below.







      2005 ZCP M3 SMG

      Modifications:

      Evolve Carbon Fiber airbox
      Evolve Alpha N Dyno Tune
      OE Euro Headers
      OE Euro Cats
      OE US Section 2
      OE US Muffler

      DynoJet 424X at ICS Performance
      4th Gear

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Evolve gains 46.8 wheel horsepower naturally aspirated on an E46 M3 S54 with their carbon airbox and Alpha-N tuning for a total of 326.8 wheel horsepower started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 50 Comments
      1. flipm3's Avatar
        flipm3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        well said
        Thanks!!

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
        Flip...99% of what I was looking for. So I'm still waiting for the last 1%...anytime now...Click here to enlarge

        But I get it now. So basically Alpha-N is mostly pointless until you get the CSL style airbox. On the "flip"side, getting the CSL style box and not getting Alpha-N leaves some gains on the table and is not required.

        Going OT...but I had wanted to do headers and a 3.5" BW style exhaust with the software. Then at some point add the CSL box. So I am trying to figure out if software with the exhaust system will be a total waste.

        Thanks!
        Great to know the post served some benefit Click here to enlarge

        Unfortunately, you cannot run a CSL style airbox unless you delete the MAF because of the volume of air and size of air. There is no MAF for the S54 that can meter anything like that.

        There are CF Airboxes out there that are MAF-compatible. But they are restricted to a very small cone filter, which totally negates the gains of an Airbox to begin with. The CSL Airbox works so well because of the massive potential of volume of cold air you can shove into the lovely inline-6.

        Truth is, at the end of the day, moving to a bigger CF Airbox/AlphaN will provide a small fraction of gains additionally compared to what a proper refined tune can. Depending on what supporting modifications you have, I think the Evolve and CSL Airbox with an AlphaN would be good for an extra 5-10whp. 5whp being if you have very street friendly modifications and restrictive exhaust, 10whp if you start adding the big stuff like the BW 3.5".

        As I'm sure you know, it's about the harmony of parts you have with this NA stuff and making what you have work as well as you can. If you baseline at an average 280whp, then with headers, BW 3.5", and tune should give you about 320-330whp provided your car is running healthy and efficient. If you then add a CF Airbox/AlphaN to the mix, I could see you gaining 10whp throughout the powerband.

        Is it worth getting a tune twice for different stages of your build?...I think that depends on what your application is.

        Are you just tracking for fun or are you getting competitive?

        There are some tuners that just charge you the difference between the two stages of tune, so maybe you can inquire about that as well which is rather an attractive benefit.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by flipm3 Click here to enlarge
        I wish I could give you a more technical explanation, but I just don't think I know the concept well enough to suffice. What I can do is tell you the benefits that I've personally had after having, stock tune, Evolve MAF Tune, and Evolve AlphaN Tune.

        First thing is that I am now able to use an Airbox that has much more massive air flow that the stock MAF is not capable of metering. The nice perk is that I get to use a sexy CF Airbox that sounds out of this world when paired with the S54B32.

        Second thing I noticed is the feel of the throttle. Evolve has done a pretty darn good job with their throttle mapping for both MAF and AlphaN. With AlphaN, it took what I felt with the MAF tune to another level. This is the only car I've ever driven that is as close to throttle-cable setup. It feel as if the amount of throttle input I induce is in a 1:1 relationship with what the throttle bodies do. So what I noticed on the street is much more predictable, manageable, and natural throttle control. Whether it be heal-toe, holding throttle around a turn, on-off throttle transitions....it's just instantaneous, yet smooth and predictable.

        With the MSS54, there is an integrated barometric sensor. So despite the extremes in weather condition and slight deviation in elevation that I confront, my car has never skipped a beat. It has driven 100% reliable and predictable in literally all four season with a drastically wide range of temperature.

        Another nice perk of deleting the MAF is that now I can relocate the IAT sensor to somewhere that is more accurate and consistent in reading. In the stock S54B32 MAF, the IAT is integrated within the MAF sensor. The problem is that the MAF has a tendency to heat soak, tricking the IAT into thinking that the temps are higher than they really are. This is not very ideal for power output and consistency. With the MAF delete, I now use a IAT relocation sensor. Evolve has scaled the IAT within the DME maps to read 100% accurate and precise. With my own data logging and when up to speed, my IATs are always within a few degrees of ambient. In my opinion, this just shows how reliable and consistent both Evolve's Intake is and their choice of IAT location.

        So AlphaN as a whole gives you the opportunity to experience a few small things here and there, that overall can have a nice change in the driving experience.

        Hopefully that helps share one side of the story. If you have any specific questions, I'd definitely be willing to be as helpful as I can.
        It's pretty cool when my own forum can blow me away with awesomeness still. Nice post.
      1. bigjae1976's Avatar
        bigjae1976 -
        OK, got it. Its mostly a HPDE car, nothing competitive, that will still be streetable...barely. I LOVE the sound of the CSL box and want something close to it. With that, I know that this is more of an enjoyment mod than a performance one.

        The last concern I have right now is the safety of Alpha-N. The car will see the severe stress dished out by my right foot. So I do not want to add any reliability concerns or complicate maintenance tasks.

        The maintenance piece was 50% of the reason I parted my 330 out. It had so much crap bolted on in the engine bay that it was such an f'ing whore to do anything. I dreaded opening the hood.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by flipm3 Click here to enlarge
        Thanks!!


        Great to know the post served some benefit Click here to enlarge

        Unfortunately, you cannot run a CSL style airbox unless you delete the MAF because of the volume of air and size of air. There is no MAF for the S54 that can meter anything like that.

        There are CF Airboxes out there that are MAF-compatible. But they are restricted to a very small cone filter, which totally negates the gains of an Airbox to begin with. The CSL Airbox works so well because of the massive potential of volume of cold air you can shove into the lovely inline-6.

        Truth is, at the end of the day, moving to a bigger CF Airbox/AlphaN will provide a small fraction of gains additionally compared to what a proper refined tune can. Depending on what supporting modifications you have, I think the Evolve and CSL Airbox with an AlphaN would be good for an extra 5-10whp. 5whp being if you have very street friendly modifications and restrictive exhaust, 10whp if you start adding the big stuff like the BW 3.5".

        As I'm sure you know, it's about the harmony of parts you have with this NA stuff and making what you have work as well as you can. If you baseline at an average 280whp, then with headers, BW 3.5", and tune should give you about 320-330whp provided your car is running healthy and efficient. If you then add a CF Airbox/AlphaN to the mix, I could see you gaining 10whp throughout the powerband.

        Is it worth getting a tune twice for different stages of your build?...I think that depends on what your application is.

        Are you just tracking for fun or are you getting competitive?

        There are some tuners that just charge you the difference between the two stages of tune, so maybe you can inquire about that as well which is rather an attractive benefit.
      1. flipm3's Avatar
        flipm3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        It's pretty cool when my own forum can blow me with awesomeness still. Nice post.
        Thanks!!! Click here to enlarge

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
        OK, got it. Its mostly a HPDE car, nothing competitive, that will still be streetable...barely. I LOVE the sound of the CSL box and want something close to it. With that, I know that this is more of an enjoyment mod than a performance one.

        The last concern I have right now is the safety of Alpha-N. The car will see the severe stress dished out by my right foot. So I do not want to add any reliability concerns or complicate maintenance tasks.

        The maintenance piece was 50% of the reason I parted my 330 out. It had so much crap bolted on in the engine bay that it was such an f'ing whore to do anything. I dreaded opening the hood.
        Oh the CF Airbox induction roar is marvelous.

        You bring up a great point about reliability and safety. That's the beauty of AlphaN! It's simply just one less thing to worry about, in the sense that your MAF won't crap out on you, and be forced to run in a really crappy pig rich state if it does. As long as you have a properly tuned AlphaN car, your car will be 100% reliable. It's a matter of choosing someone to tune your car safely and consistently. Evolve Automotive and Epic Motorsports have been tuning E46 M3 competitive race cars all over the world for awhile now. Some choose to turn off safety parameters, while others don't. But as I said, as long as your car is dialed out properly on the dyno, you should have zero problems pertaining to the tune.

        I definitely know what you mean! It's a tough balance between wanting as much power as possible, but maintaining reliability. So do you have an E46 M3 now?
      1. bigjae1976's Avatar
        bigjae1976 -
        Yup and thanks!

        So what's the procedure for Evolve? Remote tuning? What kind of data do they require to make adjustments to the tune?
      1. S62R's Avatar
        S62R -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
        This is probably a stupid question. What is the advantage of Alpha-N...especially in a car that sees mostly track time?
        Almost every n/a race car runs Alpha-N.

        Alpha-N is just a calculation of the airflow(instead of measuring it via MAF) using throttle position(Alpha) against engine RPM(N).

        The CSL runs Alpha-N from the factory due to the airbox.
        Also the S65 runs Alpha-N from the factory.

        Alpha-N does not gain power by itself,this is what the power mapping does.

        With Alpha-N the biggest difference is the throttle response as it is like on an engine with throttle cable.
        Plus no worries about the MAF sensor anymore.
        Almost no customer buys the power mapping only,but the Alpha-N as well.
        Same power mapping with MAF connected and then running Alpha-N is a big difference in throttle response.Well worth the bit extra money.

        All the Evolve tunes and Alpha-N tunes are tested in various conditions from cold Scandinavian winters to hot desert climates and from sea level to high altitudes.
        Many of the cars see regular track use and some of the S54 powered cars with Evolve Alpha-N are dedicated track toys.
        Zero issues with tracking them.

        If you are in NA and want the Evolve tune,contact: jamie@rkautowerks.com
        For rest of the world,contact:rizwan@evolveautomotive.com


        The process is easy,you get the Evolve-R
        cable,download the file of your stock car,email it to Evolve and load the tuned file back in the car.

        @alex:

        Did you get ever the cam timing checked on your S54?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by S62R Click here to enlarge
        The CSL runs Alpha-N from the factory due to the airbox.
        I believe this is incorrect, this is what I thought as well.
      1. flipm3's Avatar
        flipm3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by S62R Click here to enlarge
        Almost every n/a race car runs Alpha-N.

        Alpha-N is just a calculation of the airflow(instead of measuring it via MAF) using throttle position(Alpha) against engine RPM(N).

        The CSL runs Alpha-N from the factory due to the airbox.
        Also the S65 runs Alpha-N from the factory.

        Alpha-N does not gain power by itself,this is what the power mapping does.

        With Alpha-N the biggest difference is the throttle response as it is like on an engine with throttle cable.
        Plus no worries about the MAF sensor anymore.
        Almost no customer buys the power mapping only,but the Alpha-N as well.
        Same power mapping with MAF connected and then running Alpha-N is a big difference in throttle response.Well worth the bit extra money.

        All the Evolve tunes and Alpha-N tunes are tested in various conditions from cold Scandinavian winters to hot desert climates and from sea level to high altitudes.
        Many of the cars see regular track use and some of the S54 powered cars with Evolve Alpha-N are dedicated track toys.
        Zero issues with tracking them.

        If you are in NA and want the Evolve tune,contact: jamie@rkautowerks.com
        For rest of the world,contact:rizwan@evolveautomotive.com


        The process is easy,you get the Evolve-R
        cable,download the file of your stock car,email it to Evolve and load the tuned file back in the car.

        @alex :

        Did you get ever the cam timing checked on your S54?
        Great post man! All solid information.

        I personally haven't checked my own timing, but it will be done very shortly during my next valve adjustment...and then some Click here to enlarge

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I believe this is incorrect, this is what I thought as well.
        @Sticky...I actually stand partially corrected. After further recent research, it seems like the CSL runs a hybrid MAP/AlphaN. I don't recall the exact values, but I believe that MAP sensor is only good up to a certain value of pressure/load, but after that pressure value, the DME may potentially revert to full AlphaN. Forgive me for my very rudimentary and vague response. I have much more to educate myself on, so I'd rather not give false information.

        @evolve and @S62R might be able to further explain. Looks like we were both right, haha...its both MAP and AlphaN.
      1. bigjae1976's Avatar
        bigjae1976 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by S62R Click here to enlarge
        Almost every n/a race car runs Alpha-N.

        Alpha-N is just a calculation of the airflow(instead of measuring it via MAF) using throttle position(Alpha) against engine RPM(N).

        The CSL runs Alpha-N from the factory due to the airbox.
        Also the S65 runs Alpha-N from the factory.

        Alpha-N does not gain power by itself,this is what the power mapping does.

        With Alpha-N the biggest difference is the throttle response as it is like on an engine with throttle cable.
        Plus no worries about the MAF sensor anymore.
        Almost no customer buys the power mapping only,but the Alpha-N as well.
        Same power mapping with MAF connected and then running Alpha-N is a big difference in throttle response.Well worth the bit extra money.

        All the Evolve tunes and Alpha-N tunes are tested in various conditions from cold Scandinavian winters to hot desert climates and from sea level to high altitudes.
        Many of the cars see regular track use and some of the S54 powered cars with Evolve Alpha-N are dedicated track toys.
        Zero issues with tracking them.

        If you are in NA and want the Evolve tune,contact: jamie@rkautowerks.com
        For rest of the world,contact:rizwan@evolveautomotive.com


        The process is easy,you get the Evolve-R
        cable,download the file of your stock car,email it to Evolve and load the tuned file back in the car.

        @alex :

        Did you get ever the cam timing checked on your S54?
        OK, thanks! That was the exact explanation I was looking for. That's what I remembered but wasn't sure and couldn't find it. Right now, got so much other crap to deal with. As things calm down, I'll be calling Evolve to get some more info.

        Thanks! Kind of a thread jack...my bad.
      1. S62R's Avatar
        S62R -
        Alex,good call on the cam timing.
        Easy to do anyway when you do valve play.

        Is off on almost every S54.