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  1. #1
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    REVIEW & DYNO | Evolve Automotive Stage 2 Tune

    I have always had such great interest in BMW Digital Motor Electronics (DME) tuning. As technology progressed, so has the complexity and intelligence of these DMEs. What has always amazed me were how there are an endless amount of maps all intertwined in a spiderweb of ways. What has always piqued my interest was that there are a few aftermarket tuners who have really honed the skill of calibrating these maps for better drivability, efficiency, and power. Many years ago, there was a time when there wasn’t really all that much to gain from tweaking these BMW DMEs. In some cases, you would be lucky to not lose power! With great innovations and forward strides in BMW tuning, expert tuners can now pull out very consistent and tangible power from the E9X M3 DME, the MSS60.

    The E9X M3 is very responsive to a few simple bolt-ons, the most pertinent being the deletion of the primary cats. After installing my Evolve Automotive X-Pipe with 200cpsi cats, I knew I wanted to get a tune to not just turn off a pesky check engine light (CEL), but to further enhance the power and dynamics of the motor. With the drastic decrease in back-pressure from deleting the primary cats, I assumed that there was room for some proper VANOS tuning to further enhance and increase power and torque. Knowing that BMW designs their tunes to cater to a wild multitude of drivers, I figure that things may lean on the slightly conservative side. Being the power hungry individual that I am, I was hoping that slight tweaks in Air Fuel Ratio and Ignition Targets can help pull out a few ponies here and there.

    Given my experience with Evolve Automotive when they helped me transform my E46 M3, I knew that by choosing them to work on my E90 M3 was going to be nothing short of a splendid experience. After getting their X-Pipe, I found it to be rather appropriate to get their tune as well.

    PERSONAL REVIEW
    Also knowing how intelligent the MSS60 DME is, I wasn’t expecting the most profound bump in power, especially relative to the drastic gains I felt with the Evolve Automotive X-Pipe. Despite that skeptical assumption, upon the first few hundred miles of driving, there was no doubt in mind a tangible difference in all regard.

    I requested the following features:
    • 8500RPM
    • CEL Delete for Primary Cat Delete
    • Top Speed Governor Delete
    • Cold Start Cycle Delete
    • Servotronic Calibration
    • 93 Octane

    Sound - Believe it or not, there is a slight difference in auditory feedback from the motor and exhaust. With the Cold Start Cycle Delete, my exhaust is quiet upon first start up. What is very neat is how the motor sounds different as you go through the power range, both in full and partial throttle. My assumption is that this is because of the different VANOS calibration. In my opinion, it sounds more visceral and mechanical. Very enjoyable!

    Servotronic - My car doesn’t have any options other than DCT. No MDM. No i-Drive. So I never really got the chance to experience different levels of Servotronic calibrations. When I saw that this was an option with the Evolve Automotive Tune, I was pretty excited because I didn’t really know what to expect. One of my annoyances with the Stock Servotronic Tune was that at slow speeds, the steering felt way too light and effortless. I prefer to have something that has a little more feedback and resistance. With the Evolve Automotive Servotronic Calibration, I found the car to feel like a sports car again! Steering is a tad tighter at slow speeds. At higher speeds, feedback and steering input is very linear and predictable.

    Part Throttle - Upon initial tip in of the throttle from idle, response is very predictable and smooth. Transitioning between different degrees of throttle input is very linear. If I input 25% throttle, I feel like the motor is at 25%. If I increase it to 50%, I feel like there is a very nice 1:1 relationship between the throttle input and how the motor reacts. I find this beneficial for those that spend time on the track. Holding and controlling throttle at different loads is constantly going on. With the tune, I find things to simply be slightly less twitchy and more predictable. In all honesty though, the stock E90 M3 did not have bad throttle mapping to begin, I just find with the Evolve tune to be slightly more refined.

    Full Throttle - I certainly noticed more power! Under 3000RPM, there is more urgency for the car to get up and going under full load. Example, when in a higher gear cruising in the highway, the motor certainly accelerates faster from a starting motor speed of 2000-2500RPM. This is for sure apparent when zipping around town and not always having that instinct nor time to downshift a few gears. Above 5000RPM, I feel is when the tune really starts to wake up. When I had the Evolve X-Pipe and Stock Tune, despite the huge improvement from Stock X-Pipe, I felt like it was losing momentum after 7000RPM. With the Evolve Tune, the pull is absolutely constant all the way to 8500RPM. As expected, all “flat” spots in the powerband were eliminated.

    DYNO RESULTS
    2009 BMW E90 M3 DCT
    DynoJet248X at Dean's Performance, St. Charles, IL
    4th Gear | 93 Octane
    Evolve Automotive Stage 2 Tune
    Evolve Automotive X-Pipe w/ 200cpsi Cats
    Evolve Automotive DCT Software

    SAE with AFR
    Click here to enlarge

    UNCORRECTED with AFR
    Click here to enlarge

    CONDITIONS
    Click here to enlarge

    IGNITION
    Click here to enlarge

    SAE - Evolve Automotive Stage 2 + X-Pipe vs 100% Stock
    Click here to enlarge

    DYNO ANALYSIS
    Looking at things from an overall perspective, take note of the changes in shape of the curve between the Evolve Tune and Stock Tune. Dips and flat spots are improved and in some cases removed all together. At the latter half of the powerband, the shape of the curve takes a bit of a steeper positive slope. I believe this truly depicts the feeling of not running out of steam on the higher end of the power band. Gains throughout the RPM can get as high as 18whp and 12wtq! AFRs are not too far off stabilized stock targets. The upper power band was leaned out ever so slightly. Ignition targets are really not changed all that much from the Stock Tune. I think at most it hit about 1-1.5 higher. I am assuming that majority of the gains are from proper VANOS tuning for the primary cat delete.



    VIDEO
    Keep in mind that this video was taken within the first 10-15 miles for flashing the car, so not much time for the car to adapt to the near targets. None the less, power and acceleration improvement were vastly improved! Car also had a full tank of gas and packed trunk!


    OVERALL IMPRESSION
    I am not disappointed by any means. With all the recent modifications I’ve done to the car recently, the Evolve Tune just gels it all together. Solely looking at power/torque enhancement at full throttle, the Evolve Automotive X-Pipe was more noticeable than their tune. But looking at the overall driving experience, the tune really smoothens and refines everything as a whole. The reason why I love ///M cars is because of the driving experience. Doesn’t have to be the fastest or quickest. Doesn’t have to be the highest horsepower reading. I just simply ask that it be fun to drive in every instance. The Evolve Automotive tune does just that with compromise! It makes the car more enjoyable with it’s improved drivability, neat features, and improved power.

    
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this lengthy review and perusing through some of the dyno graphs and data. This review is based off about 250 miles of driving feedback. I will most certainly update when I find appropriate. My goal is to continually log data to see how the motor and tune work in conjunction and I’d also like to start doing some timed acceleration runs!

    

Stay tuned for more!
    2002 E46 M3 6MT | Jet Black . Black Nappa | My GermanBoost Build Thread
    2009 E90 M3 DCT | Melbourne Red . Speed Cloth

  2. #2
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    This is a sick review Flip, thanks for doing this. I like your findings so much that I have ordered their stage II package which includes xpipe, drop in filter and stage II tune. It will arrive in late January.

    I am also going to add the MS Underdrive pulley kit so I am optimistic about achieving 390rwhp. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again for your reviews, they have been a huge help in me deciding on Evolve.

    Last piece of the puzzle for me is to determine what I want for the rear section, I am sticking with OEM for now but I have a feeling the etronic is going to be in my not so distant future.
    2015 F82 M4 - DCT - YMB
    2008 E90 335xi - AT - TSM

  3. #3
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    So will you be tuning your own cars from now? I thought I read some where you started a local tuning shop.

  4. #4
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Irishace Click here to enlarge
    This is a sick review Flip, thanks for doing this. I like your findings so much that I have ordered their stage II package which includes xpipe, drop in filter and stage II tune. It will arrive in late January.

    I am also going to add the MS Underdrive pulley kit so I am optimistic about achieving 390rwhp. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again for your reviews, they have been a huge help in me deciding on Evolve.

    Last piece of the puzzle for me is to determine what I want for the rear section, I am sticking with OEM for now but I have a feeling the etronic is going to be in my not so distant future.
    Thanks @Irishace! You are going to absolutely LOVE the new setup. I contemplating myself which muffler to go with. I'm just so indecisive, so as I hear more in person, hopefully I can decide.

    Definitely keep us all posted as your parts arrive.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by KhanArt Click here to enlarge
    So will you be tuning your own cars from now? I thought I read some where you started a local tuning shop.
    Tuning DME/ECUs myself?!...no way...far from that. I'll leave that to the experts and specialists.

    My friend and I did start a 'European Car Division' to our friend's race and service shop. A big local BMW shop closed down awhile ago and a lot of locals have felt a void in the local community support. Being very active and involved in our local group of BMW M owners, many people started asking us for help servicing and modifying their respective cars. Things really started to pick up pace where we decided it would be a fun venture to make things "official" within the automotive aftermarket industry. Hence the fruition of our small car shop. As our business grows, we are certainly looking forward to supporting some of the big forums because we truly love giving back to the community. But at the moment since we are such an early stage, we're not financially able to afford such vendor and sponsor rights.

    Circling back this thread to stay on topic, Evolve Automotive has been an entity in the industry that I have entrusted for many years now. With them deciding expand their US dealership network literally just a few weeks ago, we were truly honored to be part of their partnership. Rest assured, NOTHING will ever change my approach to providing data and candid reviews with everyone around the world. I try my best to share with you all my journey through all things automotive, providing hard quantitative and realistic facts. So although my role in the industry takes on a different title, I really want to keep sharing with you all my personal opinion on things.

    Going to be an exciting 2014 to say the least...especially for the E46 platform Click here to enlarge!

    Hopefully you're enjoying the headers and new tune @KhanArt!
    2002 E46 M3 6MT | Jet Black . Black Nappa | My GermanBoost Build Thread
    2009 E90 M3 DCT | Melbourne Red . Speed Cloth

  5. #5
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    That's a great review man, super nice gains along the graph. That's crazy for NA motor to make power like a FI motor would with a tune and bolton's
    Burger Motorsports
    Home of the Worlds fastest N20s, N54s, N55s, S55s, N63s, and S63s!

    It is the sole responsibility of the purchaser and installer of any BMS part to employ the correct installation techniques required to ensure the proper operation of BMS parts, and BMS disclaims any and all liability for any part failure due to improper installation or use. It is the sole responsibility of the customer to verify that the use of their vehicle and items purchased comply with federal, state and local regulations. BMS claims no legal federal, state or local certification concerning pollution controlled motor vehicles or mandated emissions requirements. BMS products labeled for use only in competition racing vehicles may only be used on competition racing vehicles operated exclusively on a closed course in conjunction with a sanctioned racing event, in accordance with all federal and state laws, and may never be operated on public roads/highways. Please click here for more information on legal requirements related to use of BMS parts.

  6. #6
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    Thanks so much for this. I DID NOT feel like writing a frontpage article today. This is quality work, repped, and appreciated.

  7. #7
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    Very awesome story alex! Almost makes me want to keep the E46M3 and just wait for the evolve S/C

  8. #8
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    @flipm3 I am enjoying the headers when I get the chance to. Responded to your PM.

    Thanks

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    S65 engine note is so nice, like a clear growl, almost synthesized in a way, as by-product of the air is being sucked in on the drivers side hood vent.

    Plus you can hear that exhaust fill the background with that X-pipe only exhaust, sounds similar to mine (test pipes only on the exhaust side), wonderful howling note.

    When you cruise at 3,400-3,600rpm, do you notice a high pitched hollow howl noise? Try it when driving next to buildings in 2nd or 3rd gear at steady state cruising, it's almost Ferrari like (yes, I said that!) in the zingy noise.

  10. #10
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    ^^ What the hell? I posted that right before bed, I don't even understand most of what I typed...

    Great review! One of the reasons why I chose Evolve!

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