• The tuning world is unforgiving and rough, HPF closes its doors. R.I.P. Horsepower Freaks

      Sad, sad day indeed for the BMW community. The aftermarket tuning game is not an easy one. Especially when it comes to BMW's these days with ever increasing sophistication of their electronics and BMW doing everything in their power to prevent modification. Thankfully, there are some companies that simply do not give up and do what many say can't be done. For quite a while on the E46 M3 platform, HPF was forging ahead into territory nobody else was willing to tackle.


      The S54 engine in the BMW E46 M3 early on had a reputation of being made out of glass due to bearing failures. People said stock motors could not hold together let alone forced induction examples. This was quickly dispelled as the motor more and more often showed incredible gains with forced induction. HPF themselves pushed the motor to over 700 wheel on stock internals. Recently, people have been doing in the high 6XX wheel range on stock internals as if it no sweat.

      Basically, HPF helped pioneer the turbo market for the E46 M3. There are new options coming just now (over a decade after the car hit the market) which goes to show just how difficult it is to do this. HPF had options to turbo the E46 M3 when nobody else had options to turbo the E46 M3. They were the main game in town and deserve respect for it. But... even the mighty can fall and a single platform can not sustain anyone forever.

      Unfortunately an employee stole from HPF something over $200k (who knows what the real amount truly is and just how much he got away with) and unfortunately Chris made a poor choice with his new insurance company who only covered $25k in theft. The insurance company and HPF went to court and HPF lost. BimmerBoost is somewhat surprised a quarter million can sink a ship of this size but clearly there were other issues at play.

      Whether one wants to put the blame on the owner Chris or not it's hard to say what frivolous spending might have gone on. Chris did reach a high point in the BMW tuning market in the USA and nobody can take that away from him. Numerous magazine spreads, hundreds of turbo kits sold, and a household name on BMW forums. That deserves respect and is a level few can or will reach.

      Sustaining that is another thing entirely though. Busty young women don't come cheap. Dedicated drag cars for forum boasting aren't cheap. There is a reason rockstars tend to burn out fast. Is that what happened here? In retrospect it's easy to say this and that should have been done instead but Chris also did get somewhat of a second chance with a forum member investing cash into the company recently.

      Unfortunately, it seems that amount was not enough and now the doors are closed and people are laid off. What will happen to current orders? Members on this site are waiting for their parts. What will happen to the cars still there? Some have been removed, some remain. What will happen to Chris Bergermann? Is this it? Not going to be easy to climb back up after already being at the top of a platform for quite some time with little capital to work with and he certainly isn't getting younger.

      I for one want to thank HPF for their support. Chris was always kind to me, always supportive, and always wished me well. He always wanted me to succeed and I wasn't even a customer of his. To him I was just some random kid building a forum. I did an interview with Chris back in 2010: http://www.germanboost.com/content.php?426-BimmerBoost-Interview-with-Chris-Bergermann-Owner-of-Horsepower-Freaks

      I suggest any interested party take a look or listen to it (audio is posted). It shows how far HPF came in just 9 years at the time of the interview.

      I wish you well Chris, I wish all your employees well, and I hope you move on positively. It's a rough and cuthroat business. When you are on top, people just want to tear you down. It's easy for people to talk down sitting comfortably behind their monitor without realizing how many peoples lives this affects. Hopefully there is a learning lesson here that makes everyone stronger and hopefully nobody is going to bed hungry at night as a result of this. You'll land on your feet Chris. Good luck and thank you, from BimmerBoost.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: HorsePowerFreaks is apparently closing its doors started by folgrz View original post
      Comments 266 Comments
      1. HPF 335i's Avatar
        HPF 335i -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        It's getting harder and harder to find quality shops to trust. I'm at just about 3 years too on my build... but at least my tuner is still around and got it done.

        Sorry to hear, you don't sound like a whiny $#@!. You were more than patient, what else could anyone ask of you?
        At this point man, I dont even want big power (well i do). I just a nice fast 500-525 WHP car. I have an Auto anyway. Im just PISSED that my trans never got addressed...
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HPF 335i Click here to enlarge
        At this point man, I dont even want big power (well i do). I just a nice fast 500-525 WHP car. I have an Auto anyway. Im just PISSED that my trans never got addressed...
        Ya I wish I could do things over again too. Chasing big power on new BMW's just leads to tons of down time, big costs, and pales to the enjoyment of actually having the car.

        You live, you learn.
      1. HPF 335i's Avatar
        HPF 335i -
        I also hope nothign is wrong with my hardware... I mean, its the same disign as the FFTEC other than the end flange for the Twin Scroll.

        The Twin Scroll is going to Hit so hard man. I hope i dont have to scrap it. If i do i out of luck, I dont have the cash to pay for a FFTEC one and turbo. Ill have to get a set of used twin turbos and just run FBO.
      1. bobS's Avatar
        bobS -
        Wow that sucks....

        Ugh I honestly am surprised people get involved in these big builds. With every platform there is a point where you spend so much money / time you should have just started with a different car that is more capable of big power. I guess it's the excitement and extreme end of this hobby that draws people in. Some people spend more money and time with their car in the shop then they ever do driving it....that would drive me NUTS.
      1. Twinturbom3's Avatar
        Twinturbom3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        It's getting harder and harder to find quality shops to trust. I'm at just about 3 years too on my build... but at least my tuner is still around and got it done.

        Sorry to hear, you don't sound like a whiny $#@!. You were more than patient, what else could anyone ask of you?
        Sticky,
        You have so much patience.

        If I were I would be sick.

        I started my automatic transmission Project last year and it was finished in 3 months, from scratch.
        Installing and adapting auto tranny, auto tranny ecu, harness...

        You have some serious patience.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HPF 335i Click here to enlarge
        Car "Should" be free in the AM... Both the building manager and Chris's attorneys are explaining to the Manager that he cant keep customers cars locked up. Chris was told to make a list of all property that does not belong to him, VIN's en such. Everyone who has cars and parts in there should be getting a call in the AM.

        Shall see...
        Thats good to know. I do have some questions though, ie why are you takin a collection to get the car out/ was was the original plan?
        what parts were paid for with the $4k that you did no/will not get?
      1. Itsbrokeagain's Avatar
        Itsbrokeagain -
        Should get ahold of Cobb @HPF 335i....im sure they would be willing to help...or scratch the single for a set of VTT stage 3s?
      1. 01E46m3's Avatar
        01E46m3 -
        Oh man, so shocking HPF went out of business, hopefully someone will bring it back soon. I was gonna purchase a kit soon too, so sad.....
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 01E46m3 Click here to enlarge
        Oh man, so shocking HPF went out of business, hopefully someone will bring it back soon. I was gonna purchase a kit soon too, so sad.....
        On the bright side other kits are coming out that are cheaper. I mean it looked like the E46 M3 stuff was going to be over with one way or another.
      1. 01E46m3's Avatar
        01E46m3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        On the bright side other kits are coming out that are cheaper. I mean it looked like the E46 M3 stuff was going to be over with one way or another.
        True, i agree with you 100%, lets look at Maximum Psi, their Hp#'s are pretty high in their 500-almost700hp's on stock internals, and what it impresses me the most is that's on stock DME tunning, being able to pass smog, still do/read all stock sensors/functions ect...So lets see what happends as it gets better and better for the S54..
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 01E46m3 Click here to enlarge
        True, i agree with you 100%, lets look at Maximum Psi, their Hp#'s are pretty high in their 500-almost700hp's on stock internals, and what it impresses me the most is that's on stock DME tunning, being able to pass smog, still do/read all stock sensors/functions ect...So lets see what happends as it gets better and better for the S54..
        Yep, agree.
      1. HPF 335i's Avatar
        HPF 335i -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        Thats good to know. I do have some questions though, ie why are you takin a collection to get the car out/ was was the original plan?
        what parts were paid for with the $4k that you did no/will not get?
        The original plan was, HPF was paying foreverything. As part of my deal with them to continue to leave my car with them for 3.7 years to build a turbo kit. This was their project, not mine.

        I didnt get anythign for the 4,000. Its just gone. I also lost my M-Tech front bumper that was sent there for install.
      1. dreikraft's Avatar
        dreikraft -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ZooyorQ Click here to enlarge
        I hope you get your stuff man. I wish Chris would have given a 3 day notice or something, allowing the staff to properly wrap things up as best they can.
        wait... we lowering the standards from 2 weeks to 3 days? oh wiat we are talking about chris. hell. 3 hours would have been nice!
      1. dreikraft's Avatar
        dreikraft -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 01E46m3 Click here to enlarge
        True, i agree with you 100%, lets look at Maximum Psi, their Hp#'s are pretty high in their 500-almost700hp's on stock internals, and what it impresses me the most is that's on stock DME tunning, being able to pass smog, still do/read all stock sensors/functions ect...So lets see what happends as it gets better and better for the S54..
        lets give those stock internals some road time (6months-1year minimum by users who actually run the car hard). i have my reservations... maxpsi know the limits of stock s52/s50. im amazed they are running that much boost on the stock s54 TBH.
      1. bigjae1976's Avatar
        bigjae1976 -
        On e46F...people seem to be contacting Kirk for anyone who has something tied up with HPF.

        Not surprising at all. There's not much of a market that is willing to drop $30k on a turbo install. Although it seemed to be an excellent kit you'll never be able to sell enough to amortize the cost. Even worse they never got past the E46M3 platform. Not that ALL BMWs will soon be turbo'd from the factory that would have not helped them.

        What I don't understand is that HPF had a ton of momentum and made a huge splash into the BMW FI market. They did absolutely nothing after that. Maybe some N54 development but that market is heavily saturated.
      1. Mike@VAC's Avatar
        Mike@VAC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
        What I don't understand is that HPF had a ton of momentum and made a huge splash into the BMW FI market. They did absolutely nothing after that. Maybe some N54 development but that market is heavily saturated.
        They were doing 4.5m in sales. Name more than 3 BMW shops doing more in sales (ECS doesn't count)
      1. Commanderwiggin's Avatar
        Commanderwiggin -
        Your company is only as good as the people working there...that being said Chris was the worst and he lost many great employees and then decided to crash and burn after critical losses tolled up...and with the poor money management by himself in addition to the new kits coming out to market and nothing new in order...sinking ship may have seen like the easy way out but Karma will bite him hard once again.
      1. bigjae1976's Avatar
        bigjae1976 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge
        They were doing 4.5m in sales. Name more than 3 BMW shops doing more in sales (ECS doesn't count)
        Yeah, but if your expenses are 4.5m...then all of those sales are for nothing. Its all about the profit. That's my point. I'm sure they moved a lot of product. But how many HPF developed parts can they sell for a car which had a production run of 45,000? There's no way they can amortize the R&D costs even at their price points. Yeah, you can cut the time by collecting some established data but what % of that 45,000 will buy a product?

        VAC enjoys a significant advantage because you have many platforms so your potential pool to amortize costs can be MUCH higher. Plus, you're established company with a much bigger knowledge pool which will reduce your R&D costs significantly.

        If HPF had high turnover then there it would be difficult to build the base of knowledge which will keep their R&D costs. Again, back to the profit...higher R&D costs are sunk costs which can only be recouped by more sales and higher prices.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Nobody seems cocnerned with what will happen to chris. I mean he can't just have some teen work at hooters to support him right? My pride would have me fuming wanting to get back and prove everyone wrong.
      1. dreikraft's Avatar
        dreikraft -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Nobody seems cocnerned with what will happen to chris. I mean he can't just have some teen work at hooters to support him right? My pride would have me fuming wanting to get back and prove everyone wrong.
        why should we be concerned? why?