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.
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:
- 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.
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
UNCORRECTED with AFR
SAE - Evolve Automotive Stage 2 + X-Pipe vs 100% Stock
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 1-1.5º higher. I am assuming that majority of the gains are from proper VANOS tuning for the primary cat delete.
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!
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!