Packing more than 50whp over stock, our Project E90 M3 took to the track at Palm Beach International Raceway (ROAD COURSE) to see how it stacks up against a 2016 Ford Mustang GT. Both cars have similar power, weight, and are equipped with similarly sized Continental ExtremeContact DW tires. How will our modified 8 year old sport sedan benchmark compare to a modern “pony car” that’s transitioned away from its roots to become a corner carver? Read on to find out.
We gave our M3 a quick and easy bump in power by swapping out the factory air filter for the industry-leading High Performance K&N air filter. We have seen some impressive gains from K&N products and feel there’s no reason you shouldn’t have one on every car you own! But how much power can really be gained over the OEM BMW air filter in this highly stressed and finely tuned 8,250rpm screaming V8? Read on to find out!
Choosing a tire is one of the most important decisions that anyone will make for their car. Since our M3 is a daily driver in Florida, wet-weather performance is very important along with excellent dry grip and stability for spirited driving, which is a prerequisite for an M3. To give our car a more sporty appearance, we turn to VMR Wheels for a set of competition inspired 19” V703 wheels to replace our standard 19” wheels wrapped in Continental’s ExtremeContact DW tire. We then head to Palm Beach International Raceway to log some laps to see how the new package performs.
Our E90 M3 is starting to look a bit dated now that its twin turbo successor is on the streets. We turned to our friends at European Auto Source to help us update the look of our M3 by replacing the Angel Eyes’ original yellow halogen bulbs with a set of bright white EAS H8 LED bulbs that will give our M3 the modern look it deserves.
We continue our difficult quest to extract more power from our S65 V8 without hurting the daily drivability of the car. Since cat-back exhausts don’t really make any power for the E9X M3 and since there really aren’t any aftermarket headers on the market because the equal-length factory headers are that good, the only real performance gain is in the removal of the stock cats. We test the Macht Schnell “Bypass Track Pipes” (Test Pipes) and European Auto Source 80mm exhaust tips to give our stock mufflers a sportier appearance to match the improved performance and sound that the Bypass Track Pipes should deliver.
Unfortunately, when a motor is as well-engineered from the factory as the S65 in our E90 M3, it leaves little for the aftermarket to improve upon without spending big bucks building the motor or going forced induction. However, ESS Tuning has years of experience with BMWs and provided us with their E-Flash ECU Software as well as their Performance DCT Transmission software to squeeze out even more performance from an already highly-strung motor.