This class was dominated by BMW shops, but GSR Autosport was adventurous enough to enter a Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG. Again, the mods were limited, with just a middle resonator delete, K&N filters, Renntech software and a custom intercooler ice chest from GSR.

Heat is the engine's biggest problem, so they were hoping the ice and 108-octane race fuel would help cool it, but pre-detonation was detected on only its second run. They aborted before something expensive happened and were relatively pleased with 552whp at 5300rpm and a preposterous 816 lb-ft at 2900rpm. That's an utterly ridiculous number, and promised to be hugely entertaining at the track. Somehow we couldn't see this behemoth being particularly wieldy through the tight turns but only time would tell.

A great deal was also expected of the E92 BMW M3 from european auto source. This was the same car as last year, sporting a VF-Engineering 620 supercharger conversion the team estimated would be good for 550hp at the wheels. However, the DCT transmission was causing a few problems since the traction control had to be "errored-out" before it would allow high-speed runs. Unable to sense the front wheels moving, Shawn had to defeat the system before it would respond properly. After a couple of minutes, the might V8 was pumping out a best of 574whp at 8100rpm and 383 lb-ft at 7000rpm, which exceeded the team's expectations.

That only left LTMotorwerks (formerly LTBMW), which had entered two cars. The first was joint oldest in the field; a '95 E36 M3 belonging to company co-owner Ivan Madrigal. It's his own track car and boasted a stage 2 Active Autowerke blower complete with bigger injectors, FMIC, etc. It also had a ported head plus LTMW headers and exhaust system.

Hoping for around 420hp, Ivan was delighted to see his 18 year-old car put down 420whp at 6800rpm and 336 lb-ft at 5800rpm. However, he was slightly concerned about a weeping head gasket that had appeared during 100? shakedown track tests two days earlier. Hopefully, he'd make it through the entire event in one piece.

The second car from LTMW was an '09 BMW 335i belonging to customer Darren Yoo. It started out as an E90 show car in Porsche GT3 RS grey with M3 panels and uprated turbos on the N54 engine. Despite its auto transmission, Darren had the bug and wanted to chase more power, so opted for the Vishnu/FFTec single-turbo conversion with downpipe and software. It retains its Active FMIC and LTMW 2.75" center-exit exhaust, which gives the four-door an angry snarl.

The car had recently been dyno-tuned but Darren wasn't sure what its numbers were, so was hoping for 550hp. However, the traction control wouldn't allow the car to exceed 10mph on the dyno. So it was unbolted and driven around for a few minutes before returning.

With high-fives all round, the 335i spun the Dynapack to 597whp at 6200rpm and 550 lb-ft at 5100rpm. This made it the most powerful car at ECGP12, much to the chagrin of 034, which was bested by 1whp, and Bluewater, which was only 2.5whp away!


Despite such impressive numbers, we saved the best until last. For the first time in our ten year history, and as a possible nod to its future, we invited the electric-powered E36 M3 from EV West to participate.

Their story is fascinating, since two friends in the computer field decided to build their own car and even took it to Pikes Peak, where we first encountered it. At the Race to the Clouds, they had turned down the power supply to about 250hp to reduce wheelspin and get it up the hill, but for our event they'd be turning it up.

Revving the electric engine to only 4400rpm, the first run produced 333whp and 647 lb-ft, which was shocking enough for most of us. However, the team decided to increase the current and voltage output to approximately 80% of the battery capacity, resulting in 383whp at 2500rpm and 840 lb-ft at 1100rpm.

European Car 2012 Tuner GP Dyno Numbers

Team Car Class hp tq
'09 BMW 335i
'01 Audi A4
Bluewater Performance
'07 VW Rabbit
european auto source
'11 BMW M3
GSR Autosport
'11 Mercedes CLS63 AMG
GSR Autosport
'08 Porsche 911 Turbo
Eurocode Tuning
'12 Audi S4
Platte Forme AG
'01 BMW M3
'95 BMW M3
Berk Technology
'08 BMW 135i
HPA Motorsports
'12 VW Golf R
Euro Sport Accessories
'04 VW R32
EV West
'95 BMW M3

Church Automotive Testing

When we put this event together, one of the biggest subjects for debate is the choice of dyno. Some shops prefer a Mustang dyno, others like the Dynojet. Each has its benefits but we like the bolt-on Dynapack option because it eliminates issues such as wheelspin, alignment losses and tire inflation. It also overcomes the small differences in mass and inertia between different wheel and tire options, creating a level playing field for a comparison event such as ours.

The Dynapack places load on the engine using electrical or hydraulic pressure. This should make it easier to replicate real world conditions and better able to measure changes in output.

A further advantage is that Church's dyno uses one of the biggest cooling fans we've ever witnessed, allowing the cars to run cool on the hot, dry day of our event.

Shawn Church works on a huge variety of machinery, from Civic to Cadillacs, and was well versed in all the machinery we presented to him. So if you're in the Los Angeles or Long Beach area and need a very experienced performance test and diagnostic center, visit Church Automotive Testing (

By Alex Bernstein,
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