Astute observers might notice two different pairs of wheels on the white sedan. The owner wanted to mix things up by using 20-inch Vorsteiner V-305 (9.5 inches wide in front, 10.5 in back) on one side and Vorsteiner V-306 wheels on the other. Michelin Pilot Sport 2s (245/30 front and 295/25 rear) grab the pavement. He also had the calipers of the Brembo Big Brake Kit painted Lamborghini Blu Cephus on one side and Verde Ithaca on the other. KW Variant 3 coilovers work in combo with the low-profile tires to provide a ride that's firm without being jarring.

On the outside, Vorsteiner's GTS3 front bumper, carbon-fiber trunk and VRS Type II carbon rear diffuser add a distinctive, racier edge to it. And color-matched side grilles, hood vents and emblems separate it from others. Inside, the interior is awash in carbon fiber, both factory installed items and MA Carbon pieces on the dash, center console, door panels and rear A/C panel.

The black coupe, by contrast, is mostly business and focused around the VT2-575 kit, KW Variant 3 coilovers, Brembo Big Brake Kit and 19-inch BBS CH-R wheels and Yokohama AD08 tires (255/35 front, 295/30 rear). The front bumper has had an AC Schnitzer front lip molded and integrated into the factory section, making it look like a singular piece. The rear bumper also has a diffuser molded in a similar fashion. The trunk is an Ericsson fiberglass part with a ducktail spoiler.

Some would suggest that all a stock M3 needs is a firmer suspension, bigger brakes and, of course, more power. And that's basically what's been done here. On its own, the coupe is devastatingly fast and pulls with demonic force all the way to redline. But compared to the sedan, its throttle response is a hair slower, taking just that little bit longer to wind up and start heading towards the redline. This is most likely the result of the taller differential, but all it takes is a pull of the left paddle for a lower gear to get into the juicy part of the rev range.

Both cars handled beautifully on the fast, sweeping backroads outside of Phoenix. With its lower-profile tires, the white sedan turned in a hair quicker, while the coupe felt more composed on bumpy, uneven pavement. The sedan had a more menacing demeanor, while the coupe played it cool but was always willing to let loose.

While this is more a review than a comparo, there's little sense in picking a winner, rather, it's more a matter of personal preference and an exercise in hair splitting. The main entrée, ESS Tuning's supercharger kits, are the undeniable winners here. They install cleanly and without irreversible modifications. They're fairly unobtrusive, with just a subtle whirring sound at idle, but most importantly, they allow the M3 to play with and humiliate the big boys. As evidence, here's a list of victims the sedan has left in its wake: 911 Turbo, 360 Modena, F430, M5, M6, SL63 and countless Japanese and American muscle cars. It's still looking to meet its match.

2009 BMW M3 (E92)

Layout
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

Engine
4.0-liter V8. ESS VT2-575 supercharger kit, ESS intake manifold and intercooler, ESS exhaust

Transmission
7-speed DCT automated manual

Wheels and Tires
BBS CH-R, 19-inch
Yokohama AD08, 255/35 (f), 295/30 (r)

Performance
Peak Power: 575 hp
Peak Torque: 390 lb-ft

2009 BMW M3 (E90)

Layout
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

Engine
4.0-liter V8. ESS VT2-600 supercharger kit, ESS intake manifold and intercooler, Dinan exhaust

Transmission
7-speed DCT automated manual

Wheels and Tires
Vorsteiner V-305, 9.5x20 (f), 10.5x20 (r); Vorsteiner V-306 20x9.5 (f), 20x10.5 (r); Michelin Pilot Sport PS2, 245/30 (f), 295/25 (r)

Interior
Carbon-fiber dash and interior trim by BMW and MA Carbon

Performance
Peak Power: 600 hp
Peak Torque: 400 lb-ft

SOURCE
ESS Tuning
1900 W. Chandler Blvd. Suite #15-242
Chandler
AZ  85224
480-525-9160
www.esstuning.com
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