Parts: Vortech V3 Si-trim supercharger, VFE 6061-T6 mounting bracket with OEM idler pullies, VF cast intake aluminum plenum, Greddy Type R bypass valve, VFE cast aluminum supercharger intake pipe, MAF Housing, serpentine belt, custom GIAC software, VFE airbox with K&N air filter, hardware and hoses

Installation time: 6-8 hours

Tools needed: 1/4" ratchet, 10mm 1/4" drive deep socket, 8mm 1/4" drive socket, 3/8" ratchet, 3/8" 13, 16mm deep socket, 5/8" spark plug socket, 5, 6, 8mm hex socket, T30 torx,T25 security torx, panel pulley, fan wrench 6, 7mm nut drivers or flathead screwdriver, wire cutters, soldering iron, 13mm crowfoot wrench (for SMG tanks)
Price: $5,900

* Can be used as a standalone upgrade and no additional upgrade is required as long as the engine is in good working condition
* Self-lubricating Vortech blower eliminates any need to tap into the engine's lubrication system.
* Intake plenum outlets feature beveled edges to create a velocity effect wherein air enters each individual throttle body.
* In addition to dumping boost when you let off under full throttle, the large bore bypass valve system ensures that all the boost is removed during non-boosted driving situations ensuring factory like driveability
* GIAC software eliminates the need for piggyback electronics or removing the MAF sensor by precisely calibrating the ECU to accept the larger fuel injectors, MAF housing and boost generated by the supercharger
* Bosch EV6 injectors utilize the same spray angles and cone size as the factory units, ensuring clean colds starts and optimal combustion.
* Cast aluminum components features smooth internal surfaces to maximize airflow.
* 6061-T6 mounting bracket system uses factory BMW idlers.
* GIAC software has been calibrated in such a way that running gasoline with higher octane ratings will automatically add power without requiring additional changes

* Cutting and soldering of certain wires is required.

Having owned an E46 M3, I thought it appropriate I do the evaluation. In hindsight, selling it was a bad idea. I am once again smacking my head into hard objects, wondering why the hell I got rid of it.

That the M3 is quick is well known. Its engine is about horsepower rather than torque, typically European in style. The VFE supercharger makes it feel like it's got both now. Launches through first and second gears had the big 275mm rear tires spinning in place. I don't remember having that problem with my M3, even with the power button activated (more aggressive throttle ramping). Deep into third, I was pulling close to 7800 rpm and the car was still pulling hard. By fourth gear I was well into "go to jail" speeds.

The VFE supercharger feels much different than most aftermarket turbo kits I've driven. There's no sudden surge of torque and no fall-off at high rpm. Basically it feels just like the stock power curve; there's just more of it. The engine still loves to rev but responds with greater urgency, like it's in a huge hurry to ping the rev limiter.

While VFE has done a terrific job packaging its system, I'd be remiss in mentioning the GIAC software tuning. You can have the most perfectly engineered and expensive components in the world but without proper ECU management, it's all junk.

Truth be told, Nik Saran of VFE is a proper bastard. He's assembled a brilliant piece of kit here. For the money, the VFE system represents an exceptional value--you'll be hard-pressed to find better. But I fear all it's going to do is make folks want even more. The healthy 27 percent output boost just won't be enough. We've been sniffing around the VFE website, already thinking about another power fix.--Les Bidrawn

VF Engineering
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