Project E46 M3, Part 1: Dyno and acceleration testing


Our Epic Motorsports ECU installation was a breeze.  First, using the supplied calibration interface, you take a read of the ECU per the instructions from the site's download.  Then you email that file to Epic, which takes that file and tweaks it for you.  That file is then emailed back to you for a simple reload onto the car via the same cable. 


With the new Epic software, we had gains everywhere, peaking at a whopping 21.0 whp and 14 lb-ft of torque at 7950 rpm.  Epic also offers the software options such as tachometer shift lights, sport-button “on” default, 200 rpm higher rev limit and top-speed governor removal. 

Epic Motorsports founder Randy Mueller is known as a behind-the-scenes wizard when it comes to BMW engine tuning, and so much so that BimmerWorld relies on his expertise for all its tunes.  

While his software pricing includes up to two revisions if the customer is dyno testing, keep in mind this was our only iteration since our testing ran into the late hours.  While satisfied with our results, we hope to get a chance to work with Epic on something more custom after we install our headers and exhaust system soon.



An overview of our tests.  At the end of the day, while the car still looks and sounds stock, we're up by 6-8 lb-ft of torque from 2000-6000 rpm, which climbs to 8-10 lb-ft from 6000-8000 rpm, with a peak gain of 14 lb-ft and 21.1 whp at 7950 rpm.  Also, we have an extra 200 rpm to further utilize the top end by staying in gear longer. 




After the fluids and filter replacements from Bavarian Autosport, new plugs from, new Macht Schnell intake and new Epic Motorsports software tune, our car still looks and sounds stock.  It's impressive this little 3.2-liter engine is already making over 300 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque to the wheels.  

So, what do these gains mean in the real world?  We made a couple of acceleration passes with each setup using the exact same launch method and starting points.  Given our limited time to learn the car and tires, we left the traction control on and simply dumped the clutch at around 4000 rpm, letting the TC take over.  This way–while it's not going to give us the absolute best time–it makes things repeatable to and keeps driver error to a minimum for more accurate testing.  

The gains were significant, and the car feels great.  We tested using our GPS-based PerformanceBox from VBox USA.


 StockAfter uprades
Dyno hp:290.5 whp304.5 whp
Dyno trq:246.9 lb-ft253.9 lb-ft
0-10 mph:0.5 sec0.5 sec
0-20 mph:1.5 sec1.5 sec
0-30 mph:2.1 sec2.1 sec
0-40 mph:3.1 sec2.8 sec
0-50 mph:4.0 sec3.9 sec
0-60 mph:5.0 sec4.9 sec
0-70 mph:6.5 sec6.3 sec
0-80 mph:7.9 sec7.7 sec
0-90 mph:9.5 sec9.2 sec
0-100 mph:11.5 sec11.0 sec
0-110 mph:13.8 sec13.3 sec
0-120 mph:16.3 sec15.8 sec
0-130 mph:19.2 sec18.7 sec
1/4 mile:13.5 @ 108.7mph13.3 @ 109.8 mph
60-130 mph:14.2 sec13.8 sec
40-130 mph on dyno:10.2 sec9.8 sec
Altitude:675 feet675 feet
Tires:Sumitomo HTR-Z3Sumitomo HTR-Z3
Rear tire size:255/40-18255/40-18
Fuel octane93 premium93 premium
Ambient temp40F38F

I've always noticed that, when trap speeds are close to 100 mph, every 10 whp is usually good for roughly an extra 1.0 mph at the finish line, given similar test environments.  It appears we got very close to expected.  These gains are also significant, because a 0.2-second improvement at the quarter at this speed also equals to just over a two-car length advantage!

Given the near-110 mph trap speed, with better, wider tires and more practice this could be a 12-second car already.  Granted, the weather would have to be as cold as our test day but that doesn't take away from the fact that this project is off to a good start, regardless.  Stay tuned.

Special thanks to the guys at Modified by KC for their assistance and full-day's use of their Dynojet.  MKC specializes in dyno tuning of all sorts, including with various stand-alone engine management systems and boosted engines.

If you own or are looking to buy an M3, and want to research more, check out these forums:,,, and







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