Car Of The Month - February 2019
The E46 M3. Over the last few years the price of the M3 has risen considerably with some even hitting price tags of £15k for very clean examples with low mileage. It goes without saying that we are aware of its flaws but without a shadow of a doubt, it’s got some things that you just can’t ignore - the 3.2 litre straight six engine that snaps you back in your seat and that purrs its distinctive tone. Pure petrol-head thrills.
However, for our customer, those 338 horses just weren’t enough. “It’s just not quick enough for me, but it’s a great car.” So what did he decide to do about it? Intro the VT2-550 Supercharger system from ESS Tuning.
Vortech V3Si internally lubricated supercharger unit with high capacity front mount intercooler system. Completed with ESS spec high capacity fuel pressure system and direct replacement Bosch fuel injectors.
The one-belt driven with self tension system is CNC machined using hard anodized brackets, CNC hard anodised pulleys and a long life serpentine drive belt. Five-layer super strength silicone hosing is used throughout, high capacity bypass-valve system and oil breather assembly unit are designed to handle the boost.
Then to complete the package, K&N cold air intake for improved cooling and true OBDII optimised MSS54/MSS54HP ECU software with de-limiter. Better still, it comes with a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty.
Wow. On the test run it was slightly damp out, the rear end just didn’t want to stay put losing traction - this M3 has turned from a tamed track attacker to a beast. The needle glides up to 5000 rpm effortlessly and then just keeps sweeping. You have to really use some stomach muscles to keep yourself in the upright ready-race position. Even better – the whine of the supercharger coming into the cabin really does put a smile on your face. He was definitely right – 550 horses is better than nearly a half over 3.