You Have Been Evolve-d…

About 2 months ago, I reinstalled my catalytic converters and threw away the ghastly product that is the Conforti Shark Adapter. I purchased the Shark two years ago to get rid of that nasty yellow “service engine soon” light that popped up on my dash after I had gone catless. The Shark software would eliminate that light as well as increase throttle response. No power gains, as we all know, no power is attainable from the S54B32…so we thought.

A few months ago, the forum was invaded by those who could give us power. The two main tunes that I considered were the Epic ECU Flash and the Evolve-R Mobile Flash Tune. Those that are in this boat know that with the EPIC, you have to ship out your ECU, and for the Evolve-R you receive a data cable and a thumb drive. Plug in the cable, read your ecu, send the ecu file, receive a new file, plug in the cable, upload the file, and drive. Pretty simple.

Why did I go Evolve over EPIC:

1) ease – i disliked the idea of fiddling w/the ecu and removing it and then shipping it. I would hate to have UPS lose my ECU and have to go through that nightmare
2) airbox – I want the CF CSL Airbox – the Evolve tune works best with their products
3) safe power – evolve seems to extract power, but not go overboard and try to maximize every single HP possible

Those are the only reasons. The Epic is the tune that most racers use. I am not a race car driver – only in my dreams. Obviously, there may be more power to be gained out of a tune that is going to push the limits of the car to a point at which a race car driver wants it – anything for pole position and the first place.

My main requirements when looking for a tune:

1) bump in HP and better torque band
2) shift lights
3) ease of install/uninstall
4) customer service

So I decided to go with the Evolve-R Tune. I contacted Paul@Evolve about 1.5 month ago and he said that the tunes would be ready in 2-3 weeks (first week of August). I was extremely happy after going back and forth with Paul regarding what options to chose, how the tune works, etc.etc. He was very forthcoming and eager to answer all questions whenever I would email him.

Before I got the tune, I wanted to have a baseline dyno.

I enlisted Maximum PSI in Linden,NJ to do the dyno runs. They use a Superflow Dyno, which apparently reads VERY low. A true heartbreaker so to speak. A stock E46 M3 there, the highest they have had, puts down 251whp or so.

My modifications at the time:
AFE Stage 2 Intake
CSL headers
Euro Section 1 w/catalytic converters
US Section 2
Supersprint Race Muffler
OEM Tune

I put down 271whp/218lb-ft tq


Initially, I was shocked. About 2 years ago, I was on oem headers and just a axel back exhaust and I put down 290whp on a DynoJet. Obviously the DynoJet reads much higher. I then learned that #s were important, but dyno’s are tuning tools. I need to look at the delta (change) in numbers.

I waited for my Evolve to come in the mail. I was not really sure how much power it would give me, but from reading the threads on the forum, it seemed I was looking at anywhere from 15whp to 24whp, which is A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT of POWER coming from a “fully tuned motor from Bavaria”.

And it came in the mail :thumbsup2:



This is what is included – Evolve R Cable and Thumb USB Drive w/instruction manual and Evolve Software:


So quickly identifying and reading my ECU:


Evolve software will ask you to save the data file – save it to desktop – and once it identifies and saves the file, all you have to do is email the file along w/all modifications and requests (fuel octane rating, increased rev limiter, shift lights, throttle sensitivity) to Evolve and they will get back to you within 48hrs.

I emailed them my stock file at 3pm and I got it the next morning at 5am. Once I received it, flashing my ecu was VERY VERY simple.

I immediately took the car for a ride – I wanted to see if there was a power increase and honestly wanted to see the shift lights 😀

The first things that I noticed was a smoother idle. Although this may be due to the fact that the car had been turned on before I installed the tune for about 10 minutes. It took me about 5-8 minutes to get away from my house area to really stretch the cars legs out. The first thing that I noticed was that there was a bit more torque immediately – this initially felt like a better throttle map, but the car kept pulling throughout the rpm range – which was missing before. I am assuming that there would be increase in torque – not an amazing amount, but definitely an increase THROUGHOUT the RPM band – as well as the line would be flat.

When I finally got to a nice open stretch of road, i downshifted to 2nd and slammed it to 3rd to 4th and had a nice smile across my face. Just a tiny bit of torque goes a long way. Obviously there was an increase of HP, but torque is really what gets you there and having it throughout the rpm range, makes the car that much sweeter.

Shift Lights! A very nice feature. I honestly had no idea how they worked in SMG cars so I was amazed when they lit up for the first time. I am waiting for nighttime to take some better video so we can see the lights, but here is a video that Evolve had to illustrate how the lights worked!

Really cool!

So today was the true test – DYNO DAY!

I had scheduled a dyno session with MaxPSI again on the Superflow Dyno. Before I got there, i really romped on the car hard. Did a few 120mph pulls – just to knock the cobwebs out since I hadn’t driven the car in about 4 days or so (monsoon rains here in NJ). As I drove down to MaxPSI, I honestly had a thought that I would get close to 290whp on their dyno – an improvement of 19whp. I thought it was possible as EVOLVE claims 15-24hp average gains by customers. Thats a lot of power to get out of a tune. I filled the car up with a new tank of Shell 94 octane gas and headed down.

They hooked the car up and the first run was a 285whp. A solid improvement of 14whp! Not too bad. They did 3 more runs and the car plateaued at 287whp – a delta of 16whp from last time – and the only thing that I added to the car was the tune. Not bad!


Now lets get to analyzing the data.

As you can see HP has peaked throughout the RPM range. In fact HP starts off immediately higher and starts moving at around 6k rpm to redline – which is around 8200 rpm. Now, a free-er flowing exhaust – Bimmerworld Race or an exhaust that removes the catalytic converters and resonators, may give me a better flow and more power at a higher rpm range – but I want to retain the catalytic converters for TT classing.

The odd ball is the torque. I was expecting a higher max torque figure – but in fact I lost 1ft-lb tq as the max tq. THe first time I got 218.8lb-ft tq, this time I got 217.5lb-ft tq. The only positive to take from that is that if you look at the graph, the torque is higher throughout the RPM range – but the max torque is lower. I am curious as to why this is the way that is? I am going to email Evolve this review as well as my dyno files and perhaps they can give me an answer.

So what I was experiencing of saying “more torque” was not an increase in maximum torque, but rather an increase in torque throughout the rpm range. I believe that this will definitely help on the track, as there will be more immediate power throughout the rpm range – especially in the higher rpm range where we live at the track.

Overall impression is that the tune is definitely worth it if you want a tune that is going to give you performance, some neat features, great customer service, and ease of use. I am going to see what my good friend is going to acheive with the Epic tune.

His modifications are:

AFE Stage 2 Intake
SS Replica Headers
Bimmerworld Race Exhaust

He put down 284whp and 221.2wlb-ft tq on the same dyno in similar temperatures (slightly hotter for him). I am hoping that he gets over 300whp and around 240wlb-ft tq.

Would I recommend this tune to you?

Yes. I would recommend this tune for the M3 driver that wants a bit more power, some cool features, and wants a very easy and simple install/uninstall and also world class customer service. Would I recommend this tune for the person who is trying to maximize power – not sure – waiting on results from my pal.

I really like this tune. I liked the power that it gave me and I liked the cool features it gave me. My car is an HPDE and TT car, so I am not really looking to get every single HP and TQ out of the motor, as I don’t want to have to rebuild the thing in a few years – add power –> increase stress on internals. I think that the Evolve tune is conservative enough that it gives you tangible power – which is the most important thing about any kind of computer tuning, and power that is not overwhelming and power that is SAFE.

Bravo Evolve. You made a masterpiece that the E46 M3 is, that much better!

One thought on “You Have Been Evolve-d…

  1. Fantsatic review. I have used EVOLVE tunes on a few of my customers cars and all of them are extremely happy. Some of them even had tunes before and they feel much more happier with EVOLVE’s tune as it gave them more power and smoothness as well.

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