In 2006, HorsepowerFreaks (HPF) turned the BMW performance world upside down with the worlds first turbocharged E46 M3. Since then, they haven’t stopped for a second, IMG_3731_optreleasing stage after stage of awe-inspiring turbo systems. Enthusiast My Tran and his 2006 BMW M3 are the second recipients of HPF’s latest daily driveable, traction controlled, speed based boost controlled, SMG automatically shifted stage 4 turbo system, which laid down a staggering 1,022rwhp! We checked in with HPF’s very own Chris Bergemann for the inside scoop on the path to over 1,000whp and picked his brain to figure out just how this incredible power was all possible.

So how could 1,022rwhp possibly be streetable? “Well, with our stage 2.5, 3 and 4 turbo systems we tailor the powerband to the tires providing slightly more power than the tires can handle in a best case scenario. The computer increases or decreases power by altering boost from the massive billet wheel, dual ball-bearing, 76mm Precision turbo based on the vehicle’s speed,” explained Bergemann.

“Our proprietary traction control system allows the driver to fine tune the tires to the current road conditions using our 5-setting dial mounted within arms reach inside the cabin. This slew-based traction control system provides even the most novice driver with the ability to floor it in any gear, at any speed and have the maximum power applied to the road with unrecognizable wheel slip. At 150mph, My Tran’s M3 was still pulling 0.5G’s of acceleration. We stopped at 170mph, but the car will go well over 200mph if the throttle is held down for a few more seconds and the driver has enough road ahead,” says a smiling Bergemann.

Such extreme loads are put on the engine internals at 1,022rwhp that the head was literally lifting off the block and stretching the standard ARP head studs. When a head lifts off DSC_2961_optthe engine block, cylinder pressures escape into the cooling system and superheat the radiator fluid causing it to shoot out the overflow tank. The only way HorsepowerFreaks could keep the head bolted down nice and tight was to utilize one of ARP’s strongest and most advanced head stud materials, the L19. These studs have a tensile strength of up to 260,000 psi and are so advanced that even exposure to air can damage them. The compression in Tran’s M3 has been lowered via the HPF piston and rod package and surprisingly still uses the factory head gasket, which seals extremely well in these M3 engines.

BMW engineers designed the 3.2L S54 inline-6 motor with technology which allows the intake and exhaust cams to be advanced or retarded electronically. Advancing and retarding the cams with relation to the crankshaft on high horsepower cars can allow tuners to add as much as 50whp across the entire powerband. Cam timing and the usage of the factory cams enabled HorsepowerFreaks to create a powerband that provides more horsepower than a stock M3 right off-idle all the way to the 1,022rwhp 8,000rpm red-line.

To get enough air (and make 1,022rwhp) in to and out of the engine requires some serious piping. An HPF 4-inch carbon fiber intake pipe directs huge volumes of air down to the fins of the 76mm turbo wheel. Air is then pressurized and slammed through 3-inch intercooler piping under HPFPistons4_optthe car through the intercooler and up through a 3.5-inch pipe into the HPF intake connected via HPF 5-ply silicon couplers and T-Bolt clamps. The HPF intake has been designed for both wet flow and dry flow so that when methanol comes on-line, equal distribution is given to all cylinders. Once the engine ignites the fuel, exhaust gasses are then forced out the engine through a CNC machined, ceramic coated turbo manifold, through the .81A/R turbine housing, and into a massive 4-inch turbo-back stainless steel exhaust system. This exhaust system routes exhaust energy under the car, and splits it into two 3-inch sections that exit the rear of the car via quad exhaust tips…titanium.

To make all of these systems work in harmony, Tran’s M3 runs on the HorsepowerFreaks engine management system engineered to control every aspect of operation. Everything from the injector driver box to the knock siren that goes off in the cabin if “bad gas” is put into the tank, this engine management system does it all. It controls cam timing through the dual VANOS, utilizes O2 feedback from the wideband sensor for flawless driveability and utilizes computer targeting boost control for precise boost control on all 4 maps. It also utilizes wheel speed sensors for slew based traction control, delivers speed based boost control to prevent overpowering the tires at lower speeds, and provides precise control of pure methanol which when used without a mix requires the primary injectors to be cut by an equivalent percentage to HPFM3IntakeChrome1_opt maintain safe air fuel ratios. The HPF stand alone runs on top of all of the factory systems working seamlessly with the drive by wire, cruise control, dashboard, gauges, and all of the other accessories in the vehicle.

Tran’s car was loaded up with three fuel pumps for gasoline and one pump for methanol with the quartet of pumps working in harmony. To save energy, only one fuel pump runs during normal driving, however, when the throttle is opened up and boost increases, the second and third fuel pumps come on automatically to feed the RC Engineering 1200cc low impedance injectors. As boost increases, if the methanol activation is triggered, an increasing percentage of pure methanol is fed into the engine through a precisely controlled duty solenoid. At maximum power levels with methanol activated, 20% of the fuel the engine consumes comes from pure methanol… which is stored in the black HPF methanol tank in the engine bay safely in front of the firewall.

Air_Intakes_Carbon_Fib_opt Engine_Covers_E46_M3_C_opt HPFStage3ExhaustRear_1_opt

Tran’s M3 has many safety devices programmed into the engine management system that securely returns the car to a lower boost setting if the methanol line gets blocked or the methanol tank runs dry. To allow this BMW beast to run both 91 octane pump gas and 110 octane ‘leaded’ race fuel, a race fuel switch was added to the steering column providing a convenient way to switch back and forth between fuel types.  With the methanol switch and the fuel switch, this BMW automatically toggles between four different fuel maps making 660rwhp on 91 octane pump gas, 750rwhp on pump and methanol, 950rwhp on race gas, and 1,022rwhp on race gas and methanol. HorsepowerFreaks provides more than enough options for any power hungry E46 M3!

HorsepowerFreaks Inc.



BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM2

The no-limits tire for serious off-road enthusiasts. When roadside assistance is not an option.Super-tough sidewall compound and 3-ply construction resists cuts and bruises to take the edge off rocks and other off-road hazards. Overcome nearly…
Read More

Step up Braking with EBC

Well known for their stopping power, BMW braking systems are amongst the best in the business. Most of their vehicles are jammed full of technology and luxury appointments making them highly advanced, but also very…
Read More

HRE RC103 Wheel

The new Series RC1 debuts with the RC103, which features design cues from the popular HRE street wheel designs, engineered for optimal performance on any track vehicle. The RC103 is available in diameters ranging from…
Read More