Tuesday, October 9, 2012

SprintBooster Power Converter: Getting the most out of your Drive-By-Wire BMW

SprintBooster with selector attached
I love driving my 335i. I love pushing the accelerator and soaring across lanes of traffic, cutting corners hard, and watching the speedometer crank up as the turbos spool. I love not hearing the road, feeling secure in my leather seats, and knowing that if something comes up I can safely stop in time.  The BMW e90 is fast, nimble, and always a pleasure to drive except for one little thing: take off acceleration. I would typically notice at a stoplight or when pulling out of a parking lot that there was a delay in reaction. Pressing the accelerator gently with little to no response, I would press it firmer and it would suddenly take off.  Like any vehicle with an electronic drive-by-wire design, newer BMW and Mini accelerators will have this effect.  I never really thought anything of it, just the side effect of driving a newer car, until I was introduced to the SprintBooster Power Converter.

and simply plug in the connectors
Remove this screw

I had seen the SprintBooster before and not really thought much of it, honestly how big of a difference could a fraction of a second really make?  The technology seems to make sense, increase the accelerator signal and reduce the delay, but is it a difference you can "feel to believe?"  Their model SBDD401A fits all BMW 128i, 135i, 325i, 328i, 330i and 335i automatic variants from 2001 to 2010 as well as theZ4 models. I grabbed one off the shelf and quickly installed it, the only tool required was a small allen wrench to remove the one bolt holding my pedal to the floor.  With a few quick clips of the connector, we were done.  The selector is also very easy to use and I enjoy being able to apply a setting then remove it, however, for this test I left it connected to cycle through the different setting to see how noticeable the differences were.

Of course, the first thing I did was put the setting on "Stage 2" for maximum acceleration and shot out of the BMP Design parking lot pinned to my seat.  There was definitely a difference and I could feel it.  I shot around town for a bit playing heavily with the accelerator and the response was incredible.  I could squeal my tires every time I took off, something that hardly happened before installing the Sprintbooster Power Converter.  After messing around with that for awhile I tried the green "Stage 1" selection to see what kind of difference that would make, the response was definitely improved, but not as drastic as the red "Stage 2" selection.  Scooting around town was more pleasant and the accelerator was much more natural and comfortable feeling in parking lots, taking off from red lights, and most of my daily driving routine.

Since the traffic was very light and I had a few nice open stretches of roadway to play in, I decided to see if there was a difference in DS mode or with higher gears.  I always kind of thought that the accelerator was more responsive in sport mode, but had no idea what it was actually capable of until the SprintBoost Power Converter was active.  I could still feel the difference and it was definitely noticeable.  After 4th gear, the difference in response kind of falls off, but when dropping down for acceleration to pass there is still a faster response time than before installing the power converter.  I'm sure in a more technical evaluation where time is measured before and after engaging the SprintBooster, a heavily modified car would have a marked difference with this installed in times.  I never thought such a noticeable performance increase could be so easily and quickly achieved.

The SprintBooster Power Converter is a huge success and I believe that any drive-by-wire vehicle should have one installed, the difference is certainly there and it is incredibly pleasant.  On the Stage 1 setting, daily driving has a natural and confident feel while also feeling very sporty and fun.  Stage 2 is a lot of fun when showing off the awesome power and handling of a well tuned high performance car like the 335i.  Any level of automotive experience will find the installation very quick and easy with minimal tools required.  I'm not sure why auto manufacturers aren't using this technology already in their electronic accelerators, but I know Sprintbooster certainly has the tuning down perfectly. I could feel the difference and am now I am a believer and user of this great product.  I would highly recommend it to anyone with a newer BMW to unlock the full potential of the ultimate driving experience.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me anytime.

-Phillip Wilmeth

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