FOR SOME professionals, the stresses of running a business revolve around which brand of coffee to stock in the employee break room, or whether or not they can make their Friday morning tee-off time. Fortunately for our customers, Mike Hugh would rather spend that Friday morning at the track, putting our latest products through their paces.
Between meeting with customers that drop by the shop, overseeing yet another supercharger install, hammering out billing details, training a new employee, trying to understand why the marketing guy keeps going on and on about Facebook, and family obligations, Mike somehow finds the time to sit down, and address the questions that our fans have proposed to him in the hopes of getting a glimpse into a very cluttered, but brilliant, mind.
We recently gave our Facebook and Instagram followers the chance to ask Active Autowerke’s fearless leader anything they wanted, which could have easily turned disasterous. Luckily, most of you are gearheads just like us, and focused on the what’s, why’s, and how’s behind our shop. Part 1 addressed a few questions about our E92 M3, Blitzkrieg, while part 2 will focus on more general inquiries.
Vincent, Facebook – Why can’t your kits be cheaper?
Mike Hugh – When Active Autowerke brings a product to market we always try to address whether there is a need for it. Once the initial idea changes from a concept to a project, we go forward 110%. The design must excell in all areas of efficiency, power, reliability, function, appearance, and finally, price.
These guidelines lead to the thousands of kits we have sold over the years, that are still fully operational today. The components developed in these hand-built systems are what has enabled us to bring economic fairness to the supercharger market over the past 10 years. As with any other business, we have had to battle rising costs, and a devalued US Dollar, yet the prices of our kits have remained consistant, and in some cases have even been lowered.
An example of the quality of work that goes behind our products, and the resulting cost can be seen on our S65 Supercharger kit. The intake manifold could be designed simpler, but would not be as efficient. Each intake runner was specifically designed to mimic the factory flow and distribution while maintaining the velocity stacks. From a manufacturing process this is extensive and costly. We knew there were alternative routes, but we felt this was the ultimate in design and function. The S65 Supercharger utilizes 3 Active Autowerke BOV‘s as it was found to eliminate any possible compressor surge or spiking.
Furthermore, after much research, we found that the relocated oil cooler lines would be best suited if made by a NASCAR facility. Again, this is costly but there is no substitute for the reliability, and functionality these new lines provide. I could go into more in-depth details on other specific parts such as our air to air intercooler, and the reasons behind them, but the bottom line is, there is no compromise or substitute for quality when it comes to our customers. This has been our approach over the years and has historically been the best way to approach our projects. You’ve got to pay to play with power, but we continue to prove that the amount of work that goes into our kits make it more than worth it for the end consumer.
Ricky, Facebook – Why did you stray from your turbo line-up? Now that most new BMW’s are turbo, will you re-vamp your tubo line?
Mike Hugh – We found that the turbo set up did not appeal to everyone, namely our customers who took their vehicles to road courses. With the track junkies, most drivers said the torque delivery was off, and desired a more linear power curve. There were installation issues as well. The turbo system made the kit too hard to remove if the car was sold or disposed off. Our Supercharger Systems can be installed and uninstalled easily by almost anyone. The power delivery is smoother and more linear.
Lower cost, simpler installation and less maintenance made for thousands of superchargers sold. Plus, we could offer start-up stages and the end user could easily upgrade when the need arose. Will we re-vamp our old line? NO. Why go down an old path? However, the newer BMW models that are turbocharged is the next venue for MORE. More power, More efficiency, More options that we can provide to our customers who demand the very best.
Cole, Facebook – Why was the twin-screw supercharger discontinued? Also, what type of driving are your kits designed for?
Mike Hugh – Cost and availability. It was a very good system with high torque, but costly to make due to the intake manifold design. Additionally, a limited supply of blowers, along with a volatile foreign exchange rate at that time made this venture unfavorable. As a result, the market could not support the build cost.
Our Superchargers are designed with the idea of the end user having a single car, with multiple purpose use. Here at Active Autowerke, we define this as High Performance Street. Basically, it is extreme street performance, with refinement. We have always intended to be complimentary to BMW as the Ultimate Driving Machine. Our selected line of products has always had the goal to enhance the performance and maintain all the true inherent qualities of BMW. The Supercharger Systems are always designed to be reliable and pleasing to the daily driver, as well as the weekend warrior.