It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a BMW 128i with a custom Karl Hugh tune! It may be unconventional, but here at Active Autowerke we thrive on a hands-on approach to achieve considerable gains. When our Software Engineer Karl Hugh creates a tune for a customer, he takes a more personal approach to bring them the results they desire.
Karl was recently approached by a driver named Kyle Herbst, who was faced with a dilemma. No one had a setup for a 128i that would make it nationally competitive in the Sports Car Club of America Autocross. There was little information on what tires, wheels, or suspension to use and it was becoming too much of a head ache for Kyle to handle alone. That’s when Karl stepped in to lend a hand.
Little information has been gathered on how to tune the N51 engine safely, so Karl was faced with a challenge when it came to the drivers tune. More attention to detail had to be paid, so Karl was in constant contact with Kyle. This is where the Kyle experienced just how hands-on we are, which made it easy for Karl to seem like a close friend.
Immediately it seemed like the N51 with the 3-stage DISA manifold had encountered some kryptonite. It had issues with torque surging in low RPM loads and lacked the upper band pull, even though BMW claimed the same power gains as the N52. Karl never shies away from a challenge and was able to tweak the tune with some email correspondence. Kyle noticed a night and day difference stating that throttle response was much more predictable and linear. The “dead pedal” feeling was removed, and low-end torque was increased significantly.
The car was now running as if it had rolled off the factory assembly line. It appeared to pull harder through the RPM range and the OEM “dipping” from the 3-stage DISA valve was not felt like prior. If these testimonials aren’t enough, maybe the numbers will do the trick. Dyno runs measured 218WHP at 200 ft-lbs of torque.
Kyle was ready for the races. In a class dominated by Scion’s, Subaru’s, Mazda’s and other such non-German cars, this BMW was unique to its STX class. The car placed 1st out of 11 in the Toledo ProSolo race and 8th out of 24 in the ProFinale final standings for the year.
Despite these impressive standings, Kyle is too ambitious to stop at just an Active Autowerke tune. After catching wind of our new Active Autowerke E9X performance header, he knew he had to be next in line to get his hands on it. Karl is certainly up to the challenge of creating an even faster BMW for his new friend Kyle.