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      07-17-2013, 10:18 PM   #1
rondocap's Avatar

Drives: 335i Sedan
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NY/NJ

iTrader: (1)

My long term Cobb vs PPK impressions - surprising?

This topic comes up a lot, about the BMW PPK tune vs Cobb, etc. Usually it comes down to what people perceive as power for their money, i.e value.

I have a slightly different approach. I have had both for a while - and recently I've been switching on and off between them to really feel the difference.

To preface, I learned a very important lesson from a Porsche Boxster in terms of driving experience: Power does not necessarily matter, but how the car communicates with you and reacts to your inputs can be even more exciting.

Having said that, the Cobb without a doubt produces a significant amount of power. I have stage 1 aggressive running 93, and only a drop in K and N filter otherwise stock. I also have the Alpina TCU flash. No doubt Cobb produces more noticeable power than the PPK by far.

As good as Cobb is, switching back and forth between them and driving on curvy roads with a lot of gear changes - I noticed that the PPK feels far superior in reaction time. It just feels more natural, and lighter, more immediate in the way the transmission and engine respond to you in tighter roads, hoving around 2nd and 3rd gear.

Cobb puts out a lot more boost, and because of this can feel slightly unnatural and have a bit more delay in power delivery. No doubt it pushes you much harder, but it is more artificial feeling while the PPK retains as much of a natural ebb and flow that you can have with the car still being turbo.

Once again, that initial response time and faster stop and go sporty driving is what I am describing. If you are in 4th gear on the highway and floor it, you do get that inital slight delay but then the Cobb produces superior torque and horsepower that accelerates at a faster rate. That's enjoyable too, but I'm wondering if the car isn't better off with less power.

Perhaps PPK plus the BMW PE Exhaust may allow the car to be more responsive and transparent feeling. The other option is to kick the Cobb up a notch, FMIC and Stage 1+...but I have a feeling that while the power will be increased even more, that heavier boost feeling will also increase and the car won't be as natural feeling as a PPK car would be.

Anyways, just my thoughts - I am still playing around with how these react, and I am sure I will learn more. Anyone have any similar ideas? I guess you can sort of replace PPK with stock vs Cobb if that's what you have, although PPK adds a nice level of response.