It was my intention when spec'ing out my 2.5 L S14 that the engine be well balanced. All of the various components
would complement each other. Since I had committed to going with a ported head and aggressive cams, it was only natural
that the intake and exhaust by suitably matched. In the case of the exhaust I felt that larger
tubes for the header would be in order. The BMW Motorsport Group A header fits this definition.
I purchased the unit
from Turner Motorsport. It is actually billed as a Group A "Rally" header and costs a little over $1000.
Looking up the factory p/n in a Gp A catalogue reveals that this header was originally produced for
a Gp A engine in 2.3 liter trim.
However, how the BMW Motorsport originally implemented this header is not entirely clear. According to
Will Turner, the Gp A Rally header mates perfectly with a larger 2.5 L cylinder head. The factory boys
may well have used this header on a hybrid engine with a 2.3 L bottom end and a 2.5 L head. According to
Will there is another Gp A header which is different from the "Rally" header. In all, BMW Motorsport is reported
to have produced up to 15 different headers for the S14 engine. The bottom line for me is that Will Turner has
tested many of the available factory headers and has found that the Gp A "Rally" header provides a great overall
combination of high end horsepower and low end torque.
The Gp A Rally header still mates up to the factory 2.3 L exhaust, while
the Evo III header does not. Whether or not the Evo III header is bigger then the Gp A Rally
header is still not clear to me. I have heard from numerous well respected E30 M3 enthusiasts
who have seen (or owned) the Evo III header. Half of these people say it is bigger and the other half say there is
no significant difference. Those owners looking for REALLY big HP numbers
from a 2.5 L S14 might be better off with one of the beautiful DTM header
as featured on
Mitch Herman's site.
But you had better be making some serious power to put that baby to use!
Given the information I had at my disposal I determined that the Gp A Rally header
seemed an appropriate choice for my 2.5 L powerplant.