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      09-24-2011, 08:38 PM   #23

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Originally Posted by DOUT View Post
There is the limited top speed, the actual top speed, and the top speed in which the gearing can allow.
The top speed is usually limited to 138, 155 for sport package cars, and 170 for M cars.
The actual top speed varies on the car, on a stock M3 I believe it is just south of 180.
The 6MT stock gearing allows for 204mph while DCT allows for 196mph.

I may be wrong, very wrong, but this is what I remember from reading in the past.
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      09-24-2011, 11:43 PM   #24

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Wow I had no idea a stock m3 can hit 201 mph. That is supercar territory from only a few years back and those with were much more potent engines usually. The m3 must have really good aerodynamics given its power is not huge.
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      09-25-2011, 04:31 AM   #25
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      09-25-2011, 10:03 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by meyergru View Post
Top speed for normal cars is 155 mph (250 km/h) which is a common agreement between Audi, Mercedes and BMW from the late 1980s when each newly introduced top-shelf car topped their opponents' maximum speed. The limit for the U.S. for non-ZCP cars is often less, namely 130 mph (210 km/h) because of the tyres that are all-seasons with "H" speed index. Depending on the engine, this top speed is even variated a little to separate more expensive cars from the rest of the pack (that is, a 330i is a little slower than a 335i, despite that they are both theoretically limited to 155 mph). The difference is only around 5 mph, though.

M cars are not required to be limited because it is not BMW who builds them, but the BMW M GmbH, a separate legal entity. Thus, they can stand out a little more, even when BMW tells they are limited to 155 mph as well, they usually do 162 mph (260 km/h), just enough to make them pass the others. In Germany, you can also buy a "drivers package" that officially shifts the M3 top speed to 174 mph (280 km/h), in reality (292 km/h) have been measured, but that is still the electronic limit (real top speed should be more like 193 mph (312 km/h). For the M5, the limit is lifted to 190 mph (305 km/h) by the driver's package.

All those figures are real (i.e. GPS) speed, although the limit applies to wheel revolutions per second. Thus, you can gain real speed by using larger diameter wheels.

The speedometer shows a little more with standard wheels because of european legislation ( 57 Abs. 2 StVZO, 75/443/EWG, ECE-R39 demand it must never show less than actual speed). In reality, speedo shows about 5% more than actual speed, unless you change the diameters.

The gearing limit for M3 6MT would be 218 mph (351 km/h), for M3 DCT it is 206 mph (332 km/h), all for 8300 RPM and standard 265/40 18" tyres. The usual rule applies: real (untuned) top speed can always be reached in the penultimate gear.
Nice info!
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      09-25-2011, 10:28 AM   #27
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I hit ludicrous speed with the only mod being one can of liquid scwartz.

Actually, I hit 176mph as indicated by the speedo on the autobahn when was stock...hit the limiter. My GPS indicated 166mph.
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      09-27-2011, 05:29 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Ateam View Post
Wow I had no idea a stock m3 can hit 201 mph. That is supercar territory from only a few years back and those with were much more potent engines usually. The m3 must have really good aerodynamics given its power is not huge.
Come on get real. Are you kidding? The only way a stock M3 can hit 200 mph is off a big cliff in a near vacuum. I am being entirely serious with that. Top speed is all about power and drag. No normal passenger car at its drag level with around 400 hp can reach anywhere close to 200 mph. That takes hundreds of more hp than 400. Videos of such cars are due to some combination of:

1. Delimited
2. Highly modded with much more hp
3. Errors from speedo and or tire sizes
4. Environmental effects such as cold dense air, big slope or big tail wind
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