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      04-16-2008, 09:51 PM   #1
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Q&A Part II with Larry Koch, BMA NA M brand manager

As most of you know Skierman posted his recollection of his Q&A with Larry Koch, which was fairly extensive.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133368

I asked him a few more questions tonight at another BMW CCA event. I am paraphrasing as accurately as I can as I did not tape his answers, and I am keeping my opinions out of it (I am not agreeing or disagreeing with anything he said so don't flame me).

Q: Will I lose my warranty if I track my M3?
LK: You will if you compete with it. If you get on the track during your local BMW CC event and drive around, you will be fine.

Q: Will BMW offer performance parts for the M3?
LK: This is under discussion. I brought it up in the presence of an M-division engineer, and he immediately asked what was it that I thought could be improved exactly.

Q: (from the general audience) What is the difference between the Sport and Normal EDC settings?
LK: In the normal setting, the computer constantly adjusts the suspension. [some other stuff that is common knowledge on this forum]....Under certain conditions, in the Normal setting, the suspension can be stiffer than it is in the Sport setting.

Q: Why is the E92 M3 chassis riding slightly higher than the E92 335 coupe chassis? Does this have anything to do with airflow?
LK: Is it? If it is, I don't know.

Q: Would lowering the M3 cause problems with EDC? What should one pay attention to?
LK: Lowering the car would alter the suspension geometry, and take away from performance. It would also cause uneven tire wear.

Q: (from the general audience) Will there be another M1 to compete with the R8?
LK: I can't answer future products questions, but we are always looking into that kind of thing.

Q: (from the general audience) Why doesn't BMW offer LSD in the non-M 3 and 1 series cars?
LK: I don't know. I am focused on M products.

Q: (from the general audience) Why is there no dipstick in the M3?
LK: Only 2-3% of the owners actually ever use the dipstick. They don't even think about engine oil unless the car gives an electronic warning anyway.
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      04-16-2008, 09:57 PM   #2
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Interesting, thanks for the info
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      04-16-2008, 09:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
Q: Will I lose my warranty if I track my M3?
LK: You will if you compete with it. If you get on the track during your local BMW CC event and drive around, you will be fine.
I doubt they are like Mitsubishi to actually hunt down drivers who participated at events.

Quote:
Q: Would lowering the M3 cause problems with EDC? What should one pay attention to?
LK: Lowering the car would alter the suspension geometry, and take away from performance. It would also cause uneven tire wear.
Typical business answer.


Quote:
Q: (from the general audience) Why is there no dipstick in the M3?
LK: Only 2-3% of the owners actually every use the dipstick. They don't even think about engine oil unless the car gives an electronic warning anyway.
I think % of owners who buy M3 and check their oil (if they could) is a lot higher.

Thanks for posting
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      04-16-2008, 10:08 PM   #4
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Thanks Lucid - I wish I could have been there...I also wish my car were here.
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      04-16-2008, 10:10 PM   #5
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Lucid, that was a nice compliment to what I posted last week. Awesome job. I had actually asked him the same question as your first one about tracking the car but forgot to post it on here. He gave me the same answer. Which is good becuase my dad tracked his E46M and warped the rotors, his dealer said they wouldn't replace them under warranty, that was a few years back.

Here's skiermans answer to the engineer that asked what can be improved: This is going to seem nit picky, but one of the things that bugs me about the car is the look of the front calipers. It's interesting that the 135 has nicer looking (perhap better performing) multi piston calipers than a $70K M3. A car that costs this much and looks this good shouldn't have front calipers that look like they come off a Chevy Cavilier. Especially when BMW has developed two very nice looking sets of open wheels which show off the brakes. I haven't tracked the car yet, so I don't know how well the brakes perform. I'm guessing they'll do just fine, based on some other reports about the car on the track. They look like crap and I would buy new calipers from BMW performance if they offered them to fit on the current rotors. My $.02.
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      04-16-2008, 10:11 PM   #6
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Thanks LUCID for taking the time to ask and record answers and then post them here. Much appreciated
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      04-16-2008, 10:15 PM   #7
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Nice, thanks!
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      04-16-2008, 10:28 PM   #8
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Thanks for posting the responses!
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      04-16-2008, 10:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malter2.0 View Post

I think % of owners who buy M3 and check their oil (if they could) is a lot higher.

Thanks for posting
Why do you think that? He likely has data.
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      04-17-2008, 12:30 AM   #10
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Thanks for the update.

I regret not thinking of this question for you guys to ask him earlier:

Will using launch control in M-DCT equipped cars void warranty?

Theres a "rumor" floating around that it does for SMG cars...
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      04-17-2008, 12:39 AM   #11
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I hate not having a dipstick!! I don't care if the car tells me the oil level is fine, I like to SEE the oil on the stick. BMW's recommended oil change intervals (at least on regular 3 series) is nuts (15,000 miles!?!) I'm running 5,000 mile intervals with samples going to Blackstone.

I think I'd be one of those that actually USES a dipstick. Nice to know I'm in the top 2% to 3% of BMW owners!

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      04-17-2008, 12:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keto View Post
Why do you think that? He likely has data.
You are kidding?
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      04-17-2008, 06:41 AM   #13
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I agree with Skierman64 about the calipers. I saw the 135i at my dealer and the calipers looked so nice. The 19" wheels especially show off the brakes and you have to look at those crappy looking calipers.
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      04-17-2008, 06:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keto View Post
Why do you think that? He likely has data.
He did say they have data, but he didn't specify if it was from M owners or BMW owners in general. I got the sense that it might be the latter.
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      04-17-2008, 06:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FifthStreetz View Post
Thanks for the update.

I regret not thinking of this question for you guys to ask him earlier:

Will using launch control in M-DCT equipped cars void warranty?

Theres a "rumor" floating around that it does for SMG cars...
They possibly cannot prohibit the use of a standard feature they have designed into the car. However, there might be some language around how often it can be used and so on.
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      04-17-2008, 07:38 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
They possibly cannot prohibit the use of a standard feature they have designed into the car. However, there might be some language around how often it can be used and so on.
Even limiting use by sheer language kinda sounds dubious to me though, lucid. I think it would have to be limited by the computer or it would not hold up in vert well from a legally binding perspective. What if two people share a car for example? So then they have to like keep a logbook of how and when they use LC? That just seems crazy. And there are other scenarios (however contrived) that this would seem to not work out also.
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      04-17-2008, 07:39 AM   #17
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Lucid, thanks for taking the time to post your questions and answers. I was with Skierman64 at the Philly BMW CCA/Larry Koch meeting, and it was invaluable. If anyone else has the opportunity to go to any future meetings where Mr. Koch is speaking, I would strongly suggest it.
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      04-17-2008, 09:27 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Even limiting use by sheer language kinda sounds dubious to me though, lucid. I think it would have to be limited by the computer or it would not hold up in vert well from a legally binding perspective. What if two people share a car for example? So then they have to like keep a logbook of how and when they use LC? That just seems crazy. And there are other scenarios (however contrived) that this would seem to not work out also.
Well, this kind of ties into the first question I asked him about track days. There is a common sense component, which is somewhat gray and could be argued either way. Hard to tell where the line is between high performance and abuse--pushing the car beyond its designed performance envelope--in general. For instance, speaking about the engine, as drivers, the only info we have are the redline and the oil temp. Does that mean it is okay to run this engine right under redline for 4 hours non-stop as long as the oil temp is okay? Maybe, maybe not. I do know that repeated launches will be hard on the transmission. I am pretty sure the GTR Edmunds unofficially tested in Japan ran into heat transfer issues when they used launched control frequently. Same applies to dumping the clutch over and over again with a 6MT.
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      04-17-2008, 10:24 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
Q: Will BMW offer performance parts for the M3?
LK: This is under discussion. I brought it up in the presence of an M-division engineer, and he immediately asked what was it that I thought could be improved exactly.

Q: (from the general audience) Why is there no dipstick in the M3?
LK: Only 2-3% of the owners actually ever use the dipstick. They don't even think about engine oil unless the car gives an electronic warning anyway.
Performance parts: how about a rear diffuser to hide the muffler?

Dipstick: WTF? Only 2 - 3% check their oil? Where do they get those numbers? Does that mean that only 2 - 3% of M3 are true enthusiasts? Maybe there should be an HP drivers license. If you don't check your oil regularly you lose your license and ability to drive the M3!
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      04-17-2008, 10:27 AM   #20
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LC in SMG II M3s was watered down from that of the Euro model. However, in Europe, (and I suppose most other parts of the world) after, I could be wrong on the exact number, thirty launches the transmission had to in for service -- overhaul I think. Because LC was watered down for the US, I do not believe that the 30 launch rule applied -- but then I could be wrong -- I never heard anything definitive one way or the other.
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      04-17-2008, 10:34 AM   #21
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Thanks L!!
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      04-17-2008, 11:43 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ersin View Post
Performance parts: how about a rear diffuser to hide the muffler?

Dipstick: WTF? Only 2 - 3% check their oil? Where do they get those numbers? Does that mean that only 2 - 3% of M3 are true enthusiasts? Maybe there should be an HP drivers license. If you don't check your oil regularly you lose your license and ability to drive the M3!
Doesn't surprise me. I just discovered that the dealership charges $200 for an oil change. I couldn't eat enough free danishes to make that seem like a deal for $25 in materials and another $20 in labor.
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