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      01-16-2008, 01:19 AM   #1
ndahbar
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Thumbs up C&D "Lightning Strikes Twice" article

Thought these were quite interesting, and figured I'd share

Yeah sorry it's an "old" article from last August. Anyway:

http://www.caranddriver.com/features...-lap-2007.html

It's about "rating the best street cars on the track". In this case, the 4.2-mile Virginia International Speedway (VIR). This is their 2nd go-around at this, with the first documented here: http://www.caranddriver.com/features...-lap-2006.html

More accurately, they wanted road-going and legal sporty cars "to benchmark their overall performance—not just how they accelerated, braked, gripped, or handled, but how they combined these tasks. To think of it another way, our Lightning Lap test showcases a car’s ability to quickly and safely traverse a challenging section of pavement without running the risk of putting a car through someone’s front yard."

The rules: http://www.caranddriver.com/assets/d...glap_rules.pdf

A few interesting takeaways. Yes this is a bmw-centric forum, and we'll get to that soon enough. Let's start:

The Vettes & The 911's:

The winner, and the only car in both the 06 and 07 tests to do a lap in under 3:00 was the 2007 Z06.
http://www.caranddriver.com/features...vette-z06.html

The interesting part is, last year's Z06 did it in 3:01.1 which is almost 3 seconds longer than the 2007 attempt. Why? Most likely due to the revised rear shocks which made the revised (2007 I believe) considerably easier to drive/handle at the limit. This shows how important it is for engineering to be thorough on a car, especially a sporty road car that is likely to encounter all sorts of conditions in its lifetime.

As awesome as the revised Z06's performance is, they said "In truth, the Z06 wasn’t as satisfying to drive as the 911 GT3". But as they also say, hard to argue with the performance, especially given that the Porsche had special semi-slick racing Michelins (stock).

The GT3 laptiime: 3:01.8. They mention it is faster than the Z06 is a bunch of the sectors on the track, but it suffered from severe lift-throttle oversteer in the middle of turns. http://www.caranddriver.com/features...e-911-gt3.html

The standard Vette achieved 3.03.6. That's awesome, especially given that it's running on runflats, and just think of what the 08 car can do, given its larger, more powerful engine, and improved steering and shifter feel...oh and that handily beat the 997 Turbo's time of 3:05.8. http://www.caranddriver.com/features...911-turbo.html

The Bimmers & The RS4, and a couple more:

http://www.caranddriver.com/features...4-m-coupe.html
http://www.caranddriver.com/features...35i-coupe.html

"The 335i does everything remarkably well, which is why many of us at Car and Driver think it’s the best all-around car in the world." Damn, lol.

One thing that made me scratch my head is, how did they weigh their 335i coupe at ONLY 3366 lbs? They should be 3571 base. I guess they're simply going by what the scale said at the racetrack? Whatever, what they drove was a production, road-going, un-modded car so it's a moot point (maybe a typo on their part).

335i laptime: 3:10.5
RS4 laptime: 3.11.2

Whoa. The 335i beats the mighty RS4, a car that is heralded as easily the best driver's car to come out of Audi's shop in decades (until the advent of the R8 that is). Not only that, although weighed down by a fat 3900+ lbs, it has a 420hp 8250rpm V8 with a proper manual tranny and great brakes. So wtf happened? They touch upon it: http://www.caranddriver.com/features...audi-rs-4.html

Also, take a look at the numbers in each sector here: http://www.caranddriver.com/assets/d...ap_results.pdf comparing the 2 cars (and of course all the others to your liking )

Look by how much the it's-no-M-car-has-soft-suspension-slow-responses-and-no-LSD 335i beats the RS4 in most of the measurements across the various sectors. Uh, what was that again about it not being an //M car? Run-flats? No LSD? Etc etc? Yeah....

Speaking of, since folks out there have frequently compared the RS4 to the M5, how about its M6 sister, a car weighing in at close to the same as the RS4? 3:10.0 was its best lap (in the previous event of 2006 though, if it matters). Whoa, only half a second faster than the 335i? Dang. http://www.caranddriver.com/features...000-page6.html

As for the Cayman S, a car many in the industry rank way up there with the very best handling cars regardless of class or price, it got 3:09.5, or exactly 1 second faster than the 335i on the 4.2 mile stretch of racetrack. http://www.caranddriver.com/features...000-page5.html

I wonder what woulda happened if they equipped the amazing Michelin PS2 tires (OEM on the CaymanS) on the 335i instead of it's runflat crappy oem's...

Better yet, I wonder if you did that on a Procede/JB2/Dinan/Attache-powered 335i...and before u bring forth the stock-vs-modded argument...ask yourself, can any of the other cars featured be modded to gain anything worthwhile for $2000 or less? Well, other than the Corvettes...not really.

A testament to the overall design of the E9x platform, particularly when you account for its comfort and practicality (not to mention pricing). Can't wait to see what the new M3 will do. Although it's pretty obvious that dominance will occur. Make that, re-occur.

All hail the Corvettes though. Sure, they're crude (alleviated some by the steering/shifter tweaks for 08), but DANG are they performers for the price. Nothing comes close in that regard.

Last edited by ndahbar; 01-16-2008 at 01:45 AM.
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      01-16-2008, 01:39 AM   #2
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Remember back in August... you know, when this article came out.... good summary though.
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      01-16-2008, 01:40 AM   #3
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yeah it's old but i did a search and didn't appear that anyone talked about it...
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      01-16-2008, 01:44 AM   #4
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Old article, but still a great one.
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      01-16-2008, 08:26 AM   #5
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I bring this article up all the time and it was discussed heavily...in addition to the RS4, the M6 is no faster than the 335i, and the 335i is faster than an M coupe. Also, I think it might have been this article, maybe not lol, where C&D proclaimed the 335i to be the best all around car in the world.
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      01-16-2008, 09:59 AM   #6
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Yep that's the one sdiver.

So can anyone explain how they got such a low weight for their tested 335 coupe?
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      01-16-2008, 12:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndahbar View Post
Yep that's the one sdiver.

So can anyone explain how they got such a low weight for their tested 335 coupe?
They weigh it. But it seems to me they accidentally used the 325i weight in that article?

BMW's published number includes driver and luggage, as per German law, at least that's my understanding. I'm not completely sure how that plays into this...
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      01-16-2008, 03:35 PM   #8
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Well what makes it hard to be suspicious of their weighing practices, is that the rest of the cars' weights seem spot-on to expectations.
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      01-16-2008, 06:36 PM   #9
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Old article like everyone said, but good summation of the points. Can't believe you actually took the time to write all of that out. The weighing system is different to BMW's, that's why it's lighter.
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      01-16-2008, 06:46 PM   #10
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Good repost and a nice writeup, ndahbar... and some of us do appreciate your efforts, sdiver
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      01-16-2008, 06:54 PM   #11
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+1...Nice write up....RS4 really needs the upcoming turbo'd V8 to carry all that quattro weight
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      01-16-2008, 11:47 PM   #12
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I type very quickly ^_^

And again, I realize there are a zillion weight measurement methods employed out there, but given that the *rest* of the cars in the comparo seem to have weight figures listed that are almost exactly what we expect and see everywhere else...that makes me wonder...how much does a 335i really weigh...compared to say...a Z4M.
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      01-17-2008, 01:21 PM   #13
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Too bad they did a 335i and not an M Coupe.
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      01-17-2008, 02:17 PM   #14
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The M Coupe was included, and he's got a link to it above. They got a slower time in the M Coupe than the 335i, which I still don't get...
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      01-18-2008, 10:33 AM   #15
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It's been discussed here that BMW's curb weight includes a standard amount for a driver (I think it was 75kg) plus luggage and a full tank of gas. If you search I know theres a thread about someone who weighed there coupe on some government scale in California and his car was under 3400 lbs.
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      01-18-2008, 11:13 AM   #16
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With a 150lbs driver, a couple bags and a full tank, the car weighs 3600lbs. Just the car with gas is around 3400lbs which in my opinion considering everything in the vehicle, is pretty damn good.
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      01-18-2008, 12:15 PM   #17
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this is a old one man! wow 335i r old now that the M3 has eclipsed it!
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      01-18-2008, 12:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335i4u2nv View Post
this is a old one man! wow 335i r old now that the M3 has eclipsed it!
Sure...if you've got the attention-span of a 3-year old. We're talking about cars that are still currently in production!
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      01-18-2008, 03:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
Too bad they did a 335i and not an M Coupe.
They did and the Z4 M was SLOWER
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      01-18-2008, 05:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epbrown View Post
The M Coupe was included, and he's got a link to it above. They got a slower time in the M Coupe than the 335i, which I still don't get...
The only explanation is that late breaking...which most people think makes you lap faster, induces understeer in the stiff little coupe. Slow in, fast out is a much better technique especially since the M Coupe can hold corner speed much better than the 3 series. But none of you E90 folks want to hear that...
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      01-18-2008, 09:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dammmittt View Post
The only explanation is that late breaking...which most people think makes you lap faster, induces understeer in the stiff little coupe. Slow in, fast out is a much better technique especially since the M Coupe can hold corner speed much better than the 3 series. But none of you E90 folks want to hear that...
True, because at the track, times talk, and BS walks. Start walking...
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      01-18-2008, 10:06 PM   #22
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Damn sdiver68! Damn!
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