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      06-02-2008, 02:50 AM   #1
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This car is something else!

**Hey Mod's: This is feedback on the e92, not a track post. Can you keep here for so peeps can read? Thanks!

From an actual owner of an e92M3.... this car really does kick ass.

In so many words, BMW hit the nail on the head, and made the e92M3 a stud out of the box. I'm basically an intermediate driver on the track, and have been anxiously waiting passing the break in period to see how this car handles for myself. This past weekend, I finally had an impromptu opportunity to take my car out at Laguna Seca Raceway. I left there with 1,600 miles; and came back with 2,100 miles on her...what a day!

To avoid diving too deep into the track event, let me just say the e92M lived up to and surpassed expectations. The car was an absolute beast, driver's skill aside, the M battled with cars that exceeded/doubled its price range and surpassed cars that people endlessly compare to on forums. To provide some color on the cars in my run group, there were: GT3's, GT3RS's, 997T's, 993's, 997C4S's, Audi RS4's, Boxter's, Evo's, 335's, Z4's, e46M3's, Z06's, Lotus Elise's, and RX8's to name a few. My first reaction was..modifications that I made on my old e46M3 from suspension, engine software, exhaust, etc, etc....had nothing on this iteration the M.

Engine/Transmission: The engine and gearing that BMW made for the e92 is unreal! Low torque, what! The torque was fine IMO. The high revving ability of the M engine is what stood out w/o question. In instances where I would think an up shift to the next gear was necessary, followed by hard braking, and then down shifting back into the same or lower gear; was not needed in this car. In some corners the ability to take the car to 100 in 3rd(8~rpm), not up-shift, brake, not down shift, and then gas immediately right in the power band really was impressive. Shifting/double clutching and going through the gears was music to my ears. The car was so smooth and ran cool; oil tempt barely inched past 210 on the gauge. I was able to take the car up to 8.4 rpm or high 7's with such ease and smoothness...it really was amazing. Shifts were precise and the car wanted you to rev it; as you could hear the intakes at work and the exhaust note growl. As I was the only e92 out there, I received a lot of feedback and questions from the other drivers. One compliment that was given time and time again was on the aggressive note of the stock exhaust and engine. As far as power, there was more than enough. To my surprise, I was able to keep up with more horsepower cars on the track; and was able to hit unexpected speeds down the straights prior to the start/finish line (after turn 11).

EDC: This functionality is priceless. I personally would not touch the suspension unless fitting camber plates into the equation. In sport mode, the car felt like and handled better than my last M3 that had 500F/550R spring rates fitted on coilovers. I did a few sessions in Normal mode, which did drive very well through the corkscrews; however the uncertainty of how the car would react through the corner made me a bit nervous. I thought to learn the car the best, I would use Sport Mode as the basis, and get a real feel for the car and how the suspension/body would set up. The results were, Sport Mode was fantastic. You new what to expect prior to turn in and body roll was nonexistent for me. The car set up as expected prior to turn in and dove right in like a champ. Not much over steer at all, and under steer was enough that you could control or pull in by the different settings of DSC. Normal mode did have a tad bit more body roll, however once in the corner you could feel the suspension/rebound/compression tighten and the car became nimble. I think Normal may be a the mode that would give you faster lap times, however I plan to test this setting out at the next track event, as I now have a general basis to expect the car to handle and perform by. What is great about M cars, was the ability to switch to Comfort mode, for the long drive back to SF. Generally, you'd have to suffer the hard bumps of the road; as the last thing you want to do after a long track day, is sit in the paddock and set all your suspension settings back to street set up.

Steering: I do not understand the comments from those that mentioned the steering to be light. Granted, most of these comments were not from actual owners, rather people testing driving. In my opinion, setting the steering to Sport was firmer than the e46M3, more direct that the e46M3, and I felt more confident pointing the car through a corner than the e46. Long story short, steering was precise and spot on from where my eye was guiding it.....no unexpected adjustments required. In addition, the cars reaction time to steering inputs is insane....you can pull yourself out of most driver errors based on the steering/handling of this car.

Brakes/rotors: More than sufficient, and they are grabby as hell. However, I will say, by the 4th/5th session of the day, I did feel slight brake fade, as Laguna is a hard braking track. I noticed that the brakes did cool down quickly and firmness in the pedal came back; however there was never a lack of braking as some have mentioned. I should note though that my rotors/pads did take a beating, and I do think I'll need to let the brake pad deposits dwindle down before my final verdict...as I do have a very slight vibration in my steering wheel while braking now...almost certain it's the residue from the stock pads. The pedal does feel a bit numb today, so I'm really not sure if the brake fluid is failing here or if the pads just need to smooth out again. I'll let a week or so go by and if the issue is still there, I'll drop her off at the dealership for a "brake fade" warranty complaint

DSC: DSC ON was way too intrusive, however I did use this for the first session as a bit of mist came down on the track to the point where our wipers were needed. Based on the track conditions, my skill level, and the fact that I was learning the car still, I chose MDM for the rest of the day. This mode is great! It let me throw the back out when needed, but it also saves your ass if you are unfamiliar with a turn and over steer or come in too hot. It really lets an "ok" driver cheat and get on through tricky corners.

M mode: This feature was absolutely key. I initially started off with the following settings: EDC_Sport, DSC_On(wet track for the first session), Power_Sport Plus, Servtronic_Sport. Everything stayed the same through the rest of the day with the exception of DSC moving to MDM.

All in all, the car is dream and I do not think you could ask for anything else from a factory car. The car wants you to push it. The more you through it around, the more you pushed it……it egged you on and responded better and better. The engine, suspension, and LSD wanted more and more. The only thing that I'm worried about today, is the health of my rotors and brakes...as something does feel a tad bit off.

Another feature I loved on the car, was the Stop Watch function on the NAV setting. You could reset or take interim time stamps to clock in lap times. This was great as you could see how settings on the car and adjustments on addressing turns translated into faster times.

It will take a lot of homework and feedback for me to change anything on this car as of now. Thank you M division!

I'll be receiving a CD of pics next week from the photographer on site; so you'll be able to see the car sink in through the turns and the solid body stance I was referring to.

Edit: Pics are here now: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...=1#post2769477

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      06-02-2008, 03:03 AM   #2
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Great read! Good to hear some track-based feedback.
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      06-02-2008, 09:27 AM   #3
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thanks for a great write up, glad you enjoyed it...are the tires still good?
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      06-02-2008, 09:48 AM   #4
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Nice write-up, thanks
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      06-02-2008, 10:23 AM   #5
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Great read!
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      06-02-2008, 10:29 AM   #6
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Awesome write up. This car will be part of my first track experiences and I can't wait!
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      06-02-2008, 10:37 AM   #7
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Great write up man- I would love to drive 500 miles on Laguna with an M...
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      06-02-2008, 10:44 AM   #8
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Good information. Thanks.

Keep us posted about the brakes. I'd like to know what pads and fluid you would be replacing the OEMs with for serious track use and how they perform both on and off the track.

Have you had your wheels aligned? Somebody posted that theirs were out right from the beginning. Pity, but it seems the alignment gets out of whack during the shipping or something. BTW, is anybody making camber plates for the new M3 yet?
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      06-02-2008, 11:02 AM   #9
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Great write-up! Enjoyed reading about your day out there! Look forward to my opportunities to get out on the track now!
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      06-02-2008, 11:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ersin View Post
Good information. Thanks.

Keep us posted about the brakes. I'd like to know what pads and fluid you would be replacing the OEMs with for serious track use and how they perform both on and off the track.

Have you had your wheels aligned? Somebody posted that theirs were out right from the beginning. Pity, but it seems the alignment gets out of whack during the shipping or something. BTW, is anybody making camber plates for the new M3 yet?
I just ordered two front tires today...when they come in and are mounted...I'm going to request an alignment. As far as camber plates, I do not know anyone that has made this just yet, but I think this will be the biggest/noticeable bang for the buck.

I took a bunch of people on ride alongs that day, and each one was extremely impressed with the egine hp, handling, accuracy, and corner speed of M's suspension. Honestly, the car likes aggressive driving and really makes you feel as one with car, even when pushing to the limits.

Will keep you posted on the brakes, and I'm curious if others have a feedback on them as well.
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      06-02-2008, 11:19 AM   #11
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awesome write-up. i enjoyed reading that!! thanks.

steering is light, but is very precise. i only knew what BMW did when i went over 130 mph in a curvy road
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      06-02-2008, 12:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mantis View Post
awesome write-up. i enjoyed reading that!! thanks.

steering is light, but is very precise. i only knew what BMW did when i went over 130 mph in a curvy road
Have you tried your steering on Sport Mode? The steering for me in this mode is not light at all..granted when I'm in this mode I'm pushing the car...so maybe it firms to the setting I'm describing.
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      06-02-2008, 12:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monsta View Post
thanks for a great write up, glad you enjoyed it...are the tires still good?
I think i"ll need a new front right tire. Front left is ok.

I've used PS2's on my last e46M3 and tires would last mutiple track days and hard street driving. Unfortunatlely, I think the lack of camber and the particular track, got the best of my front right...will have to order a new one( well 2 front really). The rears were fine.

Have a look. Front right is the small pic, larger pic is the left.

Also, does the streaking look normal on my rotors in the bottom pic?
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      06-02-2008, 12:52 PM   #14
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      06-02-2008, 01:03 PM   #15
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Great write up, lucky you!

I'm anxiously waiting my track day, but that's not for another 350 miles!! Boo breakin
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      06-02-2008, 05:37 PM   #16
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great write up!
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      06-02-2008, 08:06 PM   #17
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Great write up makes me want to get on the track right now. Did you record some lap times? It would be interesting to see if you were right about the lap times being faster in normal compared to sport mode. Yes after seeing your front tires after your track day some good R compounds would be necessary. I have been searching online and they're aren't many available in our sizes yet.
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      06-02-2008, 08:44 PM   #18
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Excellent writeup. Thanks for sharing.
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      06-02-2008, 08:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ9 View Post
I think i"ll need a new front right tire. Front left is ok.
Have a look. Front right is the small pic, larger pic is the left.
Also, does the streaking look normal on my rotors in the bottom pic?
Tires don't look bad, what pressures were you running hot? You might be able to add a couple of pounds and preserve the edge next time (I keep my proxes ra-1's ~42lbs hot)

Your brake rotors will clean up after a few days of driving, they look much better than my 330i's rotors after 2 days of driving school. Get some PF-01 pads for next time, flush the brake fluid, and you'll be ready to go.
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      06-02-2008, 08:50 PM   #20
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Great review. This is why I am buying the M3. Thanks and keep the comments coming.
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      06-02-2008, 08:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCMPOWER View Post
Great write up makes me want to get on the track right now. Did you record some lap times? It would be interesting to see if you were right about the lap times being faster in normal compared to sport mode. Yes after seeing your front tires after your track day some good R compounds would be necessary. I have been searching online and they're aren't many available in our sizes yet.
Ya, front tires took some serious heat....the car is 3,700 lbs and add another passenger for ride alongs....it is a heavy car to stop.

I did record some lap times, however the lap time in Normal was earlier in the morning. Lap times in the afternoon on the dried up track, were in the Sport setting, so the difference in times were more based on me becoming more and more comfortable with the car.

Next time however, I'll be able to toggle between Normal and Sport; as I have a pretty good understanding of how the car should handle now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by man02195 View Post
Tires don't look bad, what pressures were you running hot? You might be able to add a couple of pounds and preserve the edge next time (I keep my proxes ra-1's ~42lbs hot)

Your brake rotors will clean up after a few days of driving, they look much better than my 330i's rotors after 2 days of driving school. Get some PF-01 pads for next time, flush the brake fluid, and you'll be ready to go.

The front left is fine, which is in the larger pic(that was the about mid day); however the front right really is toast. The outer edge is worn down to the Michellin logo, and 3/4's of the contact patch(extending out towards the edge) are basically flat...i'll take a pic tonight. The last section of tread you see in the pic, looks like it melted a bit too quickly as the tread sticks up and is jagged. Basically, you can't run your hand againts the grooves as it sticks up like a shark fin. I ran about 37/38 hot...so about 35 cold or so.

I think the issue was, I was learning the car still and was coming in way too fast into a few hard left hand corners that Laguna has....the car handled, but the front right suffered...especially with factory (who knows what they were) neg camber settings. If the tire isn't too bad, I plan on keeping both of them and putting them back on for the next track day in July(Infineon).

If both tires looked like the front left, I would not even think about buying new ones.

Thanks!
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      06-02-2008, 09:07 PM   #22
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I believe there was some room on the e46 to get a little more stock neg camber out of the front struts. It's probably too early to know on the e92, but it would be nice to get another .5 degree or so.
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