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      09-15-2009, 12:33 PM   #1
SUB-ZERO
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Performance Driving- Skyline / Luray / NOVA- Observations

Last week a group of us in Northen, Va met up for a spirited drive out west near Skyline/Luray. The drive was excellent and spirited driving was aplenty!

In total, I think we had over 20 cars; the majority being M3s. We had 2 M coupes, 1 E46 M3 and 3 C63 AMGs.

Personally, the E92 M3 continues to surprise me and exceed me expectations.

Here are some thoughts:

1. The factory PS2 rubber on forged 19"s is simply amazing. Not once did I feel like I didn't have traction. Many of the guys with aftermarket wheels and tires simply didn't have the grip that those of us with the PS2s had. We exercised our cars up and down mountains, hills, sharp turns, etc. Probably one of the best driving environments next to racing on a track; there was just a little of everything and the M3s just ate it up.

2. The DCT was truly flawless! For those who bag on the DCT, well, you must not have driven a DCT M3 in a challenging environment with lots of turns. It was clear to see who had DCT and who did not. I love my DCT and am glad to have purchased my M3 with it. The rev matching on the DCT is really superb and shifting is flawless and fast. I really did not feel disconnected from the car and was able to fully focus on the road thus, driving more efficiently and achieving a better line.

3. A pack of C63s attended our drive; as most of you know, the C63 AMGs are torque monsters and very fast in a straight line. I think the C63 had a small advantage on straight-a-ways, I believe the M3s had a even bigger advantage in handling. One cannot dispute the balance of the M3; while lower in torque than the C63, it seems like the M3 can fully take advantage of all its power. Did I say the e93 M3 is just simply amazing..LOL.

4. Exhaust...exhaust...exhausts. Ok, I've been eyeing a few exhaust systems for my M3 until last Saturday when I actually had a chance to hear a few.

- Now, the Gintani is crazy loud and the diameter of the tailpipes is quite large. Too big for some...

- The Vanguard Ti is nice and sounds very aggressive (not as loud as the Gintani but close); if you can get passed the blueish coloring, then it will be a good choice.

- I initially wanted an Eisenmann Sport but EVERYONE on the forum referred to it as quiet and tame. Well, let me tell you that quiet and tame it is not. The Eisenmann Sport sound sgreat (very deep) and IMO, it is perfectly balanced with the M3.

- One of the guys had an X-Pipe with a stock muffler and that thing sounded like a freaking Ferrari! If an aggressive sound is what you are after, then forget about some overpriced exhaust and just get the X-Pipe. Really, it is that crazy! The sound is simply amazing!

The M3 is so well balanced out of the box, that you must really be careful on how you "upgrade" it because it can definitely be a downgrade.

When it comes to tires, go with the PS2s or better if you can find it.

Don't listen to all the third party opinions about exhausts...go listen to them for yourself and make a choice. I almost made the wrong choice.

-SZ
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      09-15-2009, 01:50 PM   #2
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Thanks for the review. Do you know the brand of the x-pipe? Was the car running high flow cats as well?
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      09-15-2009, 01:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXM32B View Post
Thanks for the review. Do you know the brand of the x-pipe? Was the car running high flow cats as well?
I think it was just the X-Pipe. PM member baarii, it was his ride. Also, check out this thread:

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...hlight=skyline

I think he has a video on there...

-SZ
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      09-15-2009, 03:08 PM   #4
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Good review. I'm starting to lean towards getting an X-pipe first rather than an axle back. I guess this goes a little off-topic, but were any of the other M3s wearing rubber other than PS2s? I've felt like the PS2s squirm a little too much. I'm sure this helps with comfort, but I'd prefer something a little stickier.
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      09-15-2009, 03:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipstream View Post
Good review. I'm starting to lean towards getting an X-pipe first rather than an axle back. I guess this goes a little off-topic, but were any of the other M3s wearing rubber other than PS2s? I've felt like the PS2s squirm a little too much. I'm sure this helps with comfort, but I'd prefer something a little stickier.
Yes, a few of the guys had other tire brands but I cannot recall which. The ambient temp was about 68-70F and we were running our cars for about 2 hours by the time we hit skyline; I assume the tires must of been at peak operating temp by then. I experienced no squirming/squealing at all; completely silent with tons of grip.

-SZ
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      09-15-2009, 04:24 PM   #6
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I think Baarii had the Gintani catless, non-resonated xpipes... quiet on the low rpms but HOWLS in the upper rpms.

I had the Vanguard and the low end growl is loud, but the high end is nice.

DonDon had the Eisenmann Race and it was louder than my Vanguard exhaust.

Shareefo had the Gintani axle back exhaust and it was definitely the loudest there... like an american V8.

mdrobc13 had the Eisenmann Sport and it was the quietest of the aftermarket exhausts.

azzuro had the stock exhaust painted black with the stock chrome tips and it's a 100x better than stock!

edit: there was a member there with an AA Sig Exhaust and it probably has one of the loudest lower end sound in the bunch.



As for the M3 vs. C63... I had two different C63s following me at different points of the ride and they were not able to match the cornering speeds of my M3. Initially, I was following DarkstarZero with the M-Coupe... his lines were way tighter than what the M3 can handle but I was able to stay on his tail. The C63 could not. There was a point where it was just me and DarkstarZero after a series of corners...until we reached a straight line and the C63 was able to catch up.

All in all... it was a great time enjoyed by everyone!


edit:

I also have DCT and used it 100% of the time. Perfect downshifting/upshifting through the corners...
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      09-15-2009, 07:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darwin316 View Post
I



edit: there was a member there with an AA Sig Exhaust and it probably has one of the loudest lower end sound in the bunch.


I also have DCT and used it 100% of the time. Perfect downshifting/upshifting through the corners...
I have the AA and it has a loud start up. Very deep. I think its sweet spot is betwen 4-5k. Thinking about adding that x-pipe for top end sounds now though after hearing it on Saturday. Only down side is passing inspection here in VA.

I thought that the sounds of all the cars that were there made the experience much much more satisfying.
I loved the looks on people faces when we were leaving the IHOP parking lots and waiting at red lights on 50.
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      09-15-2009, 08:59 PM   #8
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Sounds like a fun drive!!!
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      09-15-2009, 09:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darwin316 View Post
Shareefo had the Gintani axle back exhaust and it was definitely the loudest there... like an american V8
??? Ive heard and have the Gintani exhaust, have never heard one sound or been told it sounds like an american V8? Did the car have anything else on it? Cause just the axle back sounds nothing like an american V8, Im positive about this and there is videos to back me?
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      09-15-2009, 09:12 PM   #10
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i think he just had an axle back exhaust... i might be wrong with my description of the exhaust but the sound is meatier and deeper than any of the aftermarket exhausts out there.
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      09-15-2009, 09:27 PM   #11
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Did it sound like this? this is only the axle back installed.
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      09-16-2009, 10:50 AM   #12
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i have to disagree w/ the DCT.

i was one of 2 shifting and i was all over your tail going down the mountains and was tempted to pass you

IMO, you just can't beat getting a full workout w/ your left foot and right hand .

also PS2's are great but not the best all out summer dry traction.

fabspeed HFC is next for me and a re-tune of the AA after that.
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      09-16-2009, 10:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novablackm3 View Post
i have to disagree w/ the DCT.

i was one of 2 shifting and i was all over your tail going down the mountains and was tempted to pass you

IMO, you just can't beat getting a full workout w/ your left foot and right hand .

also PS2's are great but not the best all out summer dry traction.

fabspeed HFC is next for me and a re-tune of the AA after that.
LOL...it wasn't because of the DCT. I just didn't want to go to jail. And not knowing the route, I decided to be cautious.

What tire to do you recommend that provides better tracking and overall performance than the PS2s?

-SZ

Last edited by SUB-ZERO; 09-16-2009 at 11:50 AM.
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      09-16-2009, 11:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUB-ZERO View Post


- One of the guys had an X-Pipe with a stock muffler and that thing sounded like a freaking Ferrari! If an aggressive sound is what you are after, then forget about some overpriced exhaust and just get the X-Pipe. Really, it is that crazy! The sound is simply amazing!



-SZ
If it was the SG coupe, that was me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by niterider View Post
??? Ive heard and have the Gintani exhaust, have never heard one sound or been told it sounds like an american V8? Did the car have anything else on it? Cause just the axle back sounds nothing like an american V8, Im positive about this and there is videos to back me?
+1
you can hear it at 00:59 the AW. Its just has the Axle back!


Quote:
Originally Posted by darwin316 View Post
I think Baarii had the Gintani catless, non-resonated xpipes... quiet on the low rpms but HOWLS in the upper rpms.
Yes you are right Darwin!



Quote:
Originally Posted by TXM32B View Post
Thanks for the review. Do you know the brand of the x-pipe? Was the car running high flow cats as well?
Gintani x-pipe.. High flow cats ..what are those?
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      09-16-2009, 12:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUB-ZERO View Post
LOL...it wasn't because of the DCT. I just didn't want to go to jail. And not knowing the route, I decided to be cautious.

What tire to do you recommend that provides better tracking and overall performance than the PS2s?

-SZ
if the M3 is your daily driver the ps2 runflats are a good compromise between wet and dry. If you only drive it during dry conditions there are plenty

My fav are Bridgestone potenza's harder side wall and sticky, Yoko advans . Kumos escta's but they degrade fast.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/types/extremeperf.jsp
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      09-16-2009, 01:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novablackm3 View Post
if the M3 is your daily driver the ps2 runflats are a good compromise between wet and dry. If you only drive it during dry conditions there are plenty

My fav are Bridgestone potenza's harder side wall and sticky, Yoko advans . Kumos escta's but they degrade fast.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/types/extremeperf.jsp
I actually had the Bridgestone RE-50A Pole Positions on my G35 Coupe and they were great but after taking the M for a spin last week, I feel that the PS2 offer higher performance/grip. I'm not sure if the PS2s on the 19" wheels are run flat; come to think of it, I think they certainly are not. Do the 18"s come with run-flats?

-SZ
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      09-16-2009, 03:42 PM   #17
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i don' think you can compare tires esp between performance on a g35 vs m3
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      09-16-2009, 03:52 PM   #18
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nevermind i have ps2 zp's on my 740iL confused w/ the m3 which are just ps2
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      09-16-2009, 10:23 PM   #19
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M3s dont come with runflats.
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      09-17-2009, 05:47 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUB-ZERO View Post
Last week a group of us in Northen, Va met up for a spirited drive out west near Skyline/Luray. The drive was excellent and spirited driving was aplenty!

In total, I think we had over 20 cars; the majority being M3s. We had 2 M coupes, 1 E46 M3 and 3 C63 AMGs.

Personally, the E92 M3 continues to surprise me and exceed me expectations.

Here are some thoughts:

1. The factory PS2 rubber on forged 19"s is simply amazing. Not once did I feel like I didn't have traction. Many of the guys with aftermarket wheels and tires simply didn't have the grip that those of us with the PS2s had. We exercised our cars up and down mountains, hills, sharp turns, etc. Probably one of the best driving environments next to racing on a track; there was just a little of everything and the M3s just ate it up.

2. The DCT was truly flawless! For those who bag on the DCT, well, you must not have driven a DCT M3 in a challenging environment with lots of turns. It was clear to see who had DCT and who did not. I love my DCT and am glad to have purchased my M3 with it. The rev matching on the DCT is really superb and shifting is flawless and fast. I really did not feel disconnected from the car and was able to fully focus on the road thus, driving more efficiently and achieving a better line.

3. A pack of C63s attended our drive; as most of you know, the C63 AMGs are torque monsters and very fast in a straight line. I think the C63 had a small advantage on straight-a-ways, I believe the M3s had a even bigger advantage in handling. One cannot dispute the balance of the M3; while lower in torque than the C63, it seems like the M3 can fully take advantage of all its power. Did I say the e93 M3 is just simply amazing..LOL.

4. Exhaust...exhaust...exhausts. Ok, I've been eyeing a few exhaust systems for my M3 until last Saturday when I actually had a chance to hear a few.

- Now, the Gintani is crazy loud and the diameter of the tailpipes is quite large. Too big for some...

- The Vanguard Ti is nice and sounds very aggressive (not as loud as the Gintani but close); if you can get passed the blueish coloring, then it will be a good choice.

- I initially wanted an Eisenmann Sport but EVERYONE on the forum referred to it as quiet and tame. Well, let me tell you that quiet and tame it is not. The Eisenmann Sport sound sgreat (very deep) and IMO, it is perfectly balanced with the M3.

- One of the guys had an X-Pipe with a stock muffler and that thing sounded like a freaking Ferrari! If an aggressive sound is what you are after, then forget about some overpriced exhaust and just get the X-Pipe. Really, it is that crazy! The sound is simply amazing!

The M3 is so well balanced out of the box, that you must really be careful on how you "upgrade" it because it can definitely be a downgrade.

When it comes to tires, go with the PS2s or better if you can find it.

Don't listen to all the third party opinions about exhausts...go listen to them for yourself and make a choice. I almost made the wrong choice.

-SZ

Great review SZ! The drive was amazingly fun.
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      09-17-2009, 07:12 AM   #21
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Good stuff! Glad to see the Gintani exhaust getting praise. I'm getting mine on this Saturday
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      09-17-2009, 10:33 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novablackm3 View Post
i don' think you can compare tires esp between performance on a g35 vs m3
Well, while the M3 is obviously in a different league when it comes to handling and power, there still are some similarities between both to compare tire performance.

Both the G35 coupe and the e92 M3 are 2+2 coupes, RWD, weight difference is <200lb, both have 19" high performance forged wheels and the weight distribution is almost perfectly balanced (50/50).

The G35 has about 300hp and less torque but the engine is very responsive and well balanced.

-SZ
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