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      07-08-2011, 07:47 PM   #1
Seattle S65B40
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E90 v. E92 - Review Inside

So I am visiting family in the midwest and had occasion to drive my Brother's E90 M3 today. It was great to get back in an M, because I'm starting to miss my car already.

I'm not going to get into much detail, because half of you have E90s, and this car is not even new to this community, so there's not much to discuss. I only offer my perspective of the car as someone who drives an E92 M3 everyday.

Here are his specs:

2008 E90 6MT Jet Black on Black Novillo with Anthracite Wood trim
23,1XX miles (my car has roughly same mileage)
premium package
technology package
cold weather pack
Premium audio
PDC
moonroof
18" gunmetal finish wheels
Michelin PS2 OEM sizes

Mods:

RPI GT Exhaust
VRS Front Lip

Exterior:

I like the look of the RPI exhaust. Tips are huge and has a nice finish. Jet black is nice, but boy is this color hard to maintain. Swirl city. VRS front lip really makes the front. Turned a lot of heads driving it around. The four door is nice. Has the look of a mini M5. Oh, and the Door makes the squeak sound near the mirror!!! Definitely an E90 issue.

Interior:
I can finally appreciate black extended versus non-extended. Everything else is pretty much the same. I like the wood trim, but would never opt for it.

Exhaust:

Lots of drone and loud buzzing at lower RPMs and then it quiets down over 2500 RPM. I kind of like it but don't know if I'll put it on when I inherit from him (lease turn in soon). My neighbors would HATE me (as if they don't already).

Transmission:

So, here's where I noticed a bit of a difference. Though we both have 6MT and roughly the same miles, his is a little more crisp and his clutch feels more stable. He has not removed the the Clutch Spring (2008 only), and neither have I. Managed to get a 1 > 2 grind on my first hard run off the line, so that kind of pissed me off, but it does make me think that maybe I am just trying to shift WAY too fast, because it has happened in mine too.

In general, the transmission is much more smooth in the E90. Mine makes the disengaging clunky clutch sound almost religiously, but when i tried to make it happen in his car, it did not happen. Definitely going to make an appointment to take mine in once I get back to check for notchiness and clutch issues.

Acceleration:

Despite the exhaust (some HP and weight reduction), my car feels significantly faster. Here's my theory on why:

- his rear tires are near dead (10 to 15% tread remaining), so getting initial traction was no where close to the kind of grip i get in my relatively new PSS with 275/35/19 rears.

- he has averaged 18.9 MPGs over the last thousand or so miles(!!) I believe the adaptive ECU is still favoring his "grandpa" style driving, thus it does not feel as responsive and fast as my car, since I drive mine a lot more spiritedly.

Brakes:

His brakes have a little vibration in the pedal, whereas mine do not. My car has never been tracked, whereas my brother is instructor level and tracks his car from time to time, so there could be some added wear there. Also, both of our brakes make the exact same squeaking sound on a few of the complete stops, so that put me at ease.

Overall:

I love both cars!! However, (flame suit on) I really believe the E92 is faster. I've heard that the E90 is faster at the track and handles better, but after driving my brother's, i have a hard time believing that. We'll just chalk this up to his tires being worn. I don't think there is an appreciable difference between both cars when similarly configured (tires and all).
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      07-08-2011, 08:43 PM   #2
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If you can feel a difference in acceleration it is because of variance in the car (tires, etc) and not because it is an E90 vs. E92 difference. If there is any variance, it would be too small to "feel" based on a seat of your pants basis IMO. If there is a 0.1s diff to 60 I can't imagine that can be felt.
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      07-08-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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Only difference would be the driver.
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      07-08-2011, 09:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klammer View Post
Only difference would be the driver.
Yes, but the driver was the one constant in this case. It was more than .1 slower IMO, but again, I attribute it to tires and ECU more than anything else.
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      07-08-2011, 09:36 PM   #5
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Forget all the faster/tranny stuff. Every car has diff engines/trannys maybe you got a factory freak whatever the case may be my brother had an e90. My impression e92 vs e90 is the smaller doors and the b pillar which we already know. But in all seriousness it makes a big difference I feel alot more open and comfortable in the e92. Also feel like my vantage point is wider and overall better. Nothing wrong with either but I prefer an e92 for those simple yet noticeable differences.
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      07-08-2011, 09:37 PM   #6
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The psychological impact of which feels "quicker" to you is just as important (or I'd argue, even more important) than any technological contrast. This forum loves specs but it's all about that "tingling" feeling so adequately described by James May. So if the E92 gives you that, that's the one!

Bottom line is there is no real world difference between two identically equipped sedans vs coupes. None. 0.1s is ridiculous to even suggest. How many times can you repeat that 0.1s delta? yeah.. ok.
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      07-09-2011, 01:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle S65B40 View Post
I love both cars!! However, (flame suit on) I really believe the E92 is faster. I've heard that the E90 is faster at the track and handles better, but after driving my brother's, i have a hard time believing that. We'll just chalk this up to his tires being worn. I don't think there is an appreciable difference between both cars when similarly configured (tires and all).
Wait.... what? E90 is supposed to be faster than the E92 round the track?? Doesn't that take away from the whole purpose of the coupe?
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      07-09-2011, 01:22 AM   #8
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I drive both e90 and e92 on a regular basis and can say there is no appreciable difference between them. this includes on the track. your brothers brake vibration is just some pad material that transferred to the rotors when they were hot. happens. just have to scrub it off. i like the mpg statement. since he drives on the track he clearly sees there is no point in flogging the car on public roads.

Pilot Super Sports are about the grippiest street legal tire you can get south of the R compound group. Tell your brother to replace his tires with them as well.
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      07-09-2011, 06:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eamon View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle S65B40 View Post
I love both cars!! However, (flame suit on) I really believe the E92 is faster. I've heard that the E90 is faster at the track and handles better, but after driving my brother's, i have a hard time believing that. We'll just chalk this up to his tires being worn. I don't think there is an appreciable difference between both cars when similarly configured (tires and all).
Wait.... what? E90 is supposed to be faster than the E92 round the track?? Doesn't that take away from the whole purpose of the coupe?
Not sure if that's true or not, but my bro says that's the case. Something with the frame stiffness?
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      07-09-2011, 08:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karussell View Post
I drive both e90 and e92 on a regular basis and can say there is no appreciable difference between them. this includes on the track. your brothers brake vibration is just some pad material that transferred to the rotors when they were hot. happens. just have to scrub it off. i like the mpg statement. since he drives on the track he clearly sees there is no point in flogging the car on public roads.

Pilot Super Sports are about the grippiest street legal tire you can get south of the R compound group. Tell your brother to replace his tires with them as well.
Agree with you about the tires...but I switched from the PS2s to Advan Neova AD08s, as they are a bit better in the rain than the PSS.
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      07-09-2011, 09:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Agree with you about the tires...but I switched from the PS2s to Advan Neova AD08s, as they are a bit better in the rain than the PSS.
I think it is likely the other way around... the PSS are better in the rain than the AD08s but not as good on dry pavement. The AD08 are good in rain but not rated as the top tire in this regard.
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      07-09-2011, 07:09 PM   #12
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the squeak in the door is easily rectified. good comment on the tires i need new tires. i think its time
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      07-09-2011, 08:04 PM   #13
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That exhaust looks odd... very added on look
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      07-09-2011, 08:16 PM   #14
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nice write up - thank you.
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      07-10-2011, 08:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle S65B40 View Post
...his rear tires are near dead (10 to 15% tread remaining), so getting initial traction was no where close to the kind of grip i get in my relatively new PSS with 275/35/19 rears...
Just as a tiny little nit:

On dry roads, bald tires will have their best dry-weather grip (definitely better than when new), as long as you're not down to the cords.

I concur with you in regard to the new Michelins. They've definitely raised the entire hot street tire game with the Pilot Super Sports.

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      07-10-2011, 10:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle S65B40 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by klammer View Post
Only difference would be the driver.
Yes, but the driver was the one constant in this case. It was more than .1 slower IMO, but again, I attribute it to tires and ECU more than anything else.
Impressive if you can spot the 0.1 sec difference!
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      07-11-2011, 02:44 PM   #17
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Could the difference be due to the exhaust? I just read in another thread about loss of torque due to some systems. Also, AFAIK, RPI is only for coupe/vert, so it needed some work to fit the E90. Perhaps this is also contributing to the difference in feel. I will get to drive my car by tomorrow evening and will report back on the difference in feel once I'm back in my 92.
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      07-11-2011, 03:07 PM   #18
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E90 vs E92

Here you go

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fshWGQfeHQ
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      07-11-2011, 03:29 PM   #19
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E90s look so righteous!!
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      07-11-2011, 03:51 PM   #20
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....because racecar.
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      07-11-2011, 04:32 PM   #21
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....because racecar.
Huh?
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      07-11-2011, 08:40 PM   #22
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Quote:
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....because racecar.
My thoughts exactly
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