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      07-31-2011, 07:08 PM   #1
persian54
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N54 vs S65 on the Track

I took my Z4 35i out to the track over the weekend.


I have to note that...although the Z4 is a better DD than the M...it's a POS at the track compared to the M.

Yes, in a straight line, the stock Z4 is faster than a stock e93 M3 (from the few drags I've done), and with a tune it's faster than a stock e90-93 M3, and even a slightly modded one.

But that's about it...no LSD, crappy runflats, crappy power curve, no high end power.

And although I love the N54, I reallllly hated it yesterday; really Unpredictable compared to the S65 (given that it's a FI car vs a NA car, that's completely understandable and expected, but nonetheless it didn't drive as smoothly as I'm used to).

I'm also not a fan of the gearing... 2nd is a crappy gear that made the car too unpredictable, if i hit the wrong rpm it would shoot up and I would need to make sure I didn't go off since I would end up going sideways (I turned the traction off at times), and not enough power in 3rd...

But what really bugged me the most is that the car kept cutting power (yes I know this is cause of the heat, but it's still an annoyance).

Mid session I would basically be flooring it (in 2nd or 3rd) and the car would have no power at all. Felt slower than a N52.
I would need to pull off the track and have the car cool down before I could go back again. I even did the "run your heater" method to help push the heat out of the engine bay, didn't really help at all.

I had a lot of fun though, which is the key :P

But I will never again say that a N54 equipped car (Z4 335i 135) is anything like a M. I don't care how fast it is in a drag or on the street.
It is not a track car at alllllll.
I do miss my 335i at times (though that one was heavily modded and most likely wouldn't get heat stroked like my stock Z4. But you do need to note the Z4 is like 500-600 lbs lighter..).
We recently got a new 2011 Z4 to replace this 09 that I'm returning in mid August....and I love the way it drives, but I don't think I'll track it.

At least not until it gets much cooler, and probably on a small track like Horse Thief Mile.


I just wanted to share my experiences and make a small rant and comparison :P
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      07-31-2011, 07:22 PM   #2
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I can agree with this thread. Granted I havent taken my 35is to the track yet but just from daily driving it can i can tell the difference in what you noticed.

I will be back in an M3 someday! Ugh how i miss that motor that just keeps pulling and pulling all the way to redline.
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      07-31-2011, 07:45 PM   #3
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Turbo is always not good on a track turbo can be fun on the street it doesn't hold up under high temps and beating it hard it can't hold up as long. Also NA is more sensitive and more pure...but turbo BMWs have good torque linearly across the whole rpm range
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      07-31-2011, 07:50 PM   #4
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This is one of the main deciding factors when I bought my E90 M3. The 335 would have taken $2000 in oil cooling mods just to be able to make it through a full session!!!
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      07-31-2011, 07:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8one88 View Post
Turbo is always not good on a track turbo can be fun on the street it doesn't hold up under high temps and beating it hard it can't hold up as long. Also NA is more sensitive and more pure...but turbo BMWs have good torque linearly across the whole rpm range
Some turbos are great even on the track... I would be happy to have the 911 GT2 RS and its turbo . It can be done in a way that works well. However, it is hard to do well and there are definitely inherent compromises as you point out.
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      07-31-2011, 10:21 PM   #6
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I wonder what the reactions would be if I posted this on e90post...
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      07-31-2011, 10:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persian54 View Post
I wonder what the reactions would be if I posted this on e90post...
You know what it would be from the fanboi section.

The 335i was never meant to be a track car, and with the money you would have to spend to make it competitive, the logical choice would be to start with the M3.
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      08-01-2011, 12:52 AM   #8
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something tells me the 1M would be just fine on the track....

But the right tool for the right job. Your Z4 isn't intended for heavy track use, and that includes everything from its suspension, brakes, engine mapping, gearing, steering, etc. It's compromised towards being a proper car for the road. All that these things highlight to me is how well balanced the M3 is between being a comfortable DD and a very capable car on the track. Short of a 911 or Cayman or CTS-V, there are few others that can compare in that respect.
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      08-01-2011, 12:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piloto View Post
something tells me the 1M would be just fine on the track....

But the right tool for the right job. Your Z4 isn't intended for heavy track use, and that includes everything from its suspension, brakes, engine mapping, gearing, steering, etc. It's compromised towards being a proper car for the road. All that these things highlight to me is how well balanced the M3 is between being a comfortable DD and a very capable car on the track. Short of a 911 or Cayman or CTS-V, there are few others that can compare in that respect.
I get the 911...but how the cayman? small 2 seater vs comfy 4 (5) seater m3?

Never driven a CTS V so I can't comment on that.
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      08-01-2011, 01:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persian54 View Post
I get the 911...but how the cayman? small 2 seater vs comfy 4 (5) seater m3?

Never driven a CTS V so I can't comment on that.
In that case I'm not sure how you get the 911 either (I don't mean it in a bad way), as its rear seats are practically useless unless you have kids or just using it as a parcel shelf. My point is that whether it's a 2 seater or 4/5, the fact that between the suspension tuning and the powertrain's driveability, the 911/Cayman are comfortable driven everyday, even great distances, and are just at home on the track.

For instance, my S2000 is at home on the track (stock with an OEM hardtop and just upgraded brake pads, fluid, and heavy-duty clutch). However, it stinks as a daily driver. The suspension is too harsh, the engine (F20), while a true gem, is very non-linear, and you hardly get to the high lift/duration (>6K rpm) when driving on the street. Heck, at 70 mph, in 6th gear, the engine is turning 4K rpm! Imagine the noise. You feel like you're doing 140mph. But, on the track, you're always in the right portion of the power band. The close ration gearing and the communicative suspension all allow for a great track day, and the car can take track abuse easily. But it's completely compromised for the track, at the expense of being a horrible daily driver.

The Z4 is the opposite of the S2000. It's compromised to be a great daily driver (or let's say a great road car). The 911/Cayman/M3/CTS-V are all very good (if not great) at both. That's quite the accomplishment if you ask me. I haven't driven a 1M, but it sounds like it's also accomplished in that manner as well.
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      08-01-2011, 01:29 AM   #11
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Well for me, I can daily a 991 much easier than a 986 (I know a boxster isn't a cayman, but similar enough).

I used to own both. The Boxster for me was too raw/bare bones, so I'm assuming the cayman is as well. Given this was 03, so I'm sure things have changed, but I just can't see a Cayman as being a DD like a 911 (or M3).

I borrowed a S2k for a couple of days in the past, so I know what you mean about it being a crappy DD. I want a S2k, but can't imaging DDing it.
It was stock suspension but had no cats and a gutted interior. loud and smelly...
I never tracked it but I have seen them at the track and in the hands of the right driver..they're exceptionally quick

Regarding the 1M, IIRC, it has the oil cooler upgrades that the iS models have, and that should be helpful.
I have friends who track their n54s with upgraded oil coolers and they're fine more or less.
I feel the M3 is a good DD and a good track car; but it doesn't do either of them "great"

MPG is horrid for a DD, lack of low end torque for those around town spots.
Z4/N54 is a great DD, great low end torque and good MPG (I get 20+).
Hence why I take the Z4 out rather than the M3 when going around town; it's easier to park too and I don't care as much in regards to door dings and what not...and no front lip so no need to do crazy angles either hehe

Nonetheless I don't want to turn this into a M3 vs 911 vs cayman vs whatever thread

Thanks for your comments
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      08-01-2011, 01:36 AM   #12
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The N54 overheats on track, need to upgrade the oil cooler and intercooler if you want reliable power.
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      08-01-2011, 04:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
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The N54 overheats on track, need to upgrade the oil cooler and intercooler if you want reliable power.
yup

Catless downpipes would help too
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      08-01-2011, 06:56 AM   #14
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my 335i with intercooler overheats on the track. NA>FI
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      08-01-2011, 11:29 AM   #15
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There's a thread titled "limp mode parade ar the track" on the other side... and it's a long thread.
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      08-01-2011, 11:51 AM   #16
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I mixed 6 gallons of 100 and 6 gallons of 91; I wonder how much worse it would have been had I ran straight 91?
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      08-01-2011, 02:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus View Post
There's a thread titled "limp mode parade ar the track" on the other side... and it's a long thread.
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      08-01-2011, 02:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christopherchenm View Post
my 335i with intercooler overheats on the track. NA>FI
NA is not better than FI. This is an issue specific to the N54 motor. I've ran my previous 400hp Evo all day on track in 120 degree weather. No issues at all with stock cooling.
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      08-01-2011, 02:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
NA is not better than FI. This is an issue specific to the N54 motor. I've ran my previous 400hp Evo all day on track in 120 degree weather. No issues at all with stock cooling.
My car got into limp mode, also im not the only 335i with this problem.
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      08-01-2011, 03:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christopherchenm View Post
My car got into limp mode, also im not the only 335i with this problem.
Did you read my post? I said it is specific to the BMW motor. Of course other 335i owners will have the same problem. I'm referring to turbo motors from other manufacturers.
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      08-01-2011, 03:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
Did you read my post? I said it is specific to the BMW motor. Of course other 335i owners will have the same problem. I'm referring to turbo motors from other manufacturers.
GTR R35 also got into limp mode after couple laps , have seen loads of turbo cars overheat in button willow
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      08-01-2011, 03:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christopherchenm View Post
GTR R35 also got into limp mode after couple laps , have seen loads of turbo cars overheat in button willow
The GTR limp mode I am familiar with. A couple of friends have the car and I have seen the issue. That has to do with the transmission overheating - nothing to do with the motor. The Evo MR with the SST aka DCT has the same issue.

I've run Buttonwillow before in the middle of summer and no issues on my Evo.

A blanket statement like NA>FI is pretty dumb. The 370Z is NA and that car overheats on track.
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