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      09-22-2011, 09:02 AM   #1
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"Official" Top Speed?

So I did a little research on this forum and in some of the car mags and there seems to be a lot of variation regarding what the limited top speed is in a stock 2011 ZCP M3. Most recently I've seen articles indicating it was up to 178MPH!?. While in Germany, I maxed out mine, and it appeared to stop at about 170. Does that seem about right? Not that I'm complaining, it was awesomely fast and likely a feat I will NEVER repeat while in the U.S. Just more of a curiosity as to why all the different numbers...
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      09-22-2011, 09:17 AM   #2
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There is the limited top speed, the actual top speed, and the top speed in which the gearing can allow.
The top speed is usually limited to 138, 155 for sport package cars, and 170 for M cars.
The actual top speed varies on the car, on a stock M3 I believe it is just south of 180.
The 6MT stock gearing allows for 204mph while DCT allows for 196mph.

I may be wrong, very wrong, but this is what I remember from reading in the past.
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      09-22-2011, 09:28 AM   #3
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Just came back from a 2 week ED last week and on the last day (after 1200 mi service) had one unlimited section of Autobahn where I saw an indicated 165 before needing to brake for traffic. It was still pulling, so I was not against any "limiter" which sort of surprised me. I was expecting 155 to be it w/ an un-modded ECU. Maybe speedo error?

Whatever, it was an awesome experience & the car was rock solid! Probably won't ever get a chance to do it again in the US - well maybe in West Texas .
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      09-22-2011, 09:55 AM   #4
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I was able to reach 170 mph (~272 kph) on the A1 by the 'Ring. The car was clearly limited at this point. I could tell because I crested a hill and was starting a descent and the car would not go faster. The sensation wasn't one of a max aerodynamic speed but rather that of fuel being restricted. This speed readout was from the digital "V=" display, not off the speedometer. What it read I don't know, I wasn't looking and the "V=" display gives single digit "accuracy", what the true accuracy is I don't know.

By the way this was in a Euro-spec M3 Coupe ZCP/DCT from Sixt Car Rental. And no, I did not take that car on the 'Ring.
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      09-22-2011, 11:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M Rakete View Post
I was able to reach 170 mph (~272 kph) on the A1 by the 'Ring. The car was clearly limited at this point. I could tell because I crested a hill and was starting a descent and the car would not go faster. The sensation wasn't one of a max aerodynamic speed but rather that of fuel being restricted. This speed readout was from the digital "V=" display, not off the speedometer. What it read I don't know, I wasn't looking and the "V=" display gives single digit "accuracy", what the true accuracy is I don't know.

By the way this was in a Euro-spec M3 Coupe ZCP/DCT from Sixt Car Rental. And no, I did not take that car on the 'Ring.
Why Not!!??
That's the same sensation I experienced. It just started dropping power at 170. I guess the consensus is that it is supposed to be limited to 170. The latest Car and Driver article threw me off then, because it said 178 (Limited) which is clearly incorrect.

Obviously, with the limiter removed, it becomes a Gearing/HP/Drag issue. But, I don't suspect I'll ever remove that.
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      09-22-2011, 11:06 AM   #6
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The tach will hit 165/170 ish before the limiter kicks in. This is really 155ish mph.

Top speed delimited is for sure over 170 if you have enough room.
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      09-22-2011, 11:15 AM   #7
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I've hit 177 on the autobahn... Stock. At least thats what i saw on the dash... Never pushed it more than that. Dont think i will either. I just dont see a reason to
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      09-22-2011, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luis_m3 View Post
I've hit 177 on the autobahn... Stock. At least thats what i saw on the dash... Never pushed it more than that. Dont think i will either. I just dont see a reason to
Yeah, I mean, if I'm being honest, the speedo was indicating about 172-3 when I did it. But I'm assuming some speedo error too, so I rounded down to 170. And I was running on pretty much a dead-flat surface. If I was on a decline, that might have been good for a couple more mph...
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      09-22-2011, 01:04 PM   #9
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True; this was on a decline with no one around.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luis_m3 View Post
I've hit 177 on the autobahn... Stock. At least thats what i saw on the dash... Never pushed it more than that. Dont think i will either. I just dont see a reason to
Yeah, I mean, if I'm being honest, the speedo was indicating about 172-3 when I did it. But I'm assuming some speedo error too, so I rounded down to 170. And I was running on pretty much a dead-flat surface. If I was on a decline, that might have been good for a couple more mph...
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      09-22-2011, 01:38 PM   #10
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I hit 271kph during my ED, and was puzzled by this as well. I guess if you take into account the optimistic speedo, as others have stated, maybe it was actually 155mph or 255kph, only way to tell is verify via gps, which someone should do! This was another run not quite as fast as my first....
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Last edited by Canuckles; 09-22-2011 at 06:41 PM.
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      09-22-2011, 03:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUT View Post
There is the limited top speed, the actual top speed, and the top speed in which the gearing can allow.
The top speed is usually limited to 138, 155 for sport package cars, and 170 for M cars.
The actual top speed varies on the car, on a stock M3 I believe it is just south of 180.
The 6MT stock gearing allows for 204mph while DCT allows for 196mph.

I may be wrong, very wrong, but this is what I remember from reading in the past.
Top speed for normal cars is 155 mph (250 km/h) which is a common agreement between Audi, Mercedes and BMW from the late 1980s when each newly introduced top-shelf car topped their opponents' maximum speed. The limit for the U.S. for non-ZCP cars is often less, namely 130 mph (210 km/h) because of the tyres that are all-seasons with "H" speed index. Depending on the engine, this top speed is even variated a little to separate more expensive cars from the rest of the pack (that is, a 330i is a little slower than a 335i, despite that they are both theoretically limited to 155 mph). The difference is only around 5 mph, though.

M cars are not required to be limited because it is not BMW who builds them, but the BMW M GmbH, a separate legal entity. Thus, they can stand out a little more, even when BMW tells they are limited to 155 mph as well, they usually do 162 mph (260 km/h), just enough to make them pass the others. In Germany, you can also buy a "drivers package" that officially shifts the M3 top speed to 174 mph (280 km/h), in reality (292 km/h) have been measured, but that is still the electronic limit (real top speed should be more like 193 mph (312 km/h). For the M5, the limit is lifted to 190 mph (305 km/h) by the driver's package.

All those figures are real (i.e. GPS) speed, although the limit applies to wheel revolutions per second. Thus, you can gain real speed by using larger diameter wheels.

The speedometer shows a little more with standard wheels because of european legislation ( 57 Abs. 2 StVZO, 75/443/EWG, ECE-R39 demand it must never show less than actual speed). In reality, speedo shows about 5% more than actual speed, unless you change the diameters.

The gearing limit for M3 6MT would be 218 mph (351 km/h), for M3 DCT it is 206 mph (332 km/h), all for 8300 RPM and standard 265/40 18" tyres. The usual rule applies: real (untuned) top speed can always be reached in the penultimate gear.
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      09-22-2011, 04:12 PM   #12
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Check this video out. User M33's car. It hits 194MPH and looks like it could have gone above 200. His car's not stock tho..

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      09-22-2011, 04:44 PM   #13
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Top Speed????

... 194, and he had the brake on
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      09-22-2011, 04:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Check this video out. User M33's car. It hits 194MPH and looks like it could have gone above 200. His car's not stock tho..
must be DCTZCP
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      09-22-2011, 05:18 PM   #15
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For the thousandth time, top speed is electronically limited at 161. This is around 170ish indicated on the speedo, but it is 161. This has been documented in several mags and by me, more than once, with GPS, and confirmed by many others experience. I know previous M's were 155 thus that's what is usually spit out by everyone, but it is 161.

Last edited by MysticBlue; 09-22-2011 at 09:20 PM.
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      09-24-2011, 01:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meyergru View Post
Top speed for normal cars is 155 mph (250 km/h) which is a common agreement between Audi, Mercedes and BMW from the late 1980s when each newly introduced top-shelf car topped their opponents' maximum speed. The limit for the U.S. for non-ZCP cars is often less, namely 130 mph (210 km/h) because of the tyres that are all-seasons with "H" speed index. Depending on the engine, this top speed is even variated a little to separate more expensive cars from the rest of the pack (that is, a 330i is a little slower than a 335i, despite that they are both theoretically limited to 155 mph). The difference is only around 5 mph, though.

M cars are not required to be limited because it is not BMW who builds them, but the BMW M GmbH, a separate legal entity. Thus, they can stand out a little more, even when BMW tells they are limited to 155 mph as well, they usually do 162 mph (260 km/h), just enough to make them pass the others. In Germany, you can also buy a "drivers package" that officially shifts the M3 top speed to 174 mph (280 km/h), in reality (292 km/h) have been measured, but that is still the electronic limit (real top speed should be more like 193 mph (312 km/h). For the M5, the limit is lifted to 190 mph (305 km/h) by the driver's package.

All those figures are real (i.e. GPS) speed, although the limit applies to wheel revolutions per second. Thus, you can gain real speed by using larger diameter wheels.

The speedometer shows a little more with standard wheels because of european legislation ( 57 Abs. 2 StVZO, 75/443/EWG, ECE-R39 demand it must never show less than actual speed). In reality, speedo shows about 5% more than actual speed, unless you change the diameters.

The gearing limit for M3 6MT would be 218 mph (351 km/h), for M3 DCT it is 206 mph (332 km/h), all for 8300 RPM and standard 265/40 18" tyres. The usual rule applies: real (untuned) top speed can always be reached in the penultimate gear.
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      09-24-2011, 02:32 PM   #17
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Search the forum, use google by adding site:m3post.com, this has been covered in gory details, all aspects including: formulas, test, gps, speedo error, false claims, limiter, gear vs. aero limited, etc. ALL of it.
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      09-24-2011, 03:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daft View Post
Check this video out. User M33's car. It hits 194MPH and looks like it could have gone above 200. His car's not stock tho..

Lots of RPMs left at 194 mph.
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      09-24-2011, 03:46 PM   #19
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There are a couple of different videos on YouTube showing DCT M3's reaching 200 , as verified by their stand-alone GPS units.
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      09-24-2011, 03:52 PM   #20
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You sound like my buddies who have AMG's - Slam the gas, slam the brakes...
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      09-24-2011, 04:31 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckelly011 View Post
... 194, and he had the brake on
lmaooooooo... bro i was dying when i saw this lol.
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      09-24-2011, 07:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
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201 mph, assuming 5% correction.
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