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      04-29-2012, 01:33 AM   #1
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Stock 03' E46 330CI hangs with E90 M3's at the track

Goes to show how well engineered these vehicles are. From my limited experience with Them, I noticed that the E46 has an even better balance when cornering, than the E90. With a little experience behind the wheel, you don't even need more than 235hp!

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      04-29-2012, 08:22 AM   #2
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I have a friend with a well set up 330 (AST suspension, wheels, tires etc) and he is an absolute terror at the track, consistently passing much faster cars. But then he is one hell of a driver and put in my car he would be even more of a terror. ORP doesn't have much of a straight so HP is not as important. But point well taken, 330is are sleepers.
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      04-29-2012, 08:35 AM   #3
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I believe bigjae has a 330Ci with some suspension mods that he uses as a very effective track car...
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      04-29-2012, 08:49 AM   #4
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At any level of HPDE/racing, the driver mod is the most important. I agree the 330 is a hell of a bang for the buck, but the reason he was keeping up with E9X m3's isn't because the car is equal. Stock for stock the E9X M3 outhandles the E46 M3, which outhandles the E46 330. Cool video though.
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      04-29-2012, 08:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile View Post
At any level of HPDE/racing, the driver mod is the most important. I agree the 330 is a hell of a bang for the buck, but the reason he was keeping up with E9X m3's isn't because the car is equal. Stock for stock the E9X M3 outhandles the E46 M3, which outhandles the E46 330. Cool video though.
Agreed. The driver is the biggest part of the equation here.

I enjoyed the vid .

The track looks like a lot of fun with all the elevation changes and varying cambers .
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      04-29-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile View Post
At any level of HPDE/racing, the driver mod is the most important. I agree the 330 is a hell of a bang for the buck, but the reason he was keeping up with E9X m3's isn't because the car is equal. Stock for stock the E9X M3 outhandles the E46 M3, which outhandles the E46 330. Cool video though.
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      04-29-2012, 10:11 AM   #7
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As far as skill goes, these guys look to be pretty even though. At the beginning of the lap, you can see the Silver M3 is in front, followed by the Black one, then the ZHP. All three of these guys are friends, and each has footage of the same run. Looking at the silver M3 that got passed up, first, I'd say he's driving the piss out of his car too, and not making any real mistakes:



He Gets passed up by the ZHP around 2:05 in this video:



Footage from the Black M3:

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Last edited by Killerfish2012; 04-29-2012 at 10:35 AM.
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      04-29-2012, 01:44 PM   #8
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I've passed an E46 M3 and E92 M3 in my A4. When I was a little greener, myself, I had trouble keeping up with a nearly stock VW Jetta.

Also, speaking in generalities, you don't know what the other driver is trying to do. They might be conserving their tires or brake pads. Maybe they're even on street tires. They could also be trying to focus more on technique than max speed.
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      04-29-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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The fact that he was keeping up proves he is a better/faster driver unless his car is modded and the M3's aren't. Roundel (I think it was Roundel) had a comparison between all of the M3 generations, and even the E46 M3 got embarrassed by the E92 M3 on the road course test with same driver. I was actually surprised by the results because the E92 outhandled the E46, producing significantly more grip in stock form. I expected the E92 would gain time on the straights, but was surprised to see that it actually gained time in the corners as well.

The E30 was obviously by far the slowest, the E36 and E46 were damn close but the E46 edged it out (apparently the E36 gained some in the corners), and the E92 was significantly quicker than the rest.

Can't argue with physics, the E92 M3 has wider tires and a much more sophisticated chassis set up, sufficient to overcome the weight disadvantage.
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      04-29-2012, 02:04 PM   #10
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Nice video! It's always about the driver, but the car helps a little
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      04-30-2012, 12:20 AM   #11
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I drive an E46 330 (modded) and an E90 M3. The E90 is superior in its capabilities. But the E46 does provide a lot more feedback in stock form and is easier for a novice to drive. My E90 M3 is a lot more willing to get sideways, something that most novices won't like. For me, it would make me much less likely to really push the car unless I was comfortable with oversteer. Don't underestimate the DCT advantage...it is significant especially at the lower levels. The M Diff is also VERY capable.

I guess a 330 could keep up with an M3 until the oil pump loses the nut and engine goes boom. But I'm pretty sure that 330 in the video has a modified suspension at a minimum. My 330 is supercharged and is a real sleeper. Quite a few people come by my car after a run and say, "ain't no way that car is stock". Despite that, I still find it difficult to catch an M3. I might close the gap in a slow turn or hard braking zone but a DCT will slowly walk away from me on a straight.

Actually, I find the hardest cars to catch at the track (in a given run group) are the computer driven cars (GT-Rs) and other BMWs, especially M3s (any gen).
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Last edited by bigjae1976; 04-30-2012 at 12:35 AM.
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      04-30-2012, 12:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgdog View Post
I have a friend with a well set up 330 (AST suspension, wheels, tires etc) and he is an absolute terror at the track, consistently passing much faster cars. But then he is one hell of a driver and put in my car he would be even more of a terror. ORP doesn't have much of a straight so HP is not as important. But point well taken, 330is are sleepers.
This thread made me smile a little. The videos are from 2 years ago when Aarodynamics (ZHP), KM3 (Black E92 M3) and I (Gray E90 M3) went to ORP for the first time. We did shoot a few videos and had some fun lapping with each other.

Dawgdog, the friend you are referring to IS the guy driving the ZHP in the video! His 330Ci ZHP car is far from stock with AST suspension, BFG R1 tires, Brakes, etc.
With that being said, he is an amazing driver and would kill me if he drove my car. I can barely keep up with him because my car is probably a bit superior to his...

Nice job fetching all the matching runs Killerfish2012! Thanks for bringing back awesome memories.
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      04-30-2012, 01:28 AM   #13
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Enjoyed the video, and looks like a fun track.

Looks like some of the corners where cars were braking can be taken without braking (just carry the speed through...).
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      04-30-2012, 07:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile View Post
At any level of HPDE/racing, the driver mod is the most important. I agree the 330 is a hell of a bang for the buck, but the reason he was keeping up with E9X m3's isn't because the car is equal. Stock for stock the E9X M3 outhandles the E46 M3, which outhandles the E46 330. Cool video though.
+1. I've been on track with a pair of knuckleheads in modded GTRs (cat delete, R compounds, etc.) who would take off like rockets on the straight, then brake way too early for turn 1, forcing me to also brake way too early or go off-line to avoid rear-ending them, and then dawdle through the corners, holding us all up. Point-by was not in their vocabulary.

And at that same event, I was outpaced and clearly outdriven by a Mini Cooper S that was a terror in the corners, blasting through with an inside rear wheel in the air. I gave him a point-by.
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      04-30-2012, 10:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrenchBoy View Post
Nice job fetching all the matching runs Killerfish2012! Thanks for bringing back awesome memories.
It was a pleasure watching your videos. Thanks for sharing them.
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      05-01-2012, 09:11 PM   #16
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i had a 330zhp and have driven my father's 330ci sport (both manual) since 2001.

its a nice car, but no comparison with the e90 m3. sorry.

I can see how it would make a nice track car, but an e36 m3 would make a better one (a reason why i've had 2 of those). The 330 needs an lsd and gears AT least to pep up a little. not cheap. i swapped in a 3.46 into my zhp and it made it bearable, but i found the lack of lsd annoying and a stock s52 E36 m3 with 3.23 was still peppier.
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      05-01-2012, 09:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Modena NYC View Post
i had a 330zhp and have driven my father's 330ci sport (both manual) since 2001.

its a nice car, but no comparison with the e90 m3. sorry.

I can see how it would make a nice track car, but an e36 m3 would make a better one (a reason why i've had 2 of those). The 330 needs an lsd and gears AT least to pep up a little. not cheap. i swapped in a 3.46 into my zhp and it made it bearable, but i found the lack of lsd annoying and a stock s52 E36 m3 with 3.23 was still peppier.
I'm still driving in the beginner group (point by only) and have noticed that the only BMW's that tend to be faster than me are the E36 M3's and that's usually in the corners. I tend to be faster than most of the E46 and E92 M3's in my run group. Always found that interesting.
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      05-01-2012, 09:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantm3 View Post
I'm still driving in the beginner group (point by only) and have noticed that the only BMW's that tend to be faster than me are the E36 M3's and that's usually in the corners. I tend to be faster than most of the E46 and E92 M3's in my run group. Always found that interesting.
That is mainly because the less powerful cars are less intimidating to drive hard. The E36 M3 is not going to have anywhere near the road course performance of your car, but the car is less difficult to drive fast[er] and has a lot less power to scare novices in corners. The learning curve is tougher in a higher hp car for sure, having driven both high and low hp cars in my first few DE's.
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      05-01-2012, 10:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile View Post
That is mainly because the less powerful cars are less intimidating to drive hard. The E36 M3 is not going to have anywhere near the road course performance of your car, but the car is less difficult to drive fast[er] and has a lot less power to scare novices in corners. The learning curve is tougher in a higher hp car for sure, having driven both high and low hp cars in my first few DE's.
That makes a lot of sense.
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      05-01-2012, 10:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killerfish2012 View Post
I noticed that the E46 has an even better balance when cornering, than the E90


No.
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      05-01-2012, 10:53 PM   #21
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Same with porsches. They are slow in the beginner groups and MUCH faster in the advanced groups.
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      05-02-2012, 07:17 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrenchBoy View Post
This thread made me smile a little. The videos are from 2 years ago when Aarodynamics (ZHP), KM3 (Black E92 M3) and I (Gray E90 M3) went to ORP for the first time. We did shoot a few videos and had some fun lapping with each other.

Dawgdog, the friend you are referring to IS the guy driving the ZHP in the video! His 330Ci ZHP car is far from stock with AST suspension, BFG R1 tires, Brakes, etc.
With that being said, he is an amazing driver and would kill me if he drove my car. I can barely keep up with him because my car is probably a bit superior to his...

Nice job fetching all the matching runs Killerfish2012! Thanks for bringing back awesome memories.
I should have recognized this situation as I was there! Yes, that 330i is well setup. In fact, it was riding with Aaron in that car that convinced me to put AST suspension on my car. But, car aside, Aaron is an amazing driver, and I know he would be faster yet in my car.
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