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      02-15-2013, 12:44 AM   #1
rondocap
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Highway stability compared to 335, and a few other questions

I have a few interesting questions on how the m3 behaves in these cases vs my 335 sedan with sport. I never drove an m3 past normal test drive.

1.) My 335 feels very planted and stable at high speeds. My porsche boxster is more nervous and wavy. I assume the m3 would be more stable then the 335?

2.) 335 feels effortless at 60+ in 4th gear, like a wall of torque pushes you as you roll on the throttle. M3?

3. In stop and go traffic, my auto 335 feels a bit heavy, almost like the torque is a bit much an then the brakes have more work to stop - not as smooth stop and go. Is the m3's higher rev nature better for this? Ie less power and smoother at slow speeds.


I plan to take a longer drive of the m3, but these pop into mind right now.
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      02-15-2013, 12:55 AM   #2
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THe 335 sport and m3 are equal in terms of regular moderate speed US highway driving or atleast I don't notice a difference. If there is cornering involved, sweeping ramps or obviously winding roads than its a different story.

M3 with DCT in 4th is "ok" if you are at 65-80 or so but for equivelent surge of power you need to drop to 3rd especially if your at 65-70 as that will be in the powerband of 3rd whereas 4th will be way before its powerband at 5k RPMS.

Honestly I went from a 335 and no matter how much I ready before its simply not natural coming from a low end torque turbo car to a high revving NA car to have to shift down so many gears. It almost feel like its bad for the engine or tranny or car in general as you are downshifting to quite low gears at pretty high speeds but frankly that is how this car needs to be driven if you want to get the same punch out of it.

Now I can only speak to a catless/tuned setup but drop it in 3rd at 65 miles an hour with DCT and you pull way harder than anything a stock or moderately tuned 335 can put out.

Personally I use 4th on the freeway for regular passing of moderate traffic but 3rd if I want max acceleration for passing or fun in general.

Keep in mind the higher you keep the revs, the more you get to enjoy the sound. It seems like there is an expotential increase in sound pleasure as you climb the revs!
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      02-15-2013, 01:03 AM   #3
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I find the steering to be way better on the M3 at highway speeds. Much heavier so you don't have to make as much of an effort to keep going straight. It gives a better sense of balance and control at higher speeds. It's strange because in a parking lot, the M3's steering is way lighter.
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      02-15-2013, 01:34 AM   #4
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I still have both cars and switch back and forth between them a lot (until next week when the 335 is gone).
My 335 is 6MT and my M3 is DCT.
That said to answer your questions:

1.) The M3 is more confident at high speeds than the 335i, more noticeably in the corners than in the straights, but still noticeable in the straights. The steering on the M3 is surprisingly light at low speeds compared to the 335i and the car under-steers less.

2.) The 335 feels that way in 6th at 70 too.. I don't even downshift to pass most of the time. Fact is, above 1200 RPM (1400 on an N55), the turbos are spooled so you're going to have torque. The M3 requires gear changes. If you purchase a DCT, put it it automatic mode for a while to see how the computer controls the gear shifts and you'll start to see things like 7 -> 4 when passing on the highway. I came from an RX8 to the 335 to the M3 and the car wants to be rev'd just like the rotary does and it's extremely rewarding to do so in both engine response and sound.

3.) My 6MT 335i does not feel this way at all. Having never driven an auto 335i, I can't really say I know how you feel, but the 335i is probably the easiest, most effortless manual I've ever driven. I would assume what you're experiencing is due to the torque converter. The smoothness of the M3 is really going to depend on how you have the drivelogic set on the DCT and how you shift it if you're in sequential mode. The nice thing about DCT is you can always just throw it into automatic mode with a mid range shift program on the drivelogic for rush hour and then it's smooth as silk.
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      02-15-2013, 03:21 AM   #5
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#2- on a 6 speed m3, you'll want to drop to 3rd, and this car will pull
#3- likely torque converter effects
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      02-15-2013, 12:15 PM   #6
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Thank you guys, that answers all of my questions.

From my brief drive of the M3, I can see that I would drive it differently on the highway vs the 335i. Like you guys said, downshift and let her' rip! (Vs the gradual torque of the 335i)

Other than those questions I had, the differences the M3 had were all very welcomed. (Instant and sharp responses vs the 335i's more laid back approach) Not to drudge up this common topic, but I'll just summarize it with one word: Exciting.
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      02-15-2013, 01:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rondocap View Post
1.) My 335 feels very planted and stable at high speeds. My porsche boxster is more nervous and wavy. I assume the m3 would be more stable then the 335?

2.) 335 feels effortless at 60+ in 4th gear, like a wall of torque pushes you as you roll on the throttle. M3?

3. In stop and go traffic, my auto 335 feels a bit heavy, almost like the torque is a bit much an then the brakes have more work to stop - not as smooth stop and go. Is the m3's higher rev nature better for this? Ie less power and smoother at slow speeds.
I had a 335 before, and the M3 wins on all counts here. My previous M3 I would get up to around 135mph on the back straight of a local track and it was nothing if not rock solid. In traffic you'll perhaps appreciate how much nicer it is without turbo-lag.

And something you can't really appreciate on a test drive: How it's a totally different car when you get up over 5,000 rpm!
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      02-15-2013, 01:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llis View Post
I had a 335 before, and the M3 wins on all counts here. My previous M3 I would get up to around 135mph on the back straight of a local track and it was nothing if not rock solid. In traffic you'll perhaps appreciate how much nicer it is without turbo-lag.

And something you can't really appreciate on a test drive: How it's a totally different car when you get up over 5,000 rpm!
Your car color is beautiful.
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      02-15-2013, 09:55 PM   #9
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My memory is that the 335 and M3 are about a wash in terms of highway stability, and that's because the M3 has some advantages and some disadvantages. In the advantage category, it's got larger diameter and fatter tires, and a larger contact patch generally means more stability (unless your tires are so large and grippy they start following pavement grooves, which the M3 doesn't). The M3 is also heavier, which makes it feel more stable. On the other hand, it's got a much quicker steering ratio. The steering feel is also heavier (even in Normal mode), but that doesn't come into play when dealing with external forces rather than your steering input. So if all else were equal, the M3 might be a bit more prone to getting nudged off course with cross breezes from traffic going past you quickly and such -- but all else isn't equal, so it's about the same, and of course it's not as if much traffic would be passing you quickly.

Passing? As others have said you'll definitely need to shift to 3rd to get that rush you're talking about. Accelerating from 65 in 4th definitely doesn't feel weak (still faster than the average car will manage in their lowest available gear for that speed), but it's slower than you'd expect for an M3. But that's what those extra several thousand revs are for!

Bottom line: If you want to drive lazily in terms of shifting on the street and freeway, the M3 will feel "adequate" to "good" in the acceleration department. But when you want to go out and have a good time and are therefore prepared to downshift, it's a whole other game.
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      02-16-2013, 12:11 AM   #10
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My JB4 335i defiently felt like it had more balls when cruising around town because of the torque, highway cruising was pretty much the same I would say. I even think that up to 60mph the 335i with JB4 was quicker then the M. After the first few days I had the M, I started getting the hang of how to drive the DCT so it would be quick, it just took me some time for some reason, at first I almost thought there was something wrong with the car, eventually after I got used to it I started liking it ALOT. But to be honesst I do miss the torque of the turbos, they really through you in the back of the seat
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