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      06-01-2014, 12:51 PM   #1
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Smokey burnouts revisited

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I think the so-called "Smokey Burnout" feature in the M3/4 was dismissed as something made up by Top Gear in an early preview. After a bit I concluded that it's nothing more than what happens to any high HP RWD car when you turn traction control off and mash the pedal to the metal.

Yet, the supposed feature was mentioned more than a few times in the recent spate of reviews emanating from BMW letting the press have a go at their new darlings in Portugal. Did rumor become fact? Or is there such a thing? This recent review had me curious.

http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/cars/b...6#.U4tSOIm9LCQ

(Reviewer loved the cars and their hooligan hearts as well as their fantastic sound btw. Just sayin'.)

Anyway I prayed to the Google God and He delivered this little gem to me.

http://m.autoevolution.com/how-to-ac...out-74777.html

This has me believing that the Smokey Burnout feature is alive and well and indeed exists as an apparent sub-routine of Launch Control. It is engaged by jabbing the accelerator to the floor rather than easing it there as part of the usual Launch Control routine - it seems.

Does anyone have more info on this? So far I have it down as:

1. Turn DTC all the way off.
2. Tranny to the max setting.
4. Foot on brake.
5. Mash pedal.
6. Let er rip.
7. Repeat as desired.
8. Replace tires.
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      06-01-2014, 01:20 PM   #2
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Well it's not in the US owner's manual, and it is also not in the German manual that southlight summarized excerpts from. Now, that doesn't mean it isn't real, but you'd figure they would make mention of it if it were.

Did anyone ask uae24 to try it? I haven't read his whole thread.

Unless it shows up in print, this will be one of those things that is tough to confirm or deny without direct confirmation from an engineer. That is, unless the above procedure you suggest exposes some behavior that is easily observable as very different from standard LC.

Ford has a burnout feature for the new Mustang that actually holds the front brake similar to a line lock. Are we suggesting that BMW's smokey burnout feature, if present, should do that too? If not, what behavior should we be looking for? What would this smokey burnout feature actually do? If it isn't some type of brake stand, with DSC already off, what more does the car do to perform a burnout? In theory you just want zero intervention from the car, which is what you get anyway when DSC is off and LC is not used.
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      06-01-2014, 01:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Well it's not in the US owner's manual, and it is also not in the German manual that southlight summarized excerpts from. Now, that doesn't mean it isn't real, but you'd figure they would make mention of it if it were.

Did anyone ask uae24 to try it? I haven't read his whole thread.

Unless it shows up in print, this will be one of those things that is tough to confirm or deny without direct confirmation from an engineer. That is, unless the above procedure you suggest exposes some behavior that is easily observable as very different from standard LC.

Ford has a burnout feature for the new Mustang that actually holds the front brake similar to a line lock. Are we suggesting that BMW's smokey burnout feature, if present, should do that too? If not, what behavior should we be looking for? What would this smokey burnout feature actually do? If it isn't some type of brake stand, with DSC already off, what more does the car do to perform a burnout? In theory you just want zero intervention from the car, which is what you get anyway when DSC is off and LC is not used.
It definately is not sounding like the Ford feature to enable a brake burnout because the brakes are released. The mention of limiting it to low speeds means perhaps that as the speed picks up, LC starts to intervene perhaps? I imagine at the 1/4 mile track you could use it to light up the tires without doing a brake stand out of the water box pre-stage and then use the regular LC off the starting blocks after the car is staged. Perhaps it can allow you to impress the ladies without completely losing control of the car if you turned off all the nannies and let er rip?

As far as I am aware uae247 did not mention it.
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      06-01-2014, 02:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M4TW View Post
It definately is not sounding like the Ford feature to enable a brake burnout because the brakes are released.
Well, just because the brake pedal is released doesn't mean the brakes are released, right? The TC/ABS system can apply the brakes as necessary without driver input. I am definitely not saying I believe this is likely how the feature works if it exists, I am just saying we should not jump to conclusions.

Quote:
The mention of limiting it to low speeds means perhaps that as the speed picks up, LC starts to intervene perhaps? I imagine at the 1/4 mile track you could use it to light up the tires without doing a brake stand out of the water box pre-stage and then use the regular LC off the starting blocks after the car is staged.
Ok, so to summarize, then:

Launch Control: Launch hard with DSC aiding to keep the car going straight.
Standard accelerator mash with DSC off: Launch hard with no safety nets.
Smokey Burnout: Launch hard with no safety nets at first, but DSC jumps in eventually.

Sure, it's possible. I suppose the other thing is that it would give you (vs. the throttle mash) other LC features such as the ability to rev the engine up prior to the launch and also the initial RPM adjustment via the stalk.

Like I say, though, it will be tough to verify if this is the case. Even if it exists, it might be similar enough to standard LC in feel that it would be tough to get strong consensus either way that it was genuinely a distinct feature. Maybe I underestimate the car, but I question just how dramatic this resulting burnout would feel to the driver and appear to an observer.
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      06-01-2014, 02:47 PM   #5
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Maybe it has a self-destruct feature as well
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      06-01-2014, 02:50 PM   #6
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A bigger question for me is how would one know whether LC or SBLC is engaged? Is there a dashboard light for it? It seemed to me like so much vaporware but it is mentioned repeatedly in the reviews.

An example is

http://www.bdlive.co.za/life/motorin...-a-double-dose

Quote:
The new model gets launch control for optimum acceleration and a gimmick in the form of a Smokey Burnout setting that allows wheel spin at low speeds.
Since the same phrasing is used in multiple reviews, the information would have to have come from BMW. Some manner of verification would be nice.
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      06-01-2014, 03:01 PM   #7
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Smokey burnout was never just a Top Gear thing... It was reported in lots of reports that was published and they referenced BMW as their source (when BMW released specs for the F8x).

This article explains how it's activated and is based on an interview with BMW personel:

http://m.autoevolution.com/how-to-us...ion-74779.html
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      06-01-2014, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M4TW View Post
A bigger question for me is how would one know whether LC or SBLC is engaged? Is there a dashboard light for it?
Right, and why make the method of engagement between the two so similar and easy to confuse for one another? They could have programmed it so that another stalk or button switches between them, for example.

It sure feels like a hoax type of thing which is why I've been so skeptical about this from the get-go.

Quote:
Since the same phrasing is used in multiple reviews, the information would have to have come from BMW. Some manner of verification would be nice.
Or they all began with the same unreliable source material that seemed official or trustworthy.
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      06-01-2014, 03:04 PM   #9
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There is a video here of it in operation.

http://m.autoevolution.com/drifting-...deo-81387.html

Now I am confused as to whether it is actually a sub-routine of launch control or that it's simply that the the ECU allows for more wheel spin at low speeds with all the nannies "disengaged".

In the video though the car is revving before it is launched which has me back to thinking it is part of LC.
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      06-01-2014, 03:15 PM   #10
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^^^ Yeah, nothing about that article was clear or enlightening. How does doing a burnout enable drifting? And as far as I know the E9x M3 DCT can be drifted fine. I can swing the tail in mine with DSC Off, no problem.
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      06-01-2014, 03:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by M4TW View Post
A bigger question for me is how would one know whether LC or SBLC is engaged? Is there a dashboard light for it?
Right, and why make the method of engagement between the two so similar and easy to confuse for one another? They could have programmed it so that another stalk or button to switches between them, for example.

It sure feels like a hoax type of thing which is why I've been do skeptical about this from the get-go.

Quote:
Since the same phrasing is used in multiple reviews, the information would have to have come from BMW. Some manner of verification would be nice.
Or they all began with the same unreliable source material that seemed official or trustworthy.
They all quoted the official BMW press release AFAIK, as has been discussed in a different thread:

http://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho...642&page=2

However, interestingly the part about "Smokey Burnout" has been removed from the press release...

https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/globa...obilePage=true
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      06-01-2014, 03:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boss330 View Post
They all quoted the official BMW press release AFAIK, as has been discussed in a different thread:

http://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho...642&page=2

However, interestingly the part about "Smokey Burnout" has been removed from the press release...

https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/globa...obilePage=true
Yep. You edited your post before I had a chance to reply and mention that.

Do we have a link to an official BMW website with the version of the press release with the "Smokey Burnout" part?

Why do I feel like I've been down this road before? Oh yeah...
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      06-01-2014, 06:17 PM   #13
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I can't wait for the cars to get here so we can stop speculating about things!
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      06-01-2014, 06:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by accce View Post
I can't wait for the cars to get here so we can stop speculating about things!
I think we'll find this is just more press idiocy. Recent M cars with the DCT transmission have always had "smokey burnout feature". You disable traction control and floor the gas pedal from a standing start.

On the E9x M3 it revved to about 5000 rpm then dropped the clutch. On the F10 M5, it revs to about 3000 rpm and drops the clutch. That's it.
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      06-02-2014, 01:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Launch Control: Launch hard with DSC aiding to keep the car going straight.
But DSC is OFF when LC is activated! All you have is Active M differential which still collect the data from sensors!
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      06-02-2014, 06:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boss330 View Post
They all quoted the official BMW press release AFAIK, as has been discussed in a different thread:

http://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho...642&page=2

However, interestingly the part about "Smokey Burnout" has been removed from the press release...

https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/globa...obilePage=true
The attorneys read it. Darn.
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      06-02-2014, 08:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
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But DSC is OFF when LC is activated! All you have is Active M differential which still collect the data from sensors!
Yes. Although DSC is set to off, the system is still active, this is how the active differential gets data fed to it.

Not sure if you are correct about only the differential being used during LC - you may very well be, I just don't know enough about it to take your word on it - but even if so, that still means DSC is in the mix so what I said in the post you quoted still holds.

Now, it does bring up an interesting question. That is, even without LC, if I launch the car with DSC off does the differential still use sensor data at that point? My understanding would be that it does not and instead is just operating passively in this case. But I could be wrong. And if I am then you're right in that my earlier post would be misleading and should be revised.
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      06-02-2014, 09:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catpat8000 View Post
I think we'll find this is just more press idiocy. Recent M cars with the DCT transmission have always had "smokey burnout feature". You disable traction control and floor the gas pedal from a standing start.

On the E9x M3 it revved to about 5000 rpm then dropped the clutch. On the F10 M5, it revs to about 3000 rpm and drops the clutch. That's it.
^ Exactly this.

I don't understand what all the fuss is about. As catpat8000 says, on the E9X, just mashing the gas from a standstill with DSC off results in a hell of a "smokey burnout". I expect the same will be true with the F8X.
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      06-02-2014, 10:32 AM   #19
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That's exactly my point too. We've had the same discussion before.

Still, is there merit to what M4TW is suggesting as far as an LC mode that focuses more on drama than ideal acceleration? Yes, I actually think there is. If nothing else, it would be nicer to have the car hold revs when you want to lay down rubber than to have to mash the pedal and wait for revs to build first.

I'd love to close the book on this, call the whole thing nonsense (be it a hoax, bad reporting, bad translation or whatever else), but I think it at least deserves some experimentation first. Do you guys agree or no? I am interested in hearing your thoughts.
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      06-02-2014, 10:47 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Yes. Although DSC is set to off, the system is still active, this is how the active differential gets data fed to it.

Not sure if you are correct about only the differential being used during LC - you may very well be, I just don't know enough about it to take your word on it - but even if so, that still means DSC is in the mix so what I said in the post you quoted still holds.
DSC is not engaged and does not do it's job to apply brake and cut the engine, but provides data from sensor to Active M differential to change the distribution rate between rear wheels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Now, it does bring up an interesting question. That is, even without LC, if I launch the car with DSC off does the differential still use sensor data at that point? My understanding would be that it does not and instead is just operating passively in this case. But I could be wrong. And if I am then you're right in that my earlier post would be misleading and should be revised.
You are correct! no data at all in this case and if you floor the gas from standstill the car accelerate like an unstable missile and squirm...Since the car wants to go all around, you will easily lose the control if you are not prepared ... I already tested it's scary... if you want to test it, just make sure to test it in a wide area
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      06-02-2014, 07:14 PM   #21
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Being able to smoke tires is a consequence of a high HP car, not a feature so there has to be something more to it than this.

Perhaps it is not a subroutine of LC or the consequence of punching it with the nannies off. I wonder if the M-DCT when engaged knows that you want to have some fun if you punch it at low speeds, so it allows a bit of a smoke show, but still keeps the car from careening out of control? Then doing this with DTC completely on results in grandma waging her yellow circle finger at you on the dash, whilst turning it completely off puts you alone with the beast.
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      06-02-2014, 11:49 PM   #22
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Could have sworn I saw it from a credible source other than what was pointed out. Maybe ask the UAE guy to confirm?
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