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      06-19-2012, 08:17 AM   #1
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Rumor about F80 M3 with electric power steering (EPS)

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I don't mind the F80 going turbo, but not too happy to hear it might be going EPS.
A well placed source at BMW M in Garching recently tipped us to the idea that M is looking to introduce Electric Power Assisted Steering in the next M3, codenamed F80 and scheduled to launch as a sedan for model year 2014. According to this source; Porsche is being praised for the system in the new to market 991 which is EPAS, so why can’t M do the same in the M3? We also learned that BMW and Porsche are using ZF as the supplier for these systems. The steering tuning and algorithms would be manufacturer specific but the hardware would be similar if not identical.

There is some efficiency gains with EPAS systems because they, unlike traditional hydraulic offerings, do not draw engine power unless needed and 90% of all driving in done in a straight line where there is no need for power assistance. If the EPAS is not pulled at the last minute in favor of a traditional hydraulic system (as was rumored with the M5/M6) the electronic programming would need to have significantly more feel before the limit than BMW’s current EPAS offerings to keep critics to a minimum. In the US BMW uses EPAS in the latest 3,5, and 6 series models. The current BMW system dials in enough feel to allow the driver to make corrections but that is not communicated early enough in some situations- many bemoan the change.

We hope BMW will utilize a system that regulates the torque output of the electric assist rather than just dial down the power level as that seems to make all the difference in terms of feel.
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      06-19-2012, 08:40 AM   #2

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I don't have any problem with EPAS. As Porsche has demonstrated, it can be done right. We are in an age of overbearing fuel efficiency regulation. In order to build a high performance car, it is going to take lots of advanced technology. That happens to be one area where BMW has an advantage.
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      06-19-2012, 08:54 AM   #3
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I am not sure I like that idea. I think, overall, that people are losing touch with what it is like to drive cars. This is of course for the people who are real car enthusiasts, as well s I believe that people are becoming much more lazy. Some car manufacturers are losing their manual trans, this just adds to it, in my opinion.
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      06-19-2012, 09:00 AM   #4
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Meh, we heard it with hydraulic assisted steering, brakes and clutches, this was inevitable. Is the F10 M5 still hydro? As already stated, Porsche has made serious progress with EPS, and it's certainly possible to build a bad hydraulic rack, or a good electric one.
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      06-19-2012, 09:09 AM   #5
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Man the bridges! I see some BMW fans getting ready to jump.
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      06-19-2012, 09:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Is the F10 M5 still hydro?

On the surface, this sounds like bad news for the next M3. But BMW M spends millions of $$ to track and test these models to live up to (and hopefully surpass) enthusiasts' expectations. I'll give them benefit of the doubt, and looking forward to driving one myself.

I like my M3 steering, but I have always felt that BMWs have a bit too much weight in the steering at times. Maybe a finely tuned EPS system can be even better than the best we have today?
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      06-19-2012, 09:27 AM   #7

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Maybe this is actually good because I have a feeling M wouldn't mess up their steering, so their achievements could trickle down to the rest of BMW
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      06-19-2012, 09:28 AM   #8
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I did like EPS in my F30 loaner..

Waiting for fan boys to start being very upset about this though....
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      06-19-2012, 09:30 AM   #9

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Like some people have said, I don't care if they do it right, but seriously? What's next BMW? Manual transmission won't be offered?

I'm just ready for it to be out so we can see what really will and won't be on the car instead of reading the rumors.
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      06-19-2012, 09:34 AM   #10
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I agree SamS.

I can't wait to drive one someday and then, and only then will I judge the car.

But knowing BMW they'll get it right, it's an M3
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      06-19-2012, 09:48 AM   #11
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I don't think that this is necessarily a bad thing. I love the steering in my 911, it is the best car I have ever driven. As for BMW, I am being honest when I say this, my 328i is not far behind. I think that a lot of people see EPS and immediately think that different means worse. After I took my 911 around the track, it was clear that the EPS is excellent and I actually prefer it to the steering of my 997.
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      06-19-2012, 09:57 AM   #12

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It could be done right. IMO the current active steering option is an abomination, that truly ruins the steering feel.
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      06-19-2012, 10:00 AM   #13
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It could be done right.

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      06-19-2012, 10:02 AM   #14

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I agree that if it is done right it will be great... The main problem is a social problem, the M3 is considered a driver involved car but recently with the introduction of all the gadgets from DCT to this EPS, it will take some time to realize that the technology is superior to human reaction.. I guess once its out and people take it to the track, they will find that it is much better to handle and drive.
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      06-19-2012, 10:05 AM   #15
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If they can do it well... then do it.

BMW won't half ass this and if it is not 100% perfect by the time the car launches, it won't be in the M3.
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      06-19-2012, 10:05 AM   #16
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I don't think drawing comparisons to the 991's EPS is fair. The 997, with its hydraulic system, is still considered far better on a relative scale to the 991's, with the 991's being "just good enough", with improved accuracy. The 991 and 997 both have to deal with much less weight, especially over the front nose, so it probably requires much less steering assistance, which probably improves overall steering feel in the first place. The M3's engineers have many more obstacles to overcome.
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      06-19-2012, 10:06 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Diver View Post
I don't have any problem with EPAS. As Porsche has demonstrated, it can be done right. We are in an age of overbearing fuel efficiency regulation. In order to build a high performance car, it is going to take lots of advanced technology. That happens to be one area where BMW has an advantage.
Originally Posted by gator15 View Post
I don't think that this is necessarily a bad thing. I love the steering in my 911, it is the best car I have ever driven. As for BMW, I am being honest when I say this, my 328i is not far behind. I think that a lot of people see EPS and immediately think that different means worse. After I took my 911 around the track, it was clear that the EPS is excellent and I actually prefer it to the steering of my 997.
Absolutely correct that it could be done right but what are the chances it ends up being executed well? I like to look at both sides and say well this is the M3 and BMW can't possibly mess it up right? But on the other hand some feel the M5 felt less connected than the E60 M5 and that still has hydraulic assist and then there's the whole F30 3-Series problem. We all thought BMW wouldn't mess that up, it's the 3-Series. The benchmark. The icon...and unfortunately they did.

Now, with the Porsche, I haven't read much on it so I don't know how others feel about how Porsche implemented it so I won't comment but only say I hope this is just rumour just because how BMW has fared in this department on the FXX cars. I just don't see why BMW M would have hydraulics with the M5 and M6 and then switch to EPS on the M3. How much are they looking to save? By switching to a turbo straight-six, that's already a huge improvement over the V8. Just doesn't make sense to me. If anything, I would be perfectly fine if BMW went EPS with all models and left hydraulics to just the M cars.

Last edited by TheBingoBalls; 06-19-2012 at 10:12 AM.
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      06-19-2012, 10:15 AM   #18

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      06-19-2012, 10:24 AM   #19

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Why? The M5 and M6 have hydraulic systems and, if anything, the M3 should have the best steering out of the range
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      06-19-2012, 10:26 AM   #20

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You have no idea what the wheels are doing in a EPS equipped car. Steering is vague and uncommunicative. I hope the BMW engineers fine tune it properly, or this may very well be the end. Then again, the M3 is BMW's bread and butter. My brain keeps telling me that there is absolutely no way that BMW will mess this up.
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      06-19-2012, 10:27 AM   #21
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Well I hope its good. But it looks like my future M3 purchase might not be happening
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      06-19-2012, 10:30 AM   #22
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Here I am, on the bridge, ready to jump.

This is yet another in a long line of technical innovations that ultimately only get in between the driver and the car. At the risk of coming off as a Luddite, it really seems that BMW has forgotten what it means to enjoy the act of driving with these kinds of changes.

I really want to like the F86, but increasingly, I see a Honda Fit and a low mileage GT3 RS in my future.
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