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      05-16-2014, 04:48 AM   #1
M4 JTD
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Post Chris Harris F80 M3 review testing notes

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Chris's notes ahead of the video release:

Engine
Weird noise to begin with. No word of a lie, I laughed out loud when trying to define it - all I could think was 'mapped 335d'. It's less musical, lower frequency and less clearly straight-six than the M235i I'm currently driving. At first I didn't like it much, then it became a non-issue and after thrashing around a circuit for a while I almost liked it. But it's a million miles from the E46 and E92. Would I buy an everyday car on the basis of noise? Probably not. Radio 4 and ZZ Top will always overcome.

Performance
Scorching. The manual will hit 100mph in nine seconds dead, the DCT in 8.7 seconds. It hardly feels turbocharged and the torque is all-consuming. Real-world, this car is miles quicker than the old E92, and the torque means the rear axle loads up much earlier in a given turn, meaning you have the sensation of controlling the car's attitude with your right foot far more than you did before.

Throttle response.
I didn't have any problem with the throttle response. In comfort the throttle is long and a little lazy - normally I like that, but the shorter sport and sport-plus settings worked better in this car for me. In the latter the speakers mess around with the intake noise some more. Compared to, say, an E46 you lose a tiny amount of instant zap, but considering it has two turbochargers, you can take several stabs mid-corner to trim your line and the response is always there. It's worth revving out to 7,500rpm too.

More engine..
Proper M engine, turbos and all? Yup Fuel economy at a cruise is miles better than before - a genuine 30mpg - whereas I used to see 19mpg in my E92. The M3 badly needed some range, it now has it. This is perhaps the most important improvement over the outgoing V8.

Is the motor special enough? For a quick track blast and a few hours on the road, to impress a few hacks? Probably not, especially in light of the deranged V8 model's zap and DTM blare beyond 7,500rpm. But for everyday use, the torque, the sheer speed and the range make the new gizzards - for me - far more appealing.

Colleagues have given it real flak, with the insinuation that it isn't special (dry sump, forged crank anyone?) but I'd buy this car because of the motor, not in spite of it.

Chassis
Flipping good.

Steering
Leave it in comfort. The other two settings simply add weight, and I disliked them both. The 3 Series electric steering rack has been comprehensively re-engineered for this car, at vast expense. Does it feel like a conventional hydraulic rack? Nope. Is it exceedingly accurate? Yes. And the world really does have a short memory if it cites the last two M3s as being steering paragons. The E46 was light but accurate, the E92 lacked initial response off-centre. Neither were great.

This is not steering to savour, but it gives the driver instant confidence, and that is a brilliant trick when allied to all that front axle grip. For a big car, you can place the M3 with uncanny accuracy.

Gearbox
I only drove a DCT, and the manual would need to be somewhere near a late NSX in shift quality to persuade me to not have the two-pedal car. The dual-clutch is fast, smooth in town, gives extra fuel economy and it just suits the power and torque delivery of the motor. Fast shifts give a decent exhaust crack too.

Brakes
We had the optional carbon ceramics, which will make prospective owners look away because they're too expensive. Well, BMW is talking about €7,000 for them, and they're plain superb. If I was going to use this car as intended, I'd have them, and normally I always advise the cheaper steel option. I'm saying that partly because with the standard Super Sport rubber and those ceramic stoppers, you have something instantly track-able.

Cabin
Single piece front seats are spot-on. Steering wheel still too thick, hi-fi very good, iDrive still baffling. Just the right amount of bespoke touches to make it feel that much more special than an F30 3 Series. Incidentally, geeks like me are rejoicing that this car gets its own internal designation - F80. The coupe is F82.

Looks
Not mine to judge really. But if the M3, in that baby blue colour (which is actually a metallic on closer inspection) isn't the best looking M3 since the 1990 Sport Evolution, then I'll call all those E46 CSL owners Jessies. Actually, the CSL is a belting looking thing, isn't it. Look, the F80 has such a sexy rear axle set-down on the road, that people like us will point and grin at them.

Would you?
Absolutely. I loved my E92, but it was surprisingly limited as my daily driver. Opportunities to enjoy that motor beyond 7,000 were predictably limited, the lack of torque left you exposed to turbo hot hatches and, well, you know my thoughts on the range.

This car rights all of those wrongs. In isolation, the motor gets blown into next week by the current C63 507 for pure noise and theatre, but on the road the BMW's fuel consumption and massive torque would swing it for me. Sounds boring, but that's what matters in a daily driver.Not to mention the transmission which makes the Merc's feel pretty antiquated now. And I still think the powertrain feels special enough for an M car.

The rest of the package is BMW M at its best. I think it's a truly special car. It made me smile for the two days that I drove it. When the video comes out in the next few weeks, watch the section where we talk through the level of modification over standard 3er. This car is 50 per cent new.

It's a blinder. I'll have the saloon, the dampers, the big brakes, the DCT, and probably the baby blue. So exactly the car I drove on the launch then.

Chris


Read full notes here:
http://www.pistonheads.com/news/defa...?storyId=30002
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Last edited by M4 JTD; 05-16-2014 at 04:55 AM.
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      05-16-2014, 05:18 AM   #2
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1st comment before M5 hate crew, yes.
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      05-16-2014, 05:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanq View Post
Chris's notes ahead of the video release:

Engine
Weird noise to begin with. ...At first I didn't like it much, then it became a non-issue and after thrashing around a circuit for a while I almost liked it.

Throttle response.
I didn't have any problem with the throttle response. In comfort the throttle is long and a little lazy - normally I like that, but the shorter sport and sport-plus settings worked better in this car for me. ...
It's worth revving out to 7,500rpm too.

More engine..
The M3 badly needed some range, it now has it. This is perhaps the most important improvement over the outgoing V8.
Is the motor special enough? For a quick track blast and a few hours on the road, to impress a few hacks? Probably not, especially in light of the deranged V8 model's zap and DTM blare beyond 7,500rpm. But for everyday use, the torque, the sheer speed and the range make the new gizzards - for me - far more appealing.

Colleagues have given it real flak, with the insinuation that it isn't special (dry sump, forged crank anyone?) but I'd buy this car because of the motor, not in spite of it.

Steering
The E46 was light but accurate, the E92 lacked initial response off-centre. Neither were great.
This is not steering to savour, but it gives the driver instant confidence, and that is a brilliant trick when allied to all that front axle grip. For a big car, you can place the M3 with uncanny accuracy.


Would you?
Absolutely. I loved my E92, but it was surprisingly limited as my daily driver. Opportunities to enjoy that motor beyond 7,000 were predictably limited, the lack of torque left you exposed to turbo hot hatches and, well, you know my thoughts on the range.

This car rights all of those wrongs. In isolation, the motor gets blown into next week by the current C63 507 for pure noise and theatre, but on the road the BMW's fuel consumption and massive torque would swing it for me. Sounds boring, but that's what matters in a daily driver.Not to mention the transmission which makes the Merc's feel pretty antiquated now. And I still think the powertrain feels special enough for an M car.

Chris
Points above, I would fully agree

The above sounds great, but not for some who have been bragging about the E9x M3

Last edited by bm323; 05-16-2014 at 05:33 AM.
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      05-16-2014, 05:28 AM   #4
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Awesome! Thank you
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      05-16-2014, 05:29 AM   #5
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Can't wait for the video- car sounds as good as I was hoping.
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      05-16-2014, 05:36 AM   #6
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Very promising.
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      05-16-2014, 06:06 AM   #7
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Even though this was a very positive review, he still left in some things for the E9x brigade to justify their dislike for the F8x

The main things he pointed out was (to me):

-Throttle response and how the car can be controlled by the throtle more than the previous gen (due to combination of torque and throttle response)

-Steering is good but no revelation, but as he said, neither where the E46 or E9x

-Engine. He doesn't love the noise compared with the E9x and it's kind of a let down for the cars noise that he mentions Radio 4 and ZZ Top... Strangely enough BMW seems to have managed a better soundtrack in the M235i...

-Engine. He'd buy the car because of the engine, not in spite of it

-Engine. It is worth going to 7500rpm in it

Looking forward to the video
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      05-16-2014, 06:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boss330 View Post
-Throttle response and how the car can be controlled by the throttle more than the previous gen (due to combination of torque and throttle response)
Can you show me, where he say this ???

For me this sounds more like ... "you must controll the rear axis of the car better to be fast" ... what for him means more fun !?

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      05-16-2014, 06:22 AM   #9
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Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to drive this beast. Not too worried about the sound coming from an Audi s4. If it's that bad I'll get the m perr exhaust!
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      05-16-2014, 06:27 AM   #10
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Can't wait for the video review
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      05-16-2014, 06:28 AM   #11
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as much as I like to hate this car, if Chris Harris says it's good, then it's good.
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      05-16-2014, 06:31 AM   #12
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Damn, I was hoping to finally see some more detailed feedback on the 6MT, but he definitely hits some good points.. Looking forward to the video, should be pretty fun!
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      05-16-2014, 06:44 AM   #13
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All good points. I think viewers can expect an honest video from Chris. He's the first to say that he will get one.
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      05-16-2014, 07:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChesterM4
1st comment before M5 hate crew, yes.
Lol m3 wins m3>m5 gtfo m5 homers
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      05-16-2014, 07:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanq View Post
Brakes
I'm saying that partly because with the standard Super Sport rubber and those ceramic stoppers, you have something instantly track-able.
What a great pre-review by Chris Harris. My favorite thing he said is above. The CCB's really make a great difference. I'm sure the video is going to be awesome.


Also, what's with all of the discontent with M5 and M6 owners, and a few E92 M3 fanboys? I personally love the new M3/M4 and have stated previously on this forum that it's the first M3 I've ever wanted to own. I think the F80/F82 are going to be fantastic cars and so far I so happen to agree with Chris Harris on the one thing that is lacking, the engine and exhaust note. But it's been the same story with the M5/M6 for years now, lack of an engine and exhaust note with the stock exhaust. I haven't really heard anyone on this M4 forum really bad mouth it. The M3/M4 will always be the better track car, it always has been. No arguing that. I just so happen to think it's a little funny when people speculate that a stock M4 can do 0-60 3.5 seconds and lap the Nurburgring in 7:27. Any M5 or M6 owner on here isn't posting to start arguments, or like Boss330 ,who doesn't even own an M car, he's just one of the biggest car enthusiasts I've ever met, we're all just discussing stuff cause we all have passion. I mean sure, we'll never be able to drive an M4 on a racetrack, highway, or street while getting your butt cooled and massaged, but that doesn't mean the M5/M6 are better. Just more luxury that's all. Anyways, hope that we can all continue to enjoy each others posts and share our excitement and love for these cars.
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      05-16-2014, 07:29 AM   #16
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Great post, great review! Thanks!
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      05-16-2014, 07:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPiM5 View Post
What a great pre-review by Chris Harris. My favorite thing he said is above. The CCB's really make a great difference. I'm sure the video is going to be awesome.


Also, what's with all of the discontent with M5 and M6 owners, and a few E92 M3 fanboys? I personally love the new M3/M4 and have stated previously on this forum that it's the first M3 I've ever wanted to own. I think the F80/F82 are going to be fantastic cars and so far I so happen to agree with Chris Harris on the one thing that is lacking, the engine and exhaust note. But it's been the same story with the M5/M6 for years now, lack of an engine and exhaust note with the stock exhaust. I haven't really heard anyone on this M4 forum really bad mouth it. The M3/M4 will always be the better track car, it always has been. No arguing that. I just so happen to think it's a little funny when people speculate that a stock M4 can do 0-60 3.5 seconds and lap the Nurburgring in 7:27. Any M5 or M6 owner on here isn't posting to start arguments, or like Boss330 ,who doesn't even own an M car, he's just one of the biggest car enthusiasts I've ever met, we're all just discussing stuff cause we all have passion. I mean sure, we'll never be able to drive an M4 on a racetrack, highway, or street while getting your butt cooled and massaged, but that doesn't mean the M5/M6 are better. Just more luxury that's all. Anyways, hope that we can all continue to enjoy each others posts and share our excitement and love for these cars.
OK...in that case, welcome to the Forum. Just sell your M5 as a show of good faith, and we'll teach you the secret handshake.
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      05-16-2014, 07:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
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OK...in that case, welcome to the Forum. Just sell your M5 as a show of good faith, and we'll teach you the secret handshake.
Honestly if I never bought the F10 M5, I'd be doing Euro Delivery in June on a new F80 M3, Yas Marina Blue, Fully Loaded with CCB's. The M5 may be a 4,400lbs whale of a fat bastard, but I still love it for now. But what I really want is a straightpiped Lambo Superleggera next. So that's what I'm working on now.
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      05-16-2014, 07:48 AM   #19
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So the car isn't perfect, no car ever is. But it sounds like it's close enough for us mere mortals to enjoy.

And seeing as this car is going to be 90% a DD for me with occasional track duty, it sounds like it hits all the right points.
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      05-16-2014, 08:10 AM   #20
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Thanks for sharing, it was a great read.

Quote:
you can take several stabs mid-corner to trim your line and the response is always there.
This statement is big comfort to me. This was one of my biggest worries about the S55

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      05-16-2014, 08:10 AM   #21
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Nice review as always. Thanks for posting that. Like others have stated can't wait for the video!
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      05-16-2014, 08:13 AM   #22
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Nice write up. I got more satisfaction reading those few words than any other review so far.

Quote:
When the video comes out in the next few weeks, watch the section where we talk through the level of modification over standard 3er. This car is 50 per cent new
Looking forward to seeing this.
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