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      12-02-2014, 09:58 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Accel Junky View Post
I also noticed the article says the leather was no cost...definitely an error.
I believe that they say its a no-cost option because their tester was fitted with the executive package which knocks off the price of extended leather. At least, that's what happens when I configure my M3 on the bmwusa site. Unfortunately, I'm still dreaming of purchasing one so I'm basing my observation based on the configurator site only
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      12-03-2014, 07:32 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by FogCityM3 View Post
C&D has been pooping on the E30/F80 for a few years now….they don't like the new direction of BMW and this is seen in many reviews. Actually the same year the E90 M3 won its last comparo, they ran two reviews of the F30 stating that in a comparison with the base E90, the E90 would win (thus is hardly an argument for shifting ad dollars "paying" for reviews).

For anyone thinks that C&D doesn't matter, IMO I still think they're the best US publication and over the years have provided some pretty good, honest reviews that in general get a lot of corroboration from other journos, enthusiasts and race drivers alike. I guarantee you, certain members of management at BMW do care that the 3 series was knocked off the 10 best list. C&D was so "irrelevant" that every BMW dealership used to carry excerpts of their articles and 10 best lists for distribution. until now I guess.. Oops..
C&D went so far as to put the F30 and E90 on a chassis machine to figure out why the F30 was so different. It's an interesting article with many differences discovered, but one of the biggest is the dramatic reduction in self-aligning torque fed back through the steering and the amount of rear axle toe-in on compression perhaps. BMW literally did significantly change the entire character of the F30; they are focused on their target market which has evolved to *not* be the traditional enthusiast market, hence they've Lexus-ified the F30 as the average buyer has no clue nor care about driving dynamics/chassis dynamics. It's just the way it is now with BMW imo.

That said, I suppose C&D is still relevant to some extent, but I let my subscription lapse a few years ago about the time they totally revamped the layout of the magazine after having a continual subscription since 1972. I just don't see the need to have it come every month in the mailbox any longer.
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      12-03-2014, 07:44 AM   #25
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If Ezra Dyer is writing for a magazine, I'm a subscriber.
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      12-03-2014, 08:07 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
C&D went so far as to put the F30 and E90 on a chassis machine to figure out why the F30 was so different. It's an interesting article with many differences discovered, but one of the biggest is the dramatic reduction in self-aligning torque fed back through the steering and the amount of rear axle toe-in on compression perhaps. BMW literally did significantly change the entire character of the F30; they are focused on their target market which has evolved to *not* be the traditional enthusiast market, hence they've Lexus-ified the F30 as the average buyer has no clue nor care about driving dynamics/chassis dynamics. It's just the way it is now with BMW imo.

That said, I suppose C&D is still relevant to some extent, but I let my subscription lapse a few years ago about the time they totally revamped the layout of the magazine after having a continual subscription since 1972. I just don't see the need to have it come every month in the mailbox any longer.

Thanks for this link. I've never seen this article before. But I am seeing mostly positives here, and none of this explains my dissatisfaction with the f30, compared to the e90. Maybe #3 and #10. The rest is mostly positive improvements.



"The Morse *Measurements data confirms some *suspicions but also refutes a few impressions logged during thousands of miles of 3-series seat time. Hereís what we learned:

[1] The 328i we tested for 40,000 miles weighs 3434 pounds, while a 2007 335i owned by former Car and Driver editor-in-chief Csaba Csere scales in at 3671 pounds. (Weight and CG data came from our garage, not Morse Measurements.)

[2] The 328i has better weight distribution (49.2 percent front/50.8 rear) than its immediate predecessor (50.5/49.5), but the older 335iís center of gravity, at 20.0 inches high, is an inch lower than the 328iís.

[3] The 328iís wheel rates (overall suspension stiffnesses) are 2 percent softer in front and 10 percent softer in back, which helps explain the new 3-seriesís smoother ride.

[4] The 328iís anti-roll bars are slightly larger in diameter.

[5] Roll centers, both front and rear, are an inch higher in the 328i. (Suspension geometry defines theoretical pointsóone in the front, one at the rearóabout which the body rolls when subjected to cornering forces.) The *imagi*nary line connecting the front and rear roll centers is called the roll axis. For a given center of gravity and cornering rate, a higher roll axis (closer to the center of gravity) yields less body roll.

[6] The 328i and the 335i both roll 3.4 degrees per g during cornering. This is the net result of findings two through five.

[7] Thereís significantly more braking anti-dive built into the F30ís front-suspension geometry and slightly more anti-lift designed into its rear axle. Both characteristics are advantageous to braking performance.

[8] The 328iís outside rear wheel toes in significantly more when subjected to cornering loads. This is a stabilizing feature to induce understeer, and BMW apparently implemented it as an alternative to the 335iís staggered (larger in back) tire sizes.

[9] The 328iís steering is 8 percent quicker than the 335iís and has significantly less ratio change as the steering wheel sweeps lock-to-lock. This may be attributable to an improved steering-column design with reduced universal-joint angles [see graph above].

[10] The slip angles producing cornering forces at the tire patches create whatís known as aligning torqueóessentially, the tire trying to return to straight-ahead running. This aligning torque is fed back through the rack-and-pinion steering gear to the steering wheel. Itís part of the information the driver uses to learn whatís going on where the rubber meets the road. The K&C machine reported that aligning torque is 64 percent lower in the 328i than in the 335i. While the switch to electric power steering may improve mileage, itís a bummer for Bimmer driving satisfaction."
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      12-03-2014, 08:18 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falafel Combo View Post
Thanks for this link. I've never seen this article before. But I am seeing mostly positives here, and none of this explains my dissatisfaction with the f30, compared to the e90. Maybe #3 and #10. The rest is mostly positive improvements.



"The Morse *Measurements data confirms some *suspicions but also refutes a few impressions logged during thousands of miles of 3-series seat time. Here’s what we learned:

[1] The 328i we tested for 40,000 miles weighs 3434 pounds, while a 2007 335i owned by former Car and Driver editor-in-chief Csaba Csere scales in at 3671 pounds. (Weight and CG data came from our garage, not Morse Measurements.)

[2] The 328i has better weight distribution (49.2 percent front/50.8 rear) than its immediate predecessor (50.5/49.5), but the older 335i’s center of gravity, at 20.0 inches high, is an inch lower than the 328i’s.

[3] The 328i’s wheel rates (overall suspension stiffnesses) are 2 percent softer in front and 10 percent softer in back, which helps explain the new 3-series’s smoother ride.

[4] The 328i’s anti-roll bars are slightly larger in diameter.

[5] Roll centers, both front and rear, are an inch higher in the 328i. (Suspension geometry defines theoretical points—one in the front, one at the rear—about which the body rolls when subjected to cornering forces.) The *imagi*nary line connecting the front and rear roll centers is called the roll axis. For a given center of gravity and cornering rate, a higher roll axis (closer to the center of gravity) yields less body roll.

[6] The 328i and the 335i both roll 3.4 degrees per g during cornering. This is the net result of findings two through five.

[7] There’s significantly more braking anti-dive built into the F30’s front-suspension geometry and slightly more anti-lift designed into its rear axle. Both characteristics are advantageous to braking performance.

[8] The 328i’s outside rear wheel toes in significantly more when subjected to cornering loads. This is a stabilizing feature to induce understeer, and BMW apparently implemented it as an alternative to the 335i’s staggered (larger in back) tire sizes.

[9] The 328i’s steering is 8 percent quicker than the 335i’s and has significantly less ratio change as the steering wheel sweeps lock-to-lock. This may be attributable to an improved steering-column design with reduced universal-joint angles [see graph above].

[10] The slip angles producing cornering forces at the tire patches create what’s known as aligning torque—essentially, the tire trying to return to straight-ahead running. This aligning torque is fed back through the rack-and-pinion steering gear to the steering wheel. It’s part of the information the driver uses to learn what’s going on where the rubber meets the road. The K&C machine reported that aligning torque is 64 percent lower in the 328i than in the 335i. While the switch to electric power steering may improve mileage, it’s a bummer for Bimmer driving satisfaction."
#8 and #10 are the two biggies for those that are fanatic about driving enjoyment/autocrossing/tracking/etc, especially #10. I'm guessing as time moves on, BMW will continue to work on the EPS systems and perhaps eventually obtain levels of communication that their prior HPS systems did as you approach the peak and go over the top of the tire's tractive force/slip angle curve. The "connection" to the brain through that critical region of tire grip is where EPS systems, even on the F80, appear to be still a work-in-progress. I wouldn't be at all surprised if BMW releases s/w updates as time goes by and they learn more.

#8 is a bitch too since it's like a crutch to induce understeer by toe-ing in the rear outside tire on compression significantly. The feel to that back outside rear corner through the seat is probably one of "yuck", i.e. not precise, not well-defined. It's really the last thing you want going on for a high performance chassis.
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      12-03-2014, 10:10 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Accel Junky View Post
Wow...the reviews are all over the place. This is quite a polarizing car. I wonder what that will mean down the road?

I agree on the options. This car has plenty enough in the base price. It is a good value at the base price but the paid options are just fluff.

I'm not complaining though. It seems many people are optioning the cars pretty well which I think will keep depreciation lower on strippers.

I also noticed the article says the leather was no cost...definitely an error.
Think it's technically no cost if you add the executive package. Which isn't cheap as pointed out.
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      12-03-2014, 10:19 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by tdizzle View Post
Think it's technically no cost if you add the executive package. Which isn't cheap as pointed out.
True and true. I guess I normally perceive a "no cost" option to mean that if I pay the base price I get it too.
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      12-03-2014, 10:35 AM   #30
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They should have distinguished that the leather comes as part of the exec package, but it makes sense why they didn't add the same cost twice. (Exec is $3350 if you want the $950 leather.)
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      12-03-2014, 12:20 PM   #31
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the F30s have got to be the worse gen 3 series i have seen in many years.

overall driving dynamics and feel are down from the e90.
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      12-03-2014, 12:51 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Accel Junky View Post
I agree on the options. This car has plenty enough in the base price. It is a good value at the base price but the paid options are just fluff.
backup camera in a ~$4k package is the thing that annoys me the most.
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      12-03-2014, 01:30 PM   #33
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backup camera in a ~$4k package is the thing that annoys me the most.
I agree with you...I used this "problem" as a negotiation tactic with the dealer. I told them I would only pay for cost of the back up camera...of course no such setup exists with BMWAG...either way, I was able to get the custom order F80 for $500 above invoice (I was lucky, but they made money back on my trade-in...oh well) for my setup with metallic paint, 19 inch black wheels, and executive package...this was waaaaay back in July...sounds like they can't keep the car in stock now due to popularity.
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      12-03-2014, 01:31 PM   #34
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backup camera in a ~$4k package is the thing that annoys me the most.
+1000

Especially since they'll be mandated in 2016. Wonder how easy the retrofit will be...
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      12-03-2014, 01:33 PM   #35
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I know how to drive so I don't need a back up camera. But I got one anyway.
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      12-03-2014, 10:13 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
#8 and #10 are the two biggies for those that are fanatic about driving enjoyment/autocrossing/tracking/etc, especially #10. I'm guessing as time moves on, BMW will continue to work on the EPS systems and perhaps eventually obtain levels of communication that their prior HPS systems did as you approach the peak and go over the top of the tire's tractive force/slip angle curve. The "connection" to the brain through that critical region of tire grip is where EPS systems, even on the F80, appear to be still a work-in-progress. I wouldn't be at all surprised if BMW releases s/w updates as time goes by and they learn more.

#8 is a bitch too since it's like a crutch to induce understeer by toe-ing in the rear outside tire on compression significantly. The feel to that back outside rear corner through the seat is probably one of "yuck", i.e. not precise, not well-defined. It's really the last thing you want going on for a high performance chassis.
I agree with you on self-aligning torque, but toe-ing in the outside tire on compression has alot of advantages to stability and this is a suspension geometry setup. Meaning that if you want more neutrality in your handling, you can dial it in with tire and alignment settings or other tweaks...but you are still going to have a more stable rear-end which is going to perform better. The tire is going to focus better on keeping force moving forward.

Just my interpretation.

I'm really curious though how they altered these aspects for the f80.

I've driven a bunch of f30s. Wonderful vehicles. Best 3-series BMW has ever built, bar none. Is the steering feelsome? Nope - biggest drawback. But the chassis, steering ratio, and suspension setup is practically revolutionary from all prior models and in a very agile fashion. Might not make as good of a track vehicle - I can understand that perception - but it's a more fun and more stable every day driver IMHO.

One of the things that got me into an F80 was that the f30 was so wonderful and BMW put significant effort into making the steering into something special again. It's not special in the f80, but it's alot better than the f30.
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      12-03-2014, 10:18 PM   #37
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Thx, very interesting read. Would love C&D to do the same on the F80 vs E90 M3/4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
C&D went so far as to put the F30 and E90 on a chassis machine to figure out why the F30 was so different. It's an interesting article with many differences discovered, but one of the biggest is the dramatic reduction in self-aligning torque fed back through the steering and the amount of rear axle toe-in on compression perhaps. BMW literally did significantly change the entire character of the F30; they are focused on their target market which has evolved to *not* be the traditional enthusiast market, hence they've Lexus-ified the F30 as the average buyer has no clue nor care about driving dynamics/chassis dynamics. It's just the way it is now with BMW imo.

That said, I suppose C&D is still relevant to some extent, but I let my subscription lapse a few years ago about the time they totally revamped the layout of the magazine after having a continual subscription since 1972. I just don't see the need to have it come every month in the mailbox any longer.
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      12-03-2014, 11:21 PM   #38
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Wow...the reviews are all over the place. This is quite a polarizing car. I wonder what that will mean down the road?
A lot of people on these forums have talked about "character" of the car, and how this one distinctly lacks it.

What does this mean down the road? In my opinion, a polarizing car means it's an *interesting* car, and interesting cars have character.

It's like an Alfa Romeo. You can fall in love with its looks but hate its fussiness and quirky ideas.

Or Lancia who built barely functional rust machines that, at their best, were completely fucking brilliant.

Or the homely fox-body 5.0 mustang. Wasn't going to win any awards with that face, but had all the charisma of a sweet talking lounge lizard.

Cars with character are hated and loved. This one's going to be remembered, and that's pretty cool.
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      12-04-2014, 06:58 AM   #39
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I agree with you on self-aligning torque, but toe-ing in the outside tire on compression has alot of advantages to stability and this is a suspension geometry setup. Meaning that if you want more neutrality in your handling, you can dial it in with tire and alignment settings or other tweaks...but you are still going to have a more stable rear-end which is going to perform better. The tire is going to focus better on keeping force moving forward.

Just my interpretation.

I'm really curious though how they altered these aspects for the f80.

I've driven a bunch of f30s. Wonderful vehicles. Best 3-series BMW has ever built, bar none. Is the steering feelsome? Nope - biggest drawback. But the chassis, steering ratio, and suspension setup is practically revolutionary from all prior models and in a very agile fashion. Might not make as good of a track vehicle - I can understand that perception - but it's a more fun and more stable every day driver IMHO.

One of the things that got me into an F80 was that the f30 was so wonderful and BMW put significant effort into making the steering into something special again. It's not special in the f80, but it's alot better than the f30.
Joe,

You can't simply do an alignment to solve a geometry problem. It's the toe-change with wheel travel curve that is set in stone when the suspension is designed. If you tried to set the static toe at a more toe-out setting to arrive at less total toe on full loading, you'd create an unstable situation in straight ahead driving (i.e. rear toed out on both sides). So alignment will not be able to solve this designed in geometry. It is what it is on the F30 by design.

Re F30 overall, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. I've been driving BMWs since 1974, autocrossing/tracking/racing them starting in 1976. The F30 is the first step by BMW "to the other side". After driving both the F30 328i and 335i and having a loaner 328i for a weekend, and then renting an F30 328i for over a week in San Francisco (and being able to wring it out in rural CA...what a beautiful area btw), my gut feeling is that the F30 is the perfect Lexus. This is not a derogative description like some want to make it however. It instead describes what BMW's target market has evolved toward, and they are aimed solidly down that path. Getting back into the E90 (either the 330i or M3) feels wonderful after driving the F30s...solidly connected, precise feel/communication, etc.

I doubt the same rear suspension geometry is used on the F80 as the F30. BMW simply wouldn't do that to the M3 imo. The M3 is a different beast in *many* important ways, and BMW still has the proper focus and intent with the F80 imo.

Regards,
Chuck
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      12-04-2014, 07:09 AM   #40
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Alot of cars that historically have been praised for character make poor daily drivers for my preferences. Heck, I love me some e46 m3 but even BMW admitted they set up the suspension to provide a ride perceived as sporting at the expense of ride quality and not for performance gain. And an e36 m3? Steering of the gods, right, but man I'd struggle to drive that thing 5k miles a year given my preferences today.

That need for a dual personality is what led me to an e39 m5.

The f80 m3 is truly the finest dual personality car I've ever driven or owned. It will truly putter around like a f30 if desired. It's incredibly comfortable for a sports car (yes, yes, I know, the defintion of sports car only involves the baddest cars invented in the last 20 minutes).

And yet when you thrash it, it becomes a lively dance partner/muscle car with tail wiggling fun yet excellent braking and wheel placement - and it's very engaging to do so.

My thinking is that it's this evolution of the dual personality - that the M3 has reached further into it's development of offering both daily driver & true track capability than ever before - that leaves some feeling like they aren't engaging with the car as much as they want.

All I can think to say is: This is a german interpretation of a lightweight, mid-sized sedan muscle car. It's so well balanced that fun requires you take it outside of it's balance zone. Get the rear dancing, push the front to understeer (it won't, not really, but you'll get a nice neutral slide going), get the rear tires squirming - which, by the way, you can feel like never before the actual tire squirm coming through your backside.

It's also intensely flat and a bit lighter than an e90. Body roll is a satisfying thing to experience and this car is very flat. Many think body roll is bad, and that's fair, but from an experience perspective roll tells us we are pushing the car and the f80 does not want to roll - not no way, not no how. What this means is that you need to REALLY transfer the weight in order to get the sensation of body roll which heightens the feeling of driving it at it's edge.

And beyond all this, as soon as you back off the throttle a bit and stop pushing the G's, it becomes docile again.

I'm walking through this because i think this is the reason why so many members connected with their car on a deeper, emotional level after a track day.
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      12-04-2014, 07:18 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
Joe,

You can't simply do an alignment to solve a geometry problem. It's the toe-change with wheel travel curve that is set in stone when the suspension is designed. If you tried to set the static toe at a more toe-out setting to arrive at less total toe on full loading, you'd create an unstable situation in straight ahead driving (i.e. rear toed out on both sides). So alignment will not be able to solve this designed in geometry. It is what it is on the F30 by design.

Re F30 overall, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. I've been driving BMWs since 1974, autocrossing/tracking/racing them starting in 1976. The F30 is the first step by BMW "to the other side". After driving both the F30 328i and 335i and having a loaner 328i for a weekend, and then renting an F30 328i for over a week in San Francisco (and being able to wring it out in rural CA...what a beautiful area btw), my gut feeling is that the F30 is the perfect Lexus. This is not a derogative description like some want to make it however. It instead describes what BMW's target market has evolved toward, and they are aimed solidly down that path. Getting back into the E90 (either the 330i or M3) feels wonderful after driving the F30s...solidly connected, precise feel/communication, etc.

I doubt the same rear suspension geometry is used on the F80 as the F30. BMW simply wouldn't do that to the M3 imo. The M3 is a different beast in *many* important ways, and BMW still has the proper focus and intent with the F80 imo.

Regards,
Chuck
Chuck,

I'll be the first one to say that you are far more experienced, far more deeply experienced, and a far more knowledgeable guy than me when it comes to BMW's overall and suspension setup.

So with that being said, let me clarify: What you said about alignment may have missed what I was saying. You can't change the toe-in under compression setup of the suspension geometry BUT YOU CAN alter other characteristics if you want more neutrality or less understeer in your f30 - you can do this with alignment (different static camber setups front vs. rear), tire choices, and of course suspension alteration.

I know my opinion of the f30 is unpopular. I've driven everything through a 435i and just can't get over the steering - like I said, it's a bad flaw.

But aside from that, the f30 chassis and suspension setup is worlds better at sporty daily driving than any prior BMW 3-series in my opinion and I get up in arms over the lexus comment. BMW moved away from historical suspension setups by 5-10% in favor of comfort and stability - but they leapfrogged it with a far improved chassis. If they had kept an excellent steering setup, most fans would praise the F30. But it's numb and dead.

When you take that out of it and just toss the car around, it's far more tossable and yet stable than any prior 3-series I've driven.

One last comment, and maybe this is damning with faint praise: My two favorite f30s I've driven were historically considered the worst performers: 328i x-drive models.

Maybe it's because they weren't trying to be the sporty models. About 4 months ago I took a loaner 328xi wagon and had cackling rally driving madness fun with it on a huge dirt drive. It was so intensely easy to control and yet egging me on to toss it against the dirt and enter slides. I look back fondly on those 30 minutes.
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      12-04-2014, 08:02 AM   #42
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Joe,

Your description of the F80 M3 sounds wonderful (and I do believe the F80 is the perfect modern day E39 M5, in size, with a huge number of improvements in every area of the design and function). Seriously, you lucked out, big time, with the arrival of the F80 just when you were ready to move out of the E39! What better new sedan could someone with a young family buy? None, imo, the M3 is it! When my first kid was born ~28 years ago, I bought the equivalent at the time...the highest performance 5MT sedan available in 1986, the E28 535i. What a difference compared to the M3, huh? Dang.

I would love to back-to-back drive the two M3s on the same course using the same tires -- sure would be a fun time. If you're ever in the area, stop by and you can wring out the E90 M3. It's mostly stock (SCCA F-street) with just a larger Dinan front sway bar and pins-out-up-front for max negative camber alignment. We can put the autox wheels/tires on it and really have some fun (BFG Rivals). It would be fun to back-to-back compare the two cars. The S65 is ferocious when you keep it on the boil and actually not *that* much slower than the F80 up to 100mph (comparing C&D test data 9.0 vs 9.6 seconds for 6MT cars), but it is hugely involving. Where the S55 makes mountains of torque is definitely not the strong suit of the S65 though...by a long shot. Which makes the S55 a better all-around daily driver imo not only for effortless-torque-at-any-rpm but also improved efficiency, mileage in daily use.

Similar to the large differences between the F30 and F80, the E90 M3 is a wonderful car to drive properly compared to the other E90s. I've got an E90 330i 6MT with Bilsteins to use as a comparison too (fun car in its own right).

[up on soapbox]
Speaking of which...I really hope that EVERYONE who has bought an M3/M4 with its brutal amount of power all across the rev range, *and* who do not have extensive experience driving a very powerful RWD car, will be extremely careful when they turn off DSC the first time. In the old days of the E39 section of the M5board, it seemed like it was a once a week occurrence for someone to turn off DSC the first time and then wreck the car. I'm not speaking to you Joe specifically as I know you likely have great respect and care for driving with DSC off having owned the M5, but instead to every other owner who doesn't have a solid background in autocross/track/drifting/high power RWD cars but has gotten used to "driving" the F8x with DSC active and then turns it off the first time expecting to drive it the same way.
[/stepping down off soapbox]

Cheers,
Chuck
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      12-04-2014, 08:07 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawwadh View Post
the m4/m3 can be one hell of a "bargain"
I picked up an m4 with the essentials: 19s, hk, dct, and adaptive for 63.2k+TTL... i cant think of any new car that offers this much for that price.
They aren't going to make those points.... Which also leads to the comments section, which is an abortion...
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      12-04-2014, 11:37 PM   #44
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Chuck,

I pendulum'd my e39 m5 off the road with DSC off once, and the F80 - for all it's advances - is both far more powerful and significant lighter in weight. I have nothing but the utmost respect for it and won't be going DSC off on public roads for a long time. As invasive as MDM is, it's still an excellent middle ground for public roadways.

Thanks for the offer to go for a drive. Next time i'm down there, I'll shoot you a note

This coming year will be my first "track year" ever. Planning on driving the f80 there, tracking it, and driving it home for 2-5 events.
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