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      01-03-2015, 04:15 AM   #1
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Question Who has driven an F8x M3/M4 in the snow? Describe your experiences

Hey people,

So I live in Canada and it snows a lot here... My E92 M3 spends about 7-8 months in storage every year and has never been out in the snow and I want to keep it that way. But I've been looking for a new car to drive all year round And I think its time for an M4 but people have been telling me that the torque of the car is too much for the snow plus it being a rear wheel car it will get stuck everywhere I go.

So I would like to know what people driving this car in the snow have to say about this, is this true? Or a good set of snow tires would do the job?

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      01-03-2015, 05:41 AM   #2
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We will soon find out. This will be the first season for the f80's.


In my experience, if you're a skilled driver (which I take it you are), you will be able to wing it with snow tires, no problem. So long as the gradient is not that steep. Probably 2nd gear launches in throttle comfort and you'll be fine.


If you have a lot of hills to climb, well, you're SOL.
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      01-03-2015, 05:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falafel Combo View Post
We will soon find out. This will be the first season for the f80's.


In my experience, if you're a skilled driver (which I take it you are), you will be able to wing it with snow tires, no problem. So long as the gradient is not that steep. Probably 2nd gear launches in throttle comfort and you'll be fine.


If you have a lot of hills to climb, well, you're SOL.
This.

Tires are really important. Figure out what is important to you relative to the balance of dry road vs. poor weather performance and you should be fine. With very good winter tires (e.g Nokian) you can get through most winter weather.

OP... so your M3 is a no-snow garage queen and you are interested in buying an M4 for the winter? Am I reading that correctly? Interesting
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      01-03-2015, 08:55 AM   #4
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Here are some threads to read up on:

*****************************=snow+site:f80.bimmerpost.com
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      01-03-2015, 09:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falafel Combo View Post
We will soon find out. This will be the first season for the f80's.
So far so good it seems:

http://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho....php?t=1074207

No surprise since there have been other turbo charged RWD performance cars that are able to handle the winter in years past.

Quote:
In my experience, if you're a skilled driver (which I take it you are), you will be able to wing it with snow tires, no problem.
You can even get past the "winging it" stage to the "downright comfortable and effective" status with some good old fashioned practice, perseverance, and not-caving-to-FUD.

Quote:
Probably 2nd gear launches in throttle comfort and you'll be fine.
I'll volunteer to test it out using Sport+ MED, S3 Drivelogic, and first gear starts. Wish me luck, ok?

Quote:
So long as the gradient is not that steep. If you have a lot of hills to climb, well, you're SOL.
If you live in mountainous or extremely hilly terrain, AWD is a great idea, yes. That's been true from the beginning, and the new M3/M4 doesn't change that.
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      01-03-2015, 09:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puneet///M3 View Post
Hey people,

So I live in Canada and it snows a lot here... My E92 M3 spends about 7-8 months in storage every year and has never been out in the snow and I want to keep it that way. But I've been looking for a new car to drive all year round And I think its time for an M4 but people have been telling me that the torque of the car is too much for the snow plus it being a rear wheel car it will get stuck everywhere I go.

So I would like to know what people driving this car in the snow have to say about this, is this true? Or a good set of snow tires would do the job?

Where in Canada? Is it to be your DD? Do you have alternatives on bad snow days (public transport/other car)?

With snow tires and proper winter driving techniques, anything can be done but how day-to-day practical it will be depends......

(Also, 7-8 months of storage? Seriously, you in Yellowknife or something?)
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      01-03-2015, 09:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post

No surprise since there have been other turbo charged RWD performance cars that are able to handle the winter in years past.



I'll volunteer to test it out using Sport+ MED, S3 Drivelogic, and first gear starts. Wish me luck, ok?

Lol! Let me grab my camera! you have all my support!


The fact the f80 is sub 4,000 lbs, north of 400 lb-ft torque, turbo, front engine RWD (opposed to rear engine RWD sports cars), will make it very different and more tricky to launch in slippery conditions, than say, an M5, M6 or even porsche. Not a lot of company in that category, so it is unique in that way.
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      01-03-2015, 09:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falafel Combo View Post
The fact the f80 is sub 4,000 lbs, north of 400 lb-ft torque, turbo, front engine RWD (opposed to rear engine RWD sports cars), will make it very different and more tricky to launch in slippery conditions, than say, an M5, M6 or even porsche. Not a lot of company in that category, so it is unique in that way.
Oh? Just how different? So a 3600lb. F80 M3 with 425hp and 400ft-lb is going to be a vastly different beast in the snow than a 4100lb. E60 M5 with 500hp and 390ft-lb? What about an E39 M5? Granted those older cars aren't turbocharged, but how aware are the frozen water crystals under your tires of the induction system that helps power them, really? It seems to me that the actual twisting force itself is what's important here.

I wonder if you are able to elaborate on exactly what additional challenges the M3/M4 will present as compared to other cars. If so, please share any experience or knowledge you may possess and be at liberty to offer up. I certainly expect the two will be different in weather since they are different on a bright sunny day in July, after all. But I wasn't expecting the M3 to give us any sort of new issue that is worthy of special consideration.
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      01-03-2015, 09:44 AM   #9
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I have Nokian Hakka 8's on my F80 and with the limited snow we have received I was quite surprised how well it handled in the snow. It does like to get the rear end loose if you take off too quickly, I'm not going to lie about that. It caught me off guard a few times. You definitely have to change your habits. But this car is well planted and very capable with good tires. I'm very happy with it and I'm coming from an Audi S4 which was awesome in the winter.
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      01-03-2015, 09:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Oh? Just how different? So a 3600lb. F80 M3 with 425hp and 400ft-lb is going to be a vastly different beast in the snow than a 4100lb. E60 M5 with 500hp and 390ft-lb? What about an E39 M5? Granted those older cars aren't turbocharged, but how aware are the frozen water crystals under your tires of the induction system that helps power them, really? It seems to me that the actual twisting force itself is what's important here.

I wonder if you are able to elaborate on exactly what additional challenges the M3/M4 will present as compared to other cars. If so, please share any experience or knowledge you may possess and be at liberty to offer up. I certainly expect the two will be different in weather since they are different on a bright sunny day in July, after all. But I wasn't expecting the M3 to give us any sort of new issue that is worthy of special consideration.

No need to complicate things. All I'm referring to is that turbo cars experience turbo "surge", and with slippery conditions, it will only make it easier to loose whatever traction it is that you have. We know that. Turbo cars can be a bit jerky, once the turbo surge builds. Other members have already alluded to traction issues in dry conditions, attributing it to skinny tires and what not. Throw in some ice or even a couple inches of snow, and it's not that hard to imagine why it would be different than an e39 M5. I never used the word "vastly".


Does everything arond here have to be a challenge? It's becoming exhausting honestly. If you don not think my argument is valid, well, I respect that. But no need to belittle my opinion.
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      01-03-2015, 09:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falafel Combo View Post
No need to complicate things. All I'm referring to is that turbo cars experience turbo "surge", and with slippery conditions, it will only make it easier to loose whatever traction it is that you have. We know that. Turbo cars can be a bit jerky, once the turbo surge builds. Other members have already alluded to traction issues in dry conditions, attributing it to skinny tires and what not. Throw in some ice or even a couple inches of snow, and it's not that hard to imagine why it would be different than an e39 M5.
Ok so, based on that, we've gone through this before recently right? The switch from the naturally aspirated 330i (and its E46 forebear for that matter) to the turbocharged 335i will have been a very similar transition I suspect. Do you think?

Quote:
Does everything arond here have to be a challenge? It's becoming exhausting honestly. If you don not think my argument is valid, well, I respect that. But no need to belittle my opinion.
Wow, that's a surprisingly accusatory reply. Do you typically respond to people in your daily conversations asking you to explain yourself by accusing them of belittling you? If so, I can't imagine how you ever gain trust effectively. It seems like it would be a rough ride. Oh well, sorry if my additional questions caused you to experience an emotional event. I didn't mean to troll you or anything. Please don't let it deter you from contributing any more valuable factual tidbits to the discussion.
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      01-03-2015, 10:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Ok so, based on that, we've gone through this before recently right? The switch from the naturally aspirated 330i (and its E46 forebearer for that matter) to the turbocharged 335i will have been a very similar transition I suspect. Do you think?

I guess, in a way. If you think an additional 100 lb-ft torque and 125 hp in the f80 will not make it substantially different.


Anyway, I hope you are correct in your assumptions, and will have a safe winter driving season. Keep us posted.
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      01-03-2015, 11:03 AM   #13
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OP, I've only had my car for a little over a month. But, in that time we have had freezing rain and snow a couple of times. Just this last week we had 6 inches in my area. It has handled it all fine. The plow doesn't show up around here for up to 24 hours so a lot of time I'm driving in unplowed conditions for a little while. We have a decent hill to go up in my neighborhood to get to the main street. This is the only time I've noticed it struggle, but it went up it no problem.

I played with MDM and regular mode going up and down the hills and there wasn't much of a difference. I was disappointed that MDM stepped in so quickly and killed the power. It just takes a little more planning and thought driving through unplowed roads or up decent hills. Just keep your momentum up and you should be fine. Otherwise, kill traction control and turn it in to a 400 plus HP snowblower.

Can somebody explain to me why are talking about launching it in these conditions?
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      01-03-2015, 11:06 AM   #14
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I suspect it will be pretty much like my '03 E55 AMG. Steep terrain may be an issue if you can't maintain steady momentum. Other than that, you should be fine. Your tire choice will be the most important factor. Are you allowed to run studded tires where you live?
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      01-03-2015, 11:11 AM   #15
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Buying an M3 for serious winter driving is like buying an Escalade for the nurgburgring.
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      01-03-2015, 11:16 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASAP View Post
Buying an M3 for serious winter driving is like buying an Escalade for the nurgburgring.
It would be a nice comfy ride through the woods though.

Last edited by minn19; 01-20-2015 at 08:24 PM..
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      01-03-2015, 11:32 AM   #17
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I think the e92 is the choice- lower initial torque and immediate throttle response are your friends in the snow. My e90 M3 has been a champ with Dunlop snows that are among the least aggressively snow oriented 'snow tires". I put two bags of salt in the trunk and progress is clearance limited not traction limited as I found out last year: work driveway surprised me as I turned into unplowed 12 inches of snow parking lot. I was stuck in the mouth of the driveway with the trunk out on the busy street. Used a broom to clear a few inches behind the rear tires, rocked back a few inches and with the traction control off gave it half throttle. Ended up in my unplowed parking spot 125 feet away. Ripped the tar paper like stuff off of the front underside of the car. I rest my case! Do not have 80 or 82 yet but from what I know re torque and slight turbo lag I cannot see it being better only possibly worse in the snow and ice.
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      01-03-2015, 11:33 AM   #18
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You can read my full review here.

http://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho....php?t=1062820

The M4 is actually a pretty good winter car. The cab is surprisingly well insulated. The heater is one of the best I've ever owned (tip: point the side vents up toward the windows to keep them clear). Heated seats and steering wheel work great. The engine warms up fast and starts well in frigid temperatures.

The active suspension in comfort is a joy over ruts and packed snow. It handles like a dream, snapping around corners and you have to actually work to kick the tail out. I haven't run into any problems with clearance, though I've had to straddle some ruts.

The hp and torque are not a big deal if you are in efficiency mode. Even if you're not, you can control it with your foot. As mentioned in my review, MDM intervenes way too much. For starting out up a hill on packed snow, or when stuck, turn DSC all the way off and start in second.

I'm going to take her out today for some more testing. It's -30 C and we just had a big dump of snow that's been packed down to ice in a lot of places.
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      01-03-2015, 11:57 AM   #19
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I learnt how to drive in the snow 30 plus years back with my 69 Mustang 302 5 speed here in Canada. Had loads of fun sliding all over the place and getting stuck in the snow.

It didn't take long to get sick of that shit!

I enjoy the traction from a heavy SUV for winter driving and yes weight does HELP provide better traction in the snow, it cant be a coincidence that out of the 10 plus SUV I have ever owned the best traction comes from the heaviest.

M3/4 DOES NOT = WINTER BEATER

Just my two cents!
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      01-03-2015, 12:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASAP View Post
Buying an M3 for serious winter driving is like buying an Escalade for the nurgburgring.
Truth.

And buying an M3 as a year round driver is no less like buying an Escalade for that very same purpose. Every vehicle on the market compromises on some qualities in order to accel at others. That includes M3s, Escalades, and even a 135i.
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      01-03-2015, 12:24 PM   #21
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I live in MN and my M3 is my only car therefore my daily driver. It's all about ground clearance really (after getting your winter tires on of course). Our dept. of transportation is very good about plowing the city roads and interstates asap after snowfall. So far I've had no issues what so ever, and I am coming from 3 AWD subarus as my past cars. The limited slip diff. is amazing and defiantly helps a lot. Sometimes I will go to an empty parking lot after a snowfall, turn off the DSC and just drift and whip shitties, and it's just as fun if not more fun than my STi was. It's nice too because in cold temps around 0 degrees F the clutch and tranny are not stiff at all like my previous cars were. It heats up very quick and the heated steering wheel is a God send. I have come to the conclusion that AWD is VERY overrated and more of a gimmick for a lot of these car companies. There is a reason the M3/M4 are only RWD and I'm glad it'll stay that way, at least for this generation.

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      01-03-2015, 12:28 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falafel Combo View Post
I guess, in a way. If you think an additional 100 lb-ft torque and 125 hp in the f80 will not make it substantially different.
I think that the approximate 33% increase in torque and 20% increase in power that one experienced in switching from a 330i to a 335i is roughly emulated by the 33% increase in torque and small increase in power that one will experience in switching from an E9x M3 to an F8x M3/M4.

But, then we are taking huge liberties in the imprecision present in this discussion to begin with, right? After all, at idle RPM, all of these cars are making a fraction of their peak torque and peak power. And while that changes as you apply gas and RPM increases, under 2000 RPM (say), we are still well below peak engine output, are we not? So then, it seems to me the key is to increase throttle input carefully and stay at a reasonably low RPM in general.

Quote:
Anyway, I hope you are correct in your assumptions, and will have a safe winter driving season. Keep us posted.
Thank you. As it happens - and getting to the topic at hand - I do have some news to report on this front. You see, we got some winter weather here this morning in southeast Michigan and I had to run out for a bit. The roads were covered in a thick icy slush mixture that provided an ideal low traction experience for testing. As I indicated I would above, I used Sport+ engine mode, S3 Drivelogic, and always started in first gear. These are my daily driving settings, by the way (M Button 1). I have Michelin PA in 245 F, 265 R on stock 18" 513M wheels.

Here are my findings:

- Launching car using gentle throttle: car behaves predictably just like my E93 M3, E90 335i, E46 M3 did. Minor slippage, slight yaw, followed by some slight DSC intervention and then good traction.

- Launching car with irresponsibly excessive throttle in grossly negligent manor: again car behaves just like my former cars. Major fish tailing, DSC light ablaze. Nearby motorists looking a bit upset. I think I saw a middle finger? Car is not too far sideways because I have DSC on, but still great fun.

- Driving at fairly constant speeds: car is stable and cutting through that frozen muck without breaking a sweat! Gentle braking does not seem to effect stability at all. An SUV a few cars ahead is traveling about 10 MPH under the limit and causing a little congestion. But small throttle inputs to keep in the flow of traffic are adding no drama to my drive.

- Driving erratically to play the "stump Mr. DSC" game: I turned left while everyone else went through the light. Time for fun. First thing I notice is the car will go every which way when I mash the throttle. By the time DSC intervenes, we are getting pretty loose heading toward the centerline, but there isn't oncoming traffic so it's ok. Some quick but precise inputs into that new fangled electric steering system straightens everything out.

- Cornering gradually and at sane speeds: it's not too bad, but I won't sugar coat it - you definitely have to watch yourself with the throttle. I cannot be as grossly improper and egregious as I could with the E93. I didn't feel like I should go high in the rev band because I was afraid the tail would come around.

- Cornering while driving blatantly too fast for conditions: no need for throttle here to induce oversteer, the car goes into a four wheel power slide on its own. It's thrilling but dangerous and I must confess it was a handful. I did a smaller scale version in the neighborhood (low speeds like 20 mph, no one else around) and that is more fun.

That's my writeup for now. Overall I conclude that the car is very capable in the snow (well, technically not snow, but ice and slush in this case), fun to hoon around in, and dangerous if you drive it like you would drive a go kart at your local track or if you pretend like you are playing Mario Kart 8 and trying to get three stars on that frickin crown cup. I mean the 150cc is impossible, am I right?

Be safe out there everyone. And for those of you in Canada like the OP, be safe, eh?
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