ILC32, a member of e90post.com was invited to participate in the M3 Experience at the Nurburgring track. The edBMW team was invited as well, a few months back, but unfortunately we couldn't make it this time. So, thanks to ILC32, now we can at least share with you the things that happened there along with some great photos showing the new BMW M3 E92 coupe.
BMW is really treating us well and have put together a fantastic program.
The hotel looks out right onto the Nurburgring GP track, with a view also of the first turn of the Nordschliefe. When I arrived, a different group was on the track at speed. It was really an experience to see and hear the car driven in anger. It sounds fantastic! Very exotic and powerful sounding, especially from outside of the car.
Last night there was a dinner and reception in the BMW VIP lounge at the GP track. There was a presentation about the ring and the racing success of the M3. Then we went down to a specially prepared garage at the track that had the M3 under a sheet ready to be unveiled. Champagne was served and the car was unveiled. It looks muscular and rather brutal in white. One of the designers talked about the exterior design of the car and how form really does follow function.
This morning started with another presentation in the garage with focus on the technology of the car and the differences between it and the 335. Much effort was spent reducing weight while also providing increased stiffness. (I'm talking about the car here . . . ) I tried to get info about the "alternative" transmission but all I spoke with were very tight lipped. I do know it will have seven speeds. I do not know if it will be DSG or SMG. I also asked about Pilot Sport Cup + tires. I was told they are newly developed and "will" be available to order, at least here in Germany.
Then we took the cars out on the track to warm them up and them on the various exercises (drifting, slalom, braking, ideal line). After lunch we had lapping sessions in a lead-follow format.
Guys, all I can say is that this car is fantastic. To me it does not seem as "wild" as the E46 because of the way the S54 builds power at high revs, but the E92 certainly is quicker and faster. It also handles and brakes (race pads still) very, very well. It is a big car, but it is suited to track use. EDC works well, as does M Dynamic mode. As far as I am concerned, the car is a "buy". It is a significant improvement over the E46.
Tomorrow we tour the M Testing facility here in Nurburg, visit the Nordschliefe museum, take a (passenger) lap on the Nordshliefe, etc. Thursday is another day of driving.
The third day, we did more exercises and lapping on the GP circuit. We also visited holy ground for car enthusiasts, the Nordshleife. We were taken on hot laps in M3s by M instuctors and development engineers. There were two participants to each car. As fantastic as it was to drive the M3 on the GP track, for me the highlight was the Nordshleife. Our driver, Robert, was a true ring-meister who had ultimate car control, and treated us to drifts and even some air.
While we were there, Martin Birkmann, our kind host and BMWNA M Brand Manager, was arranging for filming a hot lap of the Nordshleife. Martin himself drove the white M3, and a race driver drove the red car with the more extensive camera rig.
then we headed back to the GP circuit for more lapping. Finally, all too soon, it was over.