Continuing our coverage on the M3 Experience event that took place at Nurburgring, today we're going to show you more photos and give you more details about the event.
EBuyuk, from e90post.com, was kind enough to share with us some thoughts:
1st Day of Driving:
– Warm-up laps (we warmed up by driving the whole sprint section a couple times)
– Braking and Avoiding (Went up to 100kmh and braked as hard as possible. The second part was going up to 100kmh and avoiding the cones infront you by making a left and a right while braking as hard as you can without hitting the cones. Timing and your eyes were very important in this part)
– Arena (This part was an exercise in slalom training where we had to go through the blue cones in 3rd gear and red cones in 2nd gear. It was a blast to do it if you were one of the last because the bad drivers infront of you can knock a lot of cones which makes it a little more difficult but much more fun. Here you could also see how different the car was when you played with the DSC-MDM and power button) – Ideal Line (This was an exercise that we did only on the second half of the sprint section. The instructors showed us the ideal line and we followed them. This was a blast as well because we got the cars up to 220kmh here)
– Drift (This was just a regular drift exercise just like in any other driving school. Infact this exercise was much better in Spartanburg)
– Race Track Experience ( This was where each driver did about 12 laps in the sprint section again in a lead and follow the instructor. It sure was a blat to drive behind the instructor. Just so you know, when you were on them, some of the instructors really knew how to get away from you. Such as Claudia. You can follow the ideal line with her as much as you want. Your car will end up going into understeer and she will get a way…)
2nd Day of driving:
-Warm-up laps (same as 1st day)
– Braking and Cornering (This exercise was at the Michelin corner I believe. You breaked as hard as you could to a complete stop from 115kmh as you were cornering without hitting the cones. Again the DSC made a big difference. MDM)
– Driving agility Experience (From various speeds between 70kmh – 115kmh you went into cones and you made a quick left and a right without hitting the brakes and then braked to a full stop and while braking you had a quick right and a left.)
– Slalom (This was a timed exercise where you did slaloms with your own choice of gear and modes, made a loop and more slaloms and then stop in the box)
– Competitive Cornering Experience (We did this in the Mercedes Arena. It was a timed event and you really sawhow many seconds you lost when you didn't follow the ideal line which also ended up in a lot of under steering.
– Race Track Experice (Same as 1st day)
The ring-taxi in the M3 on the Nordschleife was just increadible like ILC32 mentioned. My level of respect went up so much to all those M engineers. The one thing I learned from here is that 99% of us that buy the car will never even come close to using the full potential of the vehicle. I tried to take some pictures but all I ended up getting was the picture of the headliner or the floor.
A lot of people have been asking the seat height. The conclusion I have come to from what I have seen is that when you sit in your comfortable driving position, the seat height is normal. When you sit in your "I wanna go fast" position (i.e. closer to the steering wheel) you seem to sit higher. In Alex's case as he liked to sit pretty close to the steering wheel in his racing position he almost touched the ceiling with his head. We were both about 6 feet/180cm tall.
I really liked the feel of the steering. The servetronic for the steering is great IMO. However I only drove it in Sport mode so can't tell you how it feels in normal mode.
I agree with ILC32 on the EDC as well. I think it is a great feature. I really enjoy it on the M5 and was awesome on the M3. Even though the road on the track is of course in perfect condition, I could still feel the difference. The one thing I really enjoyed hearing from one of the instructors was that when you have the EDC in sport mode, the suspension setting is always stiff. However when you are in comfort or normal mode and you are driving and you come to a corner, the car adjusts automatically to the stiffest setting in the corner and when you are out of the corner it goes back to the mode you selected. This gives you the comfort you want from the ride and still be able to go into a corner at the stiffest setting. So to summarize: auto adjusting modes are comfort and normal. In sport mode there is no auto adjusting and it always stays stiff.
In our cars the "DSC off" button was disabled. However we could turn on the MDM mode. In the various excersies that we did such as slalom and braking you could really see how the car actied differently when there was full DSC compared to the MDM. IMHO the MDM has improved quite a bit from the M5. With the MDM on, I was getting great launches, better times in slalom, better handling during breaking. So I am trying to say that when I get the car, I will always drive in MDM.
The M button was the same as the one in the M5/6. So not much to talk about there.
The power button also made a big difference in the slaloms IMO. You really felt the car respond to you immediately. The power button + MDM = Perfection.
The shift knob looked a bit long in the pictures to me. But in real life, I can say that it is much shorter than the E46 M3 and the E39 M5. I thought that it was at a very good height. If they had gone any shorter I think they would have recieved a lt of complaints as this is a production car where many non-racers will purchase as well. It could have been a tad shorter but I was very happy with it. The lengths of the shifts weren't that bad as well. Like I said any shorter people might complain.
I read somewhere on the forum where someone was worried that the CF roof might turn yellowish in time. So I asked various people out there about this and the answer I ended up getting was they never had a report about this in the M6 and never heard about this problem from the M3 CSL owners either. So that puts that question out to the side for some people. For those of you that keep asking if the convertable is going to have a CF roof. The answer is %100 NO. I overheard somebody ask this.
I think I can say that pretty much everyone asked about M-DCT at some point during the event. Me being one of them. The only answer I got was "Is there one coming out?" with a smiling face. But I was told that if there was one to come out, I should definitely wait for it if I liked SMG. But not to expect hard shifts like you get in the M5 when you are in S6 mode. It is supposed to be very smooth. I guess you can forget about chirping your tire from 2nd to 3rd gear. But this was info that we already knew so nothing new there.
Fuel consumption, I guess I can say that if you own an M5/M6, the fuel consumption is better. A full tank of gas was just right for a day of driving.
IMO the car had a bit too much understeer. I really felt it in some corners.
The brakes squeled alot. Especially when they were hot. My ears were hurting from the noise. Towards the end of the day I did feel some fading in my brakes.
The wheels in 18" looked terrible IMO. I think I can say that they were worse in real life than in pictures.
The other thing that didn't excite about the car was the center console( where the A/C controls, radio control, etc. are). What I didn't like about it was that it was just like a regular 3 series and didn't give an extra excitement. Our cars had about 3600-4800 km on them. The one thing that caught me was the wear and tear in the drivers side seats. The left side where you get in to the car looked like there was a lot of wear to it.
Overall BMW did an awesome job in organizing the event. Would love to do it again in a heartbeat.