Last week, Matt Farah posted a video of a Spec E46 at the #Gridlife Motorsports and Music Festival at Gingerman Raceway. There, he drove the Spec E46 and seemed to really enjoy it. Afterward, though, he was able to enjoy a stock F80 BMW M3 with a six-speed manual on the track and see how it gets on.
In most of Farah’s videos, he’s driving heavily modified cars on the street. If he’s on the track, it’s also usually a modified car or track car. So it’s interesting to see him drive a bone-stock BMW M3 on track and it’s cool to see it with a manual. So how does it fare?
Pretty well, actually. Farah seems to be quite impressed with the M3 on track. The F80-generation BMW M3 has never been known for its pure, communicative experience. However, its performance, capability or dynamics have never been in question. On track, it’s a seriously fast and fun car, as evidenced by this video.
On corner entry, it seems that there’s a bit of initial understeer to keep things safe but, as Farah notes in the video, both understeer and oversteer can easily be produced and corrected with both throttle and steering. It also has such balance, so you can manage the understeer on corner entry and then get some oversteer on corner exit, making it a really fun car to drove. It also really, really likes to oversteer.
The M2 in question is a regular BMW M3, not the Competition Package, so it’s a bit tail happy. The latter car has a revised limited-slip differential at the rear, along with better suspension, that makes it far more neutral and less prone to snappy oversteer. You see Farah almost lose it on a corner, where he almost spins it into the grass. He modestly claims it to be his fault, but F80 M3s are known to be quite snappy.
What’s interesting is how Farah seems to find the stock BMW M3 refreshing, after driving so many modified ones. He likes the way it drives, handles and sounds better than modified ones and we’d have to agree. BMW worked hard at making the new M3 an impressive handling car and it is. So when modified, it usually only becomes worse. It’s nice to see some love for the M3, as it’s usually only criticized.