BMW M3 with Competition Package: “Even Faster”

BMW M3 | May 13th, 2010 by 14
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BMW M is honing the BMW M3 profile with a new, optional Competition Package. Lowered by about ten millimetres and fitted with 9 x 19“ …

BMW M is honing the BMW M3 profile with a new, optional Competition Package. Lowered by about ten millimetres and fitted with 9 x 19“ alloy front wheels and 10 x 19“ Y spoke rear wheels the new vehicles present not only a leaner look, but chassis electronics modified specifically for even greater optimisation of dynamic response in both longitudinal and transverse directions. For a balanced whole, the EDC, including a specially developed sports mode, is tweaked precisely to these chassis modifications by both the grid controller and the DSC.

How this works exactly is revealed to us by Philipp Wänninger, responsible at BMW M for chassis tests at the axles, steering, suspension, and damping systems and a crucial contributor to the tuning of the new Competition Package for the BMW M3. We asked how the electronic damper control EDC works and why the BMW M3 with Competition Package is even faster.

MPW: Mr. Wänninger, what is meant by EDC?

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Wänninger: EDC stands for Electronic Damping Control. EDC offers the customer the choice between a number of different damping maps. Even in the BMW M3 E30 it was possible to choose between Comfort, Normal and Sport by means of a switch. In the current BMW M3 the principle was taken a step further: here the damping is not fixed at a set level in Comfort and Normal mode but is regulated to achieve an optimum level depending on the actual driving situation.

MPW: How does this regulation work?

The current driving situation is determined by means of numerous sensors. Three acceleration sensors measure the movement of the vehicle along the road. If a steering movement is made, there is an immediate impact on damping – and the same applies to acceleration and braking, too.

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MPW: How is the damping influenced?

It is mainly the rebound which is adjusted by controlling the damper piston valve.

MPW: How is the EDC in the Competition Package different from that in the serial production vehicle?

Wänninger: In the BMW M3 Competition Package damping in the Sport mode is now regulated too – in the serial production model it is based on a fixed level.

MPW: How is this done? Is the BMW M3 faster due to the Competition Package?

Wänninger: Yes, the car is measurably faster. In addition to the special EDC set-up, this is also due to the increased width of the rims included in the Competition Package, which permit a larger a larger contact area of the tyres in conjunction with optimum, constant pressure distribution. The lowered suspension at the front and rear axle not only provides visual benefits, it also drops the centre of gravity. The enhanced driving dynamics also meant that ABS and DSC had to be readjusted, too.
MPW: When should which mode be used?

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Wänninger: If I were simply going from A to B, I personally would select the Comfort mode. If I were taking a run on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which requires a lot of spring travel, I would select the Normal setting. If I were driving on an even track such as Hockenheimring or the Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit, the Sport mode would be my first choice. In any case the BMW M3 is a lot of fun – and it is now even faster with the Competition Package.

MPW: Thank you very much for the interview!

[Source M-Power ]

14 responses to “BMW M3 with Competition Package: “Even Faster””

  1. Doug says:

    I’m confused about the differences they’re indicating between the E30 M3, the E90 M3 and the E90 M3 Competition. Apparently all have electronically-selectable damping factors. I’m guessing that the E90 M3-C continuously varies that damping (per wheel?) to enhance the handling (“maps”).

    How are the E90 M3 and E90 M3-C different in this regard, exactly?

    In the latest incarnation, is this dynamically adjusted per-wheel, or all four at once? Is it meant to mitigate roll/dive/squat forces?

    • Doug says:

      A rethink — is this accurate?

      E30 M3 – selectable fixed damping factor
      E90 M3 – selectable damping map (damping electronically varied over travel)
      E90 M3-C – selectable dynamic damping map (damping varied based on travel and handling conditions)

  2. Mike says:

    I have a 2008 M3 Sedan. I took my car to the track once. Warped the rotors (replaced once under warranty – but they would not do so again). I have a lot of track experience and never had issues other cars.

    Also, the tires were ripped apart. (Commonly reported in other Mag reviews).

    Seems like a car with 418hp and advertised as the ultimate driving machine would not eat rotors and tires.

    I wonder if this car will fix the problem??

    • Laszlo says:

      No, it won’t. if you are an experienced track driver, you probably know what happened to both – rotors and tires. The speed you carried was higher then the speed these parts were designed for. The weight of the car is greater then it should be with that horsepower.
      You could make sure of the basics are good – fresh brake fluid (change bi-annual on street cars and after every track event)
      a fresh set of rotors (worn rotors warp faster) and new high performance pads (factory oem pads are not for track use)
      414HP and the porky weight still means a great car, but not a great handling on the track where the speeds and high cornering forces are high.

      The brakes you can easily upgrade (cost a lot but works on the track) and that will help, but I also recommend additional cooling ducts.
      If you want cost down, just upgrade the pads and change to a better fluid (racing version with high temperature)

      As far as tires – a little things can be done easily which will help reduce the tire wear/shatter.
      Buy same size tires as the rear (I think 265/35×18) and install that on the front wheel. No trouble with this, still fits just fine. (or you could buy 2 rear wheels and use that on the front)
      2nd step – adjust your tire pressure just below the maximum cold temperature (if max is 42, use 40) and keep the front at that level and a tad less in the rears… using the 42 max as an example 40 on the front and 38 on the rear.
      With this you balance the car a bit better then using factory recommended pressures which are great for the street, not so for the track.

      Be careful though – do not forget to readjust the pressure after the track event to the recommended pressure !!!

      a camber plate on the front would help reduce tire wear and help in cornering too but has some negative effect on the street.

      reprogramming the EDC will not help on these, in fact it will cause greater wear on both as you will be faster on the track.

      a 19″ wheel instead of 18 will not have much effect on the tire shredding, being larger might help a little but I doubt it. It is a lot more costly to replace the 19″ tires though :-)

      good luck and don’t let money come in the way of fun. After we all live only once, why have a great car and not enjoy it to the full extent.

    • plaxico says:

      right on Mike….
      forget that ultimate driving nonsense , your story is reality check for any future bmw fan boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Open your wallets fan boys and keep this list in your pocket

    • Steven Bertz says:

      word.what laszlo said you dont knowhow to drive your car.

  3. Mike says:

    I have a 2008 911 Turbo and will use it. Other than fluid and pads, it runs great out of the box. The M3 is my daily driver.

    The rotors and pads were new. The car had 2000 miles. I replaced the fluid with Motul. If I go back with the M3, I’ll need R compounds and race pads at a minimum.

    I gained a lot of respect for the M3s handling while on the track. Just disappointed it could not take it. Really fun to hear the engine howl.

    The track is THE only place to really feel this car. Weird to say that a 414 hp car is a momentum car – but that is what it is.

    • Doug says:

      Do you think the AWD is distributing tire wear better? Also, do you have the composite discs on the 911?

  4. chas says:

    when are people going to figure out that wider tires do not give you a bigger contact patch? You change the size with tire pressure (or changing the weight of the vehicle). Wider tires change the SHAPE of the contact patch.

    • Doug says:

      Why is this?

      Maybe….. since the weight on the tires is still the same, the larger tires will distribute more weight you end up with a lower percent of contact from a larger tire? So in order to significantly. increase the contact patch with a larger tire, you’d need to either increase the weight or lower the tire pressure; it’s all about smooshiveness?

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