The guys from Car Throttle have started a new project, this time using a BMW. As we told you last week, the aim of this project is to see if an older BMW E46 3 Series Touring with a 3-liter diesel engine can be upgraded so much that it becomes just as fast or even faster than a newer M3 on the track. In the first episode, the guys took both the 330d and the M3 to the track to lay down some baseline readings, showing that the 330d is about 3 seconds slower overall.
Now the project is entering a new stage, with the Touring getting upgraded in small increments, to make sure it can keep up with the M3. The first change? New coilovers. To do this, the guys had the man running Eibach in the UK present, to tell them all about how coilovers work and how they can help out on the track. Basically, if you get better coilovers you limit the amount of suspension travel you get, making sure you stay flatter on the track for better lap times.
However, there are some risks involved here as well. First of all, after changing your coilovers you definitely need to realign your wheels. If you want to get the best out of your car, you should go to a specialist who should be able to set it up specifically for the track you’re driving on. Then there’s also the possibility of overdoing it. If the car’s too stiff, you can end up simply bouncing around the track, without being able to keep the car’s composure for long enough to get a decent result out of it.
After doing all the work on the car, the guys take the 330d Touring to the track to see exactly how much faster or slower it is. The results are interesting but I won’t tell you exactly what they found, to avoid ruining the video for you. However, from the first lap it becomes rather obvious that new tires are needed to make sure the improved stability actually translates into grip on the track and doesn’t get lost on the way.