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M3 Track: Racing and DE Best mod for speed is learning to get the most out of what you currently have. Tracks and DE's is the place to start!


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Old Sat, Mar-27-2010, 03:14:56 PM   #1
UTM3
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Default My comparison between E92 M3 and Cayman S at the track with video

I had the chance to take a E92 M3 DCT to the track yesterday and I was really impressed. I have been tracking a Cayman S for awhile, and I love it on track. The main differences are the power and the way they feel in the corners, the M3 has way more power and is more stable through high speed corners (because the stock Cayman suspension is less than optimal and the stock M3 suspension on sport is stiffer). I took the M3 to VIR, and I have done several track days at VIR in the last year in the Cayman. The only mods to the M3 are eisenmann race exhaust, ATE brake fluid, Yokohama AD08's and H&R springs.

Powertrain: The engine sounds amazing and has great power top end and pretty good torque. The thing never over heated, and I was running it hard. The transmission is awesome, it is fun, sounds great downshifting (I can heel toe but it doesn't sound as great and consistent), and easily shaves a second or more off each lap. The Cayman engine feels weaker obviously, but the torque isn't drastically different.

Handling: The M3 on the sportiest suspension setting feels very planted on the track. It has very little body roll and feels stable at speed (150 or so at VIR and it felt great). I can carry 5 mph or so more through the upper esses at VIR than I can in the Cayman, but the Cayman is faster through oak tree. The m3 feels heavy in the slow sections, whereas the Cayman is nimble.

Brakes: Uh oh, the M3's only major fault. I was running stock pads and rotors and I was not pleased at all with the stopping power. They had decent feel but lacked stopping power even before I overheated them. I got pad fade bad several times after long straights, to the point that I had to brake much earlier in case they failed. The rotors are completely warped after one hard track day. I ran the Cayman with stock brakes and it had no issues whatsoever, and had more bite and torque.

Overall the M3 is a somewhat superior track car overall, especially with the DCT. I really enjoyed running it around VIR. Put some brakes on the M3 and it's the way to go, especially considering it is comfortable and has a back seat. I may have to come back to BMW's

My Laptimes: 6MT Cayman S with GT3 seats, harnesses, harness bar, performance friction 97 pads, ate fluid, nitto nt05's (285/235), GT3 cup brake ducts: 2:21 at VIR full

E92 M3 with Eisenmann race, Yoko AD08's (295/245), ATE fluid, H&R springs: 2:17 at VIR full

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYuVaeneT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYc2OljUIcQ

Anyone know how a stock E46 M3 SMG would compare on track? I have been thinking about getting an E46 M3, the DCT's are too pricey for me at this point.
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Old Sat, Mar-27-2010, 04:45:01 PM   #2
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just wait a little while im sure you can find a e92 cheap soon enough
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Old Sat, Mar-27-2010, 05:27:03 PM   #3
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very nice, thanks for the review and the videos.

At the end of the day, yet another confirmation to what we all know: get an m3, strip it down, invest on some good suspension and brakes, and you 've got an awesome casual racer track machine
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Old Sat, Mar-27-2010, 06:31:07 PM   #4
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Yeah I was really impressed with the M3 on track. It is clearly a better street car, and the fact that it spanked it on track as well really speaks highly of the M3. Unfortunately there are very few E9X M3's available and I really want the DCT, I enjoy driving a stick but it is so much faster and easier it's crazy. I think the E92 M3 can easily run a 2:12 or so with sticky tires and brakes, otherwise stock, which is really impressive. There were no street cars at the event that gave me trouble (unless you count the ACR's and the 430 scuderia).
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Old Sat, Mar-27-2010, 08:15:44 PM   #5
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great vids, thanks for posting them up! looks like a fun day...
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Old Sat, Mar-27-2010, 09:31:25 PM   #6
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looks good. is that a gopro on helmet mount?
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Old Sat, Mar-27-2010, 09:49:19 PM   #7
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Thanks, yeah I had a blast. Yes it is a GoPro HD with a suction cup on my helmet. I'm disappointed that my Cayman S is slower around a track than a car with a back seat though. I was even running race pads and stuff on the CS and the (terrible) stock brakes on the M3.
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Old Sun, Mar-28-2010, 03:45:04 AM   #8
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Great review, it's interesting coming from someone with experience with a nimbler sports car to hear how good the E92 M3 is on the track. Great driving as well, you're smooth!
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Old Sun, Mar-28-2010, 06:38:31 AM   #9
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fyi, your cayman vid doesn't work on utube.
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Old Sun, Mar-28-2010, 02:10:34 PM   #10
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Enjoyed the video. I seldom time my laps, but I think your M3 times were about the same as my 996 GT3. I've had it on track only once since getting it last August. I was in the 2:14 range on my better laps, but I was for sure not at the car's potential, especially its braking performance. I expect good track pads would have precluded most of your braking issues with the M3. From what I have heard and read, the M3 brakes perform well on tracks that are not extremely braking intense. I have lost some enthusiasm for the track, and I'm considering another M3, as the GT3 is a bit hard-focused for a street car. I had a couple of E46 M3's, and have driven a few of the current cars, which I really like. I remain on the fence about the transmission, although DCT is the future, no doubt, and your video makes a good case in its favor, except the cost.

Last edited by elh0102; Sun, Mar-28-2010 at 02:18:19 PM.
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Discussing My comparison between E92 M3 and Cayman S at the track with video in the M3 Track: Racing and DE Forum - Best mod for speed is learning to get the most out of what you currently have. Tracks and DE's is the place to start! at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)