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      01-27-2012, 12:17 PM   #1
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Post C/D Lightning Lap 2012 Tests 1M, 335is, X5M, and Z4 sDrive35is @ VIR

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C/D Lightning Lap 2012 Tests 1M, 335is, X5M, and Z4 sDrive35is @ VIR
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The results are in from Car and Driver's sixth annual Lightning Lap Tests @ Virginia International Raceway (VIR).

BMWs tested in this year's Lightning Lap include the 1M coupe, 335is, X5 M, and Z4 sDrive35is. How did each model fare?

Full feature and many more cars' results are at http://www.caranddriver.com/features...p-2012-feature



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If there is anyone left out there unconvinced of the benefits of a wide torque band, they should take a lap in a 1-series M. At VIR, the 1M uses third gear for roughly 80 percent of the track because its 370 pound-feet of torque are available as low as 1500 rpm. That torque and fairly tall gearing (111 mph max in third gear) meant that we could go through sector four without a potentially chassis-upsetting gearchange. That helped the 1M complete that section in 14.7 seconds, tieing the mid-engined Cayman R and Evora S.

The same can be said for sector five, where we sailed along in the 1M, locked in third. In most other cars, we had to perform a fourth-to-third downshift there. With a short wheelbase and M3 suspension components, wheels, and tires, the 1M turns in crisply, without delay, and remains gleefully free of understeer. When we hopped back onto the torque wave exiting a corner, we were greeted with a healthy but manageable dose of oversteer. This was common but most pronounced at slow corners, such as Turn One and Oak Tree. Most of sector four is performed on the ragged edge of a full-on high-speed D1-like drift.

Lap after lap, the 1Mís brakes erased speed without a fight or any fade. And since it topped out at 133.9 mph on the front straight, there was a lot of speed to erase.

Even if the 1M couldnít top the 3:05.4 lap its big brother the M3 posted in 2010, it delivers real M performance. And, like a bona fide sports car, it demands respect.




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Whistling toward the end of VIRís 2979-foot back straight at about 125 mph, we jumped on the brakes at a point we deemed plenty early. After lapping the track in several other cars, we had a pretty good idea of when to start braking. On our first flying lap in the Z4 roadster, we thought we were playing it safe. Little did we know that the Z4ís tires have all the braking traction of a greasy sponge. So our braking point wasnít early; it was late. Real late. We sailed past the turn-in point with the Z4ís ABS furiously pulsing the pedal and promptly ran out of pavement, harmlessly dumping the car into the mud.

That lap was a dud anyway since we hadnít yet learned how to effectively battle the evil microprocessor that operates the Z4ís seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The transmissionís so-called ďmanualĒ modeóa perfect example of false advertisingóis not, strictly speaking, manual. It automatically upshifts at redline and wonít shift when the car is side-loaded, something that happens with regularity on any road course. Worse, when we tried to hold a relatively high gear while exiting a corneróto let the engineís low-end torque reserve do its thingóthe transmission downshifted when we accidentally engaged the gas pedalís kickdown switch. BMW offers no manual transmission in the 35is model. Combine that frustration with the Z4ís understeer-biased handling, and you end up with a capable, but not particularly fun, two-seat BMW. Rest at Car and Driver




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Despite the X5 Mís flabby, 5289-pound curb weight, we expected it to be fast. And it is. Forget about the Grand Cherokee SRT8. The BMW blows its doors off. This SUV is quicker around VIR than the BMW 335is, as well as the Audi RS4 and BMW Z4 M coupe we ran here in 2007. Hell, it hangs off the rear bumper of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.

We also expected that the brakes would perform well, and they exceeded in that regard by shrugging off a five-lap stint.

But we didnít see this one coming: The X5 Mís plentiful ground clearance benefitted its lap time. Exiting the ďBitchĒ corner a *little wide, we dropped a tire off track, which did not faze the X5 Mís chassis even a bit. The four-wheel drive did its job and the left-rear Bridge*stone Dueler kicked up some grass, so we carried on with what ended up being the X5 Mís fastest lap of 3:11.1.

This was not exactly your typical hot lap, even without the agricultural excursion. Like the Jeep, or just about any other SUV one is bold enough to take onto a track, the X5 M feels clumsy at first. The lofty seating position, which feels about as high as the roof of the Cayman R, exaggerates pitch and roll. Thankfully the BMWís seats are better than most carsí, with beefy bolsters to keep the driver well planted. Once acclimated to the X5 Mís peculiarities, entering the uphill esses at 113.1 mph feels fairly normal, as does blasting down the front straight at 133.9 mph. Rest at Car and Driver




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The 3:10.5 lap a 335i turned at our 2007 VIR event is just another reason to believe that those early turbocharged BMWs made more power than the advertised 300 ponies. After all, the 320-hp 335is is only 0.1 mph faster down the front straight, at 131.6 mph.

Even with the slower-than-expected lap time, the 335is is so committed to chassis neutrality that it might as well be Swiss. From the sharp left-hand Turn Four until the start of sector two, the 335is will change direction as readily with the gas pedal as with the steering wheel.

Our 335is test car was equipped withthe optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that is also offered in the M3. This gearbox has proven more problematic for track work than the aforementioned 335iís traditional manual. The transmission did not resist shifting when the 335is was side-loaded, as it did in the Z4 we ran this year, but the gear display is tiny and is nestled between the gauges, requiring more than a quick glance to ascertain which gear is engaged. And the steering-wheel paddles sometimes did not follow through on a command.

The 335is is a joy to drive, even if this one was simply not as quick as the 335i from several years ago. We would choose the stand*ard manual transmission if it were our money. And maybe that would improve the BMWís lap time. It would certainly increase the fun quotient. Rest at Car and Driver


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      01-27-2012, 12:40 PM   #2
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      01-28-2012, 04:27 PM   #3
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I personally love the 1M and it is an awesome true M track animal but I do not get the line regarding the "benefits of a wide-torque band" in this context. Everyone knows obviously wide band is a good thing however this article seemed to be addressing those people who praise the NA M high revving engines and dismiss the turbos as being inferior on a track. GIven the m3 is heavier and still clearly does it a second quicker, doesn't that make a better arguement that indeed it is a high-revving engine like the s65 is a better choice if money and mileage was not an issue?

With a DCT you can also stay in 3rd gear throughout the entire track almost. 1M is better in many ways so was not sure why they did not highlite that rather than the "wide" torque band which actually the m3 technically has a wider band than the 1M.

What is impressive is teh XM WOW. As fast as a 335is and z4is-that is pretty ridiculous!

Anyone know what an e90 330i did that track in?
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      01-28-2012, 04:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DylanMckay View Post
I personally love the 1M and it is an awesome true M track animal but I do not get the line regarding the "benefits of a wide-torque band" in this context. Everyone knows obviously wide band is a good thing however this article seemed to be addressing those people who praise the NA M high revving engines and dismiss the turbos as being inferior on a track. GIven the m3 is heavier and still clearly does it a second quicker, doesn't that make a better arguement that indeed it is a high-revving engine like the s65 is a better choice if money and mileage was not an issue?

I think the argument they are trying to make is that with a bit more HP the 1M would be quicker then the high reving NA M3 engine.
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      01-28-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
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Does this seem weird to anyone else?
"The 3:10.5 lap a 335i turned at our 2007 VIR event is just another reason to believe that those early turbocharged BMWs made more power than the advertised 300 ponies. After all, the 320-hp 335is is only 0.1 mph faster down the front straight, at 131.6 mph."

And yet the 335is posted a SLOWER time with the same engine and newer software with higher peak HP.
I wonder if this is due to the DCT?
Is there a larger difference between the N54 335i's and the newer 335is that I am missing? Could it be weight?
Or would you guys consider this negligible due to possible varying conditions?
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      01-28-2012, 06:13 PM   #6
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I must say I grow weary of the trashing of the Z4 is. The car is a blast in the real world where 99.9% of the time it will be driven! And I love the DCT which I never thought I would say. Road and Track got 0-60 in 4.4sec with a 1/4 Mi in 12.6 and 0.91g on the skid pad all with the awful run flat tires! Well I ditched those and run wider Continental DWs. I'm sorry it will never be a Boxster, but the Porsche advantage is only at the track as I see it. I have owned the last 3 generations of M3 ( did the E92 M3 school at the Ring) and this car is more fun in the driving I do because of the low end torque. Driving fast does have a learning curve because of the quirky steering. I wish BMW had made (or will make?) a full on M version and give us LSD, better suspension and better brakes.
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      01-28-2012, 06:58 PM   #7
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Agree - the Z4 is a great vehicle and this proves it. That is, with better tires!! What tires does the 1M actually use? Are they RFT as well?
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      01-28-2012, 07:19 PM   #8
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Agree - the Z4 is a great vehicle and this proves it. That is, with better tires!! What tires does the 1M actually use? Are they RFT as well?
No. All the M cars use michelin conventional tires. I don't know which Michelin it is using though.
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      01-28-2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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No. All the M cars use michelin conventional tires. I don't know which Michelin it is using though.
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      01-28-2012, 10:21 PM   #10
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1M proves day a fter day a worthy car.
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      01-28-2012, 10:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCBMW02 View Post
I must say I grow weary of the trashing of the Z4 is. The car is a blast in the real world where 99.9% of the time it will be driven! And I love the DCT which I never thought I would say. Road and Track got 0-60 in 4.4sec with a 1/4 Mi in 12.6 and 0.91g on the skid pad all with the awful run flat tires! Well I ditched those and run wider Continental DWs. I'm sorry it will never be a Boxster, but the Porsche advantage is only at the track as I see it. I have owned the last 3 generations of M3 ( did the E92 M3 school at the Ring) and this car is more fun in the driving I do because of the low end torque. Driving fast does have a learning curve because of the quirky steering. I wish BMW had made (or will make?) a full on M version and give us LSD, better suspension and better brakes.
I hear you; in fact so did the BMW and not only gave your Z435is an LSD, better suspension and better brakes (plus better steering, tires etc.) they also decided to give a better body (not in esthetical terms, better like more balanced or more practical), they called it a 1M

No offense, I love that car and if there wouldn't be a 1M I could convince myself to buy the Z4, but obviously what I love most is the engine and the rest not as good as it could be (but it is just plain beautiful, undeniable), another unfinished business just watering our mouth from BMW, similar to the again beautiful 135i. My point is I love the 1 series coupe body, I adore the E92 M3 chasis and I believe one of the best engines ever is the one that they put in your Z4. And now I have all of them, assembled together beautifully like they were always belonging to each other
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      01-29-2012, 03:14 AM   #12
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makes me wonder why they didn't sell the 335is in Europe.

Well it's more "neutral" which is more fun, but according to the numbers the less neutral 335 on similar tires is still faster with less power/gears and slower shifting. Maybe the weather held the iS back, but I wanted better results form it considering what they're trying to sell us
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      01-29-2012, 04:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozinaldo View Post
I hear you; in fact so did the BMW and not only gave your Z435is an LSD, better suspension and better brakes (plus better steering, tires etc.) they also decided to give a better body (not in esthetical terms, better like more balanced or more practical), they called it a 1M

^^



//1M...
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      01-30-2012, 09:55 AM   #14
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I wonder what kind of tires the 335is was running. Im sure they werent as grippy as what was on the 1M. This may help to explain its less than impressive performance in this comparison test.
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      01-30-2012, 12:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Onurleft View Post
makes me wonder why they didn't sell the 335is in Europe.

Well it's more "neutral" which is more fun, but according to the numbers the less neutral 335 on similar tires is still faster with less power/gears and slower shifting. Maybe the weather held the iS back, but I wanted better results form it considering what they're trying to sell us
Read the article a week or so ago but I thought I remember them saying it had rained a lot the days prior to the test. So, the track was really green when they did this batch of test runs. A track that was recently rained on a lot will almost always be a bit slower. So, comparing these runs to previous cars is a little bit skewed.
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      01-30-2012, 04:13 PM   #16
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Completely agree with above. However you can compare the cars run on the same day. Hell, If this comparison was the word of God then the v6 mustang would be comparable to the z4m and 335is on the that track....or is it?
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      01-30-2012, 10:56 PM   #17
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Also, I dont quite understand the issues they were having with the dct. I thought that tranny was made for the track so why did it not seem to work quite right for them?
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      02-01-2012, 01:20 AM   #18
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The story doesn't tell the setup

Were they driving in "D" or "M" or "S". Did they have the sport button on and/or DSC off or on.


This old dyno testing shows there is a huge difference between the older 335i N54, newer N55 and the 335is with the 335is beating the old N54 in all respects:

http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews...11&188,shopper

Even the torque curve of the 335is doesn't compare to the early or late 335i.

http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews...41&188,shopper

So I really question if they drove in "D" or used manual. If they didn't have sport on then maybe DSC was intervening?


Quote:
Originally Posted by NurEinser View Post
Does this seem weird to anyone else?
"The 3:10.5 lap a 335i turned at our 2007 VIR event is just another reason to believe that those early turbocharged BMWs made more power than the advertised 300 ponies. After all, the 320-hp 335is is only 0.1 mph faster down the front straight, at 131.6 mph."

And yet the 335is posted a SLOWER time with the same engine and newer software with higher peak HP.
I wonder if this is due to the DCT?
Is there a larger difference between the N54 335i's and the newer 335is that I am missing? Could it be weight?
Or would you guys consider this negligible due to possible varying conditions?
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      02-01-2012, 12:49 PM   #19
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Good point. I wasn't ragging on the 335is, but now I wonder if a PPK'd early N54 135i would match the 335is numbers.

Which brings me to my question, what has changed in the N54 over the years?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinJ View Post
Were they driving in "D" or "M" or "S". Did they have the sport button on and/or DSC off or on.


This old dyno testing shows there is a huge difference between the older 335i N54, newer N55 and the 335is with the 335is beating the old N54 in all respects:

http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews...11&188,shopper

Even the torque curve of the 335is doesn't compare to the early or late 335i.

http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews...41&188,shopper

So I really question if they drove in "D" or used manual. If they didn't have sport on then maybe DSC was intervening?
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      02-01-2012, 10:38 PM   #20
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Well a few things that I'm aware of

NP, I wasn't really hear to defend the 335is or took your comments as a critique. Its probably off topic but the 335is adds an extra oil cooler, water cooler, and larger fan, tuned software, free flowing exhaust, stiffer motor mounts for the twisties and likely other tweaks such as fixing problems with the high pressure fuel pump. The engine bay appears "cleaned up" over the older N54. Do we know all parts that have changed and swapped for reliability in general, no I don't think anyone has done that.

From what I know BMW was aware of high heat being generated in some cylinders from the early N54 over boosting. They've solved that problem apparently with some special coating which they specifically wanted to do in order to give the N54 a higher output. Therefore giving the N54 engine used in the 335is Z4is and 1M engine its own designation "N54HP" or officially "N54B30TO". Each version is specifically tuned with the best tuning performed by the M division for the 1M. The Z4 and 1M have more HP according to BMW because the 335is has a more restrictive intake. I noted looking at parts that it may be at the intercooler duct.

The 335is has a higher overboost output than a standard recent N55 335i. However track data reveals that BMW de-tuned the N54 compared to "some" (2006, 2007) early N54 engines. It appears that not all early N54's had as much as others (engine variance).

Looking back the the 335is test, I wonder if they were in "D" mode and used the paddle shifters. They stated they were paddle shifting. The problem is "D" is not a sport mode and also if your in "D" and use the paddle shifters, it temporarily puts it into manual mode and when no shifts occur will switch back to "D". This is handy if you want to temporarily shift and then let the car take over again. Otherwise they need to be in "S" mode and then use the paddle shift to have full manual control. Their story almost eludes they were in "D" because they said the transmission sometimes didn't register a command.



Quote:
Originally Posted by NurEinser View Post
Good point. I wasn't ragging on the 335is, but now I wonder if a PPK'd early N54 135i would match the 335is numbers.

Which brings me to my question, what has changed in the N54 over the years?

Last edited by KevinJ; 02-01-2012 at 10:56 PM.
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      02-01-2012, 11:13 PM   #21
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Thanks for the reply and sorry Jason, for going off topic
I really want to know the variation between the o0 and the t0 and the 3rd variant which I am going to assume is the x40i.



Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinJ View Post
NP, I wasn't really hear to defend the 335is or took your comments as a critique. Its probably off topic but the 335is adds an extra oil cooler, water cooler, and larger fan, tuned software, free flowing exhaust, stiffer motor mounts for the twisties and likely other tweaks such as fixing problems with the high pressure fuel pump. The engine bay appears "cleaned up" over the older N54. Do we know all parts that have changed and swapped for reliability in general, no I don't think anyone has done that.

From what I know BMW was aware of high heat being generated in some cylinders from the early N54 over boosting. They've solved that problem apparently with some special coating which they specifically wanted to do in order to give the N54 a higher output. Therefore giving the N54 engine used in the 335is Z4is and 1M engine its own designation "N54HP" or officially "N54B30TO". Each version is specifically tuned with the best tuning performed by the M division for the 1M. The Z4 and 1M have more HP according to BMW because the 335is has a more restrictive intake. I noted looking at parts that it may be at the intercooler duct.

The 335is has a higher overboost output than a standard recent N55 335i. However track data reveals that BMW de-tuned the N54 compared to "some" (2006, 2007) early N54 engines. It appears that not all early N54's had as much as others (engine variance).

Looking back the the 335is test, I wonder if they were in "D" mode and used the paddle shifters. They stated they were paddle shifting. The problem is "D" is not a sport mode and also if your in "D" and use the paddle shifters, it temporarily puts it into manual mode and when no shifts occur will switch back to "D". This is handy if you want to temporarily shift and then let the car take over again. Otherwise they need to be in "S" mode and then use the paddle shift to have full manual control. Their story almost eludes they were in "D" because they said the transmission sometimes didn't register a command.
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      02-02-2012, 08:00 AM   #22
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They've had complaints about the m3s they've tested like the dct and something else with the second one, can't remember what. I wish they would have given one more attempt with a 6MT ZCP. See if it made any difference.
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