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    • AutoCar reviews the 2015 F80 M3 and states the M3 does not benefit from being turbocharged

      The first drive's from journalists sampling the new 2015 F80 M3 are starting to come in. Yes, the M3 is available as a sedan only but no point whining about the death of the M3 coupe here as that discussion is over with. Steve Sutcliffe of AutoCar got his hands on the the new M car which has slightly more power but much more torque down low from the turbocharged S55B30 (after the turbo lag) than the previous generation naturally aspirated high revving S65 V8. What did he think of it?


      Now on paper the new car of course should be better. BMW promotes it as being much lighter (although it really isn't), more fuel efficient, offering more torque, and more power. This should be a slam dunk right? Well, not so fast.

      He says that you can definitely feel the car has less weight but considering he does not actually weigh it he may just be perceiving a lighter steering feel. This is the problem with subjective analysis without data. The car is definitely well balanced as he shows with how it is to maintain a power on slide with the rear doing exactly what the rear of an M3 should when the driver commands it to.

      Now what he says is a major caveat (which seconds later he rephrases it as a 'decent sized' caveat) is the engine. This is the sticking point for the M purist as well. How is the new turbo motor? He says the sounds is not exactly boring but it is flat. We already knew that from an exhaust clip earlier but it is interesting to note the perception from a journalist inside the cabin. Revving this engine out just is not as exciting as revving out the previous generation car. For some this is a big deal for some it is not. BimmerBoost considers it a major change that takes away a bit of the excitement.

      He states he likes 90% of the car. Its brakes, chassis, handling, interior, exterior, price point, etc. All traditionally strong M3 areas. However, he states the car does not benefit from being turbocharged and BimmerBoost strongly agrees. If the M3 is all about torque now and ECU upgrades to unlock a bit more more power, sure, there are those who are likely new to BMW and who are probably 335i fans that think the turbo motors are great.

      Those who are not new to BMW and loved M cars because they were racecars with daily usability offering Motorsport inspired engines that when surging toward redline offered an experience that only a Ferrari or Porsche could match will not think the change is so great. Looking back at the E9X M3, E46 M3, E36 M3, and E30 M3, BMW delivered the experience of high revs and razor sharp response that nobody else could match with a manual transmission and four seats. That's right, nobody.

      Some may consider the F80 M3 progress and adore it. Others will consider it a sign BMW has lost its way and went from producing special M cars to simply great M cars. Where do you stand?

      'Come on, the engine is at the center of every M car, surely. And the engine in this particular M car is, whilst amazingly efficient and bursting with torque, it doesn't have that rip to it that a real proper M engine has... had in the past. But I'm afraid that now seems like it is a thing of the past.'

      It's nice to see a journalist who actually gets it.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: AutoCar reviews M3 and S55 started by BlackJetE90OC View original post
      Comments 132 Comments
      1. sahyoun's Avatar
        sahyoun -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I agree it should have been better and it shows just how good the CSL was. I would not say failure as it is quicker, faster, and better around the track.

        I'll take a CSL too. But the GTS still exists and the F80 M3 won't outperform it around the track.
        Yeah just like the csl will outperform the e92 m3 at the track
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sahyoun Click here to enlarge
        Yeah just like the csl will outperform the e92 m3 at the track
        Exactly which means it is not out of line for a previous gen car to outperform a new one.
      1. rawad1017's Avatar
        rawad1017 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Exactly which means it is not out of line for a previous gen car to outperform a new one.
        the M3 GTS outperforms the M3 CSL on the track, i don't understand why people aren't getting this

        the lightweight special edition version of a more powerful car will always beat the lightweight special edition version of a less powerful car
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rawad1017 Click here to enlarge
        the M3 GTS outperforms the M3 CSL on the track, i don't understand why people aren't getting this
        It does, yes.
      1. sahyoun's Avatar
        sahyoun -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Exactly which means it is not out of line for a previous gen car to outperform a new one.
        Yeah but that's the case with every other gen m3 the e36 euro/csl beat the regular e46 m3, the e30 evo2 beat the regular e36 m3. I don't see why that's relevant in an argument about the f80 m4 vs e92 m3 since it's always been the case
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sahyoun Click here to enlarge
        Yeah but that's the case with every other gen m3 the e36 euro/csl beat the regular e46 m3, the e30 evo2 beat the regular e36 m3. I don't see why that's relevant in an argument about the f80 m4 vs e92 m3 since it's always been the case
        It's plenty relevant. If someone is saying the F80 M3 is such a superior performer and you can bring up an E9X that it does not outperform it goes to show the previous gen platform is more than capable.
      1. rawad1017's Avatar
        rawad1017 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sahyoun Click here to enlarge
        Yeah but that's the case with every other gen m3 the e36 euro/csl beat the regular e46 m3, the e30 evo2 beat the regular e36 m3. I don't see why that's relevant in an argument about the f80 m4 vs e92 m3 since it's always been the case
        precisely, and what did BMW do for each of those situations? e36 LTW beat all e30s, e46 GTR and CSL beats all e36s, e92 GTS beats all e46s, the pattern will continue
      1. rawad1017's Avatar
        rawad1017 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        It's plenty relevant. If someone is saying the F80 M3 is such a superior performer and you can bring up an E9X that it does not outperform it goes to show the previous gen platform is more than capable.
        sure but the newer gen platform is obviously even more capable of performing

        edit: except for power
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rawad1017 Click here to enlarge
        sure but the newer gen platform is obviously even more capable of performing

        edit: except for power
        I'm not saying it isn't going to perform.
      1. mpjc's Avatar
        mpjc -
        I've lusted after an M3 for a long time, and I finally bought one a few months ago. Normally, it seems crazy to buy a leftover old model when a new, revamped, more powerful and efficient one is about to be released. But when the dealership had this 2013 E92 sitting there - for a nice discount, as an added bonus - I couldn't resist. To provide some context, I was trading in a 135i with the N55, with JB4, downpipe, and intake. This little car made a massive amount of power, and was probably every bit as fast in a straight line as the M3 (the chassis, however, is another story - woefully inadequate stock for the amount of power the car made). However, there was still something missing, and it wasn't that hard to figure out what. I never had any real urge to rev the car because it ran out of steam at anything above 5500 rpm. While torque is addicting, high rpm horsepower is exhilarating, and that's what the S65 offers. I absolutely love my M3, and don't regret for a moment spending the money to move up from the 135i. Now that it is broken in and I can rev it, I remember what I loved about the first BMW I had (one of many things!). When I drove my N52 328i enthusiastically, it begged to be revved, and that made it fun even though it was only moderately powerful. At the end of the day, after reflecting on what it is that I really enjoy about driving, it's clear to me that a high revving naturally aspirated car puts a bigger smile on my face than a boosted car that doesn't like to rev as much, even if the boosted car is just as fast or faster. Thus my eagerness to pick up an E92 and lack of desire to own an M4. This does not mean that the E92 is better - the M4 is undoubtedly a superior car in almost every respect. But what I care about is: which car is likely to put a big smile on my face? And the E92 certainly does that.

        Regarding responsiveness, I recall reading up on the JB4 before I bought it and many people talked about how little lag there was. I didn't perceive that at all. The difference between being on boost and not was so pronounced that it made the engine's power delivery seem much less linear than stock. And that difference was felt, even if only for a split second, every time you abruptly floored the accelerator. The S65, on the other hand, offers instant, linear response. I'll be very curious to drive an M4 to see if it really is anywhere close to as responsive and linear as the S65.

        I am certainly not claiming that an N55 with some aftermarket performance parts is as good as the new M engine. But it does give a general basis for comparing forced induction vs naturally aspirated. And yes the sound matters too. The 135i with catless dp and performance exhaust was loud, but the character of the sound matters more than the volume. And the intake noise of the S65 revving has a beautiful, mechanical character.

        All of the things that I mention are just a matter of what I find satisfying. Different strokes for different folks. My experience with AMGs is limited to one car (but a good one): an SLS AMG on a track, driven back to back with a 997 turbo. That comparison is definitely one of sledgehammer vs scalpel. In that comparison I prefer the scalpel, and since I have always associated the AMGs with the sledgehammer, I have an M3 and not a C63. What I find most fascinating about Sutcliffe's review is that one doesn't really get the sense that that comparison applies, given what he says about the AMGs steering and overall feel. Very interesting.
      1. nafoo's Avatar
        nafoo -
        Who cares how great or not great the engine is in stock form. We all know that almost everyone on this site isn't going to keep a new M3/4 stock.

        I'm curious to see how well this new engine holds up to additional boost and upgraded turbos Click here to enlarge
      1. bigdnno98's Avatar
        bigdnno98 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nafoo Click here to enlarge
        Who cares how great or not great the engine is in stock form. We all know that almost everyone on this site isn't going to keep a new M3/4 stock.

        I'm curious to see how well this new engine holds up to additional boost and upgraded turbos Click here to enlarge
        Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nafoo Click here to enlarge
        Who cares how great or not great the engine is in stock form. We all know that almost everyone on this site isn't going to keep a new M3/4 stock.

        I'm curious to see how well this new engine holds up to additional boost and upgraded turbos Click here to enlarge
        Upping the boost won't change the power delivery characteristics or throttle response. That is the point of criticism.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by mpjc Click here to enlarge
        I've lusted after an M3 for a long time, and I finally bought one a few months ago. Normally, it seems crazy to buy a leftover old model when a new, revamped, more powerful and efficient one is about to be released. But when the dealership had this 2013 E92 sitting there - for a nice discount, as an added bonus - I couldn't resist. To provide some context, I was trading in a 135i with the N55, with JB4, downpipe, and intake. This little car made a massive amount of power, and was probably every bit as fast in a straight line as the M3 (the chassis, however, is another story - woefully inadequate stock for the amount of power the car made). However, there was still something missing, and it wasn't that hard to figure out what. I never had any real urge to rev the car because it ran out of steam at anything above 5500 rpm. While torque is addicting, high rpm horsepower is exhilarating, and that's what the S65 offers. I absolutely love my M3, and don't regret for a moment spending the money to move up from the 135i. Now that it is broken in and I can rev it, I remember what I loved about the first BMW I had (one of many things!). When I drove my N52 328i enthusiastically, it begged to be revved, and that made it fun even though it was only moderately powerful. At the end of the day, after reflecting on what it is that I really enjoy about driving, it's clear to me that a high revving naturally aspirated car puts a bigger smile on my face than a boosted car that doesn't like to rev as much, even if the boosted car is just as fast or faster. Thus my eagerness to pick up an E92 and lack of desire to own an M4. This does not mean that the E92 is better - the M4 is undoubtedly a superior car in almost every respect. But what I care about is: which car is likely to put a big smile on my face? And the E92 certainly does that.

        Regarding responsiveness, I recall reading up on the JB4 before I bought it and many people talked about how little lag there was. I didn't perceive that at all. The difference between being on boost and not was so pronounced that it made the engine's power delivery seem much less linear than stock. And that difference was felt, even if only for a split second, every time you abruptly floored the accelerator. The S65, on the other hand, offers instant, linear response. I'll be very curious to drive an M4 to see if it really is anywhere close to as responsive and linear as the S65.

        I am certainly not claiming that an N55 with some aftermarket performance parts is as good as the new M engine. But it does give a general basis for comparing forced induction vs naturally aspirated. And yes the sound matters too. The 135i with catless dp and performance exhaust was loud, but the character of the sound matters more than the volume. And the intake noise of the S65 revving has a beautiful, mechanical character.

        All of the things that I mention are just a matter of what I find satisfying. Different strokes for different folks. My experience with AMGs is limited to one car (but a good one): an SLS AMG on a track, driven back to back with a 997 turbo. That comparison is definitely one of sledgehammer vs scalpel. In that comparison I prefer the scalpel, and since I have always associated the AMGs with the sledgehammer, I have an M3 and not a C63. What I find most fascinating about Sutcliffe's review is that one doesn't really get the sense that that comparison applies, given what he says about the AMGs steering and overall feel. Very interesting.
        This is a good post. Repped.
      1. nafoo's Avatar
        nafoo -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Upping the boost won't change the power delivery characteristics or throttle response. That is the point of criticism.
        A tune can change the throttle mapping.

        You're going to be throwing twin turbos on your S65. It's going to have a lot more low-end boost and have plenty of power to redline.

        Who knows how well the S55 will handle more boost and how much the turbos can handle? But, once companies upgrade the turbos or throw bigger ones on there, I'm sure the power delivery characteristics will be very similar to what you're going to have on your S65 (i.e., throw you into the back of your seat and hold you there till redline).
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nafoo Click here to enlarge
        A tune can change the throttle mapping.
        It doesn't matter. It can't match the response.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nafoo Click here to enlarge
        You're going to be throwing twin turbos on your S65. It's going to have a lot more low-end boost and have plenty of power to redline.
        I'd prefer for BMW to build their turbo motors like they built their NA motors. High compression, high revving, mild boost.

        I'm building for power which is why turbos make the most sense. It's also why using the S65 as a base makes the most sense.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nafoo Click here to enlarge
        Who knows how well the S55 will handle more boost and how much the turbos can handle? But, once companies upgrade the turbos or throw bigger ones on there, I'm sure the power delivery characteristics will be very similar to what you're going to have on your S65 (i.e., throw you into the back of your seat and hold you there till redline).
        It will not be similar. Go for a ride in a turbo S65 and then in an N55/N54. It's not the same thing.
      1. inlineS54B32's Avatar
        inlineS54B32 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Torgus Click here to enlarge
        I can't find the image from a review I read but I thought one of the main points was that when the DCT shifts in the new m3 it is still at full power vs. the V8 having to build back up to peak power after every shift. Gotta find that image. It was a compelling argument.

        Oh, I understand what you mean now... The S55 has full horsepower (makes peak power) from 5700-7200 RPM, so they likely mean that the gearing is set so that the falloff after an upshift is still in the peak? That's my guess. It's a nice meaty powerband, that's for sure.
      1. rawad1017's Avatar
        rawad1017 -
        it's clear here that the S55 is to the S65 as the S63tu is to the S85
      1. Torgus's Avatar
        Torgus -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
        Thing is, at the track in the S65, you are really never outside the flat part of that curve - unless you are in the wrong gear.
        Are you sure? When you shift at redline what rpm does it fall back to at the next gear? For both DCT and manual do you know? I find it hard to believe it is constantly at it's peak HP as the rev's increase being NA and all...


        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by inlineS54B32 Click here to enlarge
        Oh, I understand what you mean now... The S55 has full horsepower (makes peak power) from 5700-7200 RPM, so they likely mean that the gearing is set so that the falloff after an upshift is still in the peak? That's my guess. It's a nice meaty powerband, that's for sure.
        Exactly. You are always in the meat of the power band if shifting at redline. I can only assume this is because they are bleeding off boost to give you such a wide and large power range but keep the power exactly the same throughout it vs. it increasing linearly like the S65.




        According to chris harris:

        "Performance?
        Scorching. The manual will hit 100mph in nine seconds dead, the DCT in 8.7 seconds. It hardly feels turbocharged and the torque is all-consuming. Real-world, this car is miles quicker than the old E92, and the torque means the rear axle loads up much earlier in a given turn, meaning you have the sensation of controlling the car's attitude with your right foot far more than you did before. "

        Throttle response.
        "I didn't have any problem with the throttle response. In comfort the throttle is long and a little lazy - normally I like that, but the shorter sport and sport-plus settings worked better in this car for me. In the latter the speakers mess around with the intake noise some more. Compared to, say, an E46 you lose a tiny amount of instant zap, but considering it has two turbochargers, you can take several stabs mid-corner to trim your line and the response is always there. It's worth revving out to 7,500rpm too."

        Would you?
        Absolutely. I loved my E92, but it was surprisingly limited as my daily driver. Opportunities to enjoy that motor beyond 7,000 were predictably limited, the lack of torque left you exposed to turbo hot hatches.




        No video review up yet but pistonheads has the review.
      1. Group.america's Avatar
        Group.america -
        I was at the local wine shop (as is normal for me tonight) and there was an E9x M3, dark blue, magnificent and a new 435i (??)..

        E9x sound is GREAT... in the class of an F430 IMHO....

        I'll take the E9x anyday if the new M4 sounds and looks like the 435