E92 335i DCT (JB4, DCI, Performance exhaust, Eibach prokit) 370+bhp 430 ft/lb torque vs E92 M3 DCT with EDC/Competition pack 414bhp
Silverstone full GP circuit track day 23rd Nov 12 (My 1st track day)
Having never been in the position to have an opinion comparing the 335i against the M3 before, I thought I'd share my thoughts with others for anybody interested. Sorry if it goes on a bit.
At this point I will say that I'm sure that I never really explored the full potential of the cars abilities. I bought the car after seeing the Fifth gear shootout between the 335i SE and the S5 and the way Vicky B-H drove the 335i was much more aggressive than I can drive. I never take the car over 6000 rpm and I don't really throw it around corners.
After doing about 8 laps of the track in my 335i, I found that the car held up really well. The track was a bit damp early on and the car was a bit tail happy at times, but great fun. I found that my car could just about outdrag most of the cars on the straight, V8 M3s, 911's etc. The straight six with the performance exhaust sounded great when pushed. The DCT was just perfect on the track.
But then the corners came and coupled with my crap driving skills and my nervousness, I was soon overtaken as my exit speeds were quite low compared to others, then the frustrating bit was that I was generally holding back on the straights as I didn't want to overtake, as I'd be in the same position again at the next set of bends.
I was on a new set of Vredestein Sessantas, and although I think they are great for day to day driving, they're not really that good on the track.
Dan from M3 cutters forum then kindly offered for me to ride as a passenger for a few laps in his M3, how could I refuse! What a great bloke.
He was running on a set of Michelin pilot sports, which I know from my last car are very good on a track.
Anyway, off we went in a car that is designed for the track, first set of bends, I thought he should be slowing down by now, but no! Fuck me!! he was really throwing this car around, he is taking what I thought were diabolical liberties with speeds around bends, not the perfect line at times, but the car is so forgiving, it just takes it in its stride.
It didn't seem to matter whether it's damp or not, it just grips so well around the bends, the car starts to slide, but he just controls the drift really well due to the LSD, then the V8 just pulls the car around the corner. If I took my car around corners at this speed, I'm almost certain that I'd have been in the barriers by now. The power delivery was very smooth and the noise from the V8 at full chat, coupled with the blips from the DCT was sublime. Apparently it's louder in the passenger seat, so I was hearing it louder than the driver (I presume it's designed that way for LHD cars).
After a few laps the brakes started to fade quite badly, so we came in (brakes could be a bit better on a track car).
Now I get what the M3 is about, straight away I thought I'm going to buy one of these. Later my head took over and I thought, will it be worth getting lower than the current 18 mpg I get with mine, paying double for servicing, extended warranty etc, probably not? It's ability would probably be wasted on me. I only do 2000 miles a year and I can't drive the car like that on a daily basis. If I become a better track driver, then I'm getting one for sure. When I told my wife about it, she said why don't you treat yourself, so who knows
Maybe not the best of comparisons as I only drove my car and the M3 driver was a better driver than me.
It would be nice to go around the track with Lars (335Rocks) in his modified 335i to see how it compares (better driver than me/BBK/suspension etc.)