Originally Posted by The HACK
It's not about hardcore. It's not about having a car that you can afford to wad up. It's about improving one's self on the track. If you can't do consistent laps at speed you can't improve. It's about as simple as that.
I'm not saying the 335i is a horrible car. It's just a horrible car to use as a learning tool for the track because it does not allow you to consistently push.
And by "push" I don't mean exceeding your abilities. I mean push as in extending your own capabilities as a driver. The problem is, if the car goes limp whenever you're about to add more speed and consistency, then the whole learning process flattens out...And I don't know about you, but my feeling is, if you're not constantly trying to improve yourself and your driving, then this sport isn't for you. Because unlike some other professions and activities where one can be limited by their physical skills, MOST of driving fast is mental...And there really is no limit to the learning here.
Having said that. IF the 335i is my daily drive, I WOULD go and pick up a different car for track use, unless I've got the goods to put in enough money to cure all of the ills. Problem is, I believe to cure all the heat related ills on the 335i you would have spent enough money to pick up a well prepared wreck-me-otter. Unfortunately, being of a somewhat "rueben-esque" figure means a wreck-me-otter won't work.
So I ended up with a WRX for daily and an MZ4 Coupe for track instead.
p.s.: I don't mean to direct any of this at JBass. I applaud anyone using their daily drive on the track to improve their skills. And I applaud his effort to improve the reliability of the car in effort to have more fun while learning. I am just pointing out that the 335i does have some serious inherent problems that will require a lot more time and effort to correct than most BMWs do. That is all.
This is probably one of the reasons why you see very few N54 powered cars at HPDEs (track days).
Not to get off topic, but this is also why I've always questioned the 335ís alleged parity with the E46 M3. While the published specs in many car magazines do suggest that the cars are similar performance-wise, the fact is that they're very different when pushed to the limit. IMO, my 2004 M3 Coupeís power delivery, chassis dynamics, handling, braking, and SUSTAINED PERFORMANCE are superior to my 2007 335i Sedanís. The 335iís N54 engine may be fine getting around the Nordschleife in 8:26, but it will be completely heat-soaked and limping before it completes 15-20 minutes of sustained hot lapping on any track (and even sooner if itís equipped with a Steptronic slushbox and/or chipped). In contrast, the E46 M3ís S54 engine, transmission, and cooling system will keep the car going strong until it needs to pit for fuel. Thatís a HUGE difference between the two cars...