First off, some back ground info for the people that are not acustomed to this lightning lap event. The lightning lap is held every year by Car&Driver in which they test a bunch of high performance cars. The test results are from various years are compiled for the sake of data. Much like top gear does on its board. The track conditions are not 100% identical much like top gear or many other publication that gather data over several years. So there will be a slight variance.
As far as why certain model year car did better then the other model year car. In order to find this please go and read the article it will explain in more details. For example in the case of the new Lexus IS-F sedan vs the one they tested few years back. They talk about how Lexus improved the suspension greatly etc. that resulted in greater confidence and better handling on track. Thus, the new times are much more improved. One can see two M3's from different years yet the times very close together due to the difference between DCT vs 6-speed.
As far as the 135i goes even in their recent comparison of best handling cars the 135i did not handle as well as they had tought. From what I remember the 135i might be lighter but it has a lot higher center of gravity compared to the 335i coupe. Its like the archticture of the top hat. The higher cf on track is not ideal and causes it to be a bit tippy when the mass moves around. So lot of body roll and lot of up and down motion to keep the ride compliance.They also found the shift action a bit rubbery. I also think that the tire size is on the 135i is smaller then the 335i coupe which might have had some effect on the outcome.
Anyways you guys can go read up the articles at Car&Driver.
nick named "BAD 3"COBB tune, RennArt catback non-resonated exhaust, VRSF Downpipes, SSQV BOV and ECS chargepipe, M-sport steering (racing alcantara & retrofit M3 paddle shifters.), Alpina B3 transmission flash, AFE powered sealed CAI, LED angels, M3 upper and lower front control arms, E93 M3 Front Swaybar, 235/35/19x9 front & 275/30/19x9.5 rear. When in doubt...flat out
Last edited by Kayani_1; 12-30-2010 at 10:30 PM.