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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > My Track Comparison: 2009 BMW 335i coupe vs. 2010 Audi S4



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      11-16-2009, 02:11 PM   #1
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My Track Comparison: 2009 BMW 335i coupe vs. 2010 Audi S4

I posted this over at Audizine. I just want to share my experience this past Saturday at the track with both my cars.

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Originally Posted by vwong
My S4 is finally broken-in, so I could play a little more. Well, today was my chance to take both the S4 and 335i out on the track for my own comparison. By the way, both cars are bone stock. The track was the Auto Club Speedway (used to be called California Speedway) in Fontana, California. We actually ran the full course (oval + infield) today. Let's talk about the lap times last. I'll touch on the handling characteristics of both cars first. All the nanny stuff (DTC, DSC, ESP, etc.) were turned off.

The 335i had a tendency to understeer on tighter corners and corner entry. I think it was due to the lack of negative camber up front and narrower front tires. Because of this, the outside shoulders of the front tires wore out quicker. If I gave a little more gas during mid corner, the rear would step out. However, it was very controllable. Would this make the car quicker? No, but the "fun" factor was certainly there. The brakes were pretty good. Pedal was firm, but after a few laps, the brake pedal started becoming a little longer. The stock Michelin PS2 RFT had nice grip level, but once I put more heat into them, they tend to get a little more slippery. I was able to reach 140mph (according to the speedometer) on the front straight, then coasted down to about 120mph for NASCAR turn 1, then slowly rolled back onto the throttle for NASCAR turn 2. I hit about 130mph just before the hard brake down to about 35mph to enter into the infield section of the track.

For the S4, the driving dynamic was different. I had the ADS set at dynamic. The sport differential really worked great on corner exit. When I powered out of the turns, the car rotated nicely. But if I gave too much gas, there was still a hint of understeer. Corner entry was awesome in the S4. I threw the car into a few turns on the track, and the car went into a 4-wheel drift, very much AWD characteristics. The brake had a very firm initial bite, but the pedal became really really long (almost to the floor) after just couple of those 100mph decelerations. Not sure whether it was the brake pads not holding up to the beating or the brake fluid not able to handle the added heat. I was impressed by the grip level of the stock Dunlops. I think they were much better than the Michelin PS2 RFT on the 335i. On the front straight, I think I was up to just under 140mph before I coasted down to about 125mph for turn 1. Unfortunately, I didn't really take a look at my speed just before the hard braking.

Overall, the S4 gave me a bit more confidence as I could throw the car into the corners, and had a very controllable 4-wheel drift. I was a little frustrated about the corner entry understeer of the 335i, however getting on the gas a bit early to kick the tail out was definitely fun. Which car did I like better? Hmm.....tough choice. I can't really pick now, maybe after a few more track days.

Now for the lap times......I took the 335i out on the track first, and did a decent lap time of 2:04.152. I knew I left some time on the table because I was lifting a bit too much as I was trying to adjust to the car. Then I took the S4 out on the track, and I was shocked by the lap time I did......a 1:59.031!!! Holy shit, 5 seconds quicker!!! I thought to myself that I had to take the 335i out again to try to match that time. I was pushing the 335i much harder this time around, but I could only manage to shave another 2.2 seconds off to a 2:01.936. Still a pretty good lap time, but still about 3 seconds slower than the S4. I guess the S4 is a faster, better handling car than the 335i.
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      11-16-2009, 02:16 PM   #2
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Stock for stock, sounds about right to me.. i just put in an order for a 2010 S4. Very excited as I will also have my 335. Nice comparison.
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      11-16-2009, 03:59 PM   #3
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Interesting....Audi stock brakes usually arent trackable in my experience..so I was expecting a braking problem..especially at Cal Speedway. Thanks for the feedback.
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      11-16-2009, 07:02 PM   #4
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Run flats are to blame.
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      11-16-2009, 10:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2bimmer View Post
Run flats are to blame.
They certainly don't help.

I'm gonna go ahead and say "LSD's" are to blame lol...

The Audi looks like a fun car.
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      11-17-2009, 07:37 PM   #6
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Hopefully this will promp BMW to offer an LSD (or at least an eLSD), better brakes and better tires.

Are the Dunlaps runflats?
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      11-17-2009, 07:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus View Post
Are the Dunlaps runflats?
Nope. They are Dunlop Sports Maxx GT.
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      11-17-2009, 08:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoosyJoos View Post
They certainly don't help.

I'm gonna go ahead and say "LSD's" are to blame lol...

The Audi looks like a fun car.
and this, your right.
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      11-17-2009, 08:11 PM   #9
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I am so pissed with BMW!

LSDless, Camberless, Runflats, CDV, Inadequate IC & OC, Sport Suspension.
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      11-17-2009, 08:38 PM   #10
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I'm still in awe that the 335i is the new S4 marketing target. I've always considered S4 an M3 peer - at least on the street with slight performance advantage going to the M. Why have the standards been lowered?
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      11-17-2009, 08:41 PM   #11
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To be completely honest, the PS2s are a better tire than Dunlop Sport MAXXXes, run-flats or not. Likely the culprit, is just simply the fact that the S4 is a BETTER car and the lack of LSD.
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      11-17-2009, 09:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
To be completely honest, the PS2s are a better tire than Dunlop Sport MAXXXes, run-flats or not.
I don't know as I don't have prior experience on either tire. Hopefully, some day I can have identical tires for another comparison. So far, Yokohama Neova AD08 offers all 3 sizes (225/40/18 and 255/35/18 for the 335i, 255/35/19 for the S4).
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      11-17-2009, 09:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit_Apex View Post
I'm still in awe that the 335i is the new S4 marketing target. I've always considered S4 an M3 peer - at least on the street with slight performance advantage going to the M. Why have the standards been lowered?
Because the M standards have gone way up.. 410hp, and north of $60k. The 335i now has over 300hp and approaches what the last M3 had in the power department and performance.
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      11-19-2009, 01:11 PM   #14
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They put the eLSD on the e90 series in March 2008. It actually works pretty well on my car. I would rather have something tighter like a good Torsen unit, but I can't complain (much) about this system.

someday BMW will put the torque vectoring on other cars besides the X6M

Quote:
Originally Posted by aus View Post
Hopefully this will promp BMW to offer an LSD (or at least an eLSD), better brakes and better tires.

Are the Dunlaps runflats?
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      11-20-2009, 12:05 AM   #15
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fuk audi
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      11-20-2009, 11:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWinNorthdakota View Post
fuk audi


thank you for this challenging and informative point of view.
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      11-20-2009, 11:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWinNorthdakota View Post
fuk audi
Ever since the new Audi S4 came out, and many comparisons performed by magazine giving an edge on the Audi S4 over the BMW 335i, it really shows how immature some of the forum members are.
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      11-20-2009, 04:39 PM   #18
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Audi has the RS4 to compete with the M... The S was never a competitor for the M.
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      11-25-2009, 04:37 PM   #19
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thanks for the comparison.
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      11-25-2009, 06:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcel b View Post
Audi has the RS4 to compete with the M... The S was never a competitor for the M.
I don't think they're making that anymore, not for the b8 at least. Makes me think that they should be making the S4 compete with the M3, although there is a significant price difference...
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      12-01-2009, 05:28 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buegie View Post
I don't think they're making that anymore, not for the b8 at least. Makes me think that they should be making the S4 compete with the M3, although there is a significant price difference...
Right. No more RS4. The RS4 has been replaced by the RS6 (~580HP/480tq). No real M3 equivalent in the Audi line up.
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      12-01-2009, 01:03 PM   #22
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Vincent -- those are really quick times for bone-stock cars, well done.

I guess Audi has finally figured out that the S/RS buyers don't want horribly-understeering cars
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