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      04-12-2010, 04:15 PM   #1
Kamando
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Review of 2011 E90 LCI 335d M-Sport on the Nürburgring

In my last review http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=368604
I covered the 335d with regards to its performance as a highway cruiser. There was however a more important question that I had to answer: Can the 335d possibly be any fun to drive on the Nürburgring? I am happy to report the answer is a resounding "Hell Yes!"
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Before we begin, I will caveat the following with: I did not push the 335d extremely hard, for several reasons. First the day I went it had been raining and there were still a couple wet sections of track. Second, while I have done about a dozen laps in my 2008 E92 335i these were the first laps in my new 335d and I wanted to ease myself into its handling limits. Barring that, I did however push the 335d enough to get a good grasp on its capabilities.
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The first thing I noticed upon tossing this car around was that the chassis is MUCH stiffer than it was on my E92 335i. This was a welcome surprise which really helped inspire confidence on the ring. Throughout my laps I felt more connected to the road with much less of a bouncy floating feeling from the dampers than I ever had in my E92. The beefier chassis feels very well balanced, which when combined with the extra 125ft-lb of torque pretty much negates the weight penalty compared to the 335i.
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Credit - Tony Dewhurst http://www.pistonspy.com

Next, the massive torque really helps the 335d gain speed quickly coming out of corners if the driver can properly manage the gear shifts. Luckily the proper shift paddles made this easy as the transmission produced very quick and smooth shifts on command, to the point where I often forgot I was driving a Diesel.
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Credit - Marius Graf http://www.highspeedfotos.de

The brakes worked very well, hauling the 3800lb beast down from high speed without hesitation and were more than up to the task of repeated high speed braking, without issue. The classic BMW stopping power is alive and well in the 335d.
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Overall the 2011 335d M-Sport was an absolute joy to drive on the Nürburgring. It handled every bit as well, if not better in some respects, than my 2008 E92 335i. While driving a Diesel on the track is a little bit different than a Gasoline engine with regards to power management, I could not find anything significant to take issue with.
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Credit - Martin Stollenwerk http://www.tourifotos.de

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Credit - Marcel Klein http://www.eifelpics.de

In hindsight as this was my last trip to the Nürburgring for the foreseeable future I probably should have used a timer to see if I could have beat Jeremy Clarkson's time, from that classic Top Gear episode, just for kicks.

Even so, the trip was memorable none the less
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Last edited by Kamando; 05-10-2011 at 07:26 AM.
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      04-12-2010, 04:58 PM   #2
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Very nice!
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      04-12-2010, 05:42 PM   #3
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Excellent review. I have to agree, my E90 LCI M-sport feels alot better than my e92 in terms of handling and chassis feel!
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      04-12-2010, 05:48 PM   #4
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Nice review. Sounds like you had a blast. BTW: They don't require you to wear head gear for protection?
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      04-12-2010, 08:51 PM   #5
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Nice!

...you didn't happen to mount an in-car video camera, did you?
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      04-12-2010, 09:11 PM   #6
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When I do my next ED I will make sure I get on the Ring, it looks like a blast!!!
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      04-12-2010, 09:20 PM   #7
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A day at the ring with the D sounds like a blast. And you got to meet Sabine too?
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      04-12-2010, 11:05 PM   #8
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damn, did you get the chance to let Sabine drive your D for 1 lap in the ring?
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      04-12-2010, 11:10 PM   #9
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Saw a vid with her and an M5 on the 'ring....WOW!
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      04-12-2010, 11:32 PM   #10
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thanks for the review. Does the '11 e90 get the new shocks that the '11 e92 gets? If so, that may account for the reduced bounciness and better handling that you are feeling.
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      04-12-2010, 11:48 PM   #11
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Thanks for sharing, and love the last pic! Any Top Gear fan is sure to recognize that fine lady.
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      04-13-2010, 01:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron1n View Post
Thanks for sharing, and love the last pic! Any Top Gear fan is sure to recognize that fine lady.
You mean Fifth Gear
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      04-13-2010, 01:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funkmob View Post
You mean Fifth Gear
Either works.

Top gear had an episode where she bet Jeremy she could beat his time (in a Jaguar diesel saloon) driving a Ford Transit van, and... well, I won't spoil the ending, but to see her passing Porsches and litrebikes in a cargo van was awesome.

Part 1 of 2 on YouTube is here:


Fifth gear had her driving a 911S around the ring. Not as entertaining IMO.
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      04-13-2010, 01:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gos View Post
Either works.

Top gear had an episode where she bet Jeremy she could beat his time (in a Jaguar diesel saloon) driving a Ford Transit van, and... well, I won't spoil the ending, but to see her passing Porsches and litrebikes in a cargo van was awesome.

Part 1 of 2 on YouTube is here:


Fifth gear had her driving a 911S around the ring. Not as entertaining IMO.
Agreed....I watched Fifth Gear (as much as I could stomach it..glad they're going to drop the 2 guys in the studio), but her Top Gear spot was much more entertaining.
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      04-13-2010, 05:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gos View Post
Either works.

Top gear had an episode where she bet Jeremy she could beat his time (in a Jaguar diesel saloon) driving a Ford Transit van, and... well, I won't spoil the ending, but to see her passing Porsches and litrebikes in a cargo van was awesome.

Part 1 of 2 on YouTube is here:


Fifth gear had her driving a 911S around the ring. Not as entertaining IMO.
My mistake , for a moment i thought she's presenting figth gear , but thats some other chick
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      04-13-2010, 07:00 AM   #16
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I'm jealous. Your opinions mirror what a lot of people have said when comparing the "D" with the 335i. I for one have been unsuccessful finding a lap time for a 335D on 'the ring'. I seriously enjoy driving my diesel every day.
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      04-13-2010, 01:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cni2i View Post
Nice review. Sounds like you had a blast. BTW: They don't require you to wear head gear for protection?
Nope, helmets are not required. With the Head Protection System in the car I am willing to forgo the helmets. There are no forms to fill out or waivers to sign. Simply buy a ring card pull up to the gate, scan the card and go. The one stipulation is in the event of an accident you pay for clean up, fees, and down time so it works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DnA Diesel View Post
Nice!

...you didn't happen to mount an in-car video camera, did you?
Sorry, don't have a proper mount at the moment and filming free hand just comes out like crap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawwailok View Post
damn, did you get the chance to let Sabine drive your D for 1 lap in the ring?
HA! I wish... I would seriously pay this woman to drive my car. She was busy driving the M5 ring taxi, mostly sideways around the track, that day .

Quote:
Originally Posted by EJ_92606 View Post
thanks for the review. Does the '11 e90 get the new shocks that the '11 e92 gets? If so, that may account for the reduced bounciness and better handling that you are feeling.
I have been wondering the exact same thing. I have taken a picture of the tag on my dampers so if anyone knows what the new part numbers are I would definitely like to know.
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      04-13-2010, 07:38 PM   #18
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Wow! those are some awesome pics!!

looks like it was fun, enjoy the D!
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      04-13-2010, 08:47 PM   #19
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Der Nürburgring is great in any car. It would be good to know the official time for the 335d.
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      04-13-2010, 08:47 PM   #20
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time?
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      04-13-2010, 09:52 PM   #21
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Cool review, looks like you had fun!

Nice shot with Sabine too! Her spot on Topgear was awesome..
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      04-13-2010, 09:57 PM   #22
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Thanks for sharing! It's great that you met Sabine. I hope to ride the Ring Taxi with Sabine driving some day soon!
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