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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > What is a "Slow Car"



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      03-23-2017, 12:07 PM   #1
e36power
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What is a "Slow Car"

I always hear people say that learning to drive a slow car on the track makes you a better driver because you don't have the power to compensate for mistakes (i.e bad lines, poor braking, etc.). My question is this, what do people mean when they say a "slow car?" Given that my experience is with BMWs, a BMW reference point would be helpful.
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      03-23-2017, 12:13 PM   #2
davidwarren
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e36power View Post
I always hear people say that learning to drive a slow car on the track makes you a better driver because you don't have the power to compensate for mistakes (i.e bad lines, poor braking, etc.). My question is this, what do people mean when they say a "slow car?" Given that my experience is with BMWs, a BMW reference point would be helpful.
I'd say a slow car would be 200hp or less with 200 or narrower street tires. I'm talking street cars, not stripped e30s or space frame track cars that fit that criteria. Think like a stock e36 318. The idea is you don't learn much if your 500hp and carbon brakes on track tires cover up all your errors.
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      03-23-2017, 01:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e36power View Post
I always hear people say that learning to drive a slow car on the track makes you a better driver because you don't have the power to compensate for mistakes (i.e bad lines, poor braking, etc.). My question is this, what do people mean when they say a "slow car?" Given that my experience is with BMWs, a BMW reference point would be helpful.
I like what Warren said, so let me add to it. The track is a great place to explore the limits of your car and your abilities. The learning curve in a car with higher limits is pretty steep if you have limited experience. You'll learn your own limits, and improve your skills faster, in a car with relatively lower capabilities, because you can get to those limits (yours and the cars) much sooner.

Paul Newman's first race car was a clapped out Datsun 510, a low-weight low-power car, eventually becoming a champion driver. He could have afforded to jump in a top of the line Trans Am racer at the time if desired, but left his ego out of the equation.
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      03-23-2017, 06:46 PM   #4
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Stock e46 325i(my first bmw) is a good reference imo
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      03-23-2017, 08:53 PM   #5
e36power
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Alright, what you guys are posting are what my thoughts were. A 318 seems a bit on the underpowered side, but I had considered that. They are cheap. Also had considered a E36 or E46 325/238. My original plan was an E36 M3, but given that I just replaced the turbos on the 335i, my budget for a second car has been knocked down a bit.
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      Yesterday, 03:14 AM   #6
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Why not track your 335? Will the second car be specifically used for track?
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      Yesterday, 08:31 AM   #7
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Any Honda.
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