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Old 02-02-2012, 05:53 PM
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Emission Emission is offline
Automotive Monomaniac
Location: North of Los Angeles, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 10,690
Mein Auto: Schnelle Autos
Okay, so I just spent the day on the track with four different versions of the F30:

328i 6MT Sport
328i 8AT Sport
335i 6MT Sport
335i 8AT Sport

My time was equally spent, about 30-40 minutes in each back-to-back. All damn fun.

That said, in order of which is fastest around the track (assuming identical wheel/tire packages). My butt timer:

1--335i 8AT Sport
2--328i 8AT Sport (tie)
2--335i 6MT Sport (tie)
3--328i 6MT Sport

Okay, before you all soil your shorts... the N55 engine is heavier and placed much further forward in the nose of the 335i when compared to the N20 in the 328i. When driving both vehicles around the track at 10/10ths, the 335i will understeer much quicker (plow) while the 328i has faster turn-in. And, the big four-piston front brakes on the 335i (vs. the single-piston front brakes on the 328i) are offset by its additional mass. There is no obvious advantage on the track.

The 8AT is just about flawless on the track, cracking off bloody-fast shifts and always seeming to be in the torque curve. So good, that it makes the 6MT feel sloppy and with tall ratios (even Bill Auberlen said the 8AT is faster than the 6MT).

So, which keys would I grab first for driving on a track (not the fastest, but the most enjoyable):

1--328i 6MT Sport
2--335i 6MT Sport
3--328i 8AT Sport
4--335i 8AT Sport

Which keys would I grab first for driving on the street (money no object):

1--328i 6MT Sport
2--335i 6MT Sport
3--328i 8AT Sport
4--335i 8AT Sport

Lastly, which keys would I grab first if I was paying for the vehicle:

1--328i 6MT Sport
2--328i 8AT Sport
3--335i 6MT Sport
4--335i 8AT Sport

Being honest here, I feel the performance difference between the N20 and N55 doesn't warrant the price premium. They are less than 1/2 second apart to 60 mph. If the N55 was tuned to 340 horses, my tune would change.

That said, the N20 is buzzy as all hell. It feels like a four-cylinder engine in terms of vibration and sounds like a damn diesel at idle (super loud fuel rail). It doesn't try to be an inline-6 and it shouldn't. It does sound kinda cool at WOT.

The answers to some of your above questions to follow.

- Mike

LA Folk -- I may bring one car (335i 6MT Sport) down to Orange County on Saturday to show it off... if you want to check it out. More details to follow.
__________________
I am fortunate to have unique press cars delivered weekly, but I own:

'13 Audi Q5 2.0T Quattro 8AT
'15 Volkswagen Golf TDI 6MT
'86 Porsche 911 Turbo 4MT


Gone, but never forgotten... my E70 X5 35d, E90 335i, E46 330i, E36 328i, E70 X5 3.0si, E53 X5 3.0i.
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Read my work as Editor-in-Chief for Autoweb!

Last edited by Emission; 02-02-2012 at 05:54 PM.
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