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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #76  
Old 01-03-2013, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Elk View Post
This is embarrassing. The F30 is quicker in a straight line, but is being beaten in the corners by the Ford.
Probably the tires.
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  #77  
Old 01-03-2013, 05:39 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Probably the tires.
Off the top of my head they are Pirelli PZero Neros.
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  #78  
Old 01-03-2013, 08:25 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Originally Posted by Elk View Post
In response to my earlier post noting "Keep in mind the F30 335's 3.13.2 time was bested by the lowly V-6, solid rear axle Ford Mustang at 3:12.5 and even the Chevy Cobalt SS at 3:13.0," otonimus asserted:



The times I cite above are all from Car and Driver's "Lightening Lap" at VIR. That is, they are road course lap times - you know, with corners.

I appreciate there are those here highly impressed with the handling prowess of the F30. I merely suggest its capabilities are much more modest.
Please tell what issue the Mustang results are in. They're not in the current issue and I haven't been able to find results for the Mustang V6 at VIR.


Regarding the current "Lightning Lap" results, Car & Driver notes the F30 335i used is a 2012 model. As such it is a Sport line model, not an M Sport line. They make zero mention of what tires are on the car. I would say it's highly unlikely they are the 19" staggered, summer, performance tires and the odds are quite high they are the non-staggered 18" low rolling resistance, all seasons. What tires were on the Mustang?
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  #79  
Old 01-03-2013, 10:26 PM
Ronin951 Ronin951 is offline
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Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
I can think of no better place to spend money than tires on a car.

I remember a test years ago where they put $$$$ tires on a Kia and the braking, handling numbers were so huge they compared it to an off the shelf Porsche and it was shockingly close. Tires make or break any car.
+1

In every new car (to me) I've owned I've replaced the stock rubber. In every case, all aspects of the car's performance improves. Yes, you'll be set back a good sum of money, but i'd rather have stock 18's with PS2's than upgraded/aftermarket 19's with all seasons.

If there wasn't something to the idea then why aren't all road racers sporting all seasons? It would definitely be cheaper.

Personally, I'm very skeptical of car comparison tests for this very reason. How can a test be objective if one of the most important factors is variable? This especially applies to measurables like skidpad, slalom, etc
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  #80  
Old 01-03-2013, 10:27 PM
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You are comparing it to an A4 from THREE generations ago?
It was not a BMW vs Audi comparison... The point was that my 99 A4 2.8 Sport was an excellent handling car... and my F30 Sportline spanks it.... just a bit of perspective, which was the point of this thread...

In other words, those who lament how poorly the F30 handles must therefore think my old A4 handled like a wounded cow... which is absurd. It handled wonderfully. I loved that car.
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  #81  
Old 01-04-2013, 07:46 AM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Originally Posted by Ronin951 View Post
+1

In every new car (to me) I've owned I've replaced the stock rubber. In every case, all aspects of the car's performance improves. Yes, you'll be set back a good sum of money, but i'd rather have stock 18's with PS2's than upgraded/aftermarket 19's with all seasons.

If there wasn't something to the idea then why aren't all road racers sporting all seasons? It would definitely be cheaper.

Personally, I'm very skeptical of car comparison tests for this very reason. How can a test be objective if one of the most important factors is variable? This especially applies to measurables like skidpad, slalom, etc
I think that comparison tests are viable if they are done with the tires that come as standard equipment from the factory since that is the way the majority of them will be driven. Once you start optimizing a car for the track tires are only part of the equation. The only fair comparison is showroom stock to showroom stock. If the factory offers a higher performance setup that would IMO be OK to use in a comparison but once you go to aftermarket tires that are not available as original equipment on the car you are opening a huge can of worms. I think the purpose of these comparisons is primarily to give an indication to the average enthusiast of how well these cars will perform on the street. They are not intended as a guide for race drivers to choose their race cars.

Below is a picture of a Turner Motosports M3 partially disassembled in their shop and another of the interior. As can be seen it is very different than the cars that are sold for street use.



I am not sure what you mean by "road racers" but if you are referring to a road racing track like VIR or Road America the tires that are used to race at those those tracks are totally unsuited to driving on public roads. In many cases the cars are running slicks which are useless and dangerous in the rain. They are also not legal for street driving.



When you are choosing tires for a race car your only concern is how well the tires are going to perform during that particular race. Ride quality, tread life, noise, etc, are not factors. I have a car that is set up for road racing and trust me it is not a car that you would want to use as a daily driver.

I personally run Conti DWS Ultra-HIgh Performance All Seasons on my 335i. I realize they do not give me as much cornering grip as I would get with summer compound tires on a warm day but that is a tradeoff I am willing to make in a street car. I never drive at close to the cars limits on the street.
In the environment that I drive in it could be 60 degrees one day and 25 degrees a few days later. I never take the car out in the snow but there is always a possibility that it could begin snowing while I am out and I will have to drive in light snow to return home.

CA
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  #82  
Old 01-04-2013, 08:22 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
I think that comparison tests are viable if they are done with the tires that come as standard equipment from the factory since that is the way the majority of them will be driven. Once you start optimizing a car for the track tires are only part of the equation. The only fair comparison is showroom stock to showroom stock. If the factory offers a higher performance setup that would IMO be OK to use in a comparison but once you go to aftermarket tires that are not available as original equipment on the car you are opening a huge can of worms. I think the purpose of these comparisons is primarily to give an indication to the average enthusiast of how well these cars will perform on the street. They are not intended as a guide for race drivers to choose their race cars.

Below is a picture of a Turner Motosports M3 partially disassembled in their shop and another of the interior. As can be seen it is very different than the cars that are sold for street use.



I am not sure what you mean by "road racers" but if you are referring to a road racing track like VIR or Road America the tires that are used to race at those those tracks are totally unsuited to driving on public roads. In many cases the cars are running slicks which are useless and dangerous in the rain. They are also not legal for street driving.



When you are choosing tires for a race car your only concern is how well the tires are going to perform during that particular race. Ride quality, tread life, noise, etc, are not factors. I have a car that is set up for road racing and trust me it is not a car that you would want to use as a daily driver.

I personally run Conti DWS Ultra-HIgh Performance All Seasons on my 335i. I realize they do not give me as much cornering grip as I would get with summer compound tires on a warm day but that is a tradeoff I am willing to make in a street car. I never drive at close to the cars limits on the street.
In the environment that I drive in it could be 60 degrees one day and 25 degrees a few days later. I never take the car out in the snow but there is always a possibility that it could begin snowing while I am out and I will have to drive in light snow to return home.

CA
Agreed.

But at it's core we are comparing a V-6 Mustang that had a factory option of real tires. Meanwhile, the F30 has a silly variety of tires available but all the tests have been '12's so far and most have square 225 all seasons. My M-Sport, new for '13 has wider 255's out back and are summer tires, all be it not the best ones out there, but would make a far better showing for themselves.
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  #83  
Old 01-04-2013, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
Agreed.

But at it's core we are comparing a V-6 Mustang that had a factory option of real tires. Meanwhile, the F30 has a silly variety of tires available but all the tests have been '12's so far and most have square 225 all seasons. My M-Sport, new for '13 has wider 255's out back and are summer tires, all be it not the best ones out there, but would make a far better showing for themselves.
I agree in the sense that if cars are being tested on a track they should be tested with the best performing tires that the factory offers and it should be made clear that the cars were tested with optional high performance tires if that was the case.

CA
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  #84  
Old 01-04-2013, 08:34 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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I agree in the sense that if cars are being tested on a track they should be tested with the best performing tires that the factory offers and it should be made clear that the cars were tested with optional high performance tires if that was the case.

CA
Yep.

And from what I remember of this article it did not go into such detail.

Meanwhile I think every 328 test I have seen has been a '12 and has had all season 225's. Maybe 1-2 had summer 225's. 225's are not enough tire for a 335, sorry. I had one as a loaner and it spent waaaay too much time with the traction light flickering away, a waste of the extra power compared to a 328.
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  #85  
Old 01-04-2013, 08:46 AM
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I'm just perplexed why BMW doesn't just put Michelin PS2 RFTs and just call it a day in all the 3 series. It's what they used to do in the non-RFT days. None of this silly AS or summer tire combinations. PS2s or PSS are just as good in dry or wet weather with reasonable tread life; excluding snow of course. Hopefully an RFT for the PSS comes out soon as the treadware is much better than the PS2s.
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  #86  
Old 01-04-2013, 10:53 AM
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I'm just perplexed why BMW doesn't just put Michelin PS2 RFTs and just call it a day in all the 3 series. It's what they used to do in the non-RFT days. None of this silly AS or summer tire combinations. PS2s or PSS are just as good in dry or wet weather with reasonable tread life; excluding snow of course. Hopefully an RFT for the PSS comes out soon as the treadware is much better than the PS2s.
Have you thought this out? PS2's on all 3 series? This is a high performance summer tire. It only makes sense to put such a tire on a Sport line or MSport model. On my car they would only be viable from mid-May to the end of September and the tread life is no where long enough for the vast majority of 3 series owners.
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  #87  
Old 01-04-2013, 10:58 AM
Ronin951 Ronin951 is offline
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I think that comparison tests are viable if they are done with the tires that come as standard equipment from the factory since that is the way the majority of them will be driven. Once you start optimizing a car for the track tires are only part of the equation. The only fair comparison is showroom stock to showroom stock. If the factory offers a higher performance setup that would IMO be OK to use in a comparison but once you go to aftermarket tires that are not available as original equipment on the car you are opening a huge can of worms. I think the purpose of these comparisons is primarily to give an indication to the average enthusiast of how well these cars will perform on the street. They are not intended as a guide for race drivers to choose their race cars.
I totally agree. If a reader has no plans of replacing them, then the stock vs. stock comparison is fair in my book. Assuming the reviewer is explicit in the setup and points out any caveats. Also, if an owner will never drive tires at their limits then IMHO they should take other priorities into considering when buying tires.

Quote:
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I am not sure what you mean by "road racers" but if you are referring to a road racing track like VIR or Road America the tires that are used to race at those those tracks are totally unsuited to driving on public roads. In many cases the cars are running slicks which are useless and dangerous in the rain. They are also not legal for street driving.

When you are choosing tires for a race car your only concern is how well the tires are going to perform during that particular race. Ride quality, tread life, noise, etc, are not factors. I have a car that is set up for road racing and trust me it is not a car that you would want to use as a daily driver.
Yes, by road racing i mean VIR, etc. The same would apply to any "high performance driving". Timed and un-timed. Anyways, I hope I didn't imply that street cars should run slicks. I'm just demonstrating that tires do make a difference, which is hopefully pointing out the obvious.

For me PS2's work fine for road and track (DE events) since I'm not...yet..at the skill/comfort level to take them to their limits. i.e. slicks would be a waste of money for me IMO
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  #88  
Old 01-04-2013, 11:03 AM
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Have you thought this out? PS2's on all 3 series? This is a high performance summer tire. It only makes sense to put such a tire on a Sport line or MSport model.
+1, you'd have F30 owners whining about tramlining and tire wear.

Simple solution - car mags should test only performance models, and not compare a track pack Mustang vs a 335i w/ all seasons.
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  #89  
Old 01-04-2013, 11:25 AM
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BJ is mostly right on this (yes, I know, don't feed the bears). BMW's 3 series has grown...like all of the competitors have grown...because the MAJORITY of their CUSTOMERS want it. Combine that with everybody's desire for more tech (heck, there are more "bluetooth / phone" posts on "enthusiast" forums than there are power adder posts these days), smoother rides, government CAFE and EPA requirements and well...you get the current 3 series. I do wish a ready replacement was in the line-up as a 4 door (i.e. I like the idea of a 1 series, but need more doors than it currently has and MAYBE we get 4 door in the U.S. - although I prefer the 5 door hatch in that style).

Now as a point of reference I drove my son's 97 M3 a bit when he came home for Christmas break. Does it feel great and communicative? Yep! Does it also feel old, a bit too rattly, and have an interior that is loaded with hard plastic - um YEP! Heck, we spent 3 hours laying underneath it before Christmas swapping his aftermarket exhaust (track pipe included) BACK to the factory exhaust because (and I quote my 20 year old son) "it is fun, but it just gets old listening to it" - at least he still has the headers on it. I actually consider the current F30 to be the next logical step from an E39 (you know, the LEGENDARY E39 5 series widely proclaimed to be the best BMW ever) - it is sized similarly, etc - and that really isn't a bad thing.
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  #90  
Old 01-04-2013, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
Agreed.

But at it's core we are comparing a V-6 Mustang that had a factory option of real tires. Meanwhile, the F30 has a silly variety of tires available but all the tests have been '12's so far and most have square 225 all seasons. My M-Sport, new for '13 has wider 255's out back and are summer tires, all be it not the best ones out there, but would make a far better showing for themselves.
Where is this Mustang test??
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  #91  
Old 01-04-2013, 01:34 PM
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Where is this Mustang test??
Would have been the same VIR lightening lap test, but 12-24 months ago.
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  #92  
Old 01-04-2013, 01:51 PM
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Would have been the same VIR lightening lap test, but 12-24 months ago.
Thanks. December 2010 issue. Pirelli P Zero 255/40 19s. I'm thinking maybe just a little stickier than the tires on the 335i.
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  #93  
Old 01-04-2013, 02:02 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Thanks. December 2010 issue. Pirelli P Zero 255/40 19s. I'm thinking maybe just a little stickier than the tires on the 335i.
LOL yeah.

I am not sure, but the car might have had a proper diff, and the lower torque V-6 gets to plant power with 255's which are likely far sticker than what was offered on the 335. If that test was done with all seasons, true silliness. BMW could have fitted M-Performance FORGED 20's and summer 255's.
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  #94  
Old 01-04-2013, 02:24 PM
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LOL yeah.

I am not sure, but the car might have had a proper diff, and the lower torque V-6 gets to plant power with 255's which are likely far sticker than what was offered on the 335. If that test was done with all seasons, true silliness. BMW could have fitted M-Performance FORGED 20's and summer 255's.
I would guess that 20s, forged or not, would not have been a good choice for the fastest lap times.

CA
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  #95  
Old 01-04-2013, 03:38 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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I would guess that 20s, forged or not, would not have been a good choice for the fastest lap times.

CA
If they are lighter and decrease unsprung weight, then why not?
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  #96  
Old 01-04-2013, 04:24 PM
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Regarding the Lightning Lap article I noticed they said one would be hard pressed to find a car at any price that delivered more driving enjoyment in that test than the 335i. That pretty much reiterates the OP's original point with this thread.
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  #97  
Old 01-04-2013, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
If they are lighter and decrease unsprung weight, then why not?
Because they will probably be slower due to insufficient sidewall flex which will decrease grip due to limited slip angle. I am basing this assumption partially on a discussion I had with the Lime Rock Club driving coaches and pace car drivers. These guys drive stock M3s around tracks every day. The consensus was that they were getting the fastest lap times with 18s rather than 19s.

I have posted this info before but here it is again. I have not seen lap time comparisons on an F30 with different rim sizes and everything else being equal but I suspect that 20s would not be the best choice. Any car will have a "sweet spot" for rim size and if you are either above or below that sweet spot handling and cornering grip will not be maximized.

Slip Angle:

A tire can only sustain a certain amount of force(s) until it loses traction; it starts to slip (Hence the term slip angle). And when it starts to slip speed is lost.
Slip angle is a term that tells you how much a tire is skidding (sliding/slipping). A bigger slip angle (measured in degrees of course) means that the tire starts to slide more...

Let's define what slip angle is:

When a tire is cornering the contact patch has to resist the forces of friction between the rubber and the road surface. Due to the elastic nature of the tire the tread is distorted in the way that forces are working at that particular time. It's resisting the turning action, thus pointing a different way than the actual desired path. This angular difference is called slip angle.


Here is a good illustration to help you better understand slip angle.







A BIG DRIFT ANGLE IS A GOOD THING!
Tires seem to operate at their peak performance when they are under a few degrees of slip angle, they generate the most grip at that particular slip angle. For race and high performance tires this optimum slip angle is around 6 to 10 degrees while this number is a little lower for street tires. Due to low traction surfaces rally drivers reach even bigger angles. In drifting you probably see the biggest slip angle of all motorsports, sometimes as high as 40 degrees! If you are cornering and the slip angle is below its optimum range the tire is considered to be under-used. If it's above this range the tire is being over-used. The trick is to stay within this optimum range so you use the tires to their fullest potential!



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Last edited by captainaudio; 01-04-2013 at 04:37 PM.
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  #98  
Old 01-04-2013, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Because they will probably be slower due to insufficient sidewall flex which will decrease grip due to limited slip angle. I am basing this assumption partially on a discussion I had with the Lime Rock Club driving coaches and pace car drivers. These guys drive stock M3s around tracks every day. The consensus was that they were getting the fastest lap times with 18s rather than 19s.

I have posted this info before but here it is again. I have not seen lap time comparisons on an F30 with different rim sizes and everything else being equal but I suspect that 20s would not be the best choice.


I noticed recently that BMW has switched the F30 3er's performance tires to 225/45 18 front and 255/40 18 rear from what was on the E9x sport package, 225/40 18 front and 255/35 18 rear. I suspect this was done more for comfort than performance, but I wonder if the new size might actually perform a little better at speed.
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Last edited by tturedraider; 01-04-2013 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:30 PM
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Just to put things in perspective:

Some people here seem to be carrying on as if the 3 Series has suddenly transformed from being a race car for the street into some oversize luxo-barge. The 2002 may have been a quirky cult car that helped popularize (no it was not the original) the concept of a sport sedan in the US but for quite some time the 3 Series has been the quintessential Yuppie Mobile and although they appealed to enthusiasts the image conscious were always an important part of the market. Building a car that is uncomfortable as basic transportation would not be a good move for BMW and neither would building a car that lost the "Ultimate Driving Machine" characteristics that built the brand. BMW needs to build cars that offer the best of both worlds and if they do not they will just become another generic brand in a sea of generic brands.

The F30 can be optioned for more luxury or more performance (or neither or some of each) but that concept is hardly new and is more an American than a German innovation. American cars traditionally have had very long option lists and cars like 1967 Camaros could be configured as a "Secretary Special" with an anemic 6 cylinder engine and a 2 speed powerglide AT or as a Z28 which in its early iterations was very close to being a street legal race car.

It was inevitable that the 3 Series would evolve with more creature comforts and technology. Today even main stream "family sedans" come equipped with climate control, blue tooth, navigation systems, etc.

Diving dynamics has always been a feature that separated BMW from the competition. IMO there is no reason why driving dynamics, road feel, handling, etc. need to deteriorate in order to make the car more mainstream. With today's suspension technologies it is possible to have comfort and handling on the same car and there is really no reason not to have both.

As I posted earlier harshness and road feel are two different things. A high performance car (and a high performance driver) will be smooth. Driving dynamics are very important to me but I am not interested in a car that shakes the fillings out of my teeth and that breaks when it hits an imperfection in the road surface.

We can have the best of both worlds and should not settle for less.


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  #100  
Old 01-04-2013, 05:54 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Because they will probably be slower due to insufficient sidewall flex which will decrease grip due to limited slip angle. I am basing this assumption partially on a discussion I had with the Lime Rock Club driving coaches and pace car drivers. These guys drive stock M3s around tracks every day. The consensus was that they were getting the fastest lap times with 18s rather than 19s.

I have posted this info before but here it is again. I have not seen lap time comparisons on an F30 with different rim sizes and everything else being equal but I suspect that 20s would not be the best choice. Any car will have a "sweet spot" for rim size and if you are either above or below that sweet spot handling and cornering grip will not be maximized.

Slip Angle:

A tire can only sustain a certain amount of force(s) until it loses traction; it starts to slip (Hence the term slip angle). And when it starts to slip speed is lost.
Slip angle is a term that tells you how much a tire is skidding (sliding/slipping). A bigger slip angle (measured in degrees of course) means that the tire starts to slide more...

Let's define what slip angle is:

When a tire is cornering the contact patch has to resist the forces of friction between the rubber and the road surface. Due to the elastic nature of the tire the tread is distorted in the way that forces are working at that particular time. It's resisting the turning action, thus pointing a different way than the actual desired path. This angular difference is called slip angle.


Here is a good illustration to help you better understand slip angle.







A BIG DRIFT ANGLE IS A GOOD THING!
Tires seem to operate at their peak performance when they are under a few degrees of slip angle, they generate the most grip at that particular slip angle. For race and high performance tires this optimum slip angle is around 6 to 10 degrees while this number is a little lower for street tires. Due to low traction surfaces rally drivers reach even bigger angles. In drifting you probably see the biggest slip angle of all motorsports, sometimes as high as 40 degrees! If you are cornering and the slip angle is below its optimum range the tire is considered to be under-used. If it's above this range the tire is being over-used. The trick is to stay within this optimum range so you use the tires to their fullest potential!




All valid and good points.

BUT

Your race team was likely comparing a light set of 18's to a light set of 19's.

The BMW 18's that came on my car were nearly 27lbs. The "semi" forged wheels I bought are 22lbs(rears are more like 24lbs. I could have spent more and bought 18-20lb 19" wheels. Then factor in further weights savings by careful tire selection. The weight savings may be enough to counteract the sidewall attributes you brought up.

We may be getting to the point of splitting hairs where trial and error would have to reveal which would work better.
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