December 13, 2010, 1:44 pm
I skimmed through most of the responses. For some reason I feel like responding again.
First, Let's touch upon some of the statements made about this 1M Coupe being made for the track. It's not. Let's not pretend that this 1M Coupe is going to be any more capable than any other N54 equipped car for the track. The inherent flaws in the N54 means that this car will never be able to withstand the rigors of track use for extended period of time and that's a FACT.
In my advanced age my memory is fading, but it's slowly coming back to me. Luckily I work in the aftermarket industry and gets to pick the brains of some of the smartest guys in the world when it comes to their specialties. I was chatting with one of our vendors who just happens to build high-end race motors for one of the pre-eminent race series in the United States. The conversation turned to BMW motors, since naturally, I'm a BMW fanatic, and off-handedly he asked me if any tuner found a way around the problem with the new turbocharged BMW engines. I asked him to elaborate, and he said that a turbocharged aluminum inline-6 block like that, it's going to be very difficult to provide enough cooling to the last two cylinders to make it work well for true motorsport applications. That's why you RARELY ever see turbocharged inline 6es. It can be done, as evident by some of the great turbo'ed 6es from Japan (GT-R, Supra), but he said that the aluminum block makes it just about impossible to extract reliable power out of turbocharging due to heat in the last two cylinders. And that reminded me of a white paper I read on Steve Dinan's tune on the N54, and it explicitly stated that they were having cooling issues with the last two cylinder while testing and had to increase cooling capacity as well as water pump flow rate just to reliably extract some moderate power (380 HP?) out of the engine as it stands. And judging from the amount of problems that still exist with N54 on track WITH the Dinan tune, I'd reserve judgement as to whether or not the 1M Coupe can truly withstand the rigors of track use until they start showing up at the track in capable hands. Given the engineering hurdle to cross, I doubt it.
Now, before you start quoting 'Ring times to disprove that this car can indeed work well on track, let me just say that even the 135i and 335i had no problem posting decent 'Ring times without going limp. The 'Ring has very long high speed sections combined with a lot of high speed turns to provide adequate high speed cooling. I doubt the 135i and 335i can post reliable times on the F1 'Ring track for a 20 minute session in the hands of a test driver.
The next point I'm going to make is about turbo charged vs. naturally aspirated. Those of you that have driven a NA ///M motor with individual throttle bodies vs any FI car will likely never make that argument that turbo-charging is the way of the future. Like all things in marketing, turbo-charging is but a way to mask a motor's inadequacies. While turbo-charging looks great on paper because it provides great power and torque and returns fuel economy of a "small" engine, there's just no way to replicate the instantaneous throttle response of a NA engine plus the ability to rev to sky-high limits, thus allowing you to take advantage of gearing to use all that available high end power. I have taken my '09 WRX Wagon and the MZ4 Coupe to the track regularly last year, and while under boost the WRX Wagon can keep up, if money weren't a factor I'd choose the NA ///M motor any day. Also the inherent flaw in FI engines, the heat it generates via exhaust gas, a high speed, spinning turbine, and highly compressed air means more heat generated in the system, and therefore require far more cooling capacity to operate at the higher range of performance spectrum. I mean, the S54 in my MZ4 Coupe comes with some very beefy water and oil cooling, and even with that upgraded cooling capacity, I'd venture to guess the 1M Coupe is going to require a lot more than what was put on the prior generation ///M motors to see the light of day on track.
And I can't leave a thread without the opportunity to offend just about everyone who's posted in it. I see a lot of argument by people about the race-bred heritage of BMW ///M. Yet beside a few posters that I know, how many of you actually will EVER sniff the hot side of the pit in your lifetime? I find it ironic that the most fervent defender of what the ///M stands for, are by guys that have NO IDEA what "M" stands for. Now, if you're capable of turning a few hot laps around the track and extracting more than 50% of what an 1M Coupe is capable of, and you want to complain that the N54 is not a race bred, hand built, ///M designed engine like every single ///M engine that came before it (well, except the X5M and X6M has pretty much came before THAT to break that tradition)? Maybe there's some merit to BMW losing your business. God knows I'm not going to touch any new BMW with a 100' pole unless it's a diesel. But for someone to claim that BMW's lost their business because of the recent development and direction that they're headed in? I've got one thing to say for that. Stop spouting what you read on the internet. Start thinking for yourself.
Lastly, as I've contended for quite a long time now. If you want to buy a BMW, a BMW that was built in the golden years of BMW lore, a BMW that was build like how a BMW should be, but you want it new? Head down to the local Subaru dealership. The WRX STi Special Edition has all the ingredients that made BMW what BMW was in the 80s and 90s, except it's got all the modern fixin's. They took out all the frivolous things that made the STi so damn heavy, threw on light-weight rims and lost like 100 lbs AND mated it with stiffer springs and shocks. And made it CHEAPER than the STi. Go figure.