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      05-12-2016, 03:41 PM   #1
David@ActiveAutowerke
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Active Autowerke | M2 Track Day Results and Review

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Last month we had the chance to take our M2 out to Sebring International Raceway to see what the car could actually do. With the vast amount of positive reviews that have been coming in about how the car drives, the bar was set pretty high.

Setup

The only variable we changed for the weekend was tire pressure. We wanted to keep the pressures around 35-37psi hot, which required a cold temperature of ~25psi. When we first went out with 30psi cold, we ended up with pressures over 45psi after a few hot laps.

Background

I'm not a professional driver, but this was a closed course. I've been "high performance" driving for ten years and have been instructing with NASA's Florida Region for the past three. I have a couple years of wheel to wheel racing experience and am also an avid motorcycle rider/racer. I've driven dozens of cars around Sebring including a few F8X M4's and I was even lucky enough to drive my student's M235i on the same day that we were there testing the M2.

Driving Emotions

After my second hot lap in the M2 I was literally laughing out loud in my helmet. I could not believe how good the car was in bone stock trim. My prior experience with stock BMWs on track tells me that they all need a little more front camber and a little more toe out for them to be any fun; not the case with the M2!

If I had to label the car with three words, they would be "point and shoot". Turn in was pretty good (especially for the stock alignment and weeny 245 PSSs up front) and even if you were coming in a little hot with the front wheels starting to rudder themselves around, the situation was fixed easily by laying in to the throttle a bit more. Instead of snap-oversteering like the F8X M4 and F10 M5, the M2 handled the under to over transition extremely gracefully. The M2 is by far the most flickable stock BMW I've driven. Hit the brakes, flick it in, power out! Almost as easy to do as it is to say!

The stock brakes are the weakest point of the package. After four (7) lap sessions the front pads were nearly to the backing plate. I refer to session length by lap count because I simply couldn't make it through a full 25 minute session without fading the brakes. After about 6-7 hot laps they become overheated and started significantly fading.

Notes

If you shift below 6000rpm, you will have lag when applying throttle in the next gear. But, if you let it sing to above 6000rpm and then shift, it explodes in to the gear with no noticeable turbo lag. That said, turbo lag is a real thing. At some points I found myself missing the cable actuated throttle on my e36 or the snappy response of the individual throttle body'd S54 or S65. If you want to apply throttle mid turn, you have to do it a little in advance. This isn't a deal killer but it's something noteworthy.

The car is sometimes too smart. If your tire pressure is too low (my starting point of 25psi) the car won't let you turn DSC off because it thinks you're losing air pressure. This leads to my next comment.

DSC is a joke. If you leave the traction on, even in the first stage where the DSC light is on in the cluster the car is boring. It smoothly glides through the turns with no chance of under or oversteer regardless of your throttle input. It's like racing go karts on the kiddie track at Disney. This is great for new drivers looking to learn the line, but you'll never learn any car control with the DSC system in the M2. Fortunately the car is fairly easy to handle.

Huge thanks goes out to our friends Cody and Garrett from BC Racing NA. They came out for the day and captured a bunch of footage for us. We'll be back at Sebring next month with an updated car in hopes of shaving a bit of time.

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer. I'm not the best writer/reviewer but I can definitely comment on any specific questions or concerns! I will update the thread with more still shots as they become available.

EDIT: In the very last clip you can hear the exhaust note exiting turn 7... it sounds so good for a stock car.



Last edited by David@ActiveAutowerke; 05-12-2016 at 03:52 PM.
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      05-12-2016, 07:09 PM   #2
LBBDrew
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Excellent write-up, thanks!
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      05-12-2016, 08:23 PM   #3
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Nice lap! What was your personal best time on that track in F8x?
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      05-12-2016, 08:52 PM   #4
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Sweet thanks! Is Sebring your home base? My brother owns a car shop, tunes up Subaru's, some bimmers, and vettes...Revworks, they are out there all the time. I'll be first time tracking with the M2....maybe we will cross paths!!
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      05-12-2016, 09:06 PM   #5
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Thanks for the great review on the car?I really enjoyed your video,it was nice seeing the racing line at the Sebring track.
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      05-13-2016, 03:21 AM   #6
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Thanks for the bigger sized letters, now I'm really feeling old....

Cheers
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      05-13-2016, 09:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LBBDrew View Post
Excellent write-up, thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by NiceGuyEddie View Post
Nice lap! What was your personal best time on that track in F8x?
It was over a year ago but I believe it was a 28.6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BurpZilla View Post
Sweet thanks! Is Sebring your home base? My brother owns a car shop, tunes up Subaru's, some bimmers, and vettes...Revworks, they are out there all the time. I'll be first time tracking with the M2....maybe we will cross paths!!
Yup, Sebring is home for us! I spent nearly 9 years in Orlando so I'm familiar with RevWorks as well. If all goes well we'll be back at Sebring mid-June with Performance Driving Group, maybe I'll see ya out there??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket View Post
Thanks for the great review on the car?I really enjoyed your video,it was nice seeing the racing line at the Sebring track.
Thanks for the kind words!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin_NL View Post
Thanks for the bigger sized letters, now I'm really feeling old....

Cheers
Robin
LOL. You're welcome
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      05-13-2016, 04:25 PM   #8
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Nice thread!
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      05-13-2016, 04:27 PM   #9
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Nice driving!
Two questions:

1) can you elaborate on the front camber comment? My M235 is critically lacking front camber stock (max -0.25 degrees non adjustable from the factory / not even the sliding shock tower positions you had on the E46 M3) even my street only PSS tires were corded at the outside shoulders at 20k miles. Does the M2 have more negative front camber stock or are you implying that it does not need it as much?

2) On almost every corner exit, you seem to be counter steering briefly, are you applying throttle too aggressively / too early? Is that your driving style to rotate the car mid corner or is the car itself too oversteery?
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      05-13-2016, 04:29 PM   #10
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Nice vid, If you get the gdv diverter valve for the turbo it helps with the lag a lot on the m235i not sure if it would be plug and play on the m2. Also I think we have similar brakes (calipers) and with proper race pads ( I use porterfield R4) and proper fluid I can get 40 min sessions at sebring, although my calipers are now green .

That is not bad for a stock car, I am turning consistent high 27 low 28s in my 235i w camber plates, coil overs jb4 and m3/m4 lcas on r comps (only 235 square though, jealous of the m2 space for rubber )

Did you get any power loss in the heat, 235 did until I updated the inter-cooler.
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      05-13-2016, 04:42 PM   #11
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I'm in agreement about the front camber. The M2 does not need camber plates as much as most BMWs.

After two laps in my 1M, stock, the TIRES were screaming for camber plates. They are a necessory for any track work on the 1M.

I also 100 percent agree with you on the brake pads ! Those are the weakest stock M pads I have ever experienced. They are good for novice only. :

I'm already a little concerned for M2 owners that will be coming to the Texas Trifecta at COTA in June. In my " slow " 1M i can reach 145-150 mph on the back straight and I would expect about 4-5mph higher from the M2 with its better top end power and also addl mph entry onto the straight due to better grip.
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      05-13-2016, 04:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sedan_Clan View Post
Nice thread!
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramos View Post
Nice driving!
Two questions:

1) can you elaborate on the front camber comment? My M235 is critically lacking front camber stock (max -0.25 degrees non adjustable from the factory / not even the sliding shock tower positions you had on the E46 M3) even my street only PSS tires were corded at the outside shoulders at 20k miles. Does the M2 have more negative front camber stock or are you implying that it does not need it as much?

2) On almost every corner exit, you seem to be counter steering briefly, are you applying throttle too aggressively / too early? Is that your driving style to rotate the car mid corner or is the car itself too oversteery?
1) I'm not sure what the stock spec for camber is on the M2 but it's not very much. I was implying that the turn in wasn't bad at all despite the minimal negative camber up front.

2) I'm using throttle to rotate the car. I guess you could say it's my driving style, but I noticed that with less throttle the car would understeer more. The car does not naturally oversteer, if anything it understeers a bit. Rotating the car with throttle allows you to apply more throttle earlier and exit a little faster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pparana View Post
Nice vid, If you get the gdv diverter valve for the turbo it helps with the lag a lot on the m235i not sure if it would be plug and play on the m2. Also I think we have similar brakes (calipers) and with proper race pads ( I use porterfield R4) and proper fluid I can get 40 min sessions at sebring, although my calipers are now green .

That is not bad for a stock car, I am turning consistent high 27 low 28s in my 235i w camber plates, coil overs jb4 and m3/m4 lcas on r comps (only 235 square though, jealous of the m2 space for rubber )

Did you get any power loss in the heat, 235 did until I updated the inter-cooler.
Thanks! The turbo lag is built in to the software, if you shift above 6000rpm it eliminates the lag. I'll be driving tomorrow at Homestead with some new Pagid RS29 pads so we'll see how those hold up.

27s are fast! I'm hoping to be in the low to mid 20s with the coilovers, tires and power the next time we head out there.
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      05-13-2016, 04:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Adjuster View Post
I'm in agreement about the front camber. The M2 does not need camber plates as much as most BMWs.

After two laps in my 1M, stock, the TIRES were screaming for camber plates. They are a necessory for any track work on the 1M.

I also 100 percent agree with you on the brake pads ! Those are the weakest stock M pads I have ever experienced. They are good for novice only.
Fortunately the brake pads were the only disappointment!
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      05-13-2016, 04:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramos
Nice driving!
Two questions:

1) can you elaborate on the front camber comment? My M235 is critically lacking front camber stock (max -0.25 degrees non adjustable from the factory / not even the sliding shock tower positions you had on the E46 M3) even my street only PSS tires were corded at the outside shoulders at 20k miles. Does the M2 have more negative front camber stock or are you implying that it does not need it as much?

2) On almost every corner exit, you seem to be counter steering briefly, are you applying throttle too aggressively / too early? Is that your driving style to rotate the car mid corner or is the car itself too oversteery?
The M235 has a completely different front suspension setup since the M2 has the M4 setup swapped onto it...

in my opinion.. for the first since the E30 M3.. This a BMW that doesn't scream for camber plates.

Obviously if one is using race tires ( which typically prefer /require/are designed for more camber) then camber plates may be preferred but the original stock setup seems to be darn good out of the box on the M2
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Last edited by M3 Adjuster; 05-13-2016 at 06:40 PM.
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      05-13-2016, 05:04 PM   #15
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Nice one David!
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      05-13-2016, 05:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David@ActiveAutowerke
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Adjuster View Post
I'm in agreement about the front camber. The M2 does not need camber plates as much as most BMWs.

After two laps in my 1M, stock, the TIRES were screaming for camber plates. They are a necessory for any track work on the 1M.

I also 100 percent agree with you on the brake pads ! Those are the weakest stock M pads I have ever experienced. They are good for novice only.
Fortunately the brake pads were the only disappointment!
there is more new car tech disappointment to be had...

It's nice to get a warning for low pads, but
Any decent track driver can eyeball the pads and determine if they will make it through the rest of a their sessions in the day or even weekend.

Like you said about tire pressures ... The car is too smart sometimes

On my 1M, if the brake lining light is red ( it changes from yellow to red when the pads get lower ) , then the car will go into limp mode if you drive it hard, and it will not let you drive the car hard for more than a lap or two !!

Go into the paddock and cycle it off and on and it will be start up just fine. . Go back out on track and it will go to limp mode again another half lap later.
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Last edited by M3 Adjuster; 05-13-2016 at 06:47 PM.
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      05-13-2016, 05:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David@ActiveAutowerke View Post
The turbo lag is built in to the software, if you shift above 6000rpm it eliminates the lag. I'll be driving tomorrow at Homestead with some new Pagid RS29 pads so we'll see how those hold up.
Nice video and great write-up. Car looks like it's a blast, especially for stock.

My dad and I will be out there at HMS as well. Hope to see you out there!
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      05-13-2016, 05:26 PM   #18
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About tire pressures, would the car also not allow the DSC to be turned off if one is running track wheels/tires without TPMS?

On the M235, the car doesn't care and it's not an issue other than the tire warning staying lit.

It would suck having to pony up for TPMS on track wheels.
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      05-13-2016, 05:48 PM   #19
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Seriously awesome driving! Within seconds I could tell you know what you're doing! Made the video great to watch
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      05-13-2016, 06:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David@ActiveAutowerke View Post
... Instead of snap-oversteering like the F8X M4 and F10 M5, the M2 handled the under to over transition extremely gracefully. ...
Great news if you happen to take your M2 to a Cars & Coffee with 1.5 psi underinflation.
M3/4s are deathtraps in that situation. LOL.
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      05-13-2016, 06:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosozoku
Quote:
Originally Posted by David@ActiveAutowerke View Post
... Instead of snap-oversteering like the F8X M4 and F10 M5, the M2 handled the under to over transition extremely gracefully. ...
Great news if you happen to take your M2 to a Cars & Coffee with 1.5 psi underinflation.
M3/4s are deathtraps in that situation. LOL.
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      05-13-2016, 07:00 PM   #22
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Thank you for nice unbiased feedback. The throttle lag is concerning. I am surprised BMW did not address it.

Any feedback about the weight?

I use RS29 with my bbk and it is a superb set up.

I am considering M2 but I am looking for precision and feedback machine.

Cheers and safe driving!
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