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      08-13-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
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Faster lap times in Comfort setting (?)

I've read a few times recently that cars with adjustable dampers turned faster lap times in Comfort mode than in Sport... anyone have any informed thoughts on why?

Unless it's a bumpy track, and the sport mode is too stiff to keep the tires planted on the ground, seems a bit counter-intuitive.
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      08-13-2013, 10:25 PM   #2
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I dunno about that... Bumpywillow... err... Buttonwillow Raceway is not the smoothest racetrack but for sure Sport was definitely the setting to use. I forgot to switch from Comfort to Sport and as soon as I hit the first part of the track with slight elevation change I could tell something was amiss. There are some portions of the track with nasty depressions which racers avoid because it does upset the chassis but even in Sport/+ DHP can handle them with no issues. In fact, I'd argue it could be even a tad bit stiffer, especially if running Rcomps.
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      08-14-2013, 08:44 AM   #3
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I agree, it's hard to imagine a car running faster laps in Comfort. I believe the last article I read that mentioned this was at the Nurburgring - can't remember for sure...
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      08-14-2013, 10:01 AM   #4
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Depends on tires. On the crappy stock tires the car comes with, I wouldn't be surprised if it was faster in comfort mode. If you don't have proper tires, the last thing you want is stiff suspension.
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      08-14-2013, 11:49 AM   #5
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Good point about tires... that may be a big part of it.
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      08-28-2013, 03:36 PM   #6
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I saw somewhere a test done with a vette. Same driver, same track, same conditions, etc. No matter the mode the times were the same. While it doesn't necessarily apply specifically to the F30 I think the concept remains the same. Really I think it boils down to a driver's preference.

I forgot to put on sport in one session and my times were no better/worse. I didn't even realize it until I looked down afterwards. No DHP, so YMMV.
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      08-28-2013, 07:42 PM   #7
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I can see how it's possible if you're not used to driving a lot on the track. The softer damper settings will absorb jerky and abrupt hand movement typical of first time or poor driving on track, while the stiffer sport setting will cause the car to become unsettled if you apply said jerky and rough inputs.

I'll bet the "rumor" probably started with some journalist writing that their lap times are faster in the comfort mode than sports mode. I've seen how typical automotive journalists drive. It's not pretty.

Hard for me to fathom that if your inputs are smooth, that the quicker responding, stiffer sports mode would actually impede your track time.
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      08-28-2013, 09:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
I can see how it's possible if you're not used to driving a lot on the track. The softer damper settings will absorb jerky and abrupt hand movement typical of first time or poor driving on track, while the stiffer sport setting will cause the car to become unsettled if you apply said jerky and rough inputs.

I'll bet the "rumor" probably started with some journalist writing that their lap times are faster in the comfort mode than sports mode. I've seen how typical automotive journalists drive. It's not pretty.

Hard for me to fathom that if your inputs are smooth, that the quicker responding, stiffer sports mode would actually impede your track time.
Actually the driver was Mike Skeen IIRC. Not a rumor. Info was from a first hand account. I guess I should have said "heard" not saw. I agree though. Journalists can definitely be full of it.
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      08-28-2013, 09:53 PM   #9
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Anyone have any links to articles or tests where this claim (faster times in comfort mode) is made?
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      08-28-2013, 10:45 PM   #10
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Top Gear tested the Golf GTI with adaptive and the Stig was fastest in comfort mode.
There were also a thread with quotes from some BMW development technician that said that sport mode was just harder to give the impression that it was sportier (to satisfy the customer).
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      10-18-2013, 06:37 AM   #11
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I believe stiffer settings donīt necessarily make that much of a difference, but the quicker pedal response and higher/more available boost (higher kept rpms) should make a difference... Do all brands with adaptive settings affect the engine as well?
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      10-18-2013, 08:39 AM   #12
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On the track the other day in my new F30, I noticed that the body roll that the stock Adaptive M Suspension does have was not really a hindrance. On such a smooth, consistent surface - with a focus on smooth inputs and weight transition - the suspension had no problem whatsoever keeping the tires planted on the ground and delivering tenacious grip. I never once "noticed" body roll or found it to be an issue.
I didn't try "Comfort" mode (I was in Sport+ the whole time), but the take away for me was that I didn't feel like the lack of rock-hard suspension was holding me back.
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