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      01-02-2014, 01:46 PM   #1
nicknaz
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Some thoughts from track test drive of '14 328 xdrive

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Hey all, I got about 3.5 hours of seat time test driving a 2014 328 xdrive luxury line (8spd automatic, non DHP) at Toronto Motorsports Park (40F ambient temperature, track was mostly dry with some wet patches) and wanted to share few thoughts about how the car drove
  • The steering was very light (i.e. I thought "feel" was poor) but I could place the car where I wanted and the steering slackened slightly to denote when the front tires were at their traction limit (i.e. I thought the "accuracy" was fine)
  • The car rotated nicely and it felt similar to a RWD car. The car was very easily to slide and recover when the DSC was off
  • There was some body roll when cornering but it did not feel excessive. If I was purchasing the car, I would be interested in trying the DHP to see if the steering "feel" was improved or if the wheel control was better, however I did not feel the lack of DHP was a 'deal breaker'
  • The brakes were insufficient and were easy to overheat after several hot laps. The brake pedal travel and stopping distance both increased, and the car put an error on the screen. "High braking load. Drive moderately." I think anyone planning to track a 328 needs to budget for a brake upgrade
  • The fuel economy during the test drive was 10.2mpg (on the highway during normal cruising, it was 34.5mpg)

Overall, I had a lot of fun with the car and think it is a solid choice for a winter commuter.
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Last edited by nicknaz; 01-02-2014 at 01:54 PM.
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      01-03-2014, 07:27 PM   #2
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Didn't realize the track was open this time of year, especially considering the weather around here as of late. I take it the car was on the stock all season tires?
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      01-03-2014, 10:05 PM   #3
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Probably the least appealing F30 setup to take to the track lol.
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      01-03-2014, 11:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesons Viggen View Post
Probably the least appealing F30 setup to take to the track lol.
lol - yup, was thinking the same...
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      01-05-2014, 11:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CHCCubs View Post
Didn't realize the track was open this time of year, especially considering the weather around here as of late. I take it the car was on the stock all season tires?
Open lapping $100 if you pre-register and $130 if you just show up

YMMV but it was pretty much a dry track for the most part last Sunday.

Car was stock on all season tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesons Viggen
Probably the least appealing F30 setup to take to the track lol.
Agreed. Way better than the 2013 Chevy Malibu I used at the same track this past September though

When I'm visiting a track away from home I use whatever is on hand.
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      01-06-2014, 04:57 AM   #6
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Note to self. Don't buy this demo vehicle nor the noted malibu
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      01-06-2014, 08:02 AM   #7
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Yeah for the best handling f30 you need a manual 328i with passive suspension and 18inch wheels.
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      01-06-2014, 08:36 AM   #8
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The brakes are fine. It was the pads that overheated. Same thing would have happened on any model BMW other than the M, which comes with harder compound pads. With track pads you would have had no complaints about the brakes.

Does anyone know for sure (not guessing) if the M Sport brakes option comes with harder compound pads from the factory? Or are they the same soft pad compound that you get with the standard brakes?

Last edited by mlc1978; 01-06-2014 at 08:45 AM. Reason: add
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      01-06-2014, 08:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlc1978 View Post
The brakes are fine. It was the pads that overheated. Same thing would have happened on any model BMW other than the M, which comes with harder compound pads. With track pads you would have had no complaints about the brakes.

Does anyone know for sure (not guessing) if the M Sport brakes option comes with harder compound pads from the factory? Or are they the same soft pad compound that you get with the standard brakes?
I know they are different pads, I assume harder. They dust more I've heard which leads me to believe they're more hi-po.
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      01-06-2014, 09:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ryan T. View Post
I know they are different pads, I assume harder. They dust more I've heard which leads me to believe they're more hi-po.
They would be different because it's a different caliper. More dust suggests a softer pad. Hard pads produce less dust.
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      01-06-2014, 09:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlc1978 View Post
The brakes are fine. It was the pads that overheated. Same thing would have happened on any model BMW other than the M, which comes with harder compound pads. With track pads you would have had no complaints about the brakes.

Does anyone know for sure (not guessing) if the M Sport brakes option comes with harder compound pads from the factory? Or are they the same soft pad compound that you get with the standard brakes?
M performance brake pads don't have this issue.
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      01-06-2014, 09:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Greek
Yeah for the best handling f30 you need a manual 328i with passive suspension and 18inch wheels.
Nope 320i, not 328i. I would assume in other markets they is a 316i. How would that compare to the 320i?

Here is what BMW had to say about the 320i

"The 320i goes back to the very essence of the 3 Series. It’s a true Sports sedan that embodies BMW’s intelligent approach to performance; that’s to say through the use of both a great engine and an advanced chassis that offers sharp handling and response in all situations. The Sport package echoes this positioning, with its simple, yet comprehensive attributes. It combines athletic design elements as well as dynamic drivetrain components to further enhance the driving experience… Equipped with the Sport Package, the 320i is even more of a homage to cars like the 2002ti; it is a very versatile car that can handle pretty much anything a driver might expect from his car, but its primary focus is on pure, simple driving pleasure."
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      01-06-2014, 01:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlc1978 View Post
The brakes are fine. It was the pads that overheated. Same thing would have happened on any model BMW other than the M, which comes with harder compound pads. With track pads you would have had no complaints about the brakes.
I did a few laps in a 997.2 C4S that same day and I am pretty doubtful that a pad swap alone in the 328 would have brought the pedal feel and heat capacity up to that level (hence my comment that "I think anyone planning to track a 328 needs to budget for a brake upgrade")

Do you have the M sport brakes with a pad swap on your 335? How do you like them / how much lapping can you do before they overheat?
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      01-06-2014, 01:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknaz View Post
I did a few laps in a 997.2 C4S that same day and I am pretty doubtful that a pad swap alone in the 328 would have brought the pedal feel and heat capacity up to that level (hence my comment that "I think anyone planning to track a 328 needs to budget for a brake upgrade")

Do you have the M sport brakes with a pad swap on your 335? How do you like them / how much lapping can you do before they overheat?
I think 335 or MP brakes grafted onto the 328 with proper pads would be a great setup. The same brakes on the 335 have to make up for extra weight, so it's a proper upgrade for a 328.

If my friend gets the MP brakes, he is giving me his 335 hardware for nothing, so I will comment first hand if that happens.
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      01-06-2014, 01:34 PM   #15
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Nope 320i, not 328i. I would assume in other markets they is a 316i. How would that compare to the 320i?
Same engine fella with less power, both as near as makes no difference 50/50 weight distribution.

320i doesn't have enough power to be able to steer the car on the throttle in the way you can with the 328i.


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      01-06-2014, 01:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Nick the Greek View Post
Same engine fella with less power, both as near as makes no difference 50/50 weight distribution.

320i doesn't have enough power to be able to steer the car on the throttle in the way you can with the 328i.


If that's what makes you happy that's fine
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      01-06-2014, 02:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesons Viggen View Post
I think 335 or MP brakes grafted onto the 328 with proper pads would be a great setup. The same brakes on the 335 have to make up for extra weight, so it's a proper upgrade for a 328.

If my friend gets the MP brakes, he is giving me his 335 hardware for nothing, so I will comment first hand if that happens.
That would be good info thanks.

I have not yet had a chance to really heat up my 335 (has the regular brakes) but my going assumption is it will have heat issues, like my Z435. Seems like it is a matter of when, not if, with these non M cars unless upgrades are made.

The 335 M sport brakes are interesting. At $650 for the larger rotors (same size as the M performance, right?) , they are definitely on my shopping list for next time.
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      01-06-2014, 03:24 PM   #18
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The 335 M sport brakes are interesting. At $650 for the larger rotors (same size as the M performance, right?) , they are definitely on my shopping list for next time.
I can confirm that the M Sport brakes (with stock pads and fluid) were rock solid for a long track day
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      01-06-2014, 11:46 PM   #19
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You got over 10 MPG on track? Damn. I'm happy when I approach 3 MPG.

I think you might have been braking more than necessary. At those ambient temps on all seasons, you shouldn't have heat soaked them.
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      01-07-2014, 12:09 AM   #20
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You got over 10 MPG on track? Damn. I'm happy when I approach 3 MPG.

I think you might have been braking more than necessary. At those ambient temps on all seasons, you shouldn't have heat soaked them.
N20 is all about the fuel efficiency right?

I believe the 328 xdrive has ~12" front rotors and is ~3700lbs. Not exactly a ton of heat capacity for such a porky car.... I am sure there was room to improve my driving but on the other hand, I drove the 997.2 in a similar fashion and it did not have the brake issues. (is it really that surprising that the brakes on a base model 328 need to be upgraded for track use?)

One thing that might have worsened the situation is that the traction control was left on for most of day. The brakes seemed to last longer when I drove in DSC OFF

EDIT: my griping about the brakes aside, I want to reiterate the fact the car was a TON of fun. Non track users aren't going to notice any of these things we are talking about and track users will know better than to spend their money on this particular configuration....
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      01-08-2014, 08:21 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknaz View Post
N20 is all about the fuel efficiency right?

I believe the 328 xdrive has ~12" front rotors and is ~3700lbs. Not exactly a ton of heat capacity for such a porky car.... I am sure there was room to improve my driving but on the other hand, I drove the 997.2 in a similar fashion and it did not have the brake issues. (is it really that surprising that the brakes on a base model 328 need to be upgraded for track use?)

One thing that might have worsened the situation is that the traction control was left on for most of day. The brakes seemed to last longer when I drove in DSC OFF

EDIT: my griping about the brakes aside, I want to reiterate the fact the car was a TON of fun. Non track users aren't going to notice any of these things we are talking about and track users will know better than to spend their money on this particular configuration....

I guarantee your results would have been different had you disabled the traction control. The brakes were being used the majority of the time you were driving. This is rule #1 when driving on track by the way.
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      01-08-2014, 01:51 PM   #22
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I guarantee your results would have been different had you disabled the traction control. The brakes were being used the majority of the time you were driving. This is rule #1 when driving on track by the way.
Disagree. The brakes still got too hot when with DSC OFF. It just took a bit longer.

Out of curiosity, why do you think the 328 should have been able to do the hot lapping without overheating the brakes?

Is your track car an F30 328 ?
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