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Old 17th November 2015, 15:28   #1
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Default Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!

BMW has launched the X5 M and X6 M in India at a price of Rs. 1.55 and 1.60 crores respectively (both prices all-India ex-showroom). BMW invited us to sample the two M SUVs on the MMST track in Sriperumbudur, just outside Chennai.

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04002.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04001.jpeg

Last edited by GTO : 17th November 2015 at 15:41.
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Old 17th November 2015, 15:28   #2
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The X5 M and X6 M are the second iterations of the M SUVs internationally and it's the first time we see them in India. The first generation X5 M and X6 M were also the first M cars to go turbo. They were followed by the M5 before the rest of the M range followed suit. The second generation X5 M and X6 M use the same engine, but it has been reworked to offer better performance.

Under the hood, both of them pack a wallop with a 4.4-litre V8 engine, fed by twin-turbos (one for each bank of cylinders), direct injection and valvetronic (BMW’s version of variable valve timing). All this techno wizardry results in a staggering power output of 567 BHP between 6,000-6,500 rpm and a gut wrenching torque of 750 Nm from 2,200-5,000 rpm. Power is laid down on the road through all four wheels using an 8-speed M-steptronic transmission. Unlike the M5, the gearbox is a torque converter unit and not a dual-clutch system because of the all-wheel drive system.

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4492.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4536.jpeg

X5 M:

The mean front end distinguishes this from the regular X5. It's also meant for a purpose i.e. to suck in as much air as possible:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03963.jpeg

Air dams on each side house small radiators for cooling vital parts such as the transmission oil:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03962.jpeg

All LED headlights with the corona rings as well as a horizontal DRL. What surprised me was that the light source for the headlamps is LED, but it's a regular reflector design and not projectors:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04038.jpeg

The X5 M rides much lower than the regular X5:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04003.jpeg

The X5 M gets a side skirt with more muscular wheel arches:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04029.jpeg

Notice the huge 6 pot disc brakes at the front. The wheels are staggered. While the front gets 285/40 R20 rubber...
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03955.jpeg

...the rear gets massive 325/35/R20 tyres:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03956.jpeg

Aerodynamic wing mirrors:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03961.jpeg

There's no mistaking this for a regular X5. There are M logos on every corner:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04036.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03995.jpeg

There's even an M etched on the rear axle!
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03989.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03986.jpeg

A 567 BHP practical family SUV that can carry all your luggage for those airport trips. The tailgate is split folding as well:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04026.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04027.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04028.jpeg

Interiors are similar to the regular X5, but with some premium touches and an M steering / gear knob:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03970.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03973.jpeg

Small gearknob for the 8-speed steptronic transmission. Notice the missing "P" mode. The button just below adjusts the gearshift modes. To the right are the controls for changing the settings for throttle, dampers and steering:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03982.jpeg

M steering wheel with the XL sized paddles:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03977.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03980.jpeg

Unlike the older M cars, this one redlines only till 6,500 rpm, but packs a wallop:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03978.jpeg

Sports seats are supremely supportive with integrated headrests:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03965.jpeg

Centre console with iDrive screen. The top of the dash is finished in leather:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03985.jpeg

Even the key gets the M racing stripes:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03984.jpeg

Last edited by Vid6639 : 17th November 2015 at 20:16.
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Old 17th November 2015, 15:28   #3
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X6 M :

The X6 M's lower stance gives it an even more coupe'ish look vs the regular X6:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04000.jpeg

The X6 M's front end is very similar to that of the X5 M. From this angle it's nearly impossible to tell them apart:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03954.jpeg

LED headlights with regular reflectors. The foglamp is a projector unit:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04012.jpeg

Just like the X5 M, the X6 M gets mixed tyres front and back:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03987.jpeg

Practical boot, but high loading lip:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04022.jpeg

The M cars get a space saver vs the regular BMWs. Reason? The M cars don't use runflats:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04025.jpeg

The heart of the matter - 4.4L V8 with twin-turbos features direct injection and valvetronic. It has 25 more horses and 70 Nm more torque than the older X6 M. It's also 20% more fuel efficient (still a guzzler though):
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04031.jpeg

A little badge that makes a big difference!
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04033.jpeg

The X6 M on display had red interiors. Way too loud for my liking:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04015.jpeg

Interiors are all too familiar. The dash is lined with carbon fibre:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04017.jpeg

A closer look:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04039.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03967.jpeg

The doors get a carbon fibre finish at the top as well:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04040.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04013.jpeg

The X6 M had a rear entertainment package with 2 monitors:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc03992.jpeg

Space at the back is restricted vs the X5 M. Legroom as well as headroom are limited:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04021.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04014.jpeg

Last edited by GTO : 17th November 2015 at 15:39.
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Old 17th November 2015, 15:28   #4
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After having a good look at the SUVs, it was time to hit the track. Before that however, it was time for a briefing from BMW’s instructor KK Wong from Malaysia. Wong was accompanied by Tommy Lee from Malaysia and Nachiket (Nash) from Mumbai. The trio are certified BMW instructors who travel across Asia for various BMW events. Wong had a very pleasant surprise in store for us.

Till now, we were all expecting to drive 2 SUVs weighing in at 2.3 tons each with 567 horses under the hood and all-wheel drive. A lot of horsepower, but a lot of weight to throw around as well. Wong tells us that we won’t be driving just the X5 M and X6 M, but we will be driving all the BMW M cars on sale in India, which includes the M3, M4, M5 and M6 Gran Coupe. That was like hitting the jackpot!

Wong then explained the rules of engagement for this drive. There would be 2 convoys and we would be split into 2 groups. One convoy would have the X6 M, X5 M, M5 and M6 Gran Coupe led by a regular X6 40d driven by Nash. The second convoy would have the M3 and M4 led by an X5 30d driven by Tommy Lee. Each car would get 2 drivers. There'd be one out lap, then an in lap, after which we would swap drivers. This way each one of us would get to drive behind the lead car driven by the pro once and the remaining times, we'd keep up with the car in front. After both drivers drove the car, we would swap cars and finally swap groups. Overtaking was prohibited and we had to stick to driving in the same formation. We were also strictly told to have the DSC on at all times.

Frank Schloeder (Director of Marketing) and Abhay Dange (Director - PR) give us the lowdown of the 2 SUV's:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0638.jpeg

KK Wong then breaks the surprise that we will be driving all 6 M cars today and not just the X5 M and X6 M:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0669.jpeg

From the left: Tommy Lee (Malaysia), Nash (Mumbai) and KK Wong (Malaysia) - our instructors for the day and Frank on the right:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0673.jpeg

The MMST track was not new to me. Having attended a track day here a few years ago I was familiar with the circuit. It’s not a very long track at 3.74 kms with 12 corners. The longest straight is only 250 metres long. This track is not about straight line speed, but more technical with the different corners. Unlike the Buddh circuit, it does not have the wide run off areas and is very, very bumpy at some of the corners:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-track.jpg

We walked out of the air conditioned lounge towards the pits and were greeted with the following line-up of cars. It was going to be an interesting day for sure!
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4691.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04074.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04076.jpeg

Last edited by GTO : 17th November 2015 at 15:38.
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Old 17th November 2015, 15:28   #5
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M6 Gran Coupe:

I started off with the M6 Gran Coupe. It ended up being the perfect car to get acquainted with the track. The M6 Gran Coupe is a massive car weighing in at nearly 2 tons. Mechanically, it is identical to the M5 with a 4.4L V8 engine driving the rear wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The first thing you notice once you get into any M car is the unconventional gear lever. There’s no “P” mode or a button for Park like the other BMWs. You simply leave it in “N” by pushing the small lever to the left and press the parking brake button. Pushing the lever to the right slots the transmission into “D” mode. Push it again and it goes into “S” mode. Now you would think that “S” mode is the automatic sport mode, but it’s not as I found out after hitting the rev limiter rather fiercely. “S” stands for sequential manual and you need to use the paddles for upshifts and downshifts. The transmission doesn’t automatically upshift even if you repeatedly bounce it off the rev limiter.

I was the last car in the convoy led by Nash (who was in the X6 40d). In front me was the M5. We drove out of the pits and Nash took it slow for the first out lap as everyone was new to the track as well as the cars. Nash was communicating the lines and braking points over the radio the whole time. This was very useful information coming through. As we completed the out lap, I got familiarized with the track as well as the car and was able to keep up with the M5 up front. Nash had also stepped things up and I had to work harder to keep up. The M6 Gran Coupe felt surprisingly easy to drive. I was expecting 550+ horses to be quite a handful, but the M6 was quite manageable.

Of course, the electronics were turned on, but I didn’t see them kick in during my 2 laps. I used the M6 Gran Coupe to get used to the performance as well as try out the lines on the track. On the second lap, I was trying to see if I could push harder without crossing the limits. I realised that if I could get a good exit out of C3, I could almost straight line the small chicane just after by using a bit of the kerb. This got me a massive advantage approaching C4 as I was crossing 170 kph just before the braking point for C4. It was the same case for the slight left after the C7 parabola section. A good exit and a lot of commitment meant that I could go straight through the slight left without lifting off. This depended heavily on the car in front and me slowing down a little before C7 to get that sling shot. By the time I got the hang of the M6 Gran Coupe, the lap had come to an end and it was time to swap drivers.

The M6 Gran Coupe was quite a lot of fun to drive, but there was something missing. It wasn’t the lunatic I was expecting it to be. Acceleration was explosive, but it felt quite docile. This would be reaffirmed later on once I drove the other M cars. As the first time behind an M sports car on a track, it felt bloody good and set a good reference point and I was ready for more.

The M6 Gran Coupe looked absolutely stunning in this orange shade with a matte finish:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_20151014_133011.jpg

Getting into an M car (that too on a race track) was a surreal experience!
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4718.jpg

At the same time, I was a little nervous as you can see:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4715.jpg

The M6 Gran Coupe was brilliantly composed over the corners, although you knew you were in a very heavy car:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0728.jpg

The start/finish straight is the only time you can floor these beasts on this small track:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4772.jpg

The M6 Gran Coupe stood out the most thanks to its ultra bright orange paint shade with a matte finish. Looked absolutely smashing!
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5426.jpg

The second lap saw me push a little more over the corners:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5058.jpg

Most of the settings were in Sport mode and I didn't change them to Sport+ in the M6 Gran Coupe to be on the safe side:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5463.jpg

The car had amazing stability while cornering with hardly any body roll:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5465.jpg

The 2 laps come to an end and it was time to come into the pits for a driver swap:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4821.jpg

The M6 Gran Coupe is lighter than the M5 and has a carbon fibre roof as well, to keep the centre of gravity low:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4992.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 17th November 2015 at 15:37.
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Old 17th November 2015, 15:28   #6
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X6 M:

After the M6 Gran Coupe at the back of the convoy, it was my turn to move to the X6 M at the front (just behind Nash). I was feeling much more confident about the track and this was my chance to get a close look at how the pros do it. I got into the X6 M and straightaway felt a little uncomfortable with the seating position. Coming from the low down “sunk into the seat” position of the M6 Gran Coupe, the X6 M’s height resulted in a higher up seating position with a more commanding view. If I moved the seat forward, my feet were too close to the pedals. I thought I would get used to this, but just a few seconds later when exiting the pit lane, I realised the seat needs to be further back and did some last minute changes. As soon as we exited the pits, I saw Nash pulling away out of C2 and C3. I took C2 carefully as I did not get the confidence to throw the X6 M into the corner straightaway.

I was a little more aggressive into C3 and sure enough there was body roll felt, but for a 2.3 ton SUV it was still remarkable to be able to throw it around so easily. The AWD system meant that there was much less drama and you would get understeer if you crossed the limit. I couldn’t charge into the corners as easily and needed to be a lot smoother with the steering. A few corners later, I was comfortable with the X6 M and was able to stick behind Nash. In the first lap, I noticed that he would pull ahead through the corners, but I would catch him at the straights before the next corner and he would then pull ahead again.

Nash was faster in a regular X6 40d vs me in the X6 M over the corners. On the second lap I was determined to keep up with him. I passed the start/finish straight and was approaching C1 fast. I saw Nash dab the brakes and I did the same, but I could feel the car twitching mid corner. C1 was not only a fast corner, but it was the bumpiest corner in the entire track. That was a scary moment. I backed off a little to let Nash pull away out of C2 as I knew there was a straight stretch after C3 in which I could catch up again.

I got a good run out of C3 and was flying over the chicane. Nash was further ahead and I got a little over confident with the brakes coming into C4. Slammed the brakes as hard as I could and the seatbelts tightened up. I also used the paddles to shift down to second to get engine braking, but even then it was way too close. I was sniffing down the rear bumper of Nash’s X6 as we entered C4. Immediately, I got a stern warning on the radio “X6 M, way too late on the brakes, you were too close”. After that warning I calmed down and just decided to follow him rather than experiment for the rest of the lap.

The brakes on all these M cars are phenomenal. I never thought I would be able to slow down so easily after missing the braking point big time, but in the end, it wasn't even that scary. However late I tried braking for a corner it would still mean I had a healthy margin of error. You literally have to recalibrate your braking points vs any other road car.

For a 2.3 ton SUV, the X6 M was impressive. I actually had more fun in the X6 M than in the M6 Gran Coupe. There is understeer at the limit as well as some body roll, but the way you can throw this type of vehicle into corners and come out looking like a hero defies physics. Even on the sharp corners, the amount of speed you could carry in was unbelievable. Where the M6 Gran Coupe required lesser effort, the X6 M had to be worked harder to keep it in check. The 4.4L V8 also sounded throatier in the X6 M vs the M6 Gran Coupe. In the 2 laps I drove, I couldn’t really make out any difference between the DCT in the M6 Gran Coupe vs the torque converter in the X6 M. Both were lightning quick in upshifts as well as downshifts. There’s a distinct pop and crackle heard when you upshift or downshift at a higher rpm. If you change the gearbox shift mode to the most aggressive, then every shift is like a kick in the backside.

It was now time to get into the X6 M:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04063.jpg

This one had a more pleasing interior tone vs the loud red in the other car on display:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04082.jpg

I took it slow for the first few corners to get used to the higher seating and height of the X6 M:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0759.jpg

After a few corners, I was keeping up with Nash in the X6 40d:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5032.jpg

You can see how much additional lean the X6 40d has...
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5036.jpg

...vs the X6 M which corners flat:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5038.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5041.jpg

This angle of the X6 M looked wicked with the sunlight falling on the side, showing off the heavily sculpted body. Perfect wallpaper pic!
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5611.jpg

Back in the pits to swap into the next car. The sign behind says it all:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5312.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0816.jpeg

You can see the entire lap video of me driving the X6 M with the camera mounted on the side passenger window:

Last edited by GTO : 17th November 2015 at 15:36.
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Old 17th November 2015, 15:28   #7
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X5 M:

The next car in line was the X5 M. Mechanically, the X5 M is very similar to the X6 M. Even the kerb weights differ by only 10 kilos. Having done 4 laps on the track (including 2 behind Nash), I was much more at ease. The X5 M had the same understeer at the limit with a slight hint of extra body roll. Mind you, you have to intentionally drive poorly by braking lesser while entering the corners and being aggressive on the throttle and steering to induce the understeer. Even then, the DSC kicks in with the lights blinking on the dash and bring the car back. If you’re smooth with your driving style, then you can drive these 2 SUV’s fast without the electronics kicking in.

I was comfortably able to keep up with the X6 M in front of me. In fact, I had to back off a couple of times and then catch up, just to be able to push the X5 M. The X5 M gave me a chance to play with the suspension and gearbox modes. With the earlier 2 cars, I left them in Sport and used the automatic mode most of the time. I tried the second lap in the X5 M with the gearbox in manual “S” mode and suspension in Sport+. Not a wise choice of suspension. In Sport+, body roll is under control and the suspension is super stiff, but it’s too stiff even for this track.

Charging into C1, the X5 M started twitching due to the bumpy surface. It was the same case when exiting C3 and negotiating the chicane. Sport+ needs a really smooth surface, else it’s pointless with the stiff setup unsettling the car. With the gearbox in the "S" mode and in the most aggressive setting, there's a very loud pop sound that you hear every time you shift gears near the redline. Apart from the pop, you hear a snort from the exhaust when you ask for a downshift. The engine sound maybe be accentuated as they are fed through the speakers, but I wasn't complaining. It was just too much fun!

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04084.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0952.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4764.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4811.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4985.jpg

2.3 ton SUV turning flat into a corner with hardly any lean. An SUV this big is not supposed to be able to do this!
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5048.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5299.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5315.jpg

Sitting at the back while BMW's PR director Abhay is driving:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5722.jpg

The X5 30d was the lead car for the other convoy. You can see the difference in body roll vs the X5 M:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0835.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5077.jpeg

A lap with the X5 M shot by a BMW PR chap. Unfortunately, I wasn't carrying a GoPro so the net result is a very shaky video as it is very, very difficult to remain steady while driving on the track:


Last edited by GTO : 17th November 2015 at 15:35.
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Old 17th November 2015, 15:28   #8
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M5 :

The last car left for me to drive in the group was the M5. As soon as I stepped into this M5, it felt different. The steering wheel was wrapped in alcantara and there were LED lights for gear shift points on top of the steering. Sweet! The car sounded different as well. It had a deep burble to it at idle and was louder than the other 3. Since this was the last car from this group, I went all out on the drive settings. Suspension in Sport mode with the gearbox, throttle and steering in Sport+. In the other cars, I couldn’t experiment with a lot of settings as we just got in and started driving. Two laps was too less to see the difference in settings and mid lap, the only thing you could experiment with was the gearbox modes. The instructors had suggested that we stick to everything in Sport mode, as the track was bumpy and not a high speed track.

The second we exited the pitlane, I realised the difference the “+” makes. The throttle is super snappy and a gentle prod will have you whacking the headrests every time. The steering also weighs up a lot, but was not necessarily sharper vs the Sport mode. After a few corners, I realised that it was too easy keeping up with the X5 M in front. As we approached the last corner (C12) leading to the pit straight, I slowed down to build a gap with the guys in front and then mashed the throttle mid-corner.

You can just hit 4th gear and around 180 kph before braking for C1. Since I had the safety net of the DSC, I went all out in this last lap. Approaching C3, I slammed the brakes and accelerated out, but that was way too much throttle. I promptly ran wide with 2 wheels on the grass and the DSC stopped me from spinning off. Luckily for me, Nash missed seeing that small escapade in his mirrors. For the remainder of the lap, I kept trying to unsettle the M5 mid-corner by releasing the throttle or accelerating out too early, but apart from a twitch, the electronics ensured there was no fun to be had. The M5 drove very much like the M6 Gran Coupe, but there were some differences felt. The M6 Gran Coupe had less understeer vs the M5 in the same Sport setting for the suspension. It could be because I was pushing the M5 a lot more than the M6 Gran Coupe which was the first car I drove.

After driving all 4 cars - a few things to note. All 4 cars had phenomenal acceleration. Unfortunately, the MMST track is just too small to use all that power. What was disappointing is that we could only get to 4th gear, that too just before braking at the start/finish straight. The entire track can be done in 2nd and 3rd gear. In fact, even 2nd feels unnecessary thanks to the massive torque available from 2000 rpm. You can use second gear for the slow corners, but you have to upshift straightaway to third. The X5 M and X6 M have an 8-speed torque converter vs the 7-speed dual-clutch unit in the M5 and M6 Gran Coupe. The only place you can use all those ratios in India is probably on the Buddh circuit.

All 4 vehicles had neck snapping braking power. Every time you hit the brakes you could feel your organs move forwards. Even with all that hard braking, acceleration and pushing these monstrous V8's, not a single one complained. We never had any issues with the brakes or with any of them over heating, and boy was it hot in Chennai! These cars were made for the track and can really stand a lot of abuse.

Check out our detailed review of the M5: link (BMW M5 : Driven)

This M5 looked the most menacing with the racing M stripes and the full black grill. It also had wicked multi spoke alloys:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_20151014_133005.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0761.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0762.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0906.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0910.jpg

The M5 did not feel as well planted as the M6 Gran Coupe. The suspension is supposedly stiffer on the M6 Gran Coupe vs the M5:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5546.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0937.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4813.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5321.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4987.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 18th November 2015 at 18:47. Reason: Removing S from httpS link.
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Old 17th November 2015, 15:28   #9
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After driving the monstrous V8s, I moved to the next group with the in-line 6's, comprising of the M4 and M3. Fellow Mod Ajmat has covered the M3 and M4 in detail and driven them at the Buddh circuit (link). I won't go into too much detail, but will mention some comparisons with the bigger M cars.

The M3 and M4 get a 3.0L, in-line 6-cylinder engine vs the larger V8. Power output is 425 BHP with the engine redlining at a much higher 7,500 rpm. The 550 Nm of torque is available from 1,850 rpm thanks to the twin-turbos feeding it. The grunt is sent to the rear wheels with a similar 7-speed dual-clutch unit. In fact, the rear axle is similar to the M5's. The M3 and M4 use a lot of mechanicals from the M5 with a smaller engine and crucially, they are around 300 kilos lighter. The weight savings make a massive difference. There's a lot of CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic) used with the roof, trunk lid, front strut brace and the drive shaft being made of CFRP.

Except for the suspension in Sport mode, I put everything else (throttle, dampers and steering) in Sport+. Set the transmission in the most aggressive shift setting as well. I wanted to enjoy these two cars at their max potential. Wish I got a chance to put the DSC in MDM (M dynamic mode) at least. This setting lets you do drifts and kicks in much later once you really overcook it. Unfortunately, the instructors were clear not to touch the safety aids.

M3:

I got into the M3 and was right behind Tommy Lee in the X5 30d. We exited the pits and I floored the throttle. I promptly whacked my head against the head restraint. A few turns later, I realised we would never be able to push these cars to their limits. The X5 was being driven at the limit, but the M3 was just way too quick through the corners. The M3 was stuck to the track like a leech. No matter what you did, you just couldn't get it out of shape. The lighter weight meant that you could brake later and carry much more speed into the corners and accelerate out earlier as well.

There was absolutely no understeer, however hard I tried to push through the corners. Point the steering to the apex and the car will oblige without a complaint. The M3 was comfortably quicker than the bigger M cars thanks to the weight advantage and this also meant it was not as much fun. The M3 is a thoroughbred that will do exactly what you tell it to. You don't have to work hard to make this car go fast and it makes you look good!

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_20151014_132855.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04049.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0879.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0921.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0945.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_3960.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4999.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5443.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5635.jpg

M4:

The M4 is identical to the M3 mechanically. The only difference being the additional carbon fibre trunk lid. It also looked way better than the M3, especially in the funky gold colour with the M racing stripes, plus I'm a sucker for frameless doors. I was expecting the M4 to drive like the M3, but it didn't. The M4 was a lot more fun. The car was more tail happy and you could get the rear to step out ever so slightly before the electronics kicked in. There was actually a hint of oversteer and at every corner, I would turn in sharper and get on the gas earlier to get the rear out. I'm not sure if the M4's tyres were worn out more than the M3's, but boy was it fun. I can only imagine what fun this M4 would be with the DSC off. While the M3 was clinical, the M4 was a wild party animal.

Unlike the older M3, the turbo-charged engine in the M3 and M4 doesn't have to be high strung to get the performance out of it. The ridiculous 550 Nm of torque available from as low as 1,850 rpm allows you to upshift early and enjoy the same ferocious thrust. You can easily upshift to 3rd for most of the corners and don't need 2nd. It's also difficult to drive smoothly if you keep it in a lower gear and redline it before shifting. Upshifting early results in a much more linear power delivery and it's not as violent. There's also isn't as much aural pleasure to be had vs the V8 engine at high rpm's. Similar to the bigger M cars, there's a seductive loud grunt when you downshift. I was intentionally downshifting to second a few times only to hear this grunt.

From all the M cars I drove it would be very difficult to pick one as each one has a different characteristic trait that distinguishes it from the other. The one that I did enjoy the most was undoubtedly the M4 as you can see from the photos:

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04087.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04091.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0771.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0942.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5016.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5084.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5101.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5258.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5444.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5448.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04090.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 17th November 2015 at 15:33.
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Old 17th November 2015, 15:28   #10
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After driving all the M cars, it was now time to experience them in the hands of the pros. I got a chance to sit shotgun on a taxi lap with Tommy and Wong. All electronic aids switched off and we were set!

First up, I was sitting next to Wong and it took him till C3 to finish off the rear tyres on the M4. They were already worn out after the drive, but 2 drifts were enough to finish off what was left. We then drove back slowly into the pits and swapped over into the M3. What I experienced is best seen in the video below. It was impossible keeping it steady and it was more like a roller coaster ride:



The next taxi lap was with Tommy Lee and this time I was in the rear seat. Brave! The same story repeated and by C3 we had bits of tyres flying around. This time, Tommy instead of slowing down just made sure there was nothing left of the tyres. Here's the video after the tyres gave up:



The track day was hard on tyres as I saw in the pits later on. The Chennai heat and very abrasive track surface meant the tyre changing crew was kept busy throughout the day. The M3, M4, M5 and M6 Gran Coupe were especially hard on the tyres and were eating up multiple sets. Surprisingly, the X5 M and X6 M lasted the whole day on the same set of tyres.

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04055.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04056.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04065.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04066.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04067.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04068.jpeg

BMW also had two i8's present on the track. These were not for us to drive, but later on in the afternoon, I saw Frank Schloeder take the i8 out for some hot laps. Frank is a proper petrol head and knows his way around the race track as well. I went out on the track to take some photos and it was a weird feeling seeing the i8 flying past with very little noise vs the M cars. It has some serious acceleration and looking at it taking the turns was impressive. Thanks to the super low centre of gravity, the i8 corners almost flat.

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04041.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04043.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0796.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_0840.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5593.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5626.jpeg

I did manage to sit inside the i8 though:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04094.jpg

After the i8 went out, I saw Wong take a regular 320d and chase down the i8. While the 320d was no match, it was very impressive seeing it on the track along with the big M cars. The 320d is like the perfect balance of a comfortable and fun to drive car:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04142.jpeg

There was a section with some BMW merchandise as well as the engine and drive shaft of the M3/M4:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4524.jpeg

Wong shows us his superhuman powers by lifting the drive shaft single handedly...
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_20151015_121115.jpg

...but don't be fooled as he is not superman. The M3/M4 have this carbon fibre drive shaft vs regular steel ones. The carbon fibre drive shaft is not only immensely stronger, but is also 40% lighter than a regular one. This one's just about 4-5 kilos!
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_20151015_121059.jpg

Some parting shots of the event as well as a collection of videos:
Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5303.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4978.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_5577.jpeg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-dsc04069.jpeg










Last edited by GTO : 17th November 2015 at 15:32.
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Old 17th November 2015, 15:28   #11
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Organizing an event like this requires a lot of preparation. Wong, Tommy and Nash were there at the track a day earlier to plan out the event and have some fun as well. What better way to run in the new M cars than to do a few donuts . Looks like the guys had more fun the day before. Unfortunately, I wasn't there to see this. BMW shared these photos:

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_3744.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_3796.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4392.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4435.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4437.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4469.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4398.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4417.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4239.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4243.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4244.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_4247.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-img_3641.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 17th November 2015 at 15:30.
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Old 17th November 2015, 15:47   #12
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Default Re: Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Supercars & Imports Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 17th November 2015, 16:15   #13
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Default Re: Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!

Wow, what an amazing experience that must have been - thanks for sharing Vid!

The most menacing pics are right at the end- with those DRLs and corona rings peeking out from under the tyre smoke

All I need now is some Vitamin M to afford those Ms and I'm all set.

Thanks again for some vicarious pleasure! LOL

Last edited by Parth46 : 17th November 2015 at 16:16.
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Old 17th November 2015, 16:20   #14
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Fantastic report Vid6639

Its good that team-bhp had the opportunity to drive these ///Mean Machines on a closed track.

Sadly i drove these cars on streets of Mumbai last month & the only car which had use-able power to put down was the X5M thanks to the X-Drive, rest were too tail happy

IMO the M3/4 are truly special even if they are low on power & 2 cyls less, but they are so well balanced & perfectly sized for an ///M Car.

Here are some pics of the drive;

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1447757251.932630.jpg

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1447757315.713161.jpg

Behind the steering wheel of the M5, Note this M5 had the additional M Performance Exhaust (Developed by Akrapovic)

Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1447757360.652156.jpg
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On the BWSL;

Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1447757383.062346.jpg

Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1447757405.658869.jpg
Views: 11291
Size:  459.5 KB

All Smiles;

Name:  12036978_10153331879482762_959290302113344595_n.jpg
Views: 11218
Size:  63.9 KB

Last edited by karan561 : 17th November 2015 at 16:47.
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Old 17th November 2015, 22:40   #15
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Default Re: Driven at MMST: The entire BMW M range (X5 M, X6 M, M3, M4, M5 & M6)!

Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post

Behind the steering wheel of the M5, Note this M5 had the additional M Performance Exhaust (Developed by Akrapovic)
I think this is the same car that I drove on the track. It had a much louder exhaust which now as you say is the Akrapovic exhaust.

The steering wheel was full alcantara with the shift lights as well. It was a blast to drive and that exhaust was the best of the lot.
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