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      03-23-2013, 12:41 AM   #37
Rob///M5's Avatar

Drives: 2013 M5 SSII
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: San Diego

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2013 BMW M5  [5.00]
Post Chuckwalla Valley Raceway F10 M5 review

Last weekend I got the F10 M5 out for two solid days of track time and instruction. As the title of this thread stated, I've never tracked any car before…so my review is coming from a bit of an ignorant point of view, but perhaps a pov that many of us share.

The Event
This was a BMWCCA led event. First let me say that the program, instruction and people were absolutely first class! I learned so much in a short period of time, it was astonishing. Over the course of the two days I had 2 different in car instructors with 8 on track sessions (I only could stay for 7) of 30 mins each for roughly 3.5 hours in the car. The instructors each had very different approaches to teaching, both of which were very effective for me.

It was hot. 95 degrees in the desert on day 1 and only slightly cooler on day 2.

I was unsure what to expect going in to the event. I bought track specific insurance to be cautious. I wasn't too worried about myself taking the car past the limit, but I was unclear how other drivers would behave. In the end, it was a very safe environment. No one passes without clear indication from the driver in front. If I go again with the F10, I will likely not buy the added insurance (it ain't cheap). As this was my first day on track, I was in the novice group. The skill, confidence and aggressiveness levels varied wildly in this group, which made for some interesting clumping of vehicles on the track. By day two, this smoothed out substantially.

The Car
This thing is an absolute beast! As you'd expect the HP and torque are unbelievable. Chuckwalla is a pretty tight track with no long straightaways. Nonetheless, I was regularly hitting 105 on the straight between turns 10 and 11 on the back side of the track. As I said, it was 95 degrees (perhaps more on the actual track) and not once did the car go into limp mode. I never noticed any drop in HP or acceleration. I ran 91 octane on day 1 and mixed 100 into the tank on day 2 to achieve basically 95 octane…I couldn't tell a difference on the track, but there are so many things happening at once out there, it's perhaps not a fair assessment.

I ran the car with these settings:
  • Suspension--Sport Plus
  • Throttle--Sport Plus
  • Steering--Comfort
  • On day 1, I kept traction control on. Day 2 I used MDM mode.

With the HP/Torque of the F10, it's just a monster out there. I was regularly passing cars throughout the weekend, including E92 M3s. In fact, there were numerous times where I would be behind an E92 going into a straight and as we both began to pass a slower car, I would just have to sit back and wait as the E92 M3's torque slowly kicked in. The M5 is so much faster in the straights. I was not passed once all weekend until the very last run when my tires were completely toast and my instructor was having me work on late braking, so we were carrying less speed in the straights. I wasn't disallowing anyone to pass me, the car was just fast around the track.

Turbo lag??? What freaking turbo lag??? Absolutely non-existent. I drove 95% of this track in 3rd gear. Up to 4th on 2 of the straights, and down to 2nd for the tightest turn. If you had sat me in this car blindfolded, I could not have told you if it was a N/A or turbo car. The torque is entirely linear and is there right NOW. On the track you are easing in/out of both throttle and brakes anyway, so it simply isn't the slightest issue.

Braking was more than adequate. Never felt even a hint of fade. That said, I think an experienced driver would use the brakes far more aggressively than a novice. Steering was perfect in comfort mode the entire weekend.

I installed my new Eisenmann Race exhaust on the way to the event. Holy mother of God I love the noise of the E Race. It just roared around that track. The retaining wall on the front straight reflected the brilliant sound back into the cabin and made me smile every single lap. I had half a dozen people come over and tell me how sick the car sounded. Thank you Eisenmann!!

As we all know, the car is big…really big. I was the only F10 M5 there. Actually, I was the only M5, period. What the ///M engineers have done with the F10 is truly astonishing though. The balance is amazing for its heft and it really does just shrink around you when pushed hard.

In summary, this experience was incredible! I am completely hooked on the track now!! I've already started the search for something smaller to dedicate to track days (e36, e46, etc).

Every M5 owner should track their car at least once to fully appreciate the capabilities of this no compromise luxury sports sedan
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Last edited by Rob///M5; 03-23-2013 at 12:52 AM.