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2019+ BMW 3 AND 4-SERIES FORUMS (G2x Generation) General G20 Sedan / G22 Coupe / G26 Gran Coupe Discussions Comparison: 320d v 330i / Passive v Adaptive / ESC v M Sport Diff

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      06-28-2020, 05:45 AM   #23
WhiteJames
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Drives: BMW 330i M-Sport Plus
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Mexico Build:

From June 2020 build onwards, all G20 3 series destined for Australia will be built in Mexico. I have managed to glean a few other points re: Mexico build for the BMW 330i M Sport:

1. Mexico Factory is a new advanced and state of the art factory.
2. There is a cluster of factories in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Mercedes, GM and Nissan have factories in this area. Vehicle components manufacturers also have factories nearby to supply BMW with parts.
3. Up to half the Mexican employees in the BMW factory have prior experience from working in other auto factories.
4. The average age of the worker in the BMW factory is Germany is about mid-forties. In Mexico it about mid-twenties.
5. There is no engine factory in the Mexican plant. I’m guessing that the 330i motor is shipped in from either the USA or Germany?
6. There is a railway line from San Luis Potosi directly to the Pacific Ocean Mexican port of Lazaro Cadenas, where the vehicles are loaded onto the car carrier ship.
7. Mexico plant only builds the 3 series vehicle.
8. BMW Germany has been building the G20 for about 20 months. Mexico has been building the G20 for about 12 months. Mexico has had plenty of time to adapt.


Cheers

WJ
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      09-20-2020, 06:23 AM   #24
WhiteJames
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Owner Review

This thread may transform from a comparison review to a BMW 330i M-Sport Plus owner review in the near future!
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      09-28-2020, 06:31 AM   #25
WhiteJames
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OWNER REVIEW

BMW 330i M-Sport Plus Package


The BMW 330i M-Sport was optioned with the two most important options in my opinion:

1. Lumber Support
2. M-Sport Plus Package – M-Sport mechanical limited slip differential (LSD) + M-Sport coloured seat belts + rear boot lip spoiler.

Please note:

The Australian spec G20 BMW 330i comes with a litany of standard equipment that is optional in other markets. M-Sport package, leather seats, 19 wheels, adaptive dampers, mid-spec stereo system, and a host of technical and safety gear is standard. This includes radar cruise control, HUD, lane-keeping, blind spot warning, keyless entry to name a few. BMW 5-year basic free service package was added. BMW dealer fitted aftermarket tint was included as part of the BMW package.


Origin of BMW:

At time of order, BMW informed me that my BMW 330i M-Sport Plus would be made in Mexico. This was due to a post 1 June 2020 build date. Upon collection of the BMW 330i, I was surprised to see the vehicle was actually made in Germany.


Initial Drive Impressions:

This my first impression of the BMW 330i M Sport Plus Package drive experience during gentle run-in-phase.


Low Speed Ride Comfort:

At very low city speeds: 10kph – 40kph the ride is a little too firm and at times brittle. Blame the M Sport spec suspension and 19-inch diameter wheels on run-flat tyres. This relates to the secondary-ride small-bump ride comfort. At times, the BMW 330i on adaptive dampers feels like a nuggetty Body-Builder strutting over sunken man-hole covers, ruts, divots and roadway irregularities. There’s little in terms of suspension flexibility or compliance at very low traffic-jam speeds. Like the dampers are locked into place.

Ideally, it would be great to have an additional Comfort + setting on the BMW for inner-city Sydney CBD driving to aid ride comfort. I understand that the new Golf 8 has incremental adaptive damper settings. The incremental range allows the driver to scroll further beyond the standard factory Comfort setting, going even softer. It’s not a major issue. It may become taxing on the ride comfort if you primarily drive below 40kph in inner-city Sydney CBD areas. Ironically: Once you’re on the move and driving above 50kph, the ride comfort with the M-Sport adaptive dampers improves dramatically. Out on the open highway the ride comfort further improves. The faster you drive, the better the ride becomes.
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      09-28-2020, 06:34 AM   #26
WhiteJames
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Longer-Wheel Base:

The longer wheelbase of the G20 BMW 330i makes for a great GT - Grand Tourer. Coming from a Volkswagen Golf 7 GTI with a shorter wheelbase, the BMW is much less darty with no nervousness at speed. The shorter and softer Golf 7 GTI lends itself to being thrown around like a rag-doll. The GTI chassis had greater adjustability on the throttle and brake.

The longer wheelbase of the BMW 330i on M-Sport suspension tune is not as adjustable on the throttle & brake, due to the vehicle being tied down to a greater degree. This provides for a more relaxing drive, with less driver effort and less nervousness out on the freeway. It leaves the driver much more refreshed after a longer freeway drive. True Sports/Luxury motoring.

The firmer M-Sport suspension tune on adaptive dampers has reduced body roll, pitch and dive. Determining the grip levels on the BMW is not as clear cut. The firmer M Sport suspension reduces the threshold from grip to slip. The reduced body roll, pitch and dive telegraphs less information as to when the limit of adhesion is approaching. Cornering happens faster with greater intensity on the firmer M-Sport tune. In this respect, the softer regular non-M-Sport suspension may provide greater feedback out on the open public roadway, especially at slower speeds.

The G20 BMW 330i on M-Sport suspension tune excels out on the open roadway where cornering speeds are higher. The greater chassis composure of the M-Sport tune provides a direct and secure feeling around long winding corners at higher freeway speeds. Overall the grip level is on the 330i is high. In this respect, the BMW 330i is a more focussed and direct driverís vehicle.


M-Sport Stabiliser Bars Ė Sway Bars:

Upgraded, larger diameter and heavier stabiliser/sway bars are a double-edged sword in terms of positive and negative attributes of a vehicle. This relates to the comfort/handling balance conundrum.

Cons

The BMW 3 series M- Sport front sway bar is firm & heavy relative to the softer front spring rates. At times the front sway-bar may overwhelm the front springs with heave when one-wheel bumps are struck mid corner with the outside front wheel loaded. The driver can feel the transverse lateral force of the sway-bar twisting & flexing across the front end of the vehicle. When the outside front wheel is really loaded up at greater speed, you not only feel the loss of independence of the front end, but you can see the front sway-bar pushing the inside front unloaded front mud-guard down limiting the chassis body roll.

The loss of independence in the front end is not a pleasant feeling for the driver when striking one-wheel bumps mid-corner. The stiffer sway-bar overwhelms the softer front springs, trading off independence for a flat cornering stance. The longitudinal heaving forces are not violent enough to through the BMW off-line mid-corner. It does upset the natural flow of the chassis when impacting one-wheel bumps with the loaded outside tyre. This issue may relate to owners who drive out in the country on rougher B-grade country roadways.

BMW may have alternatively gone for a stiffer front spring rate and smaller, lighter more flexible front sway bar. This would make the ride firmer all of the time, but added some independence when striking mid-corner bumps.

Or better still: BMW may have ditched the versatile front strut suspension for a double-wishbone front end akin to the larger brother 5 series. The BMW 5 series has a great reputation for striking that balance between ride comfort/handling balance. Double-Wishbone suspension does a better job of consistently keeping the tyre in contact with the roadway. It provides for more consistent negative camber, reducing tyre scrub as the chassis leans from side to side. A double-wishbone front end may have allowed BMW to have a smaller & lighter front sway-bar, allowing for greater independence for the front end of the 3 series.

Pros

Large sway-bars work best on smooth roadways. The heavy M Sport front sway bar endows the 3 series with a fantastic direct, sharp and consistent tracking through corners. This makes it easy for the driver to place and hold the 330i online around corners. The front-end tracking when steering the BMW around corners is heading towards race-car direct in many regards. A real highlight of the BMW ownership experience. So long as the roadway is smooth.

Unlike my previous Golf 7 GTI, there is no need to continually stab or re-adjust the steering wheel angle around corners of the BMW. The BMW faithfully follows the driverís inputs through the entire corner. The driver input requires much less effort in the BMW, making driving the BMW 330i M Sport Plus less taxing and something to savour.


Rear Suspension:

The multi-link rear end of the BMW M-Sport works seamlessly relative to the rear-end spring and sway bar rates, bearing in mind that I have not carry any large or heavy loads in the rear. Thereís loads of grip from more advanced multi-link rear suspension when mated to the wider rear tyres. The rear suspension tune in concert with the staggered wider rear tyres makes the rear-end feel tight as a drum when cornering. Thereís a feeling of the trademark BMW 3 series 50/50 weight distribution when cornering with greater force at higher freeway speeds. Another highlight of owning and driving a BMW 3 series M-Sport.


Following Updates:

The ownership experience is in its early days. An update on the chassis tune will be provided much later on when an opportunity arises to dig a bit deeper into the G20 3 series chassis. Perhaps sometime after run-in-phase.

In the interim, the next update in the near future may discuss my thoughts on the interior, driverís seat and seating position adjustment, BMW dealer fitted window tint, BMW driver technology and the 8-speed ZF auto transmission.
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