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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys - so I've been watching a ton of videos massively praising the BMW M2 for its driving dynamics and fun factor. I've been going nuts with the possibility of buying it (and paying a lot for it!) versus spending a bit more on my Q in handling mods. Right now my Q feels quite fast (CBE+LDP+JB4+EWG) but it drives and handles like a boat, especially after lowering it with down springs. To make things worse I have the DAS steering which doesn't help.

I used to own a RWD 1 series and it was quite fun to toss it in corners, I felt a lot of confidence in that super lightweight car. It wasn't super powerful (it was the 128) but it was indeed q lot of fun. With my Q right now I find my self only having fun on straights, I tried tossing it on corners a few times but the car just doesn't want to play, its heavy and clumsy right now. I noticed the same thing when taking it to the track, a lot of body roll. The breaks didn't play nice either, in just a couple laps they were overheating and smoking. I thought my Q for having brand new Akebonos (drilled and slotted) were going to be half decent for a few laps in the track but maybe the car is just too heavy. I couldn't do more than 2-3 laps before having to stop to cool down the breaks (with smoke coming out of them). FYI - I'm only going to the track a few times a year, maybe 2-3 at most.

I guess this is a dumb question - considering we're all fan boys of our Qs, but would you guys spend another 5-10 grand upgrading the Q to handle better (i.e. coil overs, sway bars, lighter wheels, better breaks, etc) or would you just buy the more nimble M2? If I were do swich, I'd for sure get a manual as well for the supposed "higher" fun factor, afterall this is a weekend car - i dont commute anymore.

Looking forwards to hearing your opinions.

PS: I think the Q looks 100 times better and has a lot more features, but handling wise I'm just not sure.
 

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I would put it to you a different way.

Should have spent on handling first and then power.

And, factory brake pads at the track will not suffice. You need better compound...at least for the Q.

RSR coilovers ... 2
SPC F/R control arms ... 0.5
Nismo wheels 19x9.45 +40 ... 2.5
275/35/19 RE71R for track use ... 1.5
-2.0 camber all around ... 1 with install
Z1 2 piece rotors...optional.
Hotchkins F/R anti sway bars ... 0.5

Will get close to 9k.

When I had that list on my car minus the anti sway bars, the car was very, very driveable...scary quick through turns for a big car.

those tires wear fast so not ideal for daily though I run them on my non Q daily.

I have the hotchkins in a box, camber is now -1.5 all around, and Indy 500 instead of re71r.

It is decent, but tires and camber make a difference with that setup.

next time, consider carbotech xp12/xp10 F/R. You can get away with xp10/xp8 as well.

I also have DAS, but cant drive in sport mode as I turn off all nannies and then sport mode doesnt work for steering and it defaults to standard.

I test drove an M2 competition but decided against it. This was after my handling mods. It was ok, but I would need more power and handling for my taste.

If you just want a fun car that you will not mod, sure get the M2 competition.

If you like the size and practicality of your Q, dont make the trade.

I have an 8 year old. At the time, she was 6.

going to a 2 door wouldnt happen.

Maybe you need a 2nd car with a manual and RWD to scratch that itch?
 

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Ask yourself are you really going to be able to push the car to its limits? Talking about suspension/tire-modified Q, as it sounds like you've tracked yours at stock level (?)...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Should have spent on handling first and then power.
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When I had that list on my car minus the anti sway bars, the car was very, very driveable...scary quick through turns for a big car.
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next time, consider carbotech xp12/xp10 F/R. You can get away with xp10/xp8 as well.
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I test drove an M2 competition but decided against it. This was after my handling mods. It was ok, but I would need more power and handling for my taste.
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If you just want a fun car that you will not mod, sure get the M2 competition.
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If you like the size and practicality of your Q, dont make the trade.
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Maybe you need a 2nd car with a manual and RWD to scratch that itch?
Thanks for your insights Joe!

I used to drive my Q daily but with covid I've been working from home now (and wont be going back to office), so I'm just driving the Q for pleasure really.
FYI - the Q is my second car, wife has a Mazda CX-5 we got for the incoming baby - which is why i'm not even considering a 2 seater (i.e. supra) because I want to be able to put the baby in the back seat eventually.

As for the tires and breaks, I have the PS 4S which are pretty decent I'd think. The worse part was really the body roll and break fading. I'll look into those pads, thanks for the recommendation. And I agree - I should've gone for handling first. I was (am?) such a noob on to the modding world that I didnt even realize that lowering the cars without supporting mods did so much damage to your car. I'm actually scared to push it right now till I either upgrade it or sell it.

So you drove the M2 competition eh? I'm stil trying to test drive one, my local dealer just doesn't have any. Handling wise ur saying that your Q actually handled and felt better?? Even with DAS? Didn't it feel a lot more nimble and more power (since its lighter)? Very curious to hear more about this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ask yourself are you really going to be able to push the car to its limits? Talking about suspension/tire-modified Q, as it sounds like you've tracked yours at stock level (?)...
So here is the thing. With the M2 I hear u can really toss it in corners and drift a little bit quite easily, and I actually believe in this as I've owned a 1 series and it was incredibly easy to drift it. I'm no talking about crazy drifts, just a little bit of side ways when coming off a corner. To me that was a lot of fun. I could achieve fun before going for the limits of the car.

With the Q as it stands right now I can have fun stomping on the gas on a straight and maybe a little bit on fast corners, but that thing is so massive and powerful that when I start to feel and have a bit of fun I'm already going too fast - I've already gotten in trouble for speeding and I try to stay within a reasonable limit these days.

I've tracked with the mods in my signature, I have Michelin PS 4S and (unfortunately) RSS lower springs. To make things worse it was a freakish hot day I was having issues with low coolant level which made the car heat soak almost instantly after a first acceleration. Still, I was just doing 1 or 2 laps at a time (on a very small track) and waiting for the car to cool down in between.
 

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As for the tires and breaks, I have the PS 4S which are pretty decent I'd think. The worse part was really the body roll and break fading. I'll look into those pads, thanks for the recommendation. And I agree - I should've gone for handling first. I was (am?) such a noob on to the modding world that I didnt even realize that lowering the cars without supporting mods did so much damage to your car. I'm actually scared to push it right now till I either upgrade it or sell it.
I'm in a Q60, but Q50 (V37) and Q60 (CV37) share similar running gear and suspension.

Since my Q is AWD, I wasn't please with how much higher the AWD carried itself compared to the RWD version, so I opted to change-out the stock DSS suspension for the RS-R DSS equivalent C/Os, and also SPL Parts suspension bits to achieve lowering the car 1" w/o adversely affecting ride and handling. I've gone the lowering springs route before on other cars, but it's a compromise and the spring rate to OEM shock is mis-matched - not good for ride quality. I also wanted to track the car at HPDEs, so I went all-in (see my sig).

As for brakes, I got lucky. After changing-over to Z1 2-piece rotors, and after trying a few pad compounds, I still wasn't please with the modulation and brake dust from aggressive pad compounds. A Q50 owner was selling a used Stoptech BBK, so I bought it instead. An investment like the Stoptech BBK is not for everyone, but having a 6-piston front brake with a 4-piston rear brake is really helpful hauling-down a 4k lb car!
 
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Meh, I had a 78 1/2 Fiat Brava (131). It was definitely the most tossable car I have ever owned. In spite of being down on power to BMW 2002s I could keep up and sometimes beat them at autocross. It was an absolute ball to drive. You never know what might be the most fun. A good friend of mine had a '95 Miata with which I was able to do some hot laps at Road America. Slow car driven fast can be just as much or more fun than some track beast.

The problem as I see it with the Q is the weight. Even a non hybrid with RWD must weigh in close to 3700 pounds.
 

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I’m a huge fan of the Qs for all around value, straight line performance, luxery etc.. great daily.

But it sounds like you want a weekend warrior track car? Any car can technically be built out to do this. And if you had the RWD Q60 I’d be more inclined to say keep it.

But AWD Q60 is 400lbs heavier, 8” longer but with same track width and almost identical powerband. The M2 is definitely a much better starting platform.

With the power and weight combo of the Q You will need some serious brakes and probably some custom ducts if you want to get more serious.

You should do some research also on what people recommend is at least the bare minimum for tracking the M2, it’s most likely not up to the task from the factory at least not frequent trips to the track doing several hot laps. You may end up dropping 10k in wheels/tires/suspension/brakes on the M2 to get it track ready.

At which point what is the real cost difference to building the Q out, or selling and building the M2 out?

Tracking heavy high HP cars is expensive. Could always keep the Q for a daily straight line sleeper. And get a brz/frs/86 or miata for a cheap dedicated track build.
 

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Thanks for your insights Joe!

I used to drive my Q daily but with covid I've been working from home now (and wont be going back to office), so I'm just driving the Q for pleasure really.
FYI - the Q is my second car, wife has a Mazda CX-5 we got for the incoming baby - which is why i'm not even considering a 2 seater (i.e. supra) because I want to be able to put the baby in the back seat eventually.

As for the tires and breaks, I have the PS 4S which are pretty decent I'd think. The worse part was really the body roll and break fading. I'll look into those pads, thanks for the recommendation. And I agree - I should've gone for handling first. I was (am?) such a noob on to the modding world that I didnt even realize that lowering the cars without supporting mods did so much damage to your car. I'm actually scared to push it right now till I either upgrade it or sell it.

So you drove the M2 competition eh? I'm stil trying to test drive one, my local dealer just doesn't have any. Handling wise ur saying that your Q actually handled and felt better?? Even with DAS? Didn't it feel a lot more nimble and more power (since its lighter)? Very curious to hear more about this.
The M2 comp was nimble...tossable as well...yes, I let the tail hang out on my test drive more than once. It was very driveable.

My Q accelerated faster (13whp exhaust and 90# lighter wheels, rotors, battery) and may be slower through an apex but faster on exit.

I used to track a 2013 Legacy with a lot of suspension mods and only a slight power bump and factory M3s were not a match.

And, I used to own a modified 2015 WRX which was quicker and handled better than the M2 comp. I knew the M2 would not be enough and would get modded.

I bought a used RWD with manual transmission so I could keep my Q as a family car.

I also have a baby on the way, so Im quite glad I kept my Q.
 
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Before I got my AP Racing Radi-Cal-II BBK set up with Ferodo DS1.11 pads, I had the Z1 two piece brake rotors and used the XP12 front and XP10 rear pads and found them VERY good. No fade 125 MPH to 40 MPH repeatedly on the track. If you plan on going fast and frequently braking you need good brakes.

Yes, they made black dust, made noise at stop signs, but the dust is non corrosive and were quieter than my DS1.11'S are. I'll take the brake power over the dust and slight squeal any day. I don't see myself going back to street pads after experiencing the major difference.

See my signature for my current setup. But a Q is heavy, and you can't expect it to feel like a 3400 lb car.

The RS-R DDS compatible coilovers and the Stillen rear anti-sway bar with 4S's changed the handling considerably. A marked improvement.

I keep thinking of going C8 (very good bang for the $, and could have gotten one for what I have into my Q50) but would not have a 4 seat "sleeper" with a trunk.

The C8 is a cop magnet and is cramped. I can go on vacation with my Q50, with a friend, and bring 2 weeks worth of "stuff" like hiking, fishing equipment along with a big cooler with food for a long roadtrip.

Empty my trunk and I have a fairly capable and powerful sport sedan for HPDE classes, etc..

Using my Romulan teleporter in my barn to zap me to Mexico or the Autobahn, I can enjoy spirited driving at a whim.

My car is rock solid at 135 MPH (and probably faster). Importantly, I have the stopping power to handle the demands of my heavy car during these off public road "escapades".

My heavily modified Q50 is a compromise. It will never be a Lotus Elise. A C8 will spank me in the streights and the corners, but then I'd have a C8 without the versatility of my hopped-up Q50.

Looking like a Nissan Maxama or other "fleet" car lets me blend in. Handy if you don't have a working cloaking device.
 

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Before I got my AP Racing Radi-Cal-II BBK set up with Ferodo DS1.11 pads, I had the Z1 two piece brake rotors and used the XP12 front and XP10 rear pads and found them VERY good. No fade 125 MPH to 40 MPH repeatedly on the track. If you plan on going fast and frequently braking you need good brakes.

Yes, they made black dust, made noise at stop signs, but the dust is non corrosive and were quieter than my DS1.11'S are. I'll take the brake power over the dust and slight squeal any day. I don't see myself going back to street pads after experiencing the major difference.

See my signature for my current setup. But a Q is heavy, and you can't expect it to feel like a 3400 lb car.

The RS-R DDS compatible coilovers and the Stillen rear anti-sway bar with 4S's changed the handling considerably. A marked improvement.

I keep thinking of going C8 (very good bang for the $, and could have gotten one for what I have into my Q50) but would not have a 4 seat "sleeper" with a trunk.

The C8 is a cop magnet and is cramped. I can go on vacation with my Q50, with a friend, and bring 2 weeks worth of "stuff" like hiking, fishing equipment along with a big cooler with food for a long roadtrip.

Empty my trunk and I have a fairly capable and powerful sport sedan for HPDE classes, etc..

Using my Romulan teleporter in my barn to zap me to Mexico or the Autobahn, I can enjoy spirited driving at a whim.

My car is rock solid at 135 MPH (and probably faster). Importantly, I have the stopping power to handle the demands of my heavy car during these off public road "escapades".

My heavily modified Q50 is a compromise. It will never be a Lotus Elise. A C8 will spank me in the streights and the corners, but then I'd have a C8 without the versatility of my hopped-up Q50.

Looking like a Nissan Maxama or other "fleet" car lets me blend in. Handy if you don't have a working cloaking device.
How did the XP12/XP10 do in cooler weather or when just starting your drive? I have the street pad by Carbotech (1521) and am thinking about the XP12/XP10 for track use but have also thought about just leaving them on.
 

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First, I would do Hotchkis sways front and rear and then maybe look at coilovers that others have mentioned. Sways will change the car dramatically.

How did the XP12/XP10 do in cooler weather or when just starting your drive? I have the street pad by Carbotech (1521) and am thinking about the XP12/XP10 for track use but have also thought about just leaving them on.
I was using XT970 front and XT960 rears from RacingBrake.com on their 2-piece rotors on my G37 and they stopped savagely...Probably very similar to John's Carbotech's. I left them on all the time..they saw temps of 8°F - 119°F and were always flawless, except some squeaking in the bank drive-thru when it was cold. No complaints, but thet made a lot of dust.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I really appreciate everyone's input, I've decided I'm going to stick with my beloved Q and invest in handling mods.
 

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How did the XP12/XP10 do in cooler weather or when just starting your drive? I have the street pad by Carbotech (1521) and am thinking about the XP12/XP10 for track use but have also thought about just leaving them on.
On my 2013 legacy 3.6r that was tracked regularly, I ran them all year. lots of grinding. people telling me I need to get my pads replaced. all that nonsense and I loved it.

it irritated others...not me.

xp12 does not fail in high 30's. coldest mornings were maybe 37F. Start the car and get moving. feels a tiny bit slimy on the first braking and then it is ok.

First, I would do Hotchkis sways front and rear and then maybe look at coilovers that others have mentioned. Sways will change the car dramatically.



I was using XT970 front and XT960 rears from RacingBrake.com on their 2-piece rotors on my G37 and they stopped savagely...Probably very similar to John's Carbotech's. I left them on all the time..they saw temps of 8°F - 119°F and were always flawless, except some squeaking in the bank drive-thru when it was cold. No complaints, but thet made a lot of dust.
anti-sway bars should be next to last bit of suspension tuning.

for this car...wheels and tires, coilovers (and adjustable control arms), anti-sway bars. that order.

The last bit being another alignment and maybe another and maybe another until it does what you want it to do. And, you will play with tire pressures a bit as one tire pressure does not fit all tires.
 
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I've not had any seat time in the M2 but I did get to drive the Q50 RS and M240i back to back and admittedly the Bimmer far more playful, with that said
need to remember you are comparing two very differently cars.

If your looking for better handling jodedor list would be a pretty solid approach, I'd start with the easier stuff like the Anti-sway bar for the rear and a more
wheel alignment and work your way up from there.
 
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How did the XP12/XP10 do in cooler weather or when just starting your drive? I have the street pad by Carbotech (1521) and am thinking about the XP12/XP10 for track use but have also thought about just leaving them on.
The XP12/XP10 had excellent initial bite when cold and even cold and wet. Fade was a non issue. Dusty and a bit of squealing at red lights and stop signs. The dust comes off easily at the car wash. (Pressure washer)
 
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