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BMW M3 GT video by TheSmokingTire - Can you spot the inaccurate/wrong info?

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  • BMW M3 GT video by TheSmokingTire - Can you spot the inaccurate/wrong info?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S-RwdRUNLU

    Yet another video with lots of mistakes. Can you pick them out?

    Regardless it's always nice to see videos about the M3.

    OK I'll start:

    The M3 GT is NOT a homologation special. Yes BMW marketing said it was but sorry to say the "M3 GT" was never submitted to the FIA for homologation and is not listed as a homologated car in their docs.
    Last edited by Jim E.; 04-13-2022, 12:22 PM.

  • #2
    Additional Info:

    Before I say anything, let me first say that any video about the E36 M3 and its history is a good thing. However, I believe it's important to follow up and provide a little more accuracy about these cars and the E36 M3 in particular. Many times, people use the word “homologation” or “homologations special” and might attach a different meaning in their minds or are using it as intended but are not correct in terms of the real history behind it. The fact that we love the E36 M3 (and all other M3’s for that matter) should drive us to maintain an accurate history about these cars. Some of you may care, other may not, but here is a little rundown.

    The FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) is the governing body (since 1904) and most widely recognized association governing international racing. Used to be referred to as FISA and pre-dates the submission of E36 M3 homologation papers.

    The process is somewhat straightforward in that a manufacturer submits the specifications of the vehicle they want homologated and the specific group to which it wants the homologation. For our purposes of discussing the E36 M3, you then have to look at the specific Appendix Rules for the specific year you want the car to be homologated and follow the rules and make sure you produce the minimum specific number of cars for the class. These rules were published in Appendix J for the period we are talking about. At the end of most (not all) of these rules, FIA also listed all the homologated cars. Homologation then is the official certification made by FIA that a minimum number of cars of a specific model has been made on a series-production terms to justify classification in whatever series the manufacturer filed for and such certification was usually for a 5-7 year period.

    Based on my research and accumulated records, BMW has only filed to homologate the E36 M3 4 times. 2 for Group N and 2 for Group A/B. Group N is basically stock production cars. Group A are the Touring Cars and Group B is Grand Touring Cars – these are what we normally think of as the all-out race cars with factory or motorsport support.

    These filings were only for the production euro spec E36 M3s with the 3.0l S50B30 and 3.2l S50B32:

    1. A-5490 and N-5490 both of which were valid from June 1, 1993.
    2. A-5562 and N-5562 both of which were valid from March 1, 1997

    Based on these regs, it appears that 2500 identical examples needed to be manufactured in 12 consecutive months for Group A and N. Group B appears to be a minimum of 200 identical cars built in 12 consecutive months.

    I cannot find any homologation documents for the E36 M3 GT. It's just not there. What is homologated is pretty much every Euro spec with the S50B30 or S50B32. If anyone has any actual FIA document showing that it is please share it. I would love to see it because being historically accurate is more important than anything - at least to me it is. And in case anyone cares or wants to know, no M3 with the US spec engine was ever homologated and that includes the LTW.

    Other factual "issues" with the video:

    - Yes the Euro 3.0 cars had different springs but the GT was the same as all the Euro 3.0s. It did NOT have a special suspension. The LTW used the Euro springs but the front was for non-ac cars. US cars got different springs for more comfort. Shocks are the same for US and Euro. Sway bars are same for US and Euro 3.0s which are 22.5mm/19mm F/R.

    - The GT's 295 hp rating is euro spec. It is technically 291 for NA specifications.
    - The GT did get "hotter" cams but the compression is 10.8:1. So I don't know where he got that it had higher compression over a standard Euro 3.0.

    - The GT wing including the riser IS street legal. The reason BMW did not put it on the LTW was because the car was not crash tested with it. You can make more than one adjustment to the rear wing. The other modification you could make besides using the risers is to add the gurney flaps. It's in page 2 of the GT owner's manual.

    - Mirrors are not "more aerodynamic" than any other E36 M3.
    - Redline is 7100 or 7280 I believe.

    - BMW NA's goal with the E36 M3 was to not have it at all. BMW AG sent Karl Kalbfell hoping BMW NA would take the euro spec but they said no way. AG eventually relented and that's why we have the US spec.

    - The steering is NOT dead on center. BMW designed the car to be comfortable and did not spec the car with big enough sway bars or stiff enough springs especially for the US spec. So you end up having excessive initial roll angle. This means there is a delay before the tires are loaded. That's why people think there's an issue with the rack. There isn't. Get a set of H& R sway bars and your problem is solved with the stock suspension.

    I've attached a vin spec sheet for the GT so you can see what the differences are. Also attached the differences between GT and Evo model which is from BMW's training manual back in 1995 before the launch of the S50B32.

    Basically the evo is the pinnacle of the E36 M3.

    I could go on but this is tiring.

    Comment


    • #3
      He said the car has tilt but not telescoping steering, is that correct?

      I can't/won't comment on the accuracy of the facts in the video, what I can comment on is the driving impression which I think is probably relatable by most. A stock E36 M3 of any trim can be modified to get rid of *most* of the drawbacks people complain about. Sure they're not perfect cars, but the core design is also what, from like 1992? I feel like very few E36s that are enthusiast driven are truly stock, everyone is going to tinker at least a little bit to correct for the things we've learned in the last 30 years.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes it is correct. E36s only had tilt steering and did not offer telescoping. I think it was option code S246.

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        • #5
          All I know is after viewing I was checking importers to see if they had M3 GT's listed. 😂

          Sadly I've long since missed the boat on my true dream, an E30 Sport Evo.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think the biggest issue with the video is having to listen to fatt marah speak.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Westopher View Post
              I think the biggest issue with the video is having to listen to fatt marah speak.
              I didn't see him in it? However, Wish.com version of Andrew Garfield is the one driving/speaking.

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh haha I didn’t even click on it to avoid hearing his Seth Rogan laugh. Maybe I’ll check it now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Enjoyed the video, few inaccuracies but then you can’t expect a journalist taking a car for a morning drive to have the same level of knowledge as an owner that pours over the model.

                  The most interesting part to me is that it’s a LHD car (and therefore a proper GT not just an aesthetics package like the RHD U.K. model) but with U.K. registration plates under the US ones.

                  Also as an owner of an Evo I agree it’s still the top model, but I know 2 people who’ve driven both and preferred the GT’s engine characteristics, so take of that what you will.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've made this point before, but it's kind of sad to see these "well preserved" cars that are actually fairly poorly maintained.

                    I'd bet a large sum that the numb on- center feel is due to a factory original steering joint that has turned into a wet sponge long ago. A new (or even better, solid u-) joint and a good zero toe alignment will make the steering a joy rather than a compliant.

                    While Matt and Zach may seem knowledgeable, I'd bet most of the older cars they drive actually have a lot of work left on the table - and they're none the wiser. It'd take an owner with a well-resolved car to know the various corners cut or work left undone.

                    To say nothing of the ways various settings would change a given car's character.

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                    • #11
                      That fake strut tower bar is a joke on the GT.....my gosh!!

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                      • #12
                        It seems so hard to get 100% correct E36 info vids. Oh well.
                        At least it's somewhat fun to watch.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MattDearPhoto View Post
                          ...

                          The most interesting part to me is that it’s a LHD car (and therefore a proper GT not just an aesthetics package like the RHD U.K. model) but with U.K. registration plates under the US ones....
                          That's not true. They UK GT is the same spec, except BMW didn't bother making the carbon fiber trim in RHD version, so it ended up with Individual wood.

                          The UK GT that is based on the Evo with the 'aesthetics package' is the UK M3 Imola special, colloquially known as the GT2.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MParallel View Post

                            That's not true. They UK GT is the same spec, except BMW didn't bother making the carbon fiber trim in RHD version, so it ended up with Individual wood.

                            The UK GT that is based on the Evo with the 'aesthetics package' is the UK M3 Imola special, colloquially known as the GT2.
                            The UK GT does not have the 10hp power bump of the proper GT.

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