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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently took ownership of a 2017 F20 M140i Auto. I’ve never owned a car with this level of performance before and I am absolutely loving it!

I got the chance to put my foot down for the first time last week, and the sheer acceleration left me shaking with adrenaline - and that was in Comfort mode! I won’t forget that feeling in a hurry!

Since then, I have built a bit more confidence and had a play with the different driving modes and how they make the car feel.

So my question is this:
When accelerating hard in Comfort mode, I felt like I got a strong feeling of acceleration almost like a kick in the back at various points as I accelerated. However, when I switched to Sport mode (with Sport transmission) there was still a really strong acceleration, but no more kicks in the back, just a much smoother pull.

Is this something to do with the difference in the speed of the gear changes between Comfort and Sport or something else? It’s almost like the ‘sensation’ of acceleration is more so in Comfort mode, although I’m guessing if I timed them, then Sport would be quicker.

Does anyone else feel this or am I on my own?

Very new to all this so sorry for the rambling post! 😅
 

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Pick the one you like the feel of best. The box will be changing quicker in the sports modes but the engine acceleration will be the same, the only difference is the throttle map, so WOT is the same for both. Personally I use sport for throttle and chassis if I want a play but never the box sport mode as I hate how it hold the gears far too long as it down shifts. On track that may be ideal. They softened the ferocity of the box sport mode a few years back, originally it gave a proper kick between changes and gave a passable impression of a DCT, not so much any more.

There are few opportunities to use full throttle in these for more than a few seconds. You are doing 80mph less than 7 seconds after a standing full bore start so moderation is needed usually. Oh and of course take a good look at road conditions. My car happily squirms and spins the rear wheels in second in the dry if you are clumsy. Third or occasionally 4th in the cold wet. Maybe hold off using the modes with less tc until you are really confident. People on here have been caught out in DTC or Sport+ with expensive consequences. DSC off is best saved for the track or where you have a lot of safe run off These cars have much more torque than traction.
 

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It’s just the throttle maps as padders says. Sport is more instant so you don’t get a slight lag, it picks up and goes quicker. Comfort makes it appear more of a shove and is the best mode if you’re showing the performance to a passenger as it gives that kick.

Power is the same in all modes though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Pick the one you line the feel of best. The box will be changing quicker in the sports modes but the engine acceleration will be the same, the only difference is the throttle map, so WOT is the same for both. Personally I use sport for throttle and chassis if I want a play but never the box sport mode as I hate how it hold the gears far too long as it down shifts. On track that may be ideal. They softened the ferocity of the box sport mode a few years back, originally it gave a proper kick between changes and gave a passable impression of a DCT, not so much any more.

There are few opportunities to use full throttle in these for more than a few seconds. You are doing 80mph less than 7 seconds after a standing full bore start so moderation is needed usually. Oh and of course take a good look at road conditions. My car happily squirms and spins the rear wheels in second in the dry if you are clumsy. Third or occasionally 4th in the cold wet. Maybe hold off using the modes with less tc until you are really confident. People on here have been caught out in DTC or Sport+ with expensive consequences. DSC off is best saved for the track or where you have a lot of safe run off These cars have much more torque than traction.
Thanks for the reply padders.

And thank you for the information. I had a feeling that wide open throttle felt the same on both at max power, so it’s just how each of the modes/maps allow the engine/gearbox to get to the same maximum power I guess!

I think I might follow your lead regarding using Sport map but not Sport gearbox - I did wonder why it didn’t seem to be changing down gears very quickly when cutting the speed off.

That’s interesting to know regarding BMW softening the gear changes on Sport transmission mode, I guess that was to reduce any lag between gears and improve acceleration?

Thanks for the advice regarding driving and conditions. I have heard that these cars can be dangerous if driven without respect for their limitations (and the driver’s, in my case!) I am staying well away from DSC off and even Traction mode / Sport + until I am far more experienced and confident that I am not going to put the car in to a ditch or worse. Don’t want to join THAT club if I can help it!

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It’s just the throttle maps as padders says. Sport is more instant so you don’t get a slight lag, it picks up and goes quicker. Comfort makes it appear more of a shove and is the best mode if you’re showing the performance to a passenger as it gives that kick.

Power is the same in all modes though.
Thanks for the reply OneTwenty.

I had a feeling it was the slightly slower gear changes in Comfort causing the ‘shove’ feeling.

It makes me feel better that you said Comfort seems the best mode to demonstrate the acceleration to a passenger as well, because that pretty much sums up my query!

So both modes get to the same maximum power but in slightly different ways, Sport I guess being the fastest and most direct route to that power, with less ‘blips’ on the way there!

Thanks again!
 

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I’m in a similar boat to you, Lee.
Had my M135i a few months now, and Sport did seem odd, but reading some of these replies helped me.
I’ve got a slight oil leak on mine, so that’s being sorted early July, but have already bought a steel intake pipe and aluminium thermostat housing to try and keep things a bit cooler.
Just pondering on an intercooler upgrade whilst they have all the things apart to help also.
Gives me the option of going Stage 2 also with the supporting bits there.
1st time for RWD for me for a while (apart from a Cossie back in the day) and first for Auto.. but it seems great.
Not sure whether it’s best to book a skid pan day now or when I get an LSD fitted.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I’m in a similar boat to you, Lee.
Had my M135i a few months now, and Sport did seem odd, but reading some of these replies helped me.
I’ve got a slight oil leak on mine, so that’s being sorted early July, but have already bought a steel intake pipe and aluminium thermostat housing to try and keep things a bit cooler.
Just pondering on an intercooler upgrade whilst they have all the things apart to help also.
Gives me the option of going Stage 2 also with the supporting bits there.
1st time for RWD for me for a while (apart from a Cossie back in the day) and first for Auto.. but it seems great.
Not sure whether it’s best to book a skid pan day now or when I get an LSD fitted.
Good luck!
Thanks Stu,

I dreamed about having an Escort Cosworth back in the day! (That or an Escort RS Turbo) but I could never have afforded either one at the time and was too young to insure one sadly. Have you seen the price of those things now?!

Same for me regarding first time for rear wheel drive and automatic. I have driven autos before but nothing like this! All my life I have driven low power 20 year old cars so for me this is a massive jump up, so I need to make sure this new-found power doesn’t all go to my head (or to my right foot!)

The first time I put my foot down in the M140i I thought to myself ‘why would anyone ever want more power than this?’ And as powerful as these cars are, I surprised myself when I went from thinking that, to thinking maybe one day I will go to Stage 1! The power is addictive! And it’s surprising how quickly you get used to the sensation of speed! But it’s under a 1 year warranty from BMW which I may extend next year depending on price, or maybe not if the calling for more power is too strong! I think I need to get used to going around corners without getting in to trouble before I think about more power anyhow!

Great idea about the skid pan day! I’m sure I heard that an LSD won’t really make a difference in the skid pan as all 4 wheels break traction but I am a complete newbie so not sure what my opinion is worth! I also think a drag strip day would be great in one of these!

Anyway, good luck with the oil leak, cooling and possible Stage 2!
 

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The LSD really does make a real difference which you can feel on nearly every single journey. I've had a 125d without one (which has 450Nm so not exactly weedy, same as the N55 M135i in fact) and now a M240i with one and the difference is night and day in response. The 125d was reluctant to drag itself round a corner, the M240i proactively kills understeer and pushes the back around, it actually feels a bit spooky how good it is. I specced my M240i based on my experience (good and bad) with my 125d and I think I did it right.

You only tried full throttle last week yet you are considering Stage 1 or even 2? Take a step back would be my advice. There is no thing as a free lunch, p**s about with the car and you risk reliability issues and lets face facts, you already have more power than you can handle, for now at least. If you want to brag in the pub that you have 400hp+ then fine, but you will make the car worse in some ways if you do so. 350hp (which is what many think these really have as standard since many rolling roads show this) is plenty. You aren't Chris Harris, it really is enough. If it is not, then be aware that there are multiple instances of people on here moaning that they had a piston or whatever let go and wonder why their dealer tells them to do one since their warranty (and any dealer good will) is fully gone.

Also if you make the car faster still, the brakes, tyres and suspension which are already marginal for a car with the performance of a 1990 Ferrari Testarossa, or 2005 F360, become even less acceptable. My 911 can drift with enough provocation on 295 width tyres and only around 370Nm, the M-lites have 245s at the back and 500Nm...
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
The LSD really does make a real difference which you can feel on nearly every single journey. I've had a 125d without one (which has 450Nm so not exactly weedy, same as the N55 M135i in fact) and now a M240i with one and the difference is night and day in response. The 125d was reluctant to drag itself round a corner, the M240i proactively kills understeer and pushes the back around, it actually feels a bit spooky how good it is. I specced my M240i based on my experience (good and bad) with my 125d and I think I did it right.

You only tried full throttle last week yet you are considering Stage 1 or even 2? Take a step back would be my advice. There is no thing as a free lunch, p**s about with the car and you risk reliability issues and lets face facts, you already have more power than you can handle, for now at least. If you want to brag in the pub that you have 400hp+ then fine, but you will make the car worse in some ways if you do so. 350hp (which is what many think these really have as standard since many rolling roads show this) is plenty. You aren't Chris Harris, it really is enough. If it is not, then be aware that there are multiple instances of people on here moaning that they had a piston or whatever let go and wonder why their dealer tells them to do one since their warranty (and any dealer good will) is fully gone.

Also if you make the car faster still, the brakes, tyres and suspension which are already marginal for a car with the performance of a 1990 Ferrari Testarossa, or 2005 F360, become even less acceptable. My 911 can drift with enough provocation on 295 width tyres and only around 370Nm, the M-lites have 245s at the back and 500Nm...
Hi padders,

Thanks again for the advice and concern - it really isn’t falling on deaf ears!

I completely agree with your sentiments and I am under no delusion as to my driving (in)capabilities!

I really only mentioned the stage 1 more as a way of making a point that it is surprising how quickly one gets used to the sensation of speed. I would much rather keep my warranty (and my safety) intact by keeping the car standard and not driving beyond my capabilities.

I am not exactly young and I am pretty risk averse. I have also always tried to drive defensively and with a respect for other road users - but I can see how my post must have come across so thank you again for the sound advice!

Regarding the LSD, I was only referring to its application on a skid pan, with zero traction where no single wheel can find grip, and to be fair I was basing my knowledge off a YouTube video and I did state that my opinion may not be worth anything!

By the way, the Porsche 911 997 Carrera 2 is one of my absolute dream cars - I’ve only driven one on a track day but very jealous! 😊
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Its taken me 9 months to finally start to exploit the power of the car. At first it scared the hell out of me! It does help we are in late spring/early summer too.
I think had I ended up purchasing the car in winter I wouldn’t have even tried full throttle yet. As it is, I have only tried full throttle on an empty straight piece of road and for just a few seconds until reaching the speed limit. And that left me shaking with adrenaline the first few times - which translates to meaning the same as you; it scared the hell out of me!

Other than a few blasts on a straight empty piece of national speed limit road, I have literally driven around in Eco Pro / Comfort. I have not even tried Traction mode / Sport + / DSC off, all of which I am leaving well alone until I am much more experienced! And DSC off probably not even then! I have no intentions of running before I can walk and I’m certainly not ready to tackle twists and turns at any pace.

It’s reassuring to hear people like you say that it took 9 months to get fully used to the car and your first reaction at full throttle. In truth, it will probably take me a lot longer than 9 months to get used to as I don’t tend to push the boundaries a lot and I will have to go through a winter still learning also. I may even book some bring-your-own-car lessons on how to handle these cars properly.

I think that when I first opened this thread I gave the wrong impression of what sort of driver I am. I was just trying to learn a bit about what made the driving modes so different and what I could experience for myself about the car’s performance without recklessness and as a beginner to these types of car!
 

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Thanks for the reply OneTwenty.

I had a feeling it was the slightly slower gear changes in Comfort causing the ‘shove’ feeling.

It makes me feel better that you said Comfort seems the best mode to demonstrate the acceleration to a passenger as well, because that pretty much sums up my query!

So both modes get to the same maximum power but in slightly different ways, Sport I guess being the fastest and most direct route to that power, with less ‘blips’ on the way there!

Thanks again!
I find Sport best for quicker reactions - I often put it into Sport approaching roundabouts, lights etc when I know I may need to get away quickly. It loses that "lag" that Comfort has on the throttle. I also have adaptive suspension though, so Sport for me also means stiffer suspension as well as steering and throttle.

I also never really use the box in Sports mode either, unless giving it full beans in a straight lane, entering a motorway slip road for example.
 

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I also have adaptive suspension though, so Sport for me also means stiffer suspension as well as steering and throttle.
As per 120, if I have some fast twisty's coming up I whack it in sport to tighten up the adaptives.
 

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To make matters worse. When I first got the car, it had mismatched tyres. PS4 on front and PSS on back. Those Pilot Super Sports in winter are AWFUL! I ended up fitting winter tyres from December to March which made a big difference. Now on another set of alloys with factory fitted Runflat Dunlop Sport Maxx. Not a bad tyre at all to be honest. Very happy with performance. Obviously not my preferred choice, but they came brand new with the 405 19''s so not going to bin them. I do need to get the rear subframe inserts and brace to remove some of the skittishness. Will get them fitted on the service in Sept/Oct.
 
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