Nordschleife-BTG 7:17 in 321 hp BMW E36 M3 with KW Competition 4A
Imagine how sick that is! While many people are always trying to get more engine power first, many passionate track day drivers work on completely different things. Maximilian Kurz, from Bavaria, is one of those who put the right screws on and proved a BMW M3 E36 has the potential for a BTG time of less than 7:20 minutes at the Nürburgring Nordschleife – with a factory engine!
In autumn 2019 he was already making history within track day enthusiast groups, but at an official track day he achieved an impressive BTG “bridge to gantry” time. For those interested, you can read more about the original build in the KW Blog in which they presented Maximilian’s M3 in a little more detail.
In mid-June 2020 Max would attack again – but how? First he did his homework in winter 2019/2020 and improved two things:
- The old ABS was replaced by the BMW E46 M3 unit.
- Electronics are controlled via motorsport software from KW Sales & Service Point Schmickler Performance.
There was an additional upgrade in the mix that was sure to yield a major performance difference on Maximilian’s efficient E36 M3 which weighs less than 1,300 kilograms. No, the S50B32 is in stock shape and the Bavarian still dreams of a carbon airbox. With the help of Raeder-Motorsport, Maximilian “pushed” the 321 hp strong BMW 3-series Coupé to “GT3 motorsport” levels.
Since KW introduced the first racing dampers with displacement pistons, their so-called Solid Piston Technology, in November 2017, they have built up a comprehensive delivery program with these shocks. These dampers, which can be independently adjusted in the low-speed and high-speed ranges of the compression and rebound stage damping, are now available for more and more motorsport vehicles and road cars.
In the words of Maximilian, “With the KW suspension my BMW has unlimited grip! On the Nordschleife the 321 hp is simply not enough, but with the suspension many corners can be driven 10 km/h faster and sometimes even faster!” Commenters in his on-track videos have been stunned how high the cornering speeds are with the KW Competition 4A racing suspension.
As you may have noticed in the installation shots at Raeder Motorsport, the KW Competition 4A look completely different from the old KW Competition 2A coilover systems.
Since the BMW E36 has MacPherson struts, the front axle has an upside-down (inverted) suspension. The reservoir is connected to the shock via a hose connection. On the rear axle, the dampers do not have a piggy back reservoir. The exact name of the front axle suspension is KW TTSP30R 4A 40P USD (TT = TwinTube, SP = SolidPiston, 30 = 30 mm solid piston diameter, R = expansion reservoir, piggy pack, 4A = four-way adjustable, 40P = 40 mm damper cartridge, USD = Upside-Down/inverted).
The M3 semi-trailing arm rear axle uses the KW Competition 4A, KW TTSP35 4A damper. The housing is made of a special aluminum alloy. Compared to other damper technologies, the valves of the Solid-Piston-shocks are separated from the damper working chamber. The in-line or side-mounted and offset able valves for the low-speed and high-speed forces of the compression and rebound stages can be precisely adjusted with 18 clicks each.
Another special feature is they can work with much lower gas pressure in the dampers. What is brilliant is that KW still achieves a very precise high-frequency function even with a low valve lift. In other words, Maximilian can drive his M3 better over curbs and his BMW will not be slower or harder to control. With the new SolidPiston technology, it simply sticks and handles better.
In mid-June 2020 Maximilian clocked an impressive 7:17 around the Nurburgring Nordschleife BTG course during a Trackdays.de event. Despite traffic, and as you’ll see in the video, one or two overtaking maneuvers. “I still dream of a completely free lap,” sighs Maximilian. “According to the Raeder Guys, there is still a lot potential in the car with these new shocks.”