Most members of BimmerPost know that IND staff are not strangers to the FI-R. Starting with our first meeting about the FI-R wheel with BBS Motorsport in Germany in 2013, we’ve been doing everything possible as a distributor of BBS products to push the FI-R project forward. This year, M owners and ourselves have finally gotten to enjoy the FI-R wheels for the first time.
This week IND’s first set of 20” FI-R wheels arrived at IND, enabling us to have a direct comparison of the weight of the 19” FI-R and the 20” FI-R wheel. We were also able to photograph one of our 19″ sets next to our 20″ set, giving a direct visual comparison. We’re excited to share this information with BimmerPost!
One of the first areas we chose to attack was the exhaust sound of the X5M and X6M. The car’s incredible power output commands a strong exhaust note, and we have worked with Eisenmann GmbH to accommodate.
We worked hard to give our clients a multitude of choices for the new super SUVs, and so have created two completely different styles of exhaust system with Eisenmann. These early preview images show the Eisenmann Race exhaust system, designed specifically to maximize power output and exhaust note. The original BMW muffler is deleted and two high flow resonators are put in its place, allowing Eisenmann to tune the exhaust note while minimizing restriction.
Each race system will be hand-built from 304 stainless steel, and is available with either four 102mm steel tips, or four 93mm carbon fiber tips. Each race system will showcase Eisenmann’s signature flawless fitment and sound.
For those more interested in a more sedate volume level with a classic Eisenmann tone, a sport sound level will also be available, which will be constructed in a more traditional full exhaust canister design.
Please stay tuned as we continue exhaust system development with Eisenmann GmbH!
As many BimmerPost readers know, IND Distribution and Fall Line Motorsports have been cooperating to push the envelope of what’s possible with F8x M chassis street cars, nearly as soon as the cars arrived in the United States. Our goal is to maintain the everyday driving comfort of these incredible cars, while improving not only the ability of an M3 or M4 to generate an excellent lap time, but also the car’s ability to be an easy to drive, forgiving car on the track. It is this second element that is especially critical, in creating the components we will choose to offer and manufacture- tuning our suspension appropriately to create a car that can be safely used by drivers of multiple skill levels.
The development of Fall Line’s suspension components can be tracked by following the below link:
Last week, we started what will be a series of on-track tests of the components we’ve installed to gather basic information about the car’s behavior, alignment settings, and braking performance. Steve Jenkins would help us to test the car. Steve has been a professional racing driver for a decade, with over 25 starts in Grand Am, 30 first place finishes in SCCA National level competition, and a myriad of other successes in racing of all types. Steve’s racing experience is invaluable, and will help us to develop and fine tune the car and it’s components over time.
I was thrilled to be able to finally directly test the components that our partners and I have been developing for so long. From our conversations with BBS Motorsport two years ago about the FI-R, it’s spec, and it’s sizing for the M4, to our near-daily visits to Fall Line Motorsports, we would now get to see all of the components in action.
We started by preparing the car, at IND. Steve is an experienced driver with countless laps around AutoBahn’s south course, so we chose to prepare the braking system accordingly.
We changed pads to the currently in development RE10 endurance compound, and added Brembo’s stellar HTC 64 fluid. Because this is a true motorsport-grade fluid with a unique chemistry, a full bleed was necessary to maximize its advantages.
Caliper temperature stickers were applied, to allow us to easily monitor caliper operating temperatures.
We also applied temperature sensitive paint to the brake rotors, to determine how hot the discs would get with the new RE10 pads in place. The green paint flashes at 430 degrees Celsius (800 degrees Fahrenheit), while the red paint flashes at 630 degrees Celcius (1,166 degrees Fahrenheit).
Finally, after a bit of prep, we found ourselves with Steve Jenkins at Fall Line’s on-site AutoBahn garage. Their facility at AutoBahn Country Club stores client’s race cars directly at the track, and has two full time techs that can service anything that a race car may need during an event.
After discussing the car and it’s setup a bit, Steve suited up and prepared to give our M4 a try.
We had also changed rear sections from the Eisenmann Heritage rear section most know and love to the Eisenmann GT4 rear section. This exhaust was developed specifically for use in homologated motorsport in Germany, and is a no-frills means of getting exhaust sound to the rear of the car. While the homologated version requires catalytic converters at the rear of the car (just ahead of the tips), we opted for a catless version which emits an absolutely menacing growl. It was this sound that created an absolutely palpable excitement as our M4 pulled up to AutoBahn’s grid.
I was eagerly awaiting Steve’s impressions on the car, as I watched him expertly maneuver it around the South Course.
Whenever our conversation would shift to the car’s suspension, the word of the day was “compliant”. On one end of the equation, the spherical bearings we’ve installed have eliminated unwanted geometry change from the system, helping for the suspension arms to move through their range of travel without rubber bushings flexing unexpectedly. The reduced toe change under braking, and in turn in, helps the driver to more precisely understand what the car is doing, and grants the car a more predictable nature.
The other end of the equation of course lands on the car’s JRZ dampers. Not only are the spring rates reasonable enough to provide excellent compliance over AutoBahn’s surface imperfections and irregularities, but the JRZ dampers themselves are excellently valved. In harmony, the springs, dampers, and suspension bearings create a car that is at once responsive and forgiving. Steve and I both had an opportunity to drive the car on the South course, and both found that we could easily drive the car at apex curbs that are normally an absolute “do not approach” in other cars. Where other cars (M cars included) would get upset, lose traction, and give the driver a reason to correct at least and a true scare at worst, this M4 would simply soak up the curb and continue along the course, flat out.
Although only two sessions were available to us that day, we felt that we had gathered some valuable information about the M4 as it is set now, and will work to expand our knowledge in the future.
Between sessions Steve was able to give feedback on the car’s handling and braking, and I had an opportunity to measure tire temps as well as brake rotor temps.
Upon pulling the M4 back into Fall Line’s garage, we were able to remove the wheels and check the rotor paint we had applied earlier. We found that both the green and red paint had flashed on the front rotors, but not all the way through into the rotor vanes. We also found that the red paint had not flashed on the rear rotors.
We are very grateful to our partners at BBS, Brembo, JRZ, and Fall Line Motorsports for not only working with IND to design and spec these components, but also for allowing us to use their parts as they should be- on a road course, where the M4 truly shines. We are grateful to Steve Jenkins and Fall Line Motorsports for their continued support, and we are of course grateful to the BimmerPost audience for giving us a reason to do these things! Please stay tuned as we continue to pursue the best street and track M4 possible.
The M4, like any street car, is set up to understeer from the factory. A fast driver can overheat the front tires, and must be mindful to not overdrive the car at the tail end of a 20+ minute session. This setup is good for a beginner to intermediate driver, but a more advanced driver may prefer a more neutral car, depending on driving style.
The car is balanced from a spring rate standpoint, and my opinion is that most of the (very mild) understeer that we did experience can be tuned out by simply adjusting tire pressure to taste. This will of course depend on driving style, track conditions, which course the car is at, and so on.
The JRZ dampers are incredibly compliant, and yield a car that is literally nearly impossible to upset with road irregularities. The dampers (when valved to Fall Line spec) are excellently valved and constructed, and generate enormous mechanical grip.
Some drivers may elect to install slightly higher rate springs then what comes with the kit, depending on the course they’re driving. The spring rates provided with the kit as standard (in JRZ/Fall Line spec) are phenomenally comfortable for street driving, and are ideal for a road course with bumps and irregularities. Beginner and intermediate drivers should use the as-provided rates, while more advanced drivers may go higher in spring rate on a smooth road course.
Based on the tire temperatures I took at the track (posted below), the camber settings we are using are healthy for these tires, this spring rate, and this car. Our tire temps suggest a potentially less than ideal cross weight, which will be checked next time the car is aligned.
The FI-R wheels have of course proven their mettle, and have once again shown that BBS Motorsport is second to none. Their incredibly low weight contributes to an overall low unsprung mass. The wheels themselves have not shown signs of wear or bending after three separate track outings, and I expect that they will last for many years to come, even with heavy use.
According to our rotor paint, the brake disc surface temperatures are reaching 630 degrees Celsius (1,166 F) and higher, which is hot. This speaks to the increased brake demand of the M4 that has been rumored in BMW Motorsport circles. The M4 can generate a fantastic amount of mechanical grip (especially with sports tires like our AD08R installed), is very well balanced under braking, and the ABS system is particularly well designed for track use. These factors combine to create a car that generates enormous temperatures under braking, when piloted by a fast driver. We and the folks at Brembo expect that the temperatures would be even hotter with OE calipers and discs, which are not as well suited to dissipating these temperatures.
The paint inside the disc vanes has not yet completely flashed, which suggests that the vane is operating under 630 degrees. Based on the flashing of the green and red paint on the outside of the disc, we expect that the vanes are operating somewhere in the 550 degree Celsius range.
The pads are operating at a moderate to high temperature, which is expected for heavy track use with a fast driver. The RE10 pad is very stable at elevated temperatures, offering high bite and stable performance. We are confident that lesser friction materials not suitable for professional racing use would not work consistently at elevated temperatures.
Of course, any brake system is made whole when brake ducting is installed. We expect that as M3/M4 owners become more serious about driving their cars at road courses, they will want to install proper brake ducting to cool the front discs. At that point, we will look to develop a bolt-in kit.
Steve commented that the rear of this car feels much more planted than the rear of his own F80 M3 above 120mph. We are confident that like the M3 GTS before it, the RKP wing on our own M4 is helping to improve the high speed stability of the car.
2015 BMW M4
JRZ RS Two dampers with camber plates
550 lbs/in front springs
700 lbs/in rear springs
Fall Line Monoball conversion kit
Brembo GT kit, 380mm slotted discs
RE10 brake pads
Brembo Racing HTC 64 fluid
BBS FI-R wheels
Yokohama Advan AD08R tires
After Chicago’s long winter, an event like June’s GridLife is exactly what the IND team needed. GridLife weekend is a unique motorsport festival, combining HPDE lapping, competition Time Attack, and even a drift exhibition under one umbrella. Thousands of fans and spectators came to AutoBahn Country Club for GridLife’s Saturday and Sunday extravaganza.
IND’s own Cat brought her personal E36 M3 track car, and I was able to finally enjoy the M4 around AutoBahn’s South Course. For this weekend we elected to install the incredibly lightweight BBS FI-R wheels with Yokohama’s famous AD08R tires, and a complete aero package from RKP, including the rear wing. Eisenmann’s catless downpipes added extra power for AutoBahn’s straights, our Brembo GT kit with TS20 pads would help keep us on the track in the braking zones, and a full Fall Line spherical bearing and JRZ suspension package helps keep the car firmly planted as we navigate South Course.
As I pulled the M4 into the blend line of AutoBahn’s South course, the M4’s sport mode made the car feel as though it was tingling in anticipation. The heavy steering, perfect turbo response, and feedback from the JRZ suspension made my heart rate jump immediately, before the tires even had a chance to warm up.
Both Saturday’s and Sunday’s session started with a bit of rain, which added excitement to the weekend. It is always a pleasure to drive in wet or patchy weather. The limited traction is extremely educational, and a thrill to work around. The M4 handled the mixed weather beautifully!
Overall, it will come as no shock to BimmerPost members that the F82 M4 is incredibly composed on the track. I was incredibly impressed with the car’s ability to remain dynamic and responsive to inputs, while still remaining forgiving enough to enable the driver to modify the car’s attitude in all conditions (especially wet). Understeer and oversteer could be easily corrected, and the brakes allowed for adjustment of the car’s turn-in behavior as needed. The higher grip level of the AD08R tires, the compliance of the JRZ suspension, and the excellent repeatability of Brembo’s GT kit gave me a car that could be driven consistently throughout the weekend, allowing me to make minor adjustments throughout to improve my driving, without having to think about upsetting the car.
Our initial impressions leave us very happy with both the car as it comes from BMW, and the modifications we’ve applied. A more extensive, data-driven track test of the car happened just last week, with one of Fall Line’s racing drivers behind the wheel. Please stay tuned as we publish those results!
IND | ESS F8x M3/M4 T-500 Performance ECU Software
ESS Tuning has provided forced induction solutions for BMW vehicles long before forced induction was mainstream in the BMW tuning community. ESS’ inception in 1995 created a business that was focused around only one thing: providing absolutely world class forced induction solutions for BMW cars. ESS’ experience in forced induction has enabled their team of engineers to maintain a familiarity with BMW engine control systems and tuning that is unparalleled in the BMW tuning industry. Simply put, no other company has as much time invested into research and development, and such a comprehensive breadth of experience as does ESS Tuning.
This extensive experience has enabled ESS to effectively transition to providing tuning solutions for BMW’s turbocharged cars. Two decades of forced induction tuning experience give ESS the expertise necessary to make tuning choices that yield safe, reliable power.
The F8x M3/M4 in particular packages a phenomenally designed engine with two small turbochargers for excellent response. ESS’ software focuses on maintaining the S55 engine’s excellent response, while increasing power in a fashion that does not push the factory turbos outside of their efficiency range. In being careful to operate the original turbos within their efficiency boundaries ESS yields an impressive power increase without reducing reliability.
IND’s Green Hell was a project that inspired us to create a car that challenged the traditional notions of a street car. Could we create something that was visually race-inspired but maintained full street creature comforts? Is it possible to generate over 550 horsepower at the rear wheels, and still have a docile behavior around a road course? Green Hell, in this way, was all about the details in spite of its extroverted appearance. The car’s damper settings, our specifically chosen spring rates, the sway bar settings, its alignment- all of these would define the character of this car.
When the owner of Green Hell approached me to help spec his M4, I wanted to re-interpret our approach to his famous E92 M3. Simply ordering another Signal Green car was not an option- we’ve already conquered that particular color. This time, we would try to create a car that was the definition of dual purpose, but with a more elegant presentation. We knew that Pyrite Brown was the best possible choice. Not only does this color’s striking brown and gold hue make a completely unique statement, but it is completely inverse of Green Hell’s vibrant personality- an important factor for us, given that so many vendors would surely jump on the Pyrite color as well, once we had released this car.
This Pyrite M car arrived at IND mid-winter, after waiting for BMW’s individual program to apply the special paint color and assemble the car. Unwrapping this special car was incredibly rewarding, revealing the incredible paint with every inch of protective film removed. We knew then that this car would be something truly unique.
Just like Green Hell, this M4 will evolve in stages as our client acclimates to the car both on the street and in a road course environment. The impetus for its first stage of development was a single phone call. When BBS of America reaches out to you to create something exciting to introduce their brand new FI-R wheel at the BimmerFest show, you do everything in your power to comply. We knew that we had to modify this M4 in such a way that it would perform incredibly well, provide its owner with a very dynamic driving experience, and yet stay within the confines of the elegant feel that the Pyrite color provides.
We looked to 3D Design to provide us with an exterior package that would complement the M4’s original bodylines, while adding some additional presence to the bottom of the car. The full pre-preg carbon front lip, side skirts, rear diffuser, and trunk spoiler all contribute to the car’s visual impact, while taking an inverse approach to what IND fans saw in Green Hell. Gloss black front and side grilles were added to complement the carbon fiber below them, and of course IND painted reflectors remove the unsightly orange brought to us by the US DOT.
KW’s Variant 3 suspension was added to provide an aggressive stance while simultaneously maintaining an excellent ride quality and the M4’s dynamic handling. An Eisenmann rear section with the always recognizable signature tips granted us a dynamic roar while driving through this car’s 6 manually shifted gears.
Finally, all of these components come together to highlight one of the most impressive pieces of automotive aftermarket engineering in recent history: the BBS FI-R wheel. As we’ve mentioned in other threads, the FI-R is absolutely unique in its construction, being the first production wheel in the world to take advantage of extensive engineering analysis to remove weight in an area previously untouched by performance wheel manufacturers. IND was privileged and honored to receive the first M4 fitment FI-R wheel set in the world, just days before the BimmerFest show. 275 width front and 295 width rear Falken tires maximized the available space under the M4’s massive fenders and quarter panels, and will grant this car impeccable balance in performance driving.
We will continue to update BimmerPost as this M4 continues to develop and evolve. We hope that we can create something special with this car- an M4 that provides racing car performance around the track, but docile behavior and high class styling on the street. Thank you all for your support, and enjoy the photos!
As many of you know, IND has been cooperating with the engineers at Fall Line Motorsport to analyze and improve the F8x M cars’ already potent suspension. For those who need to catch up, our various discussions have been covered in these threads:
After months of tireless analysis, testing, and manufacturing, I am proud to report that we have completed the first phases of F8x M suspension development. Our shelves are stocked with Fall Line Motorsport suspension, and just before BimmerFest we had a chance to sneak our M4 over to Fall Line’s facility for installation of the complete Fall Line suspension kit. Some of the most exciting aspects of working with Fall Line to develop these suspension solutions are our ability to design these pieces with a systems approach, and our ability to test and validate these components.
All of the pieces in the M3/M4’s suspension interact together as the car moves through cornering, braking, and acceleration, and by inspecting each piece at once we can design accordingly. A change to a bushing here will affect suspension arm displacement elsewhere. Rigid bushings enable less suspension deflection and a limited geometry change during suspension movement, which also allows us to use a slightly softer spring rate. This gives more overall compliance, and the whole system works better.
Additionally, our ability to test and validate these components is second to none. In cooperation with Fall Line we are granted the privilege of access to their facility at Autobahn Country Club, along with Fall Line’s experienced drivers. Look for more information on this second component in the near future, as we put our own IND M4 through its paces at the Autobahn Country Club test course.
Our car pulled up to one of Fall Line’s many lifts with a host of modifications already installed: an Eisenmann exhaust system with downpipes takes care of necessary exhaust flow, a Brembo GT kit provide a far larger pad swept area and better floating disc design than factory, Volk ZE40 wheels in IND’s own PVD finish provide a very rigid base for the suspension to attach to, and a full 3D Design aero kit gives our M4 a striking appearance. With the help of Fall Line’s master technicians, we were ready to transform our M4 from a car that looked fantastic to a car that also handled as well as it looked.
No matter how many years I spend in this industry, I will never grow tired of the feeling of seeing a collection of well-designed parts. We would be adding Fall Line’s front spherical bearing kit, rear upper spherical bearing kit, and toe adjustment arms, to complement the JRZ suspension valved specifically to IND and Fall Line spec.
Over the course of several hours, original BMW suspension arms and bushings were removed…
…and Fall Line designed components were installed in their place.
I couldn’t help but be impressed by the attention to detail in each component. The JRZ rear height adjusters cleverly attach to the M4’s floor, enabling easy adjustment and limiting movement when the suspension is relaxed. The JRZ camber plate offers a superior design to all other camber plates I’ve seen, being specifically built to sandwich the intermediate plate between an upper and lower locking plate, precisely locking the camber adjustment with no chance of slippage. The recessed design of the camber plate also minimizes stack height, and increases front suspension travel in bump to the absolute maximum possible. Fall Line’s toe adjustment arms feature Aurora bearings, ARP hardware, and laser cut eccentric lockouts for a perfect alignment every time. I was thrilled to install such top quality components on our M4!
During our install we took care to reveal the damper adjusters while simultaneously maintaining the integrity of all original BMW trim for a factory-like appearance and function. The JRZ dampers looked right at home in the wheel well of our Yas Marina Blue M4!
Our M4 made its way to California for the BimmerFest show just days after installation was completed, but even the street driving that I was able to complete prior to the car’s departure gave me the distinct impression that we have something special in this suspension package. The car’s ride is smooth, compliant, and comfortable. The turn-in is sharp and incredibly precise. I look forward to updating BimmerPost when we test these suspension components at the AutoBahn road course. Thank you all for reading, and please stay tuned!
01-0001: IND installs the world’s first S55 Gruppe M intake!
Gruppe M’s Mamoru Ogose has dedicated his life to European sports car racing. Since 1996, Gruppe M has constructed and supported BMW, Porsche, and Ferrari competition cars in Japanese club racing, FIA GT, LMES, and ALMS. Gruppe M’s dedication to creating parts that are both functionally beautiful and aesthetically pleasing makes the company a pleasure to work with.
Today, we’re proud to announce our installation of the world’s first Gruppe M intake on our IND F82 M4 demo car. The beautifully crafted carbon fiber intake arrived at IND just days before our M4 was to ship to BimmerFest, and while we have not had an opportunity to dyno test the intake just yet, we were very happy to see the ease with which the components fit together, and enjoy the extra induction road along with the beautiful appearance of the intake parts in our M4’s engine bay.
Being a car enthusiast in the 21st century brings with it an interesting duality: one typically develops a love for technology and science in a pursuit of better understanding of a modern car’s systems, but the more science a modern car enthusiast understands in pursuit of their hobby, the more one is confronted with a stark reality: burning fossil fuels for personal transportation has been a science experiment conducted by billions of people on a global scale, with consequences that are uncertain at best and absolutely dire at worst.
The realities of internal combustion are not lost on BMW, and although no auto maker in the world loves the sports car more than BMW, the brand has embraced alternative fuels, electric vehicles, and hybrids. Since BMW’s early attempts at hydrogen burning engines in their Hydrogen 7 concept, BMW engineers have resolutely pursued the future of the automobile.
The advent of BMW’s i vehicles has ushered in a new era of environmentally conscious technology. It should come as no surprise that the BMW version of the environmentally friendly automobile is not simply an appliance made only for commuting, but rather a machine with soul that expresses passion and a love for the automobile, even while standing still. Ultra high efficiency electric and hybrid cars are here to stay, and all of us at IND are grateful that BMW has taken on the challenge.
As always, when BMW breaks new ground, we at IND do our best to follow suit. We have done everything possible to create new parts for the i3 and i8 cars with our technology partners, and are working hard to create a full host of components designed to help the BMW i enthusiast personalize their cars. IND’s i program is expanding steadily, and we are proud to introduce our interpretations of the BMW i.
IND painted reflectors
3D Design front lip, gloss black
Gloss black foglight surrounds
Gloss black front bumper slats
Carbon fiber mirror caps
Gloss black grille surrounds
Cobra lowering springs
HRE 303 M wheels, ilectric blue outer barrel and face, gloss charcoal inner barrel
IND painted reflectors
Cobra lowering springs
HRE S101 wheels, gloss charcoal outer barrel and face, ilectric blue inner barrel
Much like the BBS FI wheel before it, bringing the BBS FI-R to market has been a journey and a trial, both within BBS itself, and outside of BBS among BBS supporters and vendors. I described a full history of the FI-R and its relationship with IND here, in this thread: http://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho….php?t=1064579
However amongst the bustle and noise of hundreds of hours of engineering, finite element analysis, pricing negotiations, and even negotiations between IND and BBS Germany, one element of the story is lost to us.
The FI-R wheel is not a wheel engineered and conceived in a vacuum. It is a culmination of a history of hard work, struggle, and success. It is this accumulated effort, this compounded knowledge and force of human will that impresses us at IND. Although the FI-R is still in production and not yet released to the general public, it represents a lineage and a bloodline that is unique to a company founded in 1970 by a couple of guys from Schiltach Germany with a true passion for engineering.
This is why we follow the FI-R program so closely, and this is why we feel as we do about the FI-R.