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      04-07-2014, 06:19 AM   #1
Dackelone
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M235i Review: More Than Just The Bargain M? - Motor Trend Ignition

A nice new video on the M235i...

Quote:
On this episode of Ignition, Carlos Lago tests the new BMW M235i, the smallest and least expensive performance car in the automaker's lineup. It has the right formula: rear-wheel drive and a 320-horse turbo straight six. The problem is that the M division, despite what the badges say, didn't develop it. So is the M235i a poser or the real deal? Through instrumented testing, a drive on the winding road, and a hot lap with Randy Pobst at Streets of Willow, we find out.



Willow Springs laptimes:

Lap times (78)
Pos Make / Model Time Year Power (hp) / Weight (kg) Driven by
1. Nissan GT-R 1:19.55 '12 550 / 1736 Randy Pobst
2. Nissan GT-R 1:20.25 '11 530 / 1736 Randy Pobst
3. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Z07 Package 1:20.43 '11 512 / 1394 Randy Pobst
4. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 1:21.90 '08 647 / 1530 EdMunds InsideLine
5. Audi R8 V10 plus (2013) 1:21.95 '13 550 / 1570
6. Ferrari 458 Italia 1:22.30 '09 570 / 1485
7. Jaguar XKR-S GT 1:22.53 '13 550 / 0 Randy Pobst
8. Porsche Panamera Turbo 1:22.68 '13 520 / 0
9. Chevrolet Camaro 1LE 1:22.70 '12 432 / 1757 Randy Pobst
10. SRT Viper 1:23.00 '13 659 / 1520
11. Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 1:23.48 '10 558 / 1712 Randy Pobst
12. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 1:23.87 '08 647 / 1530
13. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Z07 Package 1:24.28 '11 512 / 1394
14. Audi RS7 Sportback 1:24.30 '13 560 / 1895
15. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 1:24.55 '14 461 / 1577 EdMunds InsideLine
16. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 1:24.60 '14 461 / 1577
17. Mercedes CLS 63 AMG S-Model 1:24.70 '13 585 / 1870
18. Aston Martin V12 Vantage S 1:24.85 '13 573 / 1665 Randy Pobst
19. Nissan GT-R 1:25.09 '08 480 / 1740
20. Mercedes SLS AMG GT 1:25.11 '12 591 / 1620
21. Porsche 911 Carrera S 1:25.60 '11 400 / 1415 EdMunds InsideLine
22. Chevrolet SS 1:25.71 '14 421 / 1800 Randy Probst
23. Ford Mustang GT 5.0 1:25.77 '12 426 / 1641 Randy Pobst
24. Ford Mustang Boss 302 LS 1:26.10 '12 443 / 1652
25. Subaru WRX STI 1:26.12 '14 309 / 1545 Randy Pobst
26. Mercedes CLA 45 AMG 1:26.20 '13 360 / 1395 Randy Pobst
27. BMW M235i 1:26.37 '14 326 / 1455 Randy Pobst
28. Audi R8 4.2 FSI quattro 1:26.92 '06 420 / 1560
29. Porsche Cayman S 1:27.00 '13 325 / 1320
30. Chrysler 300C SRT8 HEMI sedan 1:27.00 0 435 / 2000 Randy Pobst
31. Porsche Boxster Spyder 1:27.10 '10 320 / 1275
32. Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport C6 1:27.29 '10 436 / 1542
33. Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 1:27.30 '13 659 / 1750 EdMunds InsideLine
34. Subaru WRX 1:27.33 '14 272 / 0 Randy Pobst
35. Subaru WRX Special Edition 1:27.40 '13 269 / 1452 Randy Pobst
36. BMW M3 1:27.67 '07 420 / 1580
37. Chrysler 300 SRT-8 Mk II 1:27.74 '11 477 / 1994 Randy Probst
38. Ford Mustang GT 5.0 1:27.76 '11 418 / 1648
39. Nissan Z34 370Z 1:27.79 '12 337 / 1524 Martin Choi
40. Nissan 370Z 1:28.30 '09 330 / 1583
41. Ford Focus ST 1:28.40 '12 250 / 1432 Randy Pobst
42. Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 V6 GDI 1:28.71 '12 350 / 1580 Randy Pobst
43. Porsche Cayman S 1:28.91 '05 295 / 1406
44. BMW M3 Competition Package 1:29.02 '10 420 / 1617 EdMunds InsideLine
45. Shelby GT500 1:29.04 '06 507 / 1807
46. Ford Mustang V6 1:29.09 '11 309 / 1571 Randy Pobst
47. Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0 TCI 1:29.12 '12 275 / 1550 Randy Pobst
48. Cadillac CTS-V 1:29.20 '05 406 / 1704
49. Porsche 911 Carrera 1:29.25 '04 325 / 1395
50. Ford Focus ST 1:29.27 '12 250 / 1432
51. Lotus Elise SC 1:29.49 '08 220 / 913
52. Mercedes C 63 AMG 1:29.50 '07 457 / 1772
53. Mazda 3 MPS 1:29.51 '09 260 / 1456 Randy Pobst
54. Mercedes E63 AMG 1:29.60 '09 525 / 1765
55. Subaru BRZ 1:30.32 '12 200 / 1220 Randy Pobst
56. Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06 1:30.35 '03 385 / 1430
57. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 1:30.35 '02 411 / 1414
58. BMW M5 1:30.40 '05 507 / 1848
59. Porsche 911 Turbo 1:30.69 '06 480 / 1585
60. Ford Mustang V6 1:30.90 '11 309 / 1571
61. Scion FR-S 1:31.15 '13 197 / 0 Randy Pobst
62. Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X SE 1:31.40 '11 295 / 1519 Roger Yasukawa
63. VW Golf GTI Mk. VI 1:31.47 '09 211 / 1318 Randy Pobst
64. Ford GT 1:31.57 '04 550 / 1538
65. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X MR 1:31.60 '08 295 / 1585
66. Tesla Roadster Sport 1:32.10 0 289 / 1238
67. Mitsubishi Lancer GSR Evo X 1:32.50 '07 299 / 1626
68. VW Jetta GLI 1:32.53 '11 203 / 1436 Randy Pobst
69. Acura NSX 1:32.59 '04 290 / 1424
70. Acura TL Type S 1:32.88 '07 290 / 1666
71. Nissan NISMO 350Z S-Tune 1:33.87 '04 300 / 1465
72. Subaru Impreza WRX STI 1:34.10 '07 300 / 1527
73. Honda S2000 Type S 1:35.67 '07 242 / 1270 Mike Kang
74. Pontiac Solstice 1:35.69 '05 170 / 1300 Keiichi Tsuchiya
75. Mazda MX-5 2.0 MZR 1:35.91 '05 160 / 1150 Keiichi Tsuchiya
76. Lexus LS 460 1:38.31 '06 381 / 1945
77. Mazda 2 1.5 MZR 1:39.41 '07 103 / 1035 Brandon Bairian
78. Cadillac CTS 3.6 V6 1:40.05 '08 311 / 1798
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      04-07-2014, 06:42 AM   #2
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I wish reviewers would stop focusing on the name and focus more on the performance. This is a great all around sports car regardless of the 16 M badges.
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      04-07-2014, 07:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uponone76 View Post
I wish reviewers would stop focusing on the name and focus more on the performance. This is a great all around sports car regardless of the 16 M badges.
Yes, I concur. I have had so many engineers from BMW AG tell me that the M235i is the BEST car BMW makes at the moment. They say its even more fun to drive than the i8.
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      04-07-2014, 08:07 AM   #4
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Looking over the posted track times from Motor Trends runs at Willow Springs makes me wonder if I'm following the trend more than I think I do. My previous car was a 2013 WRX hatchback that after all my tuning drove great but just didn't make feel special driving it. Looking at how Randy P. was able to better the time of the previous WRX models with the new M235i I now know I made the right choice just not on how I feel about driving my new BMW, but also the stock performance better than the WRX models. During my shopping period last month I really wanted to drive the new 2015 STi but was not able to score a drive in one. Looks like I would have done well had I purchased the Subaru, but the BMW does have some many cool entertainment offers that makes it worth the extra money; at least to me it does.

I will be getting my first tune on the BMW tomorrow via JB4 Stage 1 and intake and see just how much more power it makes over the stock power. My WRX on the same dyno I going to put down 287 HP and 317 Torque, which being AWD is pretty good number over the stock numbers at the wheels (4 of them). My tuner was instructed to gain as much peak Torque on the ProTune over peak HP. Expecting my BMW to exceed both of these numbers being stock.

I really love my new BMW and think it will keep me more than satisfied for next couple years which is a long time for me.
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      04-07-2014, 08:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uponone76 View Post
I wish reviewers would stop focusing on the name and focus more on the performance. This is a great all around sports car regardless of the 16 M badges.
I agree. There were 14 M badges on a 420d I borrowed. But does anyone keep banging on about that. No!
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      04-07-2014, 09:10 AM   #6
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Good video and nice review - does anyone know what the 1M ran at Willow Springs?

I didn't see that on the list at the end of the video...

He didn't seem to knock the car at all - I would concur with the general statement that you need to spend more time with this car before you can really get a feel for it. The comment about it "pulling" harder at higher RPMs is definitely true, compared to my N55 135. There's definitely more there in this version of the N55.

I am liking mine more and more.
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      04-07-2014, 09:28 AM   #7
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I really do like these guys, they make great reviews. Now I'd like Chris Harris to try it out too (I know he liked the M135i, but still).

I loved hearing Randy say "Welcome back BMW" at the end
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      04-07-2014, 09:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uponone76 View Post
I wish reviewers would stop focusing on the name and focus more on the performance. This is a great all around sports car regardless of the 16 M badges.
Seriously!!! it is just like shut up and drive!. Who cares
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      04-07-2014, 12:41 PM   #9
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loooove the filmography of it!
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      04-07-2014, 01:09 PM   #10
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Hands down the best review by far...
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      04-07-2014, 01:49 PM   #11
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Look at this list of times from Fastest Laps.com

Pretty good company for the M235.

Willow Springs - Streets of Willow, USA
.
Show filters Car type Coupes Saloons Compacts Convertibles Other Wheel drive Front w. drive Rear w. drive All w. drive Engine location Front engine Rear engine Mid engine Additional criteria Include wet laps

Lap times (78)
Pos Make / Model Time Year Power (hp) / Weight (kg) Driven by
1. Nissan GT-R 1:19.55 '12 550 / 1736 Randy Pobst
2. Nissan GT-R 1:20.25 '11 530 / 1736 Randy Pobst
3. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Z07 Package 1:20.43 '11 512 / 1394 Randy Pobst
4. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 1:21.90 '08 647 / 1530 EdMunds InsideLine
5. Audi R8 V10 plus (2013) 1:21.95 '13 550 / 1570
6. Ferrari 458 Italia 1:22.30 '09 570 / 1485
7. Jaguar XKR-S GT 1:22.53 '13 550 / 0 Randy Pobst
8. Porsche Panamera Turbo 1:22.68 '13 520 / 0
9. Chevrolet Camaro 1LE 1:22.70 '12 432 / 1757 Randy Pobst
10. SRT Viper 1:23.00 '13 659 / 1520
11. Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 1:23.48 '10 558 / 1712 Randy Pobst
12. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 1:23.87 '08 647 / 1530
13. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Z07 Package 1:24.28 '11 512 / 1394
14. Audi RS7 Sportback 1:24.30 '13 560 / 1895
15. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 1:24.55 '14 461 / 1577 EdMunds InsideLine
16. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 1:24.60 '14 461 / 1577
17. Mercedes CLS 63 AMG S-Model 1:24.70 '13 585 / 1870
18. Aston Martin V12 Vantage S 1:24.85 '13 573 / 1665 Randy Pobst
19. Nissan GT-R 1:25.09 '08 480 / 1740
20. Mercedes SLS AMG GT 1:25.11 '12 591 / 1620
21. Porsche 911 Carrera S 1:25.60 '11 400 / 1415 EdMunds InsideLine
22. Chevrolet SS 1:25.71 '14 421 / 1800 Randy Probst
23. Ford Mustang GT 5.0 1:25.77 '12 426 / 1641 Randy Pobst
24. Ford Mustang Boss 302 LS 1:26.10 '12 443 / 1652
25. Subaru WRX STI 1:26.12 '14 309 / 1545 Randy Pobst
26. Mercedes CLA 45 AMG 1:26.20 '13 360 / 1395 Randy Pobst
27. BMW M235i 1:26.37 '14 326 / 1455 Randy Pobst
28. Audi R8 4.2 FSI quattro 1:26.92 '06 420 / 1560
29. Porsche Cayman S 1:27.00 '13 325 / 1320
30. Chrysler 300C SRT8 HEMI sedan 1:27.00 0 435 / 2000 Randy Pobst
31. Porsche Boxster Spyder 1:27.10 '10 320 / 1275
32. Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport C6 1:27.29 '10 436 / 1542
33. Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 1:27.30 '13 659 / 1750 EdMunds InsideLine
34. Subaru WRX 1:27.33 '14 272 / 0 Randy Pobst
35. Subaru WRX Special Edition 1:27.40 '13 269 / 1452 Randy Pobst
36. BMW M3 1:27.67 '07 420 / 1580
37. Chrysler 300 SRT-8 Mk II 1:27.74 '11 477 / 1994 Randy Probst
38. Ford Mustang GT 5.0 1:27.76 '11 418 / 1648
39. Nissan Z34 370Z 1:27.79 '12 337 / 1524 Martin Choi
40. Nissan 370Z 1:28.30 '09 330 / 1583
41. Ford Focus ST 1:28.40 '12 250 / 1432 Randy Pobst
42. Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 V6 GDI 1:28.71 '12 350 / 1580 Randy Pobst
43. Porsche Cayman S 1:28.91 '05 295 / 1406
44. BMW M3 Competition Package 1:29.02 '10 420 / 1617 EdMunds InsideLine
45. Shelby GT500 1:29.04 '06 507 / 1807
46. Ford Mustang V6 1:29.09 '11 309 / 1571 Randy Pobst
47. Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0 TCI 1:29.12 '12 275 / 1550 Randy Pobst
48. Cadillac CTS-V 1:29.20 '05 406 / 1704
49. Porsche 911 Carrera 1:29.25 '04 325 / 1395
50. Ford Focus ST 1:29.27 '12 250 / 1432
51. Lotus Elise SC 1:29.49 '08 220 / 913
52. Mercedes C 63 AMG 1:29.50 '07 457 / 1772
53. Mazda 3 MPS 1:29.51 '09 260 / 1456 Randy Pobst
54. Mercedes E63 AMG 1:29.60 '09 525 / 1765
55. Subaru BRZ 1:30.32 '12 200 / 1220 Randy Pobst
56. Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06 1:30.35 '03 385 / 1430
57. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 1:30.35 '02 411 / 1414
58. BMW M5 1:30.40 '05 507 / 1848
59. Porsche 911 Turbo 1:30.69 '06 480 / 1585
60. Ford Mustang V6 1:30.90 '11 309 / 1571
61. Scion FR-S 1:31.15 '13 197 / 0 Randy Pobst
62. Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X SE 1:31.40 '11 295 / 1519 Roger Yasukawa
63. VW Golf GTI Mk. VI 1:31.47 '09 211 / 1318 Randy Pobst
64. Ford GT 1:31.57 '04 550 / 1538
65. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X MR 1:31.60 '08 295 / 1585
66. Tesla Roadster Sport 1:32.10 0 289 / 1238
67. Mitsubishi Lancer GSR Evo X 1:32.50 '07 299 / 1626
68. VW Jetta GLI 1:32.53 '11 203 / 1436 Randy Pobst
69. Acura NSX 1:32.59 '04 290 / 1424
70. Acura TL Type S 1:32.88 '07 290 / 1666
71. Nissan NISMO 350Z S-Tune 1:33.87 '04 300 / 1465
72. Subaru Impreza WRX STI 1:34.10 '07 300 / 1527
73. Honda S2000 Type S 1:35.67 '07 242 / 1270 Mike Kang
74. Pontiac Solstice 1:35.69 '05 170 / 1300 Keiichi Tsuchiya
75. Mazda MX-5 2.0 MZR 1:35.91 '05 160 / 1150 Keiichi Tsuchiya
76. Lexus LS 460 1:38.31 '06 381 / 1945
77. Mazda 2 1.5 MZR 1:39.41 '07 103 / 1035 Brandon Bairian
78. Cadillac CTS 3.6 V6 1:40.05 '08 311 / 1798
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      04-07-2014, 01:57 PM   #12
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Nice info! My dad owns a C6 grandsport vette, hard to believe that the M235i is faster around the track, maybe due to driver?
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      04-07-2014, 02:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschulman00 View Post
Nice info! My dad owns a C6 grandsport vette, hard to believe that the M235i is faster around the track, maybe due to driver?
It has to be driver. It's also 2.5 seconds faster than an M3 Comp driven by Edmunds inside line.
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      04-07-2014, 02:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschulman00 View Post
Nice info! My dad owns a C6 grandsport vette, hard to believe that the M235i is faster around the track, maybe due to driver?
That's a good question - probably a whole host of factors, but the car is in a nice range of times no matter what.

Quite a bit faster than the E92 M3 Comp. package.
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      04-07-2014, 02:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basiluf
Quote:
Originally Posted by jschulman00 View Post
Nice info! My dad owns a C6 grandsport vette, hard to believe that the M235i is faster around the track, maybe due to driver?
It has to be driver. It's also 2.5 seconds faster than an M3 Comp driven by Edmunds inside line.
Driver definitely makes all the difference, but I mean can't complain with the results haha
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      04-07-2014, 02:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmboone25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jschulman00 View Post
Nice info! My dad owns a C6 grandsport vette, hard to believe that the M235i is faster around the track, maybe due to driver?
That's a good question - probably a whole host of factors, but the car is in a nice range of times no matter what.

Quite a bit faster than the E92 M3 Comp. package.
Definitely are a bunch of factors, but I mean I'm not upset with the results. All this paper comparison gets at me haha can't wait until mine gets here and get some real seat time
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      04-07-2014, 03:02 PM   #17
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Great Review, thanx for Sharing. Carlos Lago is a great journalist.
The M235i is a beast, can't wait to get my hands in that little thing.
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      04-07-2014, 03:45 PM   #18
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Seriously!!! it is just like shut up and drive!. Who cares
Pretty much.....

People that solely judge this car on numbers are missing the point in the first place. I doubt BMW built it to be the fastest anything, and that's why it's good at everything, while being insanely fun to drive.
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      04-07-2014, 06:13 PM   #19
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nice weight! 3200lbs
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      04-07-2014, 06:28 PM   #20
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nice weight! 3200lbs
I am extremely confused by this weight. This is 300lbs lighter than what we have been told the car's weight is. Although, BMW did initially state the weight was going to be about 3200-3300lbs (cant remember).

Thoughts?
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      04-07-2014, 06:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
Yes, I concur. I have had so many engineers from BMW AG tell me that the M235i is the BEST car BMW makes at the moment. They say its even more from than the i8.
Did you mean "more fun" than the i8?
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2014 M235i, 2008 JB e90 M3, 2011 X5 5.0, 2011 335i Sport
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      04-07-2014, 06:30 PM   #22
rwalker
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Note that curb weight in the video is the same as official BMW curb weight ~3450lb (which is measured with lots of options, full tank, etc.). I have to assume that for this track test they actually weighed the car...
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