I bought the mag today and in the article, the author states that they did not have the timing equipment available for the test.
I read that a few times just to make sure I understand what the article is saying. This is what it sais "With our Vbox pressed into service elsewhere, we were unable to run our usual battery of back-to-back numbers in the 350Z and the M3".
First I thought as you (and AntonioB) that the numbers listed are from another test. Though I have searched through every single Motor test that had a 350Z in it, and I could not find anywhere exactly the same numbers as listed in this article. Therefore I concluded from that line in the article that they were not able to do "back to back" testing, but they did do testing later on when they did no longer have both cars. Though the M3 numbers are lifted from another article so I pressumed that they only managed to run the new 350Z.
So I'm really just reading between the lines, but the numbers published have never been published before ... I know that much.
So the 0-100 and 400m results are either hand timed or taken from previous tests from possibly another source.
I don't think it's either as:
a) As I mentioned before, these 350Z numbers are listed in Motor for the 1st time.
b) I can't see how they could hand-time 400m run and also get the trap-speed (to the the last 10th of the kph).
Also, in the 20km/h rolling starts, the M3 gets a 1/2 car length jump immediately on the Z. Is this due to a slightly faster reaction by the M3 driver, or simply just because the M3 has better gearing / power? I suspect the latter.
Yeah, I had to read this a few times as well to try and make sence out of it. The way I read it is that the M3 pulled away 1/2 a car-length while they were both in the 1st gear. Then in 2nd gear it pulled the gap to 1 car-length. I don't think the article meant that the gap grew to 1 car-length during the change ... but again, I'm reading between the lines.
I don't know how much difference the 'reaction time' made in this run as the gap was only 1/2 a car-length by the end of 1st gear. Also from the way I understand what is written there, it seem that the M3 did 'lunge' ahead straight away, but it couldn't have been much as it sounds like the gap 'grew' to 1/2 a car-length by the top of 1st.
Though, that inial jump could very well be due to reaction time as I don't think that the M3 would have an advantage at 20kph. At this speed the 350Z would have just over 2100rpm on the tacho while the M3 would have just over 2500rpm. I can't see having the 3.2L M3 have more power there than the 3.5L in the 350Z. Afterall, their peak torque is about the same, and the M3 is about 60kg heavier.
Though the reason why the M3 would be pulling away once in it's stride is simply due to the power. Afterall, it still has over 35kW more at its disposal.
Furthermore, the article states "From there, thanks to a sloppy shift into 3rd gear it was all over." So the Z driver screws up a gear change and the Z sucks????
Yep, that's what it sounds like. I don't know why they did not re-run it again as I was really interested to hear what happens in 3rd gear as the M3 has much taller 3rd gear than the 350Z. M3's 3rd gear takes it all the way to 162kph while the 350Z's takes it to 148kph (with the 7,000rpm redline).
This test really did not tell me just how much quicker and where the M3 is quicker than the Z.
Yep, I do wish it gave us more info as well. From what I can gather there's that 1 car-length to around 100kph and that's about all it told us.
I would liked the opportunity to line up my stock Z with any M3, just to see how much quicker the M3 is.
Likewise. Though, the only M3s I seem to meet are at the track. And here in terms of lap-times there's nothing between my 350Z a well driven M3 (on the same tyres). I would pressume that it does have a straightline advantage though.
You also gotta remember, SMGII switches gears in 0.08 seconds, whereas manually its about 0.6 ... over two gear changes that's almost a full second difference.
And oddly enough the manual is still quicker. In my BMW-club magazine they had an awesome article where they compare dthe manual and SMG M3s. They had some very good timing equipment that measured the speed at every increment. The manual was always quicker and the gear-changes were about the same speed.