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Discussion Starter #1
FYI:

Munich, Germany...BMW M Cars have always been powerful and dynamic - and the new BMW M3 is no exception. That is why this high-performance model already features a limited slip differential, ensuring both superior driving stability and optimum traction, particularly when accelerating out of a corner. 

Up until now, BMW M Cars have come with a torque-sensing self-locking limited slip differential with locking action of up to 25 per cent and a consistent basic locking force. Differentials are essential, of course, because the two drive wheels of a car cover distances different in length in a corner, the inner wheel not traveling as far as the outer wheel. This fundamental difference is offset by the axle differential.

The limited slip differential builds up a certain locking force whenever necessary - for example when one of the two drive wheels threatens to lock on a slippery surface. Particularly enthusiastic drivers appreciate the limited slip differential since it helps them to capitalize on the positive characteristics of rear-wheel drive - above all with a sporting style of driving and on roads with a frictional coefficient ranging from average to high.

A torque-sensing limited slip differential adjusts the power delivery to each rear wheel based each wheel's ability to deliver power to the road. In very low friction conditions, for example on snow, gravel or particularly smooth ice, the benefits that this conventional limited slip differential is able to offer in terms of traction are limited by the so-called slip forces beyond which the wheel loses its grip.

The engineers at BMW M, teaming up with specialists at GKN Viscodrive GmbH, have developed an all-new differential system for the new BMW M3 - the Variable M Differential Lock. This lock offers decisive advantages in traction even in very demanding driving situations, for example when there is an extremely large difference in frictional coefficients on the drive wheels. Accordingly, the Variable M Differential Lock enables the new BMW M3, in combination with the fine-tuned DSC system and the car's perfect front-to-rear balance, to offer a standard of driving excellence and handling in winter previously regarded as quite impossible with a rear wheel-drive sports car.

Maintaining Drive Power and Thrust In Every Situation

A further advantage of the Variable M Differential Lock is the increase in locking forces parallel to any increase in differential speed between the drive wheels. As a result, a wheel suddenly relieved of its load and drive force - for example the inner wheel in a corner while driving fast on a mountain pass - can no longer make drive forces "collapse" entirely. Instead, drive power and the car's forward thrust are always maintained at an appropriate level. 

The Variable M Differential Lock functions according to a simple principle: The difference in rotational speed that builds up between the two drive wheels whenever one of the drive wheels loses grip, either because it has become unloaded or hit a slippery surface, generates pressure spontaneously in an integrated shear pump. This pressure is then conveyed via a piston to a multiple-plate clutch, thereby channeling power to the wheel with better grip.
In an extreme case, the entire drive power of the engine may be transmitted to the wheel with better grip (provided that enough grip exists). Once the difference in wheel rotation speed between the two wheels becomes smaller, pump pressure is reduced accordingly and locking action decreases. This self-controlled pump system is maintenance free and is filled with highly viscous silicon oil.
The big advantage for the driver of the BMW M3 is the ability to accelerate far better on surfaces with dramatically different levels of grip between the two drive wheels, since there is now more traction available. In addition the Variable M Differential Lock noticeably improves both handling and driving stability, thus elevating safety and driving pleasure to a new,
 

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Hum... That makes me want to wait for the IS300 with LSD when it becomes available in western region.

TEG, do you know if those AMG version of Mercedes C class has any kind of LSD on it to compete with both IS300 and M3? Just wondering if this is going to be a future trend for sport coupe or sport sedan?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
LSD is not a new thing. Various types of LSDs have been around for a long time. Back in the 70s, everyone wanted "Positraction" on their muscle cars...
 

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Mercedes comes standard with limited slip and ESP which work in conjunction and consider yaw and individiual wheel speeds among other circumstances like intended course.
 

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All older M cars had limited slip differentials and the M3's is one of those viscous (spelling?) type ones. I have seen them advertised in the aftermarket for $3k+.

Many cars to day have eliminated it due to traction control. The problem there is that to really drive fast you need to turn off the traction control.
 

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S38, you're right about that. Def. turn it off. If only there was a way to adjust the settings. I am by no stretch a great driver but can still execute a "high speed" turn much more efficiently with this turned off.
 

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The problem is without the LSD you will spin that inside rear tire. I have seen 540i's do it at autocrosses. They can't put their power down like I can.
 
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