Is SPORT mode more efficient than COMFORT? (results)

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MerlinPurple
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Is SPORT mode more efficient than COMFORT? (results)

Post by MerlinPurple » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:23 pm

I know what you're thinking, another MPG thread... but those of us who daily our M2's will find this handy! :)


Is SPORT mode more efficient than COMFORT?

I've always felt there was 'little' difference in MPG consumption between SPORT and COMFORT on my M2, but ignored the thought thinking I was going crazy.

Then another M2 owner (Andy OH) cited the same thing. Andy reported better MPG in SPORT over COMFORT on journeys.

This triggered me to carry out the following experiment.



COMFORT vs SPORT

Image



^ The above is reminder of which settings change when the drive mode is altered.

Quite a bit more going on compared to the E46 M3 sport button.

I think we can all agree the difference felt between the COMFORT and SPORT is significant.



Test Method

Week 1
  1. Fill up the tank on Monday and reset MPG on OBC.
  2. Drive exclusively in COMFORT mode for Mon-Fri.
  3. Each day complete daily "city" commute and back: (6 miles total)
  4. Each day complete motorway route and back: (40 miles total)
Week 2
  1. Fill up the tank on Monday and reset MPG on OBC.
  2. Drive exclusively in SPORT mode for Mon-Fri
  3. Each day complete daily "city" commute and back: (6 miles total)
  4. Each day complete motorway route and back: (40 miles total)

    Notes:
    On the weekend use up remaining fuel with 'spirited driving' - using whole rev range as 'cleanup exercise'.

Test Parameters
  • Vehicle: BMW M2 MY16 - Stock (N55B30T0) - RI + 3000mi
  • Vehicle Region: Europe.
  • Transmission: DCT (AUTO only to rule myself out).
  • Highway Speed Target: 70-80mph
  • Air Conditioning: Always on, windows shut.
  • Fuel: Shell V Power (I always use this)
  • Cargo: Just me (driver)
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring: Checked each day, all ok.

Results

Image



The results are promising. Don't focus on the raw values as the computer is never 100% accurate - look at the MPG difference between both modes.

It appears after my testing on motorways, the difference between MPG consumption in COMFORT and SPORT is negligible.

Infact, I might go as far to say that SPORT might be more efficient on motorway runs than first realised, here's why;
* When I reset the MPG counter in COMFORT mode, the default MPG value started at 33MPG and descended down to 31.3MPG after the first day of testing.

However, when resetting the MPG counter in SPORT mode, it started at 26MPG and climbed upwards to 29.3MPG on the first day! - For some reason if in SPORT mode, resetting the MPG counter will default to around 26MPG instead of 33MPG as it's starting value.

This skews the 'average MPG' calculation a little in favour of COMFORT, but in reality SPORT is at minimum, level with COMFORT MPG on motorway runs.
Note that while motorway speeds of 70-80mph were maintained, aggressive use of the throttle was used now and again to overtake slow cars and trucks.

On the motorway using SPORT mode, the M2 felt much more engaging and potent = FUN.


Conclusion

It appears that if you have a long motorway journey ahead of you, SPORT mode can be enjoyed with no penalty to MPG over COMFORT :D

In urban driving, DCT Auto is likely to use more fuel as the car holds the revs longer/higher before shifting.

On the whole I had fun with this experiment. When cruising I was kept busy with folk in other cars pointing/thumbs-up at the M2 and other times giving a good burst of the throttle (overtaking lorries) especially in SPORT.

I'd be interested in others to try out the same experiment and report back.

Thanks for reading :thumbsup:



Image

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Is SPORT mode more efficient than COMFORT? (results)

Post by Hoss » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:25 am

A thorough analysis with an interesting result. I wouldn't have thought the average MPG figures would be so close.

YaoNg
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Re: Is SPORT mode more efficient than COMFORT? (results)

Post by YaoNg » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:21 am

I'd be interested in seeing this for a Manual M2, but from a personal perspective a manual and DCT 235/240.
Black M2 - DCT - black grills - MPE - and a slight wince when I get home late or start early.

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Nottsknots
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Re: Is SPORT mode more efficient than COMFORT? (results)

Post by Nottsknots » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:07 am

A nice bit of analysis there (better than anecdotal evidence, not quite scientific rigour) :)

I am not entirely surprised, as most of what "sport" is doing has no effect on mpg (steering, exhaust noise, even "longitudinal moment" unless you're sideways on twisty bits).

The only thing I would expect to have any impact is throttle response, but for a daily commute with a significant chunk of motorway, the dominant power drain is going to be air resistance. Thats what most of the fuel is being used to overcome (well over 90%), and the air is not affected by the mode selected. The only real difference between the two is going to be a little extra fuel from accelerating more quickly, and unless you're doing a lot of that, it will be very little extra (acceleration doesnt use more fuel per se, as both modes get the same mass to the same speed, its just in sport you may get there quicker, and in doing so the engine works slightly less efficiently for the period of acceleration - slightly less efficient for a short time doesnt give much opportunity to burn much fuel).

Even IF (and its a big if) 10% of the fuel was going on drive train losses (including engine inefficiency, tyres etc), that could only amount to a 0.3 mpg difference (at circa 30 mpg), and that ALSO assumes that 10% is the difference between modes (clearly not true, as there will be losses in comfort too).

Its good to see some real world numbers behind the theory, good research.

I suspect there would be a significant difference between the two if you were being more enthusiastic on minor roads (or track), with plenty of acceleration and braking going on, and a bit more yaw, which lets face it, is when sport mode actually become sporting.

Which all goes to prove that the biggest influence on mpg is the nut behind the wheel :lol:
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Re: Is SPORT mode more efficient than COMFORT? (results)

Post by Andy OH » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:32 pm

Merlin Purple,

I knew I wasn't going mad and a great experiment you carried out, prompted by I must say my observations over a return trip to Cambridge and back :D

Excellent work by you, well done :thumbs:
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Re: Is SPORT mode more efficient than COMFORT? (results)

Post by YaoNg » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:36 pm

Having said and read all of this, I have noticed that my MPG in SPORT mode is significantly lower and I absolutely see more fuel consumption. This is because the modes do alter the driver experience and behaviour so whilst technically the MPG shouldn't vary ultimately, they are still having the expected effect.

Reducing throttle response may be the key to all of this and I daresay people don't realise how different they drive as a result. This will apply to all these F2x cars most likely.
Black M2 - DCT - black grills - MPE - and a slight wince when I get home late or start early.

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Re: Is SPORT mode more efficient than COMFORT? (results)

Post by Mdx » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:40 pm

Just my 2p worth.

Over a two 150 mile varied drives, bit of start /stop, hard acceleration, fast blasts I saw a 1 to 1.5 mpg drop using the sports mode from the off.

What I have noticed between comfort & sport mode is how the oil and water temps change.

Normal mode will have the two temps at around 107° water & 108° oil, but can peak around 110°/111°
Sport mode drops them a touch, 88° water & 96°oil
Outside temp for both of these was 12.5° & 13° Dry days.

This was taken from the m perf race display.

M

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sawda
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Re: Is SPORT mode more efficient than COMFORT? (results)

Post by sawda » Thu May 04, 2017 12:45 pm

Mdx wrote:Just my 2p worth.

Over a two 150 mile varied drives, bit of start /stop, hard acceleration, fast blasts I saw a 1 to 1.5 mpg drop using the sports mode from the off.

What I have noticed between comfort & sport mode is how the oil and water temps change.

Normal mode will have the two temps at around 107° water & 108° oil, but can peak around 110°/111°
Sport mode drops them a touch, 88° water & 96°oil
Outside temp for both of these was 12.5° & 13° Dry days.

This was taken from the m perf race display.

M
Don't see how the difference sport modes can possible affect oil temps, surelybthis comes down to driving style and outside air temps as that is quite a difference

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Re: Is SPORT mode more efficient than COMFORT? (results)

Post by Mdx » Thu May 04, 2017 6:42 pm

sawda, With today's electronics who knows.Thermostate could change for the water but I quite agree regards the oil..
I'll pay a little more attention on the oat next time I'm out..
M

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