Exotics: Is the fantasy better than the reality?
As M3 owners, we may take our cars for granted once in a while, but they are close to the top of the automotive food chain. Still, I am sure that many M3 owners fantasize about exotic car ownership "someday". For me, that "someday" is just around the corner, and in fact, if I really wanted, I could go out and pick up a Gallardo or 458 tomorrow.
However, now that I am there, and find myself thinking about the actual ownership experience, I am really thinking, no.
Firstly, I truly love driving. I often take my M3 out early on weekend mornings and just blast through the countryside. Moreso, however, is that even much of the fun I have in the car is interspersed with practical transport. Take the "fun road" on the way to home depot or to get groceries. Drop the kids off at a friends, or school or activities, then have a spirited drive back home on my own. The M3 allows me to do this. I just can't see going to the supermarket in an exotic. I couldn't see waiting in the drop off line for my daughters school in a Gallardo with all the other parents in their crossovers and Minivans.
The bottom line here is that the exotic would mostly be a garage queen. And this is what most exotics are for everybody. If you look at the mileage of these cars on the used market, you see that they seldom get driven. It becomes more just about owning it than actually driving it.
Secondly, unless you live in a few select metro areas, getting service is a real pain. The nearest Ferrari dealer is 85 miles way for me. By contrast, the BMW dealer is 3 miles away.
Third, God forbid you get into an accident. Getting parts for an exotic can also be a pain.
Fourth, I think I would be just too self conscious driving around in one. While the M3 gets more looks than I would have thought, it is still doesn't outrageously draw attention to itself. It doesn't say from a mile away "Look at me officer. I drive fast!!!" or "Hey Mr. Carjacker, I have gobs of money". I personally just don't want that kind of attention. It is not a good kind of attention. Again, that relegates the exotic to sit in the garage most of the time.
Then you have a car like the M3, which is 90-95% of what the exotics are in terms of exclusivity, style, and pure performance. Yet you can truly enjoy it all the time and it isn't a pain in the ass to own.
Of course, there are the super wealthy who completely live in a world of their own, and for them, these sorts of things just don't come into consideration, I suppose. For them, there is little difference between owning a 458 Italia and buying a tube of toothpaste. I am not sure I would want to be that rich, where even the things of the highest material caliber become valueless.
Anyway, for those of us who may be in the "top 1%", but not in the "top 0.01%", maybe an M3, overall, is as good as it gets??
Audi S6 * Audi S3 * Porsche Cayman GTS
--Former BMW M3 owner
Last edited by LarThaL; 11-04-2012 at 09:27 PM.