I wanted to take the time to introduce myself and my new M3. I lurked on the m3post forums for a while during the last year, using the info many of you posted to help influence my vehicle purchase decision. I was looking for a fun to drive, track capable sedan, so I was primarily cross-shopping the E90 M3, '11+ IS-F and '09+ CTS-V. Interesting mix I know... but after spending 3 weeks with the M3, I know I made the correct decision
My previous weekend toy was a 1997 Acura Integra Type-R that I autocrossed and took out to many HPDE's. Keeping with the high-revving, great sounding Naturally Aspirated theme, I chose the M3.
After deciding on on M3, I was patiently waited for the "right" one, and finally found a mint 2009.5 LCI E90. She has 23,000 miles (after my 1280 mile road trip), Le Mans Blue Metallic on Palladium Silver, and has every option available for that model year.
In order to get acquainted with the car, I decide to drive it home instead of ship it via a transporter. So I flew into Minneapolis last month, met with the owner, talked cars, and a few hours later I was on the road headed back to Salt Lake.
First off, the M3 soaks up the highway miles excellently. Better than I was expecting. I used the first few hours of the drive out of Minnesota to familiarize myself with the iDrive system, get my phone synced, and just get a good feel for the M3's highway manners.
My target was Rapid City, SD. I picked this destination intentionally so that I could get up early the next day and take a more adventurous route to connect me from I-90 in South Dakota to I-80 in Wyoming.
With some assistance from Google Maps, I found a series of state highways that bypassed Mt. Rushmore, through the Black Hills National forest.
I got up at dawn, and after a mandatory Starbucks, proceeded to find my way to the roads that the M3 was meant for...
... what a treat that drive was! Stunning scenery and excellent roads. With the early start, there was little traffic to contend with. (Also worth noting, that the S.D. Highway Patrol uses Ka band radar, so the V1 was worth packing in my suitcase.)
This series of roads (snapshot below) was the highlight of the trip. Coming out of Rapid City, connect with 79 South, to 36/16 West, to 87 South.
DISCLAIMER: There are many buffalo within Black Hills NF, so one must be on the lookout. I came across a few that were leisurely crossing the highway after I came out of a corner fairly hot. Not that close of a call, but it definitely made me more aware of what could be on the road around any given corner.
I continued to 89 South, 18 West, 85 South, 18 East, 25 South, 34 East (out of Wheatland, another awesome road btw)
, and finally connecting with I-80 in Laramie. The rest of the drive was just a straight shot on I-80, nothing to note of except how great the M3 an handle a long journey. I finally made it home, and already began planning my weekend adventures.
The next weekend, the wife and I took a day trip through East Canyon (SR 65/66). There are three sections of the drive where the road gets busy. Sweeping curves with good visibility, elevation changes, and short straights... The M3 performed phenomenally after setting the MDM parameters where I like them.
Bonus for the day was that the colors were changing on the Aspens and Oaks. Made for some great photo opportunities!
The M3 is very much point-and-shoot. I never got brave enough to turn DSC off, but exploring the limits of adhesion on turn out was addicting. What impresses me the most about the M3 is how quickly the car changes direction. I'm really excited to take her to an Auto-X (I need new tires first).
Overlooking East Canyon State Park:
At the summit of East Canyon Highway (some snow from a few days prior was still on the ground):
Aspens are green/yellow/orange, Oaks are brown:
This last weekend we did another drive through Sundance and Park City, taking only back roads. After stopping for a quick bite at the Owl Bar at the Sundance resort, we took the scenic bypass over Mt. Timpanogos. There was a lot of traffic due to the popularity of the tree colors, but it was still an enjoyable drive. The National Forest was closed (thanks Congress...) so people were forced to park on the side of the road instead of the parking lots, which were all gated closed. We were only able to stop in one area for a good picture.
Route thru Sundance using the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway:
Great color contrasts with the yellow Aspens!
We have a few more weekend trips planned before the snow closes off the canyon highways. Next year I plan on going to Miller for a few track days to really stretch her legs
After all of that, I just want to say I'm looking forward to contributing to the M3Post forums and thanks for taking the time to read my story.