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      09-11-2007, 02:06 PM   #1
Jason
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Peppernick's test drive of new M3 (+ pics and videos)

By Peppernick:

Touched based with Hexagon of Highgate to find that they have sold both their demo M3s, the latest one got locked up just this morning. Not good as I was expecting a test drive. However, one very friendly principal Paul Michaels decided to volunteer his own E92 M3 to tickle my tastebuds; but then I brought along Durgesh and he's not leaving the dealearship without wetting his pants.

Mr Michaels just picked up his car today, the odometer read 17 miles. Lovely example in Jerez Black with Fox Red interior. This car is fully optioned, the price, 6 large ones, GBP.










The E92 M3 is a big car. Probably not as wide as the 6-series, but just as long if not just slightly longer. My Zee seems dwarfted next to it.




The interior is typical BMW. However, a driver orientated dash is not all about that old-styled curvy dash that points towards the driver. In fact, such concept is all psychological and/or one refusing to depart from the days gone by. It's 2007, it's high tech age and the E92 dash is as modern and as driver orientated as it can be. Every important and regularly used adjustment button is well within reach and functions as it should be. Any adjustments that are used less frequently are held in the sub menu of the i-Drive, decluttering the dash. The i-Drive is a fantastic piece of technological advancement. Anybody who is capable of using a PC will be able to operate it. The screen is very well placed and there is no chance of reflections from the windows and windscreen obscuring your view, images and letters displayed are crystal clear. The dash is very driver orientated.




The E92 M3 is a much softer car than it's E46 predecessor. The clutch pedal is light as feather, yet there is progressiveness in it's travel giving you an idea where the bite point is, right in the middle of pedal travel. The steering wheel is very light. In fact I was rather shocked as it reminded me of the Z4, or a Merc. However, unlike the former two, you still get enough communication between the road and steering wheel. It's no Porsche, but for something that feels this light and assisted, the feedback is surprisingly good. Steering is very precise for such a large car, even with a V8 up front.

The V8 is one quick engine. We were given strict instructions not to take it above 5000RPM, but we managed to squeeze in some 6.5k in second and third. On paper the torque figure reads 295lb/ft. In reality it feels much stronger. The new M3 pulls just like the E39 M5, but unlike the older S65 lump, this V8 screams rev! It spins very similarly to the S54, but with added pull, a lot more pull. Hit the sport button and the engine really wakes up. Unlike the 'Sport' button on the E46 M3, the new 'Sport' button actually make the car more drivable around town. The new car doesn't kangaroo and jerk like the old one, it's like a fast forward button that quickens everything up, smoothly.

The E39 M5 is a very accomplished car, other than the re-circulating ball steering, it's mass and hence, it's sideway inertia, there's very little to fault it. The E92 M3 IMO is essentially the best bits of the E39 M5 but without the woolley steering and the mass effect. OK, it's not a light car at 1650kg, but it's extremely nippy for what it is and you don't feel the weight. It has a tendency to go sideways but that's because of the engine power and not weight. This new chassis is a line hugger.


Oh, that noise! You can tune the 335i anyway you like, you'll never get this feeling ....






Overall impression, the new E92 M3 is a superb everyday performance car. It's not a sports car you you can chuck round hairpins, it's not a road going race car that offers you amazing feedback. It's not better or worse than the E46 M3, it's completely different! My understanding is correct. Over the years, the M3 has evolved from a road racer to a GT. It's not cheap at £50k for a 3-series; but if you think about it, what other new GTs can you get with a 415BHP V8, rear wheel drive, rear seats that are genuinely usable, the option of a manual gearbox or SMG, a bit of panarch, a respectable badge, for this kind of money? TBH, I can't think of any.

The traditionalist may criticise that it's a revolution instead of an evolution, but I'm glad the new M3 is what it currently represents. It's still the most versatile performance Coupe de Grace that you can comfortably enjoy everyday with your family and friends, with lots of character of a RWD chassis.

I look forward to getting mine in March
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      09-11-2007, 02:23 PM   #2
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OMG!!!

Just listen to it.........
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      09-11-2007, 02:29 PM   #3
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Enjoyment

Thanks for the videos and first impressions.

I know everyone is feeling the same but damn it is so hard to see folks (now it is really in our face with the video) cruising around the streets of Britian with their fantastic new E92 M3s. I can't believe how far out we still are here in the US Probably about 6 full months, UGH 1/2 a YEAR!! Crap - they are driving their cars and we do not know a price NOR even a release date.

Folks taking delivery: DO ENJOY!!!

For those of us here in the US we'll just have to live vicariously through our fellow M fans in other countries. HOPEFULLY the M-DCT will be worth the extra wait.
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      09-11-2007, 02:53 PM   #4
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Great write up, very informative!
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      09-11-2007, 02:59 PM   #5
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So question for you track junkies. Since the new M3 has officially made it's entry as a "luxury - sport" car, what will your next DD/track car be? The 135i? Porsche?
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      09-11-2007, 03:20 PM   #6
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      09-11-2007, 03:44 PM   #7
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I appreciate the thoughtful review. I have to say, though that if someone very generously allowed me to drive their new car I would at least honor their "strict" RPM limit! I guess the temptation was too great and no harm done, but still. . .
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      09-11-2007, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILC32 View Post
I appreciate the thoughtful review. I have to say, though that if someone very generously allowed me to drive their new car I would at least honor their "strict" RPM limit! I guess the temptation was too great and no harm done, but still. . .
Hmmm, maybe it was a demo only?
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      09-11-2007, 03:50 PM   #9
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Thanks for the great pics - folks take note: this is the most faithful rendition of Jerez Black I have yet seen (it was a beautiful day in London today).

The GT description sounds like music to my ears.

Cheers.
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      09-11-2007, 03:51 PM   #10
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nice review! jerez black is gorgeous.
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      09-11-2007, 03:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
By Peppernick:

one very friendly principal Paul Michaels decided to volunteer his own E92 M3 to tickle my tastebuds; but then I brought along Durgesh and he's not leaving the dealearship without wetting his pants.

Mr Michaels just picked up his car today, the odometer read 17 miles.

The V8 is one quick engine. We were given strict instructions not to take it above 5000RPM, but we managed to squeeze in some 6.5k in second and third.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MI6 View Post
Hmmm, maybe it was a demo only?
I don't think so. I would be ticked if I was Mr. Michaels.
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      09-11-2007, 03:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILC32 View Post
I have to say, though that if someone very generously allowed me to drive their new car I would at least honor their "strict" RPM limit! I guess the temptation was too great and no harm done, but still. . .

Ditto.

Anyway, thanks for the reivew. Glad to hear it is being well-received.

OT: Did you pop your collar?
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      09-11-2007, 04:25 PM   #13
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Ah, looks like someone was ahead of me Was just about to post up on here. Hope you find it useful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ILC32 View Post
I appreciate the thoughtful review. I have to say, though that if someone very generously allowed me to drive their new car I would at least honor their "strict" RPM limit! I guess the temptation was too great and no harm done, but still. . .
Mr Michaels is the principal of the dealership, his car is yet another demo, and demos are meant to be 'experimented' with :rocks:, just choose your demos carefully when buying used


Quote:
So question for you track junkies. Since the new M3 has officially made it's entry as a "luxury - sport" car, what will your next DD/track car be?
GT3 RS .....
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      09-11-2007, 05:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowmoo32 View Post
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+10 on that
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      09-11-2007, 05:03 PM   #15
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nice write up. can't wait for my test drive when it finally gets here.
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      09-11-2007, 06:56 PM   #16
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The exhaust sounds nice in the car. Cool amatuer review. Thanx.
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      09-11-2007, 07:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peppernick View Post
Ah, looks like someone was ahead of me Was just about to post up on here. Hope you find it useful.
Thanks for your honest impressions peppernick. You are the 2nd person I've heard compare the new M3 to the E39 M5 (a great BMW) I assume the engine note on the M3 was even stronger? Sounds good in the videos. How did the chassis solidity feel in comparison to an E39? The E39 is a tank. I mean that in a very good way.

Also -- can you write even more about the steering? Do you know what mode the steering was in when you drove it?
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      09-11-2007, 07:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socom View Post
So question for you track junkies. Since the new M3 has officially made it's entry as a "luxury - sport" car, what will your next DD/track car be? The 135i? Porsche?
Daily Driver - will continue to be my EVO, going for a mileage record!

Track - Honda S2000

Luxo-cruiser - M3 (or C63 )
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      09-11-2007, 07:25 PM   #19
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Great writeup and those videos
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The new beast. BMW M5.
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      09-11-2007, 08:56 PM   #20
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Funny

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Delbruck View Post
Daily Driver - will continue to be my EVO, going for a mileage record!

Track - Honda S2000

Luxo-cruiser - M3 (or C63 )
Sure the new M3 will be luxurious but not exactly Aston, Jag, Bentley, MB, etc. The original question is even quite odd to me,

"So question for you track junkies. Since the new M3 has officially made it's entry as a "luxury - sport" car, what will your next DD/track car be?"

I find it absolutely baffling that the M3 is not a good enough DD even for a track junkie. My medium modded E36 M3 is hardly a focused nor dedicated track tool and it is still way too loud and uncomfortable for a DD. From what I have read thus far it seems the boys at M have done best what they always do - COMPROMISE. Making a car just as potent on the track as it is pratical and useful as an everyday DD. Who is calling close to (maybe under) 8 mins flat at the ring, 0-60 in the very low 4s (M-DCT) and 0-200km/hr in the 15 s range not sporty enough for a DD? .

Last directly to Hans: Must be wonderful to have a small stable of cars to choose from including the "wifes" P-car as well. But I just can't see making an Evo your DD over the M3 and also labeling the M3 as your "luxo-cruiser" as clearly neither are among it's stongest points. I think it is almost embarrassing to buy an E92 M3 as a "luxo-cruiser". Since I enjoy and agree with most of your opinions posted here and note that you certainly have great tastes, I must just be confused or misreading your intent. I suspect if you saw that particular label attached the the M3 in isolation you very well may question it as an appropriate label as well.
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      09-11-2007, 10:24 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kishg View Post
+10 on that
Glad someone else caught/appreciates that
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      09-12-2007, 12:30 AM   #22
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Quote:
it's not a road going race car that offers you amazing feedback. It's not better or worse than the E46 M3, it's completely different! My understanding is correct. Over the years, the M3 has evolved from a road racer to a GT.
That's disappointing. The new M3 is a GT instead of the race car it use to be. I guess this changes the customer base on the new m3 as well.
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