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      09-13-2007, 12:54 AM   #1
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Steve Dinan's review of new M3

Steve Dinan drove the new M3 recently in and around Spain on some twisty mountain roads and reported on it in the recent Roundel issue. As respected BMW tuner and onetime racer, I was interested in his impressions and thought I would share them with you in case you haven’t seen the issue. It's a great article and you can hear the excitement in his report.

Here is a summary:

Quote:
“The new M3 is simply the best combination of BMW handling and ride to date.”

“BMW has reduced the under steer over previous models of M cars – a welcome change. I am sure that once we get to play with the car, we can reduce it still further…but for the production car, I am very impressed.”

“I notice not only good handling traits but a surprisingly good ride”

I was worried when I found out the car weighed over 3600lbs, that it would feel heavy. It doesn’t….I cant understand why it needs to weigh so much”

“I notice how linear the power band is, with almost the same torque output over a 3500 rpm range. This makes the car very easy to exit corners; easy to squeeze the throttle on the way out. The top-end power too, is impressive for a four-liter engine.”

“…you just keep looking down at the tach expecting to need to shift, but the engine just keeps revving.”

“EDC; this too has been improved…in the new M3, all three settings are good.”

“…I also notice the limited slip unit has been improved – more lock on drive”
Steve does wonder in an editorial piece on why the M3 has to be so heavy. He finds it disheartening even though he believes this car handles its weight well. Each generation seems to get heavier, he feels, because the market place demands it – we want a lot of “gadgets” and BMW is happy to give to us. In addition, the air bags add a lot of weight and must be included in all modern M cars. That’s a big difference over E36 and E30 M cars. He is however; impressed with the effort BMW went to reduce weight. It’s frightening to think how heavy it would be if they didn’t.
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      09-13-2007, 02:52 AM   #2
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his comment about the limited slip differential is interesting. i can't recall any reviews that made a focused comparison between this generation and the prior generation's LSD.
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      09-13-2007, 05:24 AM   #3
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Dinans comments are both interesting and up lifting.

When I first entered the BMW tuning world I viewd Dinan products as being over priced and not nearly aggresive enough. As I matured mentally I realized I was looking at Dinan products all wrong. All of Dinans products, as well as his one off cars, aspire to both add performance yet maintain a certain level of civility. In some instances his products have added civility and performance at the same time.

For these reasons I am not surprised that Dinan is in love with the new M3. I think many are a little upset that the M3 is not a focused racer like the E30 M3. However, just because its not focused in one particular area doesnt mean that it cant be good in all areas. The new M3 is both more civil and yet more capable than the previous gen. Something I knew Dinan would like.

When my new M3 arrives it will not be my daily driver. I am sure about half of us here probably have similar plans. So, if the new M3 came as a dedicated racer, something like the 996 GT3, it wouldnt effect us much. However, the M3 needs to be civil enough to be driven on a daily basis for everyone else. Something the 996 GT3 was not ideal for. So in a way the new M3 is more like the 997 GT3. Its more civil but yet performs better than the previous gen. Its less focused yet more capable. This in my opinion is the truly great thing about this car and is surely why Dinan likes it so much.

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      09-13-2007, 11:51 AM   #4
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I do intend to use it as my daily car besides I do not have the resources to have two cars.
But the torque curve was what sold me on this car, and with such a curve I can coast with the high gears around town which will return better fuel economy than my current ride.
This car will also allow me to be silly when I decide to be(hopefully in a controlled environment), so I am not phased by all those reviews, I like the car and do intent to use on a daily basis.
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      09-13-2007, 12:07 PM   #5
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Jason, thanks for posting!
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      09-13-2007, 02:36 PM   #6
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I'd like to try it for myself once they're available. Too many reviews speak of "numb" steering feedback, and that has to be a worry for many people considering the new M3. I'm interested in the E90 M3, assuming it comes out eventually. Once it does, I wonder how difficult it will be to find a dealership with one available for a test drive.
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      09-13-2007, 03:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by e92phreak View Post
Jason, thanks for posting!
You can also read the whole article I scanned at the end of the Bimmer mag article in the thread "Bimmer mag M3 review".
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      09-13-2007, 08:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BK View Post
I'd like to try it for myself once they're available. Too many reviews speak of "numb" steering feedback, and that has to be a worry for many people considering the new M3. I'm interested in the E90 M3, assuming it comes out eventually. Once it does, I wonder how difficult it will be to find a dealership with one available for a test drive.
If the suspension can handle road conditions without drama, then the steering should report no drama. I hunch that reviewers that complained about numbness don't get this simple principal, but I could be wrong. In the U.S. I think you will be waiting a LONG time before you can find a test drive. I know that at the dealers in my area the official policy is that sold cars are never lent to other people to test prior to delivery, in fact I can't even sit in cars being prepped for delivery. I think it is safe to say that all cars entering the US will have a buyer attached for a long time to come.
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      09-13-2007, 10:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
Steve does wonder in an editorial piece on why the M3 has to be so heavy. He finds it disheartening even though he believes this car handles its weight well. Each generation seems to get heavier, he feels, because the market place demands it – we want a lot of “gadgets” and BMW is happy to give to us. In addition, the air bags add a lot of weight and must be included in all modern M cars. That’s a big difference over E36 and E30 M cars. He is however; impressed with the effort BMW went to reduce weight. It’s frightening to think how heavy it would be if they didn’t.
I really believe Business Strategy and Marketing play a huge role as well. They need to leave room for the upcoming CSL... that's when the more true to E30 heritage M3 will be released. Just please please PLEASE make a Street Legal version for us here in the States!
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      09-13-2007, 10:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvacha View Post
I think it is safe to say that all cars entering the US will have a buyer attached for a long time to come.
US dealers will get at least one "demo". With the E46, my dealer always had at least one driveable demo and did not sell them prematurely.
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      09-15-2007, 03:51 PM   #11
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Jason, I don't mind you grabbing my thread from another forum and posting here - I know I should have done that but ran out of time. A little credit though?
Cheers, just joshing' I luv this forum...
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