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      03-06-2008, 10:17 PM   #1
Mini Me
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Drove the E90 M3 at Rick Hendrick BMW in Charleston, SC

The car is gorgeous! I went to pick up my Mini from the service department when I noticed a SSII M3 sedan. Rick Hendrick BMW must have gotten it today. It came equipped with the premium package, extended Fox Red leather, carbon leather trim, navigation, sunroof, 19” wheels and premium sound system. No EDC. The car had only 68 miles on the clock.

John Fulp –my CA- arranged a fairly extensive test drive in the car. I believe that I was the first potential customer who drove the car. The V8 sounds awesome from 2000 rpm on, its’ sound is really addictive. We rolled down the windows just to hear the V8 making all kinds of noises through the rev-range. I have never driven a car with such an instantaneous throttle response.

I drove a manual Z4M convertible earlier and could not shift smoothly at all in that car, so I had some concerns about the 6MT, but it was perfect. Downshifting and blipping the throttle were really easy, I did not feel a hint of “rubberiness” described by earlier reviews. Same goes for the steering wheel: not too thick, incredibly precise, not too light, you can really position the car with great accuracy.

The extended Fox Red leather looks and feels great, much-much higher quality than the Dakota in the regular 3-series. Did not get a chance to listen to the premium sound system, the V8 sounded so much better!

It was very difficult to get into my Mini at the end of the test drive…The jackpot is 200 million dollars this week on the SC lottery, so I’d better buy some tickets!

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      03-06-2008, 10:23 PM   #2
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Nice review!
Lucky setup you got there for the test drive.
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      03-06-2008, 10:26 PM   #3
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your test drive was fate, now buy one...
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      03-06-2008, 10:27 PM   #4
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Thanks E! Right place, right time. I kept grinning through the whole test drive!

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      03-06-2008, 10:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monsta View Post
your test drive was fate, now buy one...
A business associate of mine fell asleep going to work (long story, but he goes to work very early, drives a long way, and was sick) in his Mini and ran straight into sand barrels at 65 on the freeway at construction. Hardly a scratch on him, but had to get a new car. Not suggesting the same thing for the OP, but it is an option!
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      03-06-2008, 10:31 PM   #6
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Glad to hear you like the extended red leather. i ordered fox red but my dealer mistakenly added extended red. does it seem overwhelmingly "red" or fit well with the amount of black in the interior?
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      03-06-2008, 10:32 PM   #7
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Thumbs up

That's good to know that even without ZTP you thought the steering was fine.
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      03-06-2008, 10:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
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your test drive was fate, now buy one...
I resisted very hard!
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      03-06-2008, 10:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW / Oregon View Post
A business associate of mine fell asleep going to work (long story, but he goes to work very early, drives a long way, and was sick) in his Mini and ran straight into sand barrels at 65 on the freeway at construction. Hardly a scratch on him, but had to get a new car. Not suggesting the same thing for the OP, but it is an option!
glad he's ok....my brother wants a mini as a beater, he'll be happy to hear this...I'm trying to have him get the 1 series 4door if he is going to go the small car route...once you get your car your associate might take the plung
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      03-06-2008, 10:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ee2 View Post
Glad to hear you like the extended red leather. i ordered fox red but my dealer mistakenly added extended red. does it seem overwhelmingly "red" or fit well with the amount of black in the interior?
Extended FR with CL-trim looks great! Really lightens up the cabin. Your dealer made a "good" mistake. It is not overwhelmingly red - FR is not really red anyway.
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      03-06-2008, 10:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
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That's good to know that even without ZTP you thought the steering was fine.
The Mini has a fairly accurate, communicative and heavy -in a good way- steering, but the M3 is in a completely different league even without the ZTP.
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      03-06-2008, 11:12 PM   #12
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Wow, is this the first non-ZTP review? And a non-EDC, non-ZTP even.

Go drive a ZTP and give us a comparo.
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      03-06-2008, 11:14 PM   #13
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Good timing - I'm jealous. I emailed my CA today to see if they got in their demo or sold M3's to look at. Their demo is still in NJ - he checked and there are no M3's at Massachusetts dealers

Mine won't arrive until May so it would be great to see one in real life.
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      03-06-2008, 11:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Wow, is this the first non-ZTP review? And a non-EDC, non-ZTP even.

Go drive a ZTP and give us a comparo.
I saw a Melbourne Red E92 at the dealerhip as well, but cannot tell if it had the ZTP. I would be more than happy to oblige!
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      03-07-2008, 03:16 PM   #15
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Gregs' prophecy almost came true

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW / Oregon View Post
A business associate of mine fell asleep going to work (... he goes to work very early, drives a long way...) in his Mini and ran straight into sand barrels at 65 on the freeway. Hardly a scratch on him, but had to get a new car. Not suggesting the same thing for the OP, but it is an option!
Driving to work today on 17S at 6 am, a SC driver decided to pull in front of me from one of the plantations. He/she just waited patiently until I got close enough and than tried to get T-boned. Stood on the brakes, the ABS kicked in and I managed to avoid the collision. Thank God for the new tires!

So Greg: Do you see an M3 in my future?
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      03-07-2008, 03:21 PM   #16
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very awesome review man!!! thanks dude... Z4M's clutch is a tad harsh, but nowhere as bad as my G35's. if ur saying it's better than Z4M's that's PERFECT
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      03-07-2008, 03:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mini Me View Post
Extended FR with CL-trim looks great! Really lightens up the cabin. Your dealer made a "good" mistake. It is not overwhelmingly red - FR is not really red anyway.
Man you lucky dog, I wish I could see that combo. Sounds like it was a blast to test drive. That is what I plan on getting if I do not go for the vert in space gray. I think extended looks better IRL from the seat vs the normal low angle pics that are snapped. Does not overpower as much as it looks to from those angles.

So you thought the fox red looked great with SSII in a sedan? In the vert or coupe, I have no question I would go FR. With a sedan I would love to see it first.
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      03-07-2008, 03:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantis View Post
very awesome review man!!! Z4M's clutch is a tad harsh, but nowhere as bad as my G35's. if ur saying it's better than Z4M's that's PERFECT
You are welcome! I have driven the G37 6MT and that was OK, my Mini is -of course- perfect, but I felt like a beginner in the Z4M. One jerky shift after the other. The M3 is 10.000x better.

Also, I have NEVER driven a car with such responsive steering. I was seriously disappointed with the Audi TT (overboosted, no connection to the road) and the Cayman S, as well.

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      03-09-2008, 12:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by par4bmw View Post
So you thought the fox red looked great with SSII in a sedan? In the vert or coupe, I have no question I would go FR. With a sedan I would love to see it first.
The only thing that I did not like was the black cup holder cover. There are too many different colors and textures in front of the passenger. IMO, the cover should be kept FR.

Do you guys know if it was possible to order a US-spec car without cupholders?

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