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      03-30-2008, 06:53 PM   #1
danielbreese
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Non-ZTP M3: Driving impressions and Pix (long)

Hi everyone,

Hopefully this write-up will provide new information many are waiting on. I can be the charter member of the "non-ZTP club" So you can interpret better what I am saying let me give you some background:

I recently sold my E46 M3 which I had for 57,000 miles and 5.5 years. I also have a Ferrari 328GTB and a 330 GT 2+2. My driving style is hard but not abusive. For example, my 60,000 mile inspection 2 came at 48,000 miles in my M3. But I never drive hard enough to activate DSC. So I have a good base to compare my new M3 with the old, and I have a perspective of what it is like drive cars with no power steering and what a good engine sounds like! There is nothing like the sound of a vintage Ferrari V12.

COLOR

I got sparkling graphite mainly because silver wasnt offered and I wanted to hide the CF roof. The color does a great job of this. The eggplant reference is very subtle and I probably wouldnt have noticed if it hadnt been brought up (thanks guys!). I would get this color again, but I might also consider space gray but it looks a little lifeless to me.

INTERIOR

regular fox red. Fantastic! Looks great with graphite.

ERGONOMICS

I could make my old M3 sing shifting up and down and heeling and toeing. This car feels different in that the clutch is lighter but the accelarator is harder. Still need practice. I shift better with the center console lid up which gives my elbow more space. Or the shifter could be higher up. Seats and fat steering wheel perfect (I am 6'0"). The power dome is not obtrusive but VERY noticeable.

STEERING

This is the big question mark! It took me awhile to even remember that this steering was supposed to be too light "too light". At parking lot speeds the steering is (too?) light but otherwise firms up at speed and is at least as heavy as the old M3. It is very precise. Guys, this steering is just fine!!! I wouldnt know why you would want it any heavier. The ZTP is not missed in this regard.

EDC

I have this. There is a long twisty but very irregular road here that I am VERY familiar with. I did this run in sport then comfort. In sport it handled better and less choppy than my old M3. In my old car this road was unpleasant but not so even in sport in the new M3. When in comfort, there is very little difference! If you didnt tell me what mode I was in, I probably could not guess! The EDC may be uneccessary.

POWER BUTTON

In the E46, there was a huge difference using the sport button but in the E92, there is LITTLE difference using the power button. I prefer using the power button- I like razor sharp reflexes. If there is an even smaller incremental difference between sport and sport plus, I would say ZTP in this regard in not neccessary

DSC

I drove the car hard today and didnt activate the dsc, so for me the M dynamic isnt neccessary. I bet it would be great at the track. However, the regular EDC is not intrusive.

ENGINE

Oh boy! Absolutely fantastic. I have not had it above 5000 RPM, and I can only imagine how outrageous this will be. Words cant describe, so I wont try. Sound as good as my Ferraris. I bet this car is A TON faster than the E46.

COMPARISON TO THE OLD M3

Guys, there is NOT a nght and difference between the 2 cars. They are actually quite similar. Same driveline clunk. It is said the new M3 is grown up. Not so! It is still a total badass, that is high strung, rabid, and extremely rewarding to drive properly. A Porsche is very feminine compared to this (sorry). This car will be hard to master- that is good! An older brother maybe, but not more grown up. If you liked the E46 you will love the E92 (and vice versa)

THOUGHTS ABOUT EDC AND ZTP

As stated above there isnt much difference between comfort and sport on EDC so I think one would be fine without it.

No I havent driven a ZTP. However the standard steering is fine. If there isnt a big difference between sport and sport plus, and you dont drive it above the standard DSCs already high limit, then I dont believe you need ZTP or EDC. I would also go as far to say that since the all the settings within each category are so close together in feel, then you could even consider EDC and ZTP a gimmick! Dont shoot me.

PROBLEMS AND DISLIKES

The brakes make a low pitch squeal in the last one foot before stopping- suspect that is normal.

Sometimes there is a steering groan when you turn the wheel 90 degrees from a stop sign- suspect that is normal.

Be gentle on the gas below about 1800 RPM. There is a bottom of the engine clatter with hard accelaration.

My seat was rattling but was fixed by pushing in the lower plastic shroud.

Cup holders suck.

Radio? I dont know. I just listen to the engine. I do have HD, Sattelite, and iPod.

OVERALL

You cant go wrong. I dont at all think i need ZTP. Fantastic car!

QUESTION FOR YOU

The car comes only with a plastic block for a key. Yet it looks like a regular key could fit in the door. What is that about?

I will attach pix in just a moment.

Regard,

Dan Reese
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      03-30-2008, 06:57 PM   #2
danielbreese
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PIX
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      03-30-2008, 07:06 PM   #3
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Nice car man, im glad to hear that without the ztp the car still performs awesome, especially since i ordered mine without edc or ztp heh

Again badass car, and thanks for info
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      03-30-2008, 07:28 PM   #4
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I think the normal key hole outside is just in case your fob runs out of batteries. There should be an emergency key hidden in the fob.

Man I wish sparkling graphite wasn't so purple. Something like the Porsche Atlas Gray would be sick.
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      03-30-2008, 07:35 PM   #5
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nice eggplant you have there j/k

Did you consider I don't know maybe black to have the roof blend in?
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      03-30-2008, 08:11 PM   #6
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congrats and nice review.
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      03-30-2008, 08:11 PM   #7
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sweet review.... I am, too, is a bare bones kinda guy no ztp, no edc.... how about more pics of the single hump dash
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      03-30-2008, 08:51 PM   #8
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The fob does indeed hold a real (emergency) key. Squeeze the bottom ribbed portion and pull - the key will just slide out

Thanks for the nice write-up.
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      03-30-2008, 09:01 PM   #9
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Thanks for the write-up. FWIW I love the sparkling graphite...
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      03-30-2008, 09:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvacha View Post
The fob does indeed hold a real (emergency) key. Squeeze the bottom ribbed portion and pull - the key will just slide out
that's something new to me.
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      03-30-2008, 09:16 PM   #11
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Yeah you can lock the glovebox with it too.
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      03-30-2008, 09:45 PM   #12
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I concur with asaulo, if u could post more pics of ur one hump interior ud be the man, the MAN i say
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      03-31-2008, 12:29 AM   #13
danielbreese
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After reading Lucid's impressions on his new ride, I thought about my EDC, since he sees a big difference between settings. I guess another way of putting it would be to say that the sport setting doesnt bother me even on less than perfect roads.

Dan
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      03-31-2008, 07:04 AM   #14
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Nice car! I have been waiting for you to get it since mine will be very similarly equipped. I test drove a car that had ZTP and purposely kept the settings as if the car did not have ZTP. Then, before the end of the drive I switched the steering to sport mode and the throttle to sport plus just to see the difference. To be honest, the only thing I could notice was the sharper throttle response. Even the EDC modes were hard to tell apart one from the other (although I will still likely get EDC). I think over time one might be able to tell the difference a little better but I thought it would be something that was more apparent even initially.

Nice review. It further reinforces my feelings that it's a great car no matter how it is equipped and gives me piece of mind that I can do without the ZTP and still enjoy the car just fine. I'm not knocking MDrive, in fact I would get it if it were somehow available without Nav and IDrive.

Congrats on your car - enjoy it! I too would love to see some more interior shots of the dash.
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      03-31-2008, 09:25 AM   #15
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Nice review and great looking car!!!1
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      03-31-2008, 10:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielbreese View Post
After reading Lucid's impressions on his new ride, I thought about my EDC, since he sees a big difference between settings. I guess another way of putting it would be to say that the sport setting doesnt bother me even on less than perfect roads.

Dan
Congrats Dan!

There is a noticeable difference in the partial throttle inputs in the so-called additional "power" setting that comes with ZTP. However, if one is willing to use the full range of the pedal, and floor it quickly when necessary, there is no issue. One might actually want less sensitivity in certain conditions, even when driving fast, to be able to modulate the throttle more accurately without the car racing ahead. Clearly, the WOT inputs must produce identical responses in any setting. Is the extra sensitivity at the lower input levels of the additional setting worth it? Probably not--if that's the only reason one would be purchasing ZTP for--so I agree with you on that.

With EDC, it took me a while and some controlled tests to feel the difference, which I think is rather pronounced, but that's just my opinion. The passive Sport setting is more fun than the active settings though as that allows you to feel more of the forces experienced by the suspension--they are not damped as effectively--and you get the impression the car bounces around more. I haven't done thorough testing between the Comfort and Normal modes though.

The break squeal is normal. It decreased considerably in my car after I did the bed-in.

P.S.: Can you post some pics of your Ferrari, too?
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      03-31-2008, 11:11 AM   #17
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Very nice review my friend and I agree with most everything you have stated. And yes, don't know why my M3 has that sort of key insert. Probably because it is carried over from the 335!!! I love the key-less go and so on though!! Is great!!! Just put the key in your pocket and everything works!!!!!
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      03-31-2008, 11:13 AM   #18
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Oh, and I agree the car may sound better than the older Ferrari's, but no way better (or equivalent) to the F430 and somewhat less appealing than the F360!!!
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      03-31-2008, 11:33 AM   #19
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nice write-up and i'm going the same way except i need the idrive screen but that's just me.
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      03-31-2008, 12:11 PM   #20
danielbreese
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thanks.

I'll post more pics of interior when I get the camera back from the wife. Ferrari pics to come.

QUESTION

The M3 idles at 700 RPM. Seems low but I assume its normal???

Dan
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      03-31-2008, 12:55 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzStriker View Post
Yeah you can lock the glovebox with it too.
OT but what if the battery in the key fob is worn out? I mean is there a way to start the car with a dead key?
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      03-31-2008, 03:01 PM   #22
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