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      04-19-2008, 11:24 PM   #1
skierman64
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Delivered: DCT Space Grey/Black/Carbon/18s--Long post

First some background/perspective. I've been driving manual transmissions all my driving life (since 1980). This is my 5th BMW, and first one that I've bought new, the previous 4 were all E36s. My dad has a E46 SMG which I've driven numerous times including on the track at Watkins Glen. I have about 15 days of BMW CCA drivers schools, all in E36s except one session in my dad's E46 SMG.

Here's the story. I bought my E92 M3 through Sun Motors BMW in Mechanicsburg, PA (near Harrisburg). The dealer is about 2 hours away from my home in NJ. I chose that dealer for a few reasons.

First, they had a short waiting list when I plunked down my deposit on Oct 16, 2006. At that time I was 4th in line at the dealership but when time came to place orders I was #2. Because I ordered DCT there was going to be a slight delay and I wasn't guaranteed to get the 2nd car at the dealership. But in fact it was the Elektra debacle that cause me car to get delayed and I ended up being the 3rd M3 delivery at Sun Motors.

Second, I'm in the military, stationed in New Jersey and my legal state of residence is South Dakota where the sales tax is 3%. New Jersey has a law which is illegal under Federal law which says that military members who reside in New Jersey but are not state residents must pay NJ state sales tax of 7.4%. I'm not going to fight the law myself, so I'll go out of state to buy my car. I only live 20 miles from PA. I probably would have bought locally if it weren't for this illegal law.

Third, My dad has dealt with Sun Motors on many purchases and I know the sales manager there. In fact my Dad works there part time, he drives service cars for them a few days a week as his retirement job.

Back to the story; My car was delivered to the dealership on Thursday morning. I took half a day off from work yesterday (Friday) and got a ride to the dealer 2 hours away. When I arrived at the dealer it had been prepped but the clear bra had not yet been installed but it had not yet been detailed (which was fine because my appointment to pick it up was today). However I was able to take it out for a drive. I headed out with my dad, and my Fiancée. We took it for a 16 mile drive. I didn't really play around with any of the settings and to be honest, my initial drive left me somewhat unimpressed. The number one thing that bugged me was how much throttle I had to give the car to get it to go, it made the car feel underpowered. In hindsight, it was due to two things. One the car goes fast but feels slow. You can be going 80 and its feels like 45. Second, I hadn't messed with the sport setting of the throttle. Quite honestly, the normal setting shouldn't be there at all, it makes the car feel lethargic because the throttle must be move quite a distance to get the car to react. I won't ever use the normal setting of the throttle.

Last night, I began to wonder if I should really make this purchase. The car was nice and all, but for some reason it didn't feel special. I spent some time laying in bed thinking about it before I finally fell asleep.

This morning, I got up and went to the dealer to get my car. When I first got there I talked to my sales guy for a bit, and then we walked out to inspect the car since it had now been detailed. It looked great, I inspected it closely and found no discrepancies, except a minor bubble in the hood part of the clear mask and a small error in the top of one of the right side mirror where the mask was off a little bit. We're going to see if they settle down after sitting in the sun and drying (it was less than an hour since install). It'll be fixed at the 1200 mile service if there's a problem. The car was perfect inside and out.

Then I went to the finance manager and did all the paperwork. I had precalculated all the figures before going to the dealer so there were no surprises and my calculations were spot on with the dealers calculations. Except writing an enormous check, this part was very smooth.

Then, I got back with my CA and I moved the car from the service area to the front of the dealership, where my CA spent about 30-45 minutes going over the car with me, hitting all the areas of the car, but mostly the I drive. We also went for a short drive so he could experience DCT. I also let him drive a short bit (my offer) so he could drive the DCT. When we got back I offered any other CAs a quick ride to experience the DCT, only one guy took me up on the offer. Just before I left, my CA went inside to get something, when he came back out, he told me the finance manager had just received the new loan rates and that he could get me 3.95% instead of the 4.24% that I had just signed for. We quickly signed some new loan papers and it will save me $200 over the life of the loan. This totally surprised me, because they didn't have to do that. Money for nothing and chicks for free

After that, I headed out. I was heading to my parents who live in the area but I went the long way down some pretty curvy back roads. I have to say, my feelings about the car had completely changed since the day before. I had changed some of the settings and it really does change the character of the car. For some reason, I now felt tuned to the car and was about to drive it with more confidence, on some tight roads.

After having lunch with my folks, I headed back to NJ, about 125 miles. It was a nice relaxing ride. I was able to play with some of the Idrive functions and also enjoy the awesome stereo. I played a CD, played my Ipod and listened to HD radio. All of it sounded great. I also just cruised without music and listened to the sound of the motor, which is quite spectacular itself, although quiet when just cruising. My drive is mostly interstates on the way home so I was careful to vary my speed, rpm, and throttle position . I used 5, 6, and 7th gear on the way home, in order to vary the rpm. I also used cruise control for about 5 minutes, just to test it out and see how the speed set indicator works on the speedometer. Very cool. I did some 80-90% throttle accelerations from 60 up to about 105 on some sections where the traffic was sparse and I could see there were no cops. It's truly amazing how fast this car accelerated at speed. 105 felt like 60 or 70 in any other car, obviously this car is made for the autobahn. 105 didn't even have this car breathing hard, seriously. I didn't stay at that speed just got there held for a few seconds and slowed down again. This car engine brakes quite well, back down to legal speeds without need for the brake. About halfway home I did a 70-0 hard stop and pulled off the highway, the brakes are totally amazing, I can see how one of magazines said this car set a new record for stopping distance, shortest ever recorded.

DCT - Wow, IMHO in order to get the most out of this car, you need DCT. This engine, although I haven't revved it out, is a high rpm, high rev engine. Keeping it in the power band is so easy with DCT. I didn't play around with the D setting too much, to be honest I doubt I'll use D much. However, S2 through S5 are awesome. The shifts are lightning quick and in S2 and S3 you can not even feel the shifts. The rpm drops but there's no surge or head nod at all. In S4 and S5 you can feel a "surge" as the car upshifts. The surge is extremely short in duration and just gives the driver that reassurance and that kick in the pants feel that the car has shifted. S5s surge is more pronounce than in S4. Downshifting is as smooth as can be in all modes. I found that when slowing down I typically down shifted from 7th 2 gears at a time. ie, 7-5-3 as I was slowing down from interstate speeds. This worked very nicely.

I tried to get my car into launch control mode, but it wouldn't activate. I'll look at the manual again, but I thought I did all the right steps. I wasn't going to do a launch, I just wanted to see if the mode would activate. My CA said he didn't think it was available until after the 1200 mile service. I'll try it again tomorrow with the book and see if will enter that mode. S6 was available before the 1200 mile service.

Summary: My purchase experience was top notch. I've dealt with dealers before who left a sour taste in my mouth, but today's experience was perfect. My CA (who I've been bugging since I placed my order in Jan 08) was outstanding, a true BMW and car lover. He threw me a few freebies which was nice. His name is Dan Comune, and if any of you decided call Sun Motors for a car, please tell him you found out his name from me. Sun Motors has an extensive loan fleet of cars, and they will drop off a loaner and pick up your car for service up to about 2 hours away from their dealership (my dad's job). They regularly get customers driving up from DC, Baltimore, and Philly because they treat people right, and it was evidenced today. I'm not touting the dealership because my dad works there (I could care less) but because it was great buying experience with no run-around or gamesmanship.

Car Summary: I love the car, I love the transmission. It is certainly softer riding than my E36 and my dad's E46 over the expansion joint roads we have here in NJ. But with EDC, I can make it race car tight if I want to. My only complaint may be that the exhaust is too quiet and I like quiet cars. The exhaust note is perfect, but the volume is too low. Aftermarket exhaust may be in my future, but I won't make a decision on that until I get it out on the track and see how it sounds at full song. Previous stock BMW exhausts I've had have gotten louds with a few track days and some miles, I hope that happens here.

I'm open to any questions about anything.















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Last edited by skierman64; 04-20-2008 at 12:16 AM.
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      04-19-2008, 11:37 PM   #2
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Very nice, NOW SHOW SOME PICS
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      04-19-2008, 11:44 PM   #3
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Congrats! Can't wait to see some pics and hear a further review after break in . Enjoy
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      04-19-2008, 11:50 PM   #4
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Huge congrats and excellent write up. Forget trying to get it in Launch Control. If you notice on the instument panel, you only see 5 bars. After the 1200 mile service, you will get the S6 bar.

Since my house and harleys are all gone now, I will have some time to get a vid out on LC.

Again, congrats and can't wait to see pics
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      04-19-2008, 11:53 PM   #5
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nice review, nice marketing
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      04-20-2008, 12:02 AM   #6
skierman64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMSgt B View Post
Huge congrats and excellent write up. Forget trying to get it in Launch Control. If you notice on the instument panel, you only see 5 bars. After the 1200 mile service, you will get the S6 bar.

Since my house and harleys are all gone now, I will have some time to get a vid out on LC.

Again, congrats and can't wait to see pics
Senior B, I was able to select S6, just not launch control.
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      04-20-2008, 12:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skierman64 View Post
Senior B, I was able to select S6, just not launch control.
Are you in I-Drive? I could see it and try select it, but it is greyed out and moves back to S5.
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      04-20-2008, 12:14 AM   #8
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good story thanks for sharing
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      04-20-2008, 12:18 AM   #9
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Awesome pics. Man, every time I see a AW E46 M3, I miss the hell out of mine. Lucky my wife wants an E46 M3 when we get back....
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      04-20-2008, 12:19 AM   #10
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No, I wasn't in I-drive. Did you have DSC turned off? I think I was also in neutral at the time.
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      04-20-2008, 12:45 AM   #11
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I forgot to mention, even with some blasts to triple digits, running in 6 and 5 for part of the time and no cruise control usage, plus A/C on, I got 19.8 mpg on my way home. Much better than expected.

I'm at 21 something 25 miles into my second tank of gas.
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      04-20-2008, 12:53 AM   #12
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great gas mileage!
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      04-20-2008, 02:26 AM   #13
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surprised dct showing up all ready.. great info. thnx.
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      04-20-2008, 03:29 AM   #14
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looks awesome skierman! the 18"s are matched perfectly with space grey. i love those shots from the 3/4 front angle where you can see the concavity of the rims. sweet!
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      04-20-2008, 06:12 AM   #15
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awesome congrats
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      04-20-2008, 06:27 AM   #16
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Congrats!!!! I know the wait was a long one, but I'm sure it was well worht it. Looking forward to getting together for a mini M3 meet! Good luck, she looks great!
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      04-20-2008, 06:59 AM   #17
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Ski!! 1million Congrats...I'm happy your buying experience went so well and I'm happier for you that you didn't second guess yourself and still went ahead with the purchase, enjoy your beauty (great pics btw), soon I'll see it in person....cheers my friend no go rack up those miles
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      04-20-2008, 07:09 AM   #18
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Congrats! Looks incredible with the 18s. Interesting shots with the E46 also. The old car looks pretty dated but still a beauty in its own right. Enjoy it!
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      04-20-2008, 07:13 AM   #19
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Car looks incredible, it makes the e46 look sedate in comparison. Try using your right foot more, that'll make the mpg get back down to a respectable 14mpg or so.
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      04-20-2008, 07:16 AM   #20
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Congrats! Nice car!

I think someone else reported that launch control and S6 weren't available until after the 1200 mile service.
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      04-20-2008, 08:06 AM   #21
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Nice skierman. Space gray looks great with the 18s.
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      04-20-2008, 08:13 AM   #22
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Great write-up and pictures - thanks! Beautiful car...
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