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      08-31-2008, 10:55 AM   #1
Voltigeur
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Drove 2 E92s back-to-back, 6MT & M-DCT

First impressions

3-series w/ a hump? Yes, but you also start to take in the front diffuser and muscular haunches .. and, there’s that odd cross-hatched roof… more on this at the end.

Interior

Drove a 3er in Bayern earlier this year as a comp. I can see why they added the hump (for the V8): not too dissimilar, mainly the CF trim, the gauges, and, if you so desire, the extended Novillo leather option.

Seating large enough for my 6’ 3” (189cm) frame – that’s key. I have a 5er as a DD and am pleasantly surprised by the sense of space. I manage to adjust the air con sans manual, always a test of design intuitiveness. Didn’t access the iDrive – I’m waiting for ‘09’s in any case, and when I did use it in Bavaria I found it immensely useful and an option I would select.

Fox Red should be termed “Kiln-fired clay” or some such. It’s a reddish light tan. I really like this w/ JzB.

In the end I’m handed keys to a JzB/B manual w/ 6MT & CF roof.

Gentlemen: Start your engines

Nothing too dramatic, but definitely some meatiness to it. It thrums.

You get it: it’s a sports car. [Aside: a guy who came in in a 911 Cabrio is drooling over this car; he’s in to buy a daily driver..]

OK time to drive. Elastic motion vs surrounding traffic – but being responsible too (more on this later). Wow: this car is easy to drive. Maybe that’s why some are critical (say, vs an E30). So it’s new-age Em, something to cosset aspirational Xers and mid-life Boomers. I’m OK w/ that.

Press on. Got some real thrust here – feral linearity. I’m totally charged by the engine (window down so I can hear, despite imminent TX rain). Did I just grow a bit taller ….?

The driving loop in Austin is quite cool: I punch along a double-lane w/ some nice cambers, cut down to a bottom and then turn left (damn, I avoid a poor dead armadillo – crushed on it’s side – no armor to fend off traffic).

Punch it again. Now I can feel the engine go: I get it a second time. This car does not feel fast even as it is. I have driven a 335i in which case the torque is more transparent. Not the M3 – it’s flat. Truly an elastic power band: it reels in the cars ahead and thrusts the road behind. It is quick, and manageable.

Did I mention that I’m having a blast?

I overtake 2 cars and then calm down a bit. I slow down. They catch up and one’s a test driver of a 335i w/ his wife: they are saying, “…. what an arsehole, we still caught up … hey, I like the interior of this 335i”.

Back-to-back 6MT vs M-DCT

I’m thinking this CA is a wonderful bloke. “So, take the other (tranny) out, take as long as you like”. I go over the same route. By this time it’s raining.

It’s another E92, this time SG/Black + everything on the list nearly, MSRP of $72k.





The yellow lights flash as I head back down the twisty route. I’m honestly grateful for this tech [DSC] – I would save the arrogance of turning off the goodies for track day. The EDC was on its hardest setting but did not feel harsh. I did notice a greater sense of being ‘settled’ than the non-EDC car I had just driven.

Here’s the thing: I wanted the M-DCT to begin with. Now I’m less certain. It’s brilliantly efficient. It shifts faster than I can. It’s amazing that you can – like some Greek god – twiddle your 'tips and MAKE STUFF HAPPEN.

But I feel remote and uninvolved. It’s not engaging w/ me like the manual did. When I arrived back at the appropriately named “Jekel” St to access the dealer’s park (booms are now down for the main street) the CA asks me about my impressions. He tells me it takes 7-10 days to get familiar w/ the dual-clutch tranny and that, w/ his dicky knees, there is no option,

Irony is that I phucked up my knee 2 mths ago but I’m going to rehab it; and it gets sore anyway when I drive a Steptronic. I don’t care. At this stage I’m leaning towards the 6MT to my total surprise.

Oh, and what about the CF roof (1st car) vs the moon (2nd)? Easy. I drove the CF-roof 1st and while I could appreciate the attraction of CF it did not, when I got in the second, compensate for the sense of airiness I got as the rain clouds formed and light still came into the cockpit. On this choice I am not hard-core: give me light and choices (open / shut) any day.I can also understand the alternative argument.

Bottom line: The E92 is a lot of fun for the money and in the U.S of A. a real performance car bargain. A sleeper to the uniitiated.

More photos:







Sneaking in a photo of stupendous BMW Welt that we visited in June:

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Last edited by Voltigeur; 09-01-2008 at 11:46 AM.
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      08-31-2008, 11:00 AM   #2
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      08-31-2008, 11:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltigeur View Post
But I feel remote and uninvolved. It’s not engaging w/ me like the manual did.
Exactly.
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      08-31-2008, 11:40 AM   #4
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Excellent write up.
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      08-31-2008, 11:57 AM   #5
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Very nice write up.. Its shocking that I felt exactly the same with regards to all that you said. The choice would be even easier if they included a launch control feature with 6 speed manual cars, because this is where the DCT truly shines. I still like rowing and heel and toeing so thats my mind made up..
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      08-31-2008, 12:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Very nice write up.. Its shocking that I felt exactly the same with regards to all that you said. The choice would be even easier if they included a launch control feature with 6 speed manual cars, because this is where the DCT truly shines. I still like rowing and heel and toeing so thats my mind made up..
"Shocking" - maybe we are kindred spirits I partied w/ a few of your countrymen in Vancouver and I reckon I have to visit Sth. Africa. The M-DCT is the track tranny and, if you commute, the logical choice for larger city commutes. But even as the shifts in the 6MT were less than ideal - some operator error - I had some fun rowing those cogs!
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      08-31-2008, 03:13 PM   #7
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Welcome to the world of cavemen! Nice write-up. So, are you going through with it?
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      08-31-2008, 03:26 PM   #8
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Welcome to the world of cavemen! Nice write-up.
+1

What a nice logo you could add to your sig now, V!


Best regards, south
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      08-31-2008, 03:37 PM   #9
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Welcome to the world of cavemen! Nice write-up. So, are you going through with it?
I will go through w/ something I do need, however, to drive the opposition. We are planning a euro trip (bayern, france) for 2009 so the final choice has to sync w/ that.

One can do that now w/ several great marques
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      08-31-2008, 03:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
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+1

What a nice logo you could add to your sig now, V!

Best regards, south
You are right there my friend, South. Here's the deal: if I plunk down the dosh ($$) for this car for München BMW Welt delivery we actually get to share a Helles in the home of one of the great marques
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      08-31-2008, 03:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Voltigeur View Post
You are right there my friend, South. Here's the deal: if I plunk down the dosh ($$) for this car for München BMW Welt delivery we actually get to share a Helles in the home of one of the great marques
Great deal! If you don't mind my asking: What other marques are you're considering?


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      08-31-2008, 04:03 PM   #12
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Great deal! If you don't mind my asking: What other marques are you're considering?

Best regards, south

Zuffenhausen. Did the factory tour. Still a believer.. a hard but pleasant choice
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      08-31-2008, 04:31 PM   #13
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Zuffenhausen. Did the factory tour. Still a believer.. a hard but pleasant choice
Understandable and really a hard choice. I'm looking forward to reading your impressions.


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      08-31-2008, 04:36 PM   #14
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You are right there my friend, South. Here's the deal: if I plunk down the dosh ($$) for this car for München BMW Welt delivery we actually get to share a Helles in the home of one of the great marques
Since South works on the 12th floor of the Vierzylinder (he is working his way up), you should meet up during delivery and he can show you how to drive safely with DSC off!
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      08-31-2008, 06:46 PM   #15
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Since South works on the 12th floor of the Vierzylinder (he is working his way up), you should meet up during delivery and he can show you how to drive safely with DSC off!
OK, that is funny I have looked at the 'Vier' and had a family member intern there, and yes, I would love to hear matters from an insider's perspective. And yes, I would need some track time before taking on a 'Ring sans DSC!
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Sold: 540iT / 530i / 323i

Last edited by Voltigeur; 09-01-2008 at 09:41 AM.
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