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      05-30-2010, 11:02 AM   #45
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      05-30-2010, 03:08 PM   #46

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Awesome write up! Thanks! These ED write ups make me want to do the same more and more!
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      05-30-2010, 03:51 PM   #47
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      05-30-2010, 04:30 PM   #48

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      05-30-2010, 05:59 PM   #49

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      05-30-2010, 06:12 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by bsd damon View Post
My wife and I recently returned from our European delivery vacation where we took delivery of a 2011 AW E92 M3. I "blogged" it real time on Bimmerfest but wanted to post it to Bimmerpost for the permanent record.

Our itinerary was:

Munich days 1-3
Prague days 3-6
Romantic Road/Alpenstrasse (Nordlingen) days 6-7
Alps/Stelvio (Davos) days 8-10
Nurburgring (Cologne/Nurburg) days 11-12
Drop-off (Frankfurt) day 13


Arrived early morning and checked-in to the Le Meridien across from the train station. Nice hotel - typical Meridien quality and amenities. Spent the next 2 days in the cold rainy weather looking at the sights. I highly recommend the Pinakothek der Moderne - the collection is the best modern collection I have seen and the building itself is a work of art. What do you expect? We're in Germany! Hofbrauhaus is definitely a must see as well.

Day 3 we checked in to the Welt early for a 2:30pm pickup of our new M3. We were booked on the plant tour then off to Prague for dinner. The Welt is stunning, absolutely breathtaking. Most countries don't have airports this nice.

Attachment 391491
First Impressions of the Welt

Attachment 391492
Main check-in at bottom right

Attachment 391490
Staircase leading to delivery floor

Attachment 391493
Interactive exhibits on the ground floor

While snacking and marveling at the Welt in the lounge, we were told that our car would not be ready for our scheduled pickup - it had sustained damage to its trunk on the way to the Welt and they were frantically looking for a replacement part. However, as the BMW representative explained, M3's are rare and this piece is not easy to find.

We let them try to figure it out while we took pictures of the Welt, went on the plant tour, and had lunch in the restaurant. After lunch, we were told that the trunk lid was en route from Regensburg and would be installed tomorrow by lunch.

The Welt staff did as much as they could to keep us happy - they called and re-booked our hotel in Prague, booked us a room in Munich, and gave us a 535GT for the day/night, all at their cost.

Went back to the Welt the following day and decided to take in the BMW museum while we waited for news on our car. The museum is a MUST DO, even if your spouse/companions are not into cars. It is exceptionally well designed and highly interactive.

Attachment 391494
Interactive timeline of BMW

We finally got our car at 2:30, about a day late. It was worth the wait...

Attachment 391495

Attachment 391496

Attachment 391497

The introduction took as little or as much time as we wanted (about 30 minutes including photos). Was a little upset about losing a day in Prague, but after driving the M3 for about 5 minutes on the autobahn, all I could think of was "this is going to be fun at the Nurburgring". Made it to Prague in under 4 hours.


Prague was amazing (even in the cold rain) - it definitely offers lots to see but the massive waves of tours/tourists detracted from the experience. Stayed at the Cloister Inn (3 star) with private, self-park, in an interior courtyard, less than 5 minute walk from Old Town Square. Very friendly staff and nice feel that you can really only get with a well run private hotel (free in-room minibar, free wifi, OK breakfast). While our stay in Prague was cut short we were happy to head out on the road again in search of some sun or at least dry or warmer weather (must be the volcano).

Attachment 391498


Attachment 391501

From Prague we headed west to drive the Romantic Road and AlpenStrasse to our weekend stopover in Davos, Switzerland. We started our romantic drive in Wurzburg...a medium sized town with a "modern" pedestrian area and central square, unique Dom, and a massive Palace called the Residenz - a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Attachment 391499
the Residenz (all I could fit in with my 24mm wide)

Heading south out of Wurzburg we drove past hilly vineyards on one side and the Main River on the other side of the road...definitely a good start. The route to Nordlingen is a nice drive and since we left Wurzburg around 7pm, there was virtually no traffic.

Stayed at the NH hotel in Nordlingen, about the halfway point on the Romantic Road. The hotel was well located to the central square and nicely modern. Underground parking was available for a small charge.

Nordlingen is a definite must see on the route. It is a medieval town built entirely in an old meteor crater. Checkout the medieval wall encircling the entire town and the church belltower between 10pm and midnight when the watchman yells a centuries old traditional cry over the town every 1/2 hour.

Attachment 391500
the "Daniel" church tower in Nordlingen

About 3 hours from Nordlingen we stopped for the obligatory Neuschwanstein Castle photo. Couldn’t get to the official photo spot as there was an angry old man driving around yelling at me. Could’ve used a longer lens on my camera, but turned out OK nevertheless…

Attachment 391502
...see that tiny castle on the right?

Overall I’d say the Romantic Road from Wurzburg to Nordlingen is worth doing but Nordlingen to Fussen is mostly highway. Whatever you decide – the best time to drive is probably early evening.


After the castle we needed to head west then south to Davos. The Alpenstrasse is a MUST DO if you are heading west from the castle. Long winding roads, scenic vistas, switchbacks, elevation changes – truly amazing. Also a great way to break in an M car. Switched the transmission to D6 and the power to Sport and the M3 was awesome. Braking was so consistent at every turn. We started around 7pm and were at the Austrian border by 9pm – no traffic until the tunnel at the border. Navi won’t take you there though – you have to input intermediate towns to get to the start – like Wertach and Immenstadt.


Attachment 391503
Davos in the far background

In Davos we stayed at the ArabellaSheraton Hotel Seehof in Davos Dorf. The hotel is a "grand olde dame" and has underground parking in a secure garage. The hotel features a unique spa with saunas, steam baths, full body showers, foot baths, and relaxation areas. Davos Platz is where most of the action is but it is only a short bus ride/drive or medium length walk from the hotel. Most people come for the mountains anyways.

After hearing from the hotel staff that the Fluelapass was open we decided to attempt the Stelvio. We got as far as Santa Maria - the Umbrail Pass was closed (which connects to the Stelvio Pass south) and I assumed the Stelvio was closed as well since it is 100m higher than Umbrail.

Attachment 391507

Attachment 391508 least we made it to the Stelvio Hotel in Sta. Maria

No regrets though as the drive along 28 (via Fluelapass) from Davos to Santa Maria was spectacular. A little under 2 hours each way and plenty of small towns and passes along the way. Tried out M Drive set at S4, Super Sport, and Servotronic. Handling was amazing, never hinting at understeer and tires stayed firmly planted, even when braking/turning down 10% hairpins.

Attachment 391506
atop the Pass dal Fuorn @ 2150m

Attachment 391509
alpine switchback

Attachment 391504
hairpin turn coming out of the mountains

Attachment 391505
small town of Susch on the route

Lots of motorcycles and bikers (saw 2 Corvettes, a Viper, a late 80's Camaro) but traffic was pretty light. I consider myself a good and safe driver...but it is humbling to be pushing hard to keep up with a motorhome on the mountain passes or being ridden by a station wagon towing a trailer full of tires! Had a black Mustang Cobra on my tail up the mountain but as soon as it got twisty and downhill, I never saw him again.

We had beautiful weather the 2 days we were in the Alps - the weather gods paying us back for raining on us every day we were in Munich and Prague.


The weather gods continued to shine on us as we left Davos for Cologne, with stops at Baden-Baden for lunch and the Nurburgring for our first look at the track.

Went to the Cafe Konig in Baden-Baden for lunch - it is definitely the place to people watch. Highly recommended. The town had a Mediterranean feel to it and was full of 70's glam style.

Many hours and over 775kms and a 120 euro toll ticket in Austria later, we made it to the Nurburgring. The long journey was instantly forgotten the second the entry gate to the Nordschleife lifted. DO WHATEVER YOU MUST DO TO DRIVE THIS TRACK. IT IS ONE OF THE WILDEST RIDES YOU WILL EVER TAKE IN YOUR LIFE.


About 20kms out from the track every other car is either a GT3RS or motorcycle. Then GTR's, Elise's and Ferrari's start to appear. About 10kms out, I could hear engines roaring by and caught glimpses of the track through the trees. Parked cars start to line the side of the highway then a large parking area appears off to the side. There are a couple of these parking areas 5kms to 10kms out where people park and watch the cars lap the track. Once I hit the welcome centre, the mini-vans and Volvos were more conspicuous than the sports cars. Every high performance car you can think of was either in the parking lot or in the queuing area for the Sudschleife - some you've never seen or heard of before. Buying the fare card took less than 2 minutes and then after taking everything in for a few minutes, out to the toll gates.

Attachment 391513
getting ready...unfortunately this mini would eventually crash into the guardrail on my 3rd lap

Attachment 391511
matte black John Player Special Lambo

Attachment 391512
line up when track opens...nice Boxster Spyder

The track:

Going through those toll gates absolutely blew my mind. I AM DRIVING MY CAR ON THE NURBURGRING!!! I flick up through the gears and the first of many huge hills comes at me before my mind catches up with my car. Check my mirror, let the first of what seems like dozens of cars pass me, then HARD on the brakes. Then repeat 50 times. Nothing can prepare you for the elevation changes around the course. Some are blind hills, some downhills you can see for a bit but are unsure what is around the next turn. Then the s's, blind curves, banked turns, double apex curves, uphill straights - it all assaults you like a 21 round title fight. I was passed and KO'd by SEAT's, Suzukis, and Renaults. The track was beyond anything I imagined. Such a unique experience, my wife, who is a VERY occasional driver back home, immediately demanded the keys after my 1st lap. She drove slow, but safe, and had a great time.

Attachment 391510
The Carousel

I had no previous Playstation experience so I learned the track on my first lap. By my third lap (and one additional one as a passenger/navigator for my wife), I estimate my time came down by 2 to 3 minutes. I also had my 2,000km service and took the luggage out of the trunk after lap 1.

The car:

The M3 was perfect. Throttle response through the 4,000 to 6,500 rpm range was so immediate and consistent in every gear. The brakes had incredible consistency and feel as well. I used all the maximum settings in M drive but kept the DSC on full. Downshifting was instantaneous and never threw the balance of the car off. The car remained planted 100% of the time and it never felt loose or unstable. Once finished and back in the parking lot, I could not believe that this was the car that I have been driving all over Europe for the last 7 days and it could unleash race car performance on an extremely difficult race track. I'm not sure how much the guys in their A4's or Golfs enjoyed their ride but the M3 was awesome and addictive.

Stayed in Cologne at the Dom Hotel (Meridien) between day 1 and 2 at the Ring and got my 2,000km service while sightseeing. The Dom Hotel shares the plaza with the Dom and is a beautiful building with a great history. Underground parking is available in a very spacious and modern parking garage. Went back to the Ring and the sun held out for a 2nd day. Laps 2 and 3 were smoother and faster. Actually had a "racing pass" of a TT. After the session we stayed at the im Tiergarten hotel in Nurburg, which is the Schmitz family's hotel. Nice hotel, very friendly, and a great restaurant. I must also single out the breakfast as exceptional. The hotel and restaurant are a shrine to racing and people who love driving. Highly recommended.

Overall, the whole Nurburgring experience exponentially exceeded our expectations and we think our M3 appreciated the experience as well.

Attachment 391514
viewing area at the end of the day


Stopped by the Burg Eltz on the way to the Frankfurt drop-off. Much more interesting castle than Neuschwanstein - has been with the original family for 66 generations. Nice drive there but no photo ops with the car.

Attachment 391516
Burg Eltz

Dropped the car off in Frankfurt - everything went smoothly - took about 20 minutes.


Some tips - always reserve your hotel for the correct # of guests to avoid rate hassles at check-in and always buy a vignette/toll sticker, which are easy to purchase right at the border from a gas station. We drove 13kms in Austria without one and were fined 120 euros.

We drove almost 2,800 kilometers over 9 days. A few thoughts about the Autobahn and German drivers - 160km/h (100mph) is a very average speed on the autobahn. Fast Transit vans and VW Golfs go by at least 30 to 50 kph faster. Mostly all of the Autobahns we drove on were 2 lane but we made good time - all due to the respect drivers give other drivers on the road by always driving in the right lane. Saw 2 major single car accidents but traffic only seemed to slow down for a few hundred meters. Drivers also don't mind letting you in if you are signaling - they know that you will pull into the right hand lane after you are finished your pass. I did notice that most drivers tend to ride your tail pretty hard if you are going slower than them.

Over the whole trip, most popular "sports" cars on the Autobahn I noticed were Audi TTs and Merc SLKs. Saw a few 911s but you don't have to own a sports car to drive fast in Germany. In North America, we all own fast cars but can't drive fast! Didn't see another E9# M3 the entire time I was in Europe (other than the 3 or 4 I saw at the Ring - I expected to see more there).

The M3 is just the perfect performance car. I cannot believe how confidently it drove the mountain passes and how I was able to push the car on the track and drive it "home" right after (with 2 large suitcases in the trunk). SUPERB ENGINEERING. The one thing about the car that stood out above comparison was the suspension - able to track perfectly and handle bumpy roads without losing contact or jarring the cabin. The Michelin PS2's were also excellent - pouring rain, track, cold mountain passes. Only slight negatives I thought were a wide turning radius and poor low end throttle response (I'm assuming this is because its a true manual gearbox which normally wouldn't have great throttle response until you release the clutch).

Thanks to Endras BMW (Toronto) and Bimmerpost for helping us finally do this trip. Also, thanks to everybody at the Welt who did everything they could to make-up for the damaged trunk and rim.

If you're thinking about doing an ED or buying an M3, you will not regret either decision. Do both!

Attachment 391515
Wonderful Photos great tips!!! I was at "Die Welt" last year when they rolled out the Z4 in München, Germany also visited the factory and museum. Had a wonderful time. My next Bimmer I also will pick up in Germany ~s~ Thanks for sharing and Happy Motoring
Cheers, Rolf-Dieter

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      05-30-2010, 06:44 PM   #51
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Great pics and write up.
Thanks for sharing.

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      05-30-2010, 10:59 PM   #52

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Beautiful pics and even more beautiful M3, congrats! The Nurgburgring wouldn't be my way of breaking in a car but ITS THE NURGBURGRING-- MY ARGUMENT IS NOW INVALID
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      05-31-2010, 11:27 AM   #53

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Enjoyed your story! Thanks for sharing! Congrats!
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      05-31-2010, 12:55 PM   #54
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Great story and photos. Congratulations on the new car
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      05-31-2010, 01:17 PM   #55
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Your Trip


Great story and pics, I am totally envious! I am stuck driving an Opel Astra that barely gets going. The roads here in Poland are pathethic and I wish I had my M!

See you soon.

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      05-31-2010, 03:09 PM   #56

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      06-01-2010, 12:32 PM   #57

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Awesome write up, wish I did that with my 335. Was too scared to ruin it over there. Also when I saw BMW welt it wasn't finished. Which led me to purchase an Audi.
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      06-03-2010, 04:20 PM   #58
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More Canadians at the Welt

Great article on your visit to the Welt and pickup of your new M3. This is my first post (and first blog!). My wife and I just ordered a 2011 M3 coupe in Silverstone and are sorting out options with our local dealer here in Saskatoon. We have a build date and delivery date (early September) at the Welt confirmed so we are now beginning plans to go, pickup and enjoy for a week or so of driving in and around Germany. We (mainly me re the car and my wife about the trip) are really excited about this car. I drove one here and was VERY impressed. Was able to see the Silverstone color here locally after hearing so many opinions on it. It looks fantastic!

I've lusted after an M3 for years and am glad i waited for this generation. This will be our 7th BMW. I'm currently driving a 2005 330Ci with M-pkg, my daughter has a 2003 323Ci and our son took over our 1991 318is and is having fun fooling around with it. We're hooked on BMWs!

We'd appreciate any advice on this car and trip. We haven't finalized a route, but are planning to take it to the Nurburgring and maybe end up in Zurich. I've asked if we can get an M studio tour as I read somewhere here that someone had done that.

Re options, we started out just following the brochure, but I've seen a lot of chatting about other options that may be available in Canada. I've got our dealer looking into these, but would appreciate any other first hand info. I actually prefer the look of the 18" wheels but silver not gunmetal grey. I hear rumours that the 18"s can or are now coming in silver. If not I'll likely go with 19" wheels. I also have asked that Michelins be confirmed. My last set of Bridgestones on my 330 were AWFUL!

I also heard a rumor about a Competition Pkg and am trying to get info on that. One guys car seemd to have this option and a different style of wheel again plus aero add-ons? Need to know what this might involve, but no info readily available here. I'm forgoing the Exec pkg and M-drive at this point and am waffling on EDC.

Anyway - sorry to be so long winded, but this is all happening fast and we want to try and get it right. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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      06-05-2010, 02:04 PM   #59
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Congrats on the car - you will not be disappointed. This is my first BMW - I have a G35 coupe right now. When I returned to Toronto and drove my G again, I thought that it was still a great car for everyday driving around Toronto - pretty much all that you need. I think you'll find the difference is that extra 5% to 10% that sets the M3 apart from other cars. It really is a race car in disguise and should be track'd to fully enjoy the car.

The time we spent in Germany was a pleasant surprise - the small towns and roads are fantastic. I would recommend driving in the alps and definitely the Ring. Other than that, enjoy your ride in some of the smaller places that would be difficult to get to by train/bus. Also don't forget to stay in Munich for at least a couple of days - its a great city and you could spend a full day or two just at the Welt and BMW museum/factory.

As for options on the car, I believe that all 18's are silver now - let's see what comes out of the Welt in the next few weeks. The competition package was not introduced yet when I ordered my car and I'm not sure about the CDN avail although I have seen that Mark's M (Ontario) got an M3 with comp package. My opinion is that we'll only be able to use about 60% of this car on the roads anyways so unless you are a real track star, I would pass on the comp package. It does look awesome in person though (saw a few at the drop-off in Frankfurt). I have EDC and Mdrive - if you are trying to pare down your options, I would pass on EDC - I think the normal suspension is excellent as it is - and I would definitely get Mdrive. Not only does it get you navi but it makes the car so much more customizable and user friendly with the screen.

Hope this helps. Looking forward to your trip report.
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      06-05-2010, 06:44 PM   #60
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Silverstone is an awesome color.

Has your car made it on a ship yet, David?

I would agree with your comments on the electronics offerings if one doesn't want to load the car up.

Also, I passed on the ZCP comp. package. When I put the car in with the dealer, it hadn't been announced. My SA called me once it hit -- knowing I'll track occassionally and said he could get it added if I wanted -- but after weighing it all out, I just stayed with the 220 wheels that I initially picked. With the horrible road surfaces around here, I was mostly worried about the additional drop and tearing the car up. Plus, while it's only 10mm, I don't like the dropped look anyways and it's not like the car is lacking in the handling department in stock trim (at least for me, it's not).
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      06-05-2010, 09:15 PM   #61
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My M3 boarded the Boheme yesterday and is in Gothenburg for the night. The Harms website says it is scheduled for Halifax delivery on the 16th. Are we on the same ship? Saw 3 M3's today - really jealous of those guys.
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      06-05-2010, 10:32 PM   #62
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Both on the Boheme.

What's so interesting is that Mark's M had his car (THE Monte Carlo Blue M ) in the Munich LogIn/LogOut lot with mine -- he dropped the day before I did. His car was shipped on the Targus and is in Canada already!

There's only one other M car in my area, an always filthy E46. Have to admit that I've spent the last few weeks getting back in the swing of things at work and working on my photo files. Basically trying to do most everything to keep me from tracking the car, etc. And I really, really like my 328 daily driver.

But it finally got to me.....
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      06-07-2010, 10:57 AM   #63
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Thanks for the great write-up on the ED experience bsd damon. Congratulations to both you and NagoC50 on your new cars.

Let me know if you want me to go meet your cars when they arrive in port and give them a big welcome hug.
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