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      07-07-2007, 05:07 AM   #1
hks786
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Exclamation Another dissapointing review - PistonHeads

"But instead of relinquishing the keys with that gripping, longing, sadness in my gut that you’d assume would be there having driven ‘the new M3’, I find myself oddly detached from it.

That there really is room for a ‘CSL’ is not in doubt and my bet is it won’t be long in coming from what was and wasn’t said on the launch. Whereas the old CSL required plenty of in-depth fettling to extract that extra edge from an already focused package, it seems the positioning of this new car leaves a much easier gap in which to place a hardcore version.

Contrived, maybe; an exciting prospect, definitely. But in the meantime, perhaps just a little of the M3 magic has been lost…"


http://www.pistonheads.com/roadtests...?c=100&i=16457
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      07-07-2007, 05:55 AM   #2
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lackluster steering feel... again?

another review complaining about "steering feel." a bit disconcerting, really. i'll wait for more reviews. but if the issue becoms a pervasive one, i'll hold off on ordering the car blindly, instead opting to test drive before purchase.
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      07-07-2007, 06:08 AM   #3
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But dont they use these media testdrives do gauge feedback on what needs fine tuning etc? Just like pre release of films with a test audience.
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      07-07-2007, 06:34 AM   #4
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Ugh

Wow, the lack luster reviews really are piling up. At least this one was better written, and seemed more sensible (and less full of obvious errors of fact) than the slightly negative Car Magazine review. It sounds like they have kind of "Americanized" the car for lack of a better turn. Brutally fast but also very comfortable, easy to drive perhaps to the point of being numb and not so much fun. Could it be we have all placed this car so high on a pedastal for so long the only way down is a long fall? It is just so hard to believe that the famed M team of engineers, racers, test drivers and car nuts would produce something not truly worthy of the M3's heritage. We will have to wait for the full reviews and some more performance figures, but I guess I too am getting uncomfortably nervous. Ugh....
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      07-07-2007, 06:36 AM   #5
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Let's hope so

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobizach View Post
But dont they use these media testdrives do gauge feedback on what needs fine tuning etc? Just like pre release of films with a test audience.
One, lets hope the media are in general extremely competent and two that BMW does indeed accept their feedback and make adjustments as required. Surely BMW knows that their sales volume is directly proportional to the quality of the reviews the car gets.
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      07-07-2007, 07:03 AM   #6
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Perhaps with all these pseudo-"dud" reviews of the M3, and by that I mean we are hearing that the car is adequate but not mind-boggling, perhaps we will see BMW have to price this thing in the very low 50's. After having read everything, I'm not paying a dime over 60 out of pocket for this thing, and that may even be too much. Over course, BMW is way over pricing their M line right now and my local dealer has an M5 and M6 rusting away on their lot, so we will see.
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      07-07-2007, 07:24 AM   #7
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" Bottom line: it’s competent and quick, but you just know in a Porsche Cayman you’d have a huge grin plastered all over your face on a road like this, and in the new M3, you just don’t…"
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      07-07-2007, 08:29 AM   #8
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I agree that the negative comments regarding steering are problematic. But that should be something BMW can play with before the launch if it indeed is a problem.

On the other hand, I am not buying the old engine will be missed kind of nonsense. The pistonheads guy writes:

"So why is it that I miss the old straight ‘six’ – even though it was incapable of such powermeister heroics? Thing is, the V8 is just so, well, sensible. It doesn’t rattle like the old straight six did at times; it doesn’t spit and crackle and sound as if it’s digesting its own internals on occasion, because frankly, it isn’t. It’s a new engine, operating with micro-millimetre precision against a strict computer leash, and no doubt in this original iteration well within its own limits, unlike the old stager. The outright anger inherent in the old car has vanished..."

What is he trying to say, that it is better if the engine tries to destroy itself in delivering performance? It's as if the V8 is getting punished for delivering performance too easily. I've read another review which said something similar, and I don't think these guys have really thought about what they are putting down on paper, and are really just trying to be speculative and dramatic (at least when it comes to the "soul" of the engine).
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      07-07-2007, 08:40 AM   #9
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This new engine can't digest it's own internals because it is too busy eating up everything else! I heard all I needed to about the engine from the Top Gear review - no worries there. The steering comments have me a bit concerned at the moment because of their frequency, but I'm not going to sweat it.
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      07-07-2007, 09:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
I agree that the negative comments regarding steering are problematic. But that should be something BMW can play with before the launch if it indeed is a problem.
There was nothing wrong with the steering. I drove my M3 CSL this morning and felt that the E92 M3 had better steering feel.

None of the damp reviews have made any comment thus far about the types of road we were driving on - it was glassy smooth. It takes two elements to provide feel through the steering, tyre and road surface and yet these comments fail to even show consideration of these factors. We identified a slight numbness upon initial turn-in (as I mentioned in my earliest posts) but this varied depending on the road surface, so we did not consider it an indication of poor steering. On roads higher up the hills it felt fine.

I drove there in an Audi RS4 which steered very nicely on the roads down to Marbella, but around the twisty bends of our test route it felt shite (the M3 felt much better). I also read in one of the reviews a comment about the TC light flashing on the M3, and how this reflected on its lack of traction. Ha! We ran both RS4 and M3 up and down the hills at least a dozen times, driving v quickly, and it was the M3 that gained more traction and pulled distance out of tighter corners.
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      07-07-2007, 09:52 AM   #11
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Well thanks for that, Steved, I find myself trusting your impressions much more than these reviews. Especially given your background with the impressive ponies you've got in your garage.
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      07-07-2007, 09:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steved View Post
There was nothing wrong with the steering. I drove my M3 CSL this morning and felt that the E92 M3 had better steering feel.

None of the damp reviews have made any comment thus far about the types of road we were driving on - it was glassy smooth. It takes two elements to provide feel through the steering, tyre and road surface and yet these comments fail to even show consideration of these factors. We identified a slight numbness upon initial turn-in (as I mentioned in my earliest posts) but this varied depending on the road surface, so we did not consider it an indication of poor steering. On roads higher up the hills it felt fine.

I drove there in an Audi RS4 which steered very nicely on the roads down to Marbella, but around the twisty bends of our test route it felt shite (the M3 felt much better). I also read in one of the reviews a comment about the TC light flashing on the M3, and how this reflected on its lack of traction. Ha! We ran both RS4 and M3 up and down the hills at least a dozen times, driving v quickly, and it was the M3 that gained more traction and pulled distance out of tighter corners.
Thanks for your input on the steering issue Steve. One would think BMW has the car driven by many test drivers before tuning the steering the way they did.

And, yes, I remembered your initial comments about how the M3 had more traction than the RS4 on the hills when I read the pistonheads comment about the tracktion light frequently coming on. I am much more inclined to go with your observations than theirs. For one thing, you had an RS4 there on the spot, and although you probably could not do an all out comparison, it's more than what the other magazines seems to have had at their disposal (never mind the review which tried to compare the M3 to the RS4 coupe).

Looking forward to the full article in EVO.
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      07-07-2007, 10:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobizach View Post
But dont they use these media testdrives do gauge feedback on what needs fine tuning etc? Just like pre release of films with a test audience.
Steved, do you have any knowledge on this?
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      07-07-2007, 10:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steved View Post
There was nothing wrong with the steering. I drove my M3 CSL this morning and felt that the E92 M3 had better steering feel.

None of the damp reviews have made any comment thus far about the types of road we were driving on - it was glassy smooth. It takes two elements to provide feel through the steering, tyre and road surface and yet these comments fail to even show consideration of these factors. We identified a slight numbness upon initial turn-in (as I mentioned in my earliest posts) but this varied depending on the road surface, so we did not consider it an indication of poor steering. On roads higher up the hills it felt fine.

I drove there in an Audi RS4 which steered very nicely on the roads down to Marbella, but around the twisty bends of our test route it felt shite (the M3 felt much better). I also read in one of the reviews a comment about the TC light flashing on the M3, and how this reflected on its lack of traction. Ha! We ran both RS4 and M3 up and down the hills at least a dozen times, driving v quickly, and it was the M3 that gained more traction and pulled distance out of tighter corners.
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      07-07-2007, 11:37 AM   #15
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The problem is that just as competition is releasing their best/most focused efforts ever, BMW goes a bit soft. The old M3 was such a roaring sucess because it was head an shoulders above the old B5 S4/RS4 and the C32/55 amg AND offered Porsche pace and handling in an everyday saloon package. Now it's just one of the performance cars AND Porsche seems to have pulled away with their cars.
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      07-07-2007, 12:51 PM   #16
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Thanks Steve, for your posts..........

Also, I could be wrong but I believe Pistonheads did not drive the car at the full "M" optimized setting, so of course the feel may not be quite as good.

And another thing, when the E46 M3 came out many detractors also said how it missed the "E30 and E36 magic"..............so here we go again.....

Some people just love to be stuck in the past.........great news for BMW CPO!
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      07-07-2007, 12:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerisolphaln View Post
Well thanks for that, Steved, I find myself trusting your impressions much more than these reviews. Especially given your background with the impressive ponies you've got in your garage.
And someone like Adam Towler (the guy who wrote the Pistonheads report and an Autocar contributor) is some sort of mug who isn't to be believed? IIRC, it was Towler who first drove the Veyron for Autocar, so he's hardly lacking in experience.
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      07-07-2007, 03:30 PM   #18
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steved,

bmw has made mention of several options which would affect steering.

1) M-drive: "The optionally available MDrive configuration enables the driver to pre-select the response of the Servotronic power steering. In the process, MDrive is able to follow two control maps varying steering forces between the Normal and Sports setting as a function of road speed." (source - press release)

2) Active Steering - an option, according to the S. African product catalog. The currrent iteration in the 335 varies steering ratio with speed, such that at lower speeds a slight turn of the wheel translates to a large turn of the car. "Active Steering adjusts the steering ratio in relation to vehicle speed. At lower to medium speeds, the steering is more direct; at higher speeds, the steering provides greater directional stability." (source BMWUSA website)

can you comment on whether either of these options were equipped on your test vehicle and whether you feel that equipping/unequipping these options would improve steering feel?
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      07-07-2007, 03:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esquire View Post
steved,

bmw has made mention of several options which would affect steering.

1) M-drive: "The optionally available MDrive configuration enables the driver to pre-select the response of the Servotronic power steering. In the process, MDrive is able to follow two control maps varying steering forces between the Normal and Sports setting as a function of road speed." (source - press release)

2) Active Steering - an option, according to the S. African product catalog. The currrent iteration in the 335 varies steering ratio with speed, such that at lower speeds a slight turn of the wheel translates to a large turn of the car. "Active Steering adjusts the steering ratio in relation to vehicle speed. At lower to medium speeds, the steering is more direct; at higher speeds, the steering provides greater directional stability." (source BMWUSA website)

can you comment on whether either of these options were equipped on your test vehicle and whether you feel that equipping/unequipping these options would improve steering feel?
Can`t believe that active steering is realy an option on an ///M car.

Maybe Steved has an answer ready for us.
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      07-07-2007, 03:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Can`t believe that active steering is realy an option on an ///M car.

Maybe Steved has an answer ready for us.
No Active steering for Germany, IMHO also not for UK.

Best regards, south
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      07-07-2007, 03:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
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No Active steering for Germany, IMHO also not for UK.

Best regards, south
Thank you South! My thoughts whern`t wrong
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      07-07-2007, 03:58 PM   #22
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Still, would it have hurt BMW to offer one without M Drive, iDrive, Sat-Nav etc and put more focussed steering on it? Then they'd make everyone happy and give all prospective M3 buyers the choice and save all the squabbling going on on every forum in the motoring sphere?
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