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      08-01-2007, 06:22 AM   #1
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Tour of BMW Plant Rosslyn & Vehicle Distribution Centre + first encounter with M3!

I took a tour of the Rosslyn VDC and Plant facility (Pretoria, South Africa) yesterday. First off, Plant Rosslyn is an amazing facility and I have a new found respect for what goes into the manufacture of these cars. They are top quality products made in a world class facility that is just gobsmacking. The entire Just-in-Time process is fascinating to watch, as well as each individual car being painted and built to each unique customer's spec on the line sequentially by the combination of robots and workers. Even sub-assemblies and parts arriving from external suppliers arrive in sequence as per the options list spec'd for the car.

While we were touring the VDC I quietly asked our tour guide if any E92 M3 shipments had come into the country yet. In fact the first shipment had just arrived, was the reply. Could we see them? No, as they hadn't been officially launched in SA yet. No one was allowed near them.

Later on, we were in the fleet paint-shop.. and what should innocently drive into a bay right in front of me... but a white E92 M3! It was the press cars being checked and prepped.

The game was up, so our guide gave in and we were allowed to pore over the car, climb inside, pop the bonnet, the lot.

The car is much better looking in the flesh, as is the interior. I definitely know now that white isn't so great, as I suspected... its a very plain, flat colour and doesn't do much for the car's styling details. A nice metallic will bring it out much better.

It's definitely more subtle, rounded and sleek in some ways than the E46, which is more sort of wide and pumped out, but at the same time some of the new details are more aggressive and edgy, such as the rear treatment, the powerdome, the wheels and the CF roof. Incidentally the engine fills the powerdome completely.

The overall look is a much more harmonious and cohesive design in person than in the photos. It's a swept-back and purposeful looking design, and less overstyled-feeling, than the pictures would have you believe.

It had the 19s and they are a definite must have. They look brilliant and are the perfect size. The new seats look and feel great too, and the leather feels fabulous. This car had grey with carbon fibre look trim... neither of which I would take personally, but to each his own!

Idle is quiet but a lot smoother than the old 6... that's about all we got to hear.

Having seen it now in person, walking back to my E46 in the airport parking bay yesterday evening after the tour, it suddenly looked very aged, and a bit saggy and fat at the back. The new look is much tauter, "pulled together" and athletic, whereas the E46 has more of a big bruiser look about it.

I've long been a critic of the E90 and a bit sceptical of the E92, but I think this one's going to be a winner. The whole car has a top quality feel about it and seems extremely well screwed together. Only down side is... apparently supply to our country is extremely limited, with all the big dealerships each getting maybe one car atfirst. So we could be in for a wait!
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      08-01-2007, 06:33 AM   #2
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nice report thanks.
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      08-01-2007, 08:09 AM   #3
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      08-01-2007, 10:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jus View Post
I took a tour of the Rosslyn VDC and Plant facility (Pretoria, South Africa) yesterday. First off, Plant Rosslyn is an amazing facility and I have a new found respect for what goes into the manufacture of these cars. They are top quality products made in a world class facility that is just gobsmacking. The entire Just-in-Time process is fascinating to watch, as well as each individual car being painted and built to each unique customer's spec on the line sequentially by the combination of robots and workers. Even sub-assemblies and parts arriving from external suppliers arrive in sequence as per the options list spec'd for the car.

While we were touring the VDC I quietly asked our tour guide if any E92 M3 shipments had come into the country yet. In fact the first shipment had just arrived, was the reply. Could we see them? No, as they hadn't been officially launched in SA yet. No one was allowed near them.

Later on, we were in the fleet paint-shop.. and what should innocently drive into a bay right in front of me... but a white E92 M3! It was the press cars being checked and prepped.

The game was up, so our guide gave in and we were allowed to pore over the car, climb inside, pop the bonnet, the lot.

The car is much better looking in the flesh, as is the interior. I definitely know now that white isn't so great, as I suspected... its a very plain, flat colour and doesn't do much for the car's styling details. A nice metallic will bring it out much better.

It's definitely more subtle, rounded and sleek in some ways than the E46, which is more sort of wide and pumped out, but at the same time some of the new details are more aggressive and edgy, such as the rear treatment, the powerdome, the wheels and the CF roof. Incidentally the engine fills the powerdome completely.

The overall look is a much more harmonious and cohesive design in person than in the photos. It's a swept-back and purposeful looking design, and less overstyled-feeling, than the pictures would have you believe.

It had the 19s and they are a definite must have. They look brilliant and are the perfect size. The new seats look and feel great too, and the leather feels fabulous. This car had grey with carbon fibre look trim... neither of which I would take personally, but to each his own!

Idle is quiet but a lot smoother than the old 6... that's about all we got to hear.

Having seen it now in person, walking back to my E46 in the airport parking bay yesterday evening after the tour, it suddenly looked very aged, and a bit saggy and fat at the back. The new look is much tauter, "pulled together" and athletic, whereas the E46 has more of a big bruiser look about it.

I've long been a critic of the E90 and a bit sceptical of the E92, but I think this one's going to be a winner. The whole car has a top quality feel about it and seems extremely well screwed together. Only down side is... apparently supply to our country is extremely limited, with all the big dealerships each getting maybe one car atfirst. So we could be in for a wait!

Good job!

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      08-01-2007, 10:26 AM   #5
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Unfortunately, camera equipment was not allowed in the facility, and watchful eyes even noticed when I pulled my cellphone out!
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      08-01-2007, 10:29 AM   #6
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Thanks for the writeup, I visited another of the BMW factories and agree on that those factories are indeed a very impressive operation.

Your thoughts about the white colour is pretty much the same as I expected, do you think the M3 suits darker colours better or is grey the way to go?
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      08-01-2007, 11:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilron View Post

Your thoughts about the white colour is pretty much the same as I expected, do you think the M3 suits darker colours better or is grey the way to go?
Well, I think it comes down to personal preference. The conclusion that I can draw is that a metallic colour of any shade will probably suit it better and make the design details that differentiate it from a 335i stand out more.

If it's too dark, like black, I think you may lose some of the styling details again as with the white. The white definitely minimises, for example, the effect of the powerdome, and at first glance directly from the front of the car, the only way I could tell it was an M3 was the CF roof. The front bumper and intakes looks similar to the 335i sport pack at a glance so it seems it's down to the roof and the powerdome to really show that it means business.

Personally I'm leaning towards Interlagos Blue, to add a bit of colour to my garage, as everything else I have is a form of silver or grey, and its an M-only colour. My second choice would be Space Grey or Silverstone II. I think a dark colour like Interlagos Blue, or Space Grey in particular, will have more of a subtle stealth-bomber look about it, whereas the lighter metallics like Silverstone II will make the detailing a little more instantly noticeable. Space-grey (perhaps with darkened windows) would look incredibly predatory but might get lost on the road.

There's just so many silver and silverish cars around these days, and Space Grey is a standard BMW colour that will be popular with 335is and 1-series' as well, so I'm promising myself I won't buy yet another silver car

Some more thoughts regarding the white... in the press pics the car does look good in white, but the thing to remember is that these pictures all feature careful lighting and carefully boosted contrast and saturation and so on in photoshop, which gives the illusion that the paint has a depth to it that it doesn't actually have in real life. In the pictures the car's details come alive, but in real life with normal lighting it just seems to fall a bit flat.
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      08-01-2007, 11:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jus View Post
Well, I think it comes down to personal preference. The conclusion that I can draw is that a metallic colour of any shade will probably suit it better and make the design details that differentiate it from a 335i stand out more.

If it's too dark, like black, I think you may lose some of the styling details again as with the white. The white definitely minimises, for example, the effect of the powerdome, and at first glance directly from the front of the car, the only way I could tell it was an M3 was the CF roof. The front bumper and intakes looks similar to the 335i sport pack at a glance so it seems it's down to the roof and the powerdome to really show that it means business.

Personally I'm leaning towards Interlagos Blue, to add a bit of colour to my garage, as everything else I have is a form of silver or grey, and its an M-only colour. My second choice would be Space Grey or Silverstone II. I think a dark colour like Interlagos Blue, or Space Grey in particular, will have more of a subtle stealth-bomber look about it, whereas the lighter metallics like Silverstone II will make the detailing a little more instantly noticeable. Space-grey (perhaps with darkened windows) would look incredibly predatory but might get lost on the road.

There's just so many silver and silverish cars around these days, and Space Grey is a standard BMW colour that will be popular with 335is and 1-series' as well, so I'm promising myself I won't buy yet another silver car

Some more thoughts regarding the white... in the press pics the car does look good in white, but the thing to remember is that these pictures all feature careful lighting and carefully boosted contrast and saturation and so on in photoshop, which gives the illusion that the paint has a depth to it that it doesn't actually have in real life. In the pictures the car's details come alive, but in real life with normal lighting it just seems to fall a bit flat.

Thats why I'm getting a custom Pearl paint job when I get my M3, it's just a matalic white look...!!
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      08-01-2007, 11:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jus View Post
There's just so many silver and silverish cars around these days, and Space Grey is a standard BMW colour that will be popular with 335is and 1-series' as well, so I'm promising myself I won't buy yet another silver car
My thoughts exactly... But I still ordered mine in Space Grey w. Black interior.
I've seen the Coupe in Space Grey and the colour goes very well with the car.

I did consider Interlagos Blue, I think it looks very good, but I have the impression that it has to much purple in it in certain light conditons. (i.e when it is clody, which it is all the time here). The car I have now is Nightblue, it is a very sexy colour, but turns "matte purple" when it rains. Don't like that.

Next on the list is Jerez Black. I'm really interested in this colour but I have yet too see any _good_ pictures of it.

Thanks for your input!
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      08-01-2007, 12:11 PM   #10
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I agree regarding pearlescent white... it's a hot colour, and immediately adds depth! I've seen it on a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 and an Aston Martin DB9 and it's fantastic.

One of the things that mystifies and saddens me as well, is the lack of an M6 style high-gloss piano black interior trim... instead it's that ash coloured woodgrain gloss. Can't think why!
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      08-01-2007, 12:39 PM   #11
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[QUOTEIdle is quiet but a lot smoother than the old 6... that's about all we got to hear.
][/quote]


Exactly what I did notice at BMW Garching, verry, verry smooth at idle indeed..........................I loved it right away....................
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      08-01-2007, 12:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I agree regarding pearlescent white... it's a hot colour, and immediately adds depth! I've seen it on a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 and an Aston Martin DB9 and it's fantastic.

One of the things that mystifies and saddens me as well, is the lack of an M6 style high-gloss piano black interior trim... instead it's that ash coloured woodgrain gloss. Can't think why!
High gloss piano black might be availble through individual, if they have that in South Africa.
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      08-01-2007, 01:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jus View Post
The overall look is a much more harmonious and cohesive design in person than in the photos. It's a swept-back and purposeful looking design, and less overstyled-feeling, than the pictures would have you believe.

Having seen it now in person, walking back to my E46 in the airport parking bay yesterday evening after the tour, it suddenly looked very aged, and a bit saggy and fat at the back. The new look is much tauter, "pulled together" and athletic, whereas the E46 has more of a big bruiser look about it.

Excellent review! I couldn't agree with you more. The E92 M3 makes the E46 M3 now look outdated (although still sexy). I love the styling of the E92 and after reading the C/D review as well as all the other very positive reviews can easily say that...I'm in love!!!
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      08-02-2007, 10:20 AM   #14
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Nice report, thank you for sharing!
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      08-02-2007, 11:09 AM   #15
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Sure thing, guys!

Unfortunately, my dealer told me that there is no Individiual for M cars, for us at least...
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      08-02-2007, 11:27 AM   #16
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Sure thing, guys!

Unfortunately, my dealer told me that there is no Individiual for M cars, for us at least...
Hi, I can confirm that individuals colours are available for the Italian market.
I have the names of these colours and most of them are dark.
I will search for these names.
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      08-02-2007, 01:05 PM   #17
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What about the carbon fiber trim???

Did you like the carbon fiber? How will it ook with black leather?
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      08-02-2007, 03:54 PM   #18
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Carbon fibre was great! Definitely adds to the overall effect. I reckon black leather is going to be the pick of the bunch. Choosing the right trim is going to be the trickiest part...
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      08-03-2007, 03:19 AM   #19
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by jus View Post
I took a tour of the Rosslyn VDC and Plant facility (Pretoria, South Africa) yesterday. First off, Plant Rosslyn is an amazing facility and I have a new found respect for what goes into the manufacture of these cars. They are top quality products made in a world class facility that is just gobsmacking. The entire Just-in-Time process is fascinating to watch, as well as each individual car being painted and built to each unique customer's spec on the line sequentially by the combination of robots and workers. Even sub-assemblies and parts arriving from external suppliers arrive in sequence as per the options list spec'd for the car.

While we were touring the VDC I quietly asked our tour guide if any E92 M3 shipments had come into the country yet. In fact the first shipment had just arrived, was the reply. Could we see them? No, as they hadn't been officially launched in SA yet. No one was allowed near them.

Later on, we were in the fleet paint-shop.. and what should innocently drive into a bay right in front of me... but a white E92 M3! It was the press cars being checked and prepped.

The game was up, so our guide gave in and we were allowed to pore over the car, climb inside, pop the bonnet, the lot.

The car is much better looking in the flesh, as is the interior. I definitely know now that white isn't so great, as I suspected... its a very plain, flat colour and doesn't do much for the car's styling details. A nice metallic will bring it out much better.

It's definitely more subtle, rounded and sleek in some ways than the E46, which is more sort of wide and pumped out, but at the same time some of the new details are more aggressive and edgy, such as the rear treatment, the powerdome, the wheels and the CF roof. Incidentally the engine fills the powerdome completely.

The overall look is a much more harmonious and cohesive design in person than in the photos. It's a swept-back and purposeful looking design, and less overstyled-feeling, than the pictures would have you believe.

It had the 19s and they are a definite must have. They look brilliant and are the perfect size. The new seats look and feel great too, and the leather feels fabulous. This car had grey with carbon fibre look trim... neither of which I would take personally, but to each his own!

Idle is quiet but a lot smoother than the old 6... that's about all we got to hear.

Having seen it now in person, walking back to my E46 in the airport parking bay yesterday evening after the tour, it suddenly looked very aged, and a bit saggy and fat at the back. The new look is much tauter, "pulled together" and athletic, whereas the E46 has more of a big bruiser look about it.

I've long been a critic of the E90 and a bit sceptical of the E92, but I think this one's going to be a winner. The whole car has a top quality feel about it and seems extremely well screwed together. Only down side is... apparently supply to our country is extremely limited, with all the big dealerships each getting maybe one car atfirst. So we could be in for a wait!


Hi,

to your sentence: The car is much better looking in the flesh, as is the interior. I definitely know now that white isn't so great, as I suspected... its a very plain, flat colour and doesn't do much for the car's styling details. A nice metallic will bring it out much better.

I will not agree.
The white colour is the best what BMW is offering. I was also not sure in the beginning but last week I was at M-Sport Munich and allowed to see the car how it will be showed in Frankfurt.

Belive me it's a great colour. It is refreshing and sporty at the same time. You can see all contures from the car perfectly.
And after they showed me more M3's with all the other coloures (at that time I was going for sparkling grey) I orderd the car with 19" and in WHITE.

regards
Martin
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      08-03-2007, 03:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jus View Post
Carbon fibre was great! Definitely adds to the overall effect. I reckon black leather is going to be the pick of the bunch. Choosing the right trim is going to be the trickiest part...
Hi, you are fully write but white car with Carbon and full black leather is great looking.
With white the car comes out great with carbon.

regards
Martl
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      08-03-2007, 04:58 PM   #21
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Hi, you are fully write but white car with Carbon and full black leather is great looking.
With white the car comes out great with carbon.

regards
Martl

hello Martl,
on monday I will be near that city (east of Munich) for job where I think there is the Motorsport facility. Do you have any suggestions how to see some cars? also do you know if a full brochure is available in Germany at the BMW showrooms?in Italy we still have only the basic one.
I ordered the car, but to be one of the first I can't wait too much before to fix the colour choise and so I would like to aniticipate as much as possible the final decision.
Tks
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      08-04-2007, 02:03 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savage.ulm View Post
hello Martl,
on monday I will be near that city (east of Munich) for job where I think there is the Motorsport facility. Do you have any suggestions how to see some cars? also do you know if a full brochure is available in Germany at the BMW showrooms?in Italy we still have only the basic one.
I ordered the car, but to be one of the first I can't wait too much before to fix the colour choise and so I would like to aniticipate as much as possible the final decision.
Tks
Go to a "Niederlassung" in Munich, they should have the full brochure!

Best regards, south
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