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      11-04-2012, 07:24 AM   #1
LarThaL
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Exotics: Is the fantasy better than the reality?

As M3 owners, we may take our cars for granted once in a while, but they are close to the top of the automotive food chain. Still, I am sure that many M3 owners fantasize about exotic car ownership "someday". For me, that "someday" is just around the corner, and in fact, if I really wanted, I could go out and pick up a Gallardo or 458 tomorrow.

However, now that I am there, and find myself thinking about the actual ownership experience, I am really thinking, no.

Firstly, I truly love driving. I often take my M3 out early on weekend mornings and just blast through the countryside. Moreso, however, is that even much of the fun I have in the car is interspersed with practical transport. Take the "fun road" on the way to home depot or to get groceries. Drop the kids off at a friends, or school or activities, then have a spirited drive back home on my own. The M3 allows me to do this. I just can't see going to the supermarket in an exotic. I couldn't see waiting in the drop off line for my daughters school in a Gallardo with all the other parents in their crossovers and Minivans.

The bottom line here is that the exotic would mostly be a garage queen. And this is what most exotics are for everybody. If you look at the mileage of these cars on the used market, you see that they seldom get driven. It becomes more just about owning it than actually driving it.

Secondly, unless you live in a few select metro areas, getting service is a real pain. The nearest Ferrari dealer is 85 miles way for me. By contrast, the BMW dealer is 3 miles away.

Third, God forbid you get into an accident. Getting parts for an exotic can also be a pain.

Fourth, I think I would be just too self conscious driving around in one. While the M3 gets more looks than I would have thought, it is still doesn't outrageously draw attention to itself. It doesn't say from a mile away "Look at me officer. I drive fast!!!" or "Hey Mr. Carjacker, I have gobs of money". I personally just don't want that kind of attention. It is not a good kind of attention. Again, that relegates the exotic to sit in the garage most of the time.

Then you have a car like the M3, which is 90-95% of what the exotics are in terms of exclusivity, style, and pure performance. Yet you can truly enjoy it all the time and it isn't a pain in the ass to own.

Of course, there are the super wealthy who completely live in a world of their own, and for them, these sorts of things just don't come into consideration, I suppose. For them, there is little difference between owning a 458 Italia and buying a tube of toothpaste. I am not sure I would want to be that rich, where even the things of the highest material caliber become valueless.

Anyway, for those of us who may be in the "top 1%", but not in the "top 0.01%", maybe an M3, overall, is as good as it gets??
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      11-04-2012, 07:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarThaL View Post
Anyway, for those of us who may be in the "top 1%", but not in the "top 0.01%", maybe an M3, overall, is as good as it gets??
Agreed.
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      11-04-2012, 08:10 AM   #3
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Good Morning, and yes i personally think its as good as a gets before you step into a different dimension of cars. Btw, all your post have always been very interesting. I don't know what you do for a living but i honestly i think you would be a great automobile journalist
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      11-04-2012, 08:17 AM   #4
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Just because you can (buy an exotic) doesn't mean you should. I've been in that position for many years now too. Have you driven a Ferrari? I haven't driven a 458, but I have driven the 430. To be honest, I just don't understand the appeal of these cars. If you want a more sports focused car that you can drive everyday and not feel bad about it depreciating, get a Porsche. Its that simple.
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      11-04-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Good Morning, and yes i personally think its as good as a gets before you step into a different dimension of cars. Btw, all your post have always been very interesting. I don't know what you do for a living but i honestly i think you would be a great automobile journalist
Thanks !! I am an Anesthesiologist, but I would actually love to write for a car mag on the side !!! Got a letter to the editor printed in Car and Driver once a number of years back. That's as close as I have come.
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      11-04-2012, 10:46 AM   #6
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I think you make a very valid point here. Exotics aren't so rare in my area so it's nothing to see a 458 or even a Aventador on the streets. So for me it's more about practicality. Prior to driving my 650i, I gave some serious consideration to a Aston Martin Vantage. But the practical side of me kicked in and went 650i. While these type of cars have a built in wow factor, I'm just not wowed by them as much as some are. Now if you want some nice garage furniture then go for it. But if you want something you can drive daily, track on the weekends, and take the wife to dinner in once you leave the grocery store man this is a great choice. Now this isn't meant to justify a M3 purchase in anyway, it's just my honest opinion of the subject. I would guess that many on this forum could spring for some type of exotic (new or used).........it all boils down to priorities and individual needs, wants, and desires.......................Phil
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      11-04-2012, 11:30 AM   #7
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I thought you mentioned in a thread that your car "never" sees rain and is basically a garage queen already?

Anyway, I've had the pleasure of owning a couple of exotics and I have to agree with most of your post here. Cost of maintenance is ridiculous. You have to replace belts every 3-4 yrs (I think 5 yrs now) and the cost of that is $4-5K and that's for an engine "in" belt service (360, 430, 458 etc.).
Engine out, such as a Testarossa, will run you in the $8-10K range every 3-4 yrs. and this doesn't include other parts that "may" need replacing during that time (clutch, etc. depending on the how frequently you drive and how hard you drive it), which is even more $$$
These cars are generally garage queens but I know of some F-car club members who DD their cars rain or shine AND even in the snow!

The M3 is everything you mentioned in your post.
It attracts attention - but not too much
It's practical for getting the kids around going to the store etc.
It's fast (it can be made faster with supercharging etc.)

There is also a new Ferrari called the FF. This car does have back seats for small kids (they say you can fit adults back there, I dunno) and is apparently a "practical" car. Large boot, 4 seats, awd.....

At the end of the day, Exotics aren't for everyone, even if you can afford it.

I'm already looking into the '13 SRT Viper (for a weekend toy and keeping my M3). It doesn't have the maintenance costs of an f-car or Lambo but has the exotic look of one and with 640HP and 600 Lb\Ft, this car is no joke. Plus, I've owned a Viper before and it's just as an emotional experience as an F-car IMO...
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      11-04-2012, 12:07 PM   #8
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M3 for the DD.

When the desire hits..... rent an exotic for a day or two or while on vacation in Las Vegas drive one around a track for a few laps.
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      11-04-2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiavelM3 View Post
I thought you mentioned in a thread that your car "never" sees rain and is basically a garage queen already?
I never deliberately take it out in bad weather. I have the Cayenne for that. However, in nice weather, I drive it all the time for all sorts of things. I have 9600 miles in 16 months of ownership so it isn't a DD, but it isn't a garage queen either. When you see a 2005 Gallardo with 4000 miles on it, which is fairly typical, that is a garage queen.
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      11-04-2012, 02:24 PM   #10
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I could easily afford the new 991s (semi-exotic) but I'd have to give up my M3 which wouldn't be a practical move. I need trunk space and room for passengers. The M3 is the perfect car for me. It satisfies on many levels.
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      11-04-2012, 05:39 PM   #11
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In terms of everyday usability the M3 is one of the kings of this department.

However, if I were in the market for something exotic, rare and wonderful to drive I would not jump to the conclusion that I need to spend 200k+ on a 458 or Gallardo in order to satisfy my fixations. Personally, I think a manual F430, GT3, Ford GT, DBS, R8 6 speed etc. etc. would put a much bigger smile on my face on those back roads. Not only can you save $100,000, this "weekend" car that's arguably more involving to boot has already taken the majority of the hit on it's re-sale value.
My friends who own exotics trade them around and make money. Sometimes not, but the hard part is just getting in the first one. The problem with the 458 is it's still new, and your essentially paying to have what's on the magazine covers when the reality is there are much more attainable and more satisfying Ferrari's to drive for less (and this can be quite subjective as the 458 is very good).
Anyhow, I actually know an owner who sold a 458 on the grounds that he couldn't use it.. Would it be worth it for me if I had the cash? I'd probably look into a rental property and an F355 instead.
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      11-04-2012, 06:36 PM   #12
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I just drove a Ferrari for the first time when I was in Vegas in September. It was a 430 Scuderia. Honestly, the car was fun and fast as hell but I've no idea how you'd live with it daily. Don't get me wrong, it's an absolute blast to drive even though I despise paddle shifting and it's not remotely comfortable. Couldn't hear the guy sitting right next to me. I didn't care at the exact moment 'cause the sound was so epic but daily this among other things mentioned would become tedious. I would certainly own an exotic vehicle but I'm just not sure how much it would be driven. I don't wanna drive something that costs that much even less than I'm driving this M3...and I think that's LarThal's point and dilemna. First world problems.
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      11-04-2012, 06:43 PM   #13
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Totally agree with Lar - unless you are uber wealthy, exotics are a money sink and not something you drive that often. If you want to be able to sell the thing and get any money, you have to be sure that all maintenance is done by authorized mechanics and if you let it slip, well, your resale value goes down and you end up paying more in the long run when something does break, provided you even drive it. It just doesn't make any sense to own any of these unless you have enough money that it just doesn't matter that maintenance is thousands per year even if you don't drive it.

A Porsche or Audi or BMW makes much better sense if you actually want to DRIVE your car.
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      11-04-2012, 06:47 PM   #14
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Exotics and super cars are toys and to be used as such. Anyone purchasing one for transport purposes will be very disappointed. Repairs, wear and tear, depreciation.. Its the reason why you see almost all of them with very low mileage.

If you have the means and accept what these cars are really meant for then I say go for it..why not?
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      11-04-2012, 07:46 PM   #15
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I feel that the M3 is the king of daily useability and sports car feeling.

I think the highest on the exotic scale I would ever get would be a Porsche (GT3/Turbo) or an R8. I can get both of those cars serviced in town and not have to drive 150 miles. Out of all the exotic cars in play my To-Own list includes an M3 (e9x) and Porsche GT3 or Turbo (997.1). The Audi R8 would be the super exotic for me, but not sure if that will ever be feasible.

Lucky for me, I got to drive around in an Aventador over the summer. That car was absolutely amazing in sound, speed, and the, suprisingly, raw feeling. However, there is no way in hell I could live with it daily. The owner of the car said it was "just a car," so I'm guessing he has more money than I could envision.
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      11-04-2012, 08:24 PM   #16
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Couldn't agree more. Far off from owning exotics or even Porsches but the m3 is what I like best in all aspects. Don't see myself ever really moving away from this type of car
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      11-04-2012, 08:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Exotics and super cars are toys and to be used as such. Anyone purchasing one for transport purposes will be very disappointed. Repairs, wear and tear, depreciation.. Its the reason why you see almost all of them with very low mileage.

If you have the means and accept what these cars are really meant for then I say go for it..why not?
The point is that with all of life's real circumstances, how often would you even ever get to enjoy your toy. Hardly ever. It would kill me to own such a car and find myself always having to say "I can't take it here, I can't take it there, etc, etc." Hence the notion of the fantasy being better than the reality.
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      11-04-2012, 08:44 PM   #18
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Unless you just have so much money you don't know what to do with it then an exotic doesn't make any sense for a daily driver.

Question to the OP though...have you ever driven one? If not then I surely suggest you do as this will make the decision much easier. Only exotic I have driven is an F430 and it was absolute bliss. The sound, speed, looks, experience, etc...if I cold afford one I wouldnt hesitate to buy an exotic....nothing else like it.
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      11-05-2012, 01:08 PM   #19
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While the M3 is nice, I don't believe it's at/near the top of the car food chain. Personally, if I could afford a 458, I would have that and not the M3. For the price, I think the M3 is lacking in the power department big time.
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      11-05-2012, 04:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarThaL View Post
The point is that with all of life's real circumstances, how often would you even ever get to enjoy your toy. Hardly ever. It would kill me to own such a car and find myself always having to say "I can't take it here, I can't take it there, etc, etc." Hence the notion of the fantasy being better than the reality.



this is a silly statement and a new Gallardo or even used f430 are acutal quite capable, reliable daily drivers and nothing like the past l and f cars
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      11-05-2012, 04:57 PM   #21
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The M3 is far from owning a Porsche, Ferrari, Lamboghini or other exotics/sports car. I agree with Tech that its far from the top of the food chain once removed from its particular market (C63/ISF/RS5)

IMO it is the best alternative to owning one of those.

Ive never owned a Ferrari or Lambo, but have owned Porsches and they are just as emotional experience and the GTx cars are about as good as you can get in terms of driving. Know many who own both and feel this way and enjoy the Porsches they own more.
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      11-05-2012, 05:16 PM   #22
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You've got plenty of choices for user friendly, everyday useable supercars that aren't totally impractical.

Mercedes SLR McLaren
Mercedes SLS AMG
Ferrari California
Ferrari 599
Audi R8
the obvious one, Porsche 911
McLaren MP4-12c, if you wanna spend a ton
SRT Viper
Corvette Z06/ZR1, not as classy or comfortable or luxurious as the rest of the options, but a whole sight cheaper. Big trunk as well.
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