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My Review of the e92 M3 after BMW Performance Center Delivery

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Old 05-01-2008, 10:48 AM
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My Review of the e92 M3 after BMW Performance Center Delivery

Warning: Long read...

A good friend of mine invited me to join him in taking delivery of his new M3 at the BMW Performance Driving School in South Carolina earlier this week. First off, I have to say that BMW knows how to treat a customer. Everyone we met during the entire experience was very helpful and courteous.

My friend ordered this car more than a year ago, and has always been an avid M car enthusiast. However, after hearing all the reviews and remarks that the e92 M3 is not what it is hyped up to be, it is too slow/ sounds “tinny” like the e46, doesn’t handle as well, blah, blah, etc. , he became concerned. Thus, we were very excited to see first hand what all this fuss was about.

First thoughts upon seeing the car in the delivery showroom is that it looks much much better than I thought it would. And if you are thinking about getting one, I would suggest the optional 19 inch wheels, as they really give the car an aggressive stance.

After a short blurb on driving technique and safety, we were lead outside to the staging area and given the keys to an almost identical M3. Here’s where the fun began.

First off, to anyone who has said or thinks that the e92 M3 lacks in the engine and exhaust note department, you must be coming from an F1 car. Upon startup, the V8 gives a little bark and then settles happily burbling and making wonderful noises. Inside the cabin, yes it is notably muted and quiet during idling and cruising speeds, but that is what you would expect of a refined sports coupe. However, open up the throttle just the slightest bit and you are instantly reminded that there is a V8 under the hood. I would say from the inside of the cabin under throttle acceleration, the M3 sounds somewhat similar to an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Also, blipping the throttle and downshifting is a glorious event. The engine is very rev-happy and when you blip the throttle, the engine barks and snarls, making all the right sounds. After covering more than 500 miles in it back from South Carolina, I did not once hear any “tin” like noises nor did it sound anything like the e46 M3 in any way.

Back to the track, I had the chance to take the M3 around an autocross course, and yes it was very fun. We weren’t allowed to turn DSC off L but none the less, I highly enjoyed it. The car turns in very well, throttle response is super quick, and the M3 feels very sure-footed through all of the turns and the slalom. Granted, this test car was running on well worn Sport Contact2’s which didn’t’ give the best grip, the M3 still proved to be very agile and tossable through the twistys. In addition, DSC allows you to get a little tail happy before it kicks in, which was a nice plus. Once again, the engine was singing away at 8000 rpm.

Here are my thoughts after we took delivery of the car and drove it 500+ miles back home. The 6 speed gearbox is a little awkward and I did not like the long distance from first to second, definitely takes some getting used to. Also, I don’t know whether it was because this was a brand new car, but reverse was almost impossible to find. The clutch is also very light, almost feels lighter than the e46 clutch.

We took the Blue Ridge Parkway back towards home, and if you don’t know, it offers some very nice twisty and scenic roads through the mountains. The M3 was awesome through these roads. The car was still in break-in period, so it was not put above 5500 rpm, but the handling and overall feel of the car was superb. The suspension was not race-car harsh, but firm and stable. The seats are very supportive and you can adjust them in a countless number of ways. The thick leather steering wheel is great, probably one of the best things on the inside of the car. Highway driving was very comfortable in the M3. Expansion joints and bumps in the road were taken nicely by the car, and there is very little road or wind noise inside the cabin, despite having 19’s and PS2’s shod on all 4 corners. The car is also deceptively quick. 80mph seems like 60, so you really need to pay attention to the speedometer.

My friend ordered his car in Silverstone II. Normally, I don’t prefer silver cars, but this color looks really good in person. It has a blue-ish hue to it and definitely does not look like plain silver paint. Like I mentioned before, the 19 inch wheels really set the car off.

All in all, I think the new M3 is a great all around package. For those who are reading negative magazine articles or bench racing it, please go out and find someone who has one and get a ride. I think you will think much differently of it afterwards. I had my doubts before as well.

Pics below:
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Ironic much?

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Best 18-wheeler on the road.

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Early in the morning.

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My friend's M3 just waiting...

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Alpina B7 just sitting outside.

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Our track mule for the morning.

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More M3's hiding.

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Follow the X.

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Ready to go.


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Last edited by driveral; 05-01-2008 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:47 PM
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Nice write up. I had the chance to drive an e92 M3 when I went to BMW's M Driving Experience, which is a free one day driving event for M5 and M6 owners. It was an AWESOME day to say the least. Anyway, back on topic. We got to race the M3 around an autocross track (big parking lot with lines and cones) and we were timed. I happened to have the best time of everyone that day. :-) Anyway, back on topic. I was very impressed with the new M3. Around turns, it is well-balanced with DSC on. Brakes are big and felt firm even after these cars were abused all day. The shift throws are a little long, although on the track, you never got out of second gear. The car feels lighter than it probably is, and lacked the heavy feeling I got when driving an E46. Plenty of power and great acceleration. Overall, I was impressed. Not sure if I would pay in the upper $60K's though.
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:52 PM
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Glad you had fun.
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Old 05-01-2008, 03:35 PM
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More pics:

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DTC On.

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DTC Off.

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Our instructor, Donnie Isley, gave us a crazy hot lap in this M5.

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Time to go off road.

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Fun stuff.

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Delivery Time.

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Nice & shiny.

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Inside the Zentrum.

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Outside the Zentrum.
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Old 05-01-2008, 03:36 PM
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Last one:

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Old 05-01-2008, 07:05 PM
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wow...looks good! Enjoy!
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:22 PM
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excellent write up....sounds like you guys had fun
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:56 PM
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Great writeup and pics, thanks!

That first pic is
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:33 PM
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Very cool, did he choose the black interior over the red?

That accident looks bad.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JT3 View Post
Very cool, did he choose the black interior over the red?

That accident looks bad.
Yes, he opted for the black leather interior over the fox red. His cars have always been silver on black. Me personally, I would have gone with Alpine white over either the fox red or beige leather interior.

That accident was pretty bad, I do hope that everyone was ok, but I couldn't help taking a picture because of the sheer irony of the situation.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:40 AM
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Great pictures. The X5 offroad track looks fun! Thanks.
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Old 05-02-2008, 01:15 PM
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Great writeup. Can't wait to get a little seat time on one.

I can't help but thinking a splitter or something needs to be between the exhaust outlets....Just looks unfinished to me.
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Old 05-03-2008, 12:46 PM
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silverstone looks good in tose pics...fox red would have gone great with that color.
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:57 PM
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Congradulations, it looks great. Drop, Tint, CSL Trunk, CSL LIP and you are done.
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by M3-ADDICT View Post
Congradulations, it looks great. Drop, Tint, CSL Trunk, CSL LIP and you are done.
Dont forget exhaust, remap and supercharger haha
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black, bmw, car, carolina, center, delivery, e92, engine, inside, interior, m3, noise, performance, red, review, reviews, south, tints


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