Road test: BMW E46 M3

APPEARANCE

Exterior: I love BMWs I have relations with quite a few thanks to my enthusiast friends. They are great cars, well made and excellent to drive. But their exterior designer isn’t exactly creative. Yes, the M3 is sharper than a regular 3 series. It has big ol’ shiny wheels andImage chiseled features. Despite this the M3 is still nothing special. If you look at it from the front it definitely has some fierceness to it. The headlights are blinding and it has the classic kidneys on the grill that let you know you’re dealing with the Bavarians. I also have always thought that soft tops look a bit weird. Hard tops are definitely better looking. With Bimmers like this, it’s like a black suit; you look professional, you may even look good but you’re not going to stick out in the crowd.

Business as usual, leather stuff, electric stuff, but the stuff works and will forever.

Business as usual, leather stuff, electric stuff, but the stuff works and will forever.

Interior: The inside is truly a nice place to be (unless your in the back, but I’ll get to that later). It has fancy illuminated dials and easy-to-use features; body hugging seats made of high quality dead cow skin; even some Steve-Jobs-style brushed aluminum on the doors. Once again, it’s all business. It’s designed to do its job and do it well: nothing more nothing less.

PERFORMANCE 

Engine: This is where the Bimmer loosens its tie a little bit. This is a piece of art. It means business but it’ll make you giggle. The acceleration will put a smile on your face. Driving this car is a pleasurable experience you leave it a happier person overall. You have a lot of power at the disposal of your right foot and it is truly something you need to be careful with, but when used correctly, it’s magical.

Handling: This may be the best part. Being Jeep driver I am used to horrific steering, but in this you are so planted and there is so much grip. Corners I normally had to brake for I now find myself accelerating through , it’s a much better way of handling corners. Really is.

PRACTICALITY 

Ability to be lived with: This car is comfortable; the suspension is not too hard. It’s fun to drive; it’ll make your commute to work or anywhere else a little bit better. An M3 everyday? Yes, please.

Economics: This is a performance car, its not made to break any MPG records. It doesn’t have a hybrid engine; it has a large supercharged dinosaur-bone-burning engine. This car burns fuel and it does it well, but not in respects to your wallet. Its got a big gas tank and a thirsty engine. If your keeping baby polar bears in mind when buying a car then you may want to check out a different market.

If you are one of those people who have feet it might be a bit difficult to get in back here.

If you are one of those people who have feet it might be a bit difficult to get in back here.

Backseats and Trunk: Once again: performance car. Not a soccer mom car. Honestly; the back seats are bad, all 5’10” of me really has trouble both getting back there and being comfortable. The trunk on the other hand is good. Some rear leg room may have been compromised so the execs that are supposed to buy this car can fit their golf clubs in the back.

All joking aside this is a great car. It’s a driver’s car, but if you’re a driver, you won’t want anything else for the rest of your days.

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

These times between now and my last last post are very well defined by that Dickens quote:

I’ll ask the question: You want the good news or the bad news first?

Bad.

Well there seems to be a problem. Remember that post a couple of weeks ago about patriotic car modifying? Do you remember the light bar/grill guard that I was eagerly waiting to install? Well when I attempted to do so I made a discovery, after I had successfully removed the grill and the splash guard I discovered it was all for nothing.

The previous owner seems to have, in an attempt to provide sufficient room for the big ol’ tires, moved the front bumper up and in doing so he has blocked off the area in which the grill guard is installed.

I see myself having 2 options: 1. take the bumper off move it back down and hope it doesn’t screw up the tires OR 2. sell the grill guard I have and search for one that will fit. There are risks in both; unfortunately I could either destroy my tires or there could be no ones that fit.

Truly a predicament, but in teenage fashion I will put it off until later.

Now for the good news. I have often questioned my dad’s carsculenity. You see, he formally drove a Volkswagen Beetle. Yes, he did have the turbo, but he also had a built in flower vase. It’s all changed now though.

Cooper Hayes, a friend and fellow auto-enthusiast, has a father who is also a friend and fellow auto-enthusiast. This father is a bit of a BMWophile, and with good reason. He had an M3 and still does but he has a different one now. He formerly had a convertible but now he has moved on to the coupé. Where did the convertible go you ask? MY GARAGE.

M3 (Silver) with its grandpa a 3.0 cs (white)

M3 (Silver) with its grandpa a 3.0 cs (white)

Yes, the best high performance saloon car in the whole world is my garage. I can’t wait.

Auto-Journalism is a dream job but I’m definitely going to make some form of road test for this car and I will present it to you, the readers.

Not only that, but had reaffirmed my faith in my father’s. He told me of how upon receiving the necessary registration he took it out and drove to near Dayton and back touching a speed that was well above the speed limit. He went out and he took a drive, and that’s what it is all about.

You have no alterior motives, you simply go out and drive. Why? Because you love cars, because it’s joyful, because the incredible engineering of those Bavarians can put a smile on a persons face just about as easily as anyone can, even puppies and babies.

Preparation

In the future I play to obtain my license and theres a lot of preparation steps involved in doing this. First one must obtain oneself a car. This is a very pleased “check” off this list to me. I am a very fortunate owner of a 2007 Jeep Wrangler soft top. Its a six speed with a 3.8 V6 under the hood, holding it up are some new shocks and coils installed by the previous owner, and when he did this he added 6 inches of lift. It has big feet and by that I mean large tires. So I have definitely decided what I’m going to drive in my first drive of solitude, but

My buddy and his loud coat drive around adultless with me for the first time.

there are so many questions that still need to be answered: Where will I drive? Where will I go? What will I do? Will I accomplish anything? What will I listen to? The preparation for the first drive is very important.

Recently my best buddy finally obtained his license. He told me he chose some of the back country roads was the first choice focusing purely on driving (no music). He was a lucky guy, his car of choice was his fathers BMW M3 and on a windy country road god knows how good of a drive he had. He came to pick me up and as we sped away he yelled at the top of his lungs “DESIRE!!!!!” while smashing the accelerator onto the floor of the car. Its october, we were driving a convertible, it was cold, I was cold for I wasn’t a wearing a coat, but it didn’t matter. Something about taking the steps to freedom, the open road, a great car, made it all ok. I just hope when the day comes for me, I’m prepared.

Coming of Age

No, I can’t drive, yes as the description describes I do love cars. That’s why the next few months will be some of the hardest of my life. In the beginning of december, finally, after the long wait, I will be on the road. No parent or legal guardian, me on the road no others enjoying the experience of driving in my good ol’ Jeep Wrangler. For a motor enthusiast like myself this is a big part of a life. I’ve been told by many that the first drive won’t be forgotten, ever. But there has been alot of steps I have taken in order to get where I am.

I felt it was very important to bite the bullet, drive in my dads horrific VW Beetle, and learn to drive a stick. As much as it pains me to say it, I didn’t have a bad time. My fathers model is the 1.4L turbo I believe which had a little kick to it. Enough kick to help me mentally block the built in flower vase on the dash.  My dad along with a friend of mines dad (whom I enjoyed driving with for he chose to teach in his classic BMW 3.0 cs from the 70’s) wisely taught me the ways of the clutch. Currently, although in the back of my mind I know I’m not, I consider myself a master, rarely stalling and reduced my roll back distance to mere inches.

This skill will be very helpful for me and my Wrang, it being a 6 speed itself, as we take our first journey together and take a big step towards complete independence.