After ages of reading reviews and admiring them from a far I thought sod it I am going to see what they are like to drive. So onto the car:-
£25,000's worth of 2002 black BMW M3, Manual 18" rims, black leather.
External - as I expected because I have seen quite alot of these before from the outside.
Internal - great M logos on door sils, nice front & rear seats. Though must say dashboard was very plain and nothing special. Nice look on the inside door pannels which was a mixture of leather.
Seating - Even though only 2 door coupe the rear seats seemed to have equaly as muh room as the back of mine which was supprising. I got in the back behind the drivers seat after adjusting it for me to drive and there was plently of leg room. N.B. I am 6ft tall.
Quite a small boot but still fairly reasonable. No where near as big as mine but on about par with something like a Focus.
Now for the fun bit driving.
This is one seriously fast car I must say. It made mine feel like a 1.6L. The engine roars like you would expect from the sound of a Ferrari. It is truely increadable. You really do seem to get the feeling as though you have unlimited power, and due to it being normally asperated theres no turbo lag, just instant power available and what power it is.
In every gear the car just through you back into the seat with such force its increadable. 1st a waste of time and 2nd & 3rd is just a dream on an open road. However niping in and out of traffic is quite scary as you have so much power and cars just cant get out of your way quick enough.
I thought I give it a bit of stick intill the salesman got in and drove me home. On a small stretch of dual carridge way (approx 2 miles) we went from standstill to about 145 mph in about half of the distance. Wow, wow, wow. Increadabley fast.
After driving that, mine feels like sloppy, slow and unresponsive by comparison. The through was short, crisp, and really quick. Very impressive.
I must admit I was quick nervous about the M3 being rear wheel drive with that much power. However the traction was actually pretty good, well in the dry with the traction control on. A little more spin with it off however foot was flat to the floor in every gear.
Even with the rear wheels spinning the car still seemed to pull off like a rocket. Dont know what it would be like in the wet though, but now I must admit I wouldnt be that bothered missing the Quattro system for something like that.
The M3 brakes are just so much better than mine I couldnt put it into words. I thought mine were about par to a standard S3, but BMW has certainly got something special here.
It make you feel so much more comfortable having these great brakes with that much available power. They actually make it that you can use the power and have some real fun whilst knowing that you can brake 30 yards later than you normally do.
First few seconds I wasnt that impressed. The stearing was alot heavier than mine and the car seemed to turn into the corners slower than mine with the rear end giving somekind of wierd feedback as if the tail was comming out. I though ah well they couldnt get everything right, there had to be some negative things.
How wrong was I with my first impressions. It turned out to be me just getting use to the car. Cornering at a relative slower speed mine does turn in quicker. However the more you put your foot down round the corner the more it liked it.
All I can say is wow, wow, wow. This car can take corners so much faster than mine. I didnt realise how much understeer I actually had. If I took the same corners at the same speed in mine i would have just gone straight on and into a hedge.
You can whip that rear end out and fling yourself out of a corner like you have been propelled out of a catapult. The faster the better. The car just seems to have an amazing ability to correct itself.
The icing on the cake was when the salesman drove it back. He did things with that car that i would never dream of trying or even think any car could actually acheive. Fair due, he was a great driver. But F**k me I just couldnt believe how he could take a corner so quickly with the rear end comming out so much and have the car straigten itself back up. Really impressive.
I am toying with getting a M3 or S4 for my next car prob in about 18 months time. So the two in the running for me was either the S4 or M3. Now after driving that I need a trip in the V8 S4. Only thing is that the S4 needs to be seriously impressive to match the M3. Only things is from the reviews I have read it prob wouldnt.
When they say the M3 is a real drivers car I can see exactly what they mean. It is certainly a bit of a challange to push it to its limits, and oh what fun you would have trying. Only thing is the mrs would have to drive it to work and as she has only started driving I am worried that it would be too much of a wild beast for her to tame. Anyway hope you have enjoyed my review and any thoughts on it would be appreciated. Next its the V8 S4 so will do another on the comparrison.
P.S. just go and drive one guys, just just have to.