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Discussion Starter #1
My eyes have been opened. I must share my experience from last night.

I convinced one of the "higher ups" at work, visiting from Sydney, to take me for a fang in his 535i Beemer. The hard stats on the beast:
* 3.5L DOHC V8, 180kW, 345Nm
* 1690kg, rear drive
* 0-100 8.47sec, 400m 16.14sec (Motor Mag)

Ok, so not startling figures in a straight line. It's also an auto box, with tiptronic shift, and about 3 different modes. We opted for "sport", which basically had redline change points, kicked down quicker, and held lower gears longer.

Importantly, it had also been optioned up with the "M-Sport" pack, which included near M3-spec level suspension, wheels and rubber, and revised brakes.

Anyhow, the thing felt swift enough in a straight line. Nothing to break your neck, but fairly similiar to an auto XR6.

What really had me breathless was the sheer handling poise, and the height of the handling limits. He didn't switch the DSP (stability control) off at any time, but the speed we were carrying through the corners was mindblowing! When the journos talk about the DSP "hampering" performance, I can only imagine what kind of speeds they are driving at. I certainly wouldn't want to go any harder than we did last night! I still can't get over the grip and suspension - just bags and bags of grip, and the suspension tuned to perfection to provide perfect feedback and perfect damping. As an example, the route we took is one of my favourite blasts, and through the particularly tight twisty bits, signposted 40k's, we were doing upwards of 90k's. Now in my old girl, if I took these particular bends at anything over 65k's, the rear end would be trying to do what the front end does. Not so the Beemer! It took it all in, and the DSP intervened when things got a bit ambitious. You could come hammering into a tightish bend, stand on the stoppers, and it would wriggle for a split second before continuing in the exact direction you wanted it to. Yikes! I'm not gonna try ANYTHING like that in mine! :)

The other half of the story was the brakes. Big, big bastards of things. Wiiiide rotors, and bloody huge calipers. I've never felt a braking g-force like it before, in any kind of vehicle. Simply and literally breathtaking.

All in all, I couldn't help but wonder what kind of package something like the M3 or M5 would be, with plenty of engine to go with such fine handling, and a lighter weight. *sigh*

Mike
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, not wrong! You certainly pay through a very small orifice for all this wonderfullness.
 
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