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New M3 article

21 February 2000
Austin, Republic of Texas
There have been a lot of posts referring to the new M3, so I thought I would point out that the current (10/23) issue of AutoWeek (the only really serious car mag) has an article based on an actual drive of a no-kidding US spec production version of the car.

333 hp
8000 rpm redline
0-60 in 4.8 sec.
top speed limited to 155 mph

It is within 5 hp of the Euro-spec model. Not too shabby. The only transmission available at first is the 6 spd manual from the M5. A semi-auto (like Ferrari) is supposed to follow. Interesting that it would be faster than the M5 or their wildly over-priced roadster.
A friend of mine has the only new M3 Convertable in town. I haven't seen him yet but would like to get him out to the local raceway for a drive comparision. Unfortunately this might have to wait as the rains have starting in Portland.
If it is a covertible M3, then it is the previous version, not the new one. The convertible will not be available on the new one for at least a year, perhaps longer for the U.S. If BMW follows their usual pattern, they will introduce a four-door in a year or two, then a convertible after that.

[This message has been edited by David (edited 22 October 2000).]
I haven't seen it yet but he had a 1998 convertable so I can't see why he'd get the 2000 model. I left him a message and hope to hear from him soon.
Hey all,

I read the Automobile Magazine article (nov/2000) and agree its one awesome car.
As well as a sedan and convertible option to follow..there is a good possibility of an M3 GT version,this one should surely kick butt!!

I just finished reading the article on the M3 and I have to say that it was quite impressive. I was not much of a fan of the last generation M series, hence I did not purchase one. Now it seems that BMW has clearly made the M3 distinctive. If I decide to turn my NSX into a garage queen, I might consider the new M3. But then again, I'd hate for my NSX to feel negelected.
Speaking of the M3! Especially the convertible, I have a funny story for you. My wife and I were visiting her parents in Omaha and went to Classic Motors. They specialize in Porsche, BMW, Ferrari and other sports/exotic cars. We went in and they asked us what we were looking for and told them the my wife really like the 98-99 BMW M3 convertible. Every person (8 in total) in the place told us that they never made an M3 convertible and that we were mistaking it for a Z3. They said that the ones we had seen must have been sent to a chop-shop. I then stated that I had even driven one and that it was infact an M3 convertible. The manager (a real prick) was extremely cocky and called the BMW dealership infront of all of his buddies to prove that they never made a M3 convertible. Whoever picked up the phone at the BMW dealership also stated that they never made one. He then gets off the phone and began to tell me that I did not know what I drove and that I knew nothing about cars! I then bet him $1,000 that they did infact build them in 98-99 and told him that I would be back. Ten minutes after he told me infront of everyone that worked there "you do that!" I showed back up with a few articles and put them on his desk and told him that he better brush up and walked off! I did not even ask for the $1,000. The reason I am telling all of you this story is so you do not buy or even look at a car from this place. They are extremely rude and very cocky. It would have been a different situation if they would have said "I do not believe that they made one but let me check and find out for you". Instead they lost a potential customer and hopefully a few more. And if any of you do walk in, ask them for my $1000!
I actually have an even more bizarre dealer story. A few years ago, I was out on the lake with a girl and we were discussing my next car purchase. I had done a lot of research and had decided I should probably buy an NSX instead of my ususal 911 or 930. All I felt I needed to do to make sure was to drive one.

We immediately went to the local dealer (McDavid Acura, the only one in Austin) and they had one on the floor. Unfortunately, the salesman looked at us in boating/swim clothes and said "we appriciate your interest, but I can't let you drive it." Keep in mind that Austin is one of the major tech centers of the US. Dell alone has almost 2,000 millionaires. There are as many 20-3- yr. old casually dressed zillionaires here as anywhere else on the planet, so I was a bit confused by his attitude. Not getting upset, I said, "here's my driver's license and ssn. Go ahead and run a credit check.' He did and said I had perfect credit, well in excess of what was needed to buy the car, but - sorry - he still couldn't let me drive it!

At this point, I said "Fine. Could I speak with the manager for a minute?" I then asked the manager if I could use the phone in his office. I pulled out a calling card, got the number for a dealer in Houston and bought an NSX right in front of them, over the phone, on my American Express card. The dealer in Houston paid for a plane ticket, picked me up at the airport in the car, I signed some forms and was on my way back to Austin.

As wierd as this is, it gets wierder. About eight months later, I totalled the car. I went back to McDavid Acura, walked in and found myself facing the same jerk salesman. I told him I had totaled the car I bought over the phone in front of him that day and wanted to buy a new one. HE THEN TOLD ME I COULDN'T TAKE ONE FOR A TEST DRIVE because I still didn't meet their profile for a prospective NSX buyer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Called the same dealership in Houston and bought a beautifull used one they had in stock.

Some people are just really slow learners I guess.
Hey I finally spoke directly to my friend with the new BMW 330. As I figured my other buddy (who doesn't that much about BMWs) saw the M badging. This is nothing more than comestic stuff. His is the standard 330 convertable with ~220 hp. We're going to meet at the track tomorrow but he already knows my NSX will blow his doors off. What I don't understand is why he gave up his spot for a true M5. I guess I'll find out tomorrow.
Just a side note to those interested in buying a new M3. The waiting list is 2 Years long! My son ordered one in November of 1999 and is currently #10 on an allocation of 10 cars for a local dealer. So, unless your willing to pay NSX prices for an M3, you'll have to 'settle' for your NSX for 2 more years. Life's tough!
The E46 M3 is a very, very heavy car - so heavy, in fact, that BMW NA is too embarrassed to publish a curb weight. You'll notice in that AutoWeek that they're quoting an "unladen weight" of 3400 pounds or so. Fill it with gas and oil and you'll get a curb weight of something over 3500 pounds. That's pretty hefty.
True the new M3 is heavier than the E36 version, but I did not think 3400 lbs qualified as "very, very heavy."

Opinions regarding its weight aside, the new M3 sure sounds like it's a hell of a machine that I (and many, many others) wouldn't mind having.

'95 NSX-T: comptech exhaust, eibachs, bilsteins, WW front spoiler, 17/18 Work Wheels
'95 M3
'99 A4
In response to David's story.....The one about not being able to test drive.... You, my friend, must be an egomaniac just looking for someone to acknowledge you... The reason that they didn't let you test drive the car is when a dealership only has one...(or any amount of NSXs for that matter), they usually work the deal first (AND sometimes even sign the deal), then do the test drive. Otherwise, everybody would come in to just drive it. It was not because you didn't "fit their profile".(that's just what you wanted to believe) Obviously it is a store policy (very common).... And just as an aside..... apparently, driving the car was not very important to you considering you bought both over the phone... thus proving your search for recognition and not an NSX... I hope you enjoyed buying a car from another dealership after intentionally entering someone else's place of business... I'm sorry for the flame but this is the most disgusting displays of conceit I've ever heard. If I were that dealer, I wouldn't have let you back in the store the second time. That is if this story was even true.


Todd Arnold
Originally posted by Nsxotic:
The reason that they didn't let you test drive the car is when a dealership only has one...(or any amount of NSXs for that matter), they usually work the deal first (AND sometimes even sign the deal), then do the test drive. Otherwise, everybody would come in to just drive it.

Todd, I would cut David some slack. You don't make a deal for a car you've never driven. That's crazy. If you don't even know if you like how the car drives, how can you possibly decide just how "worth it" it is to buy the car and how much $$ it's actually worth to you?

The way to separate someone serious from someone who isn't is to do a credit check, like David mentioned. That's a fair amount of detailed info that the average joe isn't going to want to bother with. And, you of course talk to the prospective buyer and see if they appear to be serious.

When I was looking for my NSX, I walked into a dealer that only had 1, and it was in their showroom with other cars locking it in. I told the dealer I'd like to test drive the car, and they said they needed to run a credit check. I filled out the paperwork, they verified I could afford to buy the car, and yes, they moved the cars out & took the NSX off the showroom and let me drive it. That's how it's done and that's what I would expect from any dealer. (And, like David I was there in a tshirt and shorts for a nice summer day. You don't judge a book by its cover). The dealer didn't seem to have any problem with people lining up to test drive them.

I would say it's the dealer David described that has the disgusting display of conceit. They expect someone rich will just walk in and buy a car without driving it because that person is rich enough not to care. Either treat your customer with respect, or expect your customer will go elsewhere.

Originally posted by Nsxotic:
The reason that they didn't let you test drive the car is when a dealership only has one...(or any amount of NSXs for that matter), they usually work the deal first (AND sometimes even sign the deal), then do the test drive.

Todd I totally agree I think it's unreasonable to expect a dealer to just hand over the keys to a rather expensive car without qualifying the buyer.

However I was able to test drive all the cars I considered "buying". The process was every time the sales GM was involved with the deal for understandable reasons. He would take my license, insurance card, my credit card and looked at my credit information before moving forward.

He would always ask if I liked the car would I buy it on the spot. I always replied no. If I thought the car was sound I would pay to have it inspected. If it passed the inspection without finding problems that were not disclosed I would buy the car. It was amazing how fast some dealers started tell me things that they had not offered before hand.

With this response I was able to test drive the cars. I was a little surprised by 2 dealers who ask me to drive the cars off the lot.

Anyone who expects a dealer to just hand over the keys to a rather expensive car better have rather large wad of $1000 in their hand or be prepared to go through the process to be qualified.

So I don't understand why the dealer would have reacted the way they did if his info checked. Now I'm a 40+ out-of-shape business man who usually wears slacks and polo shirts.

On a side note we've owned Acura cars since the original Legend came out in 1986. I've been going to the same dealer for the past 10 years to buy and service my cars. I've owned 2 Legends, 1 Integra, an RL and my NSX.

The other day I was in getting my NSX serviced and saw 2 used Yellow NSXs on the show room floor. I ask one of the sales guys what year they were and the asking price. He said one is sold. I said what about the other one. He said I don't know the GM is drives it. Now it had balloons on it and was on the show room floor. This guy didn't even get out of his chair.

I walked back to the service department and spoke the service GM and ask him to call the GM for the dealership into his office.
I ask him if the car was sale. He said yes and gave me his card and the price. I told him that if I hadn't been a loyal customer for 10 years and bought 4 cars from him I would have never come back to his dealership.

Since then my wife had an unpleasent experience with the sales staff and decided to buy a new MB SLK320 instead of an Acura. So I don't know for sure but I'd say in the last year my experience with the sales departments at my dealer has gone to hell.

[This message has been edited by hejo (edited 04 November 2000).]
These are all correct points, but I think that you have missed the point I was making. Do you really think that he cared about driving the car? He bought it from the Houston dealership without ever driving.(twice!) So, in theory, if he was at the Houston dealer first and they said 'no test drive' and he then called the 'bad' dealership, then they also would have sold it to him and been the hero. Secondly, why would he go the dealer again if his perception was such? Or did this really even happen? Again, I can't believe that someone would buy something from one store while at another.... this is clearly just to show off...
Originally posted by Nsxotic:
I'm sorry for the flame but this is the most disgusting displays of conceit I've ever heard. If I were that dealer, I wouldn't have let you back in the store the second time. That is if this story was even true.

Jeez...lighten up Nsxotic.

Talk about disgusting displays..you're practically frothing at the mouth.Did something in Davids' post touch a raw nerve or are you a car dealer/salesman who feels he has to score a counterpoint?

Personally, I found nothing offensive about that story.Serves the dealership right for giving a potential buyer of a very expensive car the run around,even AFTER they ran the credit check.I found Davids' solution a fitting response to that dealerships' attitude and absent business smarts. He even gave them another chance,something I personally wouldn't have done. Seems like they were the ones who were to concieted to admit they were wrong the 1st time...and payed the price again in the sum of another lost sale(!),foolish business sense indeed.(I guess thats why some guys can buy them and some can just sell them...).

Are u suggesting that someone would sign to buy a car BEFORE a test drive ,thats moronic.Although I'm sure that some mega-rich types just get "Jeeves" to go out and buy their exotic toys for them(and others who due to distance or local availability, must take delivery sight unseen),most people who work damn hard for their money(and therefore,their toys)wouldnt even dream of buying a car without a test drive.If that is what the dealership is holding out for,good luck to them.I predict new managment for them shortly....

The days of snobby salesman and abysmal customer service are hopefully coming to an end,to the benefit of both the consumer and retailer.Places that employ such shoddy treatment of their customers deserve the only penalty a consumer can give...withdrawl of patronage.How can U defend that dealers actions?Tsk,Tsk, shame on you....lol.

Originally posted by Nsxotic:
These are all correct points, but I think that you have missed the point I was making.

Todd you're right about why would someone get bent out of shape about test driving a car if you're going to buy one over the phone. That doesn't make sense. Your also right why would some one buy another car sight unseen from the dealership that made you mad other than to show off.

But Todd people get pissed off and do things that don't make sense. It happens all around us. Go visit the local hospital.

Going back to the same dealer I think is due to the fact that Austin only has one Acura dealer. So what are you choices always drive 2 hours to Houston?

Maybe the sales department is pissed because so many young zillionares in Austin and they've got to work like the rest of us poor slobs. Then again maybe these young zillionares need to learn how to be a little more gracious too! So maybe they both deserve what they're getting - no commission and no respect.

My only other point was dealers do let people test drive before buying but that they do have to go through the process of being qualified.
Ok, I guess I've played enough..... but I sincerely do hope that someone else sees the inconsistency here. Thanks Hejo... I think yo are the only one who sees what I'm saying. Everybody keeps agreeing that it's 'crazy', 'moronic' or 'stupid' to buy without driving it.......ok.........well, he did it twice. So what was his point again? I guess I just don't like made up buying stories.


Todd Arnold

[This message has been edited by Nsxotic (edited 05 November 2000).]

Wow, sorry to get you so worked up. To answer your various attacks and insinuations (in no particular order)

1) Yes it did happen. And, a couple of the people in the Acura national office tell the story at dealer meetings to explain how NOT to deal with prospective NSX buyers.

2) Fortunately, the Acura national office seems to disagree with your opinion that I should pay for a car before I test drive (see point 1). Also, as I pointed out in the story, they ran a full credit check and it came back great. Perhaps you generally buy cars without driving them, but I just don't do it that way. I have owned a lot of sports cars - some new, some vintage - and I have never had to negotiate the deal before driving it. How can I know what I am willing to pay until I know what the car can really do? If that makes me conceited in your opinion, then I can live with that.

3) Yes I bought the car over the phone. No, that does not negate the importance of the test drive. I put the one in Houston on my card with the full understanding that if I drove it and hated it, they would credit my card. It's not a complicated process. Putting the money up front just seemed like the right thing to do since I wanted them to meet me at the airport. The salesman in Houston was happy to do it because I was obviously very interested in the car. Again, as I stated in the original post, I was pretty sure it was what I wanted. Again, if that makes me conceited in your opinion, I'll just have to carry that burden.

4) Yes, in fact I very much enjoyed buying the car from someone else after 'intentionally entering their place of business' (???). I made an honest effort to buy a car from them and they responded by acting like jerks. I then treated them as such. Again, if treating someone who acts like a jerk as a jerk makes me 'an egomaniac' and conceited, well, once again, I will struggle to live with the burden of your scorn.

Nsxotic, please have a nice day and try not to get so bent out of shape over things like this. Relax. Its all good if you'll let it be.
True the new M3 is heavier than the E36 version, but I did not think 3400 lbs qualified as "very, very heavy."

But the curb weight is not 3400 pounds. BMW is too embarrassed to publish its curb weight, which is significantly over 3500 pounds. Which is very, very heavy - 400-500 pounds more than an NSX.
Regarding the purchase process and the dealer treatment, I think there are quite a few good opinions here and if you step back a minute, you can put them all together and maybe even come up with a consensus...

A dealer should not necessarily give a test drive to anyone who walks in the door. However, they ought to be able to talk with anyone who walks in the door, and within 5-10 minutes, they should be able to tell whether that person is serious about buying a car. They can do this with or without running a credit report, and it doesn't need to have anything to do with what that person looks like or how well they're dressed. If the person is a serious prospect, then a test drive should be available.

There are certain obligations of a customer, too. Don't say you're serious if you're not. Don't go into a dealership just to jerk them around or "prove" that they're jerks. Go there if you're willing to give them a chance at getting your business. Treat them with the same respect you expect them to show to you. If they don't respond in the same manner, then take your business elsewhere. There's no need to throw a scene on the floor of their dealership, but if you feel it would benefit their business to know how they lost a customer, talk to the owner or GM about it in a professional manner.
As a current M3 owner (98), I am disgusted by the weight increase in the new M3! BMW had been seriously luxo-rizing its cars over the past 5-10 years, and the extra 300 pounds of luxury and conveniece crap in the new model has turned me off.
NSX take me away....
All of the opinions on here are speculation...BMW is quoting 0-60 times of 4.8 and one magazine in Germany got 4.7 seconds...I also can't wait to see the Road and Track 1/4 mile times when they get their hands on it. I will get my E46 M3 on January 10th (Although I am sad about selling my Accord V6...which right now is the fastest NA Accord V6 in the country). Anyway shortly thereafter I'll go to Englishtown with my Father and race against him in his NSX and we can see how they compare in a straight line...although he'll probably get a better time out of the M3 than I will...he ran a 12.87 @ 104 mph with his NSX when it was stock. Oh his is the yellow one with the black roof.