Marc's Public Blog - Cars

All | Aquariums | Arduino | Btrfs | Cars | Cats | Clubbing | Dining | Diving | Electronics | Exercising | Flying | Hiking | Linux | Linuxha | Museums | Public | Rc | Sciencemuseums | Snow | Solar | Trips

Below is a recounting of various car events I've attended along the years, from car club meets, autocrosses, track events, and enthusiast drives.

>>> Back to post index <<<

2004/12/11 Well, 400hp will be enough afterall :)
π 2004-12-11 21:06 by Merlin in Cars

Current Music: AVB - ASOT 172
Current Mood: Like a kid with a new toy :)

Funny how things work out, I went to check out and test drive the RS6 I had
seen available. Turns out the owner just put it for sale a few hours before I found the ad. While I liked some parts of it (outside of what I read online and little "details" like 450hp :), it had quite a huge trunk, and a reclining back seat if you needed extra space (handy to fit a snowboard or huge luggage). Unfortunately, the avant (hatchback) model never got imported in the US. For that matter, the current model had less than a 1000 units imported in the US altogether, making it rarer than an NSX.
Anyway, it does look nice

And then, I drove it...
Well, of course I made use of the paddle shift since I'm certainly not going to settle for an automatic today. Long story short, tiptronic gearboxes suck. Sure, they're smart, sure they'll make sure I don't overrev the engine by downshifting when I'm not supposed to (i.e. 4th to 3rd instead of 5th). It will even resist auto-shifting when you have lateral G-forces (i.e. in the middle of a hard turn). But, then, it also decided that I didn't have enough RPM to shift from 4th to 5th or auto shifted back to 1st when I stopped at a red line (which is kind of what I wanted, but that's just back to an automatic box, and that just annoyed me).
On top of the fact that I hate automatic gearboxes, the shifts took close to one second after I initiated them on the paddle shift, and that was just utterly unacceptable.
In the end, it just felt like a fast boat, and I don't like driving boats, even if they do have 450hp.

So, it was back to the BMW dealership to see the used M5 they had just received, and do a luggage fit test on my way back home for lunch (I was lugging a couple of pieces of airline luggage with me to give me a idea of what trunk sizes I was dealing with).
I can't believe I'd ever say that about a car salesman, but he levelled with me from the beginning, knew what kind of driving I was into, and sold me on the certified pre-owned concept: paying a little more for a car that's been thoroughly checked, brought back to spec, and will be fully warrantied until december 2007 (it's a 2002). Quite frankly, for that kind of car, it's not only a nice insurance that you're not being a lemon, or an overly abused car, and it's also nice not to have to worry about all the hassles of being from an individual, getting a VIN inspection, getting it to green slip or AAA for a full 100+ point inspection, etc, etc...
I'm not a big impulse buyer, but there was definite value in being able to drive the car away an hour and change later. I also really appreciated just being able to tell the guy "look, so I'm not into playing games, haggling and all that unpleasant stuff: what's the real price you can sell it for", and him returning with his final price 5mn later.

Thanks to help from Xav, I got the car home, and we went for lunch to celebrate after that :)
My only two small complaints about it would be: no cigarette lighter adapter in the back, for passengers to get laptop power :) and more importantly, the reverse gear is very easy to mistake with the 1st gear (that's more disappointing and a real life potential problem if you back up into the car behind you when the light turns green)
Apart from that, it has a lot of nice amenities, pretty much all the options that were ever available on that model (including a folding back seat, which strangely enough, was a rare option, but something I wanted very much). I'll probably spend the rest of the evening reading the manual and fiddling with all the buttons (of which there are many :)
I think one of the most impressive parts of the car, outside of fixing very stupid driving moves that you might try (its rims and tires are a bit more money than a miata if you smack a curb :), is how quiet it actually is inside, and how you have no idea that you're suddenly driving the speed you are before you look at the speedo and slow down.

I also felt a bit bad buying the car on the spot without going home and going through the used M5 ads I had seen online, but having done that now, it turns out it was the only M5 anywhere close, it had all the options I could have wanted, and it was actually quite fairly priced, especially for a certified vehicle.
And boy, does it feel nice to fulfill an old dream (yeah, I still remember watching one of my first Top Gear videos, and tiff driving the M5 sideways . If I quit my day job, I can also become a cab driver :)

Now, I just have to figure out how on earth I can plug in my empeg in there. That's definitely not going to be a piece of cake... Oh, and after upgrading my 4 door car, maybe I need to buy a new pair of shoes without holes on the side :)

Info and stats on the M5 if you're curious

More pages: July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 July 2016 June 2016 April 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 November 2014 September 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 February 2014 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 September 2011 July 2011 June 2011 April 2011 March 2011 October 2010 August 2010 July 2010 April 2010 February 2010 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 November 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 June 2007 April 2007 December 2006 November 2006 May 2006 January 2006 July 2005 May 2005 April 2005 January 2005 December 2004 October 2004 September 2004 August 2004 July 2004 June 2004 May 2004 February 2004 October 2003 May 2003 April 2003 March 2003 November 2002 October 2002 July 2002 May 2002 April 2002 March 2002 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 July 2001 June 2001 May 2001 April 2001 March 2001 February 2001 December 2000 November 2000 October 2000 September 2000 August 2000 July 2000

>>> Back to post index <<<