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Thread: Today's German "Sporty" Luxury Cars

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    Default Today's German "Sporty" Luxury Cars

    So I had most of the day off today, and went goofing around at new car dealerships. First I went to a BMW dealership to look at the new 3-series. While there, I saw a 2012 M3 convertible hardtop, current E-92, not new platform. The MSRP was $82,000 !!! I bought a new E-36 M3 in 1995 for $35,000. That's some pretty serious inflation at BMW.

    Then I went to an Audi dealership. The current B9 S4 sells for about $54,000. I bought a new B6 S4 IN 2004 for about $48,000, as I recall. Inflation not so bad at Audi. Then I test drove an S5 Coupe with 6-speed manual gearbox and clutch pedal (I didn't even know the S5 was available with a stick). Very nice car. Same stupid long travel soft clutch as my '04 S4, but that's Audi for you. Price about $57,000. If I was in the market for a new sporty luxury car, I would consider this for sure.

    I am not talking about track cars by any means, just nice daily drivers. Just fooling around and deciding how to spend money I don't have.

    It's amazing how few BMWs are available with a manual gearbox now. I remember when you could buy a 735i with a stick--well into the 1990s. And the 5-series was available with a manual long after most other auto makers only offered slushboxes in their mid-sized sedans. The car business sucks these days.
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    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

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    Senior Member rhouck's Avatar
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    e93 (convertible) base price is ~$9000 higher than base e92 (coupe) pricing FYI. Base price for e92 is $60k.

    And as purists certainly lament, the e92 M3 is nothing like the e36 M3. It's actually is more of a comparison to the e39 M5 if anything.

    And given how mediocre BMW's manual is and how excellent the DCT is, it's not surprising (albeit still sad) that they are being phased out.

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    Spec Backhoe Champion redtopz's Avatar
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    I've been casually looking for a E46 M3 or used S4 for a while now. Hard to find one with a stick around here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redtopz View Post
    I've been casually looking for a E46 M3 or used S4 for a while now. Hard to find one with a stick around here.
    When you buy a new high-end car with a stick, you take the risk you are going to have big time trouble selling it, and that it will be worth signficantly less in the used car market than a paddle-shifted slushbox. Contrary to that, there is the rare used car customer like you. Hope you find the manual M3 or S4 you want.
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

    2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
    1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
    2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - track day car
    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

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    Senior Member pucsicsal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard EVO View Post
    When you buy a new high-end car with a stick, you take the risk you are going to have big time trouble selling it, and that it will be worth signficantly less in the used car market than a paddle-shifted slushbox. Contrary to that, there is the rare used car customer like you. Hope you find the manual M3 or S4 you want.
    I strongly disagree with this. While it's true that sticks are in low demand in the new car market, in the used car market it's a different story. The demand is far greater than the supply and it drives up the price, especially in the performance/luxury category.

    I spent a long time looking for a CPO e92 stick and paid a bit of a premium (but I got a great deal in the end). But my cousin (a girl) and I spent months looking for her dream car which was a used Honda accord coupe V6 stick with leather and premium package. Paid a HUGE premium over the slushbox accords that are dime a dozen. It's not a high-end car, but it did cost $26k I believe used and boy are they rare.

    I think if you own a BMW m3 or M5 stick, you might not sell it as quick as say an auto, but if you wait out you can sell it for an arm and a leg when someone that is looking for that exact car comes across yours.
    Last edited by pucsicsal; 08-28-2012 at 06:19 PM.

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    Spec Backhoe Champion redtopz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard EVO View Post
    When you buy a new high-end car with a stick, you take the risk you are going to have big time trouble selling it, and that it will be worth signficantly less in the used car market than a paddle-shifted slushbox. Contrary to that, there is the rare used car customer like you. Hope you find the manual M3 or S4 you want.
    Thanks. A stick is a pita as a DD for most people. But I bought a performance car once with an auto and it was completely unsatisfying. Never again.
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    Senior Member DutchOven's Avatar
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    To much of my dissent, BMW tells us that their cars are the ultimate driving machines. The new model M3 is not offered with a three pedal manual transmission anymore. wtf?

    Quote Originally Posted by pucsicsal View Post
    But my cousin (a girl) and I spent months looking for her dream car which was a used Honda accord coupe V6 stick with leather and premium package. Paid a HUGE premium over the slushbox accords that are dime a dozen. It's not a high-end car, but it did cost $26k I believe used and boy are they rare.
    i like how you had to throw in that your cousin is a girl
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    Senior Member fleadh's Avatar
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    A few weeks ago I picked up a C63 Black Series as my new DD. It's my first automatic and it doesn't bother me at all. It's pretty sweet actually.... ride is to harsh/stiff in "Comfort" mode but it seems like most cars are that way now.

    -mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by redtopz View Post
    Thanks. A stick is a pita as a DD for most people. But I bought a performance car once with an auto and it was completely unsatisfying. Never again.
    I know what you mean. In 1990, I bought a new BMW 535i with an automatic, when a stick was available. The next day and for as long as I owned it I wished I got the manual.
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

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    1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
    2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - track day car
    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DutchOven View Post
    To much of my dissent, BMW tells us that their cars are the ultimate driving machines. The new model M3 is not offered with a three pedal manual transmission anymore. wtf?
    I am pretty sure it is.As a matter of fact,some models as the M6 are offered with a stick only for the USDM market.

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    ^^^ This afternoon I asked my nice saleswoman at the BMW dealership, "of all the current BMW models, which ones are available with a manual transmission?" She wasn't sure of the answer but mentioned the 3-series and the Z4. Not a word about the M6 (is there even an M6 available now, since BMW just released a new 650i?).
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

    2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
    1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
    2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - track day car
    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard EVO View Post
    So I had most of the day off today, and went goofing around at new car dealerships. First I went to a BMW dealership to look at the new 3-series. While there, I saw a 2012 M3 convertible hardtop, current E-92, not new platform. The MSRP was $82,000 !!! I bought a new E-36 M3 in 1995 for $35,000. That's some pretty serious inflation at BMW.
    Not many people here may know,but the US version of the E36 M3 is just a rebadged 328i.3.2 liter engine is a bored and stroked 2.8 liter engine with just a 240 hp.The suspension and the diff are not something spectacular either.BMW was probably scared from the low sales of the E30 M3 and they decide to not even import E36 M3 in the US.Some people successfully convinced the BMW headquatrter that M3 must be sold here and they created the cheapo version.It has been absolute bestseller for a mediocre car.The real M3 on the other hand is a completely different beast.I have been lucky to drive some late EVO3 versions with 3.2 liter 323 hp engine,6 speed transmission and many other "Motorsport" goodies and it is an unbelievable car.I am sure that in 1997 only a few supercars could have been compared to the M3.But the price was not even close to $35k.

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard EVO View Post
    ^^^ This afternoon I asked my nice saleswoman at the BMW dealership, "of all the current BMW models, which ones are available with a manual transmission?" She wasn't sure of the answer but mentioned the 3-series and the Z4. Not a word about the M6 (is there even an M6 available now, since BMW just released a new 650i?).
    There is a lot to it.dealers order only and only cars with slushboxes because they sell outright.Some,or many, dealers refuse to take orders for a stick,let alone any chance they may have one in their lots.There are documented cases when enthusiasts have walk thru 5 or more dealers until someone decides to take their order for a manual.So dont blame everything on BMW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bawareca View Post
    Not many people here may know,but the US version of the E36 M3 is just a rebadged 328i.3.2 liter engine is a bored and stroked 2.8 liter engine with just a 240 hp.The suspension and the diff are not something spectacular either.BMW was probably scared from the low sales of the E30 M3 and they decide to not even import E36 M3 in the US.Some people successfully convinced the BMW headquatrter that M3 must be sold here and they created the cheapo version.It has been absolute bestseller for a mediocre car.The real M3 on the other hand is a completely different beast.I have been lucky to drive some late EVO3 versions with 3.2 liter 323 hp engine,6 speed transmission and many other "Motorsport" goodies and it is an unbelievable car.I am sure that in 1997 only a few supercars could have been compared to the M3.But the price was not even close to $35k.
    I didn't know all that, but I know we got screwed in the USA not getting the 323 hp European motor.
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

    2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
    1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
    2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - track day car
    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

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    My nice saleswoman at the Audi dealer told me that no more than 5% of the cars they sell have manuals. That's probably generous.
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

    2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
    1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
    2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - track day car
    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard EVO View Post
    I didn't know all that, but I know we got screwed in the USA not getting the 323 hp European motor.
    Yes we are.E36 M3 EVO3 maybe even a bit faster on a straight line than E46 M3 if driven right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bawareca View Post
    Yes we are.E36 M3 EVO3 maybe even a bit faster on a straight line than E46 M3 if driven right.
    Plus it was lighter and less complicated.
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

    2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
    1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
    2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - track day car
    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Yep,absolutely.2 upsides that are hard to compensate even with a sophisticated electronics and suspension,or stiffer chassis

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    I'm gutting an E46 right now. I'm rebulding everything except the engine and the gearbox. I have never worked on an E46 before. The engineering is awesome German precision. I'm used to working on Italians. The DCT is not a slushbox but a manual with automatic solinoids just like the Ferrari F1 gearbox except it works! Even the 1st gen BMW SMG works better than a modern Ferrari DCT. My family went from zero BMWs to now 6 BMW's. They are the ultimate driving machine. They make all the right compromises and if they aren't for you the aftermarket has your solution in whatever flavor you want.

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
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    I've owned an E36 M3 and an E46 M3, and if I went today to buy an M car I wouldn't even be looking at the E92, I'm going straight to the 1 series.

    Moti
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