Try To Read Without Smiling

Antoun Nabhan
Thu, 11 Apr 2002 18:50:39 -0700

At 08:42 PM 4/11/02 -0400, wrote:
>(i love reading this schtuff - but haven't a clue who wrote this one.)

Me either. It doesn't have the voice of any of the great automotive writers 
- Peter Egan, Brock Yates, Jean Lindamood-Jennings, LJK Setright. It does, 
however, point to the fact that BMW has implemented some kind of Moore's 
Law for engines - I remember the 1988 M5, two model generations ago, having 
256 horsepower (out of 3.5 liters of displacement) and costing some $45K. 
Now their 225-hp, 3.0-liter 330i is roughly the same size, a little faster, 
and about $5K cheaper.

The assertion that you can't get other V-8 RWD sedans with a stick is 
unfortunately true for the U.S. - another symptom of our car=living room 
aesthetic. Abroad, you can get goodies like the 400HP Holden Commodore, an 
Australian version of a German Opel (which happens to be mushified, 
chromified, and sold in the States as the Cadillac Catera up until this 
year) with an LS1 Corvette motor in it. If anyone wants one, let me know - 
I may be able to import a couple. Audi sells the big-kahuna (but 4WD, not 
RWD) S8 overseas with a manual transmission, too. That's the Audi in the 
movie Ronin, which is basically pornography for the car-o-sexual.

Interestingly, Helmut Feyhl's RENNsport shop will drop a six-speed 
transmission into the V-8 Mercedes of your choice for $10,000. Which if 
memory serves means that an E55 so equipped would cost about $5K more than 
the M5.

See, I can't do anything about foreign policy...but my car, I can modify 
the hell out of.


>BMW M5 6-speed
>400 horsepower and six forward gears -- these are not things one expects 
>to encounter in a big four-door sedan, let alone a luxury sedan, which is 
>why the BMW M5 is so special.
>When -- if -- you are ever lucky enough to get behind the wheel of a 
>machine like the $69,900 M5, do not sleep, do not eat. Just drive -- 
>wild-eyed and heavy-footed until the fraying cords show through the 
>smoldering hides of those Michelin P245/40ZR-18 tires and the four chromed 
>exhaust tips pointing out the back are hot enough to blister the plastic 
>of the ground effects kit.
>Twenty years from now, people will still be talking about this car. And it 
>may be that even then, the M5's numbers won't have been eclipsed -- 
>except, perhaps, by the 2003 M5.