The more I drive modern cars, the more I hate them. Drive by wire, steer by wire, throttle by wire, brake assist, electronic stability systems, active yaw, traction control, all surrounded by crumple zones, side impact bars, seat belt pre tensioners, anti submarine seats and more air bags than you could shake a cleft stick at. The modern driving experience is about as connected as a three year olds hand writing, as direct as a dodgey politicians answers . I donít want to be an input into a control system, I want to BE THE control system. MARK MY WORDS, the day that driver control is literaly taken out of you hands, is closer than you think!
I drove a Mercedes E320 the other day. I've never felt so isoloated. I'm reliably informed that the accelrator pedal isn't even wired up to the engine ECU. It's connected to the oh so clever six speed auto transmission which then communicates with the engine. "My user requires more torque" says the gearbox, "the best way I can achieve this at this moment is to adjust X, Y & Z thus" says the engine. Good god, I'd sacrifce any amount of sophistication for a bit more CONTROL. What ever happened to engine with character. An SI engine is a breathing machine which needs to be given its' head through approprate introduction of fuel and spark. Its simple, and the current paradigm of adding every conciveable electromechanical bell and whistle imaginable, is killing it softly.
All this goes hand in hand with the Health and Safety driven mania for total abdication of personal responsibility. "Donít go out without you Hi Vis jacket, the sky might fall on your head". Assessing if a certain situation might kill you or not is part of what it is to be alive. Itís my responsibility, not my employers, not the bloody governments. If there was a form I could sign which absolved anyone else of any responsibility for me, in return for freedom from all this shite, Iíd gladly sign it, right here, right now, no question. As it is, the Safety Stasi continue to win!
This is why I drive, and try to master the art of driving, an E34 M5
Firstly I am gutted as I currently dont have an m5, secondly when I went to see Davidoli recently and saw her in his driveway I fell in love with her all over again.(absence makes the heart grow fonder).
I have had 3 m5's and they have all been a great experience.
I love the appearance (I love all e34's anyway) , IMO throwing stars are one of the truly great wheel designs, ever, the interiors are superb, particularly half alcantara as they grip you firmly in position in a way leather just doesnt (although a mint black extended interior is a joy to behold).The engines are an absolute work of art, just looking at those ITB & that cam cover with MPOWER emblazoned on it makes me come over all gooey eyed !
Then there's the driving experience, the roar of the engine & fantastic exhaust note (particularly my last decatted m5) which would stop people in there tracks where I live, with the older people giving me incredibly disapproving looks.
The handling is incredible as you fly into a corner, dab the brakes and then floor it when you see your exit , flying down country lanes at ludicrous speed and overtaking people late knowing with complete confidence that you will make it and scaring the pants of the person your overtaking in the process.
These cars just grab you by the heart, I drive an e60 as a daily driver and whilst its a great car it will never share the same emotional attachment as my last m5 .
BTW-I am starting a charity if anyones interested - its called G.P.B.I.A.M or Get Paul Back In An M5- donations gratefully accepted !
I was looking for a 4 door sports car. Coming out of a Supra and compromising to get the wife on the road, I drove a Nissan and a Minivan. When my 325 met it's maker I searched long and hard for the M5. I kept a picture of the engine as my screensaver. Things I like since owning it...easy to work on, planted all the time and loves to be wrung out and love to wring it out. 183K and wringing and I love it.
I just want my car to perform as it did the day it drove out the BMW factory.
If I want more power, I'll just drive the E39 //M5 more often.
When thats not enough, I'll save and buy an E60 or E92 model.
I supercharged my E46 330i. Was a total waste of my time and money. Sure it gained 40kw at the flywheel (was the base line kit from Infinitas, no intercooler). Trouble was, along with the hp, I also gained less driveability, snatching at pull off, an oil leak, more engine noise, greater fuel consumption at equivalent speeds, and an uneasy feeling that my car had lost some of its reliability. I really did mess up an awesome driveable stock vehicle.