With my constant envy of Mr Bushby, Stevie's idea to let me do some cosmetic work on the 540/6 before the sunday meeting whilst he tried to fix my "strange noise" ,was a more than welcome scheme.
Tonight Stevie and me thought it would be nice to swap cars for a day.
This landed the keys of his Orientblue V8 in my hand and the keys of my Sebring vice versa.
Offcourse I had to test the new big-bore TB , although I haven't really caned the car before it had that upgrade to compare.
You wouldn't believe how different these cars compare:
1) Rev counter and speedo look massive, due to the lack of 1000 revs and 40 km's making room for bigger numbers...How could I have ever had 2 E34's for over 150.000 km and get used to the tiny M5 lettering ?
2) Driving the V8 around town renders the throttle useless, au contraire to the M5 which basically needs half throttle to even run properly!
3) The sound of the V8 is much smoother, even at idle it is soo much tighter than the solid-lifter rumble the S38 produces. It rides the revs fast, but compared to the M5 you run out of breath a bit earlier. IMO not much point in taking things further than 5500 as the immense torque will keep her going when upshifting. 5500, hell, in the Sebring that means DOWNSHIFT
I liked the V8 sound on both my E38's, but I think its all about what suits you. Right now I think I prefer the inline six howl
4) The position of the needles from the tacho and rev counter are strange compared to the M5. Imagine this: Cruising at the same speed you would normally end 3rd gear in the S38, but now around 3200 in sixth! In the M that would mean roughly 4500 in 5th! I have never seen my revs point out lower than my speedo
5) Ever tried to do a nearly-walking pace city turn in the M5? Bet you weren't in f%ckin third gear and pulled away clean!
6) My all time favourite corner, LH into my homevillage, is usually taken sideways. Tonight, I only managed a smoking LR wheel..
oh yes, where was that LSD again?
Now then , some things are the same:
1) This model is by far and amost the best package for a sedan BMW ever made. Its remarkebly swift through tight corners compared to other heavy sedans ( bear in mind that stevie's car is also on non-OEM shocks and springs) , has virtually no on-board rattles ( Try that in yer average E60!!) and handles very well for its weight.
2) In both cars, you can only tell its a fast one by actually looking at the speedo. V8 simply keeps on pulling and pulling and the S38 winds up revs, but never a real kick in the back like on Scooby's or T5r's. Its all so effortlesly and smooth that you don't really feel like its a fast car. Just so bloody effective when you need to be somewhere in a short timespan, like making it over to Calais...
Sensation of speed may be less than in a turbo car, but I prefer sheer speed over "speed feeling" these days.
3) Both cars seem to come alive when you start to use the 2 or 3 highest gears. Sure, 100 in second can be done, but it feels a bit unnatural in a 1590/1670key übersedan. I have always been a fan of 3rd and 4th gear in my own car, as it cancels out the weight advantage some other cars have , and allows you to use full rev range over a longer period, unlike the 1st gear which runs out in the blink of an eye. In 4th the S38 still pulls seriously and turns much newer sportscars to dust. In the V8, you can either keep her low in revs and roll on torque , or use all the revs. The V8 seems happier in the higher gears too, as the revs are a bit lower in total than the S38 , it makes up for that by the always-available torque which is not necessairy for performance in low gears. Once on the roll, these cars simply keep on going
Its so strange that these cars both are E34's , as the power delivery and gearbox seem eachothers complete opposites. The interior differences may add to the confusion ( leather.sport against fabric.regular and the difference in steering rack) but still, the difference is HUGE. Dave B, have you got a split personality by now?
Well. its also cool to say that between a 525iX sedan, an M5 and the 540/6 I've certainly had some of the rarest E34 downstairs in the garage....