First thing: wow.
Second thing: pictures. M5DE Pictures
I cannot even begin to explain how utterly amazed I am at this vehicle. It is out of this world awesome. I wasn’t nearly prepared for how much I love this car!
Let me expand upon that by telling you my delivery story. My wife wasn’t super keen on the idea of doing a driving school and then driving back home to Kansas from South Carolina 1300 miles and 18 hours so I took my good buddy instead. Now my buddy was excited but had no idea what kind of car I was getting other than it was an M5. I kept trying to tell him he was in for the experience of a lifetime, and he was supportive, but I knew he just didn’t have any real clue of how cool this was going to be.
We flew into Spartanburg 4/23/03 and called the Marriot Airport hotel to come get us. The story is funnier from my buddy’s perspective because he was blown away when a 3-series BMW wagon pulled up and the driver asked if I was “Mr. Pennington”, loaded all our luggage and acted like we were total celebrities. Anyway, we were a little early arriving so we went directly to the PC and our driver took our luggage to the hotel for us and stowed it in our room.
He dropped us off at the PC where, hilariously, people starting scrambling all around because “Mr. Pennington, you know, the M5!, is here!” and everyone was bustling all around because we were early. By now, my buddy was like, “what the hell kind of car did you get?!” Since the car wasn’t ready yet for delivery, they had us to eat lunch first. We ate with about 4 other Z4 delivery couples and they had huge grins on their faces, because they had just finished spending a couple hours on the track with the Z4. It was funny to see the different kinds of people buying Z4s.
After lunch was the delivery. Can I just say that that was one of the best experiences I have ever been apart of. The car, beautifully presented in the delivery bay, keys all laid out on the table, sparkling in the sunlight through the windows, perfectly detailed – it was awesome. We spent 3 hours going over every last detail of the car. My buddy was totally into the experience by now and it was like he was getting HIS car delivered. He kept saying over and over “wow, this is really really nice” and just muttering obscenities of unbelief while each feature was explained. But still, he had no idea as to the performance of the car itself. Special note to mention Ginger, my delivery specialist – she was awesome and totally understood how excited and let us just soak in every part of the experience while being helpful but respectfully out of the way when appropriate. I spent the first five minutes just sitting in the driver’s seat going, “wow, wow, wow, wow” over and over.
So delivery completed and they threw open the big doors and I fired her up for the first time. Wow – what an exhaust and starting note. I looked at my buddy and said “yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!!!” I managed not to kill it pulling it out – whew – and we took a few pictures as a group. My baby’s first pictures (*sniff*). We got in, got positioned just right, and took off. Ohhhh baby! Shiiiiii*******tt, this car’s quick. Holy crap. What DID I buy? Whew. We programmed in the hotel and let me say, that NAV system is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I may be from Kansas, but that thing is awesome. For all the posts I’ve read about how it’s goofy, we didn’t have one problem and it was totally awesome. You can’t GET lost what thing – it’s totally impossible.
We got to the hotel, which was very nice, grabbed the white pages and headed back out. For the rest of the day we programmed in random locations into the GPS and just drove. Even with the lower RPM break-in limit, this car is truly fast. Oh my goodness gracious, it’s really fast. My buddy, when Ginger was explaining the break-in procedure, was like “that’s going to be kind of lame having to stay under 4500 RPM or so”. But the crazy car has all you want even under 4000 RPM. It’s insanity. He kept saying what in the world does this thing do when you get over 4500 RPMs?? And both of us just couldn’t get the smiles off our faces. Oh, and people notice this car. Oh my, do they notice. I think I killed a few people with broken necks. And make no mistake, the driver gets instantly better looking with this car. I felt like freakin Brad Pitt driving this thing. People just gawk like crazy. And it hasn’t stopped even now.
Morning. We get like 4 hours of sleep because we’re both so excited to do the M5 Driving School. You remember how I mentioned that we grabbed the white pages from the hotel room? Well, my mentally challenged friend got newsprint black ink all over the passenger seat on my brand new caramel leather. If he wouldn’t have been so completely mortified, I would have killed him. We drove back to the PC and I begged Ginger to have the detail guys fix it. They did, though not great and I was a little worried to be honest. Side note: I got back home, used the Pinnacle Leather Cleaner on it and it came out instantly. That stuff is really good, just for testimonial sake.
Back to the story. Our expectations for the driving school couldn’t have been higher, and to cut to the bottom line, the school met and exceeded every one. We could not believe how hard we thrashed those M5s out on the track! Accelerating, braking, skidding, slaloming, courses, water, emergency, on and on and on. We actually got to push this car and…
HOOOOOOLLLY SWEEET MARY MOTHER OF MOSES!!
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Oh my oh my. I can’t even begin to express how awesome and happy I was and the smile I couldn’t get off my face. This car does whatever you tell it to. Period. Fast, slow, brake, swerve, doesn’t matter. If you’re man enough to do it, the car will go along happily to support you. My buddy just could NOT believe it – just couldn’t believe it. He almost shut totally down. I think I heard “I’ve got to get me one ‘a these” about a million times. It was so much fun. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t done it. We totally ran those M5s right to the wall for 8 straight hours. It was the funnest, coolest thing I’ve ever done. I cannot tell you how much fun it was.
Well, the rest of the trip was 18 hours and 1308 miles of fun. Because of my schedule, I skipped the second day of the M5DE (Biltmore trip). I’m not sad about it because it was either the Biltmore or the drive home. Let’s just say I made the right decision. What a drive home! I kept very strict to the break-in rules, never going over 4500 except once by accident. I didn’t, however, notice the upper speed rule of “not more than 106” and we got her up to 130 on the highway somewhere in Arkansas. Ooops. But it was in sixth and was after 1200 miles and it was about 4800 RPM. Hopefully I didn’t hurt anything. It goes as smooth at 130 as 30. We just couldn’t believe it. Fast means nothing to this car. The faster you go, the better it likes it. I’ll post my impressions in another post. Got home on Friday night late, spent all day Saturday detailing for the first time. That was like an out-of-body experience getting to detail the car for the first time. I just couldn’t have had more fun spending eight hours doing hard labor. That carbon black – man – that is a beautiful color. Whew.
Okay – here’s the kicker. My buddy, based solely and totally on this weekend experience, got back home, and the NEXT DAY went to the nearest BMW dealership, traded in his truck and ordered a 330 with performance package. He’s picking it up in a few months IN SPARTANBURG! After this experience he said he’s never not going to own a BMW again. Now there’s a testimonial for you. His wife didn’t much like it and he said, tough, I’m doing it anyway. HA! You gotta love it. Another brother in the BMW family. (His wife will understand later).
So there you go – my M5DE experience. You’ve GOT to do it if you haven’t. It was so much fun. I love my car. I love you people. I love everything and everyone. This car inspires me and I just can’t tell you how happy I am with it. The Ultimate Driving Machine – boy do they have that right.