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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm commuting home with my wife this evening at 6:00 pm in moderately heavy traffic on Hawaii's Pali Highway. I'm in the left lane, going uphill, and just for fun, I drop from 5th into 4th and momentarily floor it. You don't get much chance to do that on Hawaii's congested roads, so you tend to exploit any gap that you can find to have a little fun. The beast leaps ahead, the Dinan pipes roaring. However, at that precise moment, a yellow, late model Ferrari appears next to me in the right lane. I swear I never saw this guy coming up in the right lane and had no idea he was even there until he passes me....and then I pass him! Well, of course he interprets my sudden acceleration as a challenge to his Ferrari's status as King of the Jungle. In his view, the leopard was threatening the alpha male lion, and he felt compelled to restore the proper jungle hierarchy. I had slowed down by then, but he bided his time and suddenly jinked into the left lane right in front of me and took off, his engine emitting an exotic, high pitched mechanical scream. I thought it was all rather amusing, since I never had any intention of attempting to race this guy, much less in traffic, but my wife was getting nervous at his wild driving. Well, a little later we both entered the Pali Tunnel, he ten car lengths or so ahead of me. He again suddenly floored it, and this time the high revving scream of the Ferrari's engine reverberating in the enclosed tunnel was a truly visceral experience. My wife again commented on how crazy he was, but I just couldn't resist answering him, at least with decibels, so I put in the clutch and reved the beast's engine. The quad Dinan free flow pipes bellowed back at him in basso profundo in the tunnel, carnivore answering carnivore in a raw scream of power. Of course, about this time my wife started to scream at me, so I had to cool it, reassuring her that I was only having a little fun. The Ferrari driver blew out of the tunnel on afterburners and is now probably telling his friends about the M5 which had the utter impertinence to challenge his machine. Me? I just thought the whole thing was a laugh, and I figured you guys around the planet would enjoy it, too. Aloha, Norgeiron.
 

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I came across my first Ferrari encounter this week. A silver 360 Modena in front of me pulling up to a stop light. I had the beast ready. The light turns green, and....nothing. Just a revving 360 exhaust noise. The turkey was in neutral. He got it together and started moving briskly but the beast was easily able to match the pace. When I got an opening, I took the right lane and pulled up alongside. A woman (with short hair) was driving, and it had the F1 transmission hence I assume she must have tapped it into N at the stoplight and forgot about it. Anyway, she had no interest in cars it appeared. :sad2:
 

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CSBM5 said:
I came across my first Ferrari encounter this week. A silver 360 Modena in front of me pulling up to a stop light. I had the beast ready. The light turns green, and....nothing. Just a revving 360 exhaust noise. The turkey was in neutral. He got it together and started moving briskly but the beast was easily able to match the pace. When I got an opening, I took the right lane and pulled up alongside. A woman (with short hair) was driving, and it had the F1 transmission hence I assume she must have tapped it into N at the stoplight and forgot about it. Anyway, she had no interest in cars it appeared. :sad2:
Good job she didn't or she would of nailed you.;)
 

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M5XDW said:
Good job she didn't or she would of nailed you.;)
112-113mph 1/4 mile car versus 108-109 in the M5; 11.4 seconds 100-200kph versus 12.0 for the M5...she would have needed to hit all her shifts right on the money cause I know I would have :) :M5launch:
 

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Are those figures for the manual or F1 transmission 360?

Not to pour scorn on your driving ability, but when driven hard the paddle shifts (on *decent* cars) can shift gears far quicker than most people in a manual. I lapped about 15 seconds (a lifetime on that track!) round Brands short circuit in my friends' 360 F1 than my (now sold) manual.

This was one of the key factors why I relented and put my name down for a new M5. The paddle shifting is brutally quick (and none too smooth!) on high powered cars, but the added automatic modes for the new M5 should provide ways to drive smoothly AND get closer to the manufacturers 0-60 time than the e39's '4.9'.
 

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Munky said:
Are those figures for the manual or F1 transmission 360?
The 360 Stradale is 11.1sec 100-200, and I believe they are all F1? Given perhaps 2 shifts and a gain of at the very most 0.1 sec/shift...it's not a do or die difference. There's maybe a few of us around from the muscle car days who long ago got the power shifting method down pat ;) . I'm pretty sure the F1 lets up on the throttle between shifts too. :biggrin:
 

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Yes the Stradales are all paddle transmissions, however they are a world of difference apart from the normal 360 F1s.

The F1 transmission blips the throttle between shifts (shifting takes roughly 150 milliseconds), it doesn't 'let up' on the throttle. Downshifting I will admit isn't quite as smooth or quick, but I would wager that most good drivers in a manual BMW would struggle to beat a reasonable driver with the F1.

It's lovely to think that our cars can beat everything, but there's a time and a place to admit you'll lose gracefully. I've sold the 360 but kept the M5, that ought to tell you something, which is the M5 does the things I find most useful better than a Ferrari*.

* - Racing from the lights, isn't one of them.
 

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I think the clutch is the weakest point on an M5.It takes to long to bite.You either crawl away from the lights or speed off looking like a lunatic! There is no half way.The M5 is probably the worst car I have owned for launches,hey but I still love it to bits!!:biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey CSBM5,
How do you like your Volvo V70R 6 speed wagon? I'm considering getting one, and wanted to hear from someone who had one.
 

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Munky said:
Yes the Stradales are all paddle transmissions, however they are a world of difference apart from the normal 360 F1s.

The F1 transmission blips the throttle between shifts (shifting takes roughly 150 milliseconds), it doesn't 'let up' on the throttle. Downshifting I will admit isn't quite as smooth or quick, but I would wager that most good drivers in a manual BMW would struggle to beat a reasonable driver with the F1.

It's lovely to think that our cars can beat everything, but there's a time and a place to admit you'll lose gracefully. I've sold the 360 but kept the M5, that ought to tell you something, which is the M5 does the things I find most useful better than a Ferrari*.

* - Racing from the lights, isn't one of them.
My experience on the street (and on the track too) is that few drivers are actually skilled enough to extract the maximum potential from their car. Of course the F1 makes up for the vast majority of this however the example I encountered was the perfect one to support my point -- she couldn't even drive the F1 tranny properly :blink: .

Launching the M5 is tricky, and I believe most far over do the task. With a fresh set of tires (i.e. still have high hysteresis), hold 1800-1900rpm (with stock clutch/flywheel) and then with the right mix of throttle vs clutch in the hookup region, and a "good" (i.e. extremely experienced) driver should be able to get into the 1.8's in 60 foot times with just the right amount (i.e. little) tire spin.

BTW, I'm almost positive that the F1 transmission in the 360 does not do full throttle power shifts -- way too abusive on the clutch and drivetrain. Not even the coming 80 millisecond shifting M5 will do full throttle shifting (i.e. leave the throttle plates wide open during clutch engagement for upshifting).
 

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Norgeiron said:
Hey CSBM5,
How do you like your Volvo V70R 6 speed wagon? I'm considering getting one, and wanted to hear from someone who had one.
I had a 2004 V70R GT (geartronic), and the limitations Volvo put on the engine management system to Band-Aid the weak transmission were ridiculous -- 300HP was not at hand in that car. They do stuff like limit power in 1st and 2nd gear (without telling the buyer). Their automatic (geartronic) tranny is apparently very weak and can't handle the R engine full power. Well, that car, over 21k miles we had it (one of first V70R's delivered in USA) had many troubles starting at 18k. The last time it was in the shop, it reached the lemon law threshold of time in shop, so we talked with Volvo about it, and they worked up an incredible deal with us to order a new 2005 -- they really came through to make an ugly situation right.

The 2005 model has a lot of improvements in the 4C active suspension (one of the issues we had with the '04 -- rear hopping/side stepping on bumps) amongst many other areas. The most important part is that we ordered it with the 6spd manual, so we'll have a car with the full 300hp finally. ;)

I did drive the '04 V70R on the Patriot Course at VIR, and it performed very well and surprised a lot of people who never expected a "Volvo wagon" to haul butt around that course. The 4C in Advanced mode was perfect on the track after getting used to its "way" of proportioning damping control and power distribution front to rear. On turn-in, the car rotates "RIGHT NOW" and gives you the feeling that the tail is going to be swapping ends long before the apex, but that is not the case. It balances out into some push approaching the apex and then is neutral to understeering on track out under full throttle.

Once you get used to the way it responds, you can really hammer the corner entry, i.e. coming in late and hot, and then get the tail a bit loose, clip the apex and into throttle. It was a blast actually learning it, and I still have more to do. For a completely stock suspension in a Volvo station wagon, it is simply phenomenal on the track. Heck, it has adjustable front camber even. :cool:

Oh, btw, the stock Brembo brakes are outstanding on the track also. I used the stock pads on the Patriot course, and they worked fine with no issues (fresh Motul though), but on the main course, I'll have to run race pads as 130+ on the two straights will be at hand.

Now if the M5 had just come with adjustable front camber and Brembo brakes as standard equipment... hmmm

Sorry for the long story -- the net of it is that the 6-speed 2005 V70R is due in to the dealer on Dec 28. The car is being built this week actually. We also ordered it in Magic Blue (very dark blue) as opposed to red (you can see our 2004 in my pictures link or here). I'll know a lot more about the 6spd version in a couple of months once it is broken in. Volvo claims 0-60mph time of 5.7 sec.
 

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Munky said:
I never said it did full throttle changes, it blips the throttle between changes, as racing drivers do.
It blips the throttle on downshifts, but nobody blips throttle on upshifts since you are headed to a lower rpm, not higher, on upshifts. No need to rev match.

Cheers,
Chuck
 

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Wow very interesting to read your extensive impressions of the V70R. Cannot beleive that Volvo is more satisfying in some areas (brakes and adjustable cambers) than an M5. Nice writeup!

CSBM5 said:
Now if the M5 had just come with adjustable front camber and Brembo brakes as standard equipment... hmmm
 

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Gustav said:
Wow very interesting to read your extensive impressions of the V70R. Cannot beleive that Volvo is more satisfying in some areas (brakes and adjustable cambers) than an M5. Nice writeup!
Well, yeah, the M5 should have these for sure. Let me point out that the V70R is "no M5" however :) . For a $43k car and a "station wagon", as we call it here in the US, with lots of carrying room, it is a pretty cool deal. However, there are many areas where it is rough around the edges, so to speak, compared to any new BMW. If there had been an E39 M5 touring, we would definitely have that car instead! In fact, we've looked in vain for a Sport Package 2003 540iT and couldn't find one. The V70R is a fun "beater" car -- I'll drive it to Home Depot to buy a 12' extension ladder (did that) and take it whenever I don't want to risk the M5 getting parking lot dings or parallel parking, but it is no match for the level of build quality and level of component quality of the M5 or other new BMWs. Also, there is no way the V70R is worth what Volvo is charging in Europe for the car -- in the US it is a relative steal.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
CSBM5,
Thanks for the detailed response to my question about the V70R. It was the kind of info that you never get from a car magazine; ie, I now know that I should avoid an '04 and get an '05, and I also picked up your suggestion to get a 540 wagon instead. That makes sense. Well, when you get your '05 it will be interesting to get some feedback and see if it lives up to expectations.

I still have a red 740 turbo with a turbo plus kit and 5 speed manual that I bought in Sweden in 1990. I put on IPD's anti-sway bars and chassis brace and Z rated tires, and it is still lots of fun to drive and can really haul ***. In my mind, this car is undergoing the transformation into "beloved classic" category, and that's dangerous because then I'll never want to get rid of it. It has 133K miles and is still on the original turbo. Just change the oil regularly on a Volvo and it will keep on going almost indefinitely.
 

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Great write up, Norgeiron! The sound is sooooo coooool with Ferraris, especially the ones with Tubis.

when driven hard the paddle shifts (on *decent* cars) can shift gears far quicker than most people in a manual
Yes, humans have a hard time beating computerized hydraulics, but don't you still have to hit the paddle at the right moment? I think it's still possible to lose time by hitting the paddle too early (not using peak power) or too late (staying in the same gear without going any faster). Anyway, this wasn't about racing so much as hearing those ferocious sounds in the tunnel! :M5launch:
 

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Norgeiron said:
CSBM5,
Thanks for the detailed response to my question about the V70R. It was the kind of info that you never get from a car magazine; ie, I now know that I should avoid an '04 and get an '05, and I also picked up your suggestion to get a 540 wagon instead. That makes sense. Well, when you get your '05 it will be interesting to get some feedback and see if it lives up to expectations.
I'll post a review on the Swedespeed R forum when I get the '05 and hopefully remember to post back into this thread for you. Regarding the 540 wagon...I knew if I got it one of the first things I would want to do is get a limited slip differential. I had a 2002 540i/6, and it was simply awful with an open diff out back. Every BMW I've ever had I either ordered a limited slip diff with it or put one in, going all the way back to my Bavaria. The V70R has AWD of course, and it is a Haldex electronically controlled AWD system that proportions power based on the active suspension readings, etc...

Sounds like a cool 740 you have...I've also got a '96 850R wagon I bought new which now has 128,000 miles on it (IPD bars too!).

Cheers,
Chuck
 

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Need4Spd said:
Great write up, Norgeiron! The sound is sooooo coooool with Ferraris, especially the ones with Tubis.

Yes, humans have a hard time beating computerized hydraulics, but don't you still have to hit the paddle at the right moment? I think it's still possible to lose time by hitting the paddle too early (not using peak power) or too late (staying in the same gear without going any faster). Anyway, this wasn't about racing so much as hearing those ferocious sounds in the tunnel! :M5launch:
Sure, there's a talent in driving paddle shifts, but the point was it's easier to drive quicker with them for the average dude than with the stick and clutch.

Sorry for hijacking, I bet the tunnel sounded great.
 
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