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After seeing the Top Gear show on the Enzo, and listening to the comments made on the show, I would like to present the following thoughts:

1) The Enzo's paddles are column-mounted, while the e60's paddles are steering-wheel-mounted. Why the different location? Which is better?

2) The Enzo is spectacular, but the reviewer still preferred the F40, stating that the Enzo was less fun to drive becuase it was too automated (etc.). I see an analogy between this and how many of us on this messageboard see the e39 M5 vs. the e60 M5. Your thoughts on this?

Cheers, Daniel.
 

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Don't forget the Ferraris were tested on the track. Saying the F40 is more fun because there are less "electronic safety nets" is ok when you have a runway length of tarmac to play on and the only thing that is going to get damaged is the tread on the tyres. Driving mega powerful cars on normal roads and it's a slightly different matter. You'll be thankful of the electronic programs when traversing wet roads in the middle of the night. Thankfully there is usually an off button which can be used when the conditions are right.
 

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On the paddles, there are arguments for both arrangements. The BMW style ones move with your steering position so your fingers are always right there to pull a shift. But, as you start to enter more extreme steering positions, you cannot keep the paddles within comfortable and then even possible reach. The fixed position's advantage is just that- you always know where those paddles are.

My own take is why do we have to even have this discussion. No- I'm not saying we should not have the option of F1 style trannies. Why not use technology to give us the choice of Ferrari or BMW style? I imagine you could put the paddles on a collar that would fit right behind the steering wheel. You could lock it in position- ala Ferrari- or you could let it turn with the steering wheel, just like the BMW system. And perhaps this allows a middle ground- the paddles move for a certain amount of steering wheel turning angle, but after that they do not move anymore.

I didn't think the comments on the F40 being more fun really had to do with the transmission choice, but now that you mention it, I do suspect if we could talk to the guys driving the cars today they would point that out as one of a few issues. Other issues seem to be that performance numbers keep going up, which means more grip, more technology, but it also means a heavier car (note how he kept saying how light the F40 was in comparison) which means to get it to that same place of feeling you need to increase your speed. I know a few people with the new Minis and they tell me that these cars are FUN- small, light, not too big tires- you get the idea.

If you want to hear some pro F1 style transmission comments, see what he was saying about the Enzo in comparison to the Porsche Carerra GT. Its not that he made a direct comparison, but he basically called the Porsche comparatively boring. And the C-GT is the one with the stick shift. But, like Andy, I wonder what they would say if they were driving these cars on public roads...
 

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What makes a great track car does not necessarily constitute a great super-saloon. Which of the following extronic "gizmos" would you be willing to give up in your M5: electric windows, door locks, electric seats, climate control, 10-speaker audio, Nav, OBC, etc? How about power steering, power brakes, DSC, EDC, ABS?

Face it, people complain about the technology because it is not weightless, consumes space, sometime breaks, is something new to learn, and often costs a lot of money. However, it exists because people want it, and that includes virtually everyone.

Tom
 

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This weekend I found it interesting that a show that listed the "5 Greatest Supercars) did not mention the Enzo. THe F40 was on the list however (and the F1 came in first... big shock). Emerson Fittipaldi was interviewed and he had nothing but praise for the F40. At first I thought it was an older show, from before the Enzo, but if you look closely, you can see it during the intro.
 

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The thing is, F40 is a Ferrari, so it's ok for it to be the way it is.

Because the E60 M5 is not a Ferrari, it has to be the way IT is. You can expect every single one of the F40's owners to be as enthusiastic as Jeremy Clarkson, probably even more so. However, none of them drives the F40 to work or to the supermarket. None of them drives it in the rain. More importantly, none of them b!tches about high maintenance cost. If half of the M5 owners can be like that, I'm sure BMW would consider making their car "purer".

But the truth is, it's an M5 by BMW after all. BMW will sell thousands of it every year to thousands of people who don't actually know why the car cost so much. The car has to come with a warranty just like every other BMW, it must be able to be driven on a daily basis just like every other BMW. And at the same time, it cannot lose its identity: a 500hp 200mph+ beast. That's the purpose of this car, that's why it exists. If it's not capable of all that it has to be ridiculous. Hence the limitations, the engine cannot make too much noise/vibration, the gearbox/clutch cannot require Ferrari kind of maintenance, the car cannot lose control on the way to work on a rainy day... A uber saloon isn't a supercar, with that much power it just can't be too simple, sophistication is needed.

IMO, Jeremy Clarkson’s point is valid, but only to a certain extent and only applies to those particular Ferraris. M5s are a whole different story
 

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bernhtp said:
That's true today. Six months ago you were gleefully extolling its virtues. Next month you may develop a fetish for iDrive.

Tom
Not likely.

First, when is changing one's opinion based on more data out of style?..... And if its out of style, is that wrong? Should you stick to an opinion even when you know its not true?

Now, I am always happy to point out what SMG is, its good and bad points, because there is so little actual experience with it. My dissatisfaction with it over the long term is part of my experience and it allows me to criticize. Also, you'll note that I always point out this is my take. There are others who have SMG experience and they love it and would get it again and again.

I've owned 3 idrive equipped cars now- and driven a few others- and on each one, I would be very happy to toss the idrive out. As a matter of fact, I've had a few friends comment on the 7 that they like the car but could the radio be replaced? Unfortunately not.

BMW will improve the system and still call it idrive, but the future versions will have little in common in terms of basic concept (eliminate all buttons) or use (use controller as much as possible). You'll see.

The future on SMG is less clear. BMW is committed to it right now but I've seen more forward looking comments that hint they may be looking into an Audi-DSG type system for the future. However, I would have the same reservations with DSG.

I have reached the conclusion that I will only be happy with a manual. I could adjust to the rest (nutty styling/ controls).
 

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maq said:
The thing is, F40 is a Ferrari, so it's ok for it to be the way it is.

Because the E60 M5 is not a Ferrari, it has to be the way IT is. You can expect every single one of the F40's owners to be as enthusiastic as Jeremy Clarkson, probably even more so. However, none of them drives the F40 to work or to the supermarket. None of them drives it in the rain. More importantly, none of them b!tches about high maintenance cost. If half of the M5 owners can be like that, I'm sure BMW would consider making their car "purer".

But the truth is, it's an M5 by BMW after all. BMW will sell thousands of it every year to thousands of people who don't actually know why the car cost so much. The car has to come with a warranty just like every other BMW, it must be able to be driven on a daily basis just like every other BMW. And at the same time, it cannot lose its identity: a 500hp 200mph+ beast. That's the purpose of this car, that's why it exists. If it's not capable of all that it has to be ridiculous. Hence the limitations, the engine cannot make too much noise/vibration, the gearbox/clutch cannot require Ferrari kind of maintenance, the car cannot lose control on the way to work on a rainy day... A uber saloon isn't a supercar, with that much power it just can't be too simple, sophistication is needed.

IMO, Jeremy Clarkson’s point is valid, but only to a certain extent and only applies to those particular Ferraris. M5s are a whole different story

totally agree, and I think the reason Ferrari made Enzo "softer" is to make sure they can appeal to a larger market as well. I think we already pass beyond the point where it is acceptable for a supercar to have bone crashing ride, tons of noise (my analogy would be Murcielgo vs. any of the earlier Lambos.).
 

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I'm not so sure Ferrari wanted to appeal to a larger market with the Enzo.

* Production is for 399 copies- thats all.

* no press cars were built, all the press reviews were from someone lending them their car, just like in the video.

* you had to be invited to buy the car.

* the market price is well above the list price, suggesting supply > demand.

I think I understand your intent, which is to say maybe Ferrari was trying to make a car their likely customers would enjoy (in he case of the Enzo the typical customer was probably middle aged, lots of money and an enthusiastic driver, but by no means Shuey)

Btw- saw a Carerra GT go by me the other day- looked and sounded great!
 
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