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drove the new 3 series

 
Old 04-19-19, 05:30 AM
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Johnhav430
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Default drove the new 3 series

BMW put on another good event. I had a pretty good time in the autoX, but didn't win. My wife would have had the 2nd worst time, but someone else hit cones so she was not last lol Really can't say anything about the steering as we drove the cars under autocross conditions, no chance to really feel it under road conditions. What was remarkable was one of the first things the BMW instructors brought up, was never have your hands at 10 and 2. I still see people doing it today. And it's been nearly 3 decades that driver education has said to never have hands at 10 and 2...what gives....

All the cars were identical and listed for $59,xxx. Maybe it's me but that's way too much for a 4 cyl. car. They had the Pilot Sport 4S rubber and it's nice to smell them burning as long as it's someone else's dime.

I always wonder why other car cos. don't hold events that are at the same level.

This was the kicker--I did not realize they had a M2 competition and M5's available for the street drive. Dang. By the time we headed over there, due to the shutting down at 17:00, and of course a wait list for those cars, the only ones left were X4 and X1 lol I was like Jamie in the Progressive commercial, when his hot wife asks him to play the guitar, "Oh no, I couldn't, OK (grudgingly)..."

Took the X4 out in heavy traffic and got to punch it a few times, it seems to me every car nowadays has uber electronics and pretty fast. I notice that most cars as well have the what I call frameless rearviews. I first saw that when I drove a Caddy XTS back in '15.

Again, I get that this is a Lexus forum and there's loyalty to Toyota. I can't help but ask, why can't Lexus hold events at the same level? Is it money? Know how? Maybe it's that BMW and Porsche have driving schools? Rome wasn't built in a day, but I don't see why they can't get there....


G20 330i's


Best seat in the house.
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Old 04-19-19, 05:35 AM
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They have something "similar" every year in Canada, a full day dedicated "driver's training" session, on invitation only, and it's a bit pricey.

Was looking for your impressions on the new 3, unless I missed it, how was it?
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Old 04-19-19, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by corradoMR2 View Post
They have something "similar" every year in Canada, a full day dedicated "driver's training" session, on invitation only, and it's a bit pricey.

Was looking for your impressions on the new 3, unless I missed it, how was it?
It's hard to be objective, because I couldn't drive it on the street (didn't leave enough time). So all of us took maybe 6 laps, 3 of which were pedal to the metal attempting to clip the apexes. The cars had 255hp/295ft lbs and were more than peppy, they handled well but were equipped with Pilot Super Sport 4S which I believe you get with the track packages. Looked like 4 piston brakes up front, floating in the rear, all in all no question more capable than the F30s. The price tag of $59k for a 4 cyl. would turn me off and away, but I would have to say, if someone were in the market for a Golf R, this is likely a better choice....looking forward to either another drive in the fall, and then perhaps the annual loaner when I go to BMW to get my state inspection...

p.s. I would like to have a LCD screen in a car in the future, but I didn't love the dash. My cousin said his car had the heads up display on, mine did not...
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Old 04-19-19, 06:10 AM
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^^^ Seems like an improvement over the F30. Not crazy about the interior (dash) also as it looks more mainstream than luxury. And yeah tough pill to swallow at 59K. In Canada, add another 10K
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Old 04-19-19, 06:35 AM
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i really thought this thread was about the tesla 3.
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Old 04-19-19, 06:39 AM
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and a 3 series has option for rear 'table' and that kinda legroom?
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Old 04-19-19, 06:44 AM
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Johnhav, how tall are you? Is that pic of you in the back seat a 3 series? That seems like an awful lot more room than what I'm used to seeing.
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Old 04-19-19, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnhav430 View Post
Again, I get that this is a Lexus forum and there's loyalty to Toyota. I can't help but ask, why can't Lexus hold events at the same level? Is it money? Know how? Maybe it's that BMW and Porsche have driving schools? Rome wasn't built in a day, but I don't see why they can't get there....
Lexus does hold driver experience events like this as well as their own driver's school at certain times of the year.

I haven't seen the "free" Lexus driver experience events in recent years but I did attend several of them at Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR) and those were well-organized. There were autocross stations, drivers instructions, and lead/follow laps with a variety of Lexus vehicles (4GS350 F-Sport, 3IS350 F-Sport, RC350, RC-F, and GS-F). You could even ride shotgun with a pro driver in the Lexus LFA if you won the autocross event (I still kick myself in the butt for getting 2nd that day). LOL.





The current program that Lexus offers is the full track day experience and this year it is held at Laguna Seca:

https://lexusperformancedrivingschool.com

Last edited by redspencer; 04-19-19 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 04-19-19, 06:54 AM
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I went to the same event here in DC a few weeks ago. The interior of recent BMW's finally feels more modern, aided by high resolution screens and the latest iDrive. BMW's digital cluster (Live Cockpit Pro) isn't quite as customizable as Audi's Virtual Cockpit, but there's good information. The HUD is indeed very large and crisp as well, but suffers the same issues with polarized glasses as nearly everything else out there.

I think the 2.0L engine is plenty for a car this size, and yes prices can get sky high when fully loaded, but I imagine few will be this highly spec'ed. Most may jump to the M340i with a bit less kit.

The new 3 is calm and composed, steering is improved but isn't quite as razor sharp as the Alfa Romeo Giulia, but means it's also less twitchy/sensitive for 99% of driving situations. Better interior materials than the F30 generation as well, but maybe still tough to swallow over $50K. Didn't see an option for a leather/stitched dash. In potentially a move from BMW away from 100% runflat, you can spec those high performance non run flat tires, and then BMW will then give you (for another $150) the temp spare tire again. The ride gives you that confident, but not super floaty feeling. More refined than the Stinger GT that I've been evaluating this past week. And more than my wife's 2015 C-Class that we just traded in.

On the outside, the M-Sport has plenty of fake vents front and rear, which is again odd for BMW, as they typically have their functional air curtains. Lexus was roasted on the F-Sport models for fake vents, particularly on the rear bumpers, and funny to see them pop up on the BMW. The snout/kidney grilles are still balanced in size, not quite the monstrous openings on the refreshed 7 and the X7.

Overall, I'd say it fits into BMW's new identity of premium refinement, with a taut feel, and modern electronics and technology. Good basis for which M340i and eventual M3/4 can build upon for those seeking more.

I did win the Autocross timing (and no cones died!) but this year they didn't give you a cone as I got during last years. Just gave everyone haha.
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Old 04-19-19, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jrmckinley View Post
Johnhav, how tall are you? Is that pic of you in the back seat a 3 series? That seems like an awful lot more room than what I'm used to seeing.
Well I'm 7'3" and make 7 mil. when times are bad! j/k that is an Alpina B7...note the B7 on the pillar and hvac vent...
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Old 04-19-19, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by redspencer View Post
Lexus does hold driver experience events like this as well as their own driver's school at certain times of the year.

I haven't seen the "free" Lexus driver experience events in recent years but I did attend several of them at Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR) and those were well-organized. There were autocross stations, drivers instructions, and lead/follow laps with a variety of Lexus vehicles (4GS350 F-Sport, 3IS350 F-Sport, RC350, RC-F, and GS-F). You could even ride shotgun with a pro driver in the Lexus LFA if you won the autocross event (I still kick myself in the butt for getting 2nd that day). LOL.





The current program that Lexus offers is the full track day experience and this year it is held at Laguna Seca:

https://lexusperformancedrivingschool.com
Fascinating! Is that free of charge? The only Lexus events I have been to were at Belmont Raceway on LI and Citi Field last year with the LS500, and both were not too good. I mean the potential was there--have people drive the RC-F and LC500, but just throw them in the car and say have fun? lol

Porsche was a great event back in 2015 with lead/follow and autocross, but again, it was the cars, not the people, that made it great. BMW seems to have both going. Last year it was pouring rain and we still autocrossed the new 540i, meaning they have the expertise to go on shine or rain.

Again, I'm kicking myself that we were not aware the M2 comp and M5 were available to be driven on the street....DOH.
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Old 04-19-19, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bitkahuna View Post
and a 3 series has option for rear 'table' and that kinda legroom?
edit: DOH now see that's an Alpina B7 (7 series!)
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Old 04-19-19, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnhav430 View Post
Well I'm 7'3" and make 7 mil. when times are bad! j/k that is an Alpina B7...note the B7 on the pillar and hvac vent...
LOL. Makes much more sense now. I was thinking something seemed off with that type of legroom, a rear screen, etc. I'd love to sit in one of those B7's!
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Old 04-19-19, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnhav430 View Post
The price tag of $59k for a 4 cyl. would turn me off and away, but I would have to say, if someone were in the market for a Golf R, this is likely a better choice...
I would hope it would be a better choice, it costs a full 50% more. If it wasn't that would just be sad. That said, I don't think too many people cross-shop $40k cars with $60k ones.
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Old 04-19-19, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by pbm317 View Post
I went to the same event here in DC a few weeks ago. The interior of recent BMW's finally feels more modern, aided by high resolution screens and the latest iDrive. BMW's digital cluster (Live Cockpit Pro) isn't quite as customizable as Audi's Virtual Cockpit, but there's good information. The HUD is indeed very large and crisp as well, but suffers the same issues with polarized glasses as nearly everything else out there.

I think the 2.0L engine is plenty for a car this size, and yes prices can get sky high when fully loaded, but I imagine few will be this highly spec'ed. Most may jump to the M340i with a bit less kit.

The new 3 is calm and composed, steering is improved but isn't quite as razor sharp as the Alfa Romeo Giulia, but means it's also less twitchy/sensitive for 99% of driving situations. Better interior materials than the F30 generation as well, but maybe still tough to swallow over $50K. Didn't see an option for a leather/stitched dash. In potentially a move from BMW away from 100% runflat, you can spec those high performance non run flat tires, and then BMW will then give you (for another $150) the temp spare tire again. The ride gives you that confident, but not super floaty feeling. More refined than the Stinger GT that I've been evaluating this past week. And more than my wife's 2015 C-Class that we just traded in.

On the outside, the M-Sport has plenty of fake vents front and rear, which is again odd for BMW, as they typically have their functional air curtains. Lexus was roasted on the F-Sport models for fake vents, particularly on the rear bumpers, and funny to see them pop up on the BMW. The snout/kidney grilles are still balanced in size, not quite the monstrous openings on the refreshed 7 and the X7.

Overall, I'd say it fits into BMW's new identity of premium refinement, with a taut feel, and modern electronics and technology. Good basis for which M340i and eventual M3/4 can build upon for those seeking more.

I did win the Autocross timing (and no cones died!) but this year they didn't give you a cone as I got during last years. Just gave everyone haha.
If you won, you can drive! Did they shake up a bottle of Poland Springs and spray you like they did our winners?

I'd have to plot it but I believe I was above average at 2.5 sec behind the winner. At least this isn't like ski racing, where in a field of say 70? I can very likely end up at 65+.....woe is me!

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