Thread Rating:
  • 3 Vote(s) - 3 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Gavsadler's 2011 E90 M3 Sedan M-DCT
#1
Let's try this again after the forum went wonky last month...

From time to time, there are cars that pop up for sale which strike a chord with me - this leads to lots of pondering, procrastination, investigation, justification and negotiations.

There have been a few good ones this year, and more specifically, two E90 M3s which really got my attention. After the second one popped up for sale, I ended up researching the model more intensively, looking at others which were advertised in the classifieds and as mentioned, justifying why it is a good idea, and squashing the majority of thoughts why it is a bad idea.

Anyway, long story short, following a whole bunch of things falling into place, I was in a position where I had to decide yay or nay. Let it be noted that this is probably one of the biggest numb-nuts decisions I've ever made.

So yes, I pulled the trigger on the car. The original for sale thread can be found here: https://www.bmwfanatics.co.za/showthread.php?tid=90337

For those who want to skip reading another thread, here's the lowdown:

2011 E90 M3 M-DCT
Alpine White
103500kms
Pretty much fully loaded in terms of standard options
Akrapovic Evolution exhaust system

Of all the cars I looked at over the past 2-3 months, this one is definitely one of the cleanest. The sale thread provided an accurate description of the car.

Here's a quick pic of the day I took delivery:

[Image: lras7828_6427040162.jpg]

So all this took place in the middle of June 2019. Subsequent to that, I have done approx. 1000kms in the car the first couple of weeks, so I will post a 1st impressions review in my next update.

Also, as with most of us I am sure, the gears in my head were already churning about what all I would like to change / do to the car. Fortunately (or rather unfortunately for the bank balance), many things have happened in a short space of time, so I will post on these updates as well in the near future.

So, let's see where this journey of M-ownership takes me. Honestly speaking, as much as I am excited, I am also fairly skeptical, given things like M-tax, and the stigma associated with owning and driving an M car (from some people, not everyone).

More updates coming soon.... smile bounce

P.S: I'd like to end off the first post with thanks to a few people: my Wife for the support, some SMEs who own / owned M cars and answered many of my questions, Donovan from Prestige (I've still got to post a separate thread about the buying experience), and of course Shiraz for looking after this machine prior to me taking over ownership Thumbs
2011 E90 M3 M-DCT, Akrapovic Exhaust, more to come... Build thread here
2011 F25 X3 35i M-Sport, JB Stage 1, ex-Downpipe Build thread here
2007 E87 130i M-Sport: Alpine Upgrade, BMWP Intake, BMWP Exhaust Build thread here
2007 Corsa C Ute 2l 16v Tebbo Bluebiggrin : Build thread here

[Image: G_Shift_Logo_Final_360x.png?v=1602414632]
              Online Store Now Open
                   www.gshift.co.za
The following 4 users Like gavsadler's post:
  • ///Avi, Dr Evil, NtandoN, Shabz
Reply
#2
Let's try this again after the forum went wonky last month...

From time to time, there are cars that pop up for sale which strike a chord with me - this leads to lots of pondering, procrastination, investigation, justification and negotiations.

There have been a few good ones this year, and more specifically, two E90 M3s which really got my attention. After the second one popped up for sale, I ended up researching the model more intensively, looking at others which were advertised in the classifieds and as mentioned, justifying why it is a good idea, and squashing the majority of thoughts why it is a bad idea.

Anyway, long story short, following a whole bunch of things falling into place, I was in a position where I had to decide yay or nay. Let it be noted that this is probably one of the biggest numb-nuts decisions I've ever made.

So yes, I pulled the trigger on the car. The original for sale thread can be found here: https://www.bmwfanatics.co.za/showthread.php?tid=90337

For those who want to skip reading another thread, here's the lowdown:

2011 E90 M3 M-DCT
Alpine White
103500kms
Pretty much fully loaded in terms of standard options
Akrapovic Evolution exhaust system

Of all the cars I looked at over the past 2-3 months, this one is definitely one of the cleanest. The sale thread provided an accurate description of the car.

Here's a quick pic of the day I took delivery:

[Image: lras7828_2661865867.jpg]

So all this took place in the middle of June 2019. Subsequent to that, I have done approx. 1000kms in the car the first couple of weeks, so I will post a 1st impressions review in my next update.

Also, as with most of us I am sure, the gears in my head were already churning about what all I would like to change / do to the car. Fortunately (or rather unfortunately for the bank balance), many things have happened in a short space of time, so I will post on these updates as well in the near future.

So, let's see where this journey of M-ownership takes me. Honestly speaking, as much as I am excited, I am also fairly skeptical, given things like M-tax, and the stigma associated with owning and driving an M car (from some people, not everyone).

More updates coming soon.... smile bounce

P.S: I'd like to end off the first post with thanks to a few people: my Wife for the support, some SMEs who own / owned M cars and answered many of my questions, Donovan from Prestige (I've still got to post a separate thread about the buying experience), and of course Shiraz for looking after this machine prior to me taking over ownership Thumbs
2011 E90 M3 M-DCT, Akrapovic Exhaust, more to come... Build thread here
2011 F25 X3 35i M-Sport, JB Stage 1, ex-Downpipe Build thread here
2007 E87 130i M-Sport: Alpine Upgrade, BMWP Intake, BMWP Exhaust Build thread here
2007 Corsa C Ute 2l 16v Tebbo Bluebiggrin : Build thread here

[Image: G_Shift_Logo_Final_360x.png?v=1602414632]
              Online Store Now Open
                   www.gshift.co.za
The following 3 users Like gavsadler's post:
  • ///Avi, osiris, Thami4u
Reply
#3
Congrats. Looks like an amazing example! Are you going to get bearings done?
2004 BMW 330i M-Sport 6MT
2007 BMW Z4 M Roadster
Ex. 2004 BMW M3 Coupe 6MT
Reply
#4
Congrats. Some nice M Performance parts as well. Thumbs
Reply
#5
lovely!!! and congrats Mr! Enjoy every moment with it Cartel
Reply
#6
Show us pics of the new rims
Reply
#7
Congrats again..epic epic epic machine.

Sent from my LYA-L29 using Tapatalk


[Image: signature_2082411609.jpg] - - - - - - - - - - [Image: 120d%20avatar_6603350746.jpg]
Reply
#8
I hate you.
Soo freakin jealous right now.

Great car, rigjt options and the perfect exhaust.
Congratulations

Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk
"Treat People with your manners, not theirs"
Reply
#9
Congratulations Bravo
.... still searching for the perfect replacement BlueCry
Reply
#10
Well damn done! Praise

Why do I feel like I have posted on this thread before?
Current: 1990 e30 Project
EX:
e30 320i 2.9l stroker Astral Silver
e36 M3 Avus Blue
e34 M5 Calypso Red
e82 125i Space Grey
e82 135i Alpine White
Reply
#11
(06-08-2019, 04:34 PM)UpNcOmiNg! Wrote: Well damn done! Praise

Why do I feel like I have posted on this thread before?
Dejavu

There's a glitch in the matrix



Sent from my LYA-L29 using Tapatalk


[Image: signature_2082411609.jpg] - - - - - - - - - - [Image: 120d%20avatar_6603350746.jpg]
Reply
#12
Stunning machine Praise
Reply
#13
Did you manage to find a set of wheels! I'm looking for a pair of oem rear 359's
Reply
#14
Thanks for all the wishes.

Yes, bearings are amongst a few things on the horizon in terms of maintenance. The car has actually been parked off for the past month or so, while a few things have been attended to as and when time becomes available.

Yes I've got a new set of wheels for the car, but more details on those later on, will leave you to wonder a bit longer lol.
2011 E90 M3 M-DCT, Akrapovic Exhaust, more to come... Build thread here
2011 F25 X3 35i M-Sport, JB Stage 1, ex-Downpipe Build thread here
2007 E87 130i M-Sport: Alpine Upgrade, BMWP Intake, BMWP Exhaust Build thread here
2007 Corsa C Ute 2l 16v Tebbo Bluebiggrin : Build thread here

[Image: G_Shift_Logo_Final_360x.png?v=1602414632]
              Online Store Now Open
                   www.gshift.co.za
The following 1 user Likes gavsadler's post:
  • raks16
Reply
#15
BMW M3 1000kms review:

Right, so after taking delivery of the car, I made a point of using it daily, for a variety of duties, to see exactly how well it can cope with some day-to-day chores. These trips varied from short trips to the shops, longer trips to work and back, a few workhorse trips (I’ll spare the details), as well as some brief spirited drives to induce some grins….

I did about 1000kms in the space of about 2 weeks, emptying 2 tanks of fuel. Here’s my first impressions, which I’ve tried to group into various categories. It’s a long read (I’m supressing the closet motoring journalist inside me), as I’ve also gone into a low level of detail to share as much information as possible about the car.

Exterior:
Visually, it’s a special car. Nothing too over the top, but when you start to look closer, the differences begin to pop out. This is fairly easy for an enthusiast to pick up. Starting at the front, the bumper has deeper lower intakes to channel air where it needs to go: feeding the radiator and oil cooler in the centre, the transmission oil cooler on the RHS and on the LHS, the lower intake is a direct feed straight into the airbox. There are also some front splitters fitted, which I am in 2 minds about, mostly because it looks a little too aggressive for my taste, and the black means that the lower part of the bumper gets lost in darker lighting and shadows. I’ll still see what happens here…

The bonnet has the now signature M-bulge on top, indicating that what lies beneath is not standard issue 3-series. And it needs it too, because cramming a V8 into this engine bay leaves very little space for anything else, and DIY is going to be ‘fun’, haha. Also note the bonnet is aluminium to save weight.

The front fenders are also wider (to accommodate the 40mm wider track and bigger wheels and tyres), and made from composite material, most like also due to the weight savings. They have the M-gills in each side as well.

Moving down each side of the car, the doors, together with the bootlid, are the only parts shared with other 3-series models. Nothing to report here. The bespoke wing mirrors have gloss black mirror caps fitted, which does change the look. I might still revert back to stock white caps, as it will highlight the specific design elements of the rest of the mirror structure a little better. To be confirmed…

The side skirts flow backwards into the fat rear quarter panels, also widened and profiled differently to accommodate the 29mm wider rear track and bigger wheels and tyres.

Moving to the back of the car, a bespoke rear bumper has a diffuser-style cut-out in it, which in this case provides a sneak peak at the Akrapovic exhaust hiding behind it. The signature 4-pipe exhaust exits are further complimented by the carbon fibre exhaust tips.

To end off, this car is fitted with 19in Style 359 reps, in Matt Black. Honestly, I am not a huge fan of the black, as the style of the wheel is lost in the dark arches, and with the black tyres, the whole area looks dirty. This is on my to-do list, either to paint the rims, or to look for something else* that tickles my fancy more. (*Subsequent to this review, some changes have happened).

As I said, a great car to look at. It has presence without being overly shouty or in your face. It is an athlete in a business suit. I reckon the size is spot-on, when compared to the more modern cars which are getting bigger and bigger all the time.

Interior:
Stepping inside the car, it’s familiar BMW territory. Those who own / have owned one will get comfortable really quickly. The controls and ergonomics are good, and there are still a decent number of buttons, knobs and switches to control essential functions like the radio and climate control. These functions can be operated without taking your eyes off the road, which I’m sure is not the case on more modern cars which have eliminated buttons and replaced with a large touchscreen with a plethora of menus.

The M-specific details inside the cabin are also subtle, and include the instrument cluster with a speedo which is calibrated to 330km/h, and the tachometer with a redline sitting at 8300-8400rpm. This is enough to provide a fairly representative indication of the capabilities of the car, and the fun and excitement waiting to be unlocked. The dash also has a carbon leather trim option, where the standard silver inserts are replaced with leather which has a carbon fibre print on it. The stitching on the borders also creates a premium feel.

The dash also houses an enlarged screen, which comes as part of the Navigation Professional option. This, together with the iDrive controller make navigating through the additional features and menus a relatively simple process. In my opinion, I don’t believe this system to be too complex, but I have not had much experience with systems from other manufacturers at this stage. There is also integrated Bluetooth functionality spec’d on this car.

The front seats are also specific to the M-cars, having additional support and bolstering in key places. They are also fully electric, so there should be no issues in finding an optimal driving position. The front seats are not overly bulky, and not racing buckets, so there is still adequate room in the back for kids or adults. It’s not cavernous, but is comfortable all things considered.

For this specific car, I may be boring, but I like the black leather interior, coupled with the anthracite roof lining. There is a sunroof for the forthcoming summer mornings to enjoy the sights and sounds even more. Honestly though, my sunroofs stay closed the majority of the time, because the solar panel on my head can only handle so many UV rays at a time before going into limp mode.

Ride quality & handling:
At face value, things do not seem rosy at the outset: performance car, sporty suspension, big low-profile tyres. All of this does not bode well for a comfortable ride, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, this is the recipe for a superb car when pressing on or at a track…

The engineers at BMW M have applied many brain cells in the development of the suspension for this car. The front suspension is bespoke to the M3, and is almost entirely made from aluminium – this saves on weight (both sprung and unsprung). At the rear, it is my understanding that only 1 of the wishbones is shared with other 3 series models. The uniquely tuned settings, together with a very rigid chassis, mean that this car actually rides surprisingly well.

My daily commutes take me across some really old and poorly maintained roads. Where potholes existed before, these have been patched multiple times, only for new potholes to appear next to them. The roads in effect mimic the small cobblestone alleys found in small European towns. Other sections such as the main highways are perfectly smooth (almost). Across these varying road conditions, the car impresses with its ability to cope. The ride is firm, but I don’t think as firm as in my 130i. I can’t honestly say that I have noticed much tramlining, but will need to drive more to see if it becomes apparent.

There are no funny noises coming from the corners of the car, and everything is solid. I haven’t pressed the car much, so can’t really comment on high speed ride and handling, but the little bits where I have pressed, it inspires a huge amount of confidence. Feedback is good, and to date I’ve always felt in control, even when one or 2 passengers were looking for the LHS brake pedal and grabbing the OMG handles on the door and roof.

I was a little curious as to whether the car would be too compromised as a daily driver, but I am pleased to say that this is not the case. Feedback from my wife has also been good, both as a passenger and when she has driven the car herself.

Performance (Engine and Transmission):
Time for the exciting stuff. 4000cc, v8, 8000+rpm rev range, Akrapovic exhaust, DCT box = a recipe for lots of fun. The motor is an engineering masterpiece, BMW sure know how to extract the most out of their engines (well N/A ones at least, the turbo keyboard warriors may beg to differ). Standard these cars produce 309kW and 400Nm at the flywheel. This is improved further with the Akrapovic Evolution exhaust system, which is claimed to unlock an additional 16kW and 35Nm (and let’s not forget that it weighs 23kg less than the stock exhaust system which it replaces).

This car has been criticized in the media for a lack of low-down torque. I partly agree and partly disagree with this statement. First up, I partly agree, because there is definitely no massive wallop / shove in the back. It pulls, but in a more linear and refined fashion. There are bigger capacity V8s (think from the AMG stable) which produce more torque, or there may be V8s which by the sheer nature of their design / age, feel faster because they sound all rough and aggressive. I think modern motoring has been spoilt by the bucket loads of torque on offer from turbocharged engines, which make everything else seem tame in comparison. On this particular car, the exhaust does help, and I can say that I felt the difference compared to the stock ones I test drove previously. This one feels a little fresher all throughout the rev range. I can almost liken it to driving a N/A car at the coast vs the same car up at the reef. Also there seem to be no issues in terms of tractability at low speeds in the higher gears.

The motor sounds great though, even in stock form. The Akrapovic exhaust takes it to another level though. When initially thinking about this car, I thought this may be a deal breaker, as lots of reviews and feedback from the previous owner all classified as the type of loud which does not make neighbours happy lol. So what are my thoughts? Cold start is loud. The whole car shakes and makes all sorts of noises as secondary air pumps engage to lean out the mixture, which in turn warms up the catalytic converters quicker. It is a bit loud and boomy, but that doesn’t last too long. As weird as it may sound, it’s not an annoying loud either. But make no mistake, this is not an econobox designed to be as quiet as possible, it is a purposeful machine.

Once on the move, I am also very pleased to report that there is no drone, whether pottering through town, or at highway speeds. The cabin remains a very pleasant place to be in. Open the throttles and the sound turns into something quite spectacular, almost like a Nascar. It’s awesome.

I have yet to hear the car from the outside personally, but from the odd YouTube videos I found, it’s all smiles. It’s great how they have designed this exhaust to still be pleasant and usable in day-to-day driving, whilst still offering the full performance benefits and aural delights when there is an opportunity to open the taps. Many reviews overseas have confirmed this, and as expensive as this system is, most agree that the R&D that went into the design to make it so accomplished justify the costs. Personally, I love to just plod along at part throttle openings, listening to the exhaust pulses as the go through the headers into the rest of the system. It reminds me of 2 cars: the E46 M for it’s raspiness, and strangely enough my Dad’s old Ford Sapphire Ghia (3l v6 fuel injected).

Moving on to the gearbox, again a great piece of engineering. I was surprised about how smooth it was after reading many reviews stating it was clunky and nowhere near as good as the 8-speed auto. In my opinion they are actually very close indeed. When everything is cold in the mornings, the box does want to hang on to the lower gears a little longer, in which case I choose to manually upshift using the paddles to keep the engine revs below 2000rpm. Once things warm up, then I am happy to leave the box to it’s own devices.

Speaking of, there is a little switch in the transmission tunnel which allows you to change the speed of the shifts. Level 1 is also known as winter mode, where changes are a bit lethargic, and there is more slippage of the clutches allowed. Level 2-5 is for normal driving conditions, with 2 being the default setting, and the driver can change it to level 5 for much faster shifts (downshifts are accompanied by rev matching / throttle blipping which makes you sound like a proper racecar driver). There is also a level 6 setting, which is apparently the fastest of fast shifts, but this is only available if you switch off the DSC (which I have not done yet).

Pottering through city traffic and the daily highway grind, I can’t say I have noticed that the box is exceptionally clunky at all. It goes about it’s business without fuss. Maybe if I have to nit pick, at very small throttle openings it is possible to catch out the gearbox, where it is not sure whether it wants to be in first or second gear, but those instances are few and far between.

General:
Overall, this is an exciting car. I’ve spoken at length about some of the technical aspects, and there are definitely a bunch of other things which deserve a mention, maybe these will come in future updates.

To end off, am I glad I bought the car? Yes and No. Yes because it’s a dream car of mine, and I am blessed and fortunate (or rather unfortunate) to have been in a position to make it happen. On the No side – it is expensive on a monthly basis, over and above the maintenance and upkeep that it will require. That being said, other than the bearings issue, everything else is pretty much the standard kind of maintenance you would do on any other vehicle (the catch here is that parts come with M-tax). Things like brakes and tyres are also a daunting prospect come replacement time, but I say to myself that I generally have a lot of mechanical sympathy, so wear and tear items generally last longer for me than they would for other individuals.

I will almost certainly continue to benchmark this car against the 130i and X3, from a financial perspective (whether its worth the premium), from a performance perspective (is it too much as a daily driver), and from a practicality perspective. But, I am on this journey now, so let’s see where it takes me…

Thanks for reading, I know it’s a lot, but I wanted to have my say overall about the car. In future updates I will share some of the changes I’ve made, plans for the car going forward, events attended and of course continuous feedback about how the car behaves as a daily. My plan is to daily the car to 200,000kms over the next 10 years. Let’s see if that’s feasible.
Until next time….
2011 E90 M3 M-DCT, Akrapovic Exhaust, more to come... Build thread here
2011 F25 X3 35i M-Sport, JB Stage 1, ex-Downpipe Build thread here
2007 E87 130i M-Sport: Alpine Upgrade, BMWP Intake, BMWP Exhaust Build thread here
2007 Corsa C Ute 2l 16v Tebbo Bluebiggrin : Build thread here

[Image: G_Shift_Logo_Final_360x.png?v=1602414632]
              Online Store Now Open
                   www.gshift.co.za
The following 10 users Like gavsadler's post:
  • AdiS, BillyBob, danieltau, Dr Evil, Ebo, Ga-3M, GHOST E90, Jeremy, NtandoN, that_guy_Ettiene
Reply
#16
Good read, Gav. quick read too. well written.

This is also my dream car, don't have the funds yet.....hopefully soon, as soon as the M-Dynamic E92 version in pearl white with style 359 rims (2010-2013 models) drops in price.

Wishing you happy many miles...look forward to reading about the comparisons ito costs vs value against the non-M cars (you have owned)
Current:
2014 320i F30 - M-Sport (Mrs)
2012 3.0d F25 - M-Sport (Family Wagon)
2005 325ci E46 - M-Sport (Mr)
2003 330ci E46 - Weekend (Mr)

Previous BMWs:
2012 328i F30 - Powerful racy motor
2012 320i E90 - Solid built, disappointing performance
2010 3.0d E70 - Versatile car, strong diesel motor
2004 320i E46 - Built like a tank, superb motor
2003 320i E46 - Money pit, lemon of note
Reply
#17
Nice, well written review.

The e92 M3 is on my bucket list. This review just makes me want it more and sooner smile bounce
[Image: untitled_8179800775.jpg]
Reply
#18
Great write-up indeed. I think the V8 is a great car even as a daily, I drive mine daily. The DCT is so much better than the SMGII on the E46 the only time it bothers me is during traffic when changing down from 3rd to 2nd...it feels like the transmission is taking a strain.
Having owned the e46 M3 (which is my dream car) the V8 is a far far better car in all aspects.
I've also owned the 130i and only put 20k on the clock in 2 years...I regret letting it go. Ride quality almost at par with the V8 but these are very different cars that are both great in their own way. Thumbs
Current: 2010 e92 M3 Dct
Current: 2014 f25 X3 20d xDrive
Ex: 2006 e46 M3 SMG
Ex: 2015 e84 X1 sDrive20d
Ex: 2008 e81 130i MSport
Ex: 2004 e46 318ti Compact
[Image: 130i%20(2)_6017473204.jpg]
Reply
#19
can see ur mechanical sympathy for cars .. spend more time writing a novel then driving the damn thing

What is wrong with you Rofl
'13 E82 Coupe 135 - Weekend Toy
'03 Audi A4 2.0 - Daily
Visit our Webstore - Click Here
Instagram - Click Here
The following 1 user Likes Danny@DSCmotorsport's post:
  • GHOST E90
Reply
#20
Congrats, very nice car.
Current :

2009 BMW 125i
1994 Kadett 200iS
1974 Beetle

EX :

1995 BMW 328i
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)