My 2009 E90 BMW M3 is gone, but never forgotten. Now it’s time for a 997 Porsche 911 Carrera S.
Since I was 10-years-old I’ve dreamed of owning one car over all others: A BMW M3. Since I was 16 one car captured my fantasies as being one car I thought was better than a Corvette: The Porsche 911.
Odd how life works out, isn’t it? I’ve now owned the two cars that have been fantasies and dreams for so long, and it’s quite amazing. Growing up, as most of you know, I was around lots of Corvettes. The ‘Vette was the greatest car in the world! At least, that’s what was engrained in my mind from a wee young lad. Oddly, I’ve never owned a Corvette. I use that as evidence on why pushing your views on people to make them believe what you do hardly ever works. As a kid I was a Corvette fanatic. Once I started driving I realized it wasn’t what I wanted.
That’s not to say I hate Corvettes, because I don’t. I think they’re truly great machines that can do ridiculous things for such a cheap asking price. But, in my opinion, they’re not the one that’s fun to drive each day.
That’s why, one month before turning 25, I was able to obtain a 2009 E90 BMW M3 in Jerez Black Metallic with extended Silver Novillo leather with brushed aluminum trim (originally Sycamore Anthracite wood), 6-speed manual transmission, EDC, Premium Package II (iDrive, iPod adapter, etc.), Convenience Package (comfort access, etc.), Enhanced Premium Sound, HD Radio, heated front seats, Fold down rear seats, moonroof, and 19″ M220 wheels. To say I was elated was beyond an understatement. I loved that car, and always will. Her name was Bridget.
Sadly, Bridget was getting a little old and gray. She had reached 64,150 miles when I pulled her into the Porsche dealer Wednesday morning to trade her in. Why, if she was my dream car, would I dare trade her? That’s a simple answer. The Jerez Black paint used to be my favorite on the M3. I loved Carbon Black on the E46 M3s and always said I’d have a color like that on one of my BMWs. I enjoyed the way the paint changed colors in different types of light; between black, blue, and sometimes a little purple. Unfortunately, owning this color sucks. It costs more to fix when damaged, because it’s a special mixing process, it shows dents, dings and scratches like no other, and it was just a general pain to see all the scars on it every time.
Below you can see my buddy Tom piloting the M horribly.
The worst part of the car was the interior, however. It doesn’t hold up well when beaten on. The steering wheel trim was peeling off more and more, and the doors creaked something fierce. I actually found out that this had more to do with the fact that the previous owner must have had an aftermarket sound system in the car, because the first week I owned it Bridget was in the shop to have the iDrive harddrive replaced under warranty. The Tech said to me that the car’s records showed no previous issues, nor that the center console had ever been opened. However, when he pulled up the console, all the wires were crimped, and some were damn near being cut from being squished. This is where my theory comes in that the door panels were taken off and never put back on correctly. Unfortunately, I never got around to fixing those issues.
If it weren’t for the color, and the previous jackass owner, Bridget the First would still be in my garage. But, life goes on, and I will have another, no doubt.
So let’s all give a nice warm welcome to the new lady in my life, Bridget the Second, a 2007 Porsche 911 Carrera S with 27,xxx miles. The 997.1 Carrera S had 355 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. 69 less hp and the same torque as the M3, but she weighs about 650 fewer lbs at just 3150. She’s Basalt Black over black standard leather, is a 6-speed manual car -duh!- with PCM (the navigation and non-Bluetooth phone module), Sport Chrono Package Plus (the stop watch), Porsche Sport Exhaust, power and memory seats, self dimming mirrors, Porsche crests on the wheel caps, Bose sound system, and a 6-disc CD changer. Missing is actual Bluetooth, and an iPod adapter. Neither of which came on the 911 until 2009 with the debut of the 997.2. Damn you, Porsche. The car does have a phone system, but it requires a sim card in order to work. Such an old German thing, I tell ya. The asking price with destination fee in 2007? $91,780. I paid no where near that. To that I cackle…
So here’s to my homie in blue up top who’s no longer with me. Hopefully my M3 will go to a good home who’ll take care of her and treat her properly.
So far the Porsche 911 is rather comfortable and does things well -especially speed- and feels like it’ll be a lot of fun to drive. While it has navigation, it’s rather old when compared to the BMW’s iDrive, which is utterly brilliant. Let anyone tell you differently, and I’ll show you where they’ve never actually owned or understood how to use a BMW. The pre-2009 system can be a little bleh, but the ’09 and newer iDrive is just amazing. Driving and doing things quickly on the fly without looking at the screen is fantastic.
The M3 was far more usable on a daily basis, obviously, but who turns down a Porsche 911 that’s given to you at a price well below what others are going for? Also, the 911 is a CPO car, with an extra 4-year/50,000 mile warranty, paid for maintenance, and it’s a PORSCHE! My M3 was out of warranty…
Gas mileage was pretty bad on the 4.0-liter V8 in the M3. With 414 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque I used to average about 19-20 mpg on a combined cycle. That’s good for M3s… Most see about 16-17. The 911 is already averaging about 22 mpg, and has dropped to about 17 or so when being driven hard. Once I stop pushing the car as hard as I am each day I’ll be doing better. I’ve heard I can achieve 23-27 mpg average.
Now I just have to spend nearly a grand to put Bluetooth and an iPod adapter kit into this new car… ugh!
[Photos by Corey Privette and Josh Lewis]