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      04-12-2011, 06:24 AM   #1
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Exclamation Another Assimilation - VO 1M Coupe European Delivery Journal 12.04.2011

Another Assimilation - VO 1M European Delivery 12.04.2011

The time has finally arrived. We started our journey 12 hours ago from Toronto; after a warm welcome to Germany from Rolf and a short trip to the Welt I signed some papers and now sit patiently waiting. Our 10 day European driving adventure will take us through 5 countries, 4 racing circuits, and some of the best driving roads in the world.

Our plan is to update this thread daily provided that the internet connects are good enough to allow for it.

I think I hear them driving the car onto the delivery platform now...................

Our delivery specialist Tom showed us to the car as it spun on the in-ground turntable from the upper mezzanine. After a brief introduction he asked if we were the ones who checked luggage including 2 helmets, we then explained our planned visit to Spa. Tom a Belgium native gave us some great track advice and attempted to scare us into not wrecking the car, very nice of him (not that it was needed).

Before we left the Welt we visited the BMW museum full of some really rare cars. The first 100 kms in the car was fantastic, between the exhaust note (not annoying but can be heard even though I never got over 3k RPM), great road manners and the seats are uber-comfortable for anyone like us who are used to Japanese seats (and not over 6ft tall). 100 kms of German drivers on German roads makes you wonder why the correct driving etiquette (pass on left, slow on right) hasn't caught on in North America, everything is just more efficient here! The weather was poor after we left the Welt, it rained quite heavy and then we ran into flurries. The car has officially seen snow which I planned on hiding it from in Canada

Stopped for the night just outside Austria, will cross the border in the morning on a journey taking us through the Italian alps.

Picture 1 - Sitting waiting for its owner.
Picture 2 - Do you like the billboard?
Picture 3 - 1 Addicts
Picture 4 and 5 - Had a chance to take some pics beside the pace car.
Picture 6 - Maiden Fuel Stop - 50 Euros bought 30 liters of gas.


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      04-12-2011, 06:24 AM   #2
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Day 2

We left our hotel in Mittenwald Germany, with snow still falling from the sky, it would melt on the ground but with the freezing temperatures we trekked on very carefully. Our planned route had us going to the Stelvio pass in the Italian Alps and then through Monza and Milan and down for a dinner meeting in Piacenza, Italy.

The day started well, we got our required highway toll vignette and were off into Austria. Along the way we ran into a young man driving a new white 3 series in a round about. He pulled in behind us and started taking photos as we were driving so I pulled into a parking lot and had a quick little car show and conversation before parting ways, nice meeting you Alexi. Our route was scenic and after passing through into Italy we made our way to Stelvio. Or at least tried!

We stopped and set up some cameras on the car before heading up Stelvio. It wasnít long before we ran into a sign that said the pass was open the pedestrians and bikes, but we thought that could have been a mistake and trekked on. The road was pretty dirty with pine needles and other debris and small rocks scattered on the road and as we made a few hairpins there were a few snow covered patches. Michelin PS2ís are not friends with snow so we were uber careful. Well by the time we cleared turn 43 we found a gate closed and a tractor blocking the pass. Totally disappointed we took a few pictures and sat and thought how we could make it better. Although it would be a long detour we decided to go up through the Swiss Alps and drive on those roads. This proved to be a fantastic idea. We got inspected by the Italian and Swiss patrol when leaving Italy, they were courteous, and even helped with a good route. Having watched the videos of Stelvio and driving the bottom set of switchbacks, the Swiss roads vary in that they are more flowing and technical. Stelvio is spectacular but becomes a large series of switchbacks. The Swiss side had an array of corners and they were all different, the drive will be unforgettable. Wish I had time to go back and set up the cameras as we werenít expecting it to be as good as it was. We stopped for lunch at a local dinner, picked up some Swiss Chocolate and were on our way to Italy (again). There were endless turns, rock overhangs, and fun to be had while still being mindful of the local traffic laws. On the decent back into Italy we came across a road that was filled with switchbacks, cleanly paved with tight banked corners rather than 180deg switchbacks you could actually carry some speed and flow through the descending switchbacks like a leaf falling through the sky. By the time we came through the Italian customs, we were grinning ear to ear. Up until this point the car only continues to impress me, the chassis stiffness, the handling, the great suspension that is stiff but very comfortable all with something that is easy to drive in traffic.

The rest of the days drive had us stuck in Monza and Milan traffic, although bad not even comparable to the traffic in Toronto. You will hear me say it over and over that Europeans can drive and I feel much more comfortable with the drivers around me here then at home. After dinner we tossed up the idea of driving toward Genova so we could get an earlier start to our plans for today. On our way into Genova the highway is quite fast and the last 10 kms into the city and major airport are ridiculously fun.We were pretty much alone when a VW GTi came blazing along, we let him pass and saw that he was content using both lanes of the road (no oncoming lanes) taking proper racing lines through the corners. Between the dark backdrop and the directional turn arrows being lit up by the 1Mís projectors it seemed like a scene right out of a video game. This went on for probably 10 minutes and left me thinking that the saying is very correct ďwhen in Rome do as the RomansĒ ;-)

What we were not prepared for as the fact that the hotels were either full or closed for new customers by the time we had got there. You are probably wondering why we didnít book something first, this whole trip for us is about deciding things on the fly, we are not going to limit ourselves if plans have to change. We ended up traveling another 45min to nearby Savona to find a place at 3am.

The day was long we put another 750 kms on the car, fed it gas twice and are averaging about 11 liters per 100 kms. The drive was better then we could have expected and both I and my co-driver are happier with the car. Iím more comfortable with the car, the steering is precise, we were still keeping the throttle in check so as the day progressed we worked higher into the RPM range as well as more throttle input. Iíll post up the note from the supplementary manual soon.
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      04-12-2011, 06:25 AM   #3
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Day 3

Left Savona and headed through Italy into France where we drove sections of the cote d’azur. Awesome roads reminiscent of WRC stages with rock faces on one side, cliffs and water on the other and some very smooth asphalt tying it all together. This car is a blast on these roads and the occasional tunnel reminds you of the symphony of sound you are providing everyone else on your drive. The muffler has been heat cycled enough by this point that the exhaust note is now very throaty and it has lost some of the high pitch notes that were present for the first 2 days of driving. We stopped in Nice for some on foot site seeing; good luck finding parking along the coast line, especially if you want to keep the car scrape free. Beautiful city and marina area with a magnificent view of the ocean.

Next we backtracked east a little to see the infamous Monaco and it’s grand prix circuit. How can you describe Monaco? Simply overwhelming, especially with race preparations underway. We eventually found our way to some recognizable corners from all those years of watching F1. Within the bumper to bumper traffic flow we drove the circuit backwards from the sharp jogs near the marina up through the long tunnel section and into the hairpin where all the rumble strips are in place all year round. We were stopped at the top by Monaco’s finest for a routing inspection in the middle of a traffic jam, most likely due to the flashy car and foreign export plates. Like everyone else we encountered so far they were more than courteous and just took down our information and had the details checked with their headquarters before letting us go. In that time we managed to get circled no less than 3 times by a white Ford Focus RS, each time the driver would stop and hold up traffic while asking us about the car. He has one on order as well and judging by the Monaco plates he probably has a garage collection we’d all like to see. We drove further up the circuit only to arrive and the center of Monaco where all the affluent people park their expensive cars and checking into hotels we could not afford. Skyline GTR, Ferrari Testarosa, Murcielago, Gallardo, Bentleys, SLR McLaren Mercedez and about 30 other cars all within arms reach. Needless to say our jaws dropped at the sight, however we were taken aback when the car paparazzi changed their focus to our car as we navigated the tight parking zone. A few even chased after the car to get a few more shots in. We laughed at the situation and continued to drive the course in the correct direction. By the time we reached the entrance to the tunnel section 10 or so photographers sprung into action and jumped onto the road to slow us down for some pictures. We then turned our attention to getting over to Marseilles for our scheduled first service.

EDITED: Member animah caught MNavigator's 1M coupe in Monaco, on video:

Quote:
Originally Posted by animah View Post
Haha true! I got the proof!


Your appearance start at 2m13s! There was a lot of billionaire cars but you quickly attracted the attention of the man with the camera which quickly change his interest on your car! the lambo didn't have any chance, maybe if it turn green with envy

And BTW thx you for the revving! This noise give me goose pimple haha
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      04-12-2011, 06:26 AM   #4
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Day 4

Drove quite literally 20seconds from the hotel to the bmw dealer. We were greated by the majority of the staff as they all wanted to see the car. Luckily one mechanic; Michelle spoke English amongst the 6 other languages he can speak, no other staff could speak any English so we lucked out finding him. We discussed what we were there for and he instantly said that there are no parts. What do you mean no parts? We asked. Apparently no dealer in France stocks M series parts (ie: oil filters / maintenance parts) for the cars, and the parts are ordered in as required for services when booked. Make note of this if you plan on doing a similar trip. We pointed to the large monitor behind him where our name was clearly displayed for the 9am service, and said we had booked this a weeks ago with explicit instructions that we are bringing in a 1M. Long story short there was nothing we could do there as an oil change without changing the filter may cause issues in regards to warranty down the road. He and the other staff were ever helpful in contacting a few other dealers and eventually we settled on another French M specialist dealer that we will need to visit Monday morning before heading to SPA. Not the greatest way to have your plans ruined but the staff was more than helpful in getting our new plans underway. We thanked Michelle by letting him take the car for a quick drive, and Iím sure he has made the rest of the service crew jealous in the process. We had a quick photo session with everyone before heading on our way.

We skipped our originally planned stop in Dijon and headed straight for Paris. Found a hotel with secure underground parking and good internet :-)

We are going to be here till our appointment till Monday.

Finally some negatives about the car came out today. After the long drive the car how has the "cow bell" sound coming from the right rear wheel. We also discovered an error in the speedometer. It looks like the speedometer is off as both our GPS and our Performance Box (10 Hz) read the same while the day and car display read less. We are going to look into it more for slower speeds. Very rarely we were under 140 km/h.
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      04-12-2011, 06:27 AM   #5
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Day 5 - Day 6

Did less then 2 kms with the car. Fuel and its first wash ready to go early on Monday. Then we spent the day being tourists in Paris.

Oh found the first stone chips. 2 small ones on the drivers A Pillar
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      04-12-2011, 06:27 AM   #6
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Day 6

Took the opportunity to take some pictures in Paris and do more site seeing. The cars colour is amazing, you can see in the pictures how light really changes the vividness of the orange. There is not a single situation where I think the car looks bad. My original choice was white and then I change it to the orange after seeing it in person at the Detroit auto show. You have to see it in person to appreciate it fully.

Tonight we are in Seclin, France waiting for our morning appointment at the BMW dealership and then off to SPA.
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      04-12-2011, 06:28 AM   #7
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Day 7 - SPA Track Day - Monday April 18

Details later about SPA but the car was awesome. Here are some pics, details on the cars handling as soon as we have time.

No we didn’t crash ~we were going too “safe” at the track.



SPA is the most amazing track we have ever been too. We found our way in and up to the paddock area where we were greeted by the organizers, signed in and given our track briefing. Our objective for SPA was to learn the track, learn what the car can do and above all have some fun. Neither of us had ever driven the track, not even in video game form. Originally we had planned to learn the track via video game before the trip but life (aka work) has a way of getting in the way.



So the night before we watched some videos and went from there. My review of the track and the car will be referenced from what I know and have driven. Our home track is just outside Toronto; Mosport International Raceway (2.459 mile, 10 turns), those of you who watch ALMS know it’s the fastest average speed track in the series with top qualifying lap of over 138 miles per hour (average). That being said we are used to a track with high speed corners and lots of elevation change and SPA did not disappoint. I went for a 2 lap ride with an instructor that was lapping there for a quick guide on the racing line and then we were off. Having only the afternoon to play because of our unplanned morning service we made quick work of mounting our GoPro cameras and getting on the track. We never hit the limits of the car or ourselves but pushed enough to know that the car has sooo much more in it... too many more payments to try that type of driving ;-)



Ok, more about the car. My other track ride is a highly “massaged” Subaru STi; coil overs and all the necessary suspension mods, uber sticky tires, an oiling system that will cope with our home tracks high G corners, a quick steering rack and an awesome alignment and car setup from our local expert. Power wise a 2 Liter motor with larger turbo and fueling safely makes a very useable 300 whp and 300 ft*lbs of torque, with a peak power band stretching from 4000-8200rpm. Also weighing in around 3300 lbs I am willing to bet the 1M will be faster on the track while remaining a much better street car, since the STi spring rates and camber don't cope well off the track (she's a handful when the road is rutted or wet).



Going into SPA I was hoping that the 1M would be as fun to drive as my track car... and it met every expectation that I had! The torque and power delivery is linear, learning to aggressively get to the throttle without inducing too much wheel spin took some getting used to. The car pulls through each gear with ease; the M button when pressed was like waking up a sleeping tiger, it just begged to attack the road ahead. There is power everywhere, no need to run the motor out as it pulls from idle right through to redline. I have never driven a tuned 135 but my guess is that is close.



What's power without stopping power? The cars brakes are simply fantastic; M3 brakes on a much lighter car and great tires has the car stopping from high speeds quickly and without much incident. It's as surefooted as a 6 legged mountain goat when braking and the bias feels spot on.



In the steering department it took some getting used to the thick beefy steering wheel but it seems right once you've been behind the wheel for a length of time. The weighting of the wheel at first felt overly stiff compared to my previous cars but this proves to add the the cars driveability on and off the track. Highway driving would surely be twitchy if the steering was not weighted as heavily as it is due to the quick turn rack. On track the steering is precise and refined but still manages to provide the necessary feedback to feel what the front wheels are doing.



Handling being the final feature that continued to impress over and over, not only does the car feel comfortable on the European highways and city streets, its stiffness and appropriate shock valving made the car so much fun to drive. Could it use a set of Ohlins for the track, sure, but the reality for me was I wanted a street car that would drive and do well at the track. The 1M delivers!



My only complaint was the sensation of speed is somewhat devoid in the car. It's quiet, comfortable and it doesn't make you feel like it is even breaking a sweat... remember that we're used to stripped, caged and loud track cars... matching that performance and feeling like you are on your living room couch is quite the odd feeling. No where else did the 1M disappoint at the track. I am beginning to understand why BMW's are called “driving machines” by their owners; the car continues to impress over and over.

More videos soon, have to reduce the 3 gig files


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      04-12-2011, 06:29 AM   #8
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Day 8 - Nurburgring

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      04-12-2011, 06:30 AM   #9
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Day 9
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      04-12-2011, 06:30 AM   #10
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Pictures while car was on the hoist
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      04-12-2011, 06:34 AM   #11
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Oh boy, I can't wait. Everyone who is getting their cars delivered in the next month should do this!!!
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      04-12-2011, 06:49 AM   #12
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Congrats! Very much looking forward to your updates! Enjoy and have fun.
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      04-12-2011, 06:50 AM   #13
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      04-12-2011, 07:23 AM   #14
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MNavigator, if you're able to, could you take some video from inside the car, that has audio of the engine through various shifts? This hasn't been done to date by anyone and would be very interesting. I suppose this would be difficult to do without a passenger. Thanks!
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      04-12-2011, 07:29 AM   #15
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      04-12-2011, 08:04 AM   #16
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So f'ing jealous!! Congratulations!!!
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      04-12-2011, 08:08 AM   #17
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Congratulations man!
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      04-12-2011, 08:08 AM   #18
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Yeah!
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      04-12-2011, 08:11 AM   #19
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It's a celebration. My other hometown! Represent the t dot at the n ring!
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      04-12-2011, 08:41 AM   #20
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Congrats...can't wait to see pictures in my fav color of the 3!
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      04-12-2011, 09:54 AM   #21
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Nice. Hearing everyones' Euro Delivery stories never gets old.
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      04-12-2011, 09:57 AM   #22
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Congrats! Grabbing popcorn and awaiting show! VO FTW!!!
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