Don't want to make a decision I later regret???

I am currently thinking ‘what next’ after a year with my 2001 BMW M-Coupe (no not an M3, the Z3 based one that looks like a cross between a hearse and the batmobile). It was my compromise choice at the time, a car that would make a comortable daily driver as well as fiercely fast when I am in the mood. It was the right move, as you just cannot argue with the flexbility of that 3.2 straight6. But now I have come to the conclusion the Coupe is essentially a GT and what I really want is one car as a daily driver and another proper focussed car for weekends/trackdays.Now I already want an Exige. I know if I drive one I am going to have to have one. Please help and share your epxerience before I commit myself and book a testdrive. Here are my issues.- Will the girlfriend hate it,…Coupe is comfy and the aircon works!- I live in London,…car kept off-road but no garage.- Will I miss my amazing E46 M Powerplant too much by trading it for a super-tuned k-series?- Will I miss bullet-proof build quality and can I expect poor after-sales experiences? Thanks and BTW great BBS. The enthusiasm of current owners is very persuasive.

Good luck with your dilema!!For what it’s worth here is my six penny worth…My girlfriend and I were looking at M3 Evolutions - then we tried a few Elises Mk I and II. M3’s were great - loads of comfort, speed, acceleration etc… but really boring.The Elises we tried were great but there are alot of them about and they don’t stand out in a crowd. Then we found an Exige, it was love at first sight. Without it sounding silly (or rude!!) my girlfriend said the Elise was a great sports car for women but the Exige was a mans car.We have had our Exige since the beginning of April, since then it has covered some 13000 miles (sorry Rob). It still makes me smile every time I drive it. It is fine in traffic though on hot days it can get hot inside. The air con is not as good as the BMW a/c. My girlfriend still loves the car though she does get jealous that it gets too much of my time esp when I clean it. The engine is wonderful - the sound of it over 5500 rpm is addictive!! It handles great and gives so much feed back you will never get bored. Other drivers stare at it. School boys drop to their knees on the pavement (honest!!). If you are going fast in the outside lane people pull over to let you by - just to find out what it is. If you park at the local supermarket be prepared for people to be around the car when you get back to it. I even caught one strange character having his photograph taken by a mate along side my car.Leaving it outside in the rain is not a good idea - they can leak a bit.Women can struggle to get in the car with a skirt on - then the door becomes a modesty panel.The negative side of the car is more than made up with the positive side.There very few cars that get close to the Exige on ‘fun factor’. Tony

Hello Benja, I sold my M Coupe about 4 months ago, which I used as my daily driver. Great car though it was - and it was big fun with the excellent engine dominating the proceedings [image][/image] , I still looked forward to driving the Exige every weekend. It’s just more of a precision tool compared to the M. Like comparing a scalpel to a sledgehammer.I run an Evo 6 TME now as my daily driver which actaully has much stiffer suspension than the Exige. I’m starting to think that I should be running the Exige as my comfy car!Anyway, definitely go for an Exige and if the G/F doesn’t like it, trade her in for a new model. (Hope she doesn’t read this!) [image][/image]P.S. My car has never leaked but I may be in the minority.

quote:Originally posted by Benja:…can I expect poor after-sales experiences?Not that I’m trying to put you off a GREAT car (having spent Saturday being held-up by 500bhp machinery!) but in London…possibly.Those currently in the Midlands seem to do better.Ian [image][/image]

Benja,What can I possibly say that hasn’t been said already?So, I get straight to the conclusion: buy it! And enjoy the experience of driving a machine that is designed to be driven, really driven! You know it makes sense. As regards to the girlfriend, she will be disappointed by the lack of niceties, such as air conditioning (optional extra - but not reliable), electric windows, electric heated mirrors, sun-roof (roof is removable, but not without hassle); there’s not even a glove box. Another optional extra of course is the CD player. However, the engine often tries to sing along in variable deep throaty notes, drowning out the CD altogether. Don’t misunderstand me, the CD player is not rendered useless, you can always use it when you are washing the car. [image][/image] Finally, I hope your g/f is prepared to be introduced to every subtle bump on the road. She must realise that the car is not a mobile home, but a highly tuned racing machine that so happens to be usable on the road, and I love it! [image][/image]As you are in London, checkout Nick Whale Sportcars in Birmingham, getting there should be straight forward, about an hour and three-quarters ride (from Staples Corner) along M1; then M6. They’re bunch of good guys up there - they’ve always treated me well.Enjoy [image][/image]

Thanks guys for your input, it all helps - especially an ex-Mcoupe guy.I am going to visit my Father this w/e who lives within a 10min blat from Kings Lotus (in Leam Spa). I think they have a couple of Exiges on the forecourt so may go and have a look. May even have a drive (although that will really seal my fate!!). Kings actually owe me a grand for a TVR Tamora that I never took delivery of (a v long and painful story) so although I still have not forgiven them/TVR it might mean some additional bargaining power. Would also get around using London dealers (who were more interested in getting me into a 355!!!)Thankfully G/F will not read this! I have thought about trading her in for a new model if she does not see the light as far as Exige is concerned but probably not worth the pain! If she hates it that much she can stay at home I guess.Thanks again, will let you know how I get on.Ben

quote:Originally posted by Benja:If she hates it that much she can stay at home I guess.You could buy her a Fiesta (or several even!) with the money you’d save over the M3!Ian [image][/image]

BenjaJust so that you don’t have a wasted journey I can tell you that Kings have not got any Exiges at the moment.There is a chrome orange one in the showroom but it is sold.

Thanks for that Rob, I may give them a call and see if I can have a look anyway, otherwise (time permitting) may try and head over to Nick Whale…also heard there is a yellow one (hmmmm) in St Albans and I am over in that neck of the woods next week.Serious consideration of a Smart for a second/bird car. She has never driven the M (it bites) so will never ask to drive the Exige (well trained huh??)

How 'bout this one: spec:Raceline160, Janspeed Sports’zorst 160 throttlebody, Raceline Quick shifter C/R box, Lightend Flywheel MOMO wheel,quicksteer pinion rollcage,Carbon Raceseat 3"harness,Nitron suspension, Raceline ARB, Geary Discs braided hoses,Mintex1144 pads Speedline Magnisium alloys DunlopR’s for trackuse Uniball Toelink kit,Carbon MS Front Clam Rear wingMight be for sale or PX for the M3 coupe…

LRDriver, Thanks for the offer (that is a damn fine looking car) but for me it has really got to be hardtop and I soo love the look of the Exige so an Elise is not for me. Do like the low stance and the great dark finish alloys on the 160…nice.Not decided about the M yet, it is a coupe not an M3 - exactly one year old (so yes it has the new engine). Black/black 10k miles.

BenjaI know its not the same car but I traded my M3 for an exige. I had most of the same worries you mention.However, I also second what Tone says in his first reply to you - except the stuff about boring…Your M Coupe is like Star Ship Enterprise compared to the Millenium Falcon that the exige is. The M-Coupe is a fantastic drivers car but I can assure you that you will not be dissapointed by exige. It is a totally different animal to drive and doesn’t have any gizmos but it will put you in a fantastic mood everytime you take it out. What else can you say that about?? Who do you reckon has most fun? Captain Kirk or Han Solo?Go on drive one, you will love it, then you will buy it, you know it makes sense. [image][/image];DDon’t bother with Air CON tho’ And I’d buy a cover for it if it’s to live outside.[This message has been edited by RoxTeddy (edited 18 September 2002).]

RoxTeddySorry - perhaps “boring” was to strong a word. Should have said “not enough feedback from the car - for me anyway”.Lovely day and I’m off to deepest Dorset for ECU work.

Another ex Z3MCoupe owner!!Just returned from Spa in the exige - buy it!Air con’s hopeless and the wife never gets in it but its a small price to pay for the grin per mile.I’ve done 26,000 miles in 14months and it still cracks me up when you race motorbikes and don’t lose!! (the bikers love it really) get pagids and 190 and throw away the rear view mirroryours de-SpaingMikePS everyone needs to do Spa before they die - simply the best

MikeWhat was it like going flat out through eau rouge ??I envy you !!Rob

I am sensing a general consenus that people think I should ditch the M and get myself into an Exige (and by all accounts does not sounds like I am the first to consider this path). Not quite an ex-MCoupe owner yet,…my Darth Vader looking machine is still lurking on my drive (waiting for the nice cold/wet weather so that it can try and catch me out,…it can be a bit of a handful!).Heh I am convinced and I am yet to drive one,…although as I said before that will really seal my fate. Have also decided that Girly will come around to my way of thinking (although probably whine incessantly!!).One last thing…ground clearance. Has anyone had any issues with speed-humps/getting onto the drive with the low-clearance and deep front-splitter…?Thanks for everyones enthusiastic input,…I am now convinced that Hans has more fun than James T,…lol.Cheers Ben

quote:Originally posted by Benja:One last thing…ground clearance. Has anyone had any issues with speed-humps/getting onto the drive with the low-clearance and deep front-splitter…?BenNo problems with speed humps, but care is the order of the day when driving over them. Again, care is needed when going up/down a steep driveway, particularly in the area where the driveway joins the road etc.Once you’ve got the Exige, you must take it on track - highly recommend who cater for novices & experts alike [image][/image]

Yup I am used to care on speed-humps after I did not see one and ripped a whole in the sump on my Audi S3!..doh (5days before trading it for the M,…double doh!). Most concerned about getting it onto the drive, like you say where the road meets the drive,…ho hum where there is a will there’s a way.

You could always train your g/f… When you sound your horn she could run out of the house with two planks to make the transition from road to driveway [image][/image] [image][/image]

Took it flat on the last lap of the day - you turn up the hill as the car compresses (max grip) - missed the turn in, missed the apex and missed the exit, over the rumbles and onto the extra tarmac.Major heart attack and huge laughter from son number two (13 years old) who was in the co pilots chair.Also into Blanchemont flat on the last lap - run out of road and again onto the extra tarmac - thats why its there I guess!!!Definately need to learn to left foot brake, gotta get that front grip sorted - definate understeer in very high speed corners.Then went home - 1200 miles in two days awesome - also went round in the Porsche Cup car with Mark Cole (this years champ)totally mental speed and made me realise how much difference there is between mere mortals and the committed racing driver - took sixth on the circuit after eau rouge 170+ and 150+ through Blanchemontho humMike