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TugBoat said:
New GT3: 7 min. 54 sec.
Old GT3: 8 min. 03 sec.
GT2: 7 min. 46 sec.
996 Turbo: 7 min. 56 sec.
C/D CTS-V: 8 min. 19 sec.
Now, I have no doubt that the CTS-V is a very quick car, and John Heinricy a very quick driver, but that 8m19s number is just a tick suspicious since the most commonly published 'Ring time for the E39 M5 is 8m20s...

Still, it's good company to be in.

The fastest 'street-legal' car time yet posted is a 7:19, by a Radical SR3 Turbo (http://www.radicalsportscars.com)

I'll just put here what I've put elsewhere:

The official Nurburgring site (includes both the Nordschleife and the Grand Prix track): http://www.nuerburgring.de

Some sample lap times: http://www.nordschleife.no

Sabine Schmitz, BMW Ring-Taxi driver, entertaining the passengers: http://www.bmwm5.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25041

A Brit-based group of 'Ring junkies: http://www.nurburgring.org.uk

There's a pile of other stuff out there.
 

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TugBoat said:
The http://www.nordschleife.no site has some great info. I agree, the "V"s numbers are still WIDE open to debate/speculation, I guess we'll have to wait a couple more months until we get the magazine figures.
Make sure to download the Ring-Taxi video. It makes very clear why the Germans have always had a leg up on everyone else when it comes to building real-world suspensions. Thirteen miles of track and not more than a couple hundred yards of straight, flat, level pavement anywhere (except for the front straight, which is so long that they don't dare let the public run it full-length or you'd have BMWs and Porsches stuffed at 180mph all the time...)

It's utterly addictive, I've only run five laps and occasionally think about which relatives I might sell to get back over there.
 

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GNSCOTT said:
a 109 trap in ANY car is a high 12 low 13, and why the hell would anyone spend $75k and buy an M5 when its microns above the M3? I'll guarantee there will be some mid 12's @111 buy competent drivers on a well prepped track bone stock.
FWIW, GM's number on the CTS-V is 13.1 @ 107, straight off their website. A very good number.

But if dragstrip performance defined a car, there's a lot cheaper ways to run 12s. Or 11s, or...one might as well go buy a Mustang Cobra, swap out the IRS for a stick axle, and throw the AC and other heavy stuff in the garbage.

The blower V8 and turbo V12 Benzes (any one of which will run low-12s dead stock, the turbo V12s will run high-11s with a chip), M5s, M3s, blower Jags, CTS-Vs, even Z06s - they're all expensive and compromised as quarter-milers.

The M5 is a bigger car than an M3, and if it's not quite the track car the M3 is, there's damn few cars that are as all-around useful or as relaxing and comfortable at seriously high speeds in road use.

The CTS-V is not going to be the quickest straight-liner in its class. The E55's got that one locked up for now. But it may have the best all-around balance, particularly when price tag is factored in.
 

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rueben44 said:
I think the point of all of this should be brand loyalist facing the truth.
Huh? Facing what truth? That GM may have finally come up with a road vehicle competitive with what BMW's been doing for twenty-five years? Hey, competition is a good thing. The more the better. If GM's finally serious about this, great, especially since BMW's decided to start answering questions I never asked with things like iDrive and Active Steering. I'd love to see some of the Japanese makes get into this mix as well, a 400+HP version of the next Lexus GS and a decently modern replacement for the Infiniti M45 would be good for everyone. Ford and GM have absolute world-beaters in Australia that are pretty much in the M5/CTS-V class, but they won't sell them here.

No one's ever suggested GM is lying. GM's official numbers are 4.6 0-60 and [email protected], go to the Cadillac website, click on V-Series, then click on the Engine link in the Features list. Perfectly decent numbers. A tenth or two one way or the other matters not a bit - differences in road surface, ambient air temperature, fuel quality, tire pressure, or the driver's footwork can make more difference than that.

What class a car RACES in, should someone decide to go racing, depends on (a) what car you have to race (b) what sanctioning body and class offers the best market visibility (c) whether you can make your vehicle competitive within the size/weight/engine constraints that class' rules allow.

In BMW's case they have a number of different vehicles to choose from, and because they've positioned the M3 as the hard-core sportster they race it, and not the heavier, bulkier, M5 (on track smaller and lighter is better) which is now out of production anyway. In GM's case, if they want to showcase Cadillac the only option they've got is a CTS.

As a road car, the CTS-V sells at near-M3 pricing, but it's identical to the M5, Jag S-Type R, E55, RS6, etc. in size and similar to those vehicles in overall capabilities. Each of those vehicles has its own niche, its own specialty.

The only potential M3 buyers that the CTS-V will snag are those who want the four-door model BMW won't build anymore (there was a four-door M3 back in the E36 days, but the '99 was the last one) and even the press (who usually makes their comparisons on price) hasn't been pushing the M3-competitor line.

The CTS-V's most direct new competitor is probably the Audi S4, which is a little smaller, a little slower, about the same price, and offers a manual transmission. The closest-priced new competitor of similar size is the Jag S-Type R, which doesn't offer a manual and isn't quite the hard-core road-burner the CTS-V or M5 is. The CTS-V's most direct competitor, IMO - for now at least - is a used M5.
 

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ctsvinman said:
is there a 4door M3 coming for 2005?
Not likely. BMW North America had a lot of say in the E36 M3 ('95-99) - it was a 'cheap' M3 without the good (expensive hand-built) engine (US car was 240HP vs 321HP in the rest of the world - a few of the 'real' M3 were reputedly sold in Canada early in the '95 model year), the 4-door was done primarily for the US market though it was sold elsewhere and did very well. There was also an automatic version of the US car, and it worked well but it's largely scorned by the M3 community.

For the E46 M3 the feature set was much more tightly controlled by BMW AG, no 'cheap' model, no automatic, and no 4-door.
 

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Playdrv4me said:
Ive tried to stay out of this stupid cliche anti-american / anti-german bickering because I am one of the BMW owners/ENTHUSIASTS who does NOT believe BMW and Mercedes rule the earth without fault
Likewise.

We own a couple Bimmers because, for the past 30 years, when you went out into the US car market and looked around for a decently fast and fun (around corners, not just straight-line), practical (four usable seats and sufficient doors to get to them), comfortable rear-wheel drive car there was flat nothing from Detroit and very little from Japan, and if you want a manual transmission you're left with BMW and only a few others. It also helps that they are decently well built (though certainly far from perfect) and have an enormously active user community.

BMW needs competition to keep them honest. We've been very happy with our Bimmers, but that doesn't mean we wouldn't consider something else. I'd be inclined to favor a US-manufactured vehicle, and in a perfect world even one with a US nameplate on it, but first and foremost it has to be a good product with good support and a competitive pricetag.

If GM can do that, so much the better.
 

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darrelld said:
Yes I have seen those statistics, however what you gain in resale can quickly evaporate if you have any repairs. My friends M3 was recently in an accident and one wheel will cost $2000 to replace. The front fender had to return to Germany for painting. The insurance deductibles and out of pocket expenses add up quickly.

This makes the question of repeat buyer ship even more interesting. Knowing the value retention is so high is not enough to get the BMW owner to buy another. Obviously something else in ownership experience was not as pleasant.

Chevrolet and Cadillac despite the lower resale have a higher repeat buyer rate.
Somehow that doesn't all square. Sounds like someone's body shop is jacking their insurer. I know BMW parts pricing - it's often quite reasonable, e.g. $200 for a 540i radiator from the dealer, $300 for a new bumper cap. Okay, some things are a little high, I paid $190 for a Euro-market aspheric side mirror glass for my M5 but that's something of a specialty item here.

$2000 for an M3 wheel sounds 50% too high - M5 wheels are $800 new IIRC. Returning a fender to Germany for painting? I know of M3s that have been virtually rebuilt with nothing like that involved. I suppose if they managed to get the car put through the BMW Individual program for some oddball paint color that can't be replicated here, but that would be very, very unusual.

As for repeat-buyer statistics - I suspect it has a lot to do with how the data is collected and how the question is defined, and without knowing that any interpretation is suspicious. For instance, Buick's appearance at the top of the 'quality' numbers looks to me like complete satisfaction of very low expectations. A perfectly cylindrical, evenly colored bowel movement is still a bowel movement.
 

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darrelld said:
The data is collected and reported by JDPower, have you heard of them?
As far as repeat buyer data interpretation I don't know what you could mean.

If I own a BMW and don't buy another one then you would count that as not a repeat buy. If I own a Cadillac and I buy another this is considered a repeat buy. Are you starting to understand the process?
Yes, but who/where is the data collected?

Is it as reported by dealers, or by the purchaser/lessor?

Is it based on vehicles traded in to dealers?

What about someone who sells their vehicle privately?

What if the old vehicle is kept (not traded, not sold)?

Is it based only on the last vehicle purchased/traded, or on any other vehicles within the household?

Perhaps these details are out there somewhere, but they do matter.
 

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darrelld said:
Another factor to consider is long term TCO. If I decide to keep my CTSV for a period of 10 years with really hard miles, my cost of replacing the Z06 Chevy engine or the 6 speed Tremec transmission is relatively cheap compared to your M3.
Actually, BMW has been slashing parts prices, a factory S54 (current M3 engine) longblock is now (supposedly - this is second-hand info not personally verified) somewhere around $3500. Makes things sweet for the folks doing S54-into-E36M3 swaps.

My experience and observation has been that in trying to keep a Detroit product ten years, it will be the trim and paint that needs replacement first, not necessarily the mechanicals. Not to say that the CTS or CTS-V will necessarily go this way, but it's been the case with the '80s and '90s GM and Ford iron I've dealt with.

Furthermore, at least with Brand F, parts specific to low-volume models start going NLA after five years or so. Lots of Mustang SVO pieces were gone by the end of the '80s, and for many if not most Taurus SHO spares (trans cases, gears, synchros, head gaskets, oil pumps, oil pump gaskets, etc etc etc) the few left on dealer shelves now is the end of the line.
 

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darrelld said:
A number of E46 M3 owners experienced engine failure and had difficulty getting BMW to honor the warranty. This was one of the major factors that kept me away from BMW.
<snip>
I don't care for front drive cars but if I were going foreign it would be Lexus. At least with Lexus I get a quality product with good customer service. The Lexus GS looks promising.
I know there were a fair number of early E46 M3 engine problems, for one thing BMW had a bad batch of cranks and they were changing engines in early production cars even before they went to customers. Inline-sixes have quite a long crankshaft, and the higher-output BMW sixes run quite close to the limit in terms of crankshaft harmonics - there is basically NO room for aftermarket tuners to go bumping rev limits. This has been an issue on the early-90s E34 M5s as well.

There were wonderful concept drawings of the new Lexus GS but what was finally shown in the metal was remarkably bland - the pix I've seen look like an E60 BMW 5-series with all the good stuff taken out. But, yes, Toyota is about the only manufacturer from whom I'd ever buy a completely new model in its first year of production, and I'd apply that only to the Japanese-built models.
 
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