2009 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test

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2009 BMW M3: Cold Blooded -- Like a Muscle Car Should Be?

July 13, 2009

M3 Gauges.jpg

When you first fire up our long-term 2009 BMW M3 you get serenaded by all the standard warning lights and bells found in modern cars. Honestly, sometimes I suspect collusion between the automakers and the light bulb/electronic chime industries.

Beyond its expected light show this M3 sedan provides additional sound and fury of a nature rarely seen in a 21st Century automobile. The 414 horsepower V8 actually shakes and rumbles like a classic muscle car powerplant on a cold winter morning. The drama fades quickly as oil flow increases and (I assume) components like the fuel injection pulse and hydraulic lifters settle into a comfortable pace. But those first 30 seconds or so hardly feel like a modern luxury-badged sedan costing over 60 grand.

The real question is: Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

I'll admit the cacophony of sound caught me off guard the first couple times I started the car after it sat all night. "What is all that racket?!" I found myself asking. But then I remembered how much power the car makes and how few cars exhibit any sense of mechanical soul these days.

Thus I've come to grips with a 2009 BMW that feels and sounds a lot like my 1970 Dodge Challenger for the first 30 seconds every morning. Assuming you value soul over silence, even in your 21st Century ride, you should be fine with the M3's cold-blooded nature.

Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief @ 5805 miles

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