Updated: Dec 1, 2019
Metal on metal clicks as you slide a key into the door and the famous early-era BMW central locking thunk indicates entrance is now available (1) . Slide that same key into the ignition: One, two and on third crank a truly Motorsport derived inline-6 roars to life (2). The Bosch Motronic DME is in open loop as the fluids come to temperature (3). You'd have an option of adjusting the seats seven ways from Sunday, but that's not happening, only you pilot this one (4). A blip of the throttle sends enough voltage to clear the cluster of any warning lights and a stab of the brake pedal is like a nod of approval to the OBC as it confirms all lights are functioning (5). The revs dip into acceptable range and it's now in closed loop with the coolant temperature needle starting to swing right and into operating range (6). Buckle up it's time for take off! (7)
First gear goes as quick, but you catch a glimpse of the mechanical tachometer sweeping to the 7,000 RPM redline. (7) Second gear is more manageable and the time for gear change comes by auditory ques as you anticipate... (8) Third gear. Oh how you adore third gear as it balances showcasing its linear power-band along with provide you a seat of the pants feeling of NA ///M power. (9) Bury me in the third gear S38 experience. Forth gear is like turning your favorite tune to "11/10" as you soak in the induction note that can never truly be synthesized. (10) Sorry F8x fans. The exhaust note is your gift to any motorists that were right behind you on the entrance ramp. Throw it into fifth and set cruise. (11) It's time to fly under the radar. Forget that normal exit ramp just ahead. You thought of this experience and prepared by allowing time to take the back roads... (12)
A smile you didn't think could get larger suddenly grows as you start to see yellow suggested speed limit signs for common commuter vehicles looking to arrive to their destination with knuckle color unchanged. You're not a common commuter though. You're an Enthusiast and you're piloting a Bavarian born super saloon. The grip around the wheel becomes more focused. (13) Throttle blip and quick downshift from forth to third is accompanied by a natural exhaust burble. (14) You know this road. Better than anyone. First turn is sweeper you keep the throttle steady as you're pulled into sport seat bolster while the vehicle remains flat. (15-17) Keep you wits, second turn is a decreasing radius right hander. Heel-toe second gear. (18) Perfect. Hard on throttle as you exit! (19) The rear wags a bit as the tires fight for traction. Who's side are you on? Tires can be replaced, the experience can not. Sorry Michelins, when in doubt throttle out... (20) Stay together though, we have a couple more miles of this ahead of us...
You're not smiling anymore. You don't know what to feel. An emotional spectrum from excitement to deep-rooted respect washes over you. Slow shift into fifth. Office is ahead. You chuckle at the thought of needing a Coffee. Take a minute once parked. A silent exchange of mutual respect is felt as you twist the key to the off position. You realize you haven't looked at your phone since setting off. Wife: "Remember to pick up the kids" -- The smile comes back as you look back to the rear seat that's accompanied with their own doors. "No problem"