Martin Spain updates us on life with his M3, and how it's failing to stir his soul.
Once again, it's been a couple of months since I last posted about life with the M3. The Beemer's done uncomplaining duty as a runaround while my wife was away with the family hack, it's taken vast quantities of junk to the local recycling centre courtesy of a capacious boot, it's impressed my Dad after a bout of full-bore acceleration en route to the local supermarket and it's been out on more than a few early morning drives just for the hell of it. In short, it's behaved flawlessly.
And yet, despite all of its virtues, I've found myself having a moment or two of doubt about whether I want to keep the M3 for another six months. There's a couple of reasons to this, and the first is relatively simple: I don't want to lose a vast chunk of cash on the car when the time comes to sell it, which means I can't add too many miles or modifications to the car while it's in my care. The second part is much more difficult to explain.
This might sound stupid, but much like my old MX-5, I think I'm missing a connection with the car. It does everything brilliantly, except give me that tingle of anticipation when I set out for a drive. Maybe familiarity breeds contempt, but I can't help feeling that it's not quite giving me what I want out of a weekend toy. It's almost too capable, and that can make for a dispassionate drive.
Now, before I descend into Clarkson territory and start wittering on about soul and passion, I'm certain that there's a proper ball-squeezing, pucker-inducing car underneath the executive veneer, but I just don't think I'm handy enough behind the wheel to extract it. I feel like I need the driving skills of the hoariest of opposite-locking car journos to get the best out of the car. At the moment, it only feels really special when I'm flat out, foot buried with the engine screaming bloody murder at 8000rpm, and UK roads are just too poorly-maintained and well-policed for that kind of abuse to be a regular occurrence, not to mention the fact that my driving skills are more on a par with Captain Slow than the Stig.
If the M3 was my only car, that I commuted to work in during the week, did the weekly shop in and then drove for fun at the weekends, then it makes all the sense in the world. It'll do everything with aplomb. But, since I only drive it at weekends for a quick blast or the odd roadtrip, I can't help feeling like it's got twice as many seats, far too many toys and weighs too much.
I appreciate that this is a very nice problem to have, and that I should probably just shut up and enjoy one of the finest naturally-aspirated motors the world has ever seen, but I can't help thinking that the grass is greener elsewhere...