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Coupe or Convertible, also, Performance School

Discussion in 'E90/E92/E93 M3 (2008-2013)' started by kwang68@aol.com, Mar 7, 2011.

    kwang68@aol.com guest

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    1) I'm planning on getting an M3 in the coming months and I need to know what some people think between the M3 Coupe or Convertible. I'm moving to Florida for schooling and the chance to use the hard-top seems too hard to miss. However, that unpainted carbon fiber top on the coupe is super attractive. So how do they stack up, is the body compromised in the Convertible, will they allow convertibles onto track days and autocross events? (I'm a bit of a newbie but I'd really like to get started 'pushing my limits') And is the carbon fiber roof not that pretty in comparison? or the feeling of wind in your face in sunny climates too good to ignore? fyi I live in Chicago now with a 335i convertible and while it's amazing to use in the summer months, the winter is a whole new deal, so what say the community?

    2) I plan to surprise my brother with a trip to the teen driving school at the bmw performance center, is there an issue of roundel commenting on this, or any other driving school offered by bmw? or even general thoughts on whether the program is any good/ worth the trip.
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    Most, if not all, BMWCCA chapter driving schools will not allow convertibles. So, if you want the option of maximum availability of events, you might want to go for the hardtop instead of a convertible.

    I think typically, measured unibody stiffness in convertibles is something less than the hardtop versions.

    I can't imagine the factory program not being anything but what it's reputed to be, but why ignore the BMWCCA Foundation's Tire Rack Street Survival teen driving programs, particularly the ones using the Tire Rack's own and very cool facilities just a hop, skip, and jump away from Chicago in South Bend? (April 16th, May 21, and Aug. 13th, this year).

    You say you're a bit of a newbie, and it sounds as if you may generally be college-aged, or mid-20's? For your own well being and survival, may I suggest you hie thee hence asap to one of the club's driving schools &/or safety schools (perhaps even do the teen driver school with your brother, if you both happen to be teens) in order to begin to get a handle on the skillset you'll need to safely and skillfully pilot a 400hp sports sedan capable of quickly zipping to 155mph or more. You may have had it up to your eyeballs with parental-sounding suggestions, but I can guarantee you nobody here wants to see anyone at risk due to being in a vehicle with capabilities that far exceeds those of the driver.

    Indeed, the purpose of the 'CCA Foundation's safety driving programs is to at least move one's skillset towards parity in both knowledge and experience with what their car can actually do.

    Can't point you to specific Roundel articles, although I think there's probably been multiple reports about both factory and 'CCA driving schools and programs. I think most would suggest 'CCA chapter events are high in the 'bang-for-the-buck' factor, and the factory programs are premium priced, but deliver and meet or surpass expectations in all regards, making the price worth it if one is willing to pay it.

    Welcome to the forums! :)

    kwang68@aol.com guest

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    First of all, thank you for such a thorough answer! I plan to take my brother to SC as a road trip to accumulate the required 50 hours for his license, and the teen program sounded like icing on the cake, and you're correct, I'm 21 and I've driven my 335i for 3 years now, rain, snow, shine, snow, snow, and more snow. Now, your advice isn't too parental sounding at all (or maybe it is, but I don't mind), in fact, I planned to take myself to a local club driving/safety school in a month or so, because what I want to do is get more into auto-sports for fun and leisure while being safe, and of course, that'd build up to buying a fun m3 to use both on the track or on my commute. Anyways, it's good to have a confirmation on my instincts on driving schools because of course, I am 21 and invincible (or at least my subconscious tells me).
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    Marshall is one of our best.
    I didn't start doing this stuff until I was about 35. At that point, I discovered I knew almost nothing. Now, over two decades later, I might well turn up as one of your instructors if you should venture up to Road America for a Badger Bimmers driving school.
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    walt_phillips guest

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    Performance Center Schools

    A friend had his daughter attend the teen school while they were there to pick up his new M3. She had a great time and learned a lot. I was there, myself, two weeks later to go to the 2 day M School. That school was incredible! Excellent instruction, lots of time in the cars and a great facility to drive them at.

    I would highly recommend the teen program for your brother. The other poster is also right in recommending a local Street Survival program. Quite a few BMW Club chapters offer this course and it is a fantastic bargain for the experience. I know this firsthand as both an instructor in the Houston Chapter and a dad whose son has been through the school.

    Robotrenegade guest

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    I understand you question. I made the same hard choice. I now live in SC, so I went with the vert. I can tell you I absolutely love it. I love the sound next to my ears on mountain drives. You get the best of both worlds with the vert. With that said if you're a track guy, then the Coupe is the way to go. The vert adds 400pounds, do to the top. If secs off your time is a big deal, this isn't the car for you. I track my car and love it. My M3 is also my daily driver so I enjoy the top down more.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Top up or top down?

    I bought the roadster knowing that many of my fellow members consider it the Tool Of Satan, the death car that will give you cancer if it ever so much as sniffs a race track. (Yes, yes, those are Boxster convertibles at the Laguna Seca school---now sit down and shut up. That's different.)

    So I knew when it came to track schools, I would have to take something else.

    But that has not diminished my enjoyment of the top-down nature of the roadster one whit. I. Love. Driving. This. Car. And I would not sacrifice that everyday adventure for a chance to run it flat out for a few twenty-minute sessions on a few weekends a year.

    Besides, Party B let me take her 335i to instruct at Fontana last Friday. Damn thing's faster than my roadster! :eek: But I would love to have felt the roadster on the banking at a buck-twenty-five. . .

    Syrupflow guest

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    I'm with you. Drop top if at all possible.

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