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      07-27-2015, 06:37 PM   #1

Drives: 2015 AY M3
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: PA

iTrader: (2)

Oneribís Risky AY M3 ED Journey

     Featured on
Part 1

I just finished up my first (but not last) BMW European Delivery. I have to say the experience was top notch. I give credit to all those on the forum who have detailed their experiences and encouraged others to join the fun. If you have not done ED, this thread will only prod you closer to taking the plunge. I was also very happy with my CA and dealer. If anyone wants to know that info, send me a PM.

First the risky aspect:

For those who already know or have read the following thread (What’s going to happen to me?), you already know the back story. Basically I kept my color choice a secret from friends and family and AY happened to be a color my wife (and I initially) hated. Read that thread for more details.

The build:
F80 M3
CF trim
CF roof
Full black leather
19” Black alloy wheels
Exec package
Lighting package
Adaptive suspension
HK Sound
Rear sunshade
Top view camera
Parking assistant

This is a very long post so here are the big impressions I had on the trip.
• The F80 is the best car I’ve ever owned, and one of the best cars you can buy today.
• The M3 air conditioning was more than a match for mid 90’s and humid weather.
• Acceleration is brutal even when keeping the RPM’s in break in range.
• Suspension is stiff, but not penalizing
• Navigation system is excellent
• Love the cubby under the headlight switch
• Full leather should include the center console.
• Seats are very comfortable, even on long trips.
• Bigger fuel tank please.
• Exhaust switch is needed and one for active sound toggle.
No die cast M3 models at the Welt?!
• Debadging is the default in Europe, especially for luxury cars
• European AC is nothing like the US. Many times it’s barely cooler than outside.
• Germans and Austrians love ice cream/gelato/frozen yogurt.
• European yogurt tastes good, but is thin enough to drink.
• BMW does almost everything it can to make the delivery experience truly wonderful.
• Many more cyclists in Europe. They ride not only for pure exercise, but also for everyday errands.
• Burger King>McDonald’s
Chase Sapphire card rocked! It worked in manned and unmanned machines everywhere. The only trouble I had was using it with my Ortel prepaid account. Plus no currency exchange fees.
• Take cash out from ATM’s when you get to Europe. FOREX offices are a rip off.
• I swear Austria and Italy have unrestricted speed zones because they were flying at times.
• Driving through Switzerland is painfully slow.
• Ford is by far the king of Europe for American Manufacturers.
• I saw more Teslas (at least 5) than Cadillacs (0)
• Highly recommend Victory Hotel Therme Erding for families (see notes at the end)
• Biggest difference in US and European highways is the cleanliness of the road margins. All the rocks and debris are cleaned off.
• Italian pizza is fantastic
• Vignettes are easy to get at the border. No reason to stress it.
• Food is expensive in Switzerland, but the gas isn’t.
• Most exotic car seen on the trip was a Porsche 918 Spyder (of course I only got a cell phone photo)

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the US Airways economy flight out of PHL. I don’t fly that often and was dreading the thought of cramped economy seats and nasty food. I found the seats to be comfortable and the legroom more generous than anticipated. It may be because I usually fly Southwest. The food tasted good, but the portions were small. I only had 2 small issues. One was the touchscreen was terrible (very difficult to register touches). The second occurred when I was told to choose between pasta and chicken. I asked the flight attendant for a quick description and he just said “here look”. Both containers were covered in plastic wrap and steam. I guessed chicken and came away pleased. It must be way too much trouble to say pasta with a cheese sauce or chicken with herb gravy.
We first arrived in Barcelona as my brother and his husband have a place. It was the first time I had made it over to visit since he moved to Europe more than 5 years ago. We had a great 3 days there and I’ve included some pictures. Barcelona is a great city, but here are my observations of some differences.
*Things run out or break. They are eventually fixed but not necessarily the same day or week. We must have been told three times at two separate restaurants that a menu item had run out. Not the special, just a regular menu item.
*No one honks their horn; not even downtown. We drove/walked in the city for three days and I heard a horn twice.
*They are very proud of their Catalan language. So much so that Catalan is listed first in the Barcelona airport signage.
*Those that have a serious issue with nudity are warned. Even on the family beaches, it’s very likely you will see topless women.
*It’s a late city with the dinner rush starting at 9PM

View from their apartment at a shopping center
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Gothic area of Barcelona
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The church of Sagrada FamŪlia started by noted architect Gaudi and in constant construction (about 130 years). It is scheduled to finish in 2030 or so.
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Nearby beach town of Sitges
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National Palace in Barcelona
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View of Plaza de EspaŮa
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Olympic Stadium from 1992 Summer Games
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Barcelona cruise ship port
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“Barcelona Face” sculpture
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Next we flew to Munich (not sure what I going to do there)
We easily found our way to baggage claim and upon passing security found our driver waiting for us. We soon had our bags mostly packed (as the 5 series couldn’t quite fit all six pieces of luggage). Our driver took us directly to the Louis Hotel in the center of Munich. I would recommend this hotel with 2 caveats. There doesn’t seem to be a room with a great view of anything and driving to the hotel can be a little daunting. The hotel offers reduced price parking in a garage across the street. The room was very nice and they had an extra bed put in for our son. Since this was our first European hotel stay it took us a minute to realize the power wasn’t out and to stick the room key in the slot to activate the lights.

We ate a late lunch at Augustine Keller. The food was delicious and we all agreed that we needed to start finding German Restaurants near our home. Of course the beer came in classic liter mugs. I didn’t look it up but I swear German beer must have a lower alcohol content because I can’t imagine drinking that much beer at home and not being slightly buzzed. Maybe it was adrenaline.

We walked around Marienplatz and I wasted the better part of my first day trying to get an Ortel sim card to work. I finally did and part of the reason for the trouble was the cashier who rung me up didn’t activate the sim cards. Click the following link if you want more details about the sim card
Ortel sim card

I was actually calm the day before delivery and was able to get a good night of sleep. I had an 8:20 check in so the morning consisted of catching the U bahn to the BMW Welt. Once we entered we were warmly greeted and shown to the premium lounge elevators. Paperwork was a breeze and my rep did give the obligatory “don’t drive into Liechtenstein” speech. After the papers were signed, I relaxed with the family and enjoyed a nice breakfast of Weisswurst (becoming a favorite) and other assorted goodies. After eating we went down to the gift shop to collect our safety vests and have my keychain engraved. As we went up the elevator we actually met our delivery specialist Bernhard. Luckily I was able to tell Bernhard that no one knew the color before he started his announcement. He thought it was quite funny that only I knew. A quick walk down the steps and my car was there in all its glory. We walked down to the car and went through the cars features. It was stressed that the European map usb stick COULD be removed and replaced whenever I wanted. You only have to make sure you don’t have a BMW tech enter the code it requests when the stick is out. Also I made the mistake of bringing music on an iPod. What I didn’t know is the iPod will not transfer music to the BMW HDD. I should have brought the music on a USB stick.

After some pictures and my son hijacking an i8 next to us, it was time to take the victory lap. One thing I planned to do was take that lap in sport +. No way was I going to use the wimpy efficiency exhaust note. I bellowed around the Welt and knew I was making a racket because another M3 had done their lap moments before me and was nowhere near as loud. I recommend doing this as it really sets the mood and matches the character of the car.

I then parked the car at the Welt and took the English language factory tour.
Some of the interesting tidbits were:
*They had a CF roof on display and even though you couldn’t take it off the stand you could feel how much lighter it was. The same could be said about the aluminum hood.
* All individual paints are done manually. Only the standard colors go through automation. This includes the offered “semi” individual paints.
* The door jams aren’t sprayed in the same manner as the outer body. No charged paint particles. The guide said this was because there are too many crevices that the charged paint wouldn’t reach.
* There are six paint robots used for the purpose of redundancy. If one goes down, the line does not have to stop. BMW keeps a mini storage area of painted bodies. This prevents delays in the situation of damage to a certain body. Another one of the same color can be pulled to replace it.

On approach to Munich
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Augustine Keller
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Louis Hotel
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Delivery Day!!!
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BMW Museum and Welt
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Welt Parking Garage (No shortage of i8’s here)
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More Food
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Audi Forum in Ingolstadt
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After our time in Germany we headed down to Innsbruck to stay the night. Great town, but they have a severe addiction to ice cream/gelato/frozen yogurt. There were 3 of those shops in a row at one point, and this is a ski town. We also had lunch at a burger place that was advertising a Sloppy Joe as their special. When I asked the waitress about it, she said it was a big hit with the locals and no one had ever heard of it (even her) before they started serving it.
Also for those worried about vignettes, don’t. It was so easy. All I did was drive into the last gas station before the border and buy one. That’s it. No muss, no fuss.

Gas station where I bought the vignettes
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Innsbruck from the hotel (Adlers hotel which I also recommend. Parking is in one of the garages under the hotel, but is not included)
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Now that’s an individual color
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Swarovski Crystal Museum
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We left Innsbruck the next day to go to Venice. Instead of taking the Brenner Pass (boring), we went through the Dolomites. It took twice as long but was a much more enjoyable drive. We took the Sella pass which was filled with great roads, scenery, elevation changes, lots of motorcycles, and ski towns. I highly recommend it.

Sella pass
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Arriving in Venice was the worst part of the trip. The nav crapped out and kept turning us around right before crossing the water to get to Venice. It was also around 9PM when we got there. We had to get tickets for the vaporetto (water bus), but the machine was broken and only took cash. Luckily we had enough and dragged our bags onto the boat. Then we navigated the dark streets to find the hotel. The good thing was I was anal enough to repeatedly check Google maps of Venice near our hotel before we left. So we were able to get there without being turned around. To cap off the adventure, the front desk was unmanned for about 45 minutes while they were attending to another matter. Finally checking into the room past 11; we grabbed some pizza and called it a night.
Note to others. The VIP parking section of Tronchetto was closed the night we arrived. I don’t think it’s necessary to use as there were plenty of spots available. I preferred to have easy access to the car at all times.
Venice is a beautiful city. The food was great and it was easy to get great pizza from almost anywhere. I do recommend staying in the city. This allows you to enjoy it at night when less people are around. We would have done more but the heat was intense. It was 95-100 degrees everyday with high humidity.

Delicious Italian food
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Our Hotel (Ca’Gottardi, which was very nice after the intial check in experience. Only issue was the AC couldn’t keep up with the heat)
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Streets of Venice
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Rialto Bridge
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Relic of St. Lucia
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Island of Murano on the left and the cemetery on the right
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St. Marks Square
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The next stop was a short detour for a tour of the Lamborghini factory. It’s really in the middle of farmland, but the factory itself is clean and well run. The tour guide really emphasized that they were a big family and from what I could see, I agree. It felt more like a “car guy” company and not a bunch of uptight snobs (cough Ferrari cough). The tour spent most of its time on the Aventador line. They rarely mentioned the Huracŗn. I assume they didn’t want to mention the Audi roots. They have a quota of 5 Aventadors and 15 Huracŗns a day. The wait list is 7-9 months for an Aventador (less than an individual M3/4 apparently). They also test drive each car for 15-25 miles on the street, so anyone who orders one, don’t be mad if you see 30 miles on the odometer. Of course, there were no photos allowed on the tour.

Aventador Pirelli
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Museum filled with Lambos
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Murcielago SV
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Sesto Elemento
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2013 E92 M3 LMB (gone but not forgotten)
2015 AY F80 M3 ED 7/9/15 Drop off 7/20/15 Redelivery 8/25/15

Last edited by OneRib; 07-27-2015 at 10:48 PM..