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      06-12-2013, 08:42 AM   #46
Hoosiers
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Drives: 2008 M3 Coupe White
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: NC

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlmiii View Post
Pretty cool, isnt' it?
This was one of the biggest surprises of our visit. M is able to do and will do virtually anything wanted in the cosmetic finishing of a (special) customer's car. It's expensive, but it's there. I am sure you saw the hundreds of paint, leather, stitching, wood, and other finish books that they have. The library is spread out for consultation/presentation/brainstorming along with the customer - it's like going into the very highest-end fashion salon for an exclusive clothing item.
A few other interesting details.
One - the final concept, "formal" design and engineering of the 1M took place in only two weeks. It was spoken about loosely, informally and very quietly among the staff for a while. At the end of that time the head of "M" was away on a two-week trip and the staff put everything together, like kids doing something while the parents are out; they knew that they could not get approval for spending the time and effort. Upon his return he was showed a completed project. Since the development portion was essentially complete with no cost incurred, the car could be easily built by shoehorning it into the 128/135 production line during off hours, and the staff was so enthusiastic, the 1M was greenlighted. The staff basically pulled off a parlor trick and won.
Second - there was only one prototype built. Due to the advance and virtually complete initial work (with existent and proven M3 parts) and the tight schedule, there was time and money to use only one car for assembly and testing. That's pretty amazing.
Third - the test car was ... blue. But early on the staff realized the color didn't work. Hence the black, white and VO, as noted.
Four - the staff was really under the gun on the entire project, for both money and time reasons.
Five - they really like how their tuner project turned out.

Thanks, and especially for the pictures. They are better than mine ...
So essentially, the head of M is ruining M. The current M5 and M6 are widely viewed as failures by the automotive press, and I can speak to that with regards to the former. The only decent real driver's car was the 1M, and it was born IN SPITE of the head of M, not because. Is he still at M? If so, the next M3 will take the path of the M5 and M6.