Well last night I did a weird thing just before I hand in my Targa4s (I can attach a pic for those interested). I had to drop off some fresh Cohibas to a friend and this involved driving the Bayview extension (best road in downtown Toronto). Well fortunately when I got home I remembered the Rum LOL and decided to go in the M5 instead of the Targa
. This ironically turned into an Apples for Apples comparison of the cars on the same road in cool wet climate. Granted I could not push the M5 (break-in) there are were some clear differences and this is where I start my first review thread.
Steering - the 911 has epic steering and feedback. Nothing I have ever driven feels so pure and perfect. I always thought that the e60 M5 was almost as good as the 911, just a bit easier to turn. I have no idea what BMW was thinking with 3 settings for steering ? none of them feel perfect they all have flaws. Ironically I felt that comfort was probably the most natural with Sport and Sport plus being a tad too sensitive or artificial. I really think BMW needs to revisit this concept again ? Just make one steering setting and perfect it. The options have just confused the entire scenario. Win for 911
Sounds - the 911 lets in a lot of road noise and is overcome by the sound of the engine or my music blasting! After a while this gets tiring which is probably why I can never just cruise in the 911. I feel that without the rpm needle constantly moving up and down the car is really not in its natural state. The M5 on the other hand has way too much noise dampening. Active sound is actually a great idea, wish there was a way to turn it up and I would be a very happy camper. I miss the intake sounds of the e60 and this is an area that I am hopeful an exhaust will help in. I have no idea who would buy this car and think it sounds great under 4krpm. The sensation of speed is elinmated without all the noises for the engine and street, you look down and you are going 90kph in a 60kph zone. In the 911 the environment very much seeps into the car and you feel and hear more hence you think you are going faster than you are. Tie here but the M5 will take it with the exhaust (hoping).
Suspension - the 911 has 2 settings- normal and sport. The normal is good for the city but you feel everything while the sport is just too rock hard in city driving and best left to smooth highways or great roads/tracks. On the M5 there are 3 settings comfort, sport, and sport plus. I really feel that sport is very comparable to the 911 normal and sport plus comparable to the sport plus. I felt that both cars were planted with the Targa pulling a little better out of corners that was probably more due to the 4WD rather than the suspension. The M5 swung out a few times but it was fun and controllable. I could live with either for a very long time - harsh rides never really bothered me.
Driver ergonomics - the 911 is a low car and you feel at one with road. The M5 you sit a bit hirer but nothing that is noticeable or takes away from the control of the car. It might be different on a track but I felt at ease with both. The M5 has the best seats I have ever owned but would be on top of the world with the bolsters. There were some moments that the extra support that is in my 911 would have been helpful.
At the end of the day both great cars and at the top of their respective totum poles, however its very obvious that they have very different applications and roles - almost unfair to compare. However really feel truly blessed to even be in a position to have had both of these cars and write this comparison. This is a great community that keeps me out of trouble
- happy to share my objective thoughts.
For me there really is only one thing left to do and that is make enough $$$ to ensure I can keep the M5 and add a GT3 or something or that sort in the near future. Like all of us enthusiasts the new car syndrome will wear off at some point and I will be on the hunt again! Unfortunately before that happens I owe my wife a new kitchen, washrooms, and gift she wants .. LOL$$$