An FAQ for the commonly misunderstood BMW SMG II transmission

APiDA's excellent E46 M3 buyer's guide this morning once again reminded me how quick some enthusiasts are to vilify any transmission that's not a traditional three pedaler. Hell, even an excellent automated system such as the Porsche PDK gets crapped all over by some of the purist purists. Well, I'd like to take this… » 6/19/14 2:35pm 6/19/14 2:35pm

I survived my first track day!

A few weeks back I expressed worry over my forthcoming track day. Well that day came and went. Car performed great (except that lifters started ticking as a result of the struggling wet sump, but that went away after cooling down), tires are chewed up and I lost some body weight in sweat. But hey, I had one hell of a… » 6/03/14 12:58pm 6/03/14 12:58pm

I keep seeing a teal F430 in my apartment complex

No, sorry, no pictures at the moment. But now my senses have been heightened and my shutter finger is ready to go not only because it's a Ferrari driving around an apartment complex, but it's a beautiful teal color that I've never seen before. In fact, I can't even seem to Google an image of an F430 in this color. I… » 5/09/14 12:00pm 5/09/14 12:00pm

The BMW X7 may be inevitable (and it's your mom's fault)

Well this is it ladies and gentlemen. Here's the part where the small and angry crowd of baggy-eyed jalopy protesters realize their influence on the Bavarian brand is entertaining at best and cries for the good old days of screaming inlines and lightweight rear drive platforms are efforts so futile that it makes the… » 3/22/14 2:08am 3/22/14 2:08am

SLK32 AMG vs S54 M Roadster

My hunt for a ~$15k toy continues as I test drove two fairly special cars today. Originally I was looking for a decent example of the tried-and-true E46 M3, but it seems that owning one is nothing special as every enthusiast, guido and their enthusiast guido grandmothers own one. I also looked into a few E39 M5s and… » 3/15/14 5:30pm 3/15/14 5:30pm