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Opinions please, 2nd car a '97 M3 or a '97 540-6speed?

2204 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Clem
I’m a first time poster. I’ve had many BMWs over the years, starting with a ’72 2002 tii and ending with an ’88 M5, which I sold 2 years ago when I bought my Boxster. I'm going to replace my present 2nd car ('94 Audi 90Q). I'll be using the car mostly in the winter, but it will come in handy when I need to carry more than 2 people.

I’d like to hear opinions on both the ‘97/’98 M3 or ‘97/’98 540 6-speed. Because it will be primarily a winter car, and we do get 5+ months of winter here in Alberta, I’m especially interested to hear how the traction control works on each car in icy and snowy conditions.

I’ll be posting this on both the 3-series and 5-series boards in order to get as balanced a view as possible.

Thanks in advance. :)
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Hey Alex-

Given that you'd primarly be using this car in the winter, why wouldn't you go w/ another Audi quattro? Did you have a really bad experience w/ the 90 or do you just really crave the BMW feel again? The one issue w/ a 97 540 might be the engine block. As you may know, many of the BMW V8s produced through 1997 were suseptible to excessive bore wear due to the high sulfur fuel in North American reacting w/ the Nikasil cylinder wall coating. Many people had their engine blocks replaced as a result-- you should check this out if you go w/ an early 540-- have a dealership perform a "leakdown test". Both of the cars you're interested are certainly more of the higher performance models- and could be more likely to have been driven hard, and are more expensive to fix. Of course, I don't know what your financial situation is-- but again given that this is a winter only car-- might it be better to get a lesser model? An e36 328 or 25 perhaps?
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