Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Vehicle: 2006 SLK55 AMG
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
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Quoted: 47 Post(s)
Thanked 46 Times in 31 Posts
I had a MY 2000 E39 M5. 400 pounds-feet and 400 Hp in a beautifully mannered 6 speed manual V8 sedan. Folding rear seats, phenomenal leather interior, balanced suspension, air bags everywhere.
“Synergy” is the best I can come up with. All the features of the M5 matched each other perfectly. Nothing jumped out as needing improving. Handling, looks, stance, luxury appointments ... nothing. Well, maybe a short shifter .... I just remembered that little exception!!
A little example of what I mean regarding synergy: the cigarette lighter popped out with a very-controlled slow motion. So did the ash tray. And the four panic handles at the roof. And the front & back cup holders. EXACTLY the same dampened speed. Were they all designed by the same guy? Doubt it. Let go of the panic handles in my SRT-8 Dodge Charger and they went BOINGGG against the roof! Nothing went Boing on the E39. Not even the sunshades when you closed them.
In my mind the SLK isn’t quite there. At the top of my list is the 722.9 7 speed auto transmission in our R171 AMG’s. Easily identifiable as a weak link, not up to the functional standard of everything else in the car. I consider myself a driving (and maintenance) enthusiast and feel it’s the biggest let down bar none. And not ‘easily remedied’ like understeer, weak brakes, under-damped suspension, pedal placement, clutch & throttle feel, shifter throw ... and so forth. In the words of a journalist that reviewed the Black Series, “it almost ruins the car. Almost”.
Don’t get me wrong though! I thoroughly enjoy my ‘06 AMG! But it could have been so much better with a ZF auto or 6 speed manual transmission.
So there are my two cents toward the question. Hope I don’t get flamed for sharing what enthralled me with a particular BMW! I mean, I did end up here ... right?!!
So what might I consider paying for a pristine E39 with 400 miles? Probably 40k?
Yeah. So there’s NO chance of me ever being “that guy”!