In Reply to: QUESTIONS about M3 posted by Db on July 26, 2000 at 23:42:24:
I plan to take a course when I get my M3, and I've been driving for quite a while. It is definitely possible to get in serious trouble with that much power. With any car that encourages you to take corners faster, when things go wrong, they tend to go really wrong. A nice neutral-cornering car like an M3 is better than something like a Porsche that oversteers (which tends to lead to spinouts), but more likely to get you in trouble than your typical understeering family car (which will simply refuse to take corners at higher speeds, but keep pointed mostly in the same direction).
I had a Porsche for a while, wound up riding down a hill upside down when it spun out of a reverse-banked curve. Very very embarrassing. I went to a party that evening, and listened to all of my Porsche-owning coworkers tell their spinout stories. Turned out it was kind of an initiation ritual. Since then, I take any new car to a place I can use as a skid pad, and throw it around to see what it will do at the limit of its handling.
2. With a manual M3, is it possible to put it into 2nd or 3rd gear and drives it like an automatic (in city 100km or lower)? Will that damage the car or increase fuel consumption?
No, you can't do that. It's not possible to drive smoothly that way.