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Thread: Discussion of the Z8 vs SLS R8 911 599 458 Scud etc

  1. #1
    Z8Mania
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    Discussion of the Z8 vs SLS R8 911 599 458 Scud etc

    Im trying to port out the discussion about the Z8 and other cars from the 328 Homage thread over here:

    http://bmwz8.us/vbb/showthread.php?t=2524

    So here are the relevant quotes (apologies if I skipped anyones but I dont think I did)

    Quote Originally Posted by ///M Blitz View Post
    While I agree that they won't build it, there is certainly a market for it. Audi's R8 and Mercedes' SLS are prime examples. They are not setting sales records, but they are not supposed to. Of course, neither did/was the Z8.


    Quote Originally Posted by redz8 View Post
    True.

    I've seen a few SLS's in person around here and my opinion about them has shifted to the negative side. The engine noise is great, and that's about it.


    Quote Originally Posted by ///M Blitz View Post
    Not a big fan of the styling of either the R8 or the SLS. To my eye they are just cars, while the Z8 is rolling art.

    I've never driven an SLS, or R8 for that matter, but I do wonder whether they can do what the Z8 does. During our Cambria drive I was constantly amazed how the Z8 handles, specially with an untalented schmuck like me behind the wheel.


    Quote Originally Posted by redz8 View Post
    The performance, power, and handling of road cars surpassed my capabilities as a driver some decade ago For me, it is all about uniqueness, simplicity, form, and beauty. The Z8 does all those very well.


    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    And on the Cambria drive we went as far and as fast as I want to go on public roads, our drive up and back was at the perfect pace for the car, and the driver. The Audi and the MB could maybe shave a minute or three off the drive time, but I doubt the joy of the drive could be any greater!


    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    I guess everyone has an opinion. I find the Z8 in stock form to be pretty limited in terms of handling. Its fine for not hard street driving, but it understeers, the run flat tires and hard suspension bounce over bumps that would be better handled if absorbed and the steering is slow- though it is wonderfully direct. I still love my Z8 dont get me wrong but if you put two equal drivers behind the wheel of a Z8 and the SLS (I havent driven the R8 but I assume this would still hold true) and restricted the power of them so they were all about equal- I bet in terms of handling the SLS and R8 would out handle a stock Z8.

    That said, Ill take the Z8 because of what RedZ8 said so well. The Z8 is just a lovely, lovely car to drive. If you enjoy driving, thats the car to have. If I want a quick hit of engine sound and higher level handling there are cars for that, but if I am going for a nice easy drive in the countryside, that is where the Z8 is tops.

    Interestingly enough, I must be the only one who doesn't like the AMG exhaust sound- its too "NASCAR" for me. I want a German car to sound a little more exotic. It is next door to Italy

    Quote Originally Posted by redz8 View Post
    In terms of sound, the AMGs sound like what you would expect from a high-quality muscle car. The Italian machines scream too hard for my taste, but they sure get a lot of attention. So far, the best sound for me was the metal-buzzing noise of my 2003 M3. Once the revs got to about 7K RPMS, that sound was pure music to the ears.


    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy View Post
    Despite the economy, BMW is doing quite well. They could easily shoulder a halo project, and that's what the i8/Vision going to be while it's also helping them probe efficient technologies. I don't think it's a car that many of us will take interest in, but it's a good project to see them doing nonetheless.

    Once they get all their efficient CAFE-friendly projects on the ground, perhaps they can build something fun and design focused, like this 328. I actually see it as a more viable project than say another Z8-esque followup, as the 507 already has its modern champion. Now their pre-War classic needs a connection to contemporary buyers.

    The R8 is a terrific car, but I just don't see it having a lasting appeal like our cars. The measurement I use is whether or not the car can spawn a community like ours or be seen in ten years time in a string of six or so cars bombing the backroads amongst the vineyards of central CA. Great car, but it'll be forgotten as soon as its successor arrives. It's a bag of tech and specs, not emotion. I'd love to have one for a few years though.

    The SLS, well, it's just a pig. I've been vocal about it before, and I think MB really missed a wonderful opportunity to reinterpret the great SLs form the 50s. Instead, we get a computer with wheels, and on looks, it's from Dell, not Apple. NASCAR sound? Sure, thats where it's market is freeway racing with the rest of the money over taste crowd. It's a Viper in a suit. As Marty will tell you, they're sitting in the showrooms, begging for owners.
    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    I didn't care for it all in my day in one, I'd take the R8 over it for sure, but depsite the fact both are quicker around the ring, the Z8 is fast enough and fun enough for me! :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    Rifle have you driven the SLS? It has wonderful steering and is a hoot to drive- the sound actually is well suited to it: its a big bruiser. It has a very low center of gravity for such a car and really drives quite well. I was fortunate to drive a 300 SL Gullwing last year and well, the SLS aint no 300 SL- but the 300 SL was borne from a racing car- MB really can't do that today. And like many cars from the 50s, the Gullwing "drives like a truck". But it was great fun none the less. I think the SLS is a wonderful car- and the roadster addresses the weaknesses of the gullwing version- a too small cabin and slightly awkward proportions. I think the reason the SLS is sitting in showrooms is not because its a bad car, its just too expensive. For that money you could go buy a 430 Scuderia or even a 599 not to mention all the assorted P cars and Lamborghinis etc. If the SLS were priced at ~150k it would be a good deal- but its hard to do that when you have cars like the SL65 that price out to around 180 or so.

    Yes I hear you guys about the SLS and R8- both fine cars- but yes, while they have the numbers, they are not special in the way the Z8 is special.

    PS- RedZ8, you and I have similar tastes because I loved that straight 6 M "buzzsaw" sound- though many complained and compared it to a lawn mower, I thought it sounded great. But- have a listen to this- this, to me, is perfection:



    I got to drive one of these about a month ago and I loved it. I don't know what the reviewers who say its unstable are trying to do- but if you drive like a sane person on public roads this thing is dialed in and fun. I suspect if you push it on a track, well, all that power will tend to make itself known- you have to respect the power (that applies to the Z8 as well)
    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Now that is one amazing machine, the sound is sublime, and the styling is really good. If I could I'm sure I would!
    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    I feel like they got the "flame surfacing" correct that BMW was attempting on the Z4 but didn't quite get right. It really is something else.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norcal View Post
    OMG! That 599GTO is so great. As Andrew said, If I could I would!
    Quote Originally Posted by redz8 View Post
    Thanks for the vid. Agree with the previous comments about the 599GTO, if I had the money ...

    Quote Originally Posted by ZbobZ View Post
    I've loved the 599 styling from day one. Does this car savvy crowd think the 599 has classic styling, or will it be dated in 10 years?
    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy View Post
    Debating car styling is very much akin to discussing fashion. It's continually evolving, and what is relevant today is often forgotten tomorrow. That being said, there are designs that seem to capture some mix beauty, magic, usefulness, etc. that allow them to transcend the ebb and flow of changing tastes.

    The Z8 does this. There's something about its classic influence and raw emotional appeal that make a connection with anyone that sees it. Ask anyone besides a critic, and they'll gush. While, I'm not willing to try it with my own car, I'd almost say that you could park it in the worst part of town, and it'd go untouched. It's disarming in its beauty.

    I too have liked the style of the 599 since I first saw one some years back, but, no, I don't think the 599 will be a very relevant car in probably more like fifteen years, rather than 10. It's really cool, and WOW, what a noise, but it will no doubt be eclipsed by whatever the F-crew are cooking up for its next evolution. It just doesn't "capture lightning in a bottle" in that way that will be "timeless". Again, it's a great looking car, and viewed on its own, it will be stunning for many years to come, but its modern evolved styling is a bit "me too", which will likely fall down when placed next to it successor. But hey, Ferrari is probably responsible for emotional appealing cars than any other maker, and I don't see that changing as they charge in to the future. I saw a 458 this week in a garage, and wow, it's the first F-car that's stopped me in my tracks in some time. I think they're at the beginning of a strong push in to very modern designs that also pull from their emotional and classic DNA.

    Thanks for giving me something to do while on a dull call.
    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    Think thats pretty much right. Though I'm not so sure if the design will date nearly as much as the 308 or the Testarossa lines but I think thats just because those lines were truly original and as much as I enjoy the 599, it is based on many classic design themes. For example, the 599 shares the "W" shaped front end with many classic cars- something it has in common with another car we love, the Z8. It also is based on the classic formula of front engine, long hood, short rear, rear drive. Another thing in common with our beloved Z8. To my eyes, the 599 GTO is the best iteration of the design- kind of like how the E60 5 series looks a little plain next to the E60 M5. When I saw that E60 M5, I thought: this is how the 5 should have been all along. And likewise, when I see that GTO, I say: thats what the 599 should been. I bet the corporate masters had this plan (in both cases!) all along. One nice thing about the Z8, despite the later Alpina edition, it really didn't change the styling- they were smart about that.

    I also think you have to consider that BMW built the Z8 not because it has a long history of building sports cars- it was really a bit of a "one off" project for them. Whereas this is what Ferrari does, which means it plays more to the styles of the times, which means it can get dated. But like a Rolex watch lets say, while you might be able to tell a model from the 1970s, its always special.

    At the time it was released, to my eyes the 599 represented the best attempt to execute the concept of "flame surfacing" on a sports car. Where BMW failed with the Z4 (to my eyes anyway), Pininfarina and Ferrari succeeded with the 599. So, my guess is 10-15 years from now we will look at a 599 sitting in a parking lot very much the way we look at a 550 or 575- we might admire it and enjoy it and appreciate it- but it will look a little old to us.

    I read a description of the Z8 somewhere (I cant remember!) and it said of the styling that it was the best kind of retro design- that is was unique but still played successfully off the past. I agree with that- and because it was already "dated", its hard for it to look old. I think this also applies to the driving experience. The Z8 is a sports car in the sense that its got a lot of power and is a roadster, RWD, but its not a hard core performance driving tool like a 911 or an M3 and not like the F cars of the world. However, that doesn't really matter- because to me the Z8 is all about the romance of driving. If you said I could have any car ever made, any car at all, and I am going for a drive in the country with my wife, I would choose the Z8. Its got classic good looks, modern conveniences, reliability and safety. If its just me going for a long drive to a friends house over highways and back roads, the Z8 works fine, but a car like the 599 becomes a lot more tempting. Whats amazing about the Z8 is it is as much fun to drive slow as it is to drive fast. Thats not an easy trick.

    Interesting thoughts on the 458. I'm not as much in love with this design as I was with the 430. To be sure the 430 is not classically beautiful, but to me the 458 is just a drop too pretty and looks like its trying too hard. Yet in person its hard to argue that its not a stunning vehicle design. My disappointment was in driving it. It feels like its designed for people who don't really know how to drive these cars- in some ways its kind of like my disappointment with BMW's active steering- its like they are forcing a sporty sensation on you rather than allowing you to generate it via changes in g-force. Anyway, I am told if you really thrash a 458 its quite something, but as I was driving my friends car I tried to be careful. I just found it so refined that it was a drop boring. I am concerned they will apply this formula to the 599 successor. Thats why I think the 599 GTO will be a special car in the history books- I got to drive one a few weeks ago and its fantastic- it presses all the right buttons if you enjoy driving and have an idea of what to do (you dont have to be an expert but its not for a novice). Of course we will have to wait for the history books to be written.

    One thing I would like to add in the 599s favor: it uses the current to its generation super car motor (is this another parallel to the Z8? ). The 550 and the 575 did not have the V12 from the F50. This is a very sporting GT that has the supercar V12. Given that the 599 replacement will have a refinement of the FF's V12 (a refinement of that from the 599), and that the next supercar is rumored to have a turbo V8, its very likely that that distinction will give the 599 some extra specialness in the historybooks...

    Full disclosure: a 599 resides in my garage so I am understandably biased.

    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Lucky lad, and a wonderful post too!! :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    Thanks Andrew. Btw- these 599s have really come down in price and will continue to do so- at some point they will be stunningly good buys. I probably should have waited but then I'd have missed the experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norcal View Post
    My view on the 599, is that while a super performer, it is (or appears) just too big to be a sports car. The front end looks massively wide! Rather like looking at an old Testarossa, the rear so wide and the front overhang!!! The 599 reminds me of an overgrown Daytona... I want a smaller Daytona! The Z8 is as big as I want. Somehow my sadly missed 997 GT3 was not much smaller overall than the Z8, but with the shorter wheelbase and sloped body, it seemed much smaller. No, I've never had the pleasure of driving a 599, and I'm sure I would love it, but at this point I think I'd rather have a 430 Scud. I'd also like a Carrera GT... and the new Lambo looks cool... and...

    Quote Originally Posted by ZbobZ View Post
    Thanks so much for the feedback. I suppose I've been spoiled by my Z8, which is certainly a good problem to have. The Z8 has held its value reasonably well, I like it today more than the day I bought it, and my dealer has treated me extremely well. A Ferrari is very much a car I'd like to place in the garage next to the Z8, and the 599 is the only modern Ferrari that rings my bell. It would be nice to repeat my Z8 experience with a Ferrari, but I suppose that is asking for too much. I was hopeful that the 599 would hold its value reasonably well, but I'm guessing the only way to achieve that goal is buy an older car on the flatter portion of the depreciation curve. Z8Mania, if I might ask, what is the best way to track Ferrari market values in your experience?

    It appears I've hijacked this thread - hope that's OK Andrew.

    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy View Post
    I really love our meandering threads like this, but I just wish we could sort out a way to all teleport to a nice pub to have the discussion over a beer.

    I think you really capture the Z8 "experience" here. It's a great machine to maximize a journey through beautiful spaces. Inside and out. The feel of the air. The smells. The sounds. The power. It's a smile machine.

    On the design assessment, I admit that I always cringe at the term "retro" as I think it's actually a failing of design where someone merely represents a product/whathaveyou in a slightly altered context. There's a LOT of bad "retro" out there, but it also seems to be the only term that the critics/journalists can muster up in many cases.

    The Z8 is beautiful just because it is. Yes, it calls back to some of its progenitors in the 507 and countless British roadsters, but the connection is really just because they were good designs on their own as well. I'm sure you all have similar stories, but I can't count the number of times that I've received comments on the beauty of the Z8 from people you meet on the road, gas stops, etc. Sure, some of them are "in the know", but most are people that have no interest in cars or have any knowledge of the past influences that the informed can call up in the design. The masses just feel a connection to it - pure emotion. Children with no context for the past flock to it, and it's always interesting to see the reactions to my response when they ask if it's the latest model. It'll be interesting to see how the design holds up over the next few decades as we all transition to flying cars and jet packs, but wether past of future, there's something emotional about the Z8 that connects with just about everyone when they happen upon it.

    I think I'm biased, but here's why. I can't stop looking at this photo after revisiting it for my thread in the Registry. It's not about the photo per se, but this is the Z8 experience to me. Bliss.

  2. #2
    Z8Mania
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    My thoughts for what they are worth:

    Norcal,
    Yes, you are right its a big car but its not as big as I think you are thinking. The Z8 is considerably smaller but compared to the classic roadsters the Z8 is actually large also. Whats nice about the 599 is its fairly comfy when you want that. Its dimensions are not too far off that of a Scud except that its a few inches longer. If you liked driving the GT3 then the Scud is more up your alley. I've driven both, though I have much more experience with the Scud. Friends with both say that in the end the GT3 has the better ultimate handling and I believe it has a tad faster Ring time than the Scud, but my experience is at the track there was a GT3 behind me and I was driving as hard as I was comfortable with in the Scud and he never gained on me. He was an experienced 911 GT3 owner. I think the wild card is the gear shifts, I had the benefit of consistent and lightning fast gear changes. On the road, the GT3 crashes over bumps, where as the Scud is actually surprisingly supple. Its tightly sprung, it makes you feel like you are driving a race car, but of course the suspension is setup for the more intermediate driver, so it will ultimately understeer and its more playful than say a Challenge car which is designed for one thing: go fast on the track. The Scud is kind of like a hyper M3. Its always connected and everything feels very "positive". The steering is truly wonderful. Though its a lot louder than an M3. It would wear you down on a long drive. And the GT3 would wear you down from the crashy ride. Also the Scud is one of the most SOLID feeling cars I've ever driven.

    Carrera GT is the single best modern performance car I've ever driven. Its that good. Its also scary as hell, its always on its toes. And its that way by design- whereas the Scud feels like a race car but really it is a street car designed to give you the right sensations but still does give a competent driver a safety margin; the CGT ***IS*** a race car. That means its designed to get you around the track as fast as possible with no forgiveness. So, the suspension is setup in a way that encourages you to go quicker, but as the g-forces build up its ability to oversteer enhances and- whamo- you can find yourself spun out. Thats why so many of these cars get into accidents. This is why I don't have one, as much as I would like to have one. If they only included a stability control system to reign this behavior in. But they didn't. The sound is absolutely thrilling, but sadly its only audible from the outside. The driver and passenger only hear what sounds like 1/100th the sound.

    The new Lambo looks to be amazing.

    ZbobZ,
    The best way to get up to speed is the Ferrari Market Letter. Its full of asking prices so keep that in mind. You can find it here:

    http://www.ferrarimarketletter.com/

    If you would like to have an issue as a sample to check out let me know.

    As to the financial proposition of these cars, you are absolutely correct. These modern cars all depreciate- with the exception of the super cars which could very well depreciate (is an Enzo worth over $1m? I think its overvalued but thats just one mans opinion). Right now the well optioned 599 from say 2007/8 is probably worth around 60% of its sticker price. Compare to the Z8 which in the worst case is probably worth around 68%. And that is a car that is potentially 11 years old. And that doesn't include the maintenance. The maintenance on these modern cars really isn't that bad but it can still bite you- what if you damage a tire and wheel? Theres $3k right there. I'd say you want to budget around $5k annually for maintenance and repairs. Also the Ferrari warranty is like 3 years and like 30k miles or something like that and to extend it, its $7k. Per year . Yes, its totally insane. And while I have had good experiences with FNA, I wonder if they could afford to be as generous to their 599 owners over the years and when the cars are off warranty as BMW has been with Z8 owners. Maybe they will be, my experience so far when my headliner became unglued was very easy- just like with BMW- no questions asked they just covered it.

    Unfortunately, I really do think these 599s will continue to go down in value. Not because they are bad cars but because it appears to me there is a group of people who want to always have the latest greatest and they make up a small part of the market but its big enough to support a few years of sales of these cars. Then there are different tolerance levels for these cars- but as the time goes by and the warranties fade and the deferred maintenance builds up the market will apply its discounts. At some point there really is a true floor but I can only guess where that is. I have a hard time thinking these would ever go under 100k- it is the Enzo motor after all. But look at the 550/ 575 and youll see they are already below 100k.

    Perhaps I should have waited. But then I wouldn't have had the experiences when I had them. So these cars are not good financial investments unless you get them early and flip them and even then, what if the market tanks on you and now you have a big metal lump in the garage. My take is get what you like, so long as its affordable.

    As a companion to the Z8, the 599 is great. Its similar in the ways we discussed before (big torquey motor up front, RWD, transmission mounted in the rear so thats a nice change in the plus column for weight distribution). Evokes the front engined V12s of the past (275, Daytona for sure) with a modern take. Modern safety and electronics (bluetooth, navi (just arrows though), actually a decent stereo once you figure it out). The driving experience is kind of like M6 meets AMG and then take that and take it up like 10 notches. The motor is "bonkers". Its like the M V10 but better in every way and faster revving. Theres good torque down low but this motor likes to rev and the V12 means its got smaller pistons and the engine is smoooth. Drive any V12 and you'll see why people love them and I think this is a really one of the great V12 motors. The transmission is pretty smooth, shifts fast, the auto mode doesn't' get confused like the SMG did. The non HGTE car has a lot of body roll, and can feel a little aloof, but if you drive through it, the car tightens right up. The HGTE helps tighten it up. You can add the HGTE suspension to any 599. In the end though the 599 is more the really sporty GT, and the Scud by comparison feels like a slot car.

    What would make it a nice companion to the Z8 is one is top down, kind of old school. The other is very sporty GT feeling, great long distance cruiser, but also back road burner, massive torque and power, and super high tech. Yet while not understated, its not the wild child of the Scud or 458.

  3. #3
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Great reply, thanks. Really much more useful than most "reviews" in the mags.

  4. #4
    Z8Mania
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    Thanks. Just wanted to share some experiences / opinions.

  5. #5
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Awesome stuff, Jerry. Thanks for repurposing the thread!
    thegunguy

  6. #6
    Z8Mania
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    Just for fun, some ring times from here:

    http://www.fastestlaps.com/tracks/nordschleife.html

    these are debatable because there is no accounting for different drivers, different conditions, different tires etc. But it does give an idea of whats what.

    The 599 XX did the ring in a blistering 6MIN 58.16SEC.

    http://www.pistonheads.com/news/defa...?storyId=21852

    If we accept that the XX weighs 3350lbs and makes 700hp, this means its lugging around 4.78 lbs per HP.

    The GTO weighs 3538lbs with fluids and makes 671 hp so its lugging around 5.27 lbs per HP. My guess is this puts the cars ring time somewhere in between the ZR1 and the Viper ACR probably around 7.20 or so.

    Compare to the stock 599 which has a ring time of 7.47. Our Z8 does it in 8.07. Not too bad. The Scud does it in 7.39. The GT3 that would likely compare with the Scud- 997 facelift does it in 7.40. And the mighty Carrera GT does it in 7.28. I am sure the driver was really sweating on that one. The SLS AMG did it in 7.40. The real stunner is the 997 GT2 RS: 7.18 !!

  7. #7
    Wow, anything under 7:18 for a real road car is amazing, and 6:58 is stunning!!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  8. #8
    Z8Mania
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    Well keep in mind the 6:58 is a race car on track only tires. Its Ferrari's XX program which is not street legal. So what Ferrari have done is take the 599, made a race car out of it with the 599 XX which I think cost like $1.5m to get into- you get to drive and race it at their events and they help you etc- and then they took that XX chassis and made it street legal and called that the GTO and for that they are charging around $450. From some vantage points you could call that a good deal.

    Anyway I bet the GTO will do a ring time around where the 911 GT2 RS does which is in that 7:20ish range.

    See more here on the XX:



    Heres the same guy now driving the GTO



    forgetting everything else I am just in love with the sound.

    (apologies I posted that video before but I like this reviewer)

  9. #9
    It is certainly the car I'd go for given the ability, but as an interesting aside I was quite suprised that the SLS Pace Car this weekend was lapping at the same speed as the GT3 Cup cars, both in the rain, but it seems like quite a feat for a slightly modded 4,000lb street car vs 2,900lb race car.
       
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  10. #10
    Z8Mania
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    I believe the SLS street car weighs in around 3600lbs or so- thats pretty impressive given its size- and it has a lower CoG than the 599 GTB. I believe the GT3 version weighs around 2980lbs so that seems pretty competitive in terms of the weight.

  11. #11
    top down in seattle bvhbmw's Avatar
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    A friend of mine just bought an SLS and I sat in it the other day. The engine noise is fantastic - very aggressive growl and burble. The seats are very comfortable and the headroom is great (he's 6' 4"). The one downside I saw right away is the visibility for the driver. All the windows are quite small and it feels like you're sitting in a room with too few windows. I could not comfortably drive this car in a city with the limited visibility.

    The car looks far better in person than in photos, by the way.
    2002 Silver/Black
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  12. #12
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    For me, the Porsche GT3RS 2010, would be the one (big surprise!). New, it is about 140k, used about 115k. Compared to even the regular 599 it's a steal. Different animal, but awesome "Bang for the buck" lap time wise, and it is a true sports car, not a GT. While the just released GT3 RS 4.0 would be awesome, it's about 190k, and the GT2RS is about 230k I think. I can tell you, the regular RS is PLENTY of car... you are not that good! (Any of us mere mortals would be the weakest link). And, if you are buying cars like this, you have the money to have a nice lexus/BMW/mec on the side as a comfy cruiser.

  13. #13
    Z8Mania
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    That is true- none of us is that good. Im not so sure if I would call the car a steal or not- it depends on what you're looking for. I think certainly compared with the 4.0 is a better value. Its awfully hard to compare a car like this and a car like the 599 or the SLS. Its almost like saying I like Hockey and you like Basketball. Both are sports. Speaking from personal experience, the roads around here are in the condition that as much as I don't mind a hard ride, I found the GT3 to be too "brittle". I also learned how to drive on front engined cars and I find the 911 driving experience to feel very unnatural and I don't like it. Friends who drive these cars professionally tell me its an acquired taste, but the sense of all that weight all the way back there coming around, its not for me.

    Interestingly enough on the SLS, my reaction was that the visibility was pretty good, probably on par with the Z8 with the top up. I just found the interior to feel cramped and I am only 5'5". I wonder if being taller and sitting further back brings the A-Pillar more into the field of vision. I could see how thats a problem. I agree it looks so much better in person, though thats usually the case. I also think the car is better represented in darker colors.

  14. #14
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Yup, very different cars... but when we start comparing lap times, it's easy to fall back on the Porsche. As for the ride of the RS, I loved it, really more supple than the Z8! This may be because you aren't sitting over (feels like it) the rear axle which pitches us around. As for the engine in the rear. I was raised on FR cars too, but after a couple track days I was hooked. The feeling of that weight giving traction on exit is amazing... and under braking too! Can you tell I miss the GT3!

  15. #15
    Z8Mania
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    I can tell. Any chance you'll go out and get another one some time soon? I saw one a few months ago in this gorgeous blue color. Huge wing on the back. Wow. Btw- does the RS have a more compliant suspension? The GT3 I drove (non RS) was HARD (far far harsher than a Scud- and thats pretty locked down).

  16. #16
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    I have too many cars at home, with mine and my adult (almost) kids, and only a 3 car garage. I figured I could get one again later, I hope. And no, the RS is nearly identical in feel to the regular GT3. The one I drove most was a regular 07 GT3. The 996 (pre 07) was harsher on the road. Never driven a scud. I can tell you my wife found the Porsche smoother than the Z8 as a passenger. Again, I think it is partly the seating location, so far aft.

  17. #17
    I also found the handling addictive, the braking, rotating and powering out of tight turns was really fun once you mastered it, the only thing better at the track was the absolute nimble delight of the Lotus.

    I never did drive the 997 GT3 but my old 966 was a real 'beat you upper' on the back roads of California. It was great at the track, but anywhere else it was just way too harsh, noisey and basic. I think the comfort upgrades of the 997 were a big step forward, especially as they came with improved performance and handling!
    Andrew Macpherson

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  18. #18
    Z8Mania
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    I think I drove a 996 GT3. Btw- I had the chance to drive the Lotus and Scud back to back to back at the track and I found the Scud more fun- I just wanted to hear the engine go and have the full experience and the Scud makes you feel like a hero. The Lotus is more honest about your skill I think, especially in the sense that its a momentum car, but when given the choice I chose the Scud like 95% of the time.

    PS- I can intellectually understand the allure of the Porsche but in actual driving, it just made me nervous.

  19. #19
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Kevin's Avatar
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    Sorry for reviving an old thread but I found this discussion very interesting. I owned an SLS up to about a week ago and though I may be biased, I have nothing but good things to say about it. The car was full of character. While driving I couldn't help but laugh and giggle like a little boy as the cars engine popped and cracked on the over-rev. Though I love my Z8 by no means does it make me feel this way. The Z8 feels much more proper and serious. I truly regret selling my SLS and will definitely buy another as time goes on. I do believe the SLS will become a collector and values will go up as time goes on. If you remember at the end of the production run the Z8 was sitting on showroom floor too.
    2003 Z8 Silver/Black AH62031 (Sold)

  20. #20
    Z8Mania
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    I agree with you on the driving part. I'm not so convinced on the collector part but I don't think your opinion is crazy either. My take is they will continue to make the SLS in future generations and that will likely spoil its collectability. That said, time will tell so lets come back to this in a few years.

  21. #21
    Kevin, the Z8 can be turned into a much more involving car to drive with the right upgrades. I drive a stock once recently, and was quite shocked at how plain and almost dull it seemed compared to mine. Mine isn't any faster, my upgrades are all in the handling and feel of the car, and they really do make it is so much more of a driver's car.

    I did a day in an SLS, and found it too big, heavy and sealed in, but then again I'm all about open top cars!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  22. #22
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Kevin, the Z8 can be turned into a much more involving car to drive with the right upgrades. I drive a stock once recently, and was quite shocked at how plain and almost dull it seemed compared to mine. Mine isn't any faster, my upgrades are all in the handling and feel of the car, and they really do make it is so much more of a driver's car.

    I did a day in an SLS, and found it too big, heavy and sealed in, but then again I'm all about open top cars!
    I may look nto an exhaust for the Z8 in the future.
    2003 Z8 Silver/Black AH62031 (Sold)

  23. #23
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    I agree with you on the driving part. I'm not so convinced on the collector part but I don't think your opinion is crazy either. My take is they will continue to make the SLS in future generations and that will likely spoil its collectability. That said, time will tell so lets come back to this in a few years.
    I have heard that the replacement SLS will lose the special doors and have normal ones instead. The replacement will also be at a lower price point and a competitor for the 911. The SLS will also be the last of the NAturally Aspirated Big V8. As the newer AMGs will have twin turbos and smaller engines.
    2003 Z8 Silver/Black AH62031 (Sold)

  24. #24
    Z8Mania
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    I've read the same things. Will it make the current car a stand out or curiosity. I don't know. The original 300 SL was a truly ground breaking car in many ways. Two obvious are the Gullwing doors which were necessitated by the race chassis and the DOHC with mechanical fuel injection. I believe a first for a street car. The engine in that car was 30 years- 30!!! Ahead of its time. What is ground breaking in the SLS AMG? I'm not knocking the car- I think there's much to like/ but it didn't break any new ground not set any new standards. I think it will be viewed in between a true collectible and an SL65.

  25. #25
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Kevin's Avatar
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    I agree with you that the SLS by no means is ahead of its time, however neither was the Z8 or Ford GT. I just believe the SLS will be the last of the big naturally aspirated engines. From my experience the last of something special is as important in terms of collectibility as the first of something special, however only time will tell.
    2003 Z8 Silver/Black AH62031 (Sold)

  26. #26
    Z8Mania
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    That's where I disagree a little. The Z8 was the first BMW with an aluminum frame and served as a test bed for their use of aluminum in other cars. They will move the next generation of BMWs to aluminum frames because their cars are getting too heavy. And the Z8 was built as a limited production model with no direct model before nor after. It has that in common with the ford gt. Also in the case of the Z8 and I think ford gt the running gear is all bespoke. The SLS doesn't offer anything different than you'd find in a regular SL. The SLS differs because they didn't limit production and they will make successors. To me the question is will the market view it as unique like the 300SL, with the successors the way the various MB SLs are, or will the market look at it more like another sports gt. I honestly think its more of the latter. Time will tell.

  27. #27
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Well stated Jerry. Of course, time will tell. While the SLS is cool, is it special enough in the long run to become collectible?

  28. #28
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I believe the Z8 was also the testbed for the high-speed wiring bus that showed up on the e65.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    That's where I disagree a little. The Z8 was the first BMW with an aluminum frame and served as a test bed for their use of aluminum in other cars. They will move the next generation of BMWs to aluminum frames because their cars are getting too heavy. And the Z8 was built as a limited production model with no direct model before nor after. It has that in common with the ford gt. Also in the case of the Z8 and I think ford gt the running gear is all bespoke. The SLS doesn't offer anything different than you'd find in a regular SL. The SLS differs because they didn't limit production and they will make successors. To me the question is will the market view it as unique like the 300SL, with the successors the way the various MB SLs are, or will the market look at it more like another sports gt. I honestly think its more of the latter. Time will tell.
    thegunguy

  29. #29
    Z8Mania
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    I wouldn't be surprised. Cool!