The Cyborg is dead, long live.....

Discussion in 'General chat' started by Harry, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. Harry
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    Harry

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    Should this post go here? If not please move.

    Long ramble ahead. Put the kettle on. Use of 2,000 words when 50 will do? That'll be Harry!

    Sometimes you just get it right. The Cyborg is a case in point. I researched for weeks, waited for the right car and didn’t skimp or dither (too much) on the spec I wanted. Because I started the search with a narrow view, the number of possible candidates in the UK came down to three., with the 750Li I ended up with being the obvious leading contender. In the end I skipped power fold mirrors and privacy glass. All other boxes were ticked and a few more besides.

    My running report spanning some years has alas gone with BMWLand. I wish I had kept copies but I didn’t. So that’s that. I’m not going back to the beginning and reconstituting it again but I will say that although not cheap to run and prone to a fair number of bugs and failures (pretty much all covered by the warranty), it is the best car I have ever had. It was everything I’d hoped for and more. And the last time it rolls off my drive will be just as special an occasion as when it first rolled on, eight years ago. The novelty never wore off. It’s a great car and that’s how I will remember it.

    The plan was to spare no expense but be realistic. So for the past two years it has not been to the BMW dealer for all work, the routine stuff and MOTs being done by a local Indie. Dents and scuffs were fixed. But as is always the case, trim and paintwork have faded (the car is 11 years old now and hasn’t been garaged for eight). It still shines but the little chips, less than transparent lacquer in places, slightly ratty patches, phantom rattles, a little bit of corrosion, mean that it’s at a fork in the road. I’d keep it as a project if that was my thing, but it isn’t. I need something for business. Not doing big business miles, but to turn up in and do long drives occasionally. And of course to have some fun in the Mendips, where you can kill a car without breaking the speed limit if you are clumsy enough, and where you can scrape its door mirrors on the crown of the road, also without breaking the speed limit.

    Don’t think a Seven can do this? Well, in terms of the F01/2 you’d be right. It had somewhat arthritic dynamic ability. But the E65/66, for all its outlandish looks is the last of the old school Sevens. It has deep ability where it counts. It drives like a proper old fashioned BMW. The F01/2 to me feels numb, detached, not something you can drive through the seat of your pants (or even through your palms or finger tips). And the ride is awful.

    So where to go? Difficult. I have (not too seriously) considered many candidates over the past year and have been unmoved when it came down to it. Better to continue in a cheap banger with infinite feel good factor. Why spend money on something which seems a compromise?

    But the turn of this year has seen the day of reckoning approach. I could still run The Cyborg for a year or two, but it’s time and I know it. After a lot of scratching about it had come down to the M5. Once you filter for a few must have toys, the pool of cars at the right price isn’t impossibly big. But I’ve only seen one with ventilated seats and if you have had such seats you’ll know why I don’t want to give them up.

    We recently had an F10 520d on loan for three days and I racked up a few miles in it. Even on the brittle, choppy, crash, bang, wander-all-over-the-road E60, I thought the 2.0d was little short of brilliant for what it was, and the latest 520d implementation makes me seriously question why I wouldn’t run one. Apart from the fact I dislike diesel it’s down to vanity and a refusal to settle for acceptable. But I can excuse myself on the grounds of being a “petrolhead” as opposed to a vain, stupid bloke of a certain age. So, moving on…..

    What the 520d showed us is that the F10 is a more than good car. Remarkably good if you consider just how patchy the E60 could be depending on spec, tyres and wheels. We could live with one. And of course, while an M5 would not be remotely the same car, the size, on board tech, parking, visibility etc. would be similar. So that got me pointing in the right direction. It was some time later that I realised I was thinking too much inside the box. The idea of having two X cars on the drive is ridiculous. But what if one really wicked and well toyed X car eventually replaced the first X car and we then had the wriggle room to do something different? Like run a Tesla, or an iCar or maybe get that Cayman? Helen’s car is huge fun to drive. It hasn’t turned out to be at all difficult to live with or drive all over the country. I’m surprised at how much I like it. Of course it rides hard, but the ride and steering are communicative and accurate. It is not beset with the same choppiness and nervous ride/steering which blighted the first generations of BMWs fitted with RFTs.

    Fold in the vanity factor and the scope for something different enough to cushion the pain of Cyborg loss makes it start to look rather interesting. Although when I filtered it down for M Cars with full leather and ventilated seats I was back where I was in 2008 with the Seven. I had been doing some idle research over Easter and seen the X6M supersonic fire engine at Sytner. “Wrong colour” was the immediate conclusion, but the more I kept coming back to it the more it looked like the right colour. Shortly afterwards it disappeared. Not surprising. I thought someone had snapped it up like I was beginning to want to. A week later it’s back at a grand less. Turns out that the private plate was taken off and that required it to be taken off line for a few days while the details were updated.

    [​IMG]

    We went to see it today. The red paint is lightly chipped in the places you would expect it to be. I can’t quibble on a 5.5 year old car, although the sills ahead of the rear arches are peppered, like in Helen’s X5. They will be machine polished. Fair enough. If they irritate afterwards (unlikely) I will get a smart repair done down the line. The leading part of the rear arch on the X6M (and maybe the X6 – don’t know) has a protective film. This is being renewed and the car will have a full valet. All the wheels are immaculate. There are no dents, scuffs or scratches. The reason I am not being ultra picky, apart from the fact that the wear and tear is light and superficial is the interior. It’s mint. The other reason is because of how it drove – immaculately. How could I possibly say no?

    The Insured Warranty for the 750 costs £167 per month with a £100 excess. I do not know how much the X6M will cost but if I was buying on its present mileage, off the back of the first dealer supplied year, it would be £103 with a £100 excess. £84 with a £250 excess. Impressive.

    If all goes to plan, we will have it on Friday.

    After all that was concluded we went for a drive round the Ascot area in an i3. Honestly, I was expecting better. I think they have tried too hard to be different. The front and rear doors not working together in tight spaces is the obvious one but it’s – to our thinking at least – wantonly quirky merely for the sake of it. The big let-down for me was the seats. Not too comfortable with insufficient base tilt and poor thigh support. It was also difficult for me to find a decent wheel to seat arrangement – in fact I didn’t find one. So the i3 is off our list. We were surprised at how much we didn’t like it. What you couldn’t help but like was the nippy and accurate way it drove. Brilliant drive. But an uncomfortable and at times impractical car.

    Here’s the Cyborg with its original plates back on, waiting to be collected on Friday.

    [​IMG]

    I am sad. I can’t think why. It’s the best car I’ve ever had (which is to be celebrated) and it’s being replaced with what looks to be the other best car I ever had.

    More in due course.
     
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  2. Spuffington
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    Spuffington Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Haven't read it all yet, but please let me be the first to congratulate you.

    I always look forward to your running reports so I'm now going to sit down, grab a beer, read and enjoy! :)

    Congrats. :cool:
     
  3. The Livster
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    The Livster Site Supporter

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    Sure you are going to enjoy "The Beast" roll on Friday (y)
     
  4. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Well done, Harry!

    So pleased you have found something a bit special and different, to replace the Seven. (y)

    Look forward to the next instalments, once you have some home ground driving time.

    Peter
     
  5. Chris.T
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    Chris.T

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    Congrats on the new car looking forward to seeing some pics:)
     
  6. snrbrtsn
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    snrbrtsn WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Congratulations, I purchase that is that bit special
    Very envious, knowing how well the X6m drives
     
  7. Ian BW
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    Ian BW Site Supporter

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    Wow, that's a stunner Harry, looking forward to the reports
     
  8. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Excellent write up Harry, you obviously did better in English lessons than I did at school!
    Can't agree with your comments about the E60 though. Although I never actually owned an E60 I did have an E61 lci and, with active steering at least, it drove like it was on rails and never wandered. That was the best car I've owned, handling wise, to date. I just wish the GT's steering was as good.
    Anyhow, good that you had a drive around in my back garden! Congrats on the car, it looks fab.
     
  9. Verbarthe
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    Verbarthe WARLORD Site Supporter

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    You ll miss Cyborg ,that s a given , but it s replacement will definitely make it s mark with you in it s own right , excellent choice for something different , I ve always like the 6 ers myself , just because they re exactly that . Like the others , am looking forward to further reports. Enjoy it .(y)
     
  10. Olli
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    Olli

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    Only jealousy here. Not more, not less. Love that car
     
  11. K777
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    K777

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    looked at the pics.
    i like the X6

    I might read it all later Harry, unless i wait for the book (prob a trilogy) to come out (y)
    just messing.

    speed read it,now, yeah i like the colour with the wheels. looks mean and aggressive, just like it should.
    just needs black grills.

    nice one.
     
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  12. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Yeah black grills would be good. You have time to get the dealer to install them pre delivery (for free hopefully)
     
  13. Harry
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    Harry

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    Thank you all and thank you Dunc. You’re very kind, all of you.

    Let’s just get this said up front. The X6 is pointless. The X6M is totally stupid for what it is and for pretending to be an M Car. For me that’s the appeal. Why be normal? Also, as stated earlier, The Cyborg is irreplaceable, materially and emotionally. So it’s time to do something different. I think I’ve managed it.

    To be honest I was a bit stunned yesterday, overwhelmed as I was by its visual presence, the performance, how superbly it drove and the toy count. Oh yeah, and the exhaust note.

    Being somewhat conditioned to the West Country and the Motorway network, spending a day in Berkshire brought it all back (we were in Sevenoaks before we moved here). It only took 20 seconds on the test drive for someone to move into a position to close a gap and block a side turning as soon as they saw me approaching it. The BMW effect. Bloody bigots! On the other hand, when proceeding down a road with cars parked and insufficient room for two-way traffic to pass each other, the approaching traffic seemed to throw themselves to the N/S and cringe as I rumbled past. So we’ll call it a draw.

    Everything is so quiet and civilised when you get west of Stonehenge. Even stopping at Fleet services on the way up was like walking into Bedlam. I used to rep SE London so it’s not a culture shock, and you soon mentally adjust, but sometimes we don’t know how good we’ve got it when queuing up in the Bath rush half hour.

    I wanted to say a bit more about the test drive and buying process. Which were both excellent.

    The car was well prepped. Apart from some light stone chipping I searched in vain for anything to pull them up on. They had recently knocked it down by a grand and it would have been a bit silly (to me anyway) to start arguing. The car looks two smart repairs and two rear arch protectors away from mint. I couldn’t find any swirls either, but there are bound to be some flaws which appear with familiarity. I will get it corrected if necessary. The car is worth it.

    [​IMG]

    It’s a bit lower than the X5 so stepping in and out means you won’t drag your legs over a dirty sill. The interior is entirely familiar but notably different in places. The M instruments and a bit special and hello temperature gauge! I’ve missed you. Having full leather, the car feels posher and it looks plush. It’s also unmarked. The ride is softer than I thought it would be. Obviously, it’s nothing like as smooth and supple as The Cyborg but then again, neither is the F01. It actually didn’t seem so hard and jiggly as Helen’s X5 but familiar roads will tell me for sure. It has active roll bars and EDC (like The Cyborg) and they seem an effective mix of compliance and precision. Various settings can be changed and I expect that when I have it home I will configure a “Bonkers” set up (which is accessible from the steering wheel M button). So it’s firm but no fillings were lost. The steering feel is superb. The wheel is a nice size and thickness. Being servotronic, the assistance is high at low speeds - unlike Helen’s X5. It all felt “right”.

    [​IMG]

    The performance is everything you would expect and more. You quickly adjust to all the shove and it’s a nice feeling knowing what you’ve got. That’s a part of the appeal for me, although I’m having a sabbatical from subtle – the X6M just puts it out there. In terms of technology, navigation, DAB, multimedia and the like, I really have been living in the Stone Age. But happily and comfortably. The sound system turned out to have lots of settings, including an equalizer, and sounded good. I’m not sure if it has the unforced authority of the Logic7 system but it did not disappoint on first acquaintance. It’s the biggest gap in the spec on Helen’s X5 and I wasn’t willing to go there on both cars. Although we always have the aftermarket option. One thing worthy of mention is the HUD. I know it is even better on more recent models but if you’ve never had one before – wow! I was also impressed with the navigation information you can display on the windscreen. And there’s the switchable M HUD showing a tacho. And why not? It’s all harmless fun.

    [​IMG]

    All in all we spent two hours on the lot and driving it. The time just vanished. Yet I still forgot a whole bunch of things to ask because I was so awe struck by the car. There have been (and will be) a number of follow ups. It’s too early to tell if Sytner Sunningdale are just giving me lip service. But I strongly suspect they are going to prove to be highly professional. All the signs point that way. The paperwork side of things was conducted swiftly. Things were going towards electronic when we bought Helen’s X5 and it’s gone further since. So fast and easy – providing the paperwork turns up and is straight. I wouldn’t want to put anybody out of work. But I have to concede that the system as it stands, compared to the queuing and form filling at the Bristol DVLA branch, is much better and should have been changed sooner.

    [​IMG]

    Toy wise it’s a slight loss in places with big gains elsewhere. No Logic7 but the system in the new car sounds good. No oscillating seat base. I won’t miss that. No rear entertainment (which got used for three hours in eight years). Still got comfort, ventilated seats. Heated rear seats. Soft close doors and power tailgate. EDC and active roll bars. Sport steering wheel. TV – I forgot to check yesterday but the spec says it has TV. Not sure about DVD playback. To be honest I wouldn’t care if it had neither – I’ve never used them except to check they worked on The Cyborg. The X6M has Voice, which was not listed on the spec and was a pleasant discovery if for no other reason than I dislike buttons which do nothing when pressed. I used it more on The Cyborg than I thought I would.

    [​IMG]

    Past that it’s all pulses. Four zone climate, better navigation, Bluetooth pairing and streaming, DAB, USB interface, reversing camera with surround view, aux heather with remote control, adaptive headlights, heated steering wheel, comfort access, that wonderful HUD and lovely full leather interior. The only wanted feature I’ve missed is speed limit display. I can deal.

    [​IMG]

    The car is being debadged before delivery. I favour the clean look and anybody who knows cars doesn’t need to see it written on the back. The diffuser and exhausts are a bit of a giveaway in any case. As far as anybody else is concerned, who cares?!

    Sytner Sunningdale have been very slick, friendly and professional. Wellsway Bath have got a bit patchy if I’m honest but there are definite signs that they have tried to tighten it up and things seem to be returning to older, higher standards. They are not a bad dealer but they went through a wobbly patch. It is probably no coincidence that the guy we used to deal with is now heading the team and the team are getting more professional again.

    [​IMG]

    When I first saw the X6M it was up for £30K. It vanished and reappeared at £29K. They gave me £4K for The Cyborg, leaving with a £25K payment. Even if I blat around for a couple of years and move on, it’s a good price for some fun. The car has and will retain its comprehensive used warranty so aside from the inevitable serving expense (which will not be insignificant) it’s looking doable. Warranty is getting on for half what the Cyborg costs me. I cancelled it from Friday. Insurance is unknown. I’m waiting for my insurer to get back to me. I might need Tracker – we’ll see. I think it’s all a bit of a con really. I’m also sorting out some gap insurance. Sytner want £500 – I don’t think they’re going to get it.

    So what’s it called? Well, there’s only one name that fits for me. With apologies to Heltz who got there first it’s now known as Beast. Not The Beast or Das Beast. Just Beast. Let’s hope it’s not a beast to keep going. This seems unlikely.

    The Cyborg is dead. Long live Beast.
     
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  14. B2BLX
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    B2BLX

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    Cracking machine. hope you have many happy smiles and miles. Re the speed limit info, it can be retrofitted very easily even without Kafas camera, all data is stored on updated maps. Takes 10 mins to fit. if you need the link let me know and ill send it to you.
     
  15. Cotswold BMW
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    Cotswold BMW Site Sponsor

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    It's bonkers and I love it :cool:
     
  16. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    HUD is wonderful, mine is probably the same vintage which shows the NAV, which is brilliant.
    Two questions:

    Did you get the dealer to update the Nav software?
    Did they offer you a three year service package?
     
  17. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I'd be interested in that also. Is it possible to make the speed limit appear on HUD?
     
  18. Harry
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    Harry

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    Thanks Ed. I will wait until I take possession before ordering the spare. And I have a few more things to add to the cart. Can you confirm what oil it takes please.
     
  19. Harry
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    Harry

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    Really? Wow! Brilliant.

    Yes please.
     
  20. Harry
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    Harry

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    I tried for two years warranty. No. So I went for a service pack. Nothing doing. I didn't think about the navigation. I think I'll have a word. Thanks for the reminder.
     

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