At just about 700 miles, it was time for a road trip. We drove over 500 miles drove from northern NJ down I-81 and eventually to some of the Blue Ridge Parkway. On I-81, I was challenged by a white modified E90 which was fun, no, he could not catch me. We stopped at a motorcycle cabin rental place, on a farm right off the BRP. Through light rain, the mountain B-roads began to get more fun from here, dramatic banking, elevation changes, hairpin turns, all the good stuff. Except for a pot hole that resulted in a sidewall bubble on the front right.
Back on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Home base for the trip was the town of Asheville NC, great food, and live music. Once the weather had cleared, we got out early and headed 2 hours west towards the Tail of the Dragon, and the many other fun roads along the North Carolina / Tennessee border.
The M240i devours miles on the highway. In Eco mode we saw 35mpg driving around 80mph in hilly terrain. The ride quality and seating for two is very comfortable. I appreciate the exhaust valve closed, in the non-sport modes and the HK stereo. For a trip like this I do wish I had the auto cruise control. Passing on the highway is just effortless.
In the wet or damp twisty roads, the M240 xdrive is a grip monster. My car has the Pirelli P-zero non-RF summer tires. At no point did I slide or slip when pushing through the mountain roads in sport+.
We hit the Tail of the Dragon mid week when the roads dried up, and did one back and forth run. I pushed the car as hard as I could thought the tight 318 turns, and honestly got a new respect for this car. Accelerating hard out of the hilly turns, made the 225 fronts squeal, but at no point was I feeling the car out of sorts. Left traction and stability control on, and I never got the back end to move too much. I appreciated the steering more now for its speed and precision. Finally, I was moderately hard on the brakes, as I was sprinting between each set of turns. Yes, there is a little soft initial pedal feel, but that also allows you to lightly scrub speed. When pressed harder, the brakes work quite well even after repeated used. The tire temps got up to about 126F, air temp was about 72.
Overall, it was quite an amazing trip, over 2,200 miles now. This car can take you anywhere is comfort, safety, and speed. The driving dynamics are also great when on the fun roads. As a result of trying to achieve a balanced vehicle, the driver is little more isolated, and the car a bit heavier that a true sports car. But you also appreciate these same traits when used as your daily driver.