BMW dealers are holding these "Ultimate Driving Experience" events where they invite people to test drive a bunch of different cars and give away swag and stuff. I received an invitation a couple months ago and signed up.
Yesterday, I get there and the girl running the sign-in table takes my information and says "So, what were you interested in driving today?"
"The M5," I responded.
"Oh, we don't have any M cars here today."
I paused. "OK, well, I'm not sure why I'm here, then."
"Hold on a sec. Let me see if the dealer has any you can look at."
I wait. A besuited salesman in his early 30s walks over and introduces himself. "I hear you're interested in the M5. We don't actually have any you can drive...they're special order only. And the 2014s haven't arrived yet."
"Ah," I say, "OK, thanks." I start to leave.
"Wait, hold up. We do have a 2013 we can sit in."
I give him this look like "Seriously?" and unenthusiastically agree. We walk out to one that's already sold. He opens the door and starts it up while I'm standing outside. He revs the engine. To my surprise, all I thought was "What a noisy waste."
Now, I'm a car guy. I've raced Porsches, owned RWD muscle cars and AWD rally cars, and generally appreciate great cars. But I was amazed to realize that the noise and bluster of an M5's engine didn't particularly excite me.
He asked me what other cars I was looking at. I gave him the list that I had made up before I decided to go for the MS: "Other than the M5, I've been considerng the AMG C63 and the Panamera 4S. Oh, and the Tesla Model S."
He didn't have any reaction to the first two, but when I said "Tesla," he looked at me with a start. "Oh, yeah, the Tesla. I actually rode in one of those last week. They're quick."
"Was it the Performance model?" I asked.
"No, it was the Model S." "Well, so much for knowing your competition," I thought.
He then proceeded to spend the next 3 minutes bashing the Model S, specifically the fit-and-finish of the one car he saw. I just kept silent and said, "Interesting" when he finished.
I gave him my business card, looking forward to the day when he calls me to ask if I'm still interested in the M5 and I tell him that I decided to get the Tesla. That'll be a fun conversation. ;-)