From digest.v7.n1362 Sun Mar 22 20:26:48 1998
From: Duane Collie <trapdnce_at_erols.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 15:46:28 -0500
Subject: MultiVex Mirror Test on the M3
George Dalby of MultiVex Mirrors (tel. 19-535-0039) was good enought to
Fed-X me the first trial set of M3 Racing Mirror inserts to test before the
Driver's Schools and I installed them on Friday. They are simple to install
with sticky foam backing tape and fit right over the stock glass. There is
zero distortion in the glass.
The mirror itself is derived from the F1 and CART mirrors and is quite
unique. It starts as a flat mirror and gradually curves to a convex edge -
allowing you full view of the cars in either lane without having to turn
your head to clear your blind spot. Like transitional bifocals! The E36 M3
mirror, though pretty and aerodynamic, leaves a LOT to be desired in the
way of information gathering due to its small size head and oddball shape.
I hated the way the stock mirrors failed to provide adequate coverage for
making lane changes and vehicles overtaking mine.
So what are they like to drive with? Great and FUNKY!
The first 30 minutes it becomes difficult to get used to them. Vehicles
directly behind you are at just about normal appearance distance-wise, but
as the cars track to the outside and around you, they maintain the
visibility (where they would fall out of the visible spectrum in the stock
mirrors) but become farther away the closer they get. What's that mean?
Well - you never lose sight of the car in the mirror - not at all - but
it's somewhat difficult to make a lane change as the clearance distance is
not readily apparent. This is a mirror that will take some time to adapt
to. They work MUCH better with a quick glance than to study the rearward
car by staring into the mirror.
Our Driver's School was rained out so I did not get chance to track test
them, but I was experimentling with them on five lane I-495 on the way
home. Driver's side mirror is perfect. Passenger side mirror could use a
very slightly more aggressive convex at the outer edge for my tastes - but
that's a minor detail. In low speed transitions (10 mph speed differental),
the mirrors are easy to use and there is no difficulty in making a lane
change decision. At higher closure speeds (20 mph) the depth perception
makes you cautious and I found myself still double checking with a neck
swivel to be sure I was clear. Then again, I've only used them for 4 hours
of driving so I suspect that this will become more comfortable over time.
I think that they are a very worthy upgrade to an M3. It keeps you aware
of any car within two lanes either side of your vehicle without you having
to remove your eyes from the road ahead to clear your blind spot. It will
take some adaptive time to rely on them for tight passing situations on the
track and such, but that's just the ole learning curve. I'm FAR more
comfortable driving in traffic with them already. Serious Drivers should
consider forking over $ 80 and try a set. Joe Marko at HMS Motorsport
(781-631-2269) is the Distributor on these. These are already available for
other BMW models and the M3 production mirrors are due to be available next
Just don't stare into them when you first get them - they really can make
you go crosseyed!
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