The Ultimate Driving Machine
From reluctant to hesitant, giving it a try, then madly falling in love, and now I can’t imagine my life without one. It only took a split second for a black M3 coupe fully equipped with Racing Dynamics gear zooming past me on Highway 110 in Los Angeles, Southern California on a Friday night 20 years ago that changed my perspective view of BMW. I didn’t know much about the car but the stylish wheels with the Racing Dynamics logo was so striking — it gave the car such a unique, stylish look. The way the car drives on the freeway, the powerfulness, the mental picture still takes my breath away even up to this day.
I traded in my Integra for a 1996 328is by telling the lease manager that I could only afford a $400 monthly payment. Awesome is the only way to describe the stability, the steering response, and the handling when you make hard, sharp, quick turns. The smooth acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in just a few seconds. The ratio of torque and weight of the car give it the ability to change lanes in a few split seconds whether you decide to fight through the traffic or change your mind on which direction to drive. The car drives like a gladiator charging forward with beauty.
If you add the double spoke 21” wheels, oh boy, not only does it enhance the aerodynamic looks but also the stability when turning or on a wet road — what a joy the car can give you. It’s my most cherished, luxurious, relaxing moment when I am driving my car during my busy hectic life.
Oh, if you enjoy music like the way I do from classical, Latin dance, Pop, to Rock, from Beethoven to Pitbull, then you must add the Harman Kardon premium sound system. The 8 speakers with subwoofer stereo system combined with the ultimate driving performance gives me the most pleasure in the moment.
How can I forget the most state of art technology that BMW fans are proud of – the braking system. 🙂 The spontaneity of breaking response between the pedal and wheel is unbelievable. I personally enjoy the quick, sensitive hard griping from the tire to the road when you perform a sudden brake. The car stops right on the dot.
BMW certainly is proud to live up to its promise the “ULTIMATE driving machine” when you put your hands and feet on the manual shifter and the clutch. M3! My most favorite car still today, and I still miss it. The reaction time from engaging the shifter with the clutch is quick and smooth, engine response to accelerate to 3000 RPM in just a split of second. Unbelievably smooth and quick reaction from first gear to 2nd gear. Oh what I miss the most is the roar of the engine! Like a warrior horse, lifting its front legs and roaring into the battlefield. In addition, the shifter has very short distance to engage each gear which gives you the most sensitive touch and quick response.
On the other hand, the 528i manual shifter gives the most relaxing ultimate driving experience that you wouldn’t believe. I would say the 528i drives like a gentleman, and the M3 drives like a warrior.
In the last 20 years, BWM has improved the performance and the luxury interiors with today’s technology and science. I have replaced my manual transmission with an automatic for about 8 years now; I was unsatisfied with power of the engine when I switched from an M3 to a 3 series wagon. Don’t get me wrong; the 3 series wagon is a beautiful car to drive just not the same experience as an M3 (probably due to I can’t control the gear since it’s automatically) . But I don’t think there is any car that can beat the driving experience of an M3. Today, I’m madly in love with my 335i even it has its own flaws. 🙁
Like everything else in life, something good must come with something not so good. I’m not having too much luck with the BMW twin turbo 6 cylinder technology from our 535ix wagon to my current 335i. 🙁 I’ve experienced Engine malfunction which prevents full engine power from both cars even though they are made in different years as well. Thus, my heart sank because the 335i performs so well from sterling handling, to the awesome brake system, to the stability of the steering and the wheels that I don’t miss driving stick shift much these days.
Other cons about BMW’s car are: Not very energy efficient, if I may say so! Our 540i (manual) only gets 18 mile per gallon, 335i about 19-20 mpg, roughly same for our X3 (2011). And last but not the least is the “$$$$” , I understand inflation but to completely load up an M3/M4 for 2014/2015 could cost $90K easily out the door. Yikes.
I had the privilege to drive and experience the BMW diesel engine technology in a 328d loaner car about 1 month ago, and was I surprised!!! The diesel engine outputs power that lives up to the BMW standard and expectation with energy efficiency in mind and yet still allows me to enjoy the driving experience that I have with my 335i (ok, not quite but pretty close). Once again, BMW has done it by using the ratio of torque with energy efficiency knowledge to continue enhancing the ultimate driving experience. What a perfect example of the perfection of driving performance with combined the “science and technology of today”.
And lets not forget tires which can also changed performance as well. I am personally a big fan of the Bridgestone Potenza Pole Position (currently SO4) a high performance tires. It gives the most exceptional griping power to the car in particularly during hard, sharp turns on both dry and wet roads. But it’s noisy and bumpy road experience and of course the tire life span is not last as long you would like especially given the price of the tires. If you are looking for a comfier road ride yet enjoy great driving performance, you should consider the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 ZP.
No matter what kind of car you like, and what sort of driving experience you are looking for, just remember to find the car suitable to your personality and your day to day needs, because we spend a great deal of time driving.
I’m excited and looking forward to my next new BMW diesel in the near future.