Monday, December 29, 2008

//M Sport Package Finally Coming Stateside

BMW is finally making the highly desirable //M Sport package an option in 2009 3-series convertibles (sedans and coupes too.) This package was something I really wanted back when I ordered my car in the Spring of 2007. The wheels alone are super nice and solid reason to choose this package if you are planning to order a convertible in 2009.

The equipment differentiation between the M Sport Packages and the current Sport Packages are:

  • M door sills
  • M footrest
  • M gearshift lever
  • M steering wheel
  • M wheels
  • Available with an M exterior color
  • Anthracite Headliner (not available on Convertibles)
  • Aerodynamic package


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eliminating Insurance of Non-Timed Track Events

Not many of us with 3-series convertibles get involved in track days with our cars, but I have certainly been tempted and would like to eventually see how my car does with its installed Stage II Dinan and possibly some future modifications. Unfortunately, a new article on insurance companies and coverage may end many track events across the nation and is certainly making me reconsider the possibility of tracking my E93 (probably a better idea is buying an old E30 and use it as a dedicated track car with minimal investment.)

Just curious, has anyone participated in any track events or driver schools with their E93? Would you not participate if you knew this insurance "loophole" was closed?

From the New York Times: "IT’S no secret that insurance companies don’t like the people they cover to drive fast. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the industry has been removing a policy loophole that insured drivers on racetracks.

"What’s happened is that many insurers have redefined the term “racing.” Policies have long had exclusions for racing, but it was defined as a “timed event.”

"High-performance driver education neatly avoided that definition. Although cars may take laps at top speed, they aren’t timed.

"At many schools, including those held by the Porsche Club of America and the BMW Car Club of America, students are required to attend classroom sessions. On the track, drivers get one-on-one tutoring from an instructor under controlled conditions. The cars are generally sent around the track in small groups with passing limited to straightaways — and only when the driver being passed signals that doing so is all right. So because these runs were not timed, many drivers were covered by their normal automobile policies." more.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Plenty of Competition... This Time Lexus

There are two additional luxury hardtop convertible competitors coming to take on the venerable BMW 3-series: the Infiniti G37 and Lexus IS250C. Lexus is the first to hit the auto show circuit having debuted their hardtop this past week at the Paris Auto Show. Funny side note, check out the wheels on the show car. They look quite a bit like the BMW 335i with sport package wheels, Style 189.

The folding top action is reminiscent of the hardtop action on the Chrysler Sebring. Fortunately for Lexus, the top up and top down looks give the car a similar sporty look like the BMW. You can see the top action in the video below.

Having driven the Lexus IS series a couple times (my wife drives a Lexus RX and I request the IS as a loaner car), I haven't been impressed by the car's driving dynamics nor the leather of the seats. The IS just feels boring. Corning stinks as does the constant over-steer of the car. None of this will really matter for the convertible version as I'm sure it will attract a fairly large percentage of female drivers who want it more for it's look than it's handling. But don't get me wrong, the Lexus is a nice car and would make a great cruiser for a lot of us who enjoy convertibles as a third recreational car. more.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Integrated Digital Vent Gauge System

This is a pretty nice, stealth boost gauge option by a small third-party vendor. The Boost PSI gauge uses orange lights integrated fully into the driver's left side air vent.

There is a new Do-It-Yourself thread on Bimmerfest that shows how to install the product. Seems pretty straight forward and looks great in the accompanying videos in the DIY Thread. more.

UPDATE: The product has recently been updated with a slightly tweaked front face to better match the interior's matte black finish. More info here:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

PMS-Lifting Experience

It's bad enough trying to defend a convertible purchase over a coupe on the enthusiast boards. I can't count how many threads I have read where E92 coupe owners laugh at us E93 convertible owners because we bought a "gay" or "chick" car because the top goes down. Not that I really care about being laughed at by a bunch of boy racers, but this review from the Mother Proof blog website isn't exactly helping the masculinity factor of my car.

From Mother Proof: "A BMW convertible is always fun, but did you know that the 2008 BMW 335i convertible is also a wonderful PMS buster? As the 335i rolled into my driveway, I was already suffering from the dreaded PMS headache and stomachache, but driving it proved to be a PMS-lifting experience.

It provided the comfort I needed (awesome lumbar support and heated seats) as well as the sassy style that was so befitting of my personality at the time. If I felt a little punchy, the car said, “Girl, I can relate. Beat this guy when the light turns green. I won’t let you down.” Backed by 300 ponies and a zippy six-speed manual transmission, the 335i put a smile back on my face." more.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What I Built

The new BMW 3 series sedan recently debuted online with the new 3 Sedan Explore website. As part of the site's navigation, there is a compilation gallery of owner cars from E30 BMWs to the present. As mentioned in another blog posting here, BMW NA was requesting use of owner photos they found on Flickr. With the site's launch they did use a couple photos I had signed a release form for.

As a 3 series fan, it is personally exciting seeing one of my cars on the site. I wish I had some great photos from my prior '97 3 series ownership. I loved that car and it would've been great seeing pictures in a couple of the years. Anyway, it is a great site and as an enthusiast it is great having BMW showcase my pride and joy and others who obviously care for their own personal expression of the ultimate driving machine. So if you get a chance, explore the new 3 sedan and don't forget to checkout the "What You Built" section of the site.more.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Douche Rocks out to his Logic 7 Sound System

Oh great, here we go again... Some idiot BMW driver giving all of us a bad reputation. This time it's some kid who decides it's time to suspend his collapsable roof and crank up the sound system in the new M3 convertible. One can only believe he is drunk and decided it was better to dance like an idiot than drive his car. I mean what's up with the towel waving and white man over-bite two step.

Anyway, I was only hoping that at the end of the video someone like Terry Tate from the Reebok ads was going to bolt across the lawn and sack this fool. more.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

BMW Considers Bringing the 320i to the States

BMW may bring a 4-cylinder 3-series back to the states. This hasn't happened since the late 1990s when the 318i and 318ti were around on the E36 body styles. Personally I love this news. I think it's a great way to bring down the cost of the 3-series, which is something 1-series barely did, and would allow for a nice commuter version of the 3-series for gas conscience buyers. I loved my old 1.9 liter Z3 4 cylinder engine. It was easy to work on and provided a decent amount of power for that car. Granted the 3-series is much more heavier than a '96 Z3, but the new 320i's engine has been well received over seas and apparently is a spirited driver though no speed demon as it takes ~9.5 seconds from 0-60 from its 156 hp engine.

From Edmunds Inside Line: "In Europe, the 167-horsepower 320i is a healthy volume seller, as is the 120i, and BMW project director Oliver Friedmann tells Inside Line that such an addition to the company's North American offerings "would have a desirable effect on many fronts."

The direct-injection four-cylinder gas BMWs are, by many accounts, the best models sold by the company. And the fuel consumption numbers speak volumes." more.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Winter" Car Dilemma

I love driving my E93 and find it a great way to get to and from work everyday, but there are days I'd rather just leave it parked in the garage away from the rain and snow. A couple months back, I started searching Craigslist and AutoTrader for an used E36 or even an E30 BMW 3-series model to use as my 'winter' car.

I finally found a perfect example last weekend in a 1993 318is 5 speed manual coupe that I bought for $3,000. It is in great shape, though it has 182k miles on it. Everything runs well, it had a recent tune up about 3k miles back and was being used as a commuter car for a family in a neighboring upscale town that took good care of it. One of the things I really liked hearing from the prior owner was how they replaced the leather on the driver's seat a couple years ago because it was heavily worn. Now that's someone who takes care of their cars.

Unfortunately, this nice little find may be short lived for me. I had a hell of a time convincing my wife I needed another car to keep my E93 baby even more flawless and preserved. So, the agreement was that I was looking for a car for her brother and that if he didn't want to take the car I bought then I get to keep it. My brother in-law is coming down this weekend to check the 318is out and I'm certain he will drive off with it.

So my question to you is what would you do? Should I do a little side deal with the brother in-law and possibly risk the side deal coming out and biting me in the ass if my wife finds out? Should I just let him look at it and hope he doesn't go with it? Should I just park it under a tree and feed the birds a lot?

Any other thoughts?

Monday, August 18, 2008

The competition heats up

Rumors of an Infiniti G37 hardtop convertible have been around for at least a good year now and finally Infiniti has released the first official photo of the car, shown top down. The interesting part will be seeing the car top up. We all know the 335i convertible looks amazing top down but there is a lot of criticism of it top up, especially from E92 coupe

From Edmunds Inside Line: "The world got its first official look at the 2009 Infiniti G37 convertible on Saturday, as the automaker unveiled a photo of the car at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The G37 convertible, with a three-piece automatic retractable hardtop, will go on sale in the spring of 2009."

I'll be sure to take a bunch of photos of the G37 convertible next year when it makes its pass at the 2009 Detroit International Auto Show.

So, what are some of your thoughts on the design of the G37 convertible? Do you like it? Think the E93 has a formidable challenger? more.

Monday, August 11, 2008

BMW Performance: Why do you torment me?

I was at the dealership last friday getting a radiator fluid top off as my fluid level apparently evaporated just enough to send me a nasty warning light last week. Wondering around the dealership, I looked into the parts cabinet display and noticed a very nice looking steering wheel with cutouts for the paddle shifters on my 335i steptronic. The new part was the BMW Performance Steering Wheel which I held in my hands and felt a dramatic difference than the stock wheel with it's beefier feel and of course the whole light up display showing 1/4 mile timer, lap timer, section timer, lat/long g force, oil/water temp, and stopwatch.

Of course there is a member on who has some great shots of the steering wheel, photos galore. I'm thinking with the alcantara trim on the wheel, adding a few alcantara pieces would tie the wheel together beautifully in the interior. After a quick look, I found alcantara shift boot and e-brake pieces that would like quite nice with the performance wheel and pricing is fairly affordable which is nice since the Performance Steering Wheel is in the ~$1,000 price point (I found it for $995 from Tischer BMW online.)

While I have no set timing on when I'll add this modification, I do expect to get it installed with the additional alcantara pieces some time time around September or October. The new steering wheel looks and feels very nice; though, like anything else BMW I wish it was a little easier on the wallet.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Convertible Top Maintenance Demo Video

I have been wondering how best to maintain the functionality of my hardtop convertible. Fortunately, Pat Goss of Motorweek covered a couple tips on proper lubrication of the movable parts using White Lithium Grease. He also shows how to apply the grease using a Q-Tip. The video also shows how to treat the rubber trim around the windows and sections of a collapsable roof.

Basically, this video is a great resource for those of us wondering how best to do proper care of this complex roof system.

Let me know if you have any other tips or suggestions.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Solzhenitsyn Passes On

While not E93 related, I just had to share how this world lost one of its greatest authors - Alexander Solzhenitsyn. His contribution to literature is amazing. The Gulag Archipelago trilogy is one of my favorite reads of all time; it covered his experiences in the Russian prison camps in Siberia -- simply amazing, horrific, and inspiring! Anyway, I thought I'd share my respect for him and highly recommend his words. more.

BMW Communicates with Flickr Photo Users

I was on vacation last week when out of the blue a nice couple emails came across from BMW North America asking if I could sign a release form to be considered for their using my photos on Flickr for a new 3-series web site effort. Here is the text from the email I received:

Dear BMW enthusiast,

We are reaching out to owners of past and current 3 Series
models for photography, videos, and stories to be included
in the new 3 Series interactive showcase on as
we get ready to launch the new 2009 3 Series Sedan. One or
more of your images was found on Flickr and identified as
possible content to be used on this site:

--URL of Image on Flickr--

Your image will be displayed anonymously and your name will
not be associated with them, although you may allow us to
use a screen name if you wish. Your image will be linked
back to your Flickr page.

If you agree to give us permission to use your material, we
will need your signature on a release form, submitted by
Aug. 6.

Please visit to download and submit
your release form. All submission directions are included
in the form. If you have additional questions, please

Thank you in advance for your participation.

So, I signed my waivers and hope to have a picture or two showcased in the upcoming site. Anyone else receive one of these?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

'09 Model Changes Coming

Details are starting to emerge about the next 3-series. The big news are some changes to the iDrive and the additional option of the 7-speed dual clutch currently found on the new M3.

Some enhancements for iDrive include the following: "Infotainment has been bolstered significantly by the ConnectedDrive fused iDrive and 80 gigabyte hard drive. ConnectedDrive features BMW Online which – surprise, surprise – enables you to access e-mail, news and stock market updates whilst driving; could be a bit disconcerting in the current economic environment though."

But to me the best option is the dual clutch. This is some very cool technology and out shifts a traditional manual. "The heart of the new BMW transmission is the double clutch system that acts to smooth out gearshifts to the point that they are often only discernible by watching the rise and fall of engine rpm on the... tachometer." more.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

335i a Better Choice than the New M3 Convertible

MSN UK Review: "The M3 coupé stunned, the saloon impressed - so what's left for the cabrio? Well, if nothing else chopping the roof off lets you hear more of the fabulous engine note. Which has to be a good thing. And we've got the first sight of the M division's new automated gearbox.

"Called M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT), this seven-speed unit ramps up BMW's already impressive head start in automated manual gearboxes. Indeed, with a cheeky jibe at Ferrari it even claims to have been first with the technology, SMG apparently beating the supercar builder's F1 gearbox by six months.

"The extra weight, softer chassis and body flex do diminish the M3's hardcore appeal though. And in that respect it's hard to ignore the fact the cheaper 335i's smooth, more flexible power delivery and only marginal performance handicap probably suit the convertible's character better than the M3's manic, race derived V8." more.

M3 Convertible "Compromised and confused"

Jeremy Clarkson, of Top Gear fame, has not been a fan of the new hard top convertibles from BMW (see his review of the 335i convertible last year) and he is consistent has he trashes the new M3 cabrio.

From Times Online: "I like the new M3. As a coupĂ©... The saloon version is even better. It doesn’t have a carbon fibre roof, which makes no difference at all, but it does have four doors and a bigger boot, which means your children can come too. And it’s a little bit cheaper.

"The new convertible version, however, has a problem. Taking the roof off, say, a Peugeot doesn’t really matter. Who cares if it’s all floppy as a result. It was never built to be the ultimate driving machine in the first place.

"The problem is that BMW’s M cars are built to be the last word in precision, handling, fun, grip and speed. And if you take the roof off, you are sacrificing torsional rigidity, which means you are sacrificing precision, handling, fun, grip and speed. You are therefore removing the whole point of the car. It’s much the same story with the Porsche 911." more.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Dimsa Exhaust Tips for 335i

Finally someone has come out with some very nice exhaust tips for a cool cosmetic look to the back of the 335i cars. Dimsa tips are simply that, replacement tips to the OEM exhaust system. These will do nothing for performance; it's purely a look thing, but boy do they look amazing. I'll be ordering mine soon and having a local muffler shop install them. The tips are 3.5" or 4" diameter and come in chrome or powdercoated black. Both styles look very nice; though, I'm a traditionalist and will go with the chrome on my car (I'll add some pictures when I get around to ordering and installing them in the next month or so.) You can order the pair for $175 at more.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Ultimate Hardtop Convertible: Ferrari California

New pictures surfaced showing the Ferrari California featuring a pretty sweet hardtop convertible. Checkout some of the new pictures on Autoblog. more.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Yikes! Bimmerfest Member Suffers Major Top Failure

No one ever said there wasn't any risk when buying a retractable hard top convertible, but one member on Bimmerfest's message board is living with a very ugly reality. It seems a grinding sound was heard as the owner was lowering her top and much distress and anguish later the car was towed to a nearby BMW dealership. The rear passenger side back panel (the one with the rear window) popped loose and caused some gnarly panel shifts. The front panel reacted to the rear panel by popping up to on the passenger side really making the whole roof a sad mess. You can see a lot more of this, as the owner posted various photos on Picasa Web Albums.

All of this got me thinking about the hardtop maintenance. I apply 303 Aerospace vinyl/rubber protectant to all of my rubber seals, but doing this really wouldn't prevent anything as drastic as this issue from happening. I also have read that some people apply grease to some of the joints of their tops. I haven't tried that but am definitely looking into doing this now as a I'm sure some grease on the joints would be helpful to keep everything working nicely.

For those of you with a hardtop convertible, what do you do to maintain your top? What products, tips or suggestions do you have understanding that the problems of the Bimmerfest poster is more of a defect than a lack of maintenance care, the car only had 5k miles on it... Yikes! more.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New M3 Convertible Experience Website

I rarely go out to the international BMW website but today I did and in doing so found some great content about the M3 convertible. There are several experience videos showing Performance, Style, Character and Philosophy about the new car. One of the better videos, I found, was the one on Performance: M DCT Drivelogic that features the double clutch transmission showing how it works and how it benefits. You can also look into some more detailed shots of the interior, like the M Sport seats. This site is definitely worth checking out, just understand that seeing the M convertible could dampen one's love of the 335i convertible. more.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Some serious auto detailing with fellow E90Post members

Well I finally had an opportunity Sunday to do some serious detailing on my E93. Two fellow members of E90Post brought their cars too, an E46 M3 and an E90. It took us a good six hours to detail all three cars using a variety of products and tools, including our Flex Random Orbital Polishers and Menzerna and Zaino polishes.

The steps:
Apply and remove Zaino Glass Polish on windows
Wash car with Zaino car wash
Dry and then clay bar with lubricant for clay
Wash car again with Zaino car wash
Apply Menzerna Intensive Polish with Flex random orbital polisher, spread polish on 1 setting and then polish area at setting 4.5 on Flex
Remove, doesn't have to be perfect
Apply Menzerna Micro Polish with Flex random orbital polisher, spread polish on 1 setting and then polish area at setting 4.5 on Flex
Remove, has to be perfect.
Apply Zaino Z-2 PRO Car Polish with micro fiber pad, let it set for half hour or longer
Apply Zaino Z-8 Grand Finale Spray Seal
Apply Zaino Z-8 Grand Finale Spray Seal

The final results...

All Images

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Custom Front End

I thought I'd take a moment and share what I did to get the front end look I have on my 335i. First of all, the body modeling is from the BMW Aero Kit, but I only went with the front lip. It's part number is: 511 10414371. The kidney grilles are painted to match my exterior and have a black matte look for the slats. They were ordered from Unique Euro Design. These guys were great and I definitely recommend them. I had one problem with the first set I received but they mailed me a new set quickly and easily. I also bought the black lower mesh below the headlights from them too. To install the lower mesh, I had to remove the entire front bumper. Thanks to I used a DIY post that was great at showing what to do. One note though: Make sure you remove your headlight washer covers before popping off the bumper, not doing that ran me $50 in parts and paint to get new washer covers.

So that is what I did to get the look I have and please feel free to send me any questions or comments.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

BMW M3 Convertible Ready for UK Release

Much to my pleasure a barrage of photos were released by BMW showing the new M3 convertible in Melbourne Red Metallic; though, I must admit I prefer the crimson red on my 335i better.

An interesting aspect comes to light in these new photos. I have been considering replacing my side mirrors with the new M3 side mirrors, but wasn't sure how the different high-gloss black treatment on the mirror body covers would look with my chrome window trim. Some prior BMW M3 Convertible images showed the M3 with the same chrome trim, but these new images show a black window trim meaning to get a clean look I should probably alter my window trim to black as well. All said and done, the OEM way to make these mods would run approximately $3,000 ($2k for the mirrors and $1k for the window trim.) Quiet a hefty cosmetic modification. Oh well, I still like the new M3 side mirrors better but I also like $3,000 in my pocket.

From "To signal the beginning of sales of the M3 convertible in the UK, BMW decided to release two-dozen more photos of its drop-top super coupe, and that's enough of a reason for us to include them in a gallery with its white counterpart. Everything remains the same, including the choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed DCT gearbox, all without that pesky roof to keep you from enjoying the 420 hp, 4.0-liter V8 when your sending it up into its 8.400-rpm redline." more (tons of pics).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fluttering Noise Service Bulletin

Some owners of the new 3-series convertibles have reported an annoying fluttering noise in the cabin of the car when the hard top is up. I personally have not experienced this but several have and it has finally been recognized and addressed by BMW in a new service bulletin. Details can be found at: Service Bulletin Details Here.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Alpina's Version of the M3 Cabriolet

So if the opportunity existed for those of us on U.S. shores, would I buy an Alpina cabriolet? After reading this review, I would seriously consider it but unfortunately those of us stateside will never see this car let alone test drive one.

From "No question, the B3 cabrio is an exceptionally desirable car, one that combines monster pace with reasonable economy and emissions, genuine seating for four, and a proper folding metal hood that will allow you to enjoy those fleeting moments when the sun comes out in this country. And as ever it will almost certainly offer a more relaxing driving experience than the factory M3 cabrio, without feeling overly compromised by the removal of its roof. We like it, we like it a lot." more.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This Guy Is Cool, Literally

Near freezing weather in Seattle and driving top down for the test drive. This is one news reporter I can hangout with. Checkout a chilly drive in March as the local NBC automotive reviewer takes the 335i convertible for a spin. Amazingly there was no rain on his day out. As a former Northwest resident (Portland, in my case), I enjoyed seeing some nice twisty roads and green in March.

This guy even takes the car to Costco. He is completely nuts and why this is a fun review to watch. A bit abnormal and plenty of positive words as he does laps in a parking garage before handing the keys back. More.

3-Series Conception

Ever wanted to know where the 3-series BMWs are built and what the plant looks like. Here is a video showcasing the new Leipzig plant where all 3-series models are produced. This is definitely worth a watch. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chris Bangle Talks about the 335i Convertible

Wow, this is one cool video from the world's most polarizing automotive designer. Here Chris Bangle discusses some of the challenges and styling decisions that came together for the 2007 3-series convertible.

He talks about the "blood line" of the convertible. It is the the line from the top of the door to the end of the back seat. Watch and you will see what Bangle is talking about. Enjoy!

335i Launch Video on

While this video has been out for quite awhile, I have never viewed this full length version. These marketing videos are always pretty funny. It's interesting to see who the aspirational target customer BMW had in mind as they went to launch. Apparently, wearing shoes is optional and a hot trophy wife is required attire. Oh well, I guess that's the difference between consumptional target and aspiring..?

A reduced version was featured on the BMW convertible launch website. In fact, I used to carry a shortened version of this on my PS3 since BMW/NA had included a download to work with the portable Playstation. Anyway, here is the full version that was produced for product launch last year.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Great Product Perspective Video from BMW

I just love this video of this BMW 335i cabriolet shot in Mt Dandenong Victoria. It just has some great shots, effects, and a stylized look that makes me want to go out and drive. Enjoy!

335i Convertible Wins Play Car of the Year

Add this one to your awards given by web sites looking to generate more site traffic via press releases. Well whatever the reason, the 335i convertible was recognized by as the 2008 Play Car of the Year and I'm not one to disagree.

From "The convertible's chassis is tuned for the discriminating enthusiast, with confidence-inspiring handling and compliant ride quality. In addition, the convertible's retractable metal roof adds year-round practicality and comfort and helps keep wind noise to a minimum. Plus, with the roof lowered, you're able to fully enjoy the inline-six's sweet exhaust note. The price for this kind of fun is on the high side, for sure, but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. In this case, it's money well spent." more.

M3 Convertible Debuts at Geneva Auto Show

From Jalopnik: "The sleek and speedy vert has been unveiled after a long rumor mill process and the swiftly shifting hardtop is here to show the goods. While it gets 100% of all the things that make the M3 on it's own a fun little toy, the thing we noticed the most will be the something the golf playing lawyers who buy them."

Not much different here except the amazing new V8 in the M3. One changes is the upcoming M-DCT (dual clutch transmission) that's basically an automated manual that uses two clutches for inhumanly quick shifts.

I was really hoping for a rear spoiler option made available by the new M3 convertible, but the show car has no spoiler. Oh well, guess the limited options that exist continue to remain well... limited.

more images and information from Jalopnik

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2008 Detroit Auto Show

Last Saturday I ventured down to the Detroit Auto Show with several members from I took several images of the BMW display at the show and have a full set available for all to view on Flickr.

The show was complete with three major debuts: 1-series, M3, and X6. Unfortunately, no concept vehicles were on display especially since I was really looking forward to seeing the 2002tii Concept BMW showed at the Tokyo Auto Show. The CS concept shown in China was also not on display in Detroit. Concepts aside, the new vehicles look great. All of us were impressed by the look and interior room available in the 1-series. I even climbed into the back seat of a coupe and it really didn't feel much different from my 335i convertible. All in all, the 1-series is an impressive car. Would I swap a 135i convertible for my 335i? Not a chance. I love the hard top and the extra room which I need for carting around my twin boys. The 135i convertible while roomier than expected certainly gives up some interior space primarily back seat width and legroom.

The X6 is an interesting vehicle. Beautiful interior and an impressive V8 twin turbo engine. But I just don't get this SUV. It's huge like the X5 but lacks the interior hauling capacity of a SUV. So who wants a SUV that can't really haul anything??? I suppose if you just want to sit high and suck gas, BMW has a new vehicle for you. Just not my taste.

The M3 coupe and sedan were on display. Unfortunately no M3 convertible yet. I'm sure next year. The M3 wheels are stunning and something I may consider for a future wheel upgrade in 2008. The front reflector is horrid on the M3 and isn't flush with the front bumper. It distracts from an otherwise gorgeous car.

more images.

Monday, January 14, 2008

M3 Cabrio Images Leaked

Finally some non-camouflaged images of the upcoming M3 convertible made their way to the Internet late last week. Autoblog has a brief write-up with a gallery of images on their site.

Personally, I think the pictures don't do the car justice since the car is shown in white. The white 3-series cabriolets show the roof fold lines too much and with the additional body mold changes on the M3, the car just looks too busy with too many creases that visually interrupt the flow of the car. Of course, this could just be me being jealous in the coming year as I get passed by a M3 convertible thinking "damn! If only I had waited a year."

"The folding-roof M3 doesn't officially debut until the Geneva Auto Salon in March, but a German magazine jumped the gun and posted images on their website. Embargo apparently broken, the pictures continue to propagate about the internet." more.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Diesels Coming to 3-Series US Model Line

As much as I wanted a diesel E93, I just couldn't wait. I was looking forward to the new convertible and just bit early on a 335i. No real regrets, but for those of you who are still looking to buy you might want to wait to gain some nice fuel savings and still get BMW performance.

From Autoblog: "n the U.S., the 3.0L twin-turbo diesel is expected to produce 265 hp and 425 ft-lbs of torque, which is plenty for us. At the same time, it will return 23 city/33 highway mpg and take the 335d sedan to 62 mph in 6.2 seconds. Talk about having your cake and eating it, too." more.