Thursday, June 05, 2008
BMW Ultimate Drive
I volunteered again for the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the BMW Ultimate Drive this past May. For every mile you drive, BMW will donate $1 to the Susan B. Komen For the Cure foundation. I also helped out by filling up the gas tanks of the BMWs in the mornings. I went to 6 dealerships: Crevier in Santa Ana, Sterling in Newport Beach, South Bay in Torrance, McKenna in Norwalk, Pacific in Glendale, and Century West BMW in Universal City/North Hollywood.
I got to drive the M3, which is my favorite BMW. It's universally recognized as one of the best cars in the world. This car is tremendous fun to drive. I love the excitement you feel when you're in this car. From the moment you start up its 414 hp V-8 engine, you feel this car's awesome power. The engine sound alone is more beautiful to listen to than a Stradivarious violin. It has a deep throaty exhaust note. This car accelerates to 0-60 in the low 4 second range. The redline is an astonishing 8400 rpm.
When driving the M3, I could really feel that this car could out-accelerate just about anything on the road. This car is the king of the road. The other BMW's are great, but this thing is head and shoulders above the rest.
The 135 is my second favorite BMW. It's really exciting to drive. It's a pocket rocket. The 3 series have kept growing ever since it came out in the 80's. The 135 is still bigger than the original 3 series. Since the 135 is smaller and lighter than the 335, I felt that this car was noticeably faster and more agile than my last year's favorite, the 335. When stomping on the the throttle, you feel a rush of power.
Back on May 22, when there was a freak storm in the L.A. area, some guy spun out on the 55 freeway in the rain. He was also driving a 135 trying to chase me down and pass me. There was a heavy downpour at the time with thunder and lightning. I saw his 135 spin out behind me. Fortunately, there were no cars immediately next to him. He and the 135 were okay. Afterwards, he later blamed it on the 135's "summer tires". Ha!
The 135's interior isn't as luxurious as the 335's with it's wood paneling, but it has the same quality interior materials. I can't believe, however, that the 135s cost practically just as much as the 335s. Sometimes, they even cost more, depending on the options you get.
The 335 and the 135 both share the same 300 hp V-6 engine. But, with its instant power and acceleration and catlike reflexes, I think this car is even more fun to drive than the 335.
The 128 has fewer horses, but that may not be such a bad thing with gas prices as high as it is these days. Plus, with about 240 hp, it's still plenty fast. I was the fastest thing on the road, even passing 135s, until I got smoked by a 650.
A great car! I love the twin turbo on this thing. This may be the next car I get if I get a BMW. It has a little bit more space in the rear for passengers and frankly, looks better than the 135.
This luxurious muscle car has 360 hp under its V-8 hood. Even though it shares the same engine as the 650i coupe and convertible, the 550 sedan seemed to be tuned to be more aggressive than the 6 series. This is like a more practical version of the M5.
This car is sweet and sexy looking and has the power to back up its aggressive looks. Too bad it's a little bit too big and heavy for me, even though it's a coupe.
12 cylinder luxury and power. This is for the executive that wants to travel in style and also very quickly. Too bad it's such a gas guzzler. I guess with the heated seats that massage your back as you drive, your worries will melt away.
This car rocks with 500 supercharged horses. Even though it has so much horsepower, it's still very quiet and luxurious. Floor it and you get visceral acceleration. It takes off like a quiet rocket. It costs too much to fill up though. I spent about $78.00 on it when it only had a quarter tank left. Premium fuel was $4.59 at the time. If it was on empty and gas prices keep going up, it will cost triple digits to fill it up.
Fast and fun. I love small sports cars. They're really agile. You feel like you can drive circles around the other big boats on the road out there.
This year was even better than last year's Ultimate Drive. I got to drive the awesome M3 and the Alpina B7. They seemed to have gotten a more powerful fleet all around this year. I can't wait until next year. Maybe they'll have the X6 to drive.