Saturday, June 19, 2010

2011 BMW 335i Coupe Sleek and powerful, the 3 series keeps justifying its price

2011 BMW 335i Coupe
Crimson red with a cream beige interior, the subject of this weekend's road test turned heads and induced smiles.

"Now that is one that I would spend my own money for," said our younger-generation parking garage attendant/car buff as he broke into a wide smile. That was not an insignificant comment since he sees virtually all of the test vehicles.

"That is one pretty car," said the man fueling up his SUV next to the BMW here in Damascus.

And so it was throughout the week. Somewhat amazing actually, in that the basic design of the 3-series BMW hasn't changed much in recent times.

In fact the major change in the 2011 model is not visible until you open the hood and see the new turbocharged 3.0 liter six. It develops 300 horsepower at 5,800 rpm with peak torque of 300 lb-ft from 1,200 to 5,000 rpm with a 7,000 rpm red line. Our test car was EPA rated at 19-25 mpg of premium petrol. I got 22 mpg.

BMW claims that the new engine burns cleaner, and produces better gas mileage than the previous turbo six. And it is about 150 pounds lighter; no bad thing since reducing automobile weight is the top goal of designers these days in order to improve gas mileage while enhancing performance.

The maker quotes a zero to 60 time with the 6-speed manual of 5.3 seconds and I have no quibble. There is no real "get acquainted" time needed with this smooth gearbox and lightweight clutch. You become just about instant friends.

Top speed is 130 miles per hour, and that increases to 150 if you check the optional sport package.

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