Drives: F80 YMB, 335 E90 ZSP+
Join Date: Jun 2005
First E90 335 ED long version
September, 2006 First E90 335 customer delivery.
Simply put, it is amazing. Very, very fast. This the first car I have driven that could keep up with the motorcycles in the Alpine twisties. It pulls very hard from low revs. The powerband is so even that you almost don’t realize how quick you are accelerating. I suspect there is more to be had at the top end, and perhaps we will get some of that with the release of the si/zhp/zmp/tii package or aftermarket flashes. On some of the switchbacks I would just leave it in second rather than downshifting into first – I wanted to keep the revs down during break-in, and was not comfortable powersliding our new car – regardless, it seemed to accelerate almost as fast from 3000 rpm as from 5000, and one could pay full attention to steering without taking a hand off to shift. As great as the engine power is, the cornering and braking are absolutely phenomenal. Not sure if there is anything significantly different in this regard from the 330, but I was most impressed. Aside from the exotics, the 335 rules the autobahn. It accelerates from the speed-limited zones (80/100/120 kph) up to high speeds (200+ kph) in a blink. There would often be a fast group that would get bunched up behind a slow driver or in a speed zone. When we would all hit the gas, nothing (I tested it against more than a dozen MBs, Audis, etc) kept pace with the 335. A Boxster S was not quite as fast. The E90 335 is supremely stable and composed at high speeds. The bumpy pavement warnings are irrelevant in dry weather. The tires seemed fine to me, I did not discover any limitations, but I suspect that extreme performance non-rfts would further enhance the ride and performance.
Montego Blue is a great color IMO. It is a medium dark BLUE, lighter and less purple than Interlagos, a tiny touch lighter (?) than LeMans. More aggressive than mystic. No grey or green in it, just the slightest hint of cobalt/purple in some lighting. A deep metallic. It matches the beige interior well, but I would recommend the black & alu combination if you can deal with summer sun where you live. The sports package seems mandatory to me if you are intending to drive the car hard. The seats are wonderful. The leatherette seems a bit rougher and less slippery and more breathable than previous versions. The wood trims are OK, but seem too glossy for my aesthetic sense. Ventilation, stereo, ergonomics all seem just fine. Plenty of luxury for my tastes. I would probably prefer a lighter version, but the car did not seem heavy. Quiet, smooth, composed, fast in a non-intrusive way. I got the manual transmission, but if $ were not an issue I would probably go for the steptronic for the first time in my life. That is one slick, fast-shifting transmission. The demands of steering, power, and braking are a lot to keep on top of in this car. I would like a LSD and 19” style 225 M wheels, but at this point I think they would be more for show than function. [note: I subsequently installed a Quaife LSD, M 193 rims with extreme performance non-rfts, M3 suspension parts & bushings, 14mm M-sport rear sway, and BMW performance springs & dampers -- and absolutely love it]. This car is beyond my limits on the street. It belongs in Bavaria; I cannot imagine driving it to its full potential in the USA. But the memories of the autobahns and the Timmelsjoch will live with us every time we go for a drive or just gaze in awe at our 335.
ED is just an incredibly wonderful experience. At the USA end, my CA Danny Gingerich did a superb job. In Munich, Bernhard Hausmaninger and crew are fantastic. I look forward to seeing the new Welt, which unfortunately is not scheduled for completion now until Oktober 2007. Munich is clean, safe, efficient, charming, fun, full of beauty and history. It is buzzing with the creative actions of the world’s new intelligentsia, much like San Francisco and Seattle in the heyday of silicon valley and the software explosion. If you can tolerate the 8 hour plane rides euro delivery is a no-brainer. You owe it to yourself to drive your BMW in the best driving environment in the world, and save some money in the process. Bringing my 12 year old son was fantastic. He could navigate and remember where we were going. He absolutely loved Bavaria and Munich, and wants to attend the Ludwig-Maximilians-University for a year or so. There is so much to see and do, and having the freedom of driving your own car is truly wonderful.
Some recommendations: take the S-bahn/U-bahn if you are remotely young at heart and adventuresome. Taxis are too easy and expensive. Hotels: the Adria has a good location, but there is a wide choice in Munich. In Füssen the Neuschwanstein hotel is definitely the way to go if you must see mad Ludwig’s fantasy because you are so close and can hike around before (and after) the maddening hordes get there. A bit rustic but perfectly fine. Lots of places to stay in Garmisch, my favorite is the Forsthaus Graseck because you ride up in a cable car to it, and the hiking trails are fabulous. We did not have time to go east to Salzberg or Berchtesgaden, which I highly recommend. The Hotel Rosenbichl in the midst of the nature reserve is a great place to stay there. If you can go further east to Vienna, Slovenia, & Croatia, that is really a good time. The Adriatic coast is spectacular. France and Italy and Spain are great… The options are only limited by your time and imagination.
Our trip [I left out work-related stuff -- boring]
Thursday AM: Deplane, get luggage, admire airport, change some $ -- get some small notes for train ticket. Buy S-bahn/U-bahn ticket (we used the partner option, decide if 3 day or other choices make sense) – select choice, then put 10 euro note or credit card in to pay. Walk across square (admire Audi TT sculpture), down to S-bahn station. Put train ticket into blue puncher for time mark. Check Push button in middle of train door to open it. Find a seat and relax. 45 minutes to the Marienplatz station – make sure you get up and are ready to disembark with luggage as you will have little time to get off. Push button in door to open. Go up to U-bahn level, follow signs to U-6 (Garching) line. Hop on and ride up to the Freimann stop. Follow directions from U-bahn booklet that ED sends you (from Freimann stop, walk out towards street down stairs, 50’ or so down path, take right to go to street, couple little blocks, then a left, a couple more blocks to the ED entry -- look at it on google satellite map). Push button, talk to receptionist, begin to get excited. Wait for some nice person to come out and let you in. Check in at reception, go up and get a nice meal in the café (I recommend the veggie/bean/tuna wrap), wait for Bernhard or one of his colleagues to go over the details of driving in Austria etc. My son tips his glass over, it breaks; Bernhard happily explains that this means we will have good luck! And so we do.
Then the moment arrives and you walk down and thru the magic door into the delivery garage. Your car is there. In our case, an E90 335 ZSP Montego blue, beige w/poplar. It is beautiful. Stunning. Chat with Bernhard (an extremely smart, nice person), he tells us that we are the first E90 335 ED. We learn about the car, latest info about BMWs. [photos of Bernhard w/ Rick & car in another post below]. But the anticipation is overwhelming. Bernhard tells you how to get out to the right and between some buildings, then left to the gate; stop and talk to guard, get directions to Harms in Garching (we decided to get the paperwork done right away so we could drop the car off Sunday night), and off we go. Perfect weather, 70s and sunshine. Out to A9, up north to Garching exit . Left a few kilometers down, right onto Robert Bosch St., down to the end, up the ramp to the second floor, #13 is Harms. Buzz the Harms box, wait for Thomas. Go up, sign the papers. Head back out to the autobahn. Cruise thru Munich on the mittelring. Try and find good classical music station on radio (it would be useful if ED gave you a list of Munich stations). South down the autobahn towards Garmisch. West on some little roads over to Fussen. Car handles superbly, scenery is awesome; gentle cattle bells wafting across the meadows, golden late afternoon sun. Up to the Neuschwanstein; polezei admire car and let us thru – highly recommend the hotel (Hotel Neuschwanstein -- Schloss Neuschwanstein
Neuschwansteinstrasse 17 87645, Schwangau 87645, Germany) that is just under the castle, because you can hike around the castle and the great trails early in the morning before crowds get there. It is about 70 euros, get there before 6:30 if you want dinner. We were late and made do with the fruit bowl and some chocolate.
Friday AM: Got up early and hiked. Wonderful. Then the hordes of tourists began to swarm in. We headed back for breakfast, picked up and checked out. Decided to drive to Italy. Put a few more break-in miles on cruising the alpinestrasse, then headed up the utzal valley towards the Timmelsjoch. Drive moderately, getting a feel for the car. Awesome scenery. The beemers and other bikes roll by. I pick it up a bit once we get into the serious twisties, and am astonished at the ability of the 335 to keep up with the bikes. This is the quickest car that I have ever driven at high altitudes. We reached the summit and the toll guy asked how the car was and gave us some cool Timmelsjoch stickers. I highly recommend this route to those that are not intimidated by 12’ wide road surface with sheer drop-offs with no guard rails, ox carts in blind tunnels, etc. I wanted to see the glacier where Utzi the iceman (the 5,000 year-old frozen guy) was found. [photos]. Not sure if we did, but my son was really starting to enjoy Europe. A gaggle of Mini Coopers (the genuine old version) went by, then later a pack of Lotus Elise. I did not feel out of place. In fact several Lotus heads swiveled to check out the double piped rear of the 335. At the bottom of the Italian side we headed up to the grau pass. Then down to Bolzen, stopped for some gelato – fabulous. Vineyards, fruit trees, … I love the Italian side of the Alps. Regretted that we did not have time to head down to the lake district and some windsurfing. Also sorry we passed up paragliding. But we were here to experience the 335, so back on the autobahn and east to Innsbruck. Stopped at an Aldi and got some excellent bread, cheese, and yoghurt [cheap lunch, 4 Euros for two!]. Northwest to Garmisch. Found our hotel, super nice owner. Walked to look and find grub. Great dinner at Renzo’s – highly recommended, I got the risotto with chantarelles and Rick ate a whole pizza. Less than 20 euros, friendliest waiters on the planet. Walked back to hotel -- nice shops for window gawking on the main drags -- and slept well.
Saturday: Great breakfast, caught the early train up to the Zugspitze. [photos]. Rick had fun with the Ravens at the top and listening to the folk music. Down the cable car to the alpensee, great Bavarian meal at the hotel restaurant. [photos]. Nice hike around the lake, back down to Garmisch on the train. Picked up a few gifts, then off hiking to the Partnachlamm. Stopped for apple fizzes in a beer garten in the middle of an alpine meadow. Thru the gorge, stopped to watch kids play futbol in the Olympic stadium. Back to hotel, then off to Renzo’s for a second try. Rigatoni with a great sauce & chianti.
Slept in Sunday AM, great coffee. Back on the autobahn back to Munich – enjoyed demonstrating the potential of the bi-turbo to a MB 500. Tee-hee. As an aside, we had many opportunities to test the 335 against many Audis, MBs, other BMWs, and a Boxster. Nothing could stay with the 335 accelerating out of the 80/100/120 kph zones up to 200+ kph. Found a parking spot and walked to our hotel – the hotel Atria, great location, reasonable price. Spent the day walking around the most wonderful city in the world. Where else are the parking spots filled with Porsches, Smart cars, Fiat 600s, and even a BMW 507? Surfing in the Englischergarten [photo]. Street concertos in the Marienplatz. Brilliant creative people maximizing fun. Nice meal in a café at the back of an art museum. Then we clean out the car and drive it up to Harms in Garching. Say our goodbyes and take last photos, hike to the U-bahn stop. Hop the train down to the Odeonsplatz, walk back to hotel.
Monday AM: Wake up, get breakfast, wheel our bags to the S-bahn stop in Mariensplatz. Catch the train to the flughofen. Crowded airport, grabbed some boxes of chocolates and futbol jerseys for the folks back home.
(1) Dad, son, & car. Car is the one that isn't jet lagged.
(2) Ludwig would approve
(3, 4, 5) Timmelsjoch, Italian side
(7) standing wave in the englishergarten
(9) great seats!
Note: more pics and a budget in a post below.
Last edited by stressdoc; 10-12-2007 at 10:21 AM.