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      10-19-2006, 10:26 PM   #1
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e90 335i PCD and Pics Galore - RIDICULOUSLY LONG

After picking up my new 335i sedan at the Performance Center in South Carolina earlier this week, I’m finally getting around to posting some pics and telling everyone about it. I’ll warn you in advance – I tend to ramble. If you want to skip all the boring text to look at the pics, just scroll down.

I ordered my car on August 22 and was told that it would probably be late November before I would get it. I had read a lot of positive comments about the Performance Center Delivery option, so I specified that right up front. Luckily for me, my car was one of the early e90 335i models to be built, so I was able to pick the car up long before the promised November delivery date. Even so, the wait was agonizing.

The suggested date for pickup was Tuesday, 10/17, but I asked if the preceding Friday or Monday would be ok. The weekend would have been ideal, of course, but they’re only open on weekdays. They accommodated me by rescheduling for Monday, 10/16. As you might imagine, Friday’s are their busiest days, with Monday a close second. They said they can comfortably do 8 or 9 deliveries in a day, but that capacity wasn’t really an issue so far. Apparently, a lot of dealers don’t even present the PCD option to their customers. I only saw two delivery bays at the PCD, plus two deliveries at a time can be completed right in the lobby (they park the cars inside).

I had originally thought that the Marriott hotel was in downtown Greenville, but I was wrong. Too bad, because the downtown area is beautiful. I also originally thought that the Performance Center was at the same site as the factory, but I was wrong about that too. The hotel is actually a couple of exits south of the factory right off I-85. The Performance Center is on the same exit as the factory entrance, but it’s a mile or so further up the road. I would have known all of this, my wife tells me, if I’d bothered to read the letter that BMW sent to me a week or two earlier. I THOUGHT I’d read it, but apparently I just looked at it!

When I first spotted the hotel, I was worried. It looks like a Days Inn from the outside. But the inside is very nice, and it turned out to be a good experience. There were a couple of 5-series wagons and an X5 parked out front. These were the courtesy vehicles for shuttling people back and forth from the airport, etc. There were also quite a few bimmers in the parking lot, and at least a couple of German speaking folks in the lobby. We couldn’t help but wonder if BMW had BUILT that hotel, just to have something nice enough for all their customers and visiting execs to stay at. I certainly don’t think that area would have supported a nice hotel like that before BMW came along, even though there’s also a nice looking Michelin office building right next door. Anyway, we had a nice room, the food was good, and most of the hotel staff was great. We had a waiter that was sub-par, but maybe he was new. All in all, it was a pleasant stay. Oh, and the showers are AWESOME.

I found a reason to go for a ride the night before “Delivery Day”, on the off chance that I might catch a distant glimpse of my car. At that point, I still thought the Performance Center was at the glassy half-round building you can see from the Interstate, so I really didn’t think I’d be able to get very close on a Sunday. After passing the factory, though, I ended up driving right by the actual Performance Center, saw the track, and pulled in to take a look. I had my wife, two kids, and parents with me (I had bribed my parents with a day of sightseeing and a stay at the hotel in exchange for babysitting services). I was very surprised that the gate was open, and I was able to drive to the side of the building where there were a bunch of wrecked late-model bimmers and a bunch of new-looking X5s, a 335i sedan, and even a Z8 (see pics below). That 335i sedan was the first “real” one I’d ever seen, since I had ordered my car before they started production. The next surprise came when I was able to drive behind the building without being stopped by security. There was nobody around except another family apparently doing the same thing I was (snooping). Back there, I found rows of various bimmer models, including a bunch of 6-series cars, some Z4s, and X5s. There was also a line of 7 arctic metallic 330i’s, the test cars I’d later found myself driving on the track. This was another first for me – I’d never seen a “real” arctic metallic car, and there I was looking at 7 of them at once!

Satisfied that I’d seen all there was to see, we pulled back out on the highway and started to drive away. I took one more glance at the building, and there it was – MY CAR! It was right in the front window of the building. I hadn’t even noticed it driving in.

Ok, this is really getting long. I’m going to have to speed things up.

We all jumped out of the car and took a bunch of pics through the glass. I was sure it was my car because it had the exact specs – 335i, e90, arctic, and I could see the nav and the DCC “eyeball” in the front of the car. In fact, I kneeled down to take a picture of that thing, and suddenly somebody said “hey!” from the other side of the glass! It was security, I guess. I don’t know where she came from. She asked me if I was taking delivery, and I stammered “Uh, tomorrow”. She said that they didn’t normally allow pictures, then she said “congratulations”, and disappeared. By that time, I already had a bunch of shots, and I really felt like I’d already gotten away with a lot, so we packed it up and went about our way.

Ok, quickly, the next morning finally came. They sent a van to pickup about 7 of us, all taking delivery of different 3-series models. A few more people met us at the Performance Center. Half of us took delivery of our cars, which included a fairly thorough walkthrough of the manuals, and the features of the car. The other half went straight for the track. A couple hours later, we switched places. Those of us that had already taken delivery moved our cars to the parking area out front, and the cars for the second group were quickly put in place.

For the track portion, there was a brief classroom overview of what we’d be doing: emergency braking, skid pad, and some track maneuvers. Then on to the track. The braking exercise involved bringing a 330i up to 35 mph and entering a curve, then braking hard while trying to maintain the curve. We did this a few times, gradually increasing speed, up to 50 mph. Next, we went to the skid pad, where they had us drive around in a circle at 25 mph with DTC turned off, then suddenly turn the wheel all the way to one side to cause the car to understeer. Then we did it again, and this time the instructor pulled the emergency brake suddenly to lock up the front wheels and cause the car to oversteer. That was fun, but the best part of the skid pad is when he had us go around the circle at 25 mph, then suddenly floor it, which caused the car to spin out of control for a near-360. Finally, he had us turn DTC on, then try to duplicate the spin. Didn’t happen, of course. DTC cut the throttle back and applied brakes to the outer wheels, so we maintained better control around the circle. The last part of the track driving experience was a short, curvy loop around the track and some encouragement to have some fun. I tore it up the best I could, and had a great time doing it. My wife was a little worried, though, and didn’t have the same enthusiasm until it was her turn. Then she got some confidence after a couple of turns and ended up being a real animal behind the wheel. It turns out that she’s a really good aggressive driver. I was impressed. We both had a lot of fun.

Next we went in and we all had lunch in the cafeteria, which wasn’t bad. The instructors and delivery folks sat with us and chatted. Then, after our bellies were full, the instructors took us each for a hot lap around the track. One had a Z4 M roadster, the other had a Z4 M coupe. That was a blast. And bonus – we all kept our lunch where it belonged – inside!

Afterwards, most of us drove over to the factory for a quick Zentrum museum tour. And finally, we topped the day off with a group ride up to Asheville. One of the instructors led us through a scenic route that included rural farmland, some small towns in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, around the lake at Lake Lure (where Dirty Dancing was filmed), through a short section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and ending up at the entrance to the Biltmore House and gardens in Asheville, NC. The group ride was about 2 hours I think. About the same amount of time it takes to read this post from beginning to end.

Anyway, I love the car. I don’t have anything to say about that that hasn’t already been said. If you’re still reading, there really must be something wrong with you. I think you really deserve some pictures. Here they are:
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Last edited by rit; 10-19-2006 at 11:14 PM.
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      10-19-2006, 10:32 PM   #2
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And MORE pics...
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      10-19-2006, 10:34 PM   #3
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nice writeup, glad you had a good time.
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      10-19-2006, 10:37 PM   #4
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Thanks for the write up. Atlanta here as well...was PCD everything you thought? What dealer did you go through? (I've had good experiences at Nalley). Congratulations - good looking ride.

regards
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      10-19-2006, 10:43 PM   #5
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now i wish i had seen an arctic before i got mine.
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      10-19-2006, 10:44 PM   #6
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She's a beaut! Congrats!
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      10-19-2006, 10:49 PM   #7
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Nice! Interior colors look great The photo of the car from the side and in the glass room looks real nice with the sun hitting it, and so does that headlight shot - other ones are good too but the ones I mentioned look real nice.



BTW, all those Arctic cars lined up... were those test cars or what? Doesn't look like they have sports pkg on them.
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      10-19-2006, 11:05 PM   #8
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Congratulations on your 335. Nice pics!

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      10-19-2006, 11:06 PM   #9
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umm... YUM.... btw... for a second i thought that 3 series with a rear 'asslift' was yours... i was like geeez... reversed into something big...
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      10-20-2006, 01:22 AM   #10
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Im going to the Performance Center in a few weeks for a 335 as well.
Were any of the 330's that you drove manual trans?

Also do you think I'll have a chance to lap with an instructor in a new M coupe or roadster?
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      10-20-2006, 04:37 AM   #11
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Great looking car!
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      10-20-2006, 05:40 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the nice comments everybody.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoo
was PCD everything you thought? What dealer did you go through?
No disappointments with PCD. We had a good time. By the end of the day, we were ready to get in our new car and go! We bought from United BMW in Gwinnett.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjaneer
BTW, all those Arctic cars lined up... were those test cars or what? Doesn't look like they have sports pkg on them.
Yes, those were the cars we drove on the track. I'm not sure if they had the sport package or not - I forgot how to tell! They were plenty fast and fun for the "Track 101" type stuff we were doing, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom333
Were any of the 330's that you drove manual trans? Also do you think I'll have a chance to lap with an instructor in a new M coupe or roadster?
All the 330's I saw were automatics. I'm sure you'll have a chance to lap with an instructor - he'll be sitting on your left, though! That said, it never hurts to ask. They say their slowest day is Wednesday, so I'd guess that would be the best day to snag some extras.
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      10-20-2006, 08:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rit
Yes, those were the cars we drove on the track. I'm not sure if they had the sport package or not - I forgot how to tell! They were plenty fast and fun for the "Track 101" type stuff we were doing, though.
Sounds fun
You can tell from the wheels. Sports pkg wheels = different rims.
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      10-20-2006, 09:11 AM   #14
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Nice pics...thanks for sharing. Congrats...I love your color combo especially interior. Doesn't light poplar go really well with black? That's one fully loaded car
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      10-20-2006, 10:35 AM   #15
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where can i buy cliff notes for this??? nice pics..
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      10-20-2006, 10:41 AM   #16
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      10-20-2006, 11:38 AM   #17
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Congrats sir and no I don't think you talk too much, its a matter of fact I really enjoyed it, I ordered mine through the Military Sales Program back in April, tried to do the delivery center but could not get it, my wife took delivery in mid September, about a week prior to me re-deploying, again congrats.
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      10-20-2006, 02:12 PM   #18
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Congratulations. She's a beaut.

Awesome pics too. Thanks for sharing. I wish they'd have had an option to do some track time as part of the European delivery experience.
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      10-20-2006, 02:20 PM   #19
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At least came with a Temp gauge...nice!
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      10-20-2006, 02:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtran
where can i buy cliff notes for this??? nice pics..
.......yeah will there be a test because I did not take any notes....lol. Very, very nice Bimmer you got there
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      10-20-2006, 02:41 PM   #21
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Why is your speedo-meter only to 260km/h and not up to 280km/h like in germany? :\
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f*ckin' love my car <3
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      10-20-2006, 03:06 PM   #22
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I cheated, I looked at the pictures first and read the 2 last line of the text... nice car!!

will try to find time to read it all later
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