Monday, December 17, 2007

Dinan Finally Releases Software Upgrade for 335i Engines

The Vishnu Proceed software upgrade has been all the rage on the BMW enthusiasts boards but I've personally been waiting for a performance upgrade that comes with the piece of mind of not voiding my BMW warranty. Well Dinan has finally come through with performance and sleeping easy at night.

"Dinan, North America’s BMW tuner, is pleased to announce the introduction of the anxiously awaited Performance Engine Software for BMW 335 models. And as always, Dinan matches the new car warranty coverage for up to 4 years or 50,000 miles, including the possibility of consequential damages*. No one offers better performance or backs it up with such comprehensive warranty coverage.

"The results of Dinan’s tuning are nothing short of breathtaking, with the added boost and related recalibration producing maximum output of 384 horsepower at 5700 rpm and 421 lb-ft torque at 4300 rpm. All of this additional power is available from Dinan’s software alone, which is easily downloaded by your Authorized Dinan Dealer in about an hour for 2007 models (2008 model year vehicles require that the ECU is removed and shipped to Dinan for installation of the software at this time).

"*In order to qualify for Dinan’s matching new car warranty coverage, which includes consequential damages, the vehicle MUST be equipped with either a factory oil cooler (not all 335s were equipped from the factory with an oil cooler) or Dinan’s High Capacity Oil Cooler (recommended).

Part #D900-30T3
Suggested Retail: $1999.00
Installation: 1 Hour" more.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

As quick as a 650i cabriolet

Review from Canada at "What was once a hardtop canopy for four occupants is now a dense pile of metal, plastic and glass folded into illogically compressed proportions. The whole apparatus then parks itself into the $72,195 as-tested 335i Cabriolet's trunk, taking all of 22 whirring, purring seconds to accomplish this engineering feat.

"The performance is like a freakish Cirque du Soleil contortionist act, but right there in your laneway. If you happen to have an audience, they'll "oooh" and "ahhh" and undoubtedly ask for an encore.

"If you're one of those "have-it-all" types, get the 335i. You'll own the best-driving four-seat convertible for your money." more.

First snow commute

Okay, it was a minor test for my new winter tires but hey it was the first drive to work with snow on the roads. Fortunately, it was a pretty smooth sailing even on my unplowed side street. In some weird way, I'm looking forward to a real test in the coming weeks when I get some serious snow fall; though the tires isn't my big concern, that would be ground clearance.

eBay Find: How about M3 Seats for your E93?

Here is an interesting find on eBay. A full set of M3 seats plus the center trim and door panels for a meager $4,500. Okay, it's not meager, but hey if you want that M3 look it's probably a lot less than buying direct from BMW. The big question is do the seats bolt on the same as our E93 seats, probably not... Might work best for an E92 but even that is a wild guess.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Autoblog Improves Their Garage

From "The 335 is one of the BMWiest of BMWs. They mean it when they say "Driving Machine." The 335i's mission is to devour miles. When you're behind the wheel, it's easy to forget mundane things like work, caught up as you are in apex-clipping joy. This is one of those cars that will have you seeking out the windy, hilly, un-crowded way. Retract the roof, hit the seat heaters if it's chilly, and listen to the cannonade from the twin pipes peal off the countryside." more.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Winter in Michigan is Not High Performance Weather

Well I switched out my stock 18" rims and runflat tires with a winter tire setup from Tire Rack. I went with a 17" wheel and tire set. The wheels are ASA JH3 and the tires are non-runflat Dunlop Winter Sport M3 XL. After some research on the topic, this seemed like a good setup for the coming onslaught of bad Michigan weather. A lot of owners can't decide whether to go with All Season or Winter tires. The majority of owners who have 3-series RWD cars emphatically recommend a snow tire setup which is why I also went this route. I also read some great reviews about the Dunlops. Bridgestone also makes some great snow tires too. I chose Dunlops because I have had great experience with them on prior cars; though, I've never bought this particular tire. I'll report more on handling and feel after I catch a few bad weather days.

Close up

Monday, November 5, 2007

Under the Designer Microscope

From Car Design News: "The criticisms of its design were few and minor, and this car delivers exceptionally in capability and design as both a coupe GT and cabriolet. Barely any compromise is evident - a very impressive achievement. But it is a car without a clear identity. It's not a true GT, nor is it a cabrio in the traditional sense. With its conflicting requirements it's hard to place, but the 3 series coupe cabriolet is a new breed of BMW, and perhaps the perfect single car solution for many of us." more.

M3 Rear Spoiler for Sale

Aftermarket autoparts retailer, Jlevi SW recently added the M3 rear spoiler for the E93 to its online catalog. I have seen a few pictures of owners of this part post pictures on and it looks pretty good. It's defintely better looking than the BMW Aero Kit Rear Spoiler. If you are interested in learning more about the M3 spoiler and want to order one, go here for more information.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The over $100,000 335i convertible

Okay, it's over $100,000 in Australia but the Australian dollar is almost a $1 for a $1 conversion, so let's not complain about the US pricing of the 335i. It could be much worse and is in many countries.

From Australia: "YOU might have seen a BMW advertisement recently in which a 3-Series “sheds its skin” as it thunders along a lonely desert road.

The car starts out as a wagon, but at high speed the rear hatch assembly “blows away” to reveal a 3-Series sedan. Then, the rear doors are similarly shed to reveal a 3-Series Coupe; and finally, the roof peels away to leave a 3-Series Convertible spearing off into the distance.

As well as being a clever piece of ad-making, it’s something of an evolutionary tale – one which clearly places the convertible at the top of the 3-Series food chain. The most highly evolved model of all, you might say." more.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Top Down Driving for the Northern Driver

Don't know how I missed this one, but here is an automotive video review from Motors TV that is shot in Spain last year in the winter time. I'm sure there will be plenty of snow shots of E93s to come as winter hits us very soon. For now, here's a sneak peak of how the convertible looks on a snow filled mountain. I wonder if they drove the car with the stock runflat tires?more.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Painted Kidney Grilles and Black Lower Mesh Install

Two weeks ago on a hot muggy Saturday morning I spent a couple hours removing my front bumper and installing lower black mesh, painted kidney grilles, and white GP Thunder fog lights. I had ordered the grilles and lower mesh pieces from Unique Euro Design. The color match on the painted kidney grilles is perfect and working with Unique Euro Design was great. I definitely recommend them.

To do this project you have only have to remove the whole bumper if you are going to replace the lower mesh. If you only want to replace the kidney grilles or the fog lights, you can do this without removing the bumper. Here are a couple Do It Yourself instructions I found useful for doing this project.

Removing the Front Bumper

Replacing the Kidney Grilles

Replacing the Fog Lights

For the fog lights I went with GP Thunder bulbs purchased at, their service I definitely recommend.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Is the 335i Too Good?

I know it's an article on a 335i sedan and some points may not be valid for the convertible model, but still look what an auto enthusiast has to say about the new 335i.

From "About three weeks ago, we were given the 2007 BMW 335 sedan (Manual, sport, premium, premium sound)from BMW corporate, as a long term review car.

If you’re regular reader, you know I have been driving a couple Carrera S’s over the past two years, as my daily drivers."

"So there’s my case but also remember, this is not just BMW 335 vs. Porsche here…I would pick a 335 (Coupe if it was my $) over ANYTHING that’s on the market right now. Including cars like the 535, 550, M5, E550, GS450, Infiniti G&M, etc." more.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Brilliant BMW 3-Series TV Spot

You have to love it when an ad is created that appeals so well with its customers. Here is an ad from BMW that really resignates. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'm Sexy, Cool, Smart, and Rich...

After reading an article in today's about the VW Eros winning's ladies' choice for Car of the Year, I had to see what they said about the BMW drop top. Well, what else would they say, "Look at me! I'm sexy, cool, smart and rich." My question is where did they get the cargo net in their trunk photo?

From "A cabriolet doesn't have to be an expensive hairdo's worst enemy: lower the BMW 3 Series Convertible's metal roof and put your foot down and you'll barely notice that you're roofless. There's hardly any draught and it's astonishingly quiet. The ride is plush but beautifully poised and the engines are smooth and eager – the pick is the delicious 3.0 turbo petrol." more at

Friday, September 21, 2007

BMW CCA Reviews iPhone Compatability

I have already covered this topic here days after the iPhone launch. For those, who wish to read a more extensive review on the iPhone's compatability with BMW cars this review from Roundel magazine will surely meet your geeky desires.

From BMW CCA: "BMW promised compatibility for the "6FL" factory iPod/USB interface but was silent on the dealer-installed MOST bus interface for the iPod. If the phone is attached via the iPod cable adapter, the phone still communicates with the car via Bluetooth and will stop playing music if a call comes in."

"In the car, the iPhone is easy to use, both as a phone and a music player. The driver can make and receive phone calls from BMW’s MFL (Multifunktion Lenkrad or multifunction steering wheel) as well as from iDrive or the MID (Multi-Information Display), depending on how the car is equipped." more.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Enhancing your backside

I did a post here awhile back featuring various front lip spoilers you could choose from for an E93. This time I've compiled several options for those interested in personalizing the rear of their BMW. This is a modification I'm currently not interested in until I look into doing a complete exhaust upgrade to a quad exhaust sytem, something I may do in a year or two. Right now I'm enjoying the "golf tee mod" sound boost I did last week.

Back to the rear options for a different look. Here are some of the looks you can get if you pursue this modification. My personal favorite is the RD Sport. I think it looks very clean.

AC Schnitzer


RD Sport

BMW M-Tech/M-Sport

BMW Aero Kit

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

If Prince drove a BMW, this would be the one

Alpina unveiled its take on the BMW 335i convertible at the Frankfurt Auto Show today. If one can look past the ugly pinestripes and the gawdy purple interior and exterior, there actually are some nice touches. My personal favorite is the best rear spoiler I have seen for the E93. I so wish I could order just the spoiler from this car as I would buy it in a second! It's perfect! If you want to learn more about Alpina's take on the E93 checkout's pictures from the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Greatest BMW Convertible Commercial

An oldie but a goodie, this add for the past model (E46) BMW commercial is very well done and deserves to be highlighted on a BMW convertible blog. I'm sure many of you have seen it already, but if not enjoy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fantastic as an Automatic? You bet!

335i Coupe review from Car and Driver magazine: "Yes, the 335i’s ZF-sourced six-speed automatic is among the world’s very best transmissions, and we can’t heap enough praise on it. Responsive and quick to act, it is the perfect autobox for this kind of car.

"In the 335i, two small IHI turbochargers serve three cylinders apiece with a max boost of 9.0 psi. With low inertia, the turbos spool up right away, and the direct injection allows a high (for a charged engine) compression ratio of 10.5:1. All of this serves to quicken throttle response. Thus, the 335i’s power doesn’t come in the form of a delayed rush. Rather, the bonus power feels as natural as, well, the naturally aspirated 3.0-liter engine itself. So good is this engine that it won the 2007 International Engine of the Year award for its size class. For our part, we’ve submitted it for canonization by the pope." more.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Coming 2008 M3 Convertible

I recently ran across some amazing new pictures of a lightly disguised M3 convertible. Enough from me, here they are. You can see the full set along with several exotic cars here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Riding around in Liberace's dressing room

From The Guardian UK: "In fact, within about three miles, I had even grown to find the creaminess winningly appropriate - bright and accommodating, like the car itself. It wasn't, after all, that cheap shiny leather that causes you eventually to slide under the accelerator, but some quality hide with a nap that seems to hold you like a friend during a time of trouble.

You could always spot a 3 Series convertible. The canvas roof was the giveaway. Now the convertible travels incognito, its hard top - and the boot it electronically stows away into - cunningly styled to give no indication of their true articulated selves, which is entirely in keeping with the car's overall message: calm, unshowy, with just a quiet touch of the Batmobiles about it." more.

A Techy Review of the 335i Convertible

From CNET Reviews: "With its twin-turbocharger inline six-cylinder engine, the 2007 BMW 335i Convertible offers a sublime driving experience. Its retractable hardtop feels solid when up, and offers open-air driving when down. The Bluetooth system accesses cell phone books."

The review is a video review featuring a gorgeous Sparkling Graphite 335i convertible with coral red leather interior. more.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hamann Custom E93

Hamann Motorsports has released a new custom E93 complete with visual and performance modifications. One of the better design treatments is the new rear lip spoiler. Let me know what you think about it? I am considering buying one when I find a place to order it. I know that Bravarian Auto Sport carries Hamann, so I am looking to see when they list in their catalogue for pricing. more.

Look of BMW Aero Front Lip Spoiler

I had my dealership, Erhard BMW of Bloomfield Hills Michigan, paint and install a front lip spoiler on my new 335i convertible. The picture included with this post shows how sharp this look is on the new model and is clearly a great choice if you are looking for a more aggressive front-end. Total cost for this installation was $650 which includes the part, painting, and dealer installation.

I am still looking to do a modification to the rear lip but have yet to find a proper spoiler to compliment the convertible's lines. The BMW Aero kit does sell a rear spoiler but it doesn't look clean enough in my opinion. Hamann recently came out with a rear spoiler that does look a bit more promising, you can check it out here.

Monday, July 30, 2007

"As Boring as a Bucket of Wallpaper Paste"...Really?

It's not often I read a negative review of the new 335i convertible. In fact, this is the first time I've read a flat out negative review. Leave it to someone in love with Jaguars and other British marquees to criticize a remarkable execution of form and function by the Germans.

From the Times Online: "And I’m sorry again, but anyone with a 335i is going to spend his entire life explaining to colleagues why he didn’t go the extra mile and get the big boy instead.

It will be particularly painful when the time comes to sell. M3s on the secondhand market are always fairly cheap, so to make your 335i look attractive you’ll have to sell it on for mere pennies.

And even that might not do the trick, because of the way it looks. I stand corrected with other BMW models. But with the 3-series, I’m sorry.

It’s not the Natural History Museum or the Trellick Tower, and it never will be. It is, I’m afraid, Coventry Cathedral. A turd that even time cannot succeed in polishing." For the full story...more.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Replaced Reflectors

A popular modification on the new BMW 3-series is replacing the amber reflectors located on the front wheel wells. I recently installed my reflectors with painted reflectors from Bimmian. The color match in person looks perfect but there is some color difference that does show up in the pictures I took, but I will tell you that everyone who looks at it in person thinks the color match is spot on. I'm very pleased with this modifcation and it took me only about 20 minutes to do. Here is a link from that shows the details of doing the change.

Here is a picture of the car with the standard reflectors (before the change):

Bracing Breeze Worldwide Book Review

Like many waiting for their ordered cars to show up from Germany, I was hungering for all the information I could possibly get about my future new car. One of my many Google searches turned up an interesting find -- a book all about the history of the BMW 3-series entitled Bracing Breeze Worldwide: BMW 3 Series Convertibles”, the problem it was only in German. After doing a bit more Googling I did learn the book comes in English too along with a DVD. The book is published by Heel-Verlag, ISBN number 978-3-89880-809-5.

Getting the book was not an easy task. I tried Amazon, Amazon (UK), Barnes & Noble, and various searches until I finally got around to just emailing the publisher, who at the time did not even have the book on their web site; it is there now. So, after a few back and forth emails with a service representative at the publisher I ordered the book. I did that in late May, about the time my car was getting built by BMW. Funny how things happen but the book and my car showed up the same day almost 8 weeks later. The bad part is my book was supposed to come with the DVD, but there was no DVD to be found..? I guess I’m waiting another 8 weeks for the DVD now.

The book is written a lot like several cookbooks I own. There are plenty of travel pictures the author puts into words that gives a little history eventually leading to some of the history and information about the cars, much like a book on Italian cooking that gives you some history before it gets to the food. There is nothing wrong with this style but it is a bit dry and each section writes like a template that gets repeated over and over again. I found myself just skipping to the discussion about the cars by the time I got to the E46 model.

Unfortunately, the author(s), not sure who wrote this since no author is attributed, seem to know nothing first-hand about driving any of the cars covered in the book. The details about the cars could be easily gathered by reading the brochures from the dealerships and this is the most disappointing element of this book. What you really want to know is how the cars performed, handled, and what feeling the driver takes away from each variation as BMW evolved the convertible 3-series over the years. It’s rather fitting the book concludes with line dimensional drawings of each model just like a brochure.

I also felt let down by the coverage of the new E93 convertible. The pictures are stock BMW (in fact, all automotive pictures may be stock, I cannot confirm this though) and only a platinum, cream beige model is shown. Some variation in color combinations would’ve been nice, but I’m sure this publication was rushed out to meet the veracious hunger us new convertible owners are seeking as we seek to get our hands on everything 3-series convertible.

Of course getting my new car was far more exciting than getting any book, even a better written version with better pictures. Unfortunately, the book wasn’t really worth the wait and I found very little value and enjoyment reading this publication. I understand it is just an overview book for fans of this car and shouldn’t really be held to any literary standard; however, I have a coffee table book that came out in 1996 when I got my BMW Z3 that is really a gem and something I enjoy even to this day. That book shows the early Z3 in variety of color combinations, driving shots, and covers the history of the roadster (BMW and others) in a great, exciting way. Bracing Breeze Worldwide just doesn’t keep the reader's interest visually or mentally.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Took Delivery of My 335i Convertible

I took delivery of my new E93 335i convertible yesterday afternoon after a 7 and a 1/2 week wait. It was a painful wait but worth it when what I exactly wanted arrived at my local dealership. I'm planning on doing some minor cosmetic modifications soon and will post more about those changes as I make them. In stock form, this car is beautiful and really doesn't need any tweeking (besides getting rid of those dumb side amber reflectors.)

Friday, June 29, 2007

iPhone Integrates with BMW

The new Apple iPhone has been confirmed by BMW that it meets the minimum Bluetooth requirements for current model BMWs. A full press release about the iPhone from BMW can be seen here (Adobe Acrobat format.) I will be one of the many out today trying to get a new iPhone. My 335i should arrive at my dealership the week of July 9th so I will post more about integration once I get my hands on both of these new toys.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Unless You're Some Sort of Performance Freak

Here is an old review from February 2007 when BMW launched the convertible to the press. Paul Tan's website is a fun and engaging rant and rave on the automotive industry. I found the performance comments quite amuzing after reading and hearing all of the coupe owners brag about performance (a mere .2 seconds better 0-60 times... Now count that did you feel it?) My only disappointment about the review is the use of all stock photography and video, there is no unique media content.

From "Convertibles. Gotta love them. You might not want to own one, but you definitely have to like what they represent. Unless you’re some sort of performance freak. In which case, you’re a separate sort of insane." more.

Foot Pedals

There are a few options for those looking to change out their foot pedals for a more racing styled look. I ran across probably the best looking pair I have ever seen and it's actually sold by BMW Accessories. The stainless steel pedals have a nice, understated yet stylish look about them that is very appealing to me. You can order them directly through your BMW dealership. Part number and pricing information is available here. Installation is quite easy. The brake (and clutch) pedals are simply slip off; though it does take some muscle to do this it is fairly straight forward. The accelerator pedal requires a bit more sophistication as one needs to remove some screws behind the base of the pedal and slide it up and out.

Front Lip Spoiler Options for Your Convertible

Here are some options available for those who want a more agressive front facia on their BMW convertible. I personally opted for the BMW aero kit's front lip spoiler and am having it installed by my local BMW dealership. Having the dealership do it is a bit more expensive than do it yourself or finding a local mod shop do it. Total cost for the part, painting, and installation was $640. I have seen others get this done for around $400 going the do it yourself route.

Some choices for those interested in such a modification:

BMW OEM Aero Front Lip Spoiler

Hamann Front Lip Spoiler

Hartge Front Lip Spoiler

Reiger Front Lip Spoiler

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Crimson Red 328i Video Review

A new video review of the convertible is now online at the San Jose Mercury News website. You can check out a full review here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tracking Your BMW Car Order

My car is currently enroute crossing the Atlantic Ocean. If you decide to order a BMW, a great resourse can be found on For more details, click here.