Not so Jazzed--135i Convertible

First things first, let me say--my wife's Skyline Chili recipie is DELICIOUS.

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I got Jeff to come with me to the event ("I need an adult. I NEED AN ADULT!!") to ...ahem...keep me grounded. Plus I figured he'd enjoy it.

So we headed down there, and I got right into a 135i convertible, including iDrive. We tooled around Lexington on the prescribed course for a half-hour, then returned.

Highs:

  • What an engine. That twin-turbo 300hp beauty...wow...liquid power from 1500rpm all the way to redline

  • The cockpit has that snug feeling of an E30, right down to the instrument panel.

  • Initial turn-in is astounding. I believe my E30 has perfect steering, but when this little beast is given steering input, it changes directions RIGHT NOW. No weight transfer. No suspension loading of any kind--it's like the car knew where you were thinking of going and had predetermined the fastest way to get there.



Lows:

  • Too much crap: iDrive, automatic transmission, Sirius radio, display screen. Blech. Give me a 128i coupe with a manual transmission, and simple radio, and that wonderful chassis strapped to it. That's the real car right there. Or, better yet, slap that turbo motor in same and sell it to the Club Racers. (I think BMW's doing just that, with the forthcoming 'tii' version)

  • Convertible. Meh.

  • Pricey. The Euro/$$ echange rate isn't going to make that any better.



Basically, the car's like a RWD MINI Cooper, with loads more horsepower. No WAY I'd pay for a new one, but a gently used 128i MT w/a sport package? Sweet, sweet car, that.

Getting back in my E30 wasn't nearly the let down it was last year. Sure, the 1-series is a fabulous car, but so is my trusty E30, valvetrain noise and all.

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Also, I stayed on course, within the speed limit, and at a yaw angle of +/- 2 degrees at all times. No cops in sight, and no one screaming at me over cell phone.

Altogether, this years' event seemed more organized and "put together" than last year's. My compliments to all involved.

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