First Drive: 2007 BMW 335i Coupe
First Drive: 2007 BMW 335i Coupe

Review and photos by Paul Williams
Innsbruck, Austria - The message delivered by a somewhat stern police officer addressing the journalists here in Innsbruck, was that speeding is not tolerated in the Tyrolean Alps (at least, not on the roads, although I guess you can ski as fast as you want). In any event, to make the point, the fine for going 40 km/h over the speed limit is a massive 2,900 euros (about $4,150).

Well, that takes the wind out of your sails. Especially when driving BMW's 335i version of its new 3 Series Coupé, which has under the hood a 3.0-litre, direct injected, twin-turbo, inline six-cylinder engine that makes a whopping 300 horsepower and matching 300 lb-ft of torque.

The BMW engineers gathered at this event seemed particularly well pleased with these numbers, feeling that with the 335i they have conquered the contradictions between power and tractability, and furthermore, between ride and handling. Typically you can have one or each, but in the 335i, that conventional wisdom has truly gone away.

I don't recall driving a more balanced machine. The power from this engine is so smooth and so substantial, that you feel any passing or accelerating maneuver is within its ability. The reserves of torque are diesel-like, with maximum numbers available from a very low 1,300 rpm all the way to 5,000 rpm. You can easily put the car in fourth gear at 50 km/h, floor the accelerator, and have it rocket to triple digit speeds without the slightest complaint. Testing from 80-120 km/h using second and third gears is equally impressive, taking about 3.4 seconds. The six-speed manual is a delight; the conventional (not SMG) six-speed automatic with sculpted aluminum paddle shifters takes a bit off the instant response of the manual, but is still very quick and satisfying. Given the fun of manually shifting in this car, versus the constraints of everyday driving, buyers may have to flip a coin on this choice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *