New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Reader test: BMW 335i Cabriolet

2010-09-13 11:39

Francois Mostert

It’s not every day that the average Joe gets to drive an “almost” supercar, but that is exactly what I did, for a month!

It all began when I entered a competition to win a cell phone. It never occurred to me what the rest of the prize entailed. The competition rules only mentioned that I could get to drive a “sexy” BMW for a month, which I figured meant “bottom of the range sedan”.

It was early in the morning when I got the call. To my great surprise, I not only won my dream cell phone, but the car as well! And what a car! Not the bottom feeder sedan I imagined, but the BMW 335i Cabriolet! Needless to say I was over the moon, waking up the whole neighbourhood in excitement!

The day I went to collect the car from Auto Atlantic at the Cape Town Waterfront, I was a nervous wreck. I had already researched the car’s performance and specs, decided on my favourite colour and interior trim, and investigated iDrive so I wouldn’t look like a total novice. I couldn’t wait to feel the wrath of the 225kW twin turbo blast of open top automotive bliss. It never disappointed!

I wasn’t too keen on the metallic, blue paint but that was quickly forgotten. As soon as I sat in the plush, cream, leather seat, with every kind of electrical adjustment, I was in love. The instrument binnacle contained a large screen displaying iDrive commands, GPS Navigation and even played DVDs. Lower down were the usual controls for the radio/CD/DVD and climate control.

The gearbox was the fancy seven speed automatic with the paddles on the steering wheel. Just aft of the handbrake there was a magic button that transformed the car from a cozy coupe to a magic wind-in-your-hair dream ride. There really is no other way to drive this car than with the top down.

After playing chauffeur for all my friends and their distant cousins, I finally got to drive the car just for myself, and for a brief time in my life I was the king of the hill.

A trip to Mossel Bay was enough to open her up and experience the raw power. The slightest pressure on the pedals made it fly with first-class comfort and jet-class speed. Just cruising along it felt like Paris Hilton shopping on Rodeo Drive. I never experienced both envy and admiration from so many admiring onlookers. This car not only made me feel special, it made me believe I really am special.

Unfortunately, just as the speedometer tops out at a restricted 250 km/h, my time with this megalith of engineering was limited, and as the day arrived for me to return my new found precious, I found myself wondering if this experience has changed me. It did! I have the ambition now to achieve more, reach higher, dream bigger. I loved this car, and I want one again!


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