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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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