Tag Archives: bmw

Introducing the first addition to the TDRO garage!

That’s right! The time has finally come! The first official addition to the TDRO garage has arrived… and it’s rather German.

Not only is it German, it’s nearly a classic. As you may have guessed by now if you follow me on social media (if you don’t, you really should), it is a BMW 325i. More specifically it is an E46 325i, making it one of the all time great BMW’s (at least in my mind).  There are a number of reasons I chose this model and this particular car, but first let’s take a quick look at the E46 325i’s details.

The E46 325i began production in 2001, featuring a 2.5 liter straight-six blasting out a mind-bending 189 hp… okay, so maybe not so mind-bending after all. However, the car’s balance and cornering ability are what set it out as one of the all time greats. The combination of a well-balanced, rear-wheel-drive sedan with a manual transmission give the car a very sporty feel.

Okay so it’s no 812 Superfast and obviously, I haven’t chosen the 325 for its speed. While the M54 engine may not be particularly powerful by today’s standards, let’s keep in mind, this is a 16 year old car. In a sense, this car is nearly a classic. The E46 chassis was one of the last great designs before things began to uh… inflate. Modern cars are heavy and big. Lots of insulation. Lots of safety features. Lots of, well, everything. Not only has this made cars grow fatter and heavier, It has complicated in shrunk interiors. The E46 came just before this growth really began, and therefore doesn’t suffer the same weightiness.  The doors are thin, the cabin is spacious despite the sedan’s compact design. The dash is simple, without too much clutter and gadgets to keep you from focusing on what you really need to.

At this point, you might be wondering, why not an M3? It has all the good looks and charm of the 325, but with the addition of a sixth gear and another 150 hp (nearly). The answer to that is simple. First of all, an E46 M3 in average condition costs about twice as much as a 325 or 330 in excellent condition. For the cost of an M3, I can get a 325 or 330 plus enough performance parts to make it considerably faster and better on track than the M3. When it came down to it, my choice between 325 and 330 came down to the best car available. Many (if not most) E46s on the used market have at some point been heavily modified and beaten to within an inch of its life by some guy who wears overpriced sports sunglasses and doesn’t know what heel-toe or throttle blipping is. Many of these cars probably have an ebay coffee-can muffler, a light-up shift knob atop a hacksawed off shifter lever and a “cold air intake” that sucks more mud and bugs into the intake than an anteater on Thanksgiving. Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration, but not by much.

This particular 325i has under 100k miles, essentially one owner (in California) and is in unusually immaculate condition. There are of course, a few minor flaws, but they can all easily be addressed. Over time, I plan to do a massive array of performance mods which will hopefully result in a car which is as fast or faster around a track as a new M3, for around the cost of a fifteen-year-old M3. Currently the car is bone stock, but that hasn’t stopped me from having a bit of fun – which you will see very soon! Now, it’s time to start preparing to get on track!

Stay tuned!

Supercar Saturday photo gallery

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Here’s a collection of photo’s from the two Supercar Saturday events I have attended so far. Special thanks to MN Exotics and Supercars for hosting the event!

View the slideshow above, or click the thumbnails below to open the photos full size.

And don’t forget to check out the video!

New photos and video coming soon!

A determined looking Lamborghini Huracan, hidden behind a Lotus Evora and an Aston Martin V12 Vantage. Front car is an Aston Martin Vantage GT.

The Supercar Saturday meet hosted by MN Exotics and Supercars in Bloomington, MN this past weekend was excellent. Many excellent cars were in attendance, even a few surprises. A full photo gallery and video will be coming soon! 

Until then, here’s a few teasers! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to our Youtube channel to stay up to date on the latest content!

If you haven’t already seen my short video from the very first Supercar Saturday, be sure to check it out!

Will electric and autonomous cars be the death of the driver’s car?

Image Credit: Volkswagen

In an age of rapidly increasing technology and production ability, electric and autonomous vehicles seem to be set to thrive, despite the unfortunate aesthetics of concepts like Volkswagen’s Sedric (above). This leaves many petrolheads with a looming sense of fear and impending doom for the driver’s car. While the environment is, of course, an important factor, many of us would simply die off without the obnoxious symphony and toxic aroma of the petrol thirsty V12, or the tire shredding thrill of watching drift cars destroy their tyres and the environment at a similar rate. It seems we may have reached a golden age in the petrol powered automobile, but is it a final flare before the end?

Fully autonomous automobiles are still a ways off (at least as far as production models go), but they might be hitting dealership lots sooner than you think. Tesla’s fully electric cars have a semi-autonomous ability, which allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel while cruising, but that still requires the driver’s attention. However, many companies are hard at work developing fully autonomous technology, which would enable both fleet cars, public transportation and private vehicles to operate without any drivers or direct human input whatsoever. Surely, this will be the end of cars meant to be driven and enjoyed, right? We must only be a few years away from some autonomous reality similar to that seen in the hit movie “iRobot.” We even saw the spherical wheels and tires from that movie on display at the Geneva International Motor Show.

Fortunately, I don’t think the reality of tomorrow is that dark and gloomy.  The reality of it is, manually driven vehicles will remain for those of us who choose to buy and drive them. Mass autonomous technology will only serve to make our drives more predictable and, quite likely, more pleasant. With advances in dual-clutch, flappy-paddle gearboxes, everyone feared the death of the manual gearbox; now we have the 911 R and the new 911 GT3 is being offered with an optional manual gearbox. We have the Jaguar F-Type SVR and its manual V8 which sounds like Thor in a frantic rage. And let’s not forget the Aston Martin GT8, or perhaps the fact that you can still buy a brand new 1967 Shelby Cobra.

Not only that, electric motors have proven to create some of the most insane vehicles on the road today, such as the Tesla Model S P100D and its 2.28 second 0 to 60 mph, or the Rimac Concept_One (below). When coupled with petrol power, electric motors can contribute to what have become the undisputed greatest cars of the current generation – the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and Porsche 918 (you might also want to include the Koenigsegg Regera).

Photo Credit: Rimac Automobili

The fact is, while the future of society en masse may be electric and autonomous, there will remain a demand for driver’s cars, sports cars and super cars. There will remain a demand for glorious petrol power, just as there has remained a demand for simple, manual gearbox, soundproofing free machines of unrestricted passion, soul and driving experience.

Top Photo Credit: mkeevo –Imgur