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2007 BMW 3-Series Photo
Quick Take
Somewhere north of Phoenix , we realized something was missing. The wonderfully powerful... Read more »
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by Rex Roy

photos by Rex Roy and BMW

 

Somewhere north of Phoenix , we realized something was missing. The wonderfully powerful, twin-turbo six-cylinder of the unleashed yet another torrent of torque. Speeds easily escalated into triple digits, but there it wasn't.

 

Again.

 

The turbos are absolutely quiet.

 

No whine. No huffing. No waste gate popping. Nothing but power accentuated by a perfectly flat, electronically modulated torque curve that peaks just off idle and doesn't fall off a Newton-meter until the tach needle swings past 5000 rpm.

 

One can imagine BMW engineers scoffing at the typical noises associated with high-strung turbocharged cars, especially tuner specials. (If your mind is searching for a soundtrack, pick any scene from The Fast and The Furious franchise.) With the top and windows down, we would have heard anything that was there to be heard. But the only thing audible was the smooth and refined note of BMW's most powerful non-M-series six-cylinder engine. MORE--

 

Topping it off

 

2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS

2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS

Enlarge Photo
We've driven several of the all-new 3-Series, so the news for this story is the retractable hard top. It's a beauty that goes up and down in cycles lasting not even 25 seconds. The "Dance of the Roof Panels" will mesmerize your friends or those stopped with you at a traffic light. The three-piece assembly folds neatly into the trunk, with the reverse-hinged deck lid opening wide like a snake to swallow it all.
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