Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Return to prominence

Okay, we may as well get this over with. I was about to stop posting entirely (for awhile longer) just to spite someone who told me I needed to post, but I also don't want ETP to have to keep using code phrases like "your recent purchase" in anticipation of an upcoming "big post."

So guess what, everyone? You don't have to hear anymore bullshit about the 3 Series I want to get. Now, should I care enough to post, you're going to have to hear about my 3 Series. Yeah, that's right: it's Bimmertime.

My name's Bitter Little Man. I drive a Bimmer.

So I initially wrote up this huge post about the saga of Project 3 Series over the past few months, but it really wasn't all that funny. If anyone really wants to hear about it, just say the word, and everyone else can blame you, not me, for the post that ensues. It's pretty much ready to go as we speak.

After an aborted attempt to satisfy my spoiled desires back in December, I finally just went for it last weekend. The low-down:

BMW 330i
Imola red exterior
Black leather
Performance Package (ZHP)
Cold weather package (ZCW)
Aluminum silver cube trim
Xenon (HID) headlamps
Six. Speed. Manual.

I probably don't need to say this, but I like the new ride better than everything and nearly everyone. What have you done for me lately? Nothing. What has the car done for me lately? Guess.

I think your typical 330 driver is changing for the better. And by "changing for the better," I mean "staying exactly the same."

Here's a breakdown of why I chose what I chose. This will give even more true insight as to how big of an asshole and just how bad and shallow of a person I am.

When BMW dropped lease rates (yes, I'm leasing) back in December, I was like "Hey, fuck the 325, I can swing a 330!" So that was the end of the 325. Project 3 Series became Project 330. Then I test drove cars that had the ZHP. ZHP stands for "Zee HorsePowaaaa!!!." Either that, or all of BMW's packages start with "Z" and are followed by a two-letter acronym, and "ZPP" was already taken by the premium package. Project 3 Series became Project ZHP.

The ZHP is beyond fun. It trades a bit of the luxury and elegance of the regular 3 Series (hereafter referred to by its German designation, 3er, to save typing whenever I feel like it) and turns it into, as BMW's literature says, an "aggressive 'sport car'". Modest changes to the engine for more horsepower and torque, an exclusive color (the Imola) and fabric available along with exclusive trims, a slick-as-shit M3-esque body kit, some nice 18" wheels, a short-throw shifter, and other things to distinguish it from the rest of the 330 offerings make it a perfect compromise.

I initially wasn't going to get the ZHP because -- horror! -- you can't get it from the factory with wood trim. For awhile, I was wedded to getting an Oxford green exterior with bullshit wood trim inside. Relationships change, because...

It's not just the luxury, it's the performance.

I all but gave up on wood trim after I had a damn-near religious experience driving a car with the ZHP. I mean, seriously, after that test drive, I wasn't the same. I was changed. And it was even a shitty automatic! Then ETP and I drove a ZHP with a six-speed, and it was all over. Anything less would be shit. ETP wouldn't respect anything less, and I'd rather drive the Civic until the end of time before getting anything less. So I didn't settle for less.

The ZHP is fast. Not, say, WRX STi fast, but pretty damn good for a sedan turned aggressive sport car. The theoretical 0-60 of about six seconds is good enough for me. Oh, and it sounds really nice thanks to the throatier engine and exhaust. The suspension is delightfully tight (I'll dispense with any jokes about underage girls here, and, fuck, there goes that), but still giving a ride that's not too rough on normal roads. The front, side, and rear underbody spoilers and 18" wheels look great, even if they now have me terrified of curbs (broken front spoiler) and huge potholes (bent rims). And the Imola red color is just perfect.

235 horsepower standard (for the biggest assholes).

Getting the cold weather package was a no-brainer, since I wanted heated front seats and a fold-down rear seat (which, as I've said before, is sadly an option). The headlight washers are a nice bonus.

So, in addition to getting a car that only assholes drive, getting the "fast" 330, and getting it in red, why am I so shallow and such a huge prick? Well, I haven't talked about leather or xenons, have I?

At first, I was just going to get the base upholstery for the ZHP -- a combination of cloth and Alcantara (a suede-like material). It's a pretty nice setup, it's unique amongst the 330 sedans in that only the ZHP has it, and it doesn't cost extra like leather. But the thing is, I didn't want anyone to be able to look down on me for getting a Bimmer, considered a luxury (or at least near or entry level luxury) car, without leather seats. I didn't want to have to explain to any passengers why I have cloth instead of leather in my car. I did not want any inferiority complexes with my new car. So I got leather.

One night I was driving down highway 36, and all of a sudden some bright-ass lights appeared in my rear-view. I'm saying to myself "Who the hell is this fuck?" And then a short time later, the fuck with the bright lights blows past me, and I see that he's driving -- what else? -- a 3er. I wanted to be that guy, that asshole. So I got Xenons.

So yeah, that's it. Project 3 Series 330 ZHP is now finished. Now we're on to discretionary spending: off. Which is fine. Like I said a few months back, I could either have a bunch more toys, games, DVDs, porn, and photobooks, or I could have the Ultimate Driving Machine. Silly me chose the Ultimate Driving Machine.

Now, really, all I have to do is plan for the inevitable future where I get laid off and get totally fucked, but until then, we have some fun. We have fun driving, and when not driving, occasionally going down to the garage just to LOOK AT IT!!!!!. Yup, I'm an asshole. I got a car based on reasons that were 50% image, and 50% suspension. But finally, I am the asshole I was always meant to be. Now, I have the tools, and I have the talent.

Price: way too goddamn much. Fuck your best offer.

So, what's next? Well, now we need to work on the Bimmerfication of those around me. BOETP is already set, as she's eyeing an X3 Special Victims Unit. ETP is thinking about a used M roadster (since the Z4 sucks ass and they don't even make an ///M version of it) or the beast that is the M5. Once that transition is finished, then look out, world. Look the fuck out. Self-entitled pretentious assholes are out in force (either that or parking our cars at one another's respective houses and then sitting around). Until then, we can make do with my ZHP, ETP's RSX-S, and, uh, BOETP looks good in the front seat of the RSX (learn to drive stick and set the Cavalier on fire and collect the insurance).

Oh, and you know what? Fuck that Audi I had for awhile. It doesn't even register anymore. For anyone curious, here and here are a couple of pictures of what my car looks like. That isn't my car, but it's the ZHP and the color I got (although the red looks better in person). Also, of course, there will be a different tool sitting in the driver's seat of mine.

Finally, I go in to change my voter registration later this week.

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