Today I was sitting talking to my father about cars and reading car magazines. This is always an odd time because my dad will argue that the Americans are catching up, and I will argue that the Americans are too stuck on trying to actually catch up. Today he was telling me about this article that he read in the latest Automobile magazine in which they pit the new Pontiac G8 against the BMW 550i Sport 6-speed manual. Dad was all happy that they said the Pontiac was just as good. The story seemed a bit too off pace to be credible. All of the performance times were way off compared to what the other magazines had said, so I didn’t give it too much credit.
As I read on disregarding what I had just read, I started reading a comparison, where a young (32 years old) journalist put the BMW 335xi against the new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR and the Subaru Impreza WRX STI (that is a lot of capitals in their names). I was pretty intrigued by this because I have never seen a sports car/boy racer shoot-out with an all-wheel drive BMW in the mix. It has always been the Evo versus the STI, the STI versus the Evo. Always wondering which one is the better of the two. Haven't they done this comparison enough though? Shouldn't it be about that time where others get mentioned as well?
I started reading, and it seems that the 335xi was faster in every sense of the word. It pulled a 5.0s 0-60 while the Evo did it in 5.1s and 5.4s for the STI. Better still the ¼ mile time was 13.7s @104 mph for the Bimmer and 14.0s @100 mph for the other two. Shocking! I have never seen an x-drive BMW hold its own performance wise against these types of cars. The craziest thing is that an x-drive BMW cannot come with a sport package. This 335 is beating up on the true AWD legends and it doesn’t even have as sporty of a suspension. The author even says it held its own on the off road stuff, in terms of performance and drivability.
While the BMW was the highest in as tested price at $47,100 versus $33,615 for the Evo and $39,440 for the STI, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Jason (the author) said that the Bimmer was the car that took you from boy racer to a man just in one drive. As he put it “some enthusiasts, though, will always view the pair as sub-$20,000 economy cars with $20,000 in upgrades (STI and Evo), no matter their performance chops. A few years back, both the STI and the Evo were fantastic bargains at about $30,000. However, as these Japanese rally cars creep up in price, more and more boy racers will understandably stretch their budgets and look toward Germany. That’s what this particular boy racer named Jason would do.” I still can’t tell if this guy is a genius or some crazy German car fanatic that will be hassled for these comments.
Anyway you cut it though, the BMW surpassed the expectations. Gone are the days where BMW’s AWD system was looked at as just something other all-wheel drive platform. Here are the days where BMW’s x-drive can actually handle more power and drives well. Hmm… Are we about to see a whole new AWD attitude from BMW? Maybe one that could say, compete with Audi and Porsche? Only time will tell folks, only time will tell. But, as time moves on, here is one enthusiast who wouldn’t mind seeing BMW show its skills at more than just rear-wheel drive ultimate driving. Maybe all-wheel drive can wield ultimate driving for BMW.
Maybe we will get a chance to test these three AWD monsters against one another here on BMWBlog. Wait and see.
Check out the latest issue of Automobile magazine for this great article.
Article by Josh from RawAutos.com