Road Test: BMW 335i Touring

BMW E30 fans will already be querying the model name that doesn’t exist, so that tells you already that this is no normal motor vehicle. Open the bonnet and you won’t find much spare space – this engine is a full litre larger than any E30 from the factory.

I must admit, I had mixed emotions as I clambered aboard this silly-looking, chopped-suspension estate. This is exactly the sort of car I don’t much like. Slammed, noisy and with more power than any reasonable person needs.

Meaty Beemer fends off hovering males

Meaty Beemer fends off hovering males

I mean, just look at it. Barely any suspension travel and silly wheels. Clambering aboard revealed a tiny steering wheel thrust towards your chest, and seats that grabbed you in a bear hug.

A twist of the key fires the six-cylinder engine noisily into life. I pointed the nose up a nice, steep hill and floored it. Cue loads of misfiring and not much acceleration. See? Silly car. Then the chap who owns it switched off the (now empty) LPG tank and encouraged actual petrol into the engine. I tried again.

Jeepers! We must have overtaken several scalded cats and excrement ladled from a shovel as we flew up the hill. The car showed the sort of disdain for gravity that I usually reserve for Tory MPs. It had that typical, smooth BMW six-pot bellow. Yes, it was louder than you might normally expect, but still wondrously smooth. I didn’t dare take it near the redline at first, for fear I might simply run out of road.

Not much space in here. Meaty.

Not much space in here. Meaty.

Perhaps the most annoying aspect was the way this car darted into corners. No roll, no upset if any bumps were encountered, just a lithe feeling that made you want to try harder next time. I did eventually trouble the upper echelons of the rev-range and it was something I just wanted to do again. Instantly. To do so in third gear would have taken us way beyond any desirable road speed though, so I didn’t.

That kind of proved my point really. It is a stupid amount of power. Totally unnecessary and very hard to exploit on the road without getting into trouble. So, why was I grinning so much when I clambered out?

Car provided by Fu’Gutty Cars.

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