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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Adding an XM module in the manner described by your dealer is no different than hooking up your iPod via the same method. Your dealer is correct.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Shipo,

    You may be correct. The installer had explained that I have 2 options to get XM in the vehicle:

    1. An upcoming "box" that would plug into the Sirius module in the vehicle and "translate" the feed to XM. Apparently this box works both ways (XM to Sirus and Sirius to XM), it was designed for just the scenario I have been describing. It's about $300, and will be availabe for BMW shortly, he says.

    2. Wire up an XM aftermarket antenna into the console and plug the aftermarket XM unit into the Aux input located there.

    In retrospect, the installer must have meant that he could not pursue option 1 on my vehicle, as he mentioned that BMW does not allow you to "plug in" any device to their electronics without voiding the warranty. I assume this is similar to an owner who wants to "chip" the engine.

    If I pursue Option 2, and plug in an aftermarekt unit in the console, how will it be powered? I can't recall if there is a charging port located there. Anyone know?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Louiswei,

    I agree with your points on why AMG does what it does. However, I would note that, at least in my area, a previous generation M5 (6-speed only) has a much better resale value than a previous genration E55 (auto only). And the E55 cost more to begin with. I believe that that is because the former E55 was focused upon only horsepower (and luxury), which gets quickly superceded by more horsepower (and more luxury). The previous M5 was a complete enthusaist's car and the joy of driving one doesn't wear off just because it may no longer be king of the hill at the dragstrip.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I am not surprised a bit about M5 having better resale value than the E55. To me, although not an enthusiast but I think AMG's not as prestige as the M.

    Also, generally speaking, doesn't BMW usually have better resale value than MB to begin with? According to Kelley Blue Book:

    2004 BMW 530i: $36,865
    2004 MB E320: $34,865

    I believe back in 2004, a new E320 would cost more than a 530i.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    2500 miles is a long way to travel just to drive my 20 year-old BMW for a couple weeks!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,161
    As I always say... "Beats working"..

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    plug in an aftermarekt unit in the console, how will it be powered?

    The power ports are for that
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    The percentage of automatics versus manuals is skewed, though, since there are precious few offered in the U.S. to begin with. Yet the demand is definately there.

    Take the Honda Fit. It's the manual transmission ones that are hardest to find because they are all spoken for. Yet Honda in its infinite wisdom has decided to ship 85-90% automatics to the U.S. despite the split being about 70/30 in actual demand. Toyota(Lexus only exists in North America - its "Toyota" everywhere else), Mercedes, and all of the rest offer manual transmissions on their entire lines over in Europe. And I doubt that people are that different in the U.S. than in Europe.(ie - a LOT more people would drive manuals, especially in luxury cars, if they were offered)
  • My guess is that the aftermarket chips cause more problems than benefits. Otherwise, why didn't the manufacturers just put the 350 HP chip in to begin with?

    First, talk to VW 1.8T and 2.0T owners. Chipping has been really common with those engines for about a decade and they're all running fine. Yes, some blow up their engines or strip trannys but that's the drivers, not the engines.

    Second, BMW couldn't officially release the 335i with 350/400 tq for one simple reason: M3.

    The M3 is using a variant of that torqueless V10 in the M5/M6. It's going to produce - if they're lucky - 420 hp and 330/340 tq.

    If they released a 335i with more torque and nearly the same power they'd eat into M3's sales in a big way. Right now at 330 hp the 335i is pulling 4.9-4.7 0-60 runs. That's besting/matching the current M3. The next get M3 which will be heavier will be lucky to pull sub-4.6 second runs to 60. quite simply once you reach sub-5 seconds every drop from there takes serious torque and HP. Guys with chipped 335is are pulling mid 4 second 0-60 runs.

    What would BMW gain from having the 38k 335i run to 60 as fast as the 60k 2008 M3?

    BMW is not dumb.

    Correct, see above. They have to protect the M3 name.

    Capitalism. Its a system based on the old adage, there's a sucker born every minute.

    The sucker is the one who thinks a manufacturer limits power to increase engine life and not protect the top of its sales line. The profit margins on the M3 are surely insane and they sell in really high numbers. Look at the sales of the e46 M3 v. the e46 coupes. Not a big difference. Yet the price gap was massive. Look at the differences between the M3 and 330i of the e46...yeah the M3 sales were neck and neck and more profitable. Plus it makes the brand look better.

    Or am I just too cynical?

    Nah. Just not looking at the whole picture.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Lexus only exists in North America - its "Toyota" everywhere else

    Not anymore.

    Now Lexus is available in Europe, China, Taiwan and Japan as well.
  • jensbjensb Posts: 3
    Please keep me posted on this. My, perhaps mistaken, understanding was that "the box" was available and could be installed. I wasn't informed it would affect the warranty. As for plugging an aftermarket in, I've had that for the past two years. It certainly doesn't look very good and is not very user-friendly--though maybe they've improved them. I started out with Sirius and switched to XM and like the latter much better. It really is a deal-stopper for me (as is manual transmission). So I would love to know if the "box" is a viable option. Again, who would have thought it would be this hard?! (I may write directly to the BMW website if I can find it--I'm tired of all the misinformation from the dealership on this. Plus, maybe they should hear that they're losing sales over satellite radio...) Thanks
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    Yeah, yeah.
    And then after that new M3 comes out with the V-10, some chip company will come out with a chip to increase its horsepower too, right?
    And then I'll pose the same question: Why didn't BMW just put the higher performance chip into it in the first place if increased performance is so easy?
    I suppose you'll answer because BMW ain't dumb, it just must protect the upcoming 2009 M5?

    And what was VW protecting by not putting higher performance chips in those you mentioned?

    (Oh, and the 335i is 300 HP and 300 Torque. Just drove a coupe a couple weeks ago. Pretty car.)
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    What is your authority stating BMW warranty covers Dinan performance chips? I could not find any support for it.
    But I did read a little which tends to show you may be in for big warranty headaches if there is engine failure in a re-chipped car.

    Consider these tidbits from the Bimmerfest message board:

    1. He (Dinan) actually does void the (BMW) factory warranty... he just states that he matches it if there is an issue... if there is a problem, BMW will not cover, and (if) you can prove that it was dinan's fault.. then dinan pays... if you cannot prove it was dinan's fault... and BMW will not cover... you are HOSED (S.O.L.)! (And remember, unless you pay a whole lot extra,the Dinan warranty only lasts until the original BMW factory warranty expires.)

    2. ALL Dinan products void BMW's warranty. It's just that Dinan offers a (concurrent) warranty to supposedly cover any warranty denials by BMW. But Dinan products DO void the BMW warranty.

    3. (here I am paraphrasing an entry posted by a lawyer)
    If you make a claim for BMW warranty coverage and BMW decides (as it almost certainly will in the event of engine failure where a Dinan chip is installed) that BMW does not need to pay for the repair, you will need to go to court to pursue your claim further. And once there, even though the burden is on BMW to prove that the Dinan chip caused the damage, it probably would not be a difficult thing for a jury to find. And when the jury does find the aftermarket chip was the cause, the BMW warranty is voided for that damage claim.
    So then you end up with a claim against the Dinan warranty. But to win against Dinan, you as a plaintiff must prove that the Dinan chip caused the damage. If you don’t get a jury to agree on that, you lose and the Dinan warranty will not pay either.
    And even before many months or years waiting to get to the courtrooms, you either pay out of your pocket for the repairs, or do without the car as you hope one warranty will eventually be forced to cover the damage.

    Bottom line: Do not re-chip your BMW while it is under the factory warranty.
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    let me ask this question - what makes an IS350 or BMW $5k more expensive than a G35?

    the G35 seems to be priced about the same as the IS250 - big difference being the IS has the smaller engine. to move up to the IS350 to make the engines better match the price goes up quite a bit.

    same pretty much true for the BMW vs. Infiniti.

    Question is this - is there $5k worth of better parts in the BMW/IS, or just more profit for the manufacturer?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Happy New Year!

    Since there aren't chips out (commercially) for the 335i, talking about a rechipped ECU voiding the warranty, right now is moot. But I do remember reading, that BMW will install and honor the warranty on after markert parts in it's cars. The manufacturer may not have been Dinan.

    BTW. The market for aftermarket chips is huge in turbo cars. It may not be a route you want to go, but the market is there nonetheless.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Maybe you pay for what you get in terms of refinement and quality of materials. The VQ engine using in the G35 does not cost more than a handful of $$$ over the 2.5 used in the IS250. I think some of the differential is materials and workmanship and some of it is market. Lexus is now doing what BMW and Mercedes used to do. Because it can.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Since there aren't chips out (commercially) for the 335i, talking about a rechipped ECU voiding the warranty, right now is moot.

    So there isn't any Dinan chip for other BMWs?

    If there are, how does the whole warranty thing works for those?
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    ajmtbm, I think the new G35 right now is the best bang for the bucks in this class. Given their similar pricing there is no way I would opt the IS250 over the G. However, after test drove the G35 last week I think there are at least 2 reasons why the Lexus and Bimmer cost more:

    1. Interior build quality and inferior material used. Generally speaking the new G's interior is light years ahead of its predecessor. However, one can still find cheap material being used in the cabin, for example, lower door panel.

    2. Less refined engine. Don't get me wrong, the new VQ is very good and competitive. But I don't think its as refined as Lexus' 2GR-FSE and Bimmer's twin-turbo I6. I drove the G35 and 335i back to back and I have an IS350 so trust me, there is a difference.

    I am not sure if BMW and Lexus' advantage over Infiniti in those 2 area are worth $5K more expensive. That's up to the customers to decide.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    This is straight from Dinan's website...

    The installation of Dinan Performance Products and systems may affect the vehicle manufacturer’s new car limited warranty. The vehicle manufacturer’s new car limited warranty may not apply to modifications to a vehicle or the installation of any performance accessories or components attached to the vehicle which substantially alter the original engineering and/or operating specifications or which result in damage to other original vehicle manufacturer’s components.

    Link
  • blueguydotcom,

    I generally agree with your posts and appreciate your insights. However, I have some disagreement with your most recent one:

    My nephew recently purchased a 335i sedan. While it diplays impressive acceleration for a "regular" 3 series, the overall performance still falls well short of the M3, especially in the area of handling. What distinguishes the M3 from all of its competition is near 911 quality steering and handling. You don't get that with an aftermarket Dinan chip. And the 335i, while an ELLPS segment leader, will never play with a 911 around a track, chipped or not.

    Secondly, as others have pointed out, the Dinan chips do indeed pose a warranty risk. A significant one. I have several fellow M5 owners who have looked into it and all concluded that you better have the intestinal fortitude to go to court.

    Thirdly, hand built "M" engines are at least 3+ times as expensive to produce as their non-M mass produced counterparts. If you've ever visited both factories, as I have, you immediately know why. While I don't dispute that the profit margins on the M3 and M5 are high, most of that is because 90% of M models are sold at full MSRP, with no discounting or ED discounts. My nephew bought a 335i for the equivalent of $1,500 under US invoice via European Delivery.

    For those that might think the difference between a 335i and an M3 is a 0-60 time that can be bridged by a Dinan chip, I respectfully suggest they don't really know what Motorsports is all about and what separates them from the horsepower addicted drag racers over at AMG. Sorry if I sound defensive. My loyalty to "M" goes back to being an original owner of an M1. It's pretty easy to pump the power of a turbo engine. A hell of a lot harder to live by the mantra, "make the chassis faster than the engine". And nobody in the sport sedan and coupe market does that better than Motorsports.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Great post Spirit.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    $1,500 under US invoice via European Delivery

    Wow, hmm...maybe that's something to think about 4 years from now when I am about to replace my IS.

    Better start saving up 'em vacations...

    Oh yeah, and 'em frequent flier miles.

    :blush:
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,380
    spiritinthesky,

    Thanks for your insight on what M really means. I agree with all of the enthusiasts with gobs of knowledge and experience with the BMW line. I am amazed at how far the "straight six" concept has come.

    I think the most improvement that the 335 concept has shown is the turbo effect to the power band of the 3 ltr. The torque is finally quite impressive and looks to enhance performance as a leader in the ELLPS segment.

    I believe those in the know would agree that this new output will be hard to beat.

    Regards,
    OW
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    The 335 renders my favorite car [Audi S4] useless. A bummer for me, but unless the deals on the S4 go crazy, ie lose the gas guzzler tax, then I'm sold on the 335.
  • And then after that new M3 comes out with the V-10, some chip company will come out with a chip to increase its horsepower too, right?And then I'll pose the same question: Why didn't BMW just put the higher performance chip into it in the first place if increased performance is so easy?

    Emissions, an ability to offer more performance easily later on, a decision not to intrude on the power levels of the next step up, etc.

    I suppose you'll answer because BMW ain't dumb, it just must protect the upcoming 2009 M5?

    Look at Audi's work with the 1.8T. In 2001 you could get it with 150 hp in the Jetta/Passat. In 2002 the power was bumped to 180 but structurally nothing was different. The exhaust was slightly different but really what changed: ecu. That same engine in the TT made 225 hp.

    And what was VW protecting by not putting higher performance chips in those you mentioned?

    See above. The 150 hp 2001 Jetta v. 180 hp 2001 A4 and TT. Eventually VW put the A4 and Jetta at the same power levels as they realized most people don't opt for a Jetta over an A4 or vice versa. Currently the 2.0T in the A4, A3, Jetta, Passat and GTI makes 200 hp. Well, the upcoming TT will make 220 hp - same engine.


    Oh, and the 335i is 300 HP and 300 Torque. Just drove a coupe a couple weeks ago. Pretty car.)

    Again,do some research. Dynos show the 335i makes ~330/330. BMW's marketing guys say 300/300. The SAE rules make it impossible to overrate an engine (like honda did the TL for years) but they don't bar a company from underrating the engine.

    Why underrate the 335i? Two reasons:

    1. The competition is around the 300s. So to stay level but offer more performance BMW simply claims 300/300. If the G35 or IS350 sees a bump to 320, BMW can match without ever changing a thing.

    2. The last year of the M3 and even the upcoming e9x M3. The current M3 is a lame duck. At 50k+ it's a hardsell to push someone into an e46 M3 when the e9x 335i makes the same power for less money. The e9x M3 will make far more power but really the performance reward won't be huge. So BMW must make the gulf seem large enough on paper to entice people to drop 65k of so for an e9x M3 in 08.
  • KD vishnu is selling a Xede for the 335i. I posted the dyno on it. He's charging around $1400 for it. The power gains are immense.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    According to automobilemag.com, the 335i posted 275 RWHP on its dyno run.

    335i Dyno Graph
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    275 RWHP. Allowing for a 15% driveline loss, that equals about 325 HP at the crank.

    Based on the curb weight, gearing, and 1/4 mile times, I'd say 320-330 is about right.
  • Yes Dinan makes chips for other BMws, but they haven't released their 335i chip yet.

    Here's a chip for an M3: http://www.dinancars.com/Series.asp?Series=14&Chassis=10&Model=9&Class=Engine - Tuning#133

    Very little gains.

    look up GIAC, APR, Neuspeed for chips for audi turbos.

  • My nephew recently purchased a 335i sedan. While it diplays impressive acceleration for a "regular" 3 series, the overall performance still falls well short of the M3, especially in the area of handling. What distinguishes the M3 from all of its competition is near 911 quality steering and handling. You don't get that with an aftermarket Dinan chip. And the 335i, while an ELLPS segment leader, will never play with a 911 around a track, chipped or not.


    Ah, but keep in mind: an M3 is 10-20k more expensive than a comparably equipped 335i. You can add some serious mods to a 335i sedans and come in well under 50k without even trying. Out of the box, the 335i posts near e46 M3 handling and performance numbers - check the lap times of the 335i. Remove the RFTs, slap on a chip, add thicker roll bars and maybe some springs/shocks and you have an easy e46 M3 beater (a car that's really old school at this point).

    BTW, I have no loyalty to BMW or the M models. I feel the V8 in the e9x M3 is a very bad idea. Using a modified version of the torque-deficient M engine from the M5 and M6 is a super bad idea, IMHO.
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