What were the first mass-produced cars available in the US with a dual-clutch transmission (similar to the PDK transmission by Porsche)?

The first dual clutch transmission sold in the US was on the 2004 Audi TT 3.2 Quattro.

Is the PROcede for the BMW 335/135 worth getting?

As Bojan Kahvedzic mentioned above, you're probably going to shorten the life of your engine and related drivetrain components with any hardcore tune. The N54 engine already runs hot and is prone to go into limp mode if driven hard on a track stock, so adding a chip will only exacerbate this issue.

Dinan offers a more sophisticated, expensive tune, but they don't make as much power as a Procede or JB3 chip. On the plus side, the more conservative tune preserves engine life…a little.

Nevertheless, it's up to you if you want to go the chip route. It's a ton of fun, but keep in mind the risks you're running. Looking back, I definitely would have tried the JB3, but I certainly would not have kept the car beyond the factory warranty.

Here's the best source I've come across for comparing different tunes.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/sh…

When will the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics be sold in the U.S.?

The 335d's engine has a US only emissions technology called BluePerformance which involves a small urea tank that needs to get replenished at an annual basis (at a fairly low cost, like the price of a tank of gas).  The urea reacts with the NOx to produce H2O and N2.  This is required to meet emissions standards in all 50 states.

Not all engines require this technology, so BMW might be able to bring the diesel from the 320d without adding it, otherwise it would be a fairly large expense for them to take on.  In the meantime, the best way to ensure a 320d in the US is to get more people buying 335d's.  Otherwise it's unlikely to happen as Americans don't really understand diesel.

What's the average cost of a new BMW M6?

The majority of M6 units are ordered with all options, since the options are a small incremental cost versus the price of the base model. All options on are around $115k, and that'd be a more reasonable "average" cost of a new M6.

If you add California taxes, you're actually paying north of $125k and if you're financing the car, there's the significant cost of interest, too.

Why do people like BMWs?

I mostly owned BMWs in my career as a driver, plus an Opel Corsa ("inherited" from my wife). I've also spent significant time in VWs (T3/T4 Caravans), Audis (an A6 Front wheel drive) and a Mustang (which I had when I lived in the US for a while).

So here's why I like BMWs:

Handling:

I've owned exclusively 3 series BMWs (E30, E36, E46, E91). I like the way they handle, their small turn radius, the balance, their just-right tendency to oversteer and many other aspects. The Opel was a catastrophe in comparison: Massive influence of the engine on steering, prone to lifting a wheel because of its uneven weight distribution, and a much larger turn radius, despite being smaller.

The A6 (20o9 model) also had significant tendencies to understeer. It handled like a heavy, big car. I think if you go Audi, you really should go Quattro.

Engines:

Sufficient power, highly fuel efficient. BMW was to my knowledge the first to offer this combination, though others have caught up. My current 320 diesel engine consumes on average 5.2l/100km (~45 MPG), at 184hp. That is a real-use figure which includes autobahn, where i might not always drive 130km/h, and local traffic.

Design:

OK, BMW makes some cars that I think are really butt-ugly (I am looking at you, X6). However, they also have a lot of cars that emphasize a combination of elegance and sportiveness, which I enjoy. My current favorites include the 6 series coupes, the 5 series station wagons, and the 3 series station wagons. By comparison, Audi either comes off as too aggressive (from the front, I am not a big fan of the gigantic single frame designs they have done for a while now) or too neutral (from all other angles).

Reliability:

In the 18 years I've owned BMWs, I had two unexpected repairs:

  • On my E46, a turbo broke around 110.000km, which cost close to 1.700 € to repair.
  • On the same car, two high pressure injectors failed at around 105.000km, which cost around 1.200 € to fix.

Otherwise, no troubles. My first three BMWs were used cars, which I bought at 4 to 6 years of age. I bought my current one new from the factory seven years ago, and we didn't have any problems with it.

Again, comparing to the Opel, which in its first four years had the following major defects:

  • Alternator broke (500 €)
  • Both headlights broke (due to low-quality materials they corroded quickly) (400 € each)
  • Both sleeves on the transmission shaft broke (300 € each)
  • Radiator broke (550 €)

Personal Ties:

My father works at BMW since 1980, and we've always had BMWs. In the past years, he's been the head of car/process IT interfaces, so he got all kinds of pre-series cars to take home, including a Rolls Royce, a M6 Gran Couple and an i8. I think this might have influenced me slightly – first away from BMW, but then more towards it.

What's the easiest way to purchase a new BMW for a reasonable price?

Actually, the best way to purchase a new bimmer is through the European Delivery method (ED).  I've done it twice, and saved $17K on my first 330Ci, and about $12K on my 2nd E90 330i. So sure, you need to fly up to Munich to pick up your new baby, but that's a GOOD THING. If you're flying out to Munich just to pick up your car, subtract the price of the flight + 1 night hotel stay, and you'll still come up way on top. If you can make a trip out of it, then actually driving your own car will help you negate the costs of a rental.

You need to check out www.e90post.com for the latest "secret price list" PDF. Here is how it works, in a 10 thousand foot level:

1) Find the secret price ED PDF. If you just google it, you'll find it. There is a PDF for the 3, 5 and 7. You can't do this on the X and the Z cars, because they're made in the US. You may be able to do this on M cars, but usually, the program is offered on non-M cars

2) In the PDF, you'll find the European Invoice price. Usually, this is 5% below US INVOICE. So even if you can't find the PDF in 30 seconds, just go to KBB.com, find the invoice price on your desired car, and subtract 5%. That's your European Invoice.

3) Add all the options, at the INVOICE price (US invoice)

4) add destination, and CA tax or whatever state tax you live in

5) add $500-$1000 profit to the dealer. I've done it twice with just $500 profit to the dealer. He made much more than just $500 on me because he didn't really get the car for the invoice price.

6) once you have the price, compare that price to MSRP on the car + MSRP on al the options, which is how much you would pay if you didn't do ED. Obviously, the more car you buy, with more options, the bigger the delta is between the ED price and the US MSRP price. For example, you would save as little as $5K on the cheapest car, stripped, and you would save as much as $50K on the most expensive 7 series.

7) Now that you have your price, figure out, again by doing research on Google, which dealers around you are known to give out fair prices on the ED program. In my case, twice, I gave dealers in the bay area (CA) a chance to get my business, and they didn't bite. So I ended up with an amazing dealer in San Diego.

That's it. Once you find the dealer, you'll place an order for your custom BMW, and 30 days from the day of manufacturing, you'll need to start making payments, or pay for the car. Then, you'll get a date and a time, and you'll need to show up in Munich, to pick up your new baby.

The delivery experience is AMAZING !!! You'll get to see BMW World, and if you're lucky, and they have slots, you'll get a factory tour (book early, because these sell out quickly).

Is there a good independent mechanic in SF (ideally SoMa) specializing in aging BMWs?

Advanced Auto Repair on 16th and Harrison is owned by my man Igor, who knows German cars well, without the pretense. He's also reasonably affordable.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/advance-…

Is buying an extended BMW maintenance warranty a good idea?

Please check the following…

Vikas Saxena's answer to What are some money saving tips?

Do not buy extended warranty!

I’m not sure whether people would approve of my answer for this question but believe me, this is one area where people have spent billions of dollars. An average person buys a lot of gadgets, appliances and automobiles in his life. The moment you happen to buy one, the salesman comes after your life to request you to buy an extended warranty. This extended warranty comes with additional premium a part of which goes to the manufacturer (of that item) and another to the insurance company.

Just recall, how many times has it so happened that your purchased item has failed during that extended warranty period….!

Almost never!

On top of that (to your utmost frustration) the item fails just after the extended warranty period, doesn’t it? A large percentage of people falls for it and repents later why they bought one.

I’m going to save you a lot of money by sharing this with you.

Why I suggest not buying an extended warranty is because the failure pattern of most of these Electronic/Electrical/Mechanical items like gadgets, appliances, automobiles follows a Statistical distribution which is called the Weibull Distribution. You please do not need to get into the details of this theory. Let us try to take advantage of this.

Please have a look at the distribution image below. Please do not worry, the image looks a bit formidable but I’ll make it simple for you to understand.

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When you purchase an item, its failure follows the graph as shown above. The highest Probability for the item failing is for a short period after the unit comes into use, this is depicted by the Zone A in the image. This happens because there are parts that may not have been thoroughly tested and some manufacturing defects. Then all those defective parts fail and get replaced and the item possibly functions without faults for years.

This smooth running period is depicted by the Zone B in the image.

Then the item reaches its lifetime end, and again probability of failure becomes much higher since most parts wear out and start failing one by one. This happens in the Zone C.

Now come to the secret of the extended warranty sellers.

Manufacturers offer you initial warranty till the end of Zone A which is normally called the Manufacturer’s Warranty that usually comes with most of the standard items.

They try to sell you the extended warranty only up to the end of Zone B (and the start of Zone C), that’s it, not even a day beyond that! Why…? Because they know the failure pattern of their product and they also know that giving warranty for the Zone C definitely will cost them dearly as the item is most likely to fail in that period. BUT, they are happily selling the warranty up to Zone B since they know that it is the most efficient working time for their product so they are safe and most of their warranty offers will expire without a claim. Great…isn’t it?

Yes, exceptions never make an example and hence some items may fail during zone B also but that’s highly unlikely. If you happen to be one of the victims, please don’t start trusting ext. warranty again.

Do I need to say now, don’t please buy extended warranty and save a lot of money?

Thanks for reading!