Though not in time to be the replacement for my Z4, the 135i is headed to the States. Woo-hoo!
The M5 is tons of fun, literally. It's a heavy car and even though it can move like a cat you still know it's a big car.
The Z4 is from the 2003 model year and lacks some of the refinements, especially in sound deadening, in the current variant. It's a low car, as well, making it a bit of a pain to get in and out. The lower stance also makes the rearview mirror a magnet for the headlights behind you. Everybody appears to have their high-beams on.
Perhaps it's because I'm not the full-on sports car enthusiast I though I was. Maybe it's because I've grown soft as I've matured. Or maybe, just maybe, it's because I'm really looking for a small sports sedan. One that has just enough electrickery, but not too much. One that has some luxury touches, but isn't some fetted barge. One that has enough power to keep up with the big boys without having to pay the price in cramped quarters and woeful practicality. The only car that really fits that definition has been the Acura Integra for the longest time.
Since the introduction of the E-36 the 3-Series has been doing its impersonation of the 5-Series and the 5er has been getting ever bigger. I had been looking online for a used E-30 M3 to be the replacement for the Z4. That is the epitome of the driving experience I've been looking for. But, it's hard to find a good example of an E-30 that isn't going to cost too much or hasn't been used and abused. Perhaps I've been spoiled by the free scheduled maintenance, too.
The 135i fits the bill, perfectly. I just can't wait for this car. It's going to be tons of fun to tool around town in, will be much better for long trips than the Z4, more economical than the M5, and will be tons of fun on the track. I may just have to put my order in now to stave off the other Bimmerphiles that will undoubtedly be lining up for this one.