Ordering My 2013 BMW 335i M Sport
In 2005, I bought my very first BMW. It was one of two I’ve owned – a 2006 330i, and a 2011 335i. Last year we bought my wife bought a 2013 BMW 328i Sport – a milestone achievement gift for finishing her MBA. We’ve had it six months, and it’s grown on me quite a bit – particularly the Sport package. In years past, getting the Sport package on a BMW 3 Series meant the car would come with summer tires. I live in Ohio, so this option was never attractive to me. However, her car came with the new all-weather tire option on the Sport package which completely changed my attitude about the Sport package. I visited the BMW website (always a dangerous thing to do…) and saw that there was also a new model variation on the 3 Series – the M Sport. The M Sport package comes with the following previously unavailable options to the 3 Series:
- M Aerodynamic Kit
- M Sport Steering Wheel
- M Sport wheels and suspension
- Exclusive M Sport colors and trims
- M Sports Seats
Perhaps the first big attraction to me for the M Sport package is the exclusive “Estoril Blue” exterior color. Technically speaking, the color is available on any of the other 3 Series models….at a $3,000.00 cost premium over any other color choice. Since the M Sport package only costs $3200.00, it’s a no-brainer to go with the package if you like the color. Here’s a screen capture from the BMW website which shows the 335i M Sport in Estoril Blue:
There’s almost nothing about the exterior of the new 335i M Sport I don’t like…..almost. In Europe, the M Sport package provides special “M Sport Brakes” with a choice of colors (visible when looking at the wheel) which look really cool:
Unfortunately, this option isn’t available for customers of BMW USA…..grrrrrr…… I may just have to figure out how to order those brakes separately and get them installed….love the look.
Every time I get a BMW, I say “this is the year I’m going to be different NOT get a black leather interior…but once again I went with “Black Dakota Leather.” I did go with the bushed aluminum trim which is new for me, and opted for the cool exterior matching blue trim:
About the only thing in the interior which gives me pause is the M Sport steering wheel. It almost looks like a retro, vintage Mustang steering wheel. I think it’s something I’ll warm up to.
In terms of options, there’s not a whole lot to talk about:
-Cold weather package
– Premium Package
I skipped on the Drivers Assistance Package (parking cameras, park distance control, etc.) – “gee wiz” nifty stuff, but not $2,000.00 I wanted to spend. I also skipped on the $1,000.00 Dynamic Handling package which includes Variable Sport Steering and the Adaptive M Suspension. I’m not a big fan of adaptive steering and didn’t think I needed the Adaptive M Suspension since I’m already paying for the (presumably non-adaptive) M Suspension (which apparently is the same suspension which is on my wife’s 328i with sport package). The $700.00 “Drivers Assistance Plus” package also seemed like a needless add-on (displays the current posted speed limit in the heads up display…I can look at the posted signs thank you).
The only other decision to be made after placing the order was how to take delivery. Doing a European Delivery is nice (I’ve done it before with a buddy) and I haven’t yet seen the new BMW “Welt” – the new building where European Deliveries are done in Munich. But I also have never done a Performance Center Delivery in Spartanburg, South Carolina. If you take delivery of your new BMW at the BMW Performance Center, you get to experience the BMW Performance Driving School. Since my wife just got her new 328i Sport, I thought the driving school would be a thrilling experience for both of us.
I placed my order with my chosen dealer on April 29th, 2013. On May 22nd, my dealer contacted me that I had both a VIN and production number – a critical milestone in the order fulfillment process. With this information, I’m able to track the final production of my 335i M Sport online via the BMW USA website:
Later that same day, my car moved into the following website status:
BMW assigns a specific production code to each critical step in the manufacturing process. Unfortunately the website doesn’t show the exact production code associated with where your car is in the production process (hold your cursor over the grey car outline on the timeline however will give more specific information). As far as I know, on your your dealer will have access to a system which shows the production code for each specific stop in the production process. However, once you have production number and a VIN number, you can also track your production status via this toll free number for BMW USA: 1-800-831-1117. Select “option 2” to check order status, enter your Production Order Number (or last 7 digits of the VIN) when prompted. The toll free number provides a bit more detailed update in some cases than the website on where exactly your car is in the production process. For example, on June 6th I called the number and was told by the automated attendant that “your car is in the paint shop, and production is scheduled to be completed June 6th.” The website simply showed my car was still in the “Production Begins” phase. It took from May 22nd until June 6 from my car to make it through the production que, and into production, and then finally out of production. This timeline seems to be be different for everyone so if you place an order, it could move through the production que and into the 3 day production phase more quickly than mine or more slowly…it’s hard to say.
On 6/7 I checked both the website, and called the toll free number above to check the status. The website status had not changed however the phone line reported that the vehicle was now being transported to the port of exit. On 6/8 the status on the website finally updated:
By 6/11/13 the status had changed to “Your car is at port and awaiting a shipping vessel.” Less than a week later, the BMW USA site reported that my car was on board a ship and en route to the US:
My dealer was able to tell me that my car had been placed aboard the ship California Highway:
My dealer was able to see that the California Highway was due in port in the Port of Charleston South Carolina on 6/28/2013, which I was able to confirm on this site. Cargo ships like the California Highway can be tracked en route on sites like marinetraffic.com.
At this point, I’ve got 12-14 days for my car to make it to US port, then approximately another week to make it through customs, process, and be transported to it’s final destination. Stay tuned for part II of this article which will pick up when the car arrives in the US!
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.