2007 BMW 335i

MODEL TESTED 6-speed manual

The 22 seconds of suspense WAITING for the 3 Series ’vert to drop its three-piece hardtop is like the anticipation of an all-too-quick lap dance, ’cept when you exit the club, the sun hasn’t scorched ya cranium. For the first time in Bimmer’s history of building drops, this joint is a coupe and convertible.

Behind the stick shift and past the tiny German cup holder (only one!) lies the most important switch in the cabin. To gain access to unadulterated open-air cruising, hold the ’vert button down. After a few mechanical whirrs and the sound of breaking submarine-tight seals, you’ll bear witness to the roof’s three-piece breakdown. The Optimus Prime–approved transformation will have you gawkin’ like a tourist in Tokyo.

As the dotted yellow blurs, take a look around: You’ll notice how high you sit above the door line. The windshield angle and seat combo are the reason why Bimmer drop tops are king—you have 360 degrees of unobstructed vision.

With the rear wind deflector up, you can make audible celly calls up to ’bout 120mph (hands-free, please). When it comes time to slow ya roll and park the 335i convertible, leave the top down. The black Dakota leather guts will be significantly cooler to the touch, thanks to Bimmer’s sun-reflective technology borrowed from their motorcycle division.

When you are in the ’vertible, know you’re ridin’ hard. BMW says this 3 Series is 50 percent stiffer than the last model—you’ll know it when the run flats roll over hole-riddled streets. But the stiffness accentuates BMW’s famed steering and handling: no chiropractor callin’ after a day of boulevard bumpin’; it ain’t that bad.

Depending on ya climate, be it the MI-Ayo or NYC, the 3 Series drop is ready on both fronts at all times, waitin’ for you to blare the Logic7 surround system. When the metallic roof sandwiches itself into the trunk, you’ll think you got the sickest two-for-one deal of all time. Jack Chinelli

DAMAGE $52,925
POWER 300hp, 300 lb.-ft.
0-60 5.5 seconds
TOP SPEED 150mph
GAS CASH 19 city, 28 hwy
INTERIOR It’s typical cold and clean Bimmer—like the 3 Series coupe, a continuing console stemming from the front splits the two rear seats. Even with the roof up, the cabin feels airy thanks to larger windows (fishbowl!) and almost as quiet as the fixed-roof coupe.
EXTERIOR Coupe style, yes. Coupe profile, not so much—the convertible’s rear window bubbles out slightly and doesn’t look as “fast” because of the separation seams needed to fold the roof, but it’s hardly an eyesore.
FLOSS factor From rags to rich-blood hardtop, the ragtop ’vert game is over, and BMW just killed it. Ditch the optional 18s and strap on some 20s. Be seen in this car.
FLAW factor Out the showroom floor and into the sunshine will set you back more than 50 large for this 3 Series. Then again, it’s two cars in one.