In case you hadn’t noticed, the world has turned into one big app.
Websites are so last century: it’s all about apps that do things and that means you can do exciting things to your car’s brain. Up until recently, you needed to visit a garage for that; unless you had mates in the trade, you paid for that digital access. Now, though, you can get all sorts of clever boxes of tricks. You can interrogate, fault find and, I noticed recently, even reprogramme and unlock extra performance using your mobile.
I wouldn’t recommend mucking about with vehicles under warranty, but once the cover has expired, all bets are off. It isn’t just performance: you should be able to mess with the fuel economy and make it better.
That makes me think that I should be looking at those BMW oil-burners (2003-2009) in the classifieds that no one else wants and then start apping.
I’ll start at the bottom with a 1 Series and, with £2800 to spend, I’ll get a 2007 2.0 118d SE with 100,000 miles and a full service history. Never mind that it’s silver. Hold on, I’ve also stumbled across a blue one with more miles that is £50 cheaper, so everything is out there. Indeed, why buy a sensible four-door hatch when my favourite 3 Series from 2005 is available as a 320Cd Sport at £3000 and forgivably metallic grey? It looked rather M3 to me too.
Next up would be an M5-alike. I’ll raise my stupidly low budget, of course: a more solid £3500 would bag me a 2006 530 M Sport with 147,000 miles. It would certainly be fun making that go even faster.
The next size up is a Seven, and a 2008 730d Sport with 90,000 miles is just £6999. I don’t think we need a long-wheelbase version, unless we spend any quality time in the rear.