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BMW 320si – A real driver’s car

3-Series | October 28th, 2009 by 49
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As our editor Andrew said in a previous article, the BMW 320si is a “hidden pearl”, a car known in the BMW community as a …

As our editor Andrew said in a previous article, the BMW 320si is a “hidden pearl”, a car known in the BMW community as a real driver’s car. Browsing Germancarzone today, came across a member of this forum, Nikos who has just taken ownership of a gorgeous 320si model.

Since the car was never available for the U.S. market, some of you might have overlooked it or simply never heard of it. No worries, we’re here to refresh your memory and …..to make you a bit jealous, just as we are at this moment.

In late 2005, when BMW announced its new E90 entrant for WTCC, BMW had to homologate the 320si by producing 2,600 road-going versions to compete. A lucky few in countries outside the U.S.(typical) were able to snatch up the low production series cars when they were first sold.

BMW 320si   A real drivers car

While the 320Si is only a 2.0 liter, 4 cylinder engine, it produces 175 horsepower (275 horsepower in full race spec) and comes without Valvetronic as it limits the revving and performance capabilities of the engine. Even better, the engine was hand-built in the United Kingdom in the same BMW engine plant that also builds the engines for the BMW-Sauber Formula One program.

The 320Si came in sedan form and could only be purchased with a manual transmission. The sedan was decked out with the then-new M Sport body kit and custom 18 inch Style 216 wheels – straight off of it’s race car brethren. The major difference from the race-spec 320Si body and road-going version was the widebody kit front and back – and the racing livery along the sides!

For full details on the BMW 320si, we encourage all of you to read the press released issued years ago.

Special Model with the DNA of Motorsport: The BMW 320si Saloon
BMW now offers the customer with a particular penchant for motorsport a limited edition version of the 3 Series Saloon restricted to a total production volume of just 2,600 units: the BMW 320si. Featuring the M Sports Package and 18-inch wheels in the same design as the racing version, this special model boasts a fast-revving 2.0-litre four-cylinder power unit developing maximum output of 127 kW/173 bhp at 7000 rpm. This kind of power ensures a top speed of 225 km/h or 140 mph and acceleration to 100 km/h in just 8.1 seconds.

BMW 320si   A real drivers car

Exclusivity in Limited Edition.
Over and above a sporting suspension set-up, the M Sports Package featured as standard on this special model comprises BMW’s Aerodynamics Package with modified bumpers and side-sills, sports seats, an M leather steering wheel, an M footrest, foglamps and interior trim in aluminium. Further standard features are 18-inch wheels running on 225/40R18 tyres at the front and 255/35R18 tyres at the rear. The radial-styling 216 rims measuring 8 and, respectively, 8.5 inches in width and proudly bearing the BMW Motorsport logo come from BMW’s FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) racing car.
Apart from the mirror caps in high-gloss satin chrome, the chrome-plated exhaust tailpipe also shows the connoisseur that this is the very special BMW 320si. And the red zone in the rev counter starting at 7300 rpm and ranging all the way to 8000 rpm again proves that this 3 Series is indeed a very special car.
In addition to the six colours generally available on the 3 Series Saloon with the M Sports Package, the 320si is also available exclusively in Carbon Black Metallic.

BMW 320si   A real drivers car

Fast-Revving Power Unit with Motorsport Technology.

The heart of this exclusive limited edition model is the high-speed four-cylinder power unit displacing 2.0 litres and developing maximum output of 127 kW/173 bhp at 7000 rpm as well as peak torque of 200 Nm/147 lb-ft at 4250 rpm.
Compared with the regular production model, cylinder bore is up by 1.0 mm to 85 mm or 3.35″, while stroke has been reduced by 2.0 mm to 88 mm or 3.46″. Instead of cast-in grey-cast-iron liners, the pistons run in special aluminium-alloy liners stacked into the engine block. Further signs of distinction on the crankdrive are the stiffer connecting rods as well as a reinforced bedplate structure.
In creating this high-speed power unit, BMW’s engine development specialists intentionally decided not to use BMW’s fully variable VALVETRONIC valve drive. Instead, they opted for conventional valve management with two overhead camshafts, rocker arms and four valves per cylinder. Doing without numerous moving components in this way, the valve drive guarantees a high standard of stiffness and precision even at extremely high engine speeds both in the limited edition model and in racing.

BMW 320si   A real drivers car

Components from BMW’s Formula 1 Factory.
The cylinder head is an all-new development from the ground up, with the rough castings coming from the Formula 1 foundry at BMW’s Landshut Plant. Both the intake and outlet ducts as well as the combustion chambers are processed with supreme precision and surface quality by computerised machine tools. Together with the larger valves and the modified flange contours on the intake and outlet side, this ensures optimum fuel/air mixture formation. And the final point is that special spark plugs masterminded by single ignition coils initiate the combustion process.
The compression ratio raised from 10.5 to 11.0:1 also helps to boost power by 17 kW/23 hp over the “regular” model, while the engine nevertheless still runs on 95 RON premium fuel, just like the “standard” version.
Formula 1 technology is also to be found and admired in other engine components such as the rocker arms coated in a special process developed specifically for BMW’s Formula 1 power units.

BMW 320si   A real drivers car

The four-cylinder in this new special model reaches its peak output of 127 kW/173 hp at 7000 rpm, with engine speed being limited to 7300 rpm. Thanks to the intake system with variable intake manifold length (DISA) and variable camshaft adjustment (bi-VANOS), torque is up to a maximum of 200 Nm or 147 lb-ft at 4250 rpm.
To take the high temperatures in motorsport into account, BMW’s engine specialists have focused in particular on the flow of coolant optimised by large cross-sections in the cylinder head. The radiator in the six-cylinder models, in turn, ensures a good balance of temperatures at all times.
The cylinder head cover made of special carbonfibre makes an important contribution in reducing the weight of the car by approximately 10 kg or 22 lb versus the BMW 320i. Proudly displaying its qualities at very first sight, the cylinder head cover not only demonstrates a direct link to motorsport, but also lowers the engine’s centre of gravity by reducing weight at the highest point.
The engines are largely hand-built by specialists at BMW’s Hams Hall engine plant, from where they go straight to the assembly process at BMW’s Production Plant in Munich. The BMW 320si is available exclusively in Europe with both left and right-hand drive.

Sporting Agility and Superior Handling.
The six-speed manual gearbox of the BMW 320si is laid out to give the car its top speed of 225 km/h or 140 mph in sixth gear. With its unladen weight of 1350 kg or 2977 lb (DIN), this sporting high-performance saloon accelerates to 100 km/h in just 8.1 seconds. Acceleration from 80 – 120 km/h or 50 – 75 mph in fourth gear, in turn, takes an equally fast and impressive 7.7 seconds. And last but not least, it almost goes without saying that the BMW 320si complies with all the requirements of the Euro 4 emission standard, consuming just 8.9 litres/100 km in the composite EU fuel consumption cycle (equal to 31.7 mpg Imp).
Through its concept alone, the new Edition Model enables the driver to enjoy motorsport at its best: The fast-revving four-cylinder responds immediately to the accelerator pedal, offering even greater agility and an even more dynamic response than in the BMW 320i. The engine has a powerful and sporting sound without in any way becoming loud or obtrusive, responding dynamically to the gas pedal and immediately giving the driver the power and performance he – or she – desires.

BMW 320si   A real drivers car

The sporting and ambitious driver will also appreciate the fact that the engine develops an even stronger braking effect when taking back the throttle, in comparison with a VALVETRONIC power unit. This is because engine load management is controlled in this case by a conventional throttle butterfly.
In conjunction with the short final drive (4.10) and the M sports suspension with 18-inch wheels running on large tyres at the front and even wider tyres at the rear, the BMW 320si allows a very sporting and dynamic style of motoring without coming uncomfortably close to the extreme limit. Thanks to its equal and well-balanced axle load distribution, in turn, this exclusive Sports Saloon also excels through neutral behaviour and superior agility on the road – which explains why the experienced driver at the wheel of the BMW 320si is able to lap the legendary Northern Circuit of Nürburgring in less than nine minutes.
To properly cope with the even more powerful engine, the BMW 320si comes with an even larger and more powerful brake system: Both front and rear inner-vented 16-inch disc brakes ensure optimum acceleration at all times. And this very special car also features extra-large wheel mounts.
Limited to 2,600 units, production of the BMW 320si entering the market at a price of Euro 32,150.- will be starting in spring 2006. The car will be making its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March of next year and BMW dealers will be taking orders as of December 2005.

BMW 320si   A real drivers car

The Foundation for Motorsport.
Proceeding from the Limited Edition BMW 320si, BMW Motorsport has developed a racing version with engine output of no less than 275 hp. This motorsport version of the BMW 320si will be raced worldwide in 2006 in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) and other racing series held under the Super 2000 Regulations, which means that BMW will be continuing its long and great tradition of customer sport also in the year 2006.
Touring car racing is indeed BMW’s most successful racing discipline so far, with the Company bringing home more wins and victories in this category than anywhere else: Twenty-four FIA European Championships as well as the so far only World Championship ever awarded in 1987 and the new Championship in 2005 – this is the impressive list of achievements proudly boasted by the BMW brand. And in the last two years, BMW, racing the 320i in the European Touring Car Championship, has brought home not only the Manufacturer’s Title, but also – in 2004 – the Driver’s Championship.
In 2005, finally, BMW won both the Driver’s (Andy Priaulx) as well as the Manufacturer’s Title.
Now the motorsport version of the BMW 320si seeks to continue this unique story of success.

[Photos by Nikos at GCZ and bmwheaven ]

  • Jordan

    wow!.. i would LOVE to own one of these!

  • http://www.andrewnakhla.com asnakhla

    If it is 320si then come the car in the picture is a blue color? In the article it is says that it was available in Carbon Black Metallic. But I would still love to own a BMW.

    • The Lee

      Carbon Black is blue under the right lighting. Absolutely gorgeous color (my E46 M3 was CB).

    • rarsch

      On photos it is some blue metalic paint. The “Carbonschwartz metall” color is black and turns to deep blue when on sunshine.

      Here you can see real carbon black.. my car ;)
      http://moje.auto.cz/rarsch/esicko.html

  • Edox

    Sounds like such a great car. If only it came to North America.

  • Auday

    very nice to see cars like that from BMW!
    I would love to see this setup on a lighter version 1 series, something like 1200kg 1 series with 175hp high revving 4cyl, would bring back the 2002tii, the E21 320i, and the E30 318is.

    • Giom

      I agaree whole heartedly! In a car like this, I’d accept if it was stripped out to the bare minimum to reach that mass. I’d be on the track every weekend:)

  • me

    320d actually is more sporty!

    • rarsch

      You know nothing about cars if you can write such stupidity.
      I owned E91 320dT for 3 years, now I have 320si.
      What car do you drive?

  • Andrew

    I still like this car a lot and would still buy it off of someone who wants to help bring it overseas!

  • Tavi

    I believe BMW could have done much better with this homologation version. The engine could have been more powerful than just 175HP… They could have gone more than 100 HP per liter.

    Heck, in late 80s early 90s BMW produces the E30 320is with a 2 liter S14 producing 185 HP. The S14 was the engine found on the E30 M3 with a 2.3 liter and later a 2.5 liter on the Sport Evolution. The 2 liter S14 just had a shorter stroke.

    The new E90 320is probably handle better than the old E30, but it’s a shame BMW didn’t give a more powerful engine when they certainly could

    • Andrew

      Agreed that it might be a little underpowered but I think BMW’s like this and the E30 are more of momentum cars that are very agile but you just need to keep them wound up in terms of revs to get them going fast around a circuit.

      • Tavi

        I know E30s are all about momentum and high rev engines, I have two E30 M3s including an Sport Evolution which is way more rare than the 320si.

        All I’m saying is that BMW could have done much better in the engine department but probably the bean counters got in the way of the ///M engineers… Is all about money this days, not engineering…

        • Andrew

          Well, my guess is that, as the engine is based off of a racing block and doesn’t have valvetronic, to keep the engine efficient and reliable and without changing the displacement, BMW found that the HP figures stopped around 175HP without giving owers huge headaches after 50,000 miles.

          Yes, the Sport Evo is very rare, not a car to let go of if you don’t need to. Are you based in Europe? I don’t think many if any were brought to the U.S. via grey market.

          • Tavi

            Andrew, again, I think this is just a money issue…. BMW could have just used individual throttle bodies as with every other real ///M engine, use more aggressive cams and get away with it in terms of emissions and gas mileage using smart VANOS management and engine control from the newest and fastest DME software.

            I bet they just wanted to make it as cheap as possible AND pass the homologation rules, that’s all.

            I guess they used a racing block because homologation racing rules wouldn’t allow it otherwise, ie, they needed the same block for the street car and race car. If the homologation rules were more strict, more of the racing goodies would have passed to the street 320si. This, as you probably know, was the case with the E30 M3 in which most of the engine parts were same including individual TBs.

            About the Valvetronic system, it’s probably the opposite as the block, ie, they didn’t want it on the race engine since it isn’t needed, nor it will be good enough for racing conditions, so they got rid of it on the street car too. You don’t need Valtronic for engine that spends most, if not all of the time in the high RPM band.

            As for my Sport Evo, it’s actually in the US legally, registered and titled and it’s not a grey market car. And yes, I’m holding it until the end of time :-)

          • Fde

            320Si is the best handling BMW ever made. Sadly it´s a little poor HP in the engine, but i have re-mapped the ECU on a rolling road and installed new Schrich cams, so the midrange and upper rev thrust are much stronger!

            Best Regards

            Fredrik Lindqvuist

            Sweden

          • Andrew

            I see your point. However, would VANOS be allowed on the race spec engine? If so then they probably had to stick with the same VANOS system used in that regard along with the block. Hate to say it, but I’m starting to get out of my element when it comes to the higher tech side of the engines – but, aside from producing the car for homologation purposes and no overshadowing a pricing the car out of reasonable reach – why would BMW worry about keeping a homologation model cheap? Typically, these types of models are a good bit more than the standard car.

            I do agree about Valvetronic though, doesn’t that system not favor revs over a certain limit and built more for an efficient engine than a racing one?

            Feel free to let me borrow the sport evo…just sayin

  • krolinx

    Here’s the only 320si here in Spain, a few pics:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/krolinx/DSC_0119-1.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/krolinx/DSC_0084.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/krolinx/DSC_0119.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/krolinx/IMG_0273b.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/krolinx/IMG_0254.jpg

    BMW also release other limited edition called limited sport edition witch is different between the others e90 was the color, all limited sport edition are painted in carbonswarz, the rims model 216 a collaboration between BMW and BBS, this are the same of the 320si,all limited sport edition mount M package, and the starts engine button shows a limitimed edition,
    http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/8858/74344705eg9.jpg
    this especial edition also was extended to the 1 series 3-door hatchback witch I own, thethe especification between the e90 are the same; carbonswartz paint, 216 rims 18″, and the limited edition button, a few pics of my own car:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/krolinx/DSC_0398.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/krolinx/DSC_0538.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/krolinx/DSC_0102.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/krolinx/DSC_0148.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/krolinx/GVRXM9yYC-FIy4W2Rux0.jpg
    http://www.bmwarchiv.de/images/482-61-bmw-130i-limited-sport-edition-res-728.jpg
    http://img361.imageshack.us/img361/7523/mg5860jn3.jpg

  • Doug

    Anyone have any idea of the weight difference between 4 and 6 cylinder engines?

    • Andrew

      I haven’t had a chance to but I’d say go to BMW.co.uk and compare the weight of the 328i sedan and the standard 320i sedan, both with manual transmissions and that should get you in a ballpark of the weight differences of the 4 vs. 6.

      • Tavi

        There are many different types of 6 cylinders and 4 cylinders so not sure which ones you’re refering to…. But you’re in luck, I put this list together not so long ago using the ETK, and I just added the 320si and 320i….

        S14B23 110 Kg
        S14B25 109 Kg
        M20 117 Kg
        M50 132 Kg
        S50B30 US 153 Kg
        S50B30 155 Kg (Euro E36 M3)
        S50B32 US 135 Kg
        S50B32 154 Kg (Euro E36 M3)
        S54 148.5 Kg (E46 M3)
        S65B40 139 Kg (E92 M3)
        N45B20A 95 Kg (320si)
        N43B20A 91 (320i)

  • Tavi

    Andrew,

    bmwblog.com doesn’t allow me to keep on writing on our previous thread so I’ll just write here….

    About the VANOS system in racing, BMW skipped it usage in racing trim until fairly recently. I guess until the E90 came to be, they were not using it but I’m not sure.

    The problem with the VANOS and a racing engine is two fold, first R&D cost vs gains. Remember that all the VANOS does is change cam phasing relative to the crankshaft. This is very useful for a street engine where the RPM range is wide, ie, from 1,000 RPM to around 7,500 RPMs depending on the type of engine. On a race engine, RPMs will stay more likely above 6,000 RPM all the way to readline.

    At lower RPMs the VANOS will change cam phase so there is not much cam overlap, thus reducing cylinder head crossflow, hence improving lower RPM stability and gas economy.

    At higher RPMs you want just the opposite, high overlap, thus high crossflow, thus increased HPs. Remember an Otto piston engine is just an air pump, the more air in, the more power. Turbo and SuperCharged engines achieve this in a different way by forcing air into the engine.

    Recently with the more powerful engine management systems in terms of speed, more calculations could be done and actions could be faster, so VANOS adjustments were possible with much more precision and speed. BMW could then adjust the VANOS for example when exiting from a turn, in which RPMs might not be at the perfect point, hence, making a little more power, hence gaining precious fractions of a second at the track.

    About the Valtronic system, I believe it was a combination of reliability at high RPMs vs gains vs cost. It will be ideal to get rid of the cams and use a p-neumatic system ala F1, but that’s way too complicated and high priced for the WTCC

    Engineering…. always a trade off…. the problem begins when the corporate bean counters get in the way….

    • Doug

      Interesting… so that’s the problem with the vanos+vt on high rpm engines (like the M3 V8) is that the springs aren’t fast enough? I wasn’t aware of pneumatic valves. However, I’d think that a spring could act as a solenoid for some easy assist at hgh RPM.

      A good engine for weight comparison is the 3.0L NA I6 N52 at 161 kg. So this 4 is less than 2/3rds the weight fo the six, presumably due to this extra stuff like vanos Interestingly, the S54 is also much lighter than N52-N55 — for the same reason?

      Btw, Can you recommend a good F1 site or forum? I need that something that I”m following that sport.

      • Tavi

        I’m not 100% sure what is exactly the problem with the S65B40 of the E92 M3 not using Valtronic since I don’t work for BMW nor have official info, but I bet it’s related to the valves high lift, aggressive cam profile and high RPM limit. Trying to achieve those specs within cost limits is probably not possible, at least not now and for the number of S65B40 produced. The ideal will be to use an F1 system, but that falls into the way to expensive category…

        As for the F1 engines using pneumatic valves, I was trying to find the article I read sometime ago about F1 engines but can’t find it anymore on my archives. That being said I’m not sure if the valve system on F1 is nowadays pneumatic or solenoid based. I know for sure F1 engine builders did experiment with both types of systems. But I believe later engines are solenoid based, not pneumatic. Either way, I’m pretty sure they’re not cam based.

        About F1 forums, no, I don’t know a good one… I just follow the sport and have read some about the technology used.

        • Doug

          I’m still doing research, but it sounds like F1 do use cams, they just use the pneumatic lifters instead of springs which are only good to ~12k rpm. The electro-hydraulic ones remove the cams, are computer controlled and can provide variable valve lift and timing. Not sure if anyone is actually racing with them in F1 or not, although many articles are either old or incomplete in this area. I haven’t actually seen anything about solenoids, but it’s such an obvious thing to try.

          I guess that while the springs *can* work until 12k rpm or so, the truth is that they can only rebound so quickly, so you see the effects at 7-8k rpm with the aggressive cams as you mentioned.

        • Doug

          Still off topic :). Best article Ive found on F1 tech:
          http://www.f1technical.net/articles/4

  • Nikos320si

    Hey all,

    This is actually my car in the pics.

    The color is Le Mans Blue.

    Thanks for the article folks!

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  • http://www.club320si.com Tomoki

    Hi all,
    It is nice to see “320si” is spotlighted again in the media like this blog!

    I agree with both Tavi and Andrew.
    As a owner of 320si in Japan, I feel the car should have been
    little more powerful and specialized to fit with the image of “homologation” model. However, I’m happy about its affordability and easy, low cost maintenance.

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  • Nikos320si

    The car could have been around 200hp but perhaps BMW was afraid of possible reliability issues.

    • Tavi

      I beg to differ…

      As I mentioned before, it’s probably related to cost and the finance guardians inside BMW that is preventing this engine to be all it can be, at least on street trim, or even more, an entirely different engine more suited to racing.

      Look at previous homologation engines like the S14B23 from the 2.3 E30 M3 and S14B25 of the Sport Evolution E30 M3. Those engine were/are VERY reliable and the Sport Evo engine was almost at the 100 HP/ liter mark WITHOUT VANOS and without clever DME (Engine Management System) since electronics were not powerful in those days, late 80s.

      The N45B20A from the 320si for sure could have been better in terms of power output, it could have benefited from a single throttle body intake ala S14 and maybe more aggressive cams. They could get away with emissions figures by different programming at the DME level.

      One thing I just looked up were some of the N45B20 specs, ie, bore 85mm, stroke 88, compression ratio 11:1, Max Permissible Engine speed 7,300 RPM, Permissible constant engine speed: 6,500 RPMs. Head Valves diameter: 35mm intake, 30mm exhust.

      This will make the N45B20 an under-square engine. This means the ratio between the bore and stroke is less than 1. (Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stroke_ratio) The only advantage of having an under-square engine compared to an over-square one is more torque at lower RPMs and better fuel economy. Under-square engines are LESS reliable in terms of wear, they have smaller head valves due to smaller bore, hence, less flow through the head, hence less output potential and lastly they’re heavier and taller.

      All S14 engines from the E30 M3 were over-square (93.5mm bore x 84mm stroke), (Sport Evo: 95mm bore, 87mm stroke) Vales were 37mm intake (38.5mm Sport Evo) and 32mm exhaust with sodium filled ones for the Sport Evo.

      What does this all mean ??, that because of cost, BMW didn’t WANT to build a SPECIAL 2.0 engine for the WTCC that uses a different block, pistons, crankshaft and head than the regular E90 4 cylinder engine. They just wanted to keep the cost lower by sharing engine components with the regular E90 4 cyl engine

      From the engineering stand point, they could have just taken the S14 to a new level, give it VANOS, give it the powerful DME and for SURE they will have a better engine for the WTCC and hence, the homologation version for the street…

      As usual, corporate bean counters getting in the way of true engineering, shame on them….

      • _Auday_

        Tavi, S14 is my favourite engine, yet from what i hear it is not that reliable, actually all E30M3 owners I know had it overhauled and it costs alot to do so. Did you have a different experience with them ?

        • Tavi

          Auday,

          Reliability is a relative term, ie, to what engine are you comparing the reliability of the S14 ??, what was the usage of the engine you’re comparing it to ??. Are we comparing engines of the same era late 80s vs 90s vs 2000s ??, is the S14 engine you’re using as a reference stock or is “upgraded” ??

          Remember most of S14 owners do see track time or at least auto-x which also is at different levels of stress to the engine.

          Most of the failures of the S14 comes from either not properly maintaining them or because they’re seeing a lot of track time which increases odds of failure. Common failures of the engine itself comes from lean conditions which leads to detonation, which could lead toa spun bearing, which is probably an expensive failure.

          Causes for lean conditions are commonly intake leaks and because of the independent throttle bodies setup on the S14, there are more seals, o-rings and hoses that can potentially fail and allow more un-metered air into the engine, hence an lean condition, hence potential disaster…

          What also might happen is that there is a design flaw in which S14s suffer from oil starvation on high Gs right hand turns. That will lead also to oil starvation. For that there is an oil pan baffle that needs to be in place and that was developed just after the car was put in the market.

          There are many users of S14 with more than 200,000 miles and still going strong.

          As for the cost, yes, they’re expensive to fix, it’s just economies of scale. Only around 17,000 E30 M3s were produced, compare that to all of the other M3 engines and you’ll know why it’s expensive, and let’s not throw the other regular 3 series engines in the mix…

          As for my E30 M3s personal experiences, my Sport Evo is still going strong at almost 60K miles, a previous US E30 M3 I had is still going strong with the new owner after 100K miles and my race car project did have a spun bearing failure.

          • Auday

            yeah makes sense. Good to know your Sprt Evo is going well, this is one of my favourtie cars in the whole world. This car will be a collectors jewel in few years.

    • Pericles

      Hi Niko, you seem to know the 320si well, can you tell me if after 5 years since its debut and with its well documented lack of power, is there any suitable supercharger for it out there to get maybe the much needed 35-45 extra horses that it needs so it could move with a little more respect. I am even thinking of a 335i full engine conversion.

      Thanks, Pericles

      • Nikos

        Hi Pericles,

        Cant see your email, so i cant reply there.

        After almost a year with the si i can safely tell you that it moves with utter respect. The power comes beyond 3k rpm until 7.300rpm. Even filled with luggage it should not trouble you at all and its performance is admirable. I never had a problem with it.

        Its no 335i however and i think that you are mixing things up. This car is a homologated 320si and should remain as is. No superchargers, no motor transplants, no upgrades, not even new wheels…nothing. Thats why there is no supercharger kit or a respectable ecu upgrade. If you are thinking a 335i motor i think you’d be better off buying a used 335i.

        The 320si’s advantage besides its exclusivity is the way it handles with its lower center of gravity and lighter chassis that no 335i with stock susp can corner like that.

        For more info, you can find me at bmwforum.gr under Nikos320si.

        Thx for the comment!

        Regards,
        Nikos

    • Pericles

      hi guys, I see all that jargon about engine improvements but I dont see anybody trying to solve our problem here, we nedd some power boosting for 320si, the problem is that since they made only 2600 of them, no improovers out-there are interested in offering any upgrades for us. So lets try to do our ourselves, I feel most of you guys do not want to risk opening up the motor and try things. So I am back after a year and I dont see any power boosting options for us. Does anybody know if we can try to copy the WTCC engine changes but with a lower cost and we dont need to go up to 275 horses 250 will be more than enough to make this car move with respect. So any ideas outhere, how do you guys think that the improvers did it? by trying different internal parts. It seems we have a good base to start with, lets try some modifications. Hope to get some info from you guys before I get bored with this car after watching so many other “inferior” pass me left and right. All the best, hope to hear from you

      • Fde

        Yes it´s a little poor HP in the engine, but i have re-mapped the ECU on a rolling road and installed new Schrich cams, so the midrange and upper rev thrust are much stronger now!

        Best Regards

        Fredrik Lindqvuist

        Sweden

  • Lady_Lucan

    I’ve just bought a low-mileage 320si in a Carsupermarket! – thought all my luck came at once when I clocked it, they obviously didnt realise what it was and just priced and batched it together with the group of standard 320i’s. AND it’s in Carbon Black! Woo-Hoo!

    • Nikos320si

      That’s great! Enjoy your new si!

    • http://moje.auto.cz/rarsch/esicko.html rarsch

      congratulations! I have same colored 320si bought in april 2009 with just 6500 km. Life now runs better in 7000 RPM, isnt it? :))

      • Nikos320si

        Life sounds and IS better @7300rpm! ;-)

  • Pericles

    Hi again Niko, about that much needed supercharger for my 320si, please reply to my email address if you can as I got in this blog by accident.

    Thanks, Pericles

  • too bad

    it’s a great car. BUUUUUUUT it’s a pity a 2liter tdi engine beats the crap outta bmw’s mighty engine. not to mention chevrolet’s lt engine. watch wtcc if you dont believe me.

  • Mark Mountford

    I need to get hold of a N45 B20A timing kit as I have lost compression in cylinder 2. A camera down the barrel indicates scours and ruts, indicating something has gone amiss. You can’t start to strp the engine without one.

    Has anyone any idea where I can get one new or second hand.

    Many thanks
    Mark

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  • http://www.ittflowcontrol.com/midland-acs Pneumatic Valves

    wow,its great news.Carbon black is really a awesome color.Interesting article. Thanks for sharing this article with us.Keep sharing with us. Its great.

  • hossen mohamed

    every day (well, morning) issues with the starting of my car.

    I start it, the car shakes for about 5 seconds and it sometimes even shutdowns the engine because of the low revs. I can also smell a bit of benzin. Every other start (than the first) and it´s no problemo. My car also consumes a lot of benzin, i mostly drive quite nicely and still it´s about 12,5 litres per 100 kilometres..quite a lot!
    URGENT PLEASE HELP
    sportydriveshop@hotmail.co.uk

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