BMW Super Bild Of The Day: E30 333i

Interesting | May 16th, 2012 by 7
BMW E30 333i 750x500

Yep, you read that correctly, today’s Super Bild is the “Uniquely South African” BMW 333i. Very little is known about this little gem outside of …

Yep, you read that correctly, today’s Super Bild is the “Uniquely South African” BMW 333i. Very little is known about this little gem outside of South Africa but to the enthusiasts there, this is a super rare car.

BMW South Africa’s Motorsport division created the 333i in 1986 by fitting the 3210 cc M30 “big six” (“M30B32” of the 733i E23/ 533i E12/ 533i E28/ 633CSi E24) engine to a 2-door E30. The resulting 333i was a major success in saloon car racing in that country and is now a collectors’ item.

The 333i was built with help from Alpina in Buchloe, Germany, featured some interesting compromises like forcing the buyer to choose between air conditioning (vital in South Africa) or power steering (because of lack of space due to the large M30 engine).

BMW E30 333i 655x491

They were only built in small numbers in 1986. BMW South Africa provided the following specifications for the 333i: Powerplant – M30B32 6 Cylinder 3210 cc 145 kW (197 PS; 194 hp) at 5500 rpm. 285 N•m (210 lb•ft) torque at 4300 rpm. The cars were fitted with a close ratio 5-speed manual gearbox and limited slip differential. Braking was enhanced by 296 mm (11.7 in) Alpina dual ventilated grooved front disc brakes. ABS was optional. The cars were fitted with J7x16 Alpina wheels and Pirelli P7 (195x50VR16)tires.

BMW provided performance figures were impressive, with a top speed of 228 km/h (142 mph). 0–100 km/h in 7.4 seconds, and a standing kilometer in 27.7 seconds. Actual South African Car Magazine road test figures were a top speed of 231 km/h, 0–100 km/h in 7.23 seconds and a standing kilometer in 28.08 seconds. The test was carried out with a driver, passenger and a full tank of fuel. Approximately 210 of these cars were produced but 204 were offered for sale.

[Hat tip: Ntokozo Mkhize] [Source:]

7 responses to “BMW Super Bild Of The Day: E30 333i”

  1. La Ma says:

    The coolest hot rod machine of the mid 80’s. Great idea from the S. African Motorsport people. Total sleeper !
    They built a few interesting variants in S. Africa… this is one of them.

  2. Giom says:

    A friend of ours owned one in the 90s. He would not go near it when it rained. But as a kid, I used to drool over it – also a black one.

    It’s true that we had some awesome cars here. Would you believe that the 745i of that time used to race in production car races, did well too. It was also the second most expensive car on the market, most expensive was the Aston Martin Lagonda.

    Thanks for posting this one!

  3. Doug says:

    Glad you remembered our little South African wildcat – it had a bad reputation for being tail happy in the wet, but for those of us that drove lesser E30’s that did nothing to dampen enthusiasm for the car at the time. Maybe you could consider looking at our current F30 race cars too? They are already chalking up wins on the track.

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