For BMW enthusiasts, the E30-generation 3 Series is the stuff of legends. It wasn’t the first 3 Series generation ever made, that was the E21-gen, but it was the most pure and the benchmark for old-school BMW steering response and handling. Even more than that, the E30 3 Series had some of the silkiest, sweetest-sounding straight-sixes BMW has ever made. In this new video, we get to see what happens when you take an E30, and one of those wonderful I6s, and make it even better.
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While there are a few upgrades to the E30 3 Series in this video, the biggest is to its engine. Being a BMW 325i, its engine started out life as a 2.5 liter naturally-aspirated inline-six. However, it’s been stroked out to 2.9 liters, so it gets a longer piston stroke, which increases torque. That added torque not only makes the N/A E30 feel punchier in the low-to-mid range but it also makes it sound glorious.
Admittedly, the car in this video has an upgraded intake manifold and muffler, so its sound isn’t entirely purely BMW but it still sounds incredible. It’s that sort of old-school Bavarian inline-six noise that enthusiasts so often wax poetic about. It’s a lovely combination of intake and exhaust noise, which is what proper BMW engines are supposed to sound like. Not like the cars of today.
Not to rip too harshly on modern BMWs, as every brand is guilty of this today, but modern Bimmers just have loud exhausts (with speaker augmentation) and intentionally-induced pops and bags on the throttle lift and downshifts. Many modern Bimmers sound great but there’s a sense of artificiality that the old-school cars don’t have. Listen to this E30 3 Series stroker and you’ll forget all about the pops and bangs of an M3, or any of its competitors for that matter.