It’s quite amazing how fast the industry went from naturally aspirated engines to turbocharged ones. And now electric vehicles. It seems like the electric-only future has become inevitable and that’s a normal progression. But, there are still plenty of people that enjoy a high-revving engine and this particular BMW E36 320i is fighting in the naturally aspirated engines corner.
What makes this car special is, without a doubt, its engine. This is Canio Marchione’s hillclimb monster, a BMW 320i STW that was created with only one purpose: to climb hills at eye-watering speeds. The 320i back in the day was a pretty decent proposal on the E36 chassis but this one is taken to a whole new level. The engine was modified heavily and, even though it retains its atmospheric layout, it makes 290 HP and revs up to 9,000 RPM. Those are pretty amazing numbers.
Chip in the fact that the car tips the scale at only 790 kilos and you get the gist: this monster is scary to drive and incredibly stable at the same time. Apparently, the aero you see on it was done by professionals as well, being tested in the BMW Motorsport headquarters, using their wind tunnel. How come? Well, it seems like the car was originally run and owned by Dieter Rottenberger, a former BMW test driver.
With such specs, this car was one of the fastest in any competition it ran in, including the Eschdorf hillclimb race, where the footage below was recorded. Up until watching this, we didn’t know a four-cylinder engine could sound this good. Check out the video after the break and tell us if we’re wrong.