As iconic as the E30 M3 is, many enthusiasts feel that the E30 325i is actually the better car to drive and own. The E30 325i (either coupe or sedan) has none of the prestige, nor the racing pedigree of its M3 cousin, however, it does have something that gives it an edge, something that journalist Jason Cammisa points out in this new video — a straight-six engine.
This video is admittedly quite old, as it was an old Ignition video from Cammisa’s Motor Trend days. However, he recently posted it to his own YouTube channel, which made it pop up in my recommended videos. Naturally, I watched it again, after many years, and I think you should too.
The E30 BMW 325i was an outstanding everyday car, with a silky straight-six that was not only smoother and more enjoyable to use than the E30 M3’s 2.3 liter four-cylinder engine but it arguably sounded better, too.
In this video, Cammisa shows just how special the E30 325i was by driving both a modded and restored 325i Touring on track and beating the piss out of a beater on a rally stage. That’s the beauty of the E30 325i, though, it can do both. Modify it for proper track-duty and it’s a tarmac-hugging weapon. Modify it for the rally stage and, even without all-wheel drive, it absolutely loves going sideways in mud. Or don’t do anything at all and it’s a brilliant daily driver, even today.
Cammisa’s own BMW 325i Touring is the car featured in this video. He’s modified it in very tasteful, BMW-sourced ways. For instance, he took the bottom end from a 2.7 liter 3 Series inline-six for increased torque at a lower rpm. He also fitted spec-E30 suspension, including springs and shocks, and gave it modern, grippy rubber, so it handles the track beautifully.
If you’re getting some serious FOMO from not being able to afford an insanely overpriced E30 M3, just remember that you can get a nice E30 325i for a fifteenth of the price and it will arguably provide a sweeter experience.