• MotorTrend runs the 1/4 mile in 14.2@97 in the new F30 328i powered by the N20 - Better than an E36 M3?

      The new N20 motor certainly is opening eyes. The base 3 Series is basically on par with a US E36 power and acceleration wise. This was an 8-speed automatic version that weighed in at a hefty 3480 pounds. Definitely not light or comparable to an E36 M3 in that regard but the base 3 series has just gotten a lot faster than it used to be. The manual version is about 60 pounds lighter and we would expect to see high 13's in the 100 mph range out of the car in capable hands on the drag strip.

      MotorTrend states the F30 is better than the E36 in some ways. Now, we believe the E36 M3 is the superior driver's car but the base 3 Series surpassing the E36 M3 in several ways is definitely high praise. Some interesting tidbits from the review comparing the F30 to the E36 M3:

      Quote Originally Posted by MotorTrend
      BMW claims the turbo-four-powered 328i is actually quicker to 60 mph than the infallible E36 M3, which BMW pegs at a slow-by-today's-standards 6 seconds flat. For the record, the last E36 M3 we tested actually hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, but that doesn't make the new 328i any less impressive. What's more, the 328i actually pulls slightly higher g's around the skidpad than the E36 M3 at 0.90 g and 0.89 g, respectively. Not bad for the new entry-level car.
      Quote Originally Posted by MotorTrend
      The 328i does other things the E36 M3 can't. For example, the 328i is rated at a seriously impressive 24 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. Cruising on the highway at 75-80 mph for 300 miles, our tester returned 30.6 mpg. On a hard-driving, canyon-carving, 150-mile test loop, it managed 16.8 mpg. Now take a look at the E36's numbers: 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway per the EPA, which you know would be out of reach for us lead-footed journalists. Check out the 2011 328i and you'll see it's only rated for 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. And it makes less power. Any way you cut it, this new 328i is some car.



      2012 BMW 328i Sport
      POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
      DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front engine, RWD
      ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head
      VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
      DISPLACEMENT 121.9 cu in/1997 cc
      COMPRESSION RATIO 10.0:1
      POWER (SAE NET) 240 hp @ 5000 rpm
      TORQUE (SAE NET) 255 lb-ft @ 1250 rpm
      REDLINE 7000 rpm
      WEIGHT TO POWER 14.5 lb/hp
      TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
      AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.15:1/2.10:1
      SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multi-link, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar
      STEERING RATIO 15.0:1
      TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.8
      BRAKES, F;R 12.3-in vented disc; 11.8-in vented disc, ABS
      WHEELS 8.0 x 18-in, cast aluminum
      TIRES 225/45R18 91Y
      DIMENSIONS
      WHEELBASE 110.6 in
      TRACK, F/R 60.3/61.9 in
      LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 182.5 x 71.3 x 56.3
      TURNING CIRCLE 37.1 ft
      CURB WEIGHT 3480 lb
      WEIGHT DIST., F/R 50/50 %
      SEATING CAPACITY 5
      HEADROOM, F/R 40.3/37.7 in
      LEGROOM, F/R 42.0/35.1 in
      SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 55.1/55.1 in
      CARGO VOLUME 17.0 cu ft
      TEST DATA
      ACCELERATION TO MPH
      0-30 1.9 sec
      0-40 2.9
      0-50 4.1
      0-60 5.6
      0-70 7.4
      0-80 9.5
      0-90 12.0
      0-100 14.9
      PASSING, 45-65 MPH 3.0
      QUARTER MILE 14.2 sec @ 97.8 mph
      BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 107 ft
      LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.90 g (avg)
      MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.9 sec @ 0.69 g (avg)
      TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1750 rpm
      CONSUMER INFO
      BASE PRICE $35,795
      PRICE AS TESTED $50,560
      STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes
      AIRBAGS Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, front knee
      BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles
      POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles
      ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/Unlimited
      FUEL CAPACITY 15.8 gal
      EPA CITY/HWY ECON 24/36 mpg
      ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 140/94 kW-hrs/100 miles
      CO2 EMISSIONS 0.69 lb/mile
      MT FUEL ECONOMY 00.0 mpg
      RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Motor Trend tested 328i started by Sorena View original post
      Comments 21 Comments
      1. fastgti69's Avatar
        fastgti69 -
        That is some good MPG's though. kicks ass with style
      1. onurleft's Avatar
        onurleft -
        the 328i is the F30 to own if you ask me, such great value and efficiency. I can't wait to see what they make with a big turb and supporting mods (are the internals forged??).

        It's good to see a base 3 series with the numbers of the (U.S spec) E36 M3 though. I ran 14.0@99.x in mine with 104k on the clock and Wanli crap tires in relatively high DA. It definitely had 13's in it but my rear shock broke off after my 3rd pass. As far as the skidpad goes, I don't really think that's fair because the E36 M3 they tested was on tires from 15+ years ago.
      1. M3_WC's Avatar
        M3_WC -
        The more important point made by this article, is they like the 328i better than the 335i:

        Don't tell BMW, but the 328i is better than the 335i. I lapped both at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during BMW's launch event. We brought both home to test (you'll be seeing the 335i First Test soon), and we all agree. Yes, the 335i is a lot faster thanks to that turbo-six, but the 328i is the better car to drive.
        What's more, BMW's own driving instructors at the track confided that the lap times were nearly identical, with the 335i faster on the straights and the 328i faster through the corners.
      1. Remonster's Avatar
        Remonster -
        The F30 328i will absolutely walk away from an E36 M3. My E90 328i (when I was stock) was even with two E36 M3s my friends had (all cars manual with drivers who can maximize the performance of their cars, one of them is at the track once a month in his E36). I've driven plenty of E36 M3s, I wanted one for a while so I test drove a ton of them and have driven the two that my friends own very often (and I used to own a 318is but...that isn't a real car) I test drove the new 328i this week and it is a much, much quicker car.

        As far as cars for drivers go, of course the E36 M3 is on a completely different level from the F30 328i as expected.
      1. Remonster's Avatar
        Remonster -
        Also, the EPS system in the F30 is surprisingly good. Certainly a huge leap forward from the very soft setup they used in the F10 (the level of 'feel' is controlled by software so BMW can dial in as much or as little as they want). My brother spent the most time behind the wheel of the F30 328i we test drove and he couldn't stop commenting on how impressed he was...and he drives an E90 M3. I'm not saying it feels as good as his M3 (or my 135i with M3 front control arms, hands down the best steering on any current generation BMW) but neither of us was disappointed considering it's a base model car.
      1. Q4P's Avatar
        Q4P -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Remonster Click here to enlarge
        Also, the EPS system in the F30 is surprisingly good. Certainly a huge leap forward from the very soft setup they used in the F10 (the level of 'feel' is controlled by software so BMW can dial in as much or as little as they want). My brother spent the most time behind the wheel of the F30 328i we test drove and he couldn't stop commenting on how impressed he was...and he drives an E90 M3. I'm not saying it feels as good as his M3 (or my 135i with M3 front control arms, hands down the best steering on any current generation BMW) but neither of us was disappointed considering it's a base model car.
        I wish that you could dial in that feel by yourself, that would be perfect. It's not terrible but it's not great, I didn't like it at all. You say base model BMW but compare that to an E90 328i with sport package as only option, it is considerably better.
      1. DBFIU's Avatar
        DBFIU -
        I thought the N20 came with 260 hp stock?
      1. metrik's Avatar
        metrik -
        I feel like with more modern tires an e36 m3 would still hold the upper hand. Who knows.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Remonster Click here to enlarge
        The F30 328i will absolutely walk away from an E36 M3. My E90 328i (when I was stock) was even with two E36 M3s my friends had (all cars manual with drivers who can maximize the performance of their cars, one of them is at the track once a month in his E36). I've driven plenty of E36 M3s, I wanted one for a while so I test drove a ton of them and have driven the two that my friends own very often (and I used to own a 318is but...that isn't a real car) I test drove the new 328i this week and it is a much, much quicker car.

        As far as cars for drivers go, of course the E36 M3 is on a completely different level from the F30 328i as expected.
        The E90 328i should not be as fast as an E36 M3.

        The only 328 or 330 that comes close is the ZHP E46 330i. Even then, still the edge to the M3.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DBFIU Click here to enlarge
        I thought the N20 came with 260 hp stock?
        It's dyno'ing a bit more than that. It doesn't really give up all that much to a 335, like 30 whp. Make sense since it traps about 3 mph less stock...
      1. dzenno@PTF's Avatar
        dzenno@PTF -
        not a bad spec actually, pretty nice...slap a twinscroll on it, call it a day Click here to enlarge
      1. Remonster's Avatar
        Remonster -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        The E90 328i should not be as fast as an E36 M3.

        The only 328 or 330 that comes close is the ZHP E46 330i. Even then, still the edge to the M3.
        My 328i was stick and had exactly zero options, so it was significantly lighter than most of the optioned-up 328is you would run across. I didn't even have power seats, and I got rid of the heavy runflats which make a difference. I raced my friend's Mustang (1969 302) before and after and the lighter tires were worth about a half carlength in those races.

        So maybe a regular 328i is a little slower, but I'm speaking from actual experience when I say the 328i is dead even with stock E36 M3s. Then again, my 328i had the quickest 1/8 mile of any 328i or even 330i on Dragtimes so maybe my car was a factory freak.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Remonster Click here to enlarge
        My 328i was stick and had exactly zero options, so it was significantly lighter than most of the optioned-up 328is you would run across. I didn't even have power seats, and I got rid of the heavy runflats which make a difference. I raced my friend's Mustang (1969 302) before and after and the lighter tires were worth about a half carlength in those races.

        So maybe a regular 328i is a little slower, but I'm speaking from actual experience when I say the 328i is dead even with stock E36 M3s. Then again, my 328i had the quickest 1/8 mile of any 328i or even 330i on Dragtimes so maybe my car was a factory freak.
        Maybe. My E46 330i was pretty much neck and neck with automatic E36 M3's but would get pulled 3 cars or so by a manual.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Maybe. My E46 330i was pretty much neck and neck with automatic E36 M3's but would get pulled 3 cars or so by a manual.
        What's an Automatic E36 M3? You mean SMG?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
        What's an Automatic E36 M3? You mean SMG?
        No, in the United States there was no SMG and there was an automatic option.
      1. Remonster's Avatar
        Remonster -
        I think we can both agree that there are too many variables in the real world, it's safe to say the E36 M3, E46 330i and E90 328i are all pretty close, but I feel pretty confident in saying the F30 328i with that incredible 8 speed auto is quicker than all of these in the real world.

        Sticky's right about the E36 M3 coming with automatics, btw. When I was briefly in the market for one, it seemed like the majority of E36 M3s for sale in SoCal were automatic convertibles...Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Remonster Click here to enlarge
        When I was briefly in the market for one, it seemed like the majority of E36 M3s for sale in SoCal were automatic convertibles...
        It's SoCal.... everything is automatic. Probably 99.9%.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Remonster Click here to enlarge
        but I feel pretty confident in saying the F30 328i with that incredible 8 speed auto is quicker than all of these in the real world.
        I would have to agree with you.
      1. BavarianBullet's Avatar
        BavarianBullet -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        It's dyno'ing a bit more than that. It doesn't really give up all that much to a 335, like 30 whp. Make sense since it traps about 3 mph less stock...
        I wouldn't get too excited comparing dynojet #s or using a single Motortrend sample for a benchmark. A Stock n54 335i runs about 13.3-13.4@103-105mph for real, which would indicate anywhere from 60-80HP crank HP difference between them, based on the MT time and old rules of thumb for dragstrip performance.

        That's about in line with its published 240(245?)HP vs the N54/N55's 306HP.

        YMMV
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BavarianBullet Click here to enlarge
        I wouldn't get too excited comparing dynojet #s or using a single Motortrend sample for a benchmark. A Stock n54 335i runs about 13.3-13.4@103-105mph for real, which would indicate anywhere from 60-80HP crank HP difference between them, based on the MT time and old rules of thumb for dragstrip performance.

        That's about in line with its published 240(245?)HP vs the N54/N55's 306HP.

        YMMV
        I'm using multiple examples at this point. We are consistently seeing performance at about the E36 m3 level out of this new 328i. The gap between it and the 328i is very narrow once again. Like the 330i and 325i used to be before one went turbo.

        Let's say it's about a ~4 mph difference on average but can be as high as 6 and was low as 3 depending on conditions, transmission, etc.. They are closer than 335 owners probably would like. I think the 225-230 whp is realistic for this car stock and we see what, 270 whp from non "is" 335's? Pretty good I think, the 328 is back and better than ever.