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Upgraded my turbos
And my turbos happen to come with a free 911
I am ridiculously excited about my new toy and after some time behind the wheel, I wanted to give a quick review of the bmws I have driven (330i ZHP, 330ci ZHP, and 335i coupe) and the 911. Hopefully this info will help some folks looking at these cars.
First off, I wanted to add some back ground info in my experience with BMWs and performance modifications.
2003-2005 – 330i manual with performance package (ZHP) – mods = clears only.
2005-2008 – 330ci manual with zhp – I know, major change right. – Mods = nothing.
2008 to 2012 – 335i manual coupe with sports package. Mods = cobb stage 2+, AR downpipes, helix fmic, ER charge pipe, forge DV, EAS drop in filter, OEM front lip, tint, OSS Angel eyes with clear corners and blackout, oem gloss black kidneys, DIY black front mesh, painted reflectors, carbon fiber roundels, LED clear side markers, m3 shifter, breyton gts rims, and spacers for stance.
Next, I want to note that I am and likely will be a BMW driver at heart forever, from the very first test drive I have love everything that embodied driving a BMW . . . but sometimes change is good
On to the review (note – I will refer to the 330s as one, as they perform identically)
The 330s with the zhp had a little more zip then the stand sports 330s due to increase hp and slightly modified gearing. The power was smooth and linear from the inline six, with power starting up at about 3k rpms with the final surge at 4.5k+ rpms. The engine never felt strained and pulled to redline flawlessly. The torque band was never weak, but was not an overpowering aspect of the engine. The car could pull in any gear though and loved to pull hardest at high speeds. The exhaust on the performance packages are amazing, giving you that low V8 growl from a straight six and sounding perfect at every rpm. With the monster hp numbers in the car market these days, a car as big as a 3 series with only 235 sounds under powered, but the 330 always felt perfectly balanced with the power to weight ratio.
The 335 with cobb 2+ is a whole separate beast. At a 12% drivetrain loss on my manual, it was putting out 450tq and 410 hp at the crank. It pulls like a truck starting from 2k rpm and only lets up north of 6k rpm, but still strong to 7k. The thrust of the third gear (1st spins 100% at wot and 2nd 85% of the time at wot) is intoxicating with how it slams you back and mottles the sense with the pure power. The engine is smooth, but has a roughness to it that the 330s didn’t have. It’s not something I think I would have ever noticed, if I hadn’t been driving a 330 for 5 years. It doesn’t so much feel as if the engine is any less smooth, it just feels that the car is dealing with so much more power that it’s straining under the force to get the car moving as fast as possible. The exhaust is much changed from the 330 with a more buzzier note when at moderate throttle (akin to a G35 or G37), but at full throttle and above 5k rpm it takes on an almost feral scream that I fear could get you unwanted attention. While catless, the exhaust could take on a slightly unrefined note that I didn’t love at WOT, but under normal driving, it sounded amazing.
On a whole, I really like both engines, for the 330s ability to make me rarely want more then the buttery smooth 235hp that never seem weak and the 335s ability to pull like a truck in every gear while maintaining bmw’s famous refinement. I will have to concede this aspect to the 335 for its amazing power and the simplicity to be tuned so well with ECU mods alone.
I do give the exhaust to the 330s though.
Again, the 330s with the PP had different suspicion set ups, and I can’t speak for standard and sports versions of the 330s. In addition, the 330s PPs came standard with 18in rims and my 335 is on 19s.
Overall, both cars handle very well in overall precision and ride comfort. The 330 was slightly less refined then the 335, but both easy daily drivers.
However, the 330 had much less body roll and felt more sporty than the 335, and I assumed this was do to the PP suspension on the 330 and its smaller foot print. I was able to decrease some roughness of the 335i’s ride by getting rid of the junk RFT. After four years on the 335i, I honestly have to put the 330 well above the 335.
This one’s simple, both cars are amazing at stopping and both do it well. Tie there.
Again, this is simple, both are smooth and fun to shift. The clutch pick-up on each is slightly different, but nothing a 100 miles of driving couldn’t fix.
Well I hope this may help someone, and feel free to PM with any questions on those considering change from a 330 to a 335.
Now onto the 911
The first time I floored the 911 during a test drive in first, it felt like the hand of god reach down and give me a shove. The 911 is rated at 480hp and 460 tq with an overboost function allowing an additional 45tq. Unlike the cobb 335i that hit you with max tq then lessened due to the turbos running out of steam at the top end, the 911’s turbo’s don’t stop until you hit red line. You get throwing back and the tack just shoots up and only increases as the variable turbos open op and push max boost. When you combine the awd and lighter weight, you understand the 0-60 numbers these cars are capable of and 100mph comes entirely too fast.
I plan to do at least an exhaust upgrade good for 25whp/wtq. Honestly, the exhaust on the 911 is a little lack luster. Its generally accepted that an exhaust is the very first mod on these cars, even before a flash. It’s the only aspect of the car that leave a bit to be desired on an otherwise amazing car. Once I have the exhaust, I will see how much trouble I can get in with that and go for a tune if/when I am ready
With the lack of an engine over the front wheels, it becomes quite obviously why these cars turn on a dime and can be placed spot on an apex. The car wants to drive around corners and just hold solid to the ground until you power through it. The ride is very much firmer than either of the bmws., but still does a very good job of dampening bumps and uneven roads. Impacts are absorbed very much like the bmws. When you hit the sports button to bring on the firmest setting, you get feed back on every grove and bump in the road. Whereas the 335i is like wearing comfy boots, the 911 on normal mode is like wearing driving shoes and sports mode is like being bare foot. It’s quite amazing how the car can communicate so much information through the chassis and stirring wheel.
On a scale of firmness, I would give the 335i sports suspension a 2, 330i zhp 4, 911 normal 5 and 911 sports 8.
The car stops pretty abruptly, however, the Michelin ps2s have a lot to do with that. Brake feel is great, in line with the bmws.
The gear box on the 911 feels more robust than the bmws. It’s more notchy feeling than the bmws. The pick up distances on the clutch is longer than the bmws and is taking me longer to get used to. I am still getting used to it after 400 miles, but I would give this one to the bmws. The clutch pick up is very smooth, similar if not better than the bmws.
Lastly, here’s a couple photes of my ex-girl friend and my new gal.