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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #51  
Old 12-22-2012, 07:31 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
It appears BMW is trying to address the concerns of the euthusiasts. A coilover suspension system will be available that will lower the body by 20mm, twice that of the sport or m-sport. The performance exhaust is also available.

I am curious if the coilover can be ordered from the factory. The exhaust can be ordered and installed at the port of entry.

With this two items, the driving dynamics can be vastly improved. Even BMW stressed they are improving the "chassis" with the performance parts. I think they heard enough about the ATS chassis
No.

These parts were in development a long time ago.

Do you think OEM's just whip up, design, engineer, test, and tool up for production in a couple of months time?
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  #52  
Old 12-22-2012, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
If you want equal road feel to your E90, you need to buy an F30 with the sport suspension.
Certainly not equal.

Even with SP, the F30 still suffers with too soft dampers and uncommunicative steering. There are plenty of good reasons to go with a F30, but road feel is not one of them.
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  #53  
Old 12-22-2012, 08:04 AM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
No.

These parts were in development a long time ago.

Do you think OEM's just whip up, design, engineer, test, and tool up for production in a couple of months time?
Yes, because I am not aware of a similar coilover system offered for previous gen 3 series. I think BMW is trying to address the complaint about the softer chassis.

Anyway the price and labor list is just out, the coilover system parts alone is almost $2k, with 8 hours of labor, and only for m-sport. If you have a non m-sport, need new subframe parts replaced too. Clearly not a reasonable approach for chassis improvement.

The performance exhaust systems are probably the most bang for the buck items, can be ordered, even residualized at lease.
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  #54  
Old 12-22-2012, 08:15 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
Yes, because I am not aware of a similar coilover system offered for previous gen 3 series. I think BMW is trying to address the complaint about the softer chassis.

Anyway the price and labor list is just out, the coilover system parts alone is almost $2k, with 8 hours of labor, and only for m-sport. If you have a non m-sport, need new subframe parts replaced too. Clearly not a reasonable approach for chassis improvement.

The performance exhaust systems are probably the most bang for the buck items, can be ordered, even residualized at lease.
The Sport and M Sport have arbs that the M Performance kit requires for base cars. Someone with a base car has already done it. The bars are about $300. No subframe differences.
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  #55  
Old 12-22-2012, 08:58 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Originally Posted by sle39lvr View Post
boltjaM3s,

I know this is not the right place to ask this question, but since you have driven most of these, have you a e9x with M control arms? How would that steering sit with those comparisons..

Having done max M conversion, steering is tight @ sweet. But lacks the magic of Porsche.

With beyond stock neg camber, remarkably effortless handling....deceptively strong.

.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 12-22-2012 at 09:02 AM.
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  #56  
Old 12-23-2012, 09:14 PM
westcory westcory is offline
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I owned an E90 for 3 years prior to my F30. The answer to your question (assuming you have a 328i) boils down to this:

The F30 is 80% of what the E90 was. Materials are the same. Fit and finish is the same.

The 20% that is different is a big deal:

Torque: The turbo 4 is just a beast, so much faster off the line than the 6 it replaces, really throws you back in your seat.

Power: Once at speed, there's plenty more power to burst past other cars. I'll be driving on the highway completely oblivious to the fact that I'm doing 92 MPH and will have to slow myself down. It's effortless.

Transmission: The 8 speed auto is so much faster and smoother and accurate than the version it replaced. Because you don't have to stomp on the accelerator to get the car to move anymore, the transmission doesn't have to jerk wildly to get from 1st to 2nd to 3rd gear anymore.

Steering: It's lighter and easier. The car weighs less, so the combination of the weight reduction and the torque increase completely transforms how the car drives. It's effortless, requires a lot less effort and thought to get the car to go where you want it.

Experience Modes: This is not just savvy marketing, throwing the switch from Comfort to Sport changes the driving characteristics of the car completely, it feels like two different cars. Sport mode is crazy fun. Comfort mode is easier for the wife and kids stomachs. The E90 had neither. Was not as fun as Sport mode, was not as eased as Comfort mode. This is a big deal, not to be overlooked.

Size: The car has increased in size so there's a bit more shoulder room and rear passenger legroom but it doesn't feel bigger.

Audio System is upgraded. If you have a standard audio system in the E90 you'll be thrilled with the standard audio system in the F30 as it's the "enhanced" system they pay extra for in Europe.

Visibility is better: I find that the A pillar and B pillar location combined with new rear seatback position gives me a better overall view of the road.

It's more quiet: Not sure if it's the sound deadening material or better door seals but the F30 definitely has a more soundproofed cabin.

Interior looks and acts better: This myth about materials and quality you've read is BS. It's the same as the E90. What's different is the layout of the center stack, the integration of the wood and the dash components, the ambient lighting, the new cupholders, the thought that went into the storage compartments.

Great new standard equipment: The auto dimming mirrors, split-folding rear seat, power seats, garage door openers, and other throw-in's really make the experience better.

Technology: iDrive is now standard on all F30's. Nuff said. If you get the Technology Package, the head up display is crazy good and extremely functional.

Un-Bangled: The F30 has more refined sheetmetal, specifically the nose of the car which no longer looks like a Japanese pachinko machine.

BJ
Sorry but I have to disagree on much of this. Turbo 4 is about the same as out going in line 6. I had a F30 328 for a month while my 335 was in the shot.

The road noise is MUCH higher so much so I almost got a f10 when I had to reorder my car.

Materials are cheaper PERIOD.

8 spd is nice unless you drive it hard, in which case it always seems to be shifting.
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  #57  
Old 12-24-2012, 05:21 AM
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mr_clueless mr_clueless is offline
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Originally Posted by westcory View Post
Sorry but I have to disagree on much of this. Turbo 4 is about the same as out going in line 6. I had a F30 328 for a month while my 335 was in the shot.

The road noise is MUCH higher so much so I almost got a f10 when I had to reorder my car.

Materials are cheaper PERIOD.

8 spd is nice unless you drive it hard, in which case it always seems to be shifting.
Was it a no line car that you had as a loaner? There is some speculation that the road noise is higher in those as compared to cars with a line.

Also, you have one of the earlier E90's. Once they started decontenting those ca. 2009, they had increased road noise too.
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  #58  
Old 12-24-2012, 05:31 AM
The BMW-est The BMW-est is offline
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Originally Posted by westcory View Post
Sorry but I have to disagree on much of this. Turbo 4 is about the same as out going in line 6. I had a F30 328 for a month while my 335 was in the shot.

The road noise is MUCH higher so much so I almost got a f10 when I had to reorder my car.

Materials are cheaper PERIOD.

8 spd is nice unless you drive it hard, in which case it always seems to be shifting.
The turbo 4 and the inline six of the E90 328 are not "about the same". I drove an E90 328i for years and it was thoroughly gutless, regardless of how nice the engine sounded. I have no regrets going to the N20 despite all the so-called purist cries of "heresy".
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  #59  
Old 12-24-2012, 06:33 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcory View Post
Sorry but I have to disagree on much of this. Turbo 4 is about the same as out going in line 6. I had a F30 328 for a month while my 335 was in the shot.

The road noise is MUCH higher so much so I almost got a f10 when I had to reorder my car.

Materials are cheaper PERIOD.

8 spd is nice unless you drive it hard, in which case it always seems to be shifting.
You are allowed to disagree. You are also allowed to be wrong.

Turbo 4 vs. Inline 6: If you don't feel a power difference between the old 328i and the new 328i then you were in a car with a bad engine. The first thing anyone will notice coming from an E90 to an F30 is how much more responsive and powerful the new engine is. Night and day different. No comparison.

Road Noise: A no-line stripper probably has less sound deadening material. My Luxury line is much quieter than my E90 was.

Materials: Again with this "cheaper" myth. It's all the same. Door panels, dashboard, console, just a different design with the same plastics. If anything, the cup holders, door handles, storage compartments and other areas where your limbs actually touch the car are better designed and more comfortable. BMW claims many soft-touch areas with materials that cost more than the outgoing model.

You love your old car. We get it. No need to slam the new one.

BJ
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  #60  
Old 12-24-2012, 06:48 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Originally Posted by westcory View Post
Sorry but I have to disagree on much of this. Turbo 4 is about the same as out going in line 6. I had a F30 328 for a month while my 335 was in the shot.

The road noise is MUCH higher so much so I almost got a f10 when I had to reorder my car.

Materials are cheaper PERIOD.

8 spd is nice unless you drive it hard, in which case it always seems to be shifting.
LOL.

There are opinions and there are facts.

It has been a factual discovery that the N20 makes a substantial amount more torque than the outgoing N52.

I have heard it directly from tuners that before they would not have gotten into offering tuning products for the base 3 before as it was not worth it but were impressed with the out of box performance and potential of the N20.
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  #61  
Old 12-24-2012, 08:49 AM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
LOL.

There are opinions and there are facts.

It has been a factual discovery that the N20 makes a substantial amount more torque than the outgoing N52.

I have heard it directly from tuners that before they would not have gotten into offering tuning products for the base 3 before as it was not worth it but were impressed with the out of box performance and potential of the N20.
I would not call it "factual discovery" though, just a fact. Out of box performance was not so impressive, maybe because I drive my E90 in sport and manual modes all the time, and punch it to high RPM. People who are not used to do so will definitely feel the difference in the turbo N20, since you can keep it at below 3k to get the full power.
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  #62  
Old 12-24-2012, 08:53 AM
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People who are not used to do so will definitely feel the difference in the turbo N20, since you can keep it at below 3k to get the full power.
Full power doesn't happen before early 5000rpms.

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  #63  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:31 AM
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And I have no idea why people think that the 2012 328i performance is night and day difference with the 2011 328. This is flat-out wrong.

If there is a spec where the turbo should shine because of "torque", this would be 5-60mph; from idle, you just mash the throttle and *gone*.

The funny little thing is that the E90 328i is *quicker* at this game. More immediacy and no turbo lag. 5-60mph in 6.4s rather 6.6s. This despite the fact that the F30 has short gear ratios! And icing on the cake, they observed an better real-world fuel economy on the E90, 25mpg vs 23mpg for the F30.

E90 328i manual

F30 328i manual

The I6 just needed direct injection and all this N20 nonsense would have been avoided...
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  #64  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:49 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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And I have no idea why people think that the 2012 328i performance is night and day difference with the 2011 328. This is flat-out wrong.

If there is a spec where the turbo should shine because of "torque", this would be 5-60mph; from idle, you just mash the throttle and *gone*.

The funny little thing is that the E90 328i is *quicker* at this game. More immediacy and no turbo lag. 5-60mph in 6.4s rather 6.6s. This despite the fact that the F30 has short gear ratios! And icing on the cake, they observed an better real-world fuel economy on the E90, 25mpg vs 23mpg for the F30.

The I6 just needed direct injection and all this N20 nonsense would have been avoided...
I've owned both cars.

The F30 is just flat out faster.

BJ
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  #65  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:54 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
And I have no idea why people think that the 2012 328i performance is night and day difference with the 2011 328. This is flat-out wrong.

If there is a spec where the turbo should shine because of "torque", this would be 5-60mph; from idle, you just mash the throttle and *gone*.

The funny little thing is that the E90 328i is *quicker* at this game. More immediacy and no turbo lag. 5-60mph in 6.4s rather 6.6s. This despite the fact that the F30 has short gear ratios! And icing on the cake, they observed an better real-world fuel economy on the E90, 25mpg vs 23mpg for the F30.

E90 328i manual

F30 328i manual

The I6 just needed direct injection and all this N20 nonsense would have been avoided...

You are picking and choosing certain tests to focus on, and give examples like Automobiles dyno which seems to be the lowest recorded N20 Dynojet I have seen.

You show Car and Drivers test that were done years apart, different drivers, different days, all kinds of variables. But you want to focus on the 2 tenth closeness of the 5-60mph to prove a point. At the same time, 0-100 is a good indicator of power(0-60, it depends on a lot on number of shifts etc) and your own example has the 0-100 of 14.5 vs 16.1. That is substantial.

You also have top gear acceleration which shows in YOUR example the N20 has quite a substantial pull compared to the N52, 30-50/50-70 at 9.5/7.7 seconds for the N20 vs 10.4/10 seconds for the N52. That is being nice and using your articles, not ones I can find that have better 0-60, lower ETs, higher traps etc. So top gear 50-70 shows a 2.3 second advantage for the N20, but you want to be hung up on YOUR examples in the one magazine on different days that show 6.4 vs 6.6 for 5-60mph?

Then you want to factor in actual MPG returns from magazine testing. Again, tons of variables there at play. EPA is not perfect, but it isolates variables that allow comparison car to car. If you really think that real world testing favors the N52 as the more efficient engine than the N20 than you are simply wrong. Real world testing is not having one magazine review done years apart from another. A better indicator?

Tirerack did testing on the same tire, I think it's the Michelin Super Sport, same loop, they have an F30 AND and E92 test. The F30 was more efficient by a bit over 10%. Earth shattering, no. But come on, the N52 is flat out not going to provide better fuel economy.

edit: To be unscientific. My proposed reasoning for the N20 not impressing with it's 5-60 time?

Torque.

With the 6mt and all that tq available so low, I get quite a bit of wheelspin in 1st gear, a solid spin into 2nd, and even flash my traction control light sometimes on an aggressive 2-3 shift. The N20 is in more need of traction, more need of a proper LSD than the N52. So the N52 has an easier time of putting power down and going from lower speeds. But as the 0-100 and top gears numbers show you, when traction(and managing the N20's torque) is out of the way, it is substantially faster.

While this is not scientific, it is a decent hypothesis. I have about 300 passes in the 1/4 in a variety of cars thanks to bracket racing. I was a stickler for 60ft times and traction/planting power.
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Last edited by Jamesonsviggen; 12-24-2012 at 10:44 AM.
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  #66  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:56 AM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
Full power doesn't happen before early 5000rpms.

I was referring to near peak torque at below 2k RPM, which is what most people can feel from stoplight to stoplight, especially if they are not used to rev the engine up to 5k.

With the N52, driving really only starts when the rev has reached above 3k. Most people don't do that, so the N20 and turbo definitely work for them in that regard.
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  #67  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:57 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
I was referring to near peak torque at below 2k RPM, which is what most people can feel from stoplight to stoplight, especially if they are not used to rev the engine up to 5k.

With the N52, driving really only starts when the rev has reached above 3k. Most people don't do that, so the N20 and turbo definitely work for them in that regard.
I think BMW quotes peak tq for the N20 at 1250rpms, or 50 rpms more than the N55.

The N52 s I have driven do feel smoother as it approaches redline. But they give up quite a bit of tq off the line and mid-range surge compared to the N20.
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  #68  
Old 12-24-2012, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I've owned both cars.

The F30 is just flat out faster.

BJ
Not as per real-life data. Turbo-feel just fools you.

Anyway, say thanks to the shorter ratio ZF 8-speed for your feeling as initial acceleration, because overall hard facts states that the F30 328i is not significantly quicker than the E90 328i. Same ball park at best.

Here in this F30 328i automatic comparo over 300 miles, C&D observed only 21mpg, again much worse than what they observed in any I6 E9X (except the obese convertible). When you push those little forced-induction engines, you get worse fuel economy than expected. It is absolutely hilarious that the N20 Step certified EPA figures are no better than the N55.

And factor in the engine note that was lost in the transition, the N20 is a blow against 3-series virtues. Old M54 and early 2006 N52 were feeling so much better.
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Last edited by Saintor; 12-24-2012 at 02:26 PM.
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  #69  
Old 12-24-2012, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
I was referring to near peak torque at below 2k RPM, which is what most people can feel from stoplight to stoplight, especially if they are not used to rev the engine up to 5k.

With the N52, driving really only starts when the rev has reached above 3k. Most people don't do that, so the N20 and turbo definitely work for them in that regard.
Power is what matters most at any speed. Torque is for tractors. In any given gear, you will get maximum trust at peak power, not peak torque.

And I am not saying that everyone needs the best acceleration. The current exchange is about choices in engine technology.
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Last edited by Saintor; 12-24-2012 at 02:39 PM.
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  #70  
Old 12-24-2012, 03:11 PM
Donjhen Donjhen is offline
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I have a 2011 335d. Prior to that I had a 2006 330i. I love the power/economy of the 335d. It's a pretty unique combination of power and economy. I purchased the car used with about 8,000 miles.

F30's were available but I didn't feel drawn to them. Like others have stated - 80% similar.

But when the 4 series comes out, with an inevitable engine change shortly thereafter, I know I'll reconsider. But for now, very happy with my choice.
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  #71  
Old 12-24-2012, 03:48 PM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Power is what matters most at any speed. Torque is for tractors. In any given gear, you will get maximum trust at peak power, not peak torque.

And I am not saying that everyone needs the best acceleration. The current exchange is about choices in engine technology.
Low end torque definitely gives you a sense of acceleration off the line, when rev is still low. Since most people keep the rev low in street driving, the N20 provide a sense of power over N52.

I am not saying you are wrong, we like to keep our revs high, most people don't.
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  #72  
Old 12-24-2012, 03:55 PM
jdong jdong is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
Low end torque definitely gives you a sense of acceleration off the line, when rev is still low. Since most people keep the rev low in street driving, the N20 provide a sense of power over N52.

I am not saying you are wrong, we like to keep our revs high, most people don't.
This is a silly argument to be having. Higher low end torque corresponds to higher low-end power, so both of you are right.


An engine with a disproportionate amount of lower end torque feels so great at the low end that it misleads you into thinking you've got more power than you do. Hence, once you take it on the highway and open the throttle, there's the sensation of it "losing steam" at some point.

The sense of power is something that can be changed by throttle mapping and transmission shift points (in an automatic). When the engine doesn't produce enough torque at the low end, you better hope that your automatic transmission is willing to aggressively kick down when it seems like the driver wants more power.


EDIT: I have to say though, after driving a turbo-4 for 2 years, the thing I like the least about them is the brief turbo "lag" that is a result of cruising at low RPMs and then suddenly flooring it. If you catch the engine off guard, it might take a second or two for full thrust to kick in. Otherwise, it comes nearly instantaneously. That lack of consistency has always bugged me, and when I test drove the 328i I felt a similar effect, though it's far less pronounced compared to the Audi 2.0T.

Last edited by jdong; 12-24-2012 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:39 PM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Originally Posted by jdong View Post
This is a silly argument to be having. Higher low end torque corresponds to higher low-end power, so both of you are right.
When I talk about power, I think of horsepower, not torque. In that sense, power does not correspond to torque in a turbo engine with peak torque at low end, when horsepower is still low. Since most people drive in that low end power band, power can mean very different things.

N20 feels more powerful at low RPM than N52, N52 feels the best at high RPM or WOT.

Last edited by dtc100; 12-24-2012 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:41 PM
jdong jdong is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
When I talk about power, I think of horsepower, not torque. In that sense, power does not correspond to torque in a turbo engine with peak torque at low end, when horsepower is still low. Since most people drive in that low end power band, power can mean very different things.
Power (horsepower) is a function of torque and speed. A motor with more torque at a given speed also has more power at that speed.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:58 PM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Originally Posted by jdong View Post
Power (horsepower) is a function of torque and speed. A motor with more torque at a given speed also has more power at that speed.
Which is why if you are used to high revving, you don't feel the N52 less powerful, because its power peaks at higher band and stays there all the way to redline. The N20 reaches peak power much sooner, but power also drops off sooner. For those who don't rev engine high, it does not matter.

Again, N52 feels quite powerful if you like to rev and keep it high, shifting gears to maintain the rev between 4k to 6k, it is plenty fast, but more importantly, smooth while you are at it, which encourages you to rev. This is what made the BMW N/A I6 attractive. A tradition that is no longer.

Last edited by dtc100; 12-24-2012 at 04:59 PM.
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