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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.

View Poll Results: Does the 4-cylinder turbo make it more or less likely you will buy a 328i?
The 4-cylinder makes it more likely I will buy a 328i 59 39.33%
The 4-cylinder makes it less likely I will buy a 328i 62 41.33%
I'm not sure 29 19.33%
Voters: 150. You may not vote on this poll

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  #51  
Old 08-27-2011, 09:07 AM
Robert A Robert A is offline
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BMW is putting less in the cereal box

Dan Neil, from today's Wall Street Journal reviews the N20 engine in the Z4:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...WORDS=dan+neil

Article:

By DAN NEIL

Columnist's name

BMW is putting less cereal in the box.

One of the more thrilling chapters in package-goods history has been the recent move by merchandisers to downsize the products in the box, without changing the size of the box. A roll of Bounty paper towels now counts out as 48, down from 52. Buy Dial soap, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Skippy peanut butter and a slew of other products from ice cream to cereal, and you're now getting less product in the package, and for the same money.

Now to BMW's new Z4 2.8i, which has two fewer cylinders than last year and less max horsepower (240 hp versus 255 hp), because the new base engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder, replacing the previous, naturally aspirated 3.0-liter in-line six. Throw in BMW's nutty nomenclature—the previous Z4 sDrive 3.0i model had a 3.0-liter engine in it, and the new 2.8i displaces 2.0 liters, so the model numbers mean exactly zip—and you have a case that, if not openly deceptive, is just a tiny bit, oh, weaselly.
Photos: Why a Small Turbo?
[SB10001424053111904787404576532711721814594]
Dan Neil/The Wall Street Journal

I mean, why not reset the nomenclature and call the car—with some historical precedent—the Z4 2.0T? Because 2.0 isn't as big a number as 2.8. I'm an English major and even I know that.

I find all this quite fascinating, part of a larger skein of commerce wherein American consumers, trained in hyper-abundance, come to grips with growing scarcity; price pressures on commodities, particularly oil; and the general lack of elbow room caused by seven billion souls on planet Earth. Dionysus is shuffling off the world stage and Apollo, dreary and reasonable, enters.

In the windowless marketing skunk works of Procter & Gamble and Unilever and BMW and Ford, psychologists are asking: How do we sell less for more?

Sometimes, a lot more. The BMW Z4, delivered, is $49,525, up $1,200 from 2011 but, the company notes, many options such as Bluetooth and floormats are now standard. How's that for a showroom come-on? Better hope that plaid jacket has hypnotic powers, Mr. Salesman.

Facing a steep climb in fuel economy standards world-wide, car makers are going to have to make their colloquy with consumers a little more sophisticated. It won't be enough to compare grunting, sweating pickups hauling railroad ties up some muddy track, with the actor Sam Elliott intoning through his mustache about "more horsepower, more torque." Car advertising will have to engage a subtler argument that de-emphasizes the familiar metrics of 0-60 mph, max horsepower and top speed, in favor of metrics that actually matter: cost of ownership, fuel economy, resale value. It won't be easy to dine on these peas.
2012 BMW Z4 sDrive 2.8i

Base price: $49,525 (including delivery)
Price as tested: $56,000 (est.)
Powertrain: turbocharged and intercooled in-line four-cylinder with variable valve timing; six-speed manual transmission; rear-wheel drive.
Horsepower/torque: 240 hp at 6,000 rpm/240 pound-feet at 1,250-5,000 rpm
Length/weight: 167.0 inches/3,250 pounds (est.)
Wheelbase: 96.3 inches
0-60 mph: 5.5 seconds (est.)
EPA fuel economy: 20/30 mpg, city/highway
Cargo capacity: 10.9 cubic feet/6.4 cubic feet (top up/down)

My advice to manufacturers: Hire English majors. Your challenge isn't engineering. It's communications.

That said, this sleek open-top sports tourer (available this fall) gets only better with the subtraction of two cylinders. Under the hood is one of BMW's new modular turbocharged engines, codenamed N20, equipped with a single, twin-scroll turbocharger, which BMW calls, maddeningly, "twin-power turbo." This is the same technology that showed up on BMW's 3.0-liter N55 engine, combining the trick turbocharger with direct injection and the company's Valvetronic valve timing. In the N20, the exhaust gases are split with pulses from one set of cylinders hitting one scroll (turbine wheel) and pulses from the other cylinders hitting another, so that the turbo unit itself can be smaller and lighter with less turbo lag.

Indeed, henceforth "turbo lag" will be a quaint, obsolete notion in the same category as "vapor lock" and "sliding pillar suspension." This mill's demeanor—grunty, free-revving, with a tensed, ready nature—is virtually indistinguishable from that of a larger, naturally aspirated six. I guess that was the idea. Peak torque arrives at a mere 1,250 rpm and doesn't dissipate until the clock winds past 4,800 rpm. And while horsepower is down compared with the previous six-jerk, torque is up by 20, to 258 pound-feet. This thing is nothing but torque.

Add that all up—and subtract about 40 pounds from the weight of the engine—and you have as close to a free ride in performance/efficiency as you're likely to find out there. The N20 produces 120 hp/liter—as compared with 85 hp for the 3.0-liter—and returns about 20% better fuel economy.

Equipped with the company's impeccable six-speed manual transmission, the new Z4 outpaces the 3.0i car to 60 mph by a tenth of a second (5.5 seconds). With the coming-soon eight-speed automatic transmission, the pace will be about the same as with the manual, and about four-tenths quicker than the previous model's 3.0-liter/six-speed automatic combo.

Got all that, Rain Man? Good. Now forget it, because what matters in a car like is not the numbers but the data stream coming through the seat and steering wheel. The Z4—rescued from its stylistic weirdness two years ago with a much-needed redesign—is a hugely entertaining car, a silver-footed roadster with surprising amounts of grip, balance and responsiveness, all plugged into the driver's intuition by BMW's familiar patch cords. Actually, the Z4 seems to reclaim a measure of BMW's ultimate-driving qwon. The company's sedans seem to be getting heavier and less involving. The roadster (about 3,250 pounds), by contrast, is right there, like it's got Red Bull in the tank.

It also helps dynamically that the smaller four-cylinder engine is situated entirely behind the front axle line, thus placing the car's heaviest component more centrally for more cornering agility.

After a day of hammering the Z4 up and down mountain roads, winding it out in third gear—the perfect mountain-road ratio—and getting a full-blown case of convertible hair, my instantaneous mileage readout said 25.2 miles per gallon. Why a small turbo? That's why.

So less is more, after all. But still, not perfect. The owner-satisfaction issue for the new Z4 is not fury but sound, and the lack thereof. After the leonine growl of BMW's famous in-line sixes, the turbo four sounds like, well, nothing whatsoever. At highway speeds with the top up, the air conditioning is louder. This points to one of the stubborn downsides of smaller, more efficient engines. The feral shrieks and growls of the big-bore dinosaurs represent waste in the form of acoustic energy.

The cereal in the box just isn't as crunchy.

Copyright 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit

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  #52  
Old 08-27-2011, 10:43 AM
stlmethod stlmethod is offline
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If I were looking at the 328 I don't think I would mind a 4-cylinder turbo, so yes I would buy one. On the other hand if all 3 series moved to a 4 cylinder I would be upset. I'm assuming the 2012/13 328 or equivalent will be the only 4 cylinder engines in the 3 series lineup?
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  #53  
Old 08-27-2011, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jva211 View Post
Not down with the 4cyl replacing the NA I6. You can rationalize anything, but IF they had come out with a lighter, more efficient I6 with power in line with other NA engines from lexus and infinity and MB, there would be no debate, it would be a huge win, a category killer. They took the cheap route with the turbo 4, to cater to the green crowd. I have no problem with a FI 4 as an entry-level engine, closer to $30k, but give us a real NA I6 comparable to other engines in its class, and save the turbo's for 350hp + perf models.
The reason why these makers keep the V6 is because they can. They don't have large Europe markets and can afford to. They don't even sell the IS with the V6 in Europe. Infiniti is going to be offering a diesel. Plus most EU countries are taxed on displacement, so these 2.0 liter engines are a good thing.


If we look at the VQ, it is definitely past its prime now. Horrible NVH issues. They've been increasing displacement and its lost its smoothness definitely. The Toyota 3.5, on the other hand, is a fantastic engine.
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  #54  
Old 08-27-2011, 11:33 AM
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Love Dan Neil... such a shame he wasn't hired to do Top Gear USA (instead of the boobs they currently have on it).
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  #55  
Old 08-28-2011, 11:19 AM
BMW220i BMW220i is offline
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I like the idea of a 4 cylinder turbo in a BMW. I think the maximum size should be 2.3 liters, 2.5 max. If 2.5-16T, then maybe it is good for 290 hp. If it needs more, an inline six or even V-8 is the way to go.

I don't like a 3 cylinder. So maybe a 1.5 liter 4 making 95 hp is is smallest engine to use (of course, not in a 3 series). If one needs less than 80 hp, maybe a 3 cylinder is ok.
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  #56  
Old 08-28-2011, 10:43 PM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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While I love to rev my N52, I don't think BMW will have any problem selling the N20 equiped F30. Like the above article said, they can easily replace the buttery smooth N/A I6 rev, with turbo and exhaust sound tweaks, and making it unnecessary to rev high. Heck the 335i does not have the buttery smooth I6 rev feel either, because of the turbo and exhaust sound and vibration.

I recently test drove a Hyundai Genesis 2.0T coupe, the turbo and exhaust note made it a very fun car to roll around, fast enough for its size and weight, no need to rev it to 5000. Most people will not notice the vibration since the turbo and exhaust vibrations already do enough to stimulate the driver's senses

But if they mute the turbo and exhaust notes, it will be just as boring as the A4
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  #57  
Old 08-30-2011, 12:50 PM
BobBigMan BobBigMan is offline
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Do American guys get a complex about their cylinder count.

We've had 4 cyl BMWs for years now and they continue to be the most popular of all, mainly because of price, economy and insurance grouping. Maybe such things don't concern you as yet.



But in time they will.
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  #58  
Old 08-30-2011, 01:36 PM
Robert A Robert A is offline
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At least you guys in Ireland have a choice, which includes diesel options as well. In the US, we're not going to have a choice. And for that matter, the price of the incoming 4 will be no cheaper (and probably not much more fuel efficient) than the outgoing 6.
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Last edited by Robert A; 08-30-2011 at 01:38 PM.
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  #59  
Old 08-30-2011, 02:23 PM
diesaroo diesaroo is offline
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They should have just stymied the enthusiasts and went with a 2.5 liter inline turbo 5 cylinder like MB, VW, and Volvo. Advertised 4 cylinder economy with 6 cylinder power etc. etc.

The 5 pot mill would have been a good compromise. But they probably were better setup for producing the 4 cylinder.

Makes me wonder why there isn't an inline 7...6 cylinder economy with v8 power
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  #60  
Old 08-30-2011, 03:16 PM
BobBigMan BobBigMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diesaroo View Post
They should have just stymied the enthusiasts and went with a 2.5 liter inline turbo 5 cylinder like MB, VW, and Volvo. Advertised 4 cylinder economy with 6 cylinder power etc. etc.

The 5 pot mill would have been a good compromise. But they probably were better setup for producing the 4 cylinder.

Makes me wonder why there isn't an inline 7...6 cylinder economy with v8 power
When you say it like that then I must agree with you, that new engine Audi are using in both their RS3 and TTRS makes the equally powerful 1M engine sound very ordinary. It's just a shame that the engine is being used so sparingly.
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  #61  
Old 08-31-2011, 07:39 PM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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this new turbo 4 is going to have a bit more hp and whole lot more torque than the outgoing 3.0 found in the x28 cars...
i think this is a win. think of all the easy tuning capabilities of this new engine... a simple $500 tune could bring up the hp to at least 280hp and an astounding amount of torque.
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  #62  
Old 09-01-2011, 01:13 AM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Originally Posted by mujjuman View Post
this new turbo 4 is going to have a bit more hp and whole lot more torque than the outgoing 3.0 found in the x28 cars...
i think this is a win. think of all the easy tuning capabilities of this new engine... a simple $500 tune could bring up the hp to at least 280hp and an astounding amount of torque.
That will attract a lot of 335i buyers, eventually only those who track their cars will see value in the 335i, but how many people are going to buy brand new 335s to track them?

I see the end of turbo I6 too. Move up to M3 if you still want an I6
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  #63  
Old 09-01-2011, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
That will attract a lot of 335i buyers, eventually only those who track their cars will see value in the 335i, but how many people are going to buy brand new 335s to track them?

I see the end of turbo I6 too. Move up to M3 if you still want an I6
Having owned a 335i, I can't see going back to one. If the 328i is still several hundred pounds lighter then that still translates into more fun in the corners. The 335i is heavy and those lbs are felt in every transition.
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  #64  
Old 09-01-2011, 09:15 PM
Robert A Robert A is offline
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The outgoing 328i isn't so light either, weighing only just slightly less than my E60 530i. The move to the N20 is said to save only a very modest amount of weight.


Quote:
Originally Posted by blueguydotcom View Post
Having owned a 335i, I can't see going back to one. If the 328i is still several hundred pounds lighter then that still translates into more fun in the corners. The 335i is heavy and those lbs are felt in every transition.
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  #65  
Old 09-02-2011, 02:52 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
That will attract a lot of 335i buyers, eventually only those who track their cars will see value in the 335i, but how many people are going to buy brand new 335s to track them?

I see the end of turbo I6 too. Move up to M3 if you still want an I6
It seems like everything BMW is going turbo these days... the next M3 will have a V6 Turbo.. M5 will be V8 Turbo also

The only NA engines will be in the motorcycles!
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  #66  
Old 09-02-2011, 11:57 AM
nekkibasara1213 nekkibasara1213 is offline
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Originally Posted by mujjuman View Post
It seems like everything BMW is going turbo these days... the next M3 will have a V6 Turbo.. M5 will be V8 Turbo also

The only NA engines will be in the motorcycles!
If you live in Europe you can still get the excellent NA I-6 N52 in the 330i. 272 HP and better gas mileage than the 335i.
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  #67  
Old 09-02-2011, 01:35 PM
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Maybe what we need is an NA I-4 in the US like the old 318i.
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  #68  
Old 09-02-2011, 03:38 PM
nekkibasara1213 nekkibasara1213 is offline
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An NA I-4 would be fine for the entry level models like a 118i, however I don't understand the reasoning behind abandoning the NA I-6. All that BMW would have to do to the engine offered in the 328i is add direct fuel injection, and you would see better HP and gas mileage than the new twinscroll turbo I-4.
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  #69  
Old 09-02-2011, 05:27 PM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Originally Posted by nekkibasara1213 View Post
An NA I-4 would be fine for the entry level models like a 118i, however I don't understand the reasoning behind abandoning the NA I-6. All that BMW would have to do to the engine offered in the 328i is add direct fuel injection, and you would see better HP and gas mileage than the new twinscroll turbo I-4.
I'm sad they didn't bring the 270hp 330 to the US
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  #70  
Old 09-03-2011, 11:29 AM
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2.0T Audi isn't my cup of tea, but the acceleration is nice. It just doesn't sound the same in the exhaust department.
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  #71  
Old 09-03-2011, 06:19 PM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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I hate the exhaust sound too
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  #72  
Old 09-03-2011, 11:45 PM
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I hate the exhaust sound too
I'm fine with the sound; I just don't like the gases.
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  #73  
Old 09-04-2011, 05:10 AM
BobBigMan BobBigMan is offline
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Originally Posted by mujjuman View Post
It seems like everything BMW is going turbo these days... the next M3 will have a V6 Turbo.. M5 will be V8 Turbo also

The only NA engines will be in the motorcycles!
Where did you hear the next M3 would run a V6 turbo?
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  #74  
Old 09-04-2011, 02:10 PM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Just rumors actually. The new M5 will be V8 Turbo
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  #75  
Old 09-05-2011, 09:17 PM
BrooklynNY1015 BrooklynNY1015 is offline
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call me ignorant, dumb whatever you'd like but I feel the fuel efficiency age sort of ruined the auto industry in terms of getting bigger better faster. I mean yeah they say these cars are fuel efficient and faster but its not the same. When i get older, i can no longer look forward to (for now) the ROAR of an M5 v10, or the scream of v8 m3.
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