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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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  #1  
Old 11-18-2012, 03:29 AM
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Want an F30 that's like an E46 ZHP? Answer= BMW M Performance parts

So it takes a few upgrades to get there with the current F30.

1) Get a Baseline/Luxury/Modern/M Sport/Sport version in 328i ($35-40K) or 335i ($42-47K) F30 trim.
2) Get the BMW M Performance struts and springs, also the f & r roll bars if you have the base/luxury/modern lines. ($1900-2500)
http://www.bmwpartspros.com/partloca...catalogid=8798
328i
Front anti-roll bar #12 on list http://www.bmwpartspros.com/parts/20...iagram=F27A050
Rear anti-roll bar #17 on list http://www.bmwpartspros.com/parts/20...iagram=F27A090
335i
Confusing because there are 2 diagrams for the front and rear suspensions. Not sure which is correct.
Front #5 or #12 = http://www.bmwpartspros.com/parts/20...T%20SUSPENSION
Rear #21 or #17 = http://www.bmwpartspros.com/parts/20...R%20SUSPENSION
3) If on a 328i, upgrade the brake calipers to the BMW M Performance package. ($1800-2500)
http://www.bmwpartspros.com/partloca...catalogid=8798
4) Ditch the POS RFT with some decent rubber; Michelin PSS. ($1000)
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....ggered%20Tires

Total damage= $4-5k, around the same price as the ZHP package.

BMW M Performance is also working on a power package for the 2.0L T petrol version so gets you close to a 135i experience in F30 trim; power-wise.
http://www.egmcartech.com/2012/10/02...-and-5-series/

Does this look about right?
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2012, 06:34 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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As a former ZHP owner I think it is really hard to come close to the special magic of the old ZHP. I still regret selling mine. IMHO the best way to get an F30 close to the ZHP is to buy a 335i with standard m sport suspension and 6MT. Start with that and see how it feels. It has been a while since I owned my ZHP, but, from what I can remember, the feel is similar. I would try this before I changed out any suspension bits as you might find that change not necessary. Agree with you on getting the PSS tires.
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2012, 06:53 AM
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You're gonna need to add the Dynamic Handling package for $1k, if you want to get close to replicating that E46 feel.
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2012, 07:23 AM
sean10mm sean10mm is offline
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People are seriously overrating the E46 ZHP. A 328i with the sport suspension, 6MT and all-season run flat tires (!) put up the same 0-60 time and better lateral grip than the old 330i ZHP did on staggered summer tires.

http://media.caranddriver.com/files/...rison-test.pdf
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...kage-road-test

A 335i 6MT DHP with summer tires would kill the old ZHP. So much for performance being dead.

Last edited by sean10mm; 11-18-2012 at 07:26 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2012, 07:25 AM
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Now I'm wondering how the M springs would match up to the DH electronic shocks. I'm most likely going to get some better swaybars, just not sure who's.
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2012, 07:27 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean10mm View Post
People are seriously overrating the E46 ZHP. A 328i with the sport suspension, 6MT and all-season run flat tires (!) put up the same 0-60 time and better lateral grip than the old 330i ZHP on staggered summer tires.

http://media.caranddriver.com/files/...rison-test.pdf
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...kage-road-test

A 335i 6MT DHP with summer tires would kill the old ZHP.
Did you own a ZHP? The car was way more than the sum of its parts and way more than 0-60 times. I cannot put it into words. You had to own one to understand. I have owned M3's and still say my old ZHP was one of the best BMW's to ever grace my garage. The only other modern BMW I have seen to develop this level of cult following is the 1 series M coupe.
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2012, 07:28 AM
sean10mm sean10mm is offline
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And the 330i ZHP's curb weight of 3,370 is almost exactly the same as the 328i's curb weight of 3,390.

BUT THE F30 IS SO BIG AND HEAVY
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  #8  
Old 11-18-2012, 07:28 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Originally Posted by SergioK View Post
Now I'm wondering how the M springs would match up to the DH electronic shocks. I'm most likely going to get some better swaybars, just not sure who's.
I would probably go for standard M sport suspension and pass on the DHP. If that was insufficient then I would modify the M sport suspension. Electric aids do not feel the same as a true sport suspension and for the best feel the true sport suspension is my preference.
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  #9  
Old 11-18-2012, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine300ZHP View Post
I would probably go for standard M sport suspension and pass on the DHP. If that was insufficient then I would modify the M sport suspension. Electric aids do not feel the same as a true sport suspension and for the best feel the true sport suspension is my preference.
The standard M sport suspension is good, but not perfect. DHP is what you want.
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  #10  
Old 11-18-2012, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Alpine300ZHP View Post
I would probably go for standard M sport suspension and pass on the DHP. If that was insufficient then I would modify the M sport suspension. Electric aids do not feel the same as a true sport suspension and for the best feel the true sport suspension is my preference.
totally agree.
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  #11  
Old 11-18-2012, 08:20 AM
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Not sure if you guys read the link for the BMW M Performance requirements but the DHP needs to be turned off if you have this new suspension upgrade put on. Just goes to show that the DHP is not what you would want if you need an M type suspension system.

I guess I should give a little background as to why I put this thread up. I've test driven both F30s in 328i AT and 335i 6MT w/DHP trims but was thoroughly unimpressed and even disappointed. As a current E46 ZHP owner for the last 4 1/2 years, I was highly looking forward to upgrade to the F30. Unfortunately, after all these test drives, I was going to wait for the M Sport or equivalent upgrade, as I wanted a car as close to my ZHP as possible. Then as others in the thread have pointed out, the M Sport package was mostly cosmetic with the only real performance upgrade being the brake pads, sigh .

On the DHP, as I've posted in the other threads, I felt that I could out drive the suspension and it caused a 1/2 second delay before the suspension would settle or adapt to my driving technique changes. Definitely something I don't have to worry about on the E46 ZHP or any E9x models I've driven before (330i, 335i, 328i, 325i).

As Alpine300ZHP has pointed out, the sum of the ZHP package is more than the raw numbers or equivalent E9x version specs. Most people will not understand this unless you've actually owned it. BMW got it completely dialed in as far as a balance in precision for steering (12.5:1 [yes that is the smallest ratio similar to a Miata on any BMW, beats any DHP type adaptive steering all day]), suspension (originally Sachs shocks/struts, I've since improved by upgrading to Koni yellows. It also had springs that were stiffer and lower [1/2 inch or 40mm], similar to the sport equipped E46), braking, driving dynamics, comfort. It wasn't as harsh & raw as an E46 or E9x M3 but was not as underpowered or anemic in the power & suspension department as a sport E46. It also wasn't as overly too stiff and unrefined as the E9x equivalents that replaced it 06 330i or 07-2011 328i. The E9x 330i Sport from 06 was probably the closest thing but unfortunately, with the E9x gain in length & slight amount of weight the driving dynamics were not equivalent. Just a correction, the E46 ZHP's weight was 3280 lbs.

Last edited by av98; 11-18-2012 at 08:28 AM.
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  #12  
Old 11-18-2012, 08:27 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by av98 View Post
Not sure if you guys read the link for the BMW M Performance requirements but the DHP needs to be turned off if you have this new suspension upgrade put on. Just goes to show that the DHP is not what you would want if you need an M type suspension system.

I guess I should give a little background as to why I put this thread up. I've test driven both F30s in 328i AT and 335i 6MT w/DHP trims but was thoroughly unimpressed and even disappointed. As a current E46 ZHP owner for the last 4 1/2 years, I was highly looking forward to upgrade to the F30. Unfortunately, after all these test drives, I was going to wait for the M Sport or equivalent upgrade, as I wanted a car as close to my ZHP as possible. Then as others in the thread have pointed out, the M Sport package was mostly cosmetic with the only real performance upgrade being the brake pads, sigh .

On the DHP, as I've posted in the other threads, I felt that I could out drive the suspension and it caused a 1/2 second delay before the suspension would settle or adapt to my driving technique changes. Definitely something I don't have to worry about on the E46 ZHP or any E9x models I've driven before (330i, 335i, 328i, 325i).

As Alpine300ZHP has pointed out, the sum of the ZHP package is more than the raw numbers or equivalent E9x version specs. Most people will not understand this unless you've actually owned it. BMW got it completely dialed in as far as a balance in precision for suspension, braking, driving dynamics, comfort. It wasn't as harsh & raw as an E46 or E9x M3 but was not as underpowered or anemic in the power & suspension department as a sport E46. It also wasn't as overly too stiff and unrefined as the E9x equivalents that replaced it 06 330i or 07-2011 328i. The E9x 330i Sport from 06 was probably the closest thing but unfortunately, with the E9x gain in length & slight amount of weight the driving dynamics were not equivalent. Just a correction, the E46 ZHP's weight was 3280 lbs.
As a former ZHP owner I can understand what you are saying. Finding a replacement is going to be tough...I never could. I can only guess that a heavily modified F30 might be able to come close to the ZHP, but BMW does not currently make anything from the factory that fits what you want. I am interested to see what you end up getting. If I can think of ANY car that comes close to the ZHP that is still being built it would be the 335is coupe. It is the only BMW out there that comes close from the factory IMHO. Question is if or not a coupe will work for you.
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  #13  
Old 11-18-2012, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine300ZHP View Post
As a former ZHP owner I can understand what you are saying. Finding a replacement is going to be tough...I never could. I can only guess that a heavily modified F30 might be able to come close to the ZHP, but BMW does not currently make anything from the factory that fits what you want. I am interested to see what you end up getting. If I can think of ANY car that comes close to the ZHP that is still being built it would be the 335is coupe. It is the only BMW out there that comes close from the factory IMHO. Question is if or not a coupe will work for you.
I totally agree the 335is was the closest equivalent, unfortunately, there was no sedan. I would have to say the E8x 135i and 1M are also pretty close equivalents.

That's the dilemma I'm having, unfortunately with 3 kids, the coupe or vert is out of the question; otherwise I would be in an E46 M3 or that E9x 335is.

So the F30 with the M performance upgrades, is the most viable path.

Last edited by av98; 11-18-2012 at 08:42 AM.
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  #14  
Old 11-18-2012, 08:45 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine300ZHP View Post
As a former ZHP owner I can understand what you are saying. Finding a replacement is going to be tough...I never could. I can only guess that a heavily modified F30 might be able to come close to the ZHP, but BMW does not currently make anything from the factory that fits what you want. I am interested to see what you end up getting. If I can think of ANY car that comes close to the ZHP that is still being built it would be the 335is coupe. It is the only BMW out there that comes close from the factory IMHO. Question is if or not a coupe will work for you.

M3 & Porsche not in the zone?

Or, mod....works miracle.
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  #15  
Old 11-18-2012, 09:11 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by av98 View Post
I totally agree the 335is was the closest equivalent, unfortunately, there was no sedan. I would have to say the E8x 135i and 1M are also pretty close equivalents.

That's the dilemma I'm having, unfortunately with 3 kids, the coupe or vert is out of the question; otherwise I would be in an E46 M3 or that E9x 335is.

So the F30 with the M performance upgrades, is the most viable path.
I had a 135i coupe and I agree that it is close to the ZHP, but I personally feel the 335is out of the box is closer as its handling is more dialed in. Regardless, none of this matters because you need a sedan. Looks like my suggestion of a base 335i M sport is the way to go and mod it as you see fit. The car is so new that you will literally be charting the path on your own as I doubt there are many modded cars out there for you to use as a blueprint. This can get expensive quickly. Figure 50-52k for a lightly optioned 335 m sport plus at least 5k in mods we are looking at almost 60k (before discounts). This leads me to a possibly better idea. If you can wait another year you might want to wait for the F32 M3 sedan. The new M5 is softer than the old one so I suspect the new M3 will be as well. It might come closer to what you want out of the box? Pricing is unknown, but I expect low 60's for a base model with a couple of required options. Good luck.
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Last edited by Alpine300ZHP; 11-18-2012 at 09:21 AM.
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  #16  
Old 11-18-2012, 09:18 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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M3 & Porsche not in the zone?

Or, mod....works miracle.
You made a good point with the M3 idea. Porsche out since he needs a sedan.
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  #17  
Old 11-18-2012, 11:14 AM
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Leaning towards a 328i m sport + M performance suspension, brake & power upgrades. Should put me under $50k with a car that isn't as nose heavy as the 335i. If the chip unlocks 20-30 hp/trq that is a perfect balance for the 3400lbs chassis.
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  #18  
Old 11-18-2012, 11:21 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by av98 View Post
Leaning towards a 328i sport + M performance suspension, brake & power upgrades. Should put me under $50k with a car that isn't as nose heavy as the 335i. If the chip unlocks 20-30 hp/trq that is a perfect balance for the 3400lbs chassis.
I had a loaner 335 this week. Trust me, that's a good game plan.

The 335 is not the end all be all it's stated to be sometimes.

I had no remorse when I gave the car back.
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  #19  
Old 11-18-2012, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by alpine300zhp View Post
did you own a zhp? The car was way more than the sum of its parts and way more than 0-60 times. I cannot put it into words. You had to own one to understand. I have owned m3's and still say my old zhp was one of the best bmw's to ever grace my garage. The only other modern bmw i have seen to develop this level of cult following is the 1 series m coupe.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:22 PM
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I had a loaner 335 this week. Trust me, that's a good game plan.

The 335 is not the end all be all it's stated to be sometimes.

I had no remorse when I gave the car back.
Plus another thing I don't like about the 335i and my ZHP is the low gas mileage= 20-21 mpg avg.

At least with the 328i you get 27 mpg combined; which really helps my 35 mile commute each way everyday.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:29 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Plus another thing I don't like about the 335i and my ZHP is the low gas mileage= 20-21 mpg avg.

At least with the 328i you get 27 mpg combined; which really helps my 35 mile commute each way everyday.
I average far better than that

The worst tank I ever had where I did 8 dyno pulls and romped it the rest of the time I still averaged 28mpg.

On a route I drive very easy I drove like an angel in both cars:

335 8at=35.5mpg
328 6mt=39.9mpg

I also see 450+ on the DTE at fill up, while the 335 was always about 50 miles lower. I have gotten 500+ miles of range on highway trips at 75-80mph.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:42 PM
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I average far better than that

The worst tank I ever had where I did 8 dyno pulls and romped it the rest of the time I still averaged 28mpg.

On a route I drive very easy I drove like an angel in both cars:

335 8at=35.5mpg
328 6mt=39.9mpg

I also see 450+ on the DTE at fill up, while the 335 was always about 50 miles lower. I have gotten 500+ miles of range on highway trips at 75-80mph.
Unfortunately, I'm more impatient than 75-80 mph as I regularly avg 80-120 mph depending on the weather and how frustrated I am with traffic conditions.

So I figure a 27 mph avg is reasonable. That's great to know that the 328i avgs more mpg by a larger margin than the 335i.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:57 PM
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Hm... Not sure what I missed, but several years ago I was looking for used e46 330 or e90 330/328/325. I needed a sedan replacement for my coupe that was dd / family / autocross car.

I was lucky and found used ZHP with only 25k miles nearby. Several E90s I test drove had comparable mileages.

And... I probably expected too much from that ZHP. Too soft per my taste. Best thing I liked about that car was its sound. Don't get me wrong, the car was good, but I didn't find anything very special about it.

I liked e90 more. Ended up buying new 328 zsp as it was not easy to find used one with specs I wanted. The sound of my e90 is a little boring compared to ZHP, but rest of the things suit me better.

Unless I missed something.

The coupe I had before was Honda Prelude. I never planned to buy one. I test drove one just because I had no plans for the evening and was offered a test drive. I ended up trading in my one year old car that day and buying the Prelude.

So maybe I expected some similar experience from ZHP test drive as well, but that did not happen.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by accel View Post
Hm... Not sure what I missed, but several years ago I was looking for used e46 330 or e90 330/328/325. I needed a sedan replacement for my coupe that was dd / family / autocross car.

I was lucky and found used ZHP with only 25k miles nearby. Several E90s I test drove had comparable mileages.

And... I probably expected too much from that ZHP. Too soft per my taste. Best thing I liked about that car was its sound. Don't get me wrong, the car was good, but I didn't find anything very special about it.

I liked e90 more. Ended up buying new 328 zsp as it was not easy to find used one with specs I wanted. The sound of my e90 is a little boring compared to ZHP, but rest of the things suit me better.

Unless I missed something.

The coupe I had before was Honda Prelude. I never planned to buy one. I test drove one just because I had no plans for the evening and was offered a test drive. I ended up trading in my one year old car that day and buying the Prelude.

So maybe I expected some similar experience from ZHP test drive as well, but that did not happen.
Test drive an F30 to make sense of this thread
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:17 AM
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Surprised no one has mentioned the most key ingredient to an F30 ZHP, a Performance Exhaust. That's the best part of my ZHP.

I could build a ZHP out of an F30, but it would cost like $60 grand, and still not have any steering feel. I don't see the point, ZHPs aren't falling apart, I'm just gonna keep driving mine til it is starting to fall apart, and by then maybe look at a 2 series sedan.
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