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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-13-2005, 09:49 AM
andy_thomas andy_thomas is offline
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new 3er - drive thoughts

This weekend was the UK launch of the new 3er. Remarkably, BMW is launching RHD 3ers almost at the same time as the LHD versions - I believe the 3er was only launched in its home territory last week. I have no pics - imagine hundreds of people queuing in the cold to get 20 mins' wheel time, many of them with beanies, hoods, backward baseball caps yelling into the Nokias at their mates about which Beema they are going to thrash next, innit. Every pic posted so far of an E90 is a better rendition than anything I could have managed.

An event sponsored by BMW Park Lane at the old defence proving ground at Longcross gave me a shot at a few new E90s. The car does look better in the flesh, as I expected, but I'm still not convinced by the design at the rear - particularly as the front is so sharp. It's a bit jowly at the rear, too, and makes the rear alloy look like it's one size too small. Aside from that, it's a good-looking car. Black/Terra looks terrific, as does Arctic/Lemon. Even the "million-spoke" alloys looked good, especially as they got dirtier.

320d - fine. More refined than the old one but, I think, saddled with taller gearing. Where are all 251 lb-ft?

320i - also fine. Great exhaust note, sportier than any BMW four since the first M3, and quite unlike the same motor in the 120i, which sounds flatulent by comparison. It's 100 kg lighter than the 320d, and you do notice it. Also suffers from tall gearing, though - felt pretty sluggish in 5th and 6th.

325i - new Valvetronic motor, but allied to an autobox only. (This is the 2.5, so this won't be relevant to many of you.) Fizzy engine note, with more interesting harmonics than the old car, but an odd throttle response at low rpm. Feels little different to the four-pots on the road; much wieldier.

All the new 3s are considerably more refined - and remarkably composed around the grotty old test track. Runflats are better than I expected; I didn't really go fast enough to test the handling extremes - we had a BMW person on board the whole time. He didn't mind me going 80-85 through some tightish sweepers, though (do I detect a bit too much bodyroll in the rear?).

535d - blew away everything else. The queue for this car alone was longer than the entire queue for all the 3s. Boy, does this thing shift. Imagine accelerating flat-out in a 545iA, then halving the engine rpm, and replacing the soundtrack with that of a 3.4/3.5 M30 with hot cams just about to wake up. Poor ride, but that was to be expected (1st-generation runflats, and M Sport suspension.

So, E90 335d Touring it is, then .
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2005, 09:55 AM
Alex Baumann Alex Baumann is offline
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Thanks for the write-up, Andy.

Agreed, the interest for the 3.0 liter bi-turbo is stunning. Everyone is expecting it in the E90. That sounds like success story.

But (yes, but) there are plans to cut the diesel subventions in Germany (along with the yearly tax for diesel powered cars). I don't know what kind of an influence it might have on the diesel sales.
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:00 AM
Patrick Patrick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_thomas
So, E90 335d Touring it is, then .




I am going to drive the E61 535d on Thursday.

My salesman invited me to lunch at the dealership + a test drive.





Nice write-up, Andy.


.
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2005, 10:12 AM
andy_thomas andy_thomas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick 520iAT



I am going to drive the E61 535d on Thursday.
Have fun. Remember: you are never more than about 1.9 seconds from blazing past the speed limit, so watch your right foot .
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2005, 10:46 AM
andy_thomas andy_thomas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Baumann
Thanks for the write-up, Andy.

Agreed, the interest for the 3.0 liter bi-turbo is stunning. Everyone is expecting it in the E90. That sounds like success story.

But (yes, but) there are plans to cut the diesel subventions in Germany (along with the yearly tax for diesel powered cars). I don't know what kind of an influence it might have on the diesel sales.
If the 335d is as good as the sum of its parts, or better, then it should do extremely well regardless of any change in the fiscal treatment of diesel cars. Not only is the 3er practically as big as the 5er inside (the family sprawled in the back report barely an inch or two more kneeroom, most of which is from the heavy scalloping of the 5er's bulky sports seats), but it should be a good 150 kg lighter. The 535d really is electric - Auto Zeitung recently recorded 60-100 kmh/37-62 mph in 1.9 sec flat-out through the gears (faster than a 911 Turbo, E60 M5, Lamborghini Gallardo and all of AMG's products bar the CL65 AMG, which matches it). The one I drove was only a few hundred miles old, but breathed its way from 50 mph to 80 mph about as fast as I could think about how fast I wanted to go. It's a weird feeling, especially as the engine is going from 2,500 to only 3,000 rpm in the process.

The good bit is that it handsomely undercuts the 545iA practically everywhere with probably double the retained value, and the best bit is that it manages an average ~30 mpg.
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:58 AM
Alex Baumann Alex Baumann is offline
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I hope they won't have the subframe problem (due to the gigantic torque) as they did with the E46 330d.
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Old 03-13-2005, 11:17 AM
Patrick Patrick is offline
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Originally Posted by Alex Baumann
I hope they won't have the subframe problem (due to the gigantic torque) as they did with the E46 330d.
True. Especially since I will chip the 535d.





.
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Old 03-13-2005, 11:53 AM
Donnalee Donnalee is offline
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Found these







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Old 03-13-2005, 11:59 AM
Pangearox Pangearox is offline
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Very NICE!!!...thanks...

i cant wait for mine to get here
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Old 03-13-2005, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_thomas
The 535d really is electric - Auto Zeitung recently recorded 60-100 kmh/37-62 mph in 1.9 sec flat-out through the gears (faster than a 911 Turbo, E60 M5, Lamborghini Gallardo and all of AMG's products bar the CL65 AMG, which matches it).

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Old 03-13-2005, 12:13 PM
andy_thomas andy_thomas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Baumann
I hope they won't have the subframe problem (due to the gigantic torque) as they did with the E46 330d.
I was aware of the problems with early E46s, but not this model-specific one. Can you elaborate, Alex...?
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  #12  
Old 03-13-2005, 12:15 PM
andy_thomas andy_thomas is offline
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Originally Posted by Donnalee
Found these
That's the baby. Damn, this is probably the wrong forum . Anyway, I found it quite hard to tell a new 3er from a 5er from a distance (only the 5er's taillights give it away conclusively). I wasn't expecting that little optical illusion!
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Old 03-13-2005, 12:18 PM
Patrick Patrick is offline
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Originally Posted by andy_thomas
I was aware of the problems with early E46s, but not this model-specific one. Can you elaborate, Alex...?
Maybe Alex does have more details, but I have heard that the sub-frame issue was a problem for tuners that were making chips for the 330d - and the chips were getting torque output to over 520Nm.


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  #14  
Old 03-13-2005, 12:31 PM
Pangearox Pangearox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_thomas
That's the baby. Damn, this is probably the wrong forum . Anyway, I found it quite hard to tell a new 3er from a 5er from a distance (only the 5er's taillights give it away conclusively). I wasn't expecting that little optical illusion!
the line that runs down the side of the car is quite different though...on the 5 it goes over the front wheels...on the 3 it dies into the wheel well...

i guess its easy to say that when you have never seen a 3 in person....i'll letcha know when mine gets here!!!
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2005, 12:51 PM
Alex Baumann Alex Baumann is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_thomas
I was aware of the problems with early E46s, but not this model-specific one. Can you elaborate, Alex...?
The same old story, which was the case with gas engine cars.

Too much torque and subframes were torn. The AG said (in a whispering voice) that it was faulty material.

That is why the E46M3 have a strengthened subframe on the rear axle.

Of course the problem was solved after BMW upgraded the subframes as of 09/2001 (production after the works holiday)
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Old 03-13-2005, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Alex Baumann
Of course the problem was solved after BMW upgraded the subframes as of 09/2001 (production after the works holiday)
I didn't know that... what a relief! (01/2002 build)
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  #17  
Old 03-13-2005, 04:01 PM
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I didn't know that... what a relief! (01/2002 build)
It wasn't solved per se. But it's pretty uncommon these days.
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Old 07-05-2006, 02:29 PM
Alex Baumann Alex Baumann is offline
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So, Andy, I received my copy of the german press release for the E92. The 3.0 Liter twin-turbo diesel is coming on the coupe and I bet it will soon be available on the Touring as well.

The figures are phenomenal; 286 hp with 580Nm, max torque @1750rpm.
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