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Does Chris have too much time on his hands?

  • Yes, he's also a pole smoker.

    Votes: 16 69.6%
  • No, this is a legitimate question.

    Votes: 6 26.1%
  • I hate polls.

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Head-In-Sand Dumbass
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I haven't posted anything lately so I figured I'd start a thread out which, I'd like to remind everyone, should not turn into a flame thread or otherwise be anything negative, this is an objective discussion. If you feel the need to go off-topic about this-and-that (you will know what I'm talking about in a second) please do so to your dog or cat or annoying neigbor, not in this thread. Thanks!

So as some of you know my girlfriend just picked up a new '02 IS300 5spd. I was thrilled with this for one because she wanted to get a 5spd (she had to learn on my car, yes I'm that nice) and secondly because her beater jeep cherokee was about to shatter into rusty shrapnel if she'd hit another pothole. This all got me thinking about how fast the new IS300 really is, and how it uses the same size engine (albeit a different engine) and makes similar power.

So what did I do? I went and got some specs for 0-60 and some magazine test results for 0-60 and 1/4-mile, as well as some dyno charts to examine.

What I found was that the IS300 5spd lost a LOT less power through the drivetrain than its automatic brother, about 25hp less. You can see it here on this dyno plot:


(ignore the purple and green lines, that's after 13lbs of boost and a 20-degree drop in temperature :D)

Now Lexus claims a 0-60 of 6.8s for the IS300, and per the 7/02 copy of Road and Track, they got a 7.0s time. They also got a 1/4-mile time of 15.4 @ 90.5mph. Not at all unimpressive!

Next I took a look at my car, the recently demoted 330i. 0-60 of 6.4 per BMW, 6.1 per R&T (also 7/02) AND per Car and Driver, and a 1/4 mile time of 14.7 @ 96.3mph per R&T (7/02).

I also grabbed the dyno chart off ECIS' website, take a look:


(ignore the blue line, that's WITH an ECIS intake)

The next logical thought for me was, "Well if the IS makes 214hp and 218 ft-lbs of torque, yet weighs only 30lbs more than the 330i (3510lbs vs. 3480lbs, per R&T 7/02), and is almost a full second slower 0-60, what the hell is going on here?". Obviously both cars are puttin the power down, in fact here's a run-down of various rpm/horsepower and rpm/torque points between the two:


(note: rounded to the nearest 5hp/5ft-lbs)

Here you can see that the 330 manages to put much more power to the wheels at any given point in time, and you can further see it if you transpose the IS3 dyno over the 330 dyno. Amazing isn't it?

Why and how can this be? Is BMW purposely downgrading the rated power output of the 330 3.0 I6? If so, what's their reasoning? If not, what the hell else could be going on here?

You can see (on the dyno charts) how the IS begins to lose its breath after about 5000 rpms, while the 330 keeps pulling strong HP-wise to the redline.

Both cars lose about 13-14% through the driveline, which is respectable no matter how you look at it. Both cars weigh almost the same. Both cars put out respectable power (215/218 IS300; 225/214 330). Both cars have similar gearing once you take into effect the final drive.

Again, this is not to be a flame thread. This is a simple question of numbers, and how in the world there could be such a difference performance-wise between these two cars.

Opinions? Comments? Am I crazy for even wondering about this?
 

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Head-In-Sand Dumbass
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2,192 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
TD said:
Simple answer...

CD-55's 330Ci is one strong mofo.
Elaborate for me.

Also I forgot to mention that I've had a good deal of seat time behind the wheels of both cars so I'm not just looking at numbers and such. You can really feel the difference. I'm more wondering why this difference is of the magnitude that it is.
 

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Rest in peace, Coach
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9,106 Posts
webguy330i said:


Elaborate for me.

Also I forgot to mention that I've had a good deal of seat time behind the wheels of both cars so I'm not just looking at numbers and such. You can really feel the difference. I'm more wondering why this difference is of the magnitude that it is.
CD-55's 330 is the car used for ECIS's dyno runs.

I think the plain and simple truth is that BMW always understates their actual HP output just to piss the competition off. Second actual HP numbers doesn't mean squat...The stepless double vanos hardware allows BMW to flatten out the torque curve, thus creating more usable HP across the entire RPM range.
 

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Head-In-Sand Dumbass
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2,192 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The HACK said:


CD-55's 330 is the car used for ECIS's dyno runs.

I think the plain and simple truth is that BMW always understates their actual HP output just to piss the competition off. Second actual HP numbers doesn't mean squat...The stepless double vanos hardware allows BMW to flatten out the torque curve, thus creating more usable HP across the entire RPM range.
Ah I didn't know there was a token 330 for ECIS. :)

Good points, btw.
 
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webguy330i said:


Ah I didn't know there was a token 330 for ECIS. :)

Good points, btw.
Well, you have to test a real car. It happened to be CD-55's. There's even a pic of it on the dyno on the ECIS website.

I've driven it. It does feel quick. Quicker than my old 330i? I have no idea. My butt dyno isn't that accurate.
 

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BMW's horses have been stronger than other manufacturers' horses for a while. I remember a C&D quick test of an E36 323is that ran 0-60 in 6.6 seconds. On the opposite page was a Mazda 626 V6 with similar horsepower and weight that took about 7.5 seconds.

Your post asks about the 330, but you could also say the same thing about the current 325i, which does 0-60 in 7.0, the same as the IS300 manual.
 
G

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BMW has always manufactured LARGER horses. I think it revolves around the Japanese manufacturers emphasis on producing specs and stats they can tout. While BMW focuses on producing the best engine and suspension, regardless of the power ratings or skidpad numbers.

When you're on top, you can do that. When you're not, you try to play the "better stats/lower price" game to try to sell your product to the Consumer Reports-type shopper.
 

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Rest in peace, Coach
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9,106 Posts
atyclb said:
Funny, I thought this thread was gonna be about cars with 330 horsepower :dunno: :dunno:

:D
Don't sell your car short. It's got at least 333 HP.
 

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Head-In-Sand Dumbass
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2,192 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
atyclb said:
Funny, I thought this thread was gonna be about cars with 330 horsepower :dunno: :dunno:

:D
lol, my bad. I hate misleading subjects. I bet you were all about to start screamin "it's 333 dammit, 333!!!" :D
 

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It's not just the IS300 (although I agree that there is a huge difference that is easy to feel if you test drive them back to back). Same thing happens with the Jag X-Type, the Cadillac CTS, the Audi, and so on. Personally, I think it's the variable timing (at least in part). Ever hold the gas pedal in one spot and feel how the engine dynamic changes as the revs increase? My brother noticed it when he drove my car and didn't realize it had variable timing. If the other engines have anything similar to double vanos, it's usually only on one side of the valves, not both.

Or they could just report their numbers. I doubt it though, b/c that is a type of false advertising and fraud in the U.S., even if it is to understate the actual.

The truth is probably that hp and torque measurements don't measure everything that affects acceleration. Maybe wheel weight has an impact. Maybe BMW's paint is just so slipery that it shaves half a second off the time. Maybe BMW gives the ratings of an engine that is at the low levlel of their acceptable quality band instead of the maximum level.

Btw, if you think these times are interesting, I seem to remember an article in Motor Trend (could have been a different magazine) that tested a 330xi at 0-60 in 5.8!
 

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Be a race car Daddy!
2016 340i M-Sport
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331 Posts
I agree with Mr. Hack regarding the hp curve based on the torque curve (which I love by the way).

Transmission must come into play, especially the gear range of 1st and 2nd. In the 330, it tends to be pretty short, right?
 

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Double Bimmers
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1,176 Posts
TD said:
Well, you have to test a real car. It happened to be CD-55's. There's even a pic of it on the dyno on the ECIS website.

I've driven it. It does feel quick. Quicker than my old 330i? I have no idea. My butt dyno isn't that accurate.
Oh yeah that's my baby, back 20,000 miles ago! I wonder if it is more powerful today?

It's one fast car... I just raced the Domino's guy tonight and spanked him.
 

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A funny thing happened today on my way home from work. I saw an opening in traffic and squirted away in 2nd. A shiny black IS300 decided that he wanted to keep up also. He flew by me doing about 100 (I'm probably at 80, knowing that police love the area, being a 60 zone). At the next light however, I'm stopped right behind him. On the green he moves off smartly. What the hell, lets go. I stay in first up to 5k RPM and shift to stay off of his bumper. He realizes my intentions, and floors it. I wind right up to the redline in 2nd, slam into 3rd, and at about 130 decide it's time to hit reality again. The funny thing is, I never once gained or lost an inch to him. Besides during shifts, I was firmly stuck at about 4 car lengths behind him. It was dead even.

323's have seen published 0-60 numbers anywhere from 6.5 (Motorweek) to C&D's 7.2. I knew his car was stick from the rolling backwards at the intersection, so technically his car should run about evenly with mine too. Funny how even a 168hp E46 can keep up with a 215hp IS300. :confused:
 

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Nick Burns, the Comp Guy
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7,645 Posts
Mystikal said:
A funny thing happened today on my way home from work. I saw an opening in traffic and squirted away in 2nd. A shiny black IS300 decided that he wanted to keep up also. He flew by me doing about 100 (I'm probably at 80, knowing that police love the area, being a 60 zone). At the next light however, I'm stopped right behind him. On the green he moves off smartly. What the hell, lets go. I stay in first up to 5k RPM and shift to stay off of his bumper. He realizes my intentions, and floors it. I wind right up to the redline in 2nd, slam into 3rd, and at about 130 decide it's time to hit reality again. The funny thing is, I never once gained or lost an inch to him. Besides during shifts, I was firmly stuck at about 4 car lengths behind him. It was dead even.

323's have seen published 0-60 numbers anywhere from 6.5 (Motorweek) to C&D's 7.2. I knew his car was stick from the rolling backwards at the intersection, so technically his car should run about evenly with mine too. Funny how even a 168hp E46 can keep up with a 215hp IS300. :confused:
Don't be too sure it was stick.. I have sat with some morons in Japanese cars, and they just put the car in neutral to give the appearance of driving manual..

And they don't even know how :( It makes me so mad! :banghead:
 

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Head-In-Sand Dumbass
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
fuz said:
If you want baffling, look at the IS300 manual to auto. Only 0.2sec time savings.

Is their manual that bad or is their auto that good? I've never seen any hard data that provides an answer. :confused:
The auto loses another 25hp to the wheels, and it's definitely more than 0.2s difference (although Lexus would like you to believe otherwise). I once saw a mag get 7.5 0-60 :yikes:

rwg, interesting points. I did see that 0-60 time, and also note that Edmunds separately got a 5.9 0-60 for the 330ci (!) so at least that's across 3 different testers. Pretty shweet... who says the 330 ain't fast? :D
 
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