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Am I the only one who thinks 306HP is too much of a good thing? My '02 330Ci has 225HP and I thought that was fine. Maybe another 30 like the E90 330i at 255HP would be perfect. But I don't know many people clammering for 300HP engnies when traffic in any big city is bumper to bumper 24/7, not to mention $3.00 (and likely $4.00 soon) gas! I'd prefer getting some of the engine technology improvements in better gas mileage vs more power that's seldom used.

I think its just the manufacturers trying to out do each other. Did I mention the ~$400 annual insurance increase for the turbo. My state farm dealer doesn't have the exact premiums yet for the 2007 328 / 335 coupes.

I'm trying to decide if the 328's 230HP is enough or if I'll give in and get the 335.
 

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oscr972 said:
Am I the only one who thinks 306HP is too much of a good thing?
For daily commuting, with a manual transmission, 100 hp is fine if the car weight 2k lbs. So extrapolating, a 3k lbs car would be fine with 150hp. I go weeks without truly using the power of my 330Ci. I'd have been just as happy with a 325Ci if I could have had the bigger factory brakes and the 6 spd manual.

The fun thing of lower powered cars is you can go full throttle and work the gears for a long period of time without looking over your shoulder, although even 325i is now too fast for that. Bring back the 318!
 

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A lot depends on your automotive wants & needs....if you`re fortunate enough to afford more than one vehicle, then the sky`s the limit for your weekend toy....why NOT have a hyper-fast ride that really gets the adrenaline pumping....that`s what it`s all about. For the rest of us who are relegated to driving in "the real world", I still prefer the fastest, best-handling ride that fits within my budget, hence my current choice of wheels. I`m afraid driving a Prius at ten-tenths just would`nt be the same :) Whatever blows yer skirt up....

Regards,
Bob
 

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Fast Bob said:
A lot depends on your automotive wants & needs....if you`re fortunate enough to afford more than one vehicle, then the sky`s the limit for your weekend toy....why NOT have a hyper-fast ride that really gets the adrenaline pumping....that`s what it`s all about. For the rest of us who are relegated to driving in "the real world", I still prefer the fastest, best-handling ride that fits within my budget, hence my current choice of wheels. I`m afraid driving a Prius at ten-tenths just would`nt be the same :) Whatever blows yer skirt up....

Regards,
Bob
I'm with you to an extent, but would more HP over 235 really make my ZHP more fun? Doubt it, unless I take it to the track, which I don't and probably never will.

There is a point where extra HP is just for the stupid (unless you race). Look at the 0-60 times for 330s and 325s. You will notice a difference in acceleration. 330ZHP and an E90330I? Probably still notice, but not as much. At some point you are not gaining anything useful for the extra hp, and your gas costs make it silly.

I personally don't think the current 3 series need more than 275-300hp tops. I doubt I will ever buy a car of that size with 300hp, but that's me. Above 300hp? My bet is that is where BMW is going. They know it's a pissing contest and there are many people out there who compare cars on hp. They are the same types that buy a new computer every year for a faster chip, somehow thinking it will improve their life.
 

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Keep in mind that most HP increases come from bumping efficiency of the engine (e.g. higher cr, throttleless design, reduced friction, etc.) so as long as you aren't dipping into that 306hp too frequently, you should see a net increase in your mpg (gearing, etc being equal).

That said, it would be interesting to see what could be acheived if these vehicle development programs put all the performance focus on economy and see where it went. I'm sure more than a few lessons could be learned for everyday application to the average car. One good example would be auto engine shut down for stop lights/traffic jams - of course how would you handle the electrical and AC load? VW was able to make a 4 seater production car with a rated fuel milage of 78mpg and on an around the world marketing adventure, they were able to achieve an average fuel milage of 99mpg. Search for the VW Lupo and the around the world in 80days adventure.

You can have your cake and eat it too - a BMW 3 series with a 3 litre turbo charged motor that has nearly identical performance of the current 330i and gets 40+mpg. Its called the 330d and is not available to the US market. I guess you just have to eat your cake in Europe or beg BMWNA to bring it over here (assuming the low sulfer diesel becomes readily available).
 

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gesoffen said:
Keep in mind that most HP increases come from bumping efficiency of the engine (e.g. higher cr, throttleless design, reduced friction, etc.) so as long as you aren't dipping into that 306hp too frequently, you should see a net increase in your mpg (gearing, etc being equal).

That said, it would be interesting to see what could be acheived if these vehicle development programs put all the performance focus on economy and see where it went. I'm sure more than a few lessons could be learned for everyday application to the average car. One good example would be auto engine shut down for stop lights/traffic jams - of course how would you handle the electrical and AC load? VW was able to make a 4 seater production car with a rated fuel milage of 78mpg and on an around the world marketing adventure, they were able to achieve an average fuel milage of 99mpg. Search for the VW Lupo and the around the world in 80days adventure.

You can have your cake and eat it too - a BMW 3 series with a 3 litre turbo charged motor that has nearly identical performance of the current 330i and gets 40+mpg. Its called the 330d and is not available to the US market. I guess you just have to eat your cake in Europe or beg BMWNA to bring it over here (assuming the low sulfer diesel becomes readily available).
Good post and all valid points, but where is the fun in having 300hp and keeping your foot off the gas?

The new engines are more efficient but as you suggest, there has to be a change of focus towards fuel consumption instead of using 90% of the efficiency gain to supply more horsepower. Being that BMWs originate from a country with highways having no speed limit and traditionally higher gas prices than the US, I wouldn't count on it in the near future (at least)
 

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This is an outstanding thread on a topic that is timely and well overdue. Great question! Having purchased a 330i(please see sig) we are very happy with the HP and gas mileage. This coming from a person who grew up in the muscle-car era. My first car was a 1969 Camaro SS 350/300HP that could be neck-snapper off the line during a stoplight to stoplight street race. In today's world if you get caught street/drag racing in town it is definitely going to cost you big time. Back in the 'old days' we were always given a verbal warning..at most...if we were caught that is. Urban areas today are more and more congested. Traffic enforcement is more comprehensive and penalties are much, much more severe. With BMW, it's the 'Ultimate Drive' concept that's the attraction and focus not the 'Ultimate Hole-Shot-off-the-Line'. I'm not advocating a fleet of 'granny cars' in the future just the best technically built automobiles BMW can build while maintaining that timeless 'Ultimate Drive' experience that only BMW can provide.
 

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oscr972 said:
Am I the only one who thinks 306HP is too much of a good thing? My '02 330Ci has 225HP and I thought that was fine. Maybe another 30 like the E90 330i at 255HP would be perfect. But I don't know many people clammering for 300HP engnies when traffic in any big city is bumper to bumper 24/7, not to mention $3.00 (and likely $4.00 soon) gas! I'd prefer getting some of the engine technology improvements in better gas mileage vs more power that's seldom used.

I think its just the manufacturers trying to out do each other. Did I mention the ~$400 annual insurance increase for the turbo. My state farm dealer doesn't have the exact premiums yet for the 2007 328 / 335 coupes.

I'm trying to decide if the 328's 230HP is enough or if I'll give in and get the 335.
BMW is using a turbo-charged engine to produce the additional horsepower needed to compete with the other manufacturers (i.e. Lexus IS 350 (3.5L V-6) and the Infiniti G35 (3.5L V-6). The 335's engine is only a 3.0L producing 306HP. Using a turbo does a number of things: 1) Increase power and 2) increase power without adding weight. If you do not kick-in the turbo while driving, you can actually still maintain good fuel economy. But where is the fun in having the turbo if you're not going to use it? Besides, I think most people in these forums are overly concerned about MPG when people forget to realize that the target market for BMWs (in general) do not care about fuel consumption because they are paying for a $45K car. (Look into BMW's target market segment). Urban professionals over 40 years of age. Anyways, just my opinions. No harm intended. :)
 

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As Tim the Toolman Taylor says, "More Power! Argh argh argh!"

I currently daily drive a 2.5L Boxster with 201hp (about 2900lbs). It is not the fastest car in the world and it's not going to win many serious drag races, but it is still a relatively quick car. 90% of the time, the power is more than adequate...I don't find myself at full throttle and I'm typically stuck behind some commuter car, limited to their acceleration level. The engine sound at full throttle above 5000rpm is intoxicating and the car is truly a joy to pilot. The other 10% of the time I'm merging or playing, and more power would be welcome. I'm not kicking myself for not firing up the Boxster S (250hp) or something altogether more powerful, but I think to myself, "another 75hp wouldn't kill me here".

In my opinion, the rest of the car is more important to the driving experience than simply power. How do you feel sitting in the interior? What does the engine sound like at full throttle? How nimble and responsive is the handling? These aspects far outweigh pure power, in my mind. Have you ever driven an early 90's Camaro SS? They have plenty of power, but the driving experience is quite a bit different, to say the least. I'll give up power to handling and refinement any day.

On the other hand, I also have a 2500lb 911 with 300hp. This car is a friggin' rocket, and is my track and weekend toy. I drive it on the street and to work with the rest of the commuters every now and then, and in most cases I'm using maybe 50% of it's potential. In fact, I almost never exploit full throttle unless I'm merging and want to give myself a grin. The very same car used to have ~160hp (113rwhp on a dyno), and the power on the street was fine...I rarely begged for more. On the track, I longed for more, thus the power upgrade.

Given these experiences, I ended up ordering an E90 328i for my next daily driver. Sure, I wanted those fatty twin turbos on the 335, but I could not justify the price difference for a daily driver. Looking back 10 years ago, only a very small handful of cars had 230hp or more, and we loved them. Horsepower has been increasing in production cars relatively rapidly over the past few years (I'm not complaining!), so our perspective has been reset. I'm sure there will be times when I wish I have the power of the 335, but the other 90% of the time I'll be content with my meager 230hp. These choices are all about balance, and the answer is different for everyone.
 

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My X3 2.5iA has enough for 90% of conditions. The only times where I wish I had a manual and/or the 3.0i are when I have to merge onto a highway right now with a truck barrelling down on me. It's scarier when it happens to be mountain highways like in Pennsylvania (It's happened twice on a merge with a 6% grade uphill). But otherwise in daily driving, I just use the gas pedal as much as I need and no more. There's a kickdown position if need be, but that's rare. And of course, one-lane passing rarely occurs. I have a Lexus ES that's faster in a straight line and boring to drive.

I remember when we rented the 268hp Toyota Avalon for our trip to Oregon (great rental car by the way, good deal too). Me and my dad had a ball passing everyone on highways and one-lane roads. But that thing was boring to drive and my mom got a case of motion-induced nausea on the backroads since I tend to slice the corners fast. :angel:
 

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My e90 is fine for daily commuting. But what would I consider the proper "limit" for HP? When I can leave two faint black stripes of sticky-compound rubber from the apex of one turn to the braking zone of the next. Seriously. That's as much as I could want and no more.

If you have any driving skill you get used to what you have. When I first drove a C5 Z06 vette I thought 405 HP pushing 3150 lbs was a lot. Live with it for while and there are times when you could want more. Like any time you're in third gear and your foot is pressed to the floor.
 

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A simple calculation on the cost difference for gas on cars with differing MPG:

Assume 12,000 miles per year
Assume gas costs $3/gallon

Car A: Gets 25 mpg - It will consume 480 gallons in the year for a cost of $1,440.
Car B: Gets 21 mpg - It will consume 571.5 gallons in the year for a cost of $1,714.50.

Yearly difference in cost is $274.50 or about $23 per month. To most people buying or leasing a $40K car $275 per year isn't much of a big deal, for others it might be. I would just call it the "Premium for Fun" :D

FYI - My 330i ZHP has been averaging about 19mpg since I've owned it :eeps: ...and worth every penny :thumbup:
 

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cwsqbm said:
For daily commuting, with a manual transmission, 100 hp is fine if the car weight 2k lbs. So extrapolating, a 3k lbs car would be fine with 150hp. I go weeks without truly using the power of my 330Ci. I'd have been just as happy with a 325Ci if I could have had the bigger factory brakes and the 6 spd manual.

The fun thing of lower powered cars is you can go full throttle and work the gears for a long period of time without looking over your shoulder, although even 325i is now too fast for that. Bring back the 318!
I use all 255 measely HP in my 06 330i daily. Just this morning taking backroads into work at 7 am I was hammering the car through some cornersand sesses - 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear WOT. :dunno:

FWIW, my mileage sucks in this car, while my faster 2003 ZHP got 2-3 mpg better on average and I was into the upper RPM band far more. God I miss that car.
 

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I think my '06 330i is barely adequate power-wise. I go WOT with almost every shift just to get it's fat ass moving.
 

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This is an interesting topic and will largely depend on what is important to each individual. I for one feel you can't have to much power when balanced with vehicle dynamics and braking. I am not part of the economy crowd and can't even tell you what I pay for a gallon of gas. When the tank is empty I fill it up.

Instead of making a 40mpg 330i why not move toward ethanol as a renewable fuel. That is where the future lies, not in super efficient gasoline engines or hybrids.

Just my two cents, you want bad gas millage my kart only gets about 20mpg from 125cc. :yikes:
 

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roninnotroamin said:
I'm with you to an extent, but would more HP over 235 really make my ZHP more fun? Doubt it, unless I take it to the track, which I don't and probably never will.
Why not?

It's almost impossible to experience ALL that the ZHP has to offer on the street - even if you go just once per year, it will completely change the way you drive and the way you look at automotive performance.

I think a ZHP with some 275HP would have been absolutely perfect. :thumbup: Never would have wanted for more, and would have kept the car as long as humanly possible. I guess for me the definition for "enough power" is when there's sufficient power to upset the chassis at the limit (plus maybe 5-10% more. :D )

The E90 chassis (like the E46 before it) is so good, and so sticky, that 255HP are simply not enough to upset it and really put it through it's paces. This may not be readily apparent if all you do is drive on the street, but just one track day will make it very visible.

I think 306HP in the 335 will be "just enough" for the weight, suspension competence and general level of adhesion of the car. Will it make for an entertaining daily driver? Only a test drive will tell... :dunno:
 

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To the OP: "Am I the only one who thinks 306HP is too much of a good thing?" No, I'm sure you're not alone. If your E46 and it's 225 hp is enough for you now, the 328 with 250ish hp will be more than enough to make you smile.

Personally, I think more like Fast Bob and Muffinman. For me, there is no such thing as too much power. Granted the old muscle cars got terrible fuel economy and didn't stop or turn for beans, but they sure were fun! The beauty of these new cars is that they can offer 300+ hp, handle very well, are loaded with creature comforts AND deliver 30mpg if you are judicious with the go pedal. While most of the driving public doesn't need anything more that 150 hp, I'm guessing most of us enthusiasts are always craving more, way more...
 

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adc said:
Why not?

It's almost impossible to experience ALL that the ZHP has to offer on the street - even if you go just once per year, it will completely change the way you drive and the way you look at automotive performance.

I think a ZHP with some 275HP would have been absolutely perfect. :thumbup: Never would have wanted for more, and would have kept the car as long as humanly possible. I guess for me the definition for "enough power" is when there's sufficient power to upset the chassis at the limit (plus maybe 5-10% more. :D )

The E90 chassis (like the E46 before it) is so good, and so sticky, that 255HP are simply not enough to upset it and really put it through it's paces. This may not be readily apparent if all you do is drive on the street, but just one track day will make it very visible.

I think 306HP in the 335 will be "just enough" for the weight, suspension competence and general level of adhesion of the car. Will it make for an entertaining daily driver? Only a test drive will tell... :dunno:
In a truly stupid move on BMW's part, the 335 still won't have a mechanical slip diff. So, even though it will finally have power appropriate to it's porky weight, it still won't be able to put it's power down effectively.
 

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TD said:
In a truly stupid move on BMW's part, the 335 still won't have a mechanical slip diff. So, even though it will finally have power appropriate to it's porky weight, it still won't be able to put it's power down effectively.
Damn right you are. :(

But in every calculation that runs through my mind for a possible 335 purchase, I always include:
1. Changing brake pads all around (thrashing the OEM pads).
2. Changing to a set of light weight wheels & non-RFT tires (selling the OEM ones).
3. Finally, purchasing a custom LSD.

I would do an Euro Delivery and 1 & 2 would happen immediately upon US re-delivery. 3 would get installed probably a year later... :dunno:
 
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