BimmerFest BMW Forum banner

what was the most powerful E30 from the factory (non-M)?

4366 Views 28 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Mystikal
I've been tossing around the idea picking up another E30 as a second car. I just want to pick one up that is as powerful as possible stock. which one is it?
1 - 6 of 29 Posts
Hardly peaky at all, IMO. My dad's 325is and my 323i are quite comparable in acceleration. Both have 2.5l engines with similiar horsepower (168 vs. 170) but the 323 does have a distinct advantage in peak toque (164 vs. 181). Mostly because of the ~400lb weight difference, the E30 actually does feel to be the more powerful one at low RPM's. The fact that he drives in 5th under 30mph should prove its flexibility.

0-60 on 7.4, 1/4 in 15.5 at 90mph are the specs for the final 325i/is. Amazing for a car over a decade old!
31st330i said:
so what year range of the latest E30 325's are essentially the same?
1988-1991. Watch out, however, "325" is actually a later 325e model with the ETA engine. If it doesn't have an "i", there's no 168hp!
31st330i said:
so the 88-91 325i is essentially the same car?

were there options like sport package or premium package etc. back then?
Yes, besides minor changes the 88-91 is the same.

Sport package was available technically, but only on the coupe. If it was an "is", it had the sport package. Coupe or sedan, an "i" doesn't have the sport package.

Unless you really need a 4-door, go for a 325is just for it's LSD alone. The much better suspension tuning, well-bolstered seats and BBS alloys are just icing on the cake.

Here's a pic of my dad's. 230k km's and still going strong!


See less See more
hamlet just encouraged me to research the power to weight ratios a bit.

E30 325is = 16.93 lb/hp
E36 325is = 16.33 lb/hp
E36 328is = 16.54 lb/hp
E46 325Ci = 17.67 lb/hp
E46 330Ci = 14.89 lb/hp


Interesting, to say the least. The only 3er perceptibly quicker than an E30 would be a 330Ci. Food for thought.
See less See more
Patrick 320d said:

1986-1990 is the year model range. All of the 325i models came with the same 2.5 liter/170hp engine.

I have also been toying with idea of getting a late E30, but they are rather hard to come by here in Finland. Lots of 316is models though :thumbdwn:
We were just referring to later much more attractive model, with the compact bumpers. I hate those huge chrome things. Hence, 1988-1991 models specified,

Originally posted by Patrick 320d

Damn good point: the US spec models were NOT 325i! As I recall, the 325e has the same engine as the 525e.
Well, there was a 325i, and that's the one we're referring to. That's the 2.5l 168hp model.

The 325 and the 325e are the same car. That's why I'm saying make sure the car is an "i" model.
ride365 said:
can you E30 experts please give me your general impression of this car?

1990 325i
150k miles
new brakes, tires
"very good condition"
I have no idea on what today's prices are. But that is the model to get, without a doubt.
1 - 6 of 29 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.