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Re: New A4-based S4
..>sorry dave, not to gang up on you (even if eliot does live in my neck of the
..>the E36 M3 (to distinguish from the late '80s E30 M3 with the 4 cylinder) in
..>Europe has an "M" engine. this is a *very* complex, practically handbuilt
..>engine (read $$$). oh yeah, expensive to maintain, too--ask an M5 or M6
..>owner. that motor pushes out much more horsepower than one needs in the
..>US--horsepower = speed, most 'murican drivers couldn't handle it ;)
..>For the '95 US model (fall '94--the euro E36 M3 was available long before),
..>they intoduced the M3 with a stroked version of the 2.5L I6. The result:
..>lotsa torque, ideal for the stop-light drags so favored here. It's also
..>*much* cheaper than the M engine. The M3 in the US was further de-contented
..>(stripped) compared to a 328iS--trip computer was optional, etc. in fall
..>'94, the 328iS came in around us$32k, the M3 around $36k, but if you
..>optioned out the M3 like the 328iS, you'd be close to $40k. As it turned
..>out, BMW did the right thing for the US market--you couldn't find an M3 on a
..>dealer lot unless some idiot gave up his spot in line (and many sold their
..>place in line for a few $$$, too).
..>as for the sulfur-content of our fuel, yes, that was indeed a problem, but
..>it affects not just the M3. The 328 and 528 motors sold in the US still
..>have a cast iron block, while over in Europe, they have an aluminum block.
..>This didn't happen until the 1996 model year, though.
..>BTW, the M3 has been brought back for a final run in the E36 body--with a
yes, this is correct as i understand it. the euro m3 (original 286hp and the current
320hp model) are (obviously) hi-tech engines and the best parts of these cars (oh
and the brakes are exceptional).
the fact remains that they could not get the engines to work in the usa because
of the fuel. reference car magazine a few months back; article on the delays
bmw was experiencing in the spartenburg (sp?) factory. article was by georg
kacher (who is one of the best car correspondents).
de-contenting the cars is another issue. i struggle to see how bmw can justify
the usa m3 when the 328i is much cheaper and not much slower. this was touted
as the main reason for the evolution of the euro-m3 in the first place.