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Had to try my hand against a Firebird Formula... (archive)

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Posted by Phil Ehlen on February 02, 1998 at 21:22:44:

This evening, on the way home from work (~60 miles). I got a chance to test my 2.8l Z3 against the straight line power of a '98 V8 Firebird Formula (still had dealer tags on).

Granted, straight line from a stop is not the Z3's forte, but I though I would give it a try when this Firebird pulled up to a stop light next to me. I looked over, and the guy driving looked like he was up for the challenge, so I switched off my AST (I did not want the spark retarder or the braking to kick in). When the light went green, we both started out slow, then he dropped the pedal, and got about a wheel jump on me. About 6000 rpm I shifted into second reved and popped the clutch. His back wheels were at my door now, and I could see and hear his back tires chirp as he went into second. This happened a split second before I hit second and chirped my tires. I wound it out in second, actually making up about a foot. I went into third hard, and he started to pull away. He got to about my front bumper, and could not pull away any further (for a few seconds). By this time, we were approaching traffic, so I backed off, and flashed my lights, to say thanks, and good run. He obliged and did the same.

In short, I believe I could have taken him on a road course, with the lighter, tighter BMW. He had brute force, and would surely have started walking a way if we had gone further in a straight line. But he had a 5.7l, 305 HP (335 lb-ft of torque), V8.

I know, its not really what a BMW Z3 is bread for, but who can resist, when it's chomping at the bit!!

Phil Ehlen '97 Z3 2.8

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