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I have both a VANOS & VTEC... (more) (archive)

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Posted by Tom M. on June 12, 1999 at 09:27:21:

In Reply to: Shawn... posted by Ming on June 11, 1999 at 20:16:17:

: How come you keep saying that VTEC is much better than VANOS?

: Each system has its pros and cons..
: I think in real life driving, VTEC doesn't have much effect, unless in accelerating and keeping the engine revs at high RPM. However, VANOS is more useful in real life driving...

: Shawn, you own a Honda?

: Ming
: E46 328i

...a 1994 325i (the older single VANOS system) and a 97 Acura 3.0 CL with the 200 hp 3 liter VTEC. I think it's the same engine they put in 6 cylinder Accords now. (Gotta drive one of them.)

The Acura engine is sorta gutless at low rpm but REALLY winds fast once you're up to 4500 or so. It's an automatic, I think if you had a stick you could dangerously over rev it. Reminds me of my buddy's old '74 Mazda RX2 in that respect, that had a over rev buzzer as I recall.

The 325i is more torquey down at low RPMs, you can kind of drive it like a V8 and let it fall to 1500 RPM if you want. (It won't snap you neck but at least it won't buck.) But it lacks the RPM rush of the Acura.

There are so many other differences between the engines it's hard to draw any kind of conclusions beyond the obvious. Both are very nice engines, very close to the top of their classes. (Every one seems to like the Maxima V6 but I've never driven one.) One surprising fact: the 325 gets much better mileage. I regularly get 33 hiway mpg in the 325i, the Acura never gets over 25 mpg. The BMW is a 5 speed stick vs. the Acura's 4 spd. auto but that's still a big difference.

But I will say this: a roadster - Z3 or otherwise - with the Acura VTEC would be a lot of fun. Maybe the S2000 would benefit from the 3.0!

Tom M.


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