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Here is the deal.... (archive)

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Posted by Mel on March 05, 2001 at 16:07:34:

In Reply to: Euro vs US Z3 M posted by Random on March 04, 2001 at 17:57:25:

Hi, I have recently bought a second hand M coupe (in Europe) and was browsing the net for tuning tips and all and I noticed something that really confused me.

As far as I know (and I do know), my M has 321 bhp. Pretty neat huh? Now, I read on many american pages that the output of the american M is ony 240 bhp? Three questions:
One, is this true?

Yes it is true.

Two, why would anybody want the weak US version over the more powerful european one? Why not get an import instead?

The reason anyone would want the weaker version is because it is the only one available in North America. Importing the vehicle which is not dedicated for sale in North America is very much pain in the butt, and sometimes outright impossible if not financialy stupid.

And three, why on earth would they even make a weaker version? Where did the 70 odd bhp go? Are they using a cheaper engine or have they somehow limited the original M engine?

The less powerfull North American version of the M3 motor was made because the BMW thought that they would have hard time selling the European vesion. Therefore they developed the North American version out of the 2.8L engine. The displacement was increased initaly to 3.0L and then to 3.2L. In other words the North American M3 motor is completely different than it's European counterpart. So that is the answer to where did the 70hp go. (Remeber that Euro is 321HP DIN, and NA is 240HP SAE, which is somewhere aound 250HP DIN, don't remember the conversion factor) As to why, the North American models are about 12,000-15,000 USD cheaper than the Eropean version. And considering that BMW sold more M3's in the USA than in the rest of the world combined, I think it was a good move. Although I would have preffered to have the hand built Euro motor.

The North American MZ3 and M3 are producing more torque at lower rpm, and having lower gearing, are actually quicker from 0-100 km/h than the Euro ones. It is only at high speeds that Euro versions start gaining.

I do know one thing, if my MZ3 was $12,000 more I wouldn't have been able to afford it. And as far as everyday all around driving goes I doubt you car feels any more powerfull.

But as others are saying the latest generation of MZ3's in Erope and North America will be very equally matched.


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