Want a future classic Bimmer for just a fraction of an M3 s money? Start readind:
The BMW 320si is not another special edition with a handful of red stitching on the seats and some carbon fiber inserts on the dash. Nor is it a pompous top of the range ’Ring model which costs more than a small apartment in South Kensington.
In fact, it is a natural born future classic and one of the most affordable homologation special models money can buy. All packed in a 4 door saloon for everyday usage.
Nowadays, 15 ears after production ended, its price has dropped to second hand city cars’ levels. Anyone seeking for a clever investment?
The story – the engine:
BMW’s project “320si” was born in order to meet the requirements of the WTCC and Super 2000 regulations. To do so, the Germans built 2,600 units between late 2005 and mid-2006, which included 500 RHD models. The car was intended for the European market solely, but in recent years, we have seen some of these rarities enter the Japanese market.
Some say that the core of the car was its engine (N45B20S), which was hand-built especially for this model in Hams Hall, alongside the racing units. This is half the story. Actually, the engine was one of the highlights.
A completely unique creation, it was not an evolution of the normal E90 320i. In comparison, it had different bore and stroke dimensions to aid revving, wilder cams, bigger valves, compression ratio up to 11:1 and was Valvetronic free for instant throttle response! It also wore a valve cover made of carbon, giving an overall 10 kg weight reduction.
This four-banger loves to be revved hard and the power band extends up to 7,000 rpm, making a sweet sporty sound. It performs surprisingly well for a two liter 4-pot.
Best handling non-M E9x, by far:
As stated before, the unique engine is just one highlight of this special car. Only a few though, have paid attention to the marvelous job carried out in terms of weight balance and suspension set up. Primarily, the engine has been placed in a way to sit lower and further back, towards the cabin, improving vehicle’s weight distribution and lowering its center of gravity.
BMW’s M-division spent quite some time fine tuning the suspension in order to get the maximum out of the car. To do so, everything has been re-calibrated; shock absorbers, springs, torsion bars, bushes and angles. Lastly, the 320si, sits on a special set of 18” BMW Performance alloys (216), which have the exact shape of the WTCC cars’.
Together with the use of the 325i’s brakes, all these provide a rewarding feeling on all kinds of twisty roads. The car hits corners superbly and the balance throughout a curve is fantastic. Understeer occurs purely by driver’s misjudgment and oversteer only when asked for.
The 320si is claimed to be the best handling E9x from all the non-M bunch. No sixer can transfuse the balance of a 4-potter in this hull, especially when placed like the BMW’s engineers did in the 320si.
In a few words, it is a car for the purist.
Second owner car, the first was in Germany. It was bought by the second owner in 2016 on original tires from 2006. It had 32k kms on it, today it has 60k.The front bumper is painted, otherwise nothing repainted, original paint. Full service, not driven in winter, last oil in 06/21. Excellent condition.
|Engine||1.997 ccm, 173 PS, I4|
|Steering||Left Hand Drive|
|Layout||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Color - exterior||Red|
|Color - interior||Black / Grey|
|Miles/Kilometers shown||60.192 kms|
|Chassis / VIN||WBAVF710XDA016144|
|Location - Country||Czech Rep.|
|Location - City||Prague|
4-door sedan body type; RWD (rear-wheel drive), manual 6-speed gearbox; gasoline (petrol) engine with displacement: 1997 cm3, advertised power: 127 kW / 170 hp / 173 PS (ECE), torque: 210 Nm; characteristic dimensions: outside length: 4520 mm, width: 1817 mm, wheelbase: 2760 mm; reference weights: base curb weight: 1350 kg; top speed: 225 km/h (140 mph) (declared by factory); accelerations: 0-60 mph 7.7 s, 0-100 km/h 8.1 s (declared by factory)