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Let's Spot the Inaccuracies - Road & Tack's Video of the E36 M3 Lightweight and GT

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  • #16
    As mentioned in my IG post, where the S50B32 really shines is its elasticity. 321bhp @ 7400 with a 7600 redline only says "very peaky". It's the torque band that's impressive. 350nm(257 ft-lbs) @ 3250rpm peak, but 340nm (250 ft-lbs) of that is available from 2600-6200. Making this the most flexible E36 engine. Not only has it peak horse power, it's also incredibly tractable around town.

    I have read (US) S52 owners saying "(...)yeah but the S52 suits my driving style better" (usually refering to (town) cruising speeds). Which is a non-argument, as the S50B32 makes more power and torque anywhere in the revline compared to all other E36 engines. This is nothing against the S52, which is a fine engine by itself, just a factual comparison between (two) engines.

    Where the S50B32 also shines is fuel consumption. I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too.

    S50B32 torque curve
    S50B32 torque curve (wonder why BMW didn't plot the power curve in it as well as they have in the M3 3.0 brochures.

    Regarding 0-60 (or 0-100 km/h) deduct .1 of a second for the heavier convertible.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by 6MTandDCT View Post
      Great info, thank you Jim! It was my understanding the E36 GT was the only true homologated E36, your information helps clarify all of that. That's why I put the word homologated in quibble marks when I referred to the LTW. Both cars are great on the track and a thrill to drive but you certainly can feel the higher horsepower of the GT.
      I did catch that you put the word homologated in quotes and understood why you did it. I only posted that info in case others didn't get it. Besides, I like talking about E36s.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by MParallel View Post
        As mentioned in my IG post, where the S50B32 really shines is its elasticity. 321bhp @ 7400 with a 7600 redline only says "very peaky". It's the torque band that's impressive. 350nm(257 ft-lbs) @ 3250rpm peak, but 340nm (250 ft-lbs) of that is available from 2600-6200. Making this the most flexible E36 engine. Not only has it peak horse power, it's also incredibly tractable around town.

        I have read (US) S52 owners saying "(...)yeah but the S52 suits my driving style better" (usually refering to (town) cruising speeds). Which is a non-argument, as the S50B32 makes more power and torque anywhere in the revline compared to all other E36 engines. This is nothing against the S52, which is a fine engine by itself, just a factual comparison between (two) engines.

        Where the S50B32 also shines is fuel consumption. I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too.

        S50B32 torque curve (wonder why BMW didn't plot the power curve in it as well as they have in the M3 3.0 brochures.

        Regarding 0-60 (or 0-100 km/h) deduct .1 of a second for the heavier convertible.
        That's the line of bullshit that the U.S. representatives/sales-people were feeding us back in the day. I remember going to the Detroit auto show where they had the E36 M3 and the BMW rep distinctly telling me that the euro engine didn't meet US emissions and that anyway the US engine was better suited for us here and that there was more torque down low whereas the euro engine was a high rpm engine. Basically flat out lying or perpetuating a lie someone told him. Of course the euro engine didn't meet emissions because they never bothered to even work on it! At the end of the day it's almost always about cost. For BMW NA the car was going to be too expensive and they were really concerned that they couldn't sell them at 150% the price of a standard 3-series given the fact that the E30 M3 was for the most part a disaster in terms of U.S. sales.

        So the 45 Canadian model S50B30 M3s that Tom Plucinsky and his boss brought in was a miracle. I remember having coffee with Tom and I brought up the "famous 45" excursion. BMW NA was pissed and they were in the hot seat for years. Last thing BMW NA wanted was to give the NA market (and journalists) a taste of those engines. Ever wonder why Canada didn't get the E36 M3 until years later??

        Here's a good read about the Canadian 45: https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/canadian-m3/

        As you know I posted this:

        1. S50B30 euro had 236 lb/ft at 3600 rpm. Full variable intake vanos
        2. S50B30US had 225 lb/ft at 4250 rpm.
        3. S52B32 had 236 lb/ft at 3800 rpm.
        4. S50B32 258 lb/ft at 3250 rpm with infinitely variable intake and exhaust vanos

        And because I'm such a nice guy here are all the graphs for your viewing pleasure.

        S50US:


        S50b30 (euro):


        S52:


        S50B32:
        Last edited by Jim E.; 11-09-2021, 08:39 AM.

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        • #19
          Ha so funny, all the official BMW graphs for all the engines, except the S50B32.

          The M3 was anything but cheap here as well. The increase from 318-320-328 were a couple of thousand, the step from going 328-M3 was a couple of ten thousands.

          Taking the Guilder to Dollar exhange rate of March 1998 when my M3 was ordered, which was always around the 2:1 mark, the Consumer price of an M3 cabrio in 1998 was a whoppingg Fl165.000 or $80,800. This is mainly due to our silly tax on cars and motorbikes, litterally called Tax on Cars and Bike and is *drumroll* 40% of the manufacturers price. And that's without 17,5% salestax.


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          • #20
            Americans were used to the cheapest everything on the planet though. Gas, food, real estate (definitely not everywhere, but so many places) and cars. 60k for an m3 back then is absurd compared to their 30k 325is, or the many cheaper American options. Luxury cars were considered a luxury back then, and not every college student got to have a 3series for their first day of their fine arts programs.

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            • bimmertav
              bimmertav commented
              Editing a comment
              this made me actually laugh. Its so true.

          • #21
            Yes, the GT in the EAG video is mine. I had already purchased the car but was slow picking it up. When I saw that video with Eric driving I quickly made arrangements to collect it. 😉 Many fond memories over the years of driving those same roads with Eric in a variety of cars. A spin in an M1 with him driving first and then me was the most memorable. I do miss that guy!

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            • #22
              Originally posted by 6MTandDCT View Post
              The E36 LTW CSL
              The formal name is Lightweight, not LTW CSL. Whatever the car may have been during it's creation was not what it was on the sales floor. Plus, Lightweight Coupe Sport Lightweight makes no sense and the car was not up to the same level as the CSL that came before or after. As our friend Jon would say, it was just the L. Your GT is more CSL than the LTW is and 95% of the special parts on that car came from yours.

              I think Jim was holding back with the homologations too. In addition to the LTW, the GT was also not homologated even though it may have been advertised as such. Jim can go into more detail.

              MSportParts | Braymond141

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              • #23
                Wow, nice job of censorship Braymond141. You can dish it out but can't handle it when someone presents the opposite opinion of your view.
                Last edited by 6MTandDCT; 11-27-2021, 06:21 PM. Reason: reason for editing - if administrator is going to delete part of my post then delete all of it. Everything I sald accurate.

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                • #24
                  Originally posted by 6MTandDCT View Post
                  Would love to hear Jim E's details on the GT not being homologated.
                  I appreciate you posting, but the pre-edited response wasn't necessary.

                  MSportParts | Braymond141

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                  • 6MTandDCT
                    6MTandDCT commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Wow, nice job of censorship Braymond141. You can dish it out but can't handle it when someone presents the opposite opinion of your view. If you're going to delete part of what I said then delete all of it. The words I quoted you as saying were accurate and not taken out of context. Your own previous posts counter the points you're trying to make about the E36 LTW not being a CSL. But hey, you're the Administrator, so let's delete those references so we don't undermine your flawed reasoning.
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