2013 BMW Z4 sDrive28i

Every once in a while, something pops up that surprises me. So I’ll start off by saying that I had no idea that this model even existed. ‘What?’, you say – and rightly so, as I just looked at an E89 Z4 Roadster a few weeks ago:

2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35i

Ah, but that was the turbocharged ’35’ model, and while I knew there was a lower-specification naturally aspirated ’30i’ model (the same engine configuration was called ’28i’ in the E8x/E9x at the same time, making things more confusing). What I didn’t realize is that model was short-lived, though I suppose it should have made sense. The 2-Series went to four-cylinder power with its introduction in 2014, ending a long line of naturally aspirated inline-6 power in BMW coupes. But the change had already happened in 2012 in the E89; the N52 was dropped in favor of the N20. That should give you a clue as to displacement; this ’28’ was now 2.0 liters with a turbocharger. That probably sounds like a bit of a disappointment, but in typical German fashion it was pragmatic. The N20 was shorter, lighter, more fuel efficient, and effectively, just as powerful. Output was down to 240 horsepower from 255 with the N52, but torque was up to 260 lb-ft – 40 more than the N52, and while it can’t out-stump-pull the N54/N55’s numbers, for argument’s sake the 2.0 put out the same twist as the S54. Better still, while a majority of these engines were hooked to the equally pragmatic and efficient ZF 8-speed automatic, you could get a six-speed manual. So here’s one of the chosen few so selected:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2013 BMW Z4 sDrive28i on eBay

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2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo

Yeah I know…a BUICK? Stick with me on this one.

After a gap of a few years and a less-than-spectacular fourth generation, the Regal came roaring back with pretty modern styling in 2008 and the promise of more performance aimed at a younger crowd. This was in part thanks to its underpinnings, which were in no small measure based upon GM’s corporate partner Opel’s Insignia and the Epsilon II platform. It was a front-driver, it’s true, but option was a direct-injected 2.0-liter Ecotec inline-4 cranking out 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque; numbers in line with performance legends such as Audi’s original S4. You could even get a manual transmission! And you could get this turbocharged package for under $30,000 – far less than the traditional performance sedan.

Of course, it was still an Opel a Buick, so they didn’t sell all that well. And dropping residual values meant that if you brushed a guardrail when it was five years old, the insurance company would probably total it. What to do with your totaled Buick then? Turn it into an Opel, of course…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo on eBay

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