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Tag: M Sport

2002 BMW 316ti

BMW’s attempt to offer a Golf-fighting hatchback didn’t end with the E36 generation; at least, not in the rest of the world. That’s because after the E36/5 bowed out, the company introduced the E46/5 Compact model in 2000. As with the RoW prior model, several engine options were available with 4,6, and diesel powerplants; unlike the one-engine-only US E36 model, though, it never came to North America. Style was substantially more radical than the E36; notably, the front end had a completely unique set of headlights not shared with any other BMW design. Love it or hate it, it helped the /5 stand apart. The same was true out back, where there were jewel-style tail lights that almost looked more as though they belonged on a Lexus. BMW wasn’t done out back though, because the chopped rear end held a multi-link suspension rather than the E30 setup used on the E36 model. You could get some slick options on the E46/5 too, like the SMG sequential gearbox. Today’s example has an upgraded motor, the M Sport body kit, some great looking sport seats, and it’s in North America:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW 316ti on eBay

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2012 BMW 128i M Sport

The 128i was, effectively, just about the same package as the 135i, but turned down a few notches. It was a little less hardcore, and a little more GT. Power came not from the twin turbo N54 or twin scroll N55, but from the N52 and N51, here rated at 230 horsepower. You could opt for a six-speed manual transmission, too, and packages late in the run included the M Sport option, which gave you the same M Sport Suspension found in its bigger brother, along with effectively the same interior, trim, and 17″ sport wheels. But if anything finding a clean 128i M Sport is even harder than locating an un-modded 135i – and this particular one looks great…with just one fatal flaw:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW 128i M Sport on eBay

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2011 BMW 335d Sport

Since the 1990s, the proliferation of each premium marque’s “special” brands has become dizzying, and for enthusiasts it seems as though they’ve continuously diluted the performance options in favor of profits. From S-Line to AMG to perhaps the biggest offender, BMW’s M division, companies are badge slapping-happy when it comes to sticking a bigger set of wheels, some special trim and maybe, if you’re lucky, a few extra ponies. And on the surface, this 335d would seem to fit that description perfectly. After all, how could you possibly compare the diesel to that sonorous M3’s S65 V8 that cranks out over 400 horsepower and 300 lb.ft of torque with a 8,400 RPM redline? Pull up to a redlight next to one in this 335d, and the snickering owner would undoubtedly be laughing at the ‘M-Sport’ option package you ticked off. Because you’d think there would be absolutely no way that diesel would produce equal power to the M3.

You’d be right. The M57 under the hood of the 335d doesn’t produce as much horsepower as the M3, at least not in stock form. But torque? It produces more. A lot more.

Starting at a leisurely 2,000 rpms, the twin turbochargers augmenting the inline-6 spool up to a mountain of power. In stock form, the 335d cranked out 428 lb.ft of torque. In fact, it’s so much torque that gets used on a regular basis that the first person I met who had one had already consumed a transfer case on his xDrive model, and he’s not alone. Being a turbocharged model, it was also quite easy and possible to turn up the wick, and yet this classy 4-door can still return 35 mpg. Try that in a M3:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 BMW 335d M Sport on eBay

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1995 BMW 540i M-Sport

Although the letter “M” attached to a BMW has generally represented the pinnacle of performance for the brand, the reality is the term “M-Sport” has not always denoted the same characteristics. Take the E82 135i, for example. The M-Sport package for that car consisted of slightly different 18″ wheels than the standard 18″ wheels and a black headliner. That’s it.

But zoom back in time to the beginnings of the title “M-Sport” and it meant a bit more. If you wanted a fast, executive super saloon in 1995, your options were dwindling. 1995 was the last year of the Audi S6, and one year after both the V8 Quattro and 500E were taken away. 1995 would also be the last year of the iconic M5, and hints were that it might be a long time before wed see another. Why? Well, the reality was that with the 6 speed 540i the performance gap between the super M5 and the normal V8 engined 540 was so close it just didnt make a lot of sense to have the premium model anymore. The S38 was by now a quite old motor and was getting harder to pass increasingly strict emissions standards; indeed, shrinking sales and high price had resulted in the M5 being pulled from the U.S. in 1993.

As a result, BMW offered a hint at what it could do with the V8 in the form of the M540i in Canada and the 540i M-Sport in the U.S. market. The Canadian model was quite close in spec to the European M5, except that in place of the venerable S38 it ran the M60 V8 out of the normal 540i. If that sounds like a letdown, it wasnt mated to the Getrag 6-speed transmission it was a great driver, and with the M5 adjustable suspension, brakes and cosmetic details it was 95% plus of the M5 for most drivers. The 540i M-Sport that the U.S. received differed a bit in not having the trick floating rotors of the M540i, but with nearly everything else out of the M bag of tricks these are cool cars, great drivers, and even more rare than the M5:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 540i M-Sport on eBay

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Feature Listing: 2008 BMW 550i M-Sport Dinan 5

It seems that with every progressive generation of BMW 5-series, the gap between the outgoing M5 and the top of the line non-M 5 series narrows considerably. While there wasnt much of a contest between the E28 M5 and E34 535i, by the end of the E34 run the 540i M Sport was for all intents and purposes a M5 without the S38. BMW upped the ante to 400 horsepower in the new E39 M5, once again widening the gap to the 540i model. But the successor E60 545i offered 330 horsepower with matching torque in 2003 alongside the outgoing E39 and once again the gap in performance became much smaller. That gap was made almost imperceptible in 2005, when BMW revised the E60 with the increased displacement in the N62 motor.

Now sporting 4.8 liters from the N62B48, the new 550i now had 360 horsepower and 361 lb.ft of torque a near match for the S62. What was perhaps more amazing was that the new N62 also nearly matched the torque of the new E60 M5s S85 V10. But while that screaming V10 produced far more horsepower, the peak torque was reached only at 6,100 revolutions hardly practical in your daily commute. In comparison, peak twist on the N62 came at a much more realistic 3,400 r.p.m.s, and on the fly these 550is were and still are seriously quick sedans. They also introduced the next generation of design language and computer technology into the 5-series. Some love the look while others lambaste the design. While its certainly not my favorite 5, at least its distinctive and different in a world full of cookie-cutter designs and dare I say I think it may look better today than it did new perhaps a testament to its avant-garde lines. While the lust-worthy V10 captures the imagination of enthusiasts, day-to-day the 550i is likely as fast 95% of the time and much cheaper to get into and run. Couple that with a host of Dinan upgrades and you’ll easily surprise M owners for half the price of the V10:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW 550i M-Sport Dinan 5 on Dallas Craigslist

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