Alright, Jalopnik, We'll See Your 320i and Raise You

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
alright jalopnik we ll see your 320i and raise you

Last week, Matt Hardigree suggested that new-car intenders consider the 320i ZSP + ZMT, which offers a staggering 180 horsepower and a stick shift for a middling $35,000 or thereabouts. I’m personally very excited by this because I learned how to drive in a BMW with about the same weight, power, and sticker price. On the other hand, it’s a considerable step backwards from the 330i Sport I had from 2001 to 2004, so maybe not.

Since we’re big Jalopnik fans here at TTAC, we’re going to put our money where their mouth is. Plus a little.

I’ve been riding BMX and mountain bikes with my pal “El Jefe” since 1998 or thereabouts. In those years, I’ve driven him all over the Midwest in conveyances ranging from an ’82 Quantum Coupe to a Range Rover 4.0S. It’s time for him to return the favor, so he’s placed an order for the car you see above — a 328i M Sport in Estoril Blue. We’ll be doing all the stuff you aren’t supposed to do in a press car, like bouncing it off the speed limiter and jumping it off curbs and who knows what else. And when all that’s over we’ll give you, the TTAC reader, a chance to buy it.

I wouldn’t do that, were I you.

The order is “locked” but not built yet, so if anybody has a convincing reason why it shouldn’t be specced like you see, speak now or forever hold your peace.

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7 of 82 comments
  • Power6 Power6 on Apr 19, 2013

    I'd spring $900 for the HID lighting, a good driver's car should have decent headlights. Funny 44k gets you an otherwise stripped m-sport, don't expect any toys like heated seats or a sunroof.

    • Jacob Jacob on Jun 11, 2013

      HIDs are just a stupid fashion fad. Seriously. I can't believe some people think that driver's car has to have them. People with the HIDs are the most annoying drivers on the road. I never had issues with seeing the road with the normal bulbs. I do have the issue with being blinded on a narrow road by an on coming car. What is this stupid blue light? Oh! Another POS Civic, Corolla or 15 years old SUV with these upgraded stupid lights. Nothing scream more of a bad taste than having those lights.

  • Rod Panhard Rod Panhard on Apr 19, 2013

    Get a different color. There's a reason that one is called "no sale blue" on the used lot down at the luxury car store. And given that the 3-series is a chick car, or that a chick will probably have to approve the purchase of said vee-hickle, you'd better get the seat heaters.

    • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Apr 20, 2013

      Estoril Blue is EXCLUSIVE to the M-Sport, and will be a much easier sell than any of the other (few) colors offered with the M-sport package. People who are looking for an M-Sport car will be looking for it to be blue. I too would (and did) get the cold weather package, what's another $900 or so on a $44K car.

  • JEC JEC on Apr 20, 2013

    Ya know, I'm getting sick of hearing BMW fanboyz harping on about how their cars are "totally underrated brah, it's got like 50 more hp than they say it does". We heard the same shit from the Muscle Car bros, and they were wrong too. More likely is that they are simply NOT exaggerating their ratings like everyone else always has.

  • Peter S. Peter S. on May 18, 2013

    My new 320i, factory-ordered, with sport package, picked up 15 May 2013, now has over 300 miles on the odo and I think it's a terrific car for the money, and a worthy replacement for my 2003 E46 sport package, with 150,000 miles on it. I went basic, with the sport package (and metallic paint) as my only options. Within sport package, I went with the staggered wheels/summer performance tire option. The sport seats are better than my Ricaro's of the past, the M steering wheel is superb, and the short M-shifter is the best shifting car I've ever owned. So far, I've only driven it with the auto-stop feature turned off, with Sport mode on, and with DSC turned off, while staying within the 1200-miles breaking-in limits of no more than 4500 rpm. A wonderful car!

    • Jacob Jacob on Jun 11, 2013

      This sounds like a great car for a value conscious buyer who wants to have a genuine BMW experience without loading a car with many expensive options. I am seriously considering this for my next purchase two. I am thinking red color, 6MT, Sport Package, and maybe.. maybe the Navi. The cool thing about this car is that it's effectively a de-tuned 328. There was a lot of discussion about this. It turns out that 320 is pretty much the same car as 328, same parts, only electronics and cylinder heads are different. 320i is running only 8psi pressure. This means that the 320i can be pretty much safely tuned to 328i level with a simple chip. Not that I advise getting the chip now, but down the road once the car is out of warranty, this will be a the mother of all upgrades.