During our recent coverage of the F30 BMW 328i launch in Barcelona, Spain, we were smitten by the new turbo 4 cylinder on offer. It's a phenomenal engine - checking off all the boxes systematically. Power? Check. Efficiency? Check. Refinement? Check. Reliability? We expect so, but time will tell. International engine of the year awards? We'd bet the farm on it.
For a closer look at BMW's all new 3 series live from the launch in Spain, check out our road review, and racetrack review articles.
As we inch closer to the launch of the new F30 BMW 335i model, the question looms larger in our windshield: Which BMW is the one to buy - the turbo 4 or the turbo 6?
Consider the following food for thought: The 328i is said to give up only 2 tenths of a second in acceleration from 0-60 mph to its bigger brother, the 335i. For that very marginal performance advantage, you sacrifice significant efficiency when purchasing the 335i. You will also pay more for insurance premiums, and you will pay more in the initial purchase price. Most drivers would be hard pressed to feel the difference of 2 tenths from 0-60, and the turbo 4-cylinder is so torquey, flat across the rev range, that most drivers would also be hard pressed to determine which car sports the 6 in a double blind test.
Not only does the 328i offer superior efficiency with similar performance, but it also triumphs at the track with a lighter front end and slightly lighter curb weight - all of which make for a more nimble car on-track.
The plot thickens.
As if the above was not enough to convince you, BMW even kept the 328i badge so as not to humiliate you with the 320i moniker - sure office-fodder and back yard BBQ ammunition for the nosy Nancys in the group, and jealous neighbors.
Still unsure? We highly recommend a test drive once the 328i is available at your local dealership. You've got to feel this engine to understand its performance, flattered by the brilliant 8-speed ZF-sourced automatic transmission. A 6-speed manual transmission is still on offer (thank you BMW, and the Driving Gods).
Stay tuned for BMWBLOG's live coverage from the new 335i launch in due time.