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10 Top BMW 3 Series Features

Everything from a 330ci ZHP to an E90 that you most enjoyed online

Annette Carrion
Aug 29, 2013

Out of all the BMW model lineups, it’s the wildly successful 3 Series, now in its sixth generation that remains the best seller for the company. In 2012 99,602 units were sold, ranking the German automaker as the top seller of compact luxury sports sedans. The success story began in 1975 when the first two-door sedan 3 Series was introduced with the factory code of E21. Since then the 3 Series has evolved into a steed of technologically improved vehicles earning a “Top Safety Pick” for the 2012 BMW 3 Series Sedan, while still maintaining the traditional elements that make the lineup unique.

Owners of the 3 Series love the versatility, proven performance and German class affordability over the more expensive models. Nick Lakind explains why he chose his 335i 3 Series E90 over the M3, "I chose the 335i because it was $30k less. And it's more tuneable for a lot less money. Plus, I love turbos." Whether it’s a visual mod or a challenging performance upgrade, the owners featured in our list of web-popular BMW 3 Series are die-hard Bimmer fans that enjoyed every facet of their builds.

From daily drivers to trailer queens, we have something for every BMW fanatic that just drive this model. You’ll be transported into the dedicated world of these tuners by way of the previously featured builds below. In no particular order, enjoy.

2009 BMW 335i | Darren Yoo

Eurp 1107 02+2009 bmw 335i yoo tube+tracks Photo 2/41   |   10 Top BMW 3 Series Features

Article excerpt: “On a recent dyno run, the car made 427hp and 427 lb-ft at the wheels with 100-octane fuel at 16psi boost pressure. However, he’s confident that a new Vishnu map will allow him to run more boost to approach the 450whp other users are finding at 20psi with meth injection.”

Why we love it: “When we first came across, Darren Yoo’s BMW in the HRE booth at MFest 5, we thought he’d built a modified E90 M3 with a Porsche grey repaint. But as we pored over its details, we discovered it was actually a converted 335i – and somehow that made it even cooler.”

Full article: Darren Yoo’s 2009 BMW 335i

2004 BMW 330ci | Shane Stephens

2004 bmw 330ci zhp front right Photo 6/41   |   10 Top BMW 3 Series Features

Article excerpt: “Under the hood, a factory ECU tune increased power by 10hp for a total of 235hp, and raised the rev limit to 6800rpm. Suspension upgrades included stiffer springs, dampers and sway bars along with staggered 18” wheels.”

Why we love it: “With all the hype surrounding the M vehicles, one might forget that during the E46 era BMW released an equally enticing performance alternative. Slotted between the M3 and standard 330i, the ZHP Performance Package added a host of aesthetic and performance improvements.”

Full article: Shane Stephens’ 2004 BMW 330ci

2009 BMW 320d | Brecht Swinnen

01+2009 bmw 320d+driver side view rolling Photo 10/41   |   10 Top BMW 3 Series Features

Article excerpt: "Got any engine mods?’ we asked. ‘Nope, sorry!’ replied the young Belgian, content with his 2L diesel and its 177hp that put his Ford to shame. He also has a five-speed manual transmission to keep it in the sweet spot. The only addition he has to keep him company on road is a Skytune dual tailpipe exhaust that makes it sound a little sportier.”

Why we love it: “Simple is better, less is more. And Brecht Swinnen's 320d proves that a few well-chosen mods can go a very long way.”

Full article: Brecht Swinnen’s 2009 BMW 320d

2000 BMW 323i | Navin Kumar

2000 bmw 323i supercharged navin kumar front right Photo 14/41   |   Navin Kumar's ESS-supercharged BMW 323i

Article excerpt: “Once he discovered what a supercharger could add to his motor, the decision was made to install a twin-screw ESS supercharger kit. This took the power to 300hp with 7psi of boost.”

Why we love it: “The material Navin used to make his lightweight hood, trunk, bumpers and various interior bits was the same carbon fiber that keeps him alive. The carbon components help Navin enjoy every new morning and drew people to marvel at his creation, going so far as to collect Best in Show at the 2012 Bimmerfest East.”

Full article: Navin Kumar’s 2000 BMW 323i

1984 BMW 318i | Fredrik Göransson

Eurp 1106 01+swede for speed 1984 bmw 318i+cover.JPG Photo 18/41   |   10 Top BMW 3 Series Features

Article excerpt: “It wasn’t possible to get an aftermarket turbocharged BMW engine through the Swedish Vehicle Inspection. So I built a 150hp Volvo B230 turbo motor so I could title the car with a turbo motor and get more power. The title document now says the stock motor has been replaced with a Volvo engine.”

Why we love it: “It looks like a serious E30 racecar with pulled fenders, ten-point rollcage and front-mount intercooler, but under the hood lies an unusual powerplant – a Volvo B230 four-cylinder with a big-turbo, converted to run on E85 ethanol.”

Full article: Fredrik Göransson’s 1984 BMW 318i

2007 BMW 335i 3 Series E90 | Nick Lakind

Eurp_1001_01_o+2007_bmw_335i+front Photo 22/41   |   2007 bmw 3 series e90

Article excerpt: “The 3.0 bi-turbo motor has been dyno-tested up to 439whp. This is thanks to upgrades like software, catless exhaust, redesigned intake manifold and water/meth injection.”

Why we love it: “Nick's '07 335i isn't your average modified 3 Series. Like Rambo going into battle, his E90 is equipped with the right weapons to turn the smiles of M3 owners upside down.”

Full article: Nick Lakind's 2007 BMW 335i 3 Series E90

1990 BMW 325i | Neil Shvarts

Eurp_1102_01_o+1990_bmw_325i+left_side_view Photo 26/41   |   1990 BMW 325i - Trailer Queen

Article excerpt: “On the surface, the E30 is immaculate in its original Alpine white paint. It also boasts a low stance but it's what's behind the car that's created all the fuss. Neil constructed a custom trailer using an identical 325i that's been chopped, dropped and shaped.”

Why we love it: “We tip our hat to everybody with imagination, affection for Euros and who has worked hard on their project. And Neil Shvarts fulfilled all of these criteria.”

Full article: Neil Shvarts’ 1990 BMW 325i

1980 BMW 316 | Kevve Raekelboom

01 1980 BMW 316 front fascia Photo 30/41   |   01 1980 BMW 316 Front Fascia

Article excerpt: “Perhaps most impressive about Kevve's creation is it's custom AccuAir air suspension setup, which was built and installed using an E30 as the 3D blueprint by Kean Suspensions.”

Why we love it: “The E21 evolved into a legendary platform in it's own right, which is gaining renewed popularity today.”

Full article: Kevve Raekelboom’s 1980 BMW 316

1996 BMW 318ti Widebody Turbo | Diogo Azevedo

160_0702_et_01z+1996_bmw_318ti_widebody_turbo+front_view Photo 34/41   |   10 Top BMW 3 Series Features

Article excerpt: “The car has a stock block making a solid 580whp on pump fuel, something Diogo feels strongly about. ‘I'm a big fan of squeezing as much power as you can from a stock motor. It's a motor nobody boosts, especially in the US, so now you have a motor that's 11.5:1 compression [with boost]....At 8psi we got 580hp and I was backing off at 6500rpm!’”

Why we love it: “The parts that draw you in are the wide, boxy fenders and the rear quarter panels, which almost seem to be a combination of E30 M3 and Porsche 944. However, they weren't taken from any other car; these metal units are custom.”

Full article: Diogo Azevedo’s 1996 BMW 318ti Widebody Turbo

1994 BMW 325i Convertible | Ivan Colon

160_0609_et_02z+1994_bmw_325i_convertible+rolling_shot Photo 38/41   |   10 Top BMW 3 Series Features

Article excerpt: “The EMS also allows Gary to plot the boost curve against road speed. This has enabled him to increase boost as the car's speed increases. So the faster you go, the faster you go. However, he admits that even at 12psi the car is almost too powerful, but it's a very exciting car to drive as a result. So how much power does it have? Well evosport claims 451hp at 6400rpm and 410 lb/ft at 5600rpm at the wheels.”

Why we love it: “When evosport presented its 500hp E36 Convertible at Bimmerfest '05 we welcomed it warmly but suspiciously. Since then we've been trying to track down the car and discover whether there's any truth behind the claim, and it took us 14 months to get the owner and builder together in one place.”

Full article: Ivan Colon’s 1994 BMW 325i Convertible

By Annette Carrion
124 Articles



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