Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
8/31/20 11:24 a.m.
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The E30-chassis BMW M3 may be one of the most iconic BMW models, but it wasn't sold universally. Some markets, such as South Africa, never got a dedicated M version of the E30. Instead, BMW South Africa built its own.

Meet the 333i. Built in collaboration with BMW South Africa a…

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WillG80
WillG80 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/31/20 11:58 a.m.

Even as a South African (now in CO), I didn't even know these existed. They must be extremely rare. 

ebelements
ebelements Reader
8/31/20 1:13 p.m.

I'm going to get a lot of hate for this, but I think the car in question is better than the E30 M3.  Well, more specifically, the US market variant.

nutherjrfan
nutherjrfan UberDork
8/31/20 1:22 p.m.

Well.

It's half evil.

That's gotta be worth something.

angel

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/31/20 1:27 p.m.

In reply to ebelements :

It does sounds very "usable," if you know what I mean. 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
8/31/20 2:05 p.m.

South Africa has a weird tendency to take European cars and redo them as if they were letting Don Yenko rewrite the spec sheet.

WillG80
WillG80 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/31/20 2:11 p.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

South Africa has a weird tendency to take European cars and redo them as if they were letting Don Yenko rewrite the spec sheet.

Land Rover sold Defenders in South Africa with BMW M52 engines as a gas engine option. BMW valve covers and all. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/31/20 2:52 p.m.

I like their looks, but an M30 engine puts a lot of extra weight in the front end of a 3 series car.

South Africa also had an interesting e23 745i back in the day...while the 745i sold in other countries used the turbocharged M30 single cam engine, theirs used the twin cam engine from the M5.  They apparently built less than 250 of them.  https://www.bmwmregistry.com/model_faq.php?id=4

 

cmcgregor (Forum Supporter)
cmcgregor (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/31/20 3:16 p.m.

This is cool, but if I were looking for an oddball e30 variant with m3 genes, it would be an Italian 320is for me.

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/1/20 11:15 a.m.

In reply to cmcgregor (Forum Supporter) :

Kind of a bucket list BMW for me.

Median
Median New Reader
9/1/20 11:37 a.m.
RaabTheSaab
RaabTheSaab New Reader
9/1/20 11:58 a.m.

I was actually fortunate enough to drive one of these when I was in SA. Very VERY fun car. Mine was an AC, no PS version and I assure you I didn't feel particularly front heavy. Never driven a US spec M3, so I can't compare the two. 

crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/1/20 4:40 p.m.
nutherjrfan said:

Well.

It's half evil.

That's gotta be worth something.

angel

This just reminds me of the Green Jelly album. 

 

ebelements
ebelements Reader
9/2/20 10:57 a.m.

In reply to RaabTheSaab :

They handle awesome, but without a ton of mods, a US-spec M3 is pretty underwhelming. To put it perhaps a bit too simply, the feel like a "more special" 318iS. 

That said, with 20k or so worth of mods, they become a legitimately perfect vehicle worthy of any and all hype. 

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