Engine Fever

We all know the engine is the heart of the car, it’s chambers an explosive mix of oxygen, fuel and fire. Like the human heart, an engine throbs and ticks and gives life to the car. An engine even injects personality, from loud and powerful, to refined and economical – it’s not all about BHP and torque figures.

I’ve owned a fair few cars and I’ll have to say the BMW S54B32 unit from my old e46 M3 is the ultimate engine. I had the pleasure of a Mercedes 3.5-L V6, some turbo engines, and even a Maserati 4.2-L V8, but the M3’s engine surpassed them on every level.

It’s only a 3.2-L naturally aspirated inline 6, but it’s so revvy and raw. The M3′s S54B32 made 343hp at a screeching 7,900rpm and 365Nm of torque at 4,900rpm. With the rev counter’s lights signifying how hard you should drive until the engine has reached it’s proper operating temperature, it feels as though it’s a tuned engine. The acceleration is hard and the power-band wide. Instead of grunting and burbling like the Italian V8, the S54B32 spits out it’s exhaust as though it’s inhaled a swarm of wasps. Don’t get me wrong, the V8 is an incredible sounding piece of kit, and I love the feel of turbo power, but the M3 will always remain a top engine in my books.

It came as great news when I found out the new M3/M4 cars (albeit with turbos) would feature the inline 6 after a few models of V8s.

So with this in mind, what are you favourite engines, even if they’re not inside of your favourite car? What would be your ultimate engine swap?

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My Next Whip: Evo Or Not To Evo

Now I will begin by saying that I adore Subaru and their WRX. I’ve owned a wagon and currently own a Prodrive 245-bhp WRX. They sound nice, handle really well, and considering they are performance cars, they are fairly economical in parts and fuel.

The problem is I like to try new brands. I’ve done everything from Citroen to Mercedes, Alfa to Maserati. The most satisfying car apart from my current ride was the e46 BMW M3. That thing was angry and sounded pissed too. It spat out automotive cuss words when you floored it, rather than rumble or burble. You could lose the rear slightly and know it wasn’t going to come around on you. Some people didn’t like the SMG paddles, but I loved them straight away and liked the settings option.

So if I don’t buy a Subaru Hawkeye STI, I’m torn between another M3 or… the EVO.

The EVO VI to be precise. I don’t like any of the others – if you were to offer me a brad new EVO X or a mint VI or the TME (Tommi Makkinen edition), I’d take the VI hands down. It doesn’t have loads of numbers after its name or come in different specs. The EVO VI was a 0-60 in 4.4 seconds straight out of the box rally car.

I’m totally torn. The EVO involves many oil changes and the AYC (Active Yule Control) needs a lot of servicing. But them every time you change the M3’s boots, you’re looking at a grand, and should the SMG system go wrong, well, you could probably buy another EVO for the cost of repair.

So the EVO then? Well yes, but I don’t want to be that guy in town who has the EVO. They are fantastic machines and offer optimum driver satisfaction, but they do look a little OTT with it’s serial killer face and giant rear wing.

The M3? It’s looking likely. It looks amazing (known as the last true M car) and it wouldn’t look out of place whether you’re thundering around a track or pulling up to a restaurant.

Bugger, I don’t know. Do I try something new, or do I settle for one of the best cars ever made?

What do you petrolheads think?

BMW M4 Will Rejuvenate M Division

Who doesn’t like the M badge? You know any Beemer bearing the badge and extra exhausts is an everyday car that if spanked can turn into an unbridled monster. A lot of people say they are estate agent or accountant cars, but the people who say this either can’t afford one of haven’t driven one. I know because I’ve owned an E46 M3, the last of the proper M cars with the inline 6 and raucous exhaust note. It was fast in a raw and dramatic way – if you set the gearbox to its fastest shift setting you were liable to end up needing a chiropractic.
 
So how does the M4 come into it, and exactly how will it rejuvenate the M division’s lack of… raw punch?
 

 
Since BMW stuck V8s into their M cars, they were faster and boasted some impressive stats, but to me they lost that highly-strung edge the inline 6 offered. The M4 will replace the M3 coupe, and as the pictures reveal, it’s a looker. It will also come with a twin-turbo 3.0-L inline 6, producing 420-bhp – that’s 45 horses more than the E46 M3. Since the M3 I owned also had a 3.0-L inline 6, I’m surprised two turbos only boosted it by 45-bhp. It will hit 62-mph in 4.5 seconds, 0.4 faster than the E46. Because it features a lot of aluminium and carbon fibre it is a lot sleeker than the E92 M3, so I wonder why the turbos were needed and what that extra 45-bhp is needed for.

Still, I shouldn’t moan; I’m just glad BMW are looking at introducing a proper M thoroughbred back into the range.

Video

Fast & Furious Paul Walker Visits Japan & Godzilla

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Paul Walker gained massive recognition from the first installment of Fast & Furious as Brian O’ Conner. On screen his constant abuse of Japanese cars eventually rubbed off on him, and despite once having no interest in JDM, he’s now added a few to his collection of cars that range from an Escort Cosworth to a rare lightweight BMW M3.

A very nice Supra takes up a spot in his collection alongside an R33 Nissan GTR and a Datsun 240Z.

In this video we see a very excited Paul Walker in Japan at the wheel of one mad R35 Godzilla GTR.