Saturday, November 25, 2023

Automotif CDXLIV...

If one had to pick a year for the peak of the Malaise Era in the American auto market, one would not go far wrong by picking 1982.

That was the year that BMW launched one of the least Bimmer-like motors, designed specifically to boost its corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) numbers in the USA.

They took their high-winding 2.5L inline six and increased the stroke by a quarter inch, bumping the displacement to 2.7L. They also fitted a head with smaller ports, altered the cam profile, reduced the compression to 9.0:1, and added a 4,800 RPM rev limiter.

It was judged that the increase in low-end torque would offset the drop in peak power to 121hp, making for a car better suited to American urban and suburban driving, to say nothing of our Interstates, which were still saddled with the 55mph National Maximum Speed Limit.  

The resulting car was called the 528e, the e standing for "eta", signifying "efficiency". It may have looked like a savage Bimmer sports sedan, but struggled to top 110mph or crack the 10-second barrier in the 0-60 sprint. 

The gold BBS wheels on the Jet Black 1986 528e in the picture are Peak Eighties. I want to pop a vaporwave mix tape in the Blaupunkt and go cruising.