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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series (F10) Forums General 5-Series Sedan and Wagon (F10 / F11) Forum 2012 BMW 528i Turbo 4-Cylinder First Drive Review by Insideline
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      10-10-2011, 02:55 PM   #67
Mitchell
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With the new i4 5series I got 37mpg average on a 200km drive with city (20km) but mostly highway at speeds between 110 kmh- 125kmh.
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Originally Posted by rmani View Post
34 mpgs on the highway not too shabby
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Originally Posted by elias View Post
The 2011 528i NA I6 is 32 mpg Hwy not much different the 4cy!

i4 is much better than the posted numbers. Ive made many drives in both.
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      10-10-2011, 05:19 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by BMW_ACURA View Post
Will you pay 55K for a 4cyl car? even if it has good torque?
Yeah, I can't get excited paying a lot of money for a 4-cylinder car. I'd rather buy a 4-cyl Honda, then at least I;d still feel like I was getting value for money.
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      10-10-2011, 08:10 PM   #69
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I do not see anywhere that I state anything about status. It is simply the low level 5 series engine package that is being discussed here. If you take that as me saying that somebody who purchases this is inferior then that can only be a complex you have given yourself. The fact is that the 528i is the economy 5 series and it now has a more economical engine.
The N52 is hardly 'economy' if you're refering to gas consumption vs. the N55, if you're refering to purchase price, then how is that not about 'status'? If it were not, why would anyone not want to pay a lower price?

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Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
I honestly am having a hard time following your post so I am sorry if I am responding in a way that suggests anything other than what you meant.
That's ok, if I had it all down I would not need to post..

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Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
To me the NA i6 was a weak motor in the 528. It has low power for a 4000lb car, it has low tq for a big heavy car and if I was looking for a motor that I wanted a little better performance I would not be buying a 528i because of both the i6 and the i4. I would instead consider a 535 or 550 because they have more power the 535 really is not much more money as it has a few options standard that I would be putting in the 528 anyhow.
Torque vs. turbo lag.. its your choice
Power vs. weight, this one is purely subjective.. i find it ok.

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Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
I think that if I have the choice between two motors that to me are equally underpowered for a car I would go with the one that gives me better economy. Does that make sense?
NOPE!
I would choose the one that revs to 7rpm, constant HP curve, awesome sound, natural balance, instant response..
Ofcourse I forsake, better milleage, much larger low rpm torque, minor weight savings (30kg?)... and thats about it

'Fun'/'feel' is subjective.. i prefer instant response and steadily increasing power with wide range, some may prefer a small wait followed by a sledgehammer (as evidenced by Sado/Masochisim)

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The other thing is that if you are driving the 528i i4 properly you will barely ever feel the lag. I stated it as I can see it becoming an issue with people that want to stand on it at 2500 RPM and pass somebody. Downshift a few gears get the rpm to 5000 and put your foot in it and you will eliminate the lag in almost any car that people complain about turbo lag.
Here is an equivalent 'trade' to the N52 vs N20

Would you trade the N55 for a 'Nxx' that was 4.5L NA V8 that revs to 8k rpm, 320HP, 350NM and only weighed 30kgs more, for the same price, also called 535i?
Because that is same 'trade' you are making when you go from a 3.0l NA I6 to a 2.0l T i4 ... (displace, cyclinders, revs, Hp, torque, weight,price all proportionally adjusted)

I think its obvious.
Don't let the marketing obscure the facts.
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      10-11-2011, 01:16 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by grimlock View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
I do not see anywhere that I state anything about status. It is simply the low level 5 series engine package that is being discussed here. If you take that as me saying that somebody who purchases this is inferior then that can only be a complex you have given yourself. The fact is that the 528i is the economy 5 series and it now has a more economical engine.
The N52 is hardly 'economy' if you're refering to gas consumption vs. the N55, if you're refering to purchase price, then how is that not about 'status'? If it were not, why would anyone not want to pay a lower price?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
I honestly am having a hard time following your post so I am sorry if I am responding in a way that suggests anything other than what you meant.
That's ok, if I had it all down I would not need to post..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
To me the NA i6 was a weak motor in the 528. It has low power for a 4000lb car, it has low tq for a big heavy car and if I was looking for a motor that I wanted a little better performance I would not be buying a 528i because of both the i6 and the i4. I would instead consider a 535 or 550 because they have more power the 535 really is not much more money as it has a few options standard that I would be putting in the 528 anyhow.
Torque vs. turbo lag.. its your choice
Power vs. weight, this one is purely subjective.. i find it ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
I think that if I have the choice between two motors that to me are equally underpowered for a car I would go with the one that gives me better economy. Does that make sense?
NOPE!
I would choose the one that revs to 7rpm, constant HP curve, awesome sound, natural balance, instant response..
Ofcourse I forsake, better milleage, much larger low rpm torque, minor weight savings (30kg?)... and thats about it

'Fun'/'feel' is subjective.. i prefer instant response and steadily increasing power with wide range, some may prefer a small wait followed by a sledgehammer (as evidenced by Sado/Masochisim)

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Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
The other thing is that if you are driving the 528i i4 properly you will barely ever feel the lag. I stated it as I can see it becoming an issue with people that want to stand on it at 2500 RPM and pass somebody. Downshift a few gears get the rpm to 5000 and put your foot in it and you will eliminate the lag in almost any car that people complain about turbo lag.
Here is an equivalent 'trade' to the N52 vs N20

Would you trade the N55 for a 'Nxx' that was 4.5L NA V8 that revs to 8k rpm, 320HP, 350NM and only weighed 30kgs more, for the same price, also called 535i?
Because that is same 'trade' you are making when you go from a 3.0l NA I6 to a 2.0l T i4 ... (displace, cyclinders, revs, Hp, torque, weight,price all proportionally adjusted)

I think its obvious.
Don't let the marketing obscure the facts.
This is where we will differ

1. 528 is the cheapest 5 series in this discussion. That makes it the low entry into the line. It does not make the buyer a little man trying to obtain status for buying it. Maybe the buyer wants to commute 100km each way per day and wants a nice car that can get a few more mpg than a 535 and is willing to sacrifice some power to do so. I am not sure where you are thinking and arguing they status is any part of this. Your argument on something that is non existent makes it hard for me to read anything else you say with much value towards your reasoning.

2. I will agree that those who get excited by the i6 may be sad to see it go. But anyone who felt that the i6 was grossly underpowered in the 5 will most likely be indifferent. To me the 528 has always been about cruising in style and comfort while maintaining a sort of efficiency and nothing about putting my foot down and feeling the rush.

3 I'm not caught up in marketing because I've driven both and feel each is equally unimpressive leading me to lean towards the one that provides better mileage.

I have to ask if you've driven the i4 yet? If so what are your real world impressions of it vs your real world impressions of the i6?
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      10-11-2011, 07:35 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
....................................
I have to ask if you've driven the i4 yet? If so what are your real world impressions of it vs your real world impressions of the i6?

Here is one real user experience from another guy for the i4 528

http://forums.5series.net/topic/1165...p/page__st__15

Thread #19

"Well friends, I sorry to report that for me, the 4 banger doesn't work. I've read the articles claiming better numbers and faster speeds and I was very hopeful. But driving in traffic this thing takes FOREVER to spool up and get going. I counted out loud to the salesman and it took over 2 seconds for the power to kick in. And frankly you can through the numbers out once your behind the wheel driving - it's all seat of pants. It was so disappointing the I terminated the test drive inside of 10 minutes. There is no way I would purchase a 5er with that engine, let alone that it's a brand new with no history whatsoever. IMO, the 2011 IL6 did a much better job of powering the 528...."

Better test drive one yourself before putting down the deposit for the 2012 528
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      10-11-2011, 07:55 AM   #72
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The new i4 turbo is a decent motor. With the new i4 5series I got 37mpg average on a 200km drive with city (20km) but mostly highway at speeds between 110 kmh- 125kmh.

.....
I will say that I'm sad that there is very noticeable turbo lag with the i4. And I think you will see many complaints here about this.
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Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
The other thing is that if you are driving the 528i i4 properly you will barely ever feel the lag. I stated it as I can see it becoming an issue with people that want to stand on it at 2500 RPM and pass somebody. Downshift a few gears get the rpm to 5000 and put your foot in it and you will eliminate the lag in almost any car that people complain about turbo lag.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mit View Post
Here is one real user experience from another guy for the i4 528

Thread #19

" I counted out loud to the salesman and it took over 2 seconds for the power to kick in. "

Better test drive one yourself before putting down the deposit for the 2012 528
the complaints will certainly roll in I am sure of that. As I said in one of my above posts, on your next test drive change the gear before you put your foot in it it definitely helps. The auto trans really makes it feel bad too as it just feels so sloppy on its own.

Buy the 528i with i4 if you want economy and a nice cruiser. Buy 535, 550 or m5 for something with a bit more drivers feel.

Last edited by Mitchell; 10-11-2011 at 01:55 PM.
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      10-11-2011, 12:19 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
This is where we will differ

1. 528 is the cheapest 5 series in this discussion. That makes it the low entry into the line. It does not make the buyer a little man trying to obtain status for buying it. Maybe the buyer wants to commute 100km each way per day and wants a nice car that can get a few more mpg than a 535 and is willing to sacrifice some power to do so. I am not sure where you are thinking and arguing they status is any part of this. Your argument on something that is non existent makes it hard for me to read anything else you say with much value towards your reasoning.
So 528<535<550 ?
That is what the numbers say, but if you follow the designation entirely, you are missing alot.
The 528 is a NA 3.0, the 535 is a turboed 3.0.
If turbos were so absolutely superior to NA, would not all cars have them now (well they are now, but due to eco regulations)? No, because there are DRAWBACKS to turbo.
Ofcouse BMW, or any company selling something, wants us to follow their 'take' on what they are selling, but if you actually understand the object, you can see there are discrepancies between what they claim they are selling, and what it actually is.

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Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
2. I will agree that those who get excited by the i6 may be sad to see it go. But anyone who felt that the i6 was grossly underpowered in the 5 will most likely be indifferent. To me the 528 has always been about cruising in style and comfort while maintaining a sort of efficiency and nothing about putting my foot down and feeling the rush.
I don't love my N52 f10 for econo-cruising. I can't wait for the engine to warm up so i can rev it to 7rpm I can.
That is why the '528' with the 255hp N52 is so special.. you get a racy engine (with the awesome 8spd auto) for an un-premium price.
Now with the 2.0T 528, the whole line is rationalized .. you more or less get what you pay for.

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Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
3 I'm not caught up in marketing because I've driven both and feel each is equally unimpressive leading me to lean towards the one that provides better mileage.

I have to ask if you've driven the i4 yet? If so what are your real world impressions of it vs your real world impressions of the i6?
You should race the N52 f10, if you still dont like it.. but that's what i like.
I have not driven the new N20, who knows? I could be totally impressed. But this is what it's up against, in the N52.
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      10-11-2011, 01:54 PM   #74
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You should race the N52 f10, if you still dont like it..
Race it?? Against what a vw polo?

I have a really hard time reading your writing. I am sure you have to have some type of point its just not coming across all of the languages that I can only guess we are crossing.
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      10-11-2011, 05:45 PM   #75
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(1) Saying it's not possible to duplicate the torque curve of a NA engine with a reasonably smaller displacement forced induction engine is false. If you don't care how, skip to (2)! If you want a peaky horsepower engine, install a turbo that's way too big on your engine and you will feel the sensation of increasing torque as high as your engine will rev before the rod bolts snap. However, you just sacraficed low end torque and driveability on the street which is where 99.99% of these cars are driven. One of the first things a manufacturer does during base engine design is figure out what torque curve they desire the engine to output. Then they design the engine around that target.
The point of their turbo engines is to maximize fuel efficiency at part throttle while providing more area under the torque curve, which effectively increases performance in the vehicle. Sizing a turbo for a specific application is similar to sizing a camshaft for an NA engine in the fact that each shapes airflow characteristics which determine the shape of TQ, HP curves versus engine RPM. Duplication can be achieved.

(2) A constantly increasing torque curve through mid range is an attribute which some people like, and others don't. If that is what you desire from a turbo engine, you turn down the boost at low speed or increase the boost at high speed. It's simple as that if the original designer chose that path. I tend to enjoy the increasing torque curve myself. I'd like to see BMW and other manufacturers use turbo applications to provide just that. An M3-like car with a high revving TT 6 cylinder or a TT small displacement V8 done right would be alot of fun.

(3) You seem stuck on this idea that HP peaks much earlier than redline. It appears to me that if "redline" is 2000 RPM past peak power RPM, then "redline" should be drawn at a lower RPM. If horsepower is falling, you missed your shift.

(4) I get your point. You care more about midrange-high speed torque than low speed torque. Fuel economy is not an issue for you. You simply like to hear and feel the engine screaming at high speed because it's cool. I agree 100%.

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This shows you are still pretty naive. It is still not possible to replicate a torque curve of a V8 with a ttv6 or the curve of an I6 with a TTI4.

That was my entire point if you read my post. The fact is that the torque curve and delivery of the I6 was TOTALLY different and very linear with hp peaking at redline. The TT enines tend to have HP peaks much much earlier and then have 2k worth of dead rpms.

Like I said, some people like these low end grunt TT motors which is fine and a totaly different issue. I am not saying one is better than than other but they sure as heck are not "similar" in anythin but on paper hp rating.

Same with the m3 current V8 or the e60 m5 V10 compared to the new TT v8. Sure the new v8 makes more power but delivers it in a totally different way and they are nothing alike aside from both being in the 5-- hp range.
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      10-11-2011, 05:47 PM   #76
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I think it's funny that people are loathing the loss of the i6 when it comes to "performance". Are we still talking about a 240hp 6cyl in a 4000lb car? Are you saying you will miss the sound and grunt of that "strung out" 6 making the earth spin with it's massive 240hp at 6000 rpm?

Skip the new 528i if that's the case. You can probably pick up a camry that will get you a nice 6 cyl with 240hp. Lol
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      10-11-2011, 09:36 PM   #77
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Let's see if this new i4 turbo 528 will repeat the 5 GT's flop....
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      10-13-2011, 08:03 PM   #78
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I understand technology and efficiency and equal performance with less cylinders but is anyone else just plain sad that the NA inline 6 is gone?

I really think bmw underestimated how much the amazing SOUND of their I6 engine was really responsible for so much of the enjoyment of driving the car for the true driver. I grew up loving and wanting an inline 6. I loved the mechanical sound. I never will forget my first I6 in n52 form. 255hp , 7k rpm and the sweetest engine sound. To think that will never be heard again is a bit sad. In retrospect I should have kept that car.
My mom used to have an E60 525i (with the 3.0L, 215 hp engine). That amazing sound you speak of simply wasn't there. That car was dead quite; there was virtually no engine sound at all. Having driven a 2011 528i, my impression was similar. Virtually no sound, pleasant or otherwise, until you are within 1000 rpm of the redline, at which point it does sound pretty nice, but how often do you drive like that?

Older BMWs (those designed before the turn of the century) did sound good. However, BMW has been repositioning itself as a pure luxury brand, as opposed to the "ultimate driving machine". Real luxury cars are supposed to be quiet, so it seems like BMW is killing the "amazing sound" intentionally.
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      10-13-2011, 09:44 PM   #79
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There are a few very sensible posts here evaluating the merits and shortfalls this engine presents for it's application in the 528i in the US.

I put it in that context because if you consider the global application of this engine and the market preferences in countries outside the US it makes good business sense why they are doing it.

Us purists will resist the wave of change to smaller capacity forced induction cars, but the large majority of buyers couldn't care less how many cylinders it has, and over time we too will accept it and when we need to get something newer we will find the one that offers the linear feel and sound that we so admire on the NA configuration.

This engine will be employed in multiple models around the world badged from '16i to '28i - in 1series, forthcoming 3 series, 5 series, X3, Z4 etc. They will drop multiple blocks in the process and replace them with one engine tuned to different outputs. Substantial cost savings. It annoys me because I see it as a different form of badge engineering, but that is the way everyone is going. It seems like they're pulling a fast one on us, but I ask what premium would you, and the majority of buyers, be willing to pay for old technology because it sounds better and feels better and is less efficient so the Company will be penalized in the long term and the prices will go up.

The rest of the world is not averse to 4cylinder engines. The 20d may be the biggest seller in any model around the world... All that said, I think this engine in the 528i is fine, if it were also a persuasive cost saving over the 2011 model, because the reality is this engine is being used for the purpose of cost saving, but it's not cheaper. I wouldn't hesitate to bypass this one for a 535i, if you're leasing or taking a loan, the difference in monthly payment is hardly worth mention. I applaud Audi for their pricing of the A6 2.0T, that's quite aggressive, they deserve to do well with it.

In a different application I think this engine is a worthy replacement to the I-6 without a cost reduction, such as in the Z4. The reviews of this model I have read are very positive, mentioning a pizzazz thats fun to hear and work with. I have yet to test drive this engine, when I do it'll be Z4!

So there you go, my 2cents.

Btw, my BMW experience has been parents owned 2002tii and a couple of E12 4cylinders in the 70s as well as an E34 525i (which ran 500,000kms) in South Africa and more recently my Z4 2.5i, 545i and recently purchased 08 M5. You might say I am an NA biased fanboy, I guess, but a turbo BMW is likely to feature in my future and I am ok with that, but perhaps I will hold onto the S85 ;-)
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      10-13-2011, 09:46 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WULFFZA View Post
There are a few very sensible posts here evaluating the merits and shortfalls this engine presents for it's application in the 528i in the US.

I put it in that context because if you consider the global application of this engine and the market preferences in countries outside the US it makes good business sense why they are doing it.

Us purists will resist the wave of change to smaller capacity forced induction cars, but the large majority of buyers couldn't care less how many cylinders it has, and over time we too will accept it and when we need to get something newer we will find the one that offers the linear feel and sound that we so admire on the NA configuration.

This engine will be employed in multiple models around the world badged from '16i to '28i - in 1series, forthcoming 3 series, 5 series, X3, Z4 etc. They will drop multiple blocks in the process and replace them with one engine tuned to different outputs. Substantial cost savings. It annoys me because I see it as a different form of badge engineering, but that is the way everyone is going. It seems like they're pulling a fast one on us, but I ask what premium would you, and the majority of buyers, be willing to pay for old technology because it sounds better and feels better and is less efficient so the Company will be penalized in the long term and the prices will go up.

The rest of the world is not averse to 4cylinder engines. The 20d may be the biggest seller in any model around the world... All that said, I think this engine in the 528i is fine, if it were also a persuasive cost saving over the 2011 model, because the reality is this engine is being used for the purpose of cost saving, but it's not cheaper. I wouldn't hesitate to bypass this one for a 535i, if you're leasing or taking a loan, the difference in monthly payment is hardly worth mention. I applaud Audi for their pricing of the A6 2.0T, that's quite aggressive, they deserve to do well with it.

In a different application I think this engine is a worthy replacement to the I-6 without a cost reduction, such as in the Z4. The reviews of this model I have read are very positive, mentioning a pizzazz that it's funny to hear and work with. I have yet to test drive this engine, when I do it'll be Z4!

So there you go, my 2cents.

Btw, my BMW experience has been parents owned 2002tii and a couple of E12 4cylinders in the 70s as well as an E34 525i (which ran 500,000kms) in South Africa and more recently my Z4 2.5i, 545i and recently purchased 08 M5. You might say I am an NA biased fanboy, I guess, but a turbo BMW is likely to feature in my future and I am ok with that, but perhaps I will hold onto the S85 ;-)
Good post!
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      10-14-2011, 01:57 AM   #81
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Good post? Not so much. The rest of the world gets choices that include the NA I6 in addition to the turbo 4. In the US, the 4 is shoved down our throats. Next up: V6 engines and FWD.
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      10-14-2011, 08:38 AM   #82
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This engine will be employed in multiple models around the world badged from '16i to '28i...
Good post.

Small nitpick: this engine (the N20) is used in models ranging from *20i to *28i. The *16i and *18i actually use a version of the N18B16, the engine used by the vehicles under the Mini brand, reconfigured for longitudinal applications.
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      10-15-2011, 08:57 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Good post.

Small nitpick: this engine (the N20) is used in models ranging from *20i to *28i. The *16i and *18i actually use a version of the N18B16, the engine used by the vehicles under the Mini brand, reconfigured for longitudinal applications.
I stand corrected!
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