BMW 325i Vanos (E36 - stage II)


Possibly the worst type of car to include in such a test - the 325i is already a very well balanced and hard-changing car. However, there are a few areas the need attention, notably the hesitation off the line and the over-run and sudden throttle jerk while on-off-on the power.

With chip:

These characteristics were removed with the Powerchip - the car was smoother starting and moving off the line. The idle was a little more stable, and the engine sounded slightly better. The chip also moved the torque down the rev range, resulting in acceleration runs more than a second quicker. The rev limit was increased by 500rpm (nice to have a free revving engine and still

know it's safe), while the speed-governor (an electronic device that limits top speed) is removed. All round, the 325i was smoother to drive, and it's clean too - it complies with US emissions laws.

BMW 325i Vanos (E36 - manual)

0-100km/h 9.34 8.65
S 1/4 16.40 15.84
60-100km/h, 2nd/3rd 5.64 3.93
80-120km/h, 3rd 6.20 5.88

BMW 535i (E28 - stage I)


Standard, the older BM runs quite well, though a little slower than the E34 model. At idle, the 535i is fairly rough - continue up the rev range and gearchanges occur anywhere from 4700 - 5200rpm! Acceleration (to 100km/h) isn't that much slower than the E34's time, at 11.78 seconds, or for 60-100km/h increment. The same percentage of improvement was expected.

With chip:

Even without the low-restriction air filter fitted, the 535i was noticeably different to drive - a good example of radical improvement on an older model car. The chip extended the torque and power curves, and greatly smoothed out the idle. The engine fairly snarled off the line, and the auto transmission's irregular shift pattern made repeated changes at just one figure - 5500rpm. The rev limit is now out to 6000rpm,

which is a useful extension for added acceleration.

The biggest gain for the BM was in the standing-start and upper gear figures. The gains were so good we repeated the figures to double-check. Powerchip says running the engine richer than normal produces the boost in power, but decreases fuel economy by only one litre/100km.

BMW 535i (E28 - auto)

0-100km/h 11.78 9.03
S 1/4 16.84 16.1
60-100km/h, 2nd/3rd 6.04 4.77
80-120km/h, 3rd 8.45 6.22
8 - AR&T SUMMER 1995

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