In the good ol’ days, the 30i moniker in a BMW signified the presence of a straight-six petrol engine under the hood. However, the constant fight to keep emissions in check and meet the ever-tighter rules has inevitably led to downsizing.
Thus, the new 330i, like its predecessor, is powered by a four-cylinder, but it’s still capable of delivering a satisfying output thanks to the adoption of forced induction. The 2.0-liter engine produces 258 PS (254 hp / 190 kW) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque and is coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission. From rest to 100 km/h (0-62 mph), it needs a very respectable 5.8 seconds, so despite its name not being representative of its capacity, it’s actually just as fast, if not faster.
For a car powered by a four-pot, the sports sedan is more than capable of putting a smile on your face at the track. In SportAuto’s video posted at the bottom of the page, it was raced against the clock at the Hockenheim GP, with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires measuring 225/40 and 255/35 front and rear respectively, wrapped around its 19-inch alloys.
The clock stopped at 2:08.70, which makes the 330i about 3 seconds quicker than the Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce, which also packs a turbocharged four-cylinder, and 4 seconds faster than the Abarth 124 Spider.
Moreover, according to the description of the video, the 2019 330i came 7 seconds behind the Ford Mustang GT, whose engine is more than twice the size, and was 8 seconds slower than the new Renault Megane RS Trophy. The sleek Hyundai i30 N Fastback and Seat Leon Cupra R ST were also 2 seconds faster, whereas the Audi TTS Coupe ran the course in 2 minutes and 3.4 seconds.
These, however, are much sportier cars, whereas the Bimmer is a compact family saloon that’s more comfortable and easy to drive on a daily basis, requiring almost no compromises. The fact that it can put in a fast lap is, therefore, testament to BMW’s engineers not putting that old “driving machine” adage to rest.