Sunday, 8 March 2020

BMW UK Advertising Poster / Placard 1980 - M1, E21 320/6 + 6-cylinder engines

Nice 1980 placard from BMW UK advertising their family of 6-cylinder engines, from the later E21 320 to the M1's M88 and explaining the benefits of the. "Six cylinders where you'd expect to find four." in the compact 3-Series and "Six cylinders where you'd expect to find twelve." in the case of the supercar M1.


   BMW's dedication the six cylinder engine is not a recent phenomenon.
   It goes right back to BMW's original as a specialist engine-maker, rather than a car manufacturer.
   In fact, the first engines we ever built were six cylinder aircraft engines.
   Later, in the 1950's when conspicuous consumption was almost a status symbol, BMW preferred to stay with efficiency rather than extravagance and launched a six cylinder luxury car.
   Today, in the BMW 320, a car that's scarcely more than 14ft long, theres a sophisticated six cylinder power unit.
   And the BMW M1 on the right also needs no more than six cylinders. Even though in its most developed form, the engine can actually produce 800 bhp.
   It's not a blind dedication to six that makes us refuse the false economy of a four in the case of the 320. Or the wanton extravagence of a 12 in the case of the M1.
   Rather, we take our guidance from the laws of physics.
   According to those laws, it is not possible to build an engine that's perfectly balanced with less than six cylinders arranged in-line.
   Anything else, is a compromise that may help a car manufacturer balance its books. But won't help it balance its engines.
   Which is why every engine BMW make that's two litres or larger, is an in-line sic cylinder engine.
   Fortunately, there's no need for you to understand the laws of physics to discover the difference this makes.
   There's not a trace of roughness as you cruise. Or rawness as you accelerate.
   There's a smooth immediacy which motoring journalists normally describe as "turbine-like".
   And there's a flexibility which makes driving in traffic almost a pleasure. For with 85% of maximum torque at a mere 1900rpm you get a responsiveness in fourth gear that you might normally expect only in second gear.
   The BMW 320 costs £6,790.
   Which is scarcely more than cars whose manufacturers have chosen to compromise on their engines.
   And if they're prepared to compromise on the most important part of a car, where will those compromises stop?

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