Originally Posted by JimD
As Stig suggested, the only way to minimize trolls is to ignore them. If we keep arguing 128s versus 135s then we shouldn't be surprised if they chime in.
I was a bit concerned about the n52 when I bought my 128i convertible. So I researched where else there were automotive engines where the pistons ride on the aluminum block. That hasn't been mentioned exactly in this thread but was a bigger concern to me than the composite aluminum/magnesium block. I found that BMW used linerless blocks in their larger 5 and 7 series before the 3 and 1 series. That was a little comforting and then I found linerless is what Porsche uses. I still kind of like the "old school" idea of a iron liner in the aluminum block but the linerless approach is not really all that new at this point and seems to work well.
My comment about injectors might have been off-base, when I was researching this we were also flipping between the California engine and the X5 n52, not the 330i. One of them had different injectors but it might have been the california engine (is it the n51?).
I agree about the e36 M3 being surprisingly similar to the 128i in specifications. One item I've noticed in a local autocross, however, is that it is geared differently. I can run almost the entire autocross in 2nd gear but the e36 guys run it in 3rd. Letting the engine spin more for a given mph seems to be common for M cars. It should help the acceleration but I believe the 128i and e36 M3 are also pretty close in 0-60 and 1/4 mile times.
The US spec e36 M3 was geared super aggressively. Combined with only having a 5 speed, it's fairly annoying on long highway trips... Especially if you like to cruise at high speed.
I like to average ~100-110 on the highway, so that was always the part of the e36 M3 that I liked the least when I had one as a DD. Long highway trips would have me sitting continuously at ~5000 rpm. It really needs a 6th gear!