BMWs Ain’t All That

Last night, I was chugging my way home on my wife’s Hyundai Getz CRDi when a BMW E30 325i harassed me by quickly tailing my ass and overtaking on a tight side street and cutting me. The Bimmer’s arrogance quickly got to my nerves. Somehow, in a split second, I decided that I can kick its ass, even on a Getz. We were about to merge to EDSA and it was my chance to find out.

I knew the driver was going to gun the throttle as soon as he entered the highway, so I let him go first. But I also floored it a heartbeat after. The Bimmer’s exhaust roared as I tailed it. To my surprise, my Getz accelerated almost as fast as the E30 did! I was behind him by about 10 meters, nothing more, and this was considering that I let him go first. The chase was short, and we had to brake after 400-500 meters or so as there was congested traffic up ahead.

The quick dogfight was quite embarrassing, as the Getz was bellowing thick black smoke all the way, and let off a long, noisy screech as I hit the brakes (and almost lost control, no thanks to the absence of ABS).  Still the experience put a grin on my face. I wasn’t able to pass the BMW, but it couldn’t shake me off either. The driver of the E30 was probably scratching his head. How could a lowly Getz tail me like that? He may have had the notion that my Getz was the 1.1 gas variant. What would happen if it were an open stretch of road? I really can’t say. But it sure felt like I had a fighting chance.

I could come up with a thousand and one speculations on why the “race” turned out the way it did. The BMW seemed to look stock (no performance modifications). Could it be because the BMW had a much older, worn and tired engine? Could it be a “lesser” Bimmer, guised under the 325i badge? Power-to-weight ratio and torque advantage of the Getz Diesel? Yes, the Getz did have some advantage over the old BMW, see specs comparison below.

Whatever the case, I drove home with the thinking that BMW’s ain’t all that, and inversely, the Getz can be all that given the proper circumstances. That’s a case of Initial D underdog thinking for ya.

The Specs

Getz CRDi: power = 110 hp; torque = 175 lb ft; curb weight = 1112 kg.

BMW E30 325i: power = 171 bhp; torque 166 lb ft; curb weight = 1190 kg

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Note: I used to drive a second had BMW E36 325i several years back. It already had much mileage (about 120,000 kms) and I’m assuming it wasn’t cared for very well by its previous owner. That E36 felt like it had punchy acceleration, even for an automatic. But truth is, in an E36, I lost to a dogfight versus a stock 1.6 Toyota Corolla Altis. That was when I realized that old BMW’s aren’t worth much, especially if they aren’t kept in top shape. This mindset was probably why I had the crazy notion to take on the E30 last night.

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