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BMW 3.3li (1975)

BMW 3.3li (1975)


The 3.3Li was the ultimate model of BMW's E3 range, originally launched in 1968 (as the 2500 and 2800) as the company's first major post-war attempt at the six-cylinder executive market
As BMW's premier saloon, the 3.3Li was always going to be exclusive: only 3,030 examples were ever built (a figure partly explained by the fact that it was never officially offered in the US, as the 3.3 engine broke the very stringent emissions rules). But it was further destined to be a rare sight on British roads because it had the misfortune to be launched at the same time as the Jaguar XJ6, which in 1969 cost more than £1,000 less than a 2800. A few British police forces used the three-litre models as highly tuned motorway patrol cars. But over the years, the ranks of the 3.3Lis in the UK were further decimated by the dread combination of rampant depreciation and rust. There are now just four 3.3Ls on the BMW Car Club register – three Lis and one especially rare 3.3La, with its carburettor power plant.
On the road, the 3.3Li constantly reminds the driver of its engine's sheer potency. With the feather-light touch of the brakes and the smooth ZF automatic gearbox, it becomes clear why the model is still in use. The steering is responsive without being over-light, the car hurtles around corners with a minimum of engine noise, and the handling is an encouragement to the bolder driver.

BMW 3.3li (1975)


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