330i Sportech Turbo
dates : 15th August 2004
19th August 2004
The BMW 330i naturally lends
itself to modification, as it’s such a beautifully solid
motorcar. In standard form it has a great suspension set up
for lots of grip and driver feedback.
And the famous in-line straight-six cylinder engine remains
one of the smoothest and most robust engines in the world –
an ideal base for performance modification.
Sportech, the Johannesburg-based tuning firm, is run by Chad
Wentzel. Chad has a motorsport background going back to his
early childhood, as his father Bunny Wentzel was a top track
racer in cars like Renault Gordinis and Alfa Romeos, and still
is active in classic car rallying.
Sportech established itself in the so-called "optical
tuning" business a number of years back.
Its high quality add-ons such as spoilers, sill extensions and
air dams, for cars like Audis and Volkswagens, became famous
throughout South Africa for their high quality and tasteful
More recently Sportech has been involved in extensive engine
modifications and this BMW is a showcase for the company’s
endeavors in this field.
The idea was to build the fastest 330i in the country without
resorting to "gas", the common term for nitrous
Turbocharging was the obvious way to go and the car uses a
hybrid Turbonetics turbocharger, with a Turbosmart dump valve,
custom built intercooler, Turbonetics wastegate and larger 550
cc injectors. The inlet plenum was locally-built out of
aluminium and is a fine piece of workmanship.
The gearbox is a standard manual five-speed unit, but the
differential is a custom-built limited-slip item to limit
This is necessary as on racing levels of boost, the Beemer
pumps out over 350 kiloWatts – some one hundred kilowatts
more than a standard M3.
In controlled street-legal competition, the Sportech BMW is
awesome. It recently ran a top speed of two hundred and sixty
one kilometers per hour over a one comma two kilometer sprint
at the Waterkloof airbase – setting the fastest time of the
day in its class.
The handling and braking departments have also been taken care
The car runs special Tarox brakes with 10-piston calipers and
huge grooved and ventilated discs.
The Wheels are three-piece 18-inch ROH alloys with Yokohama
street-race rubber – 235 by 40s in front and 265 by 35s at
The car is also about show, and sports a full Sportech kit
including side sills, front and rear deep bumpers, bonnet
vents and sports mirrors.
Sparco Racing seats, a Sportech pedal cluster, a racing
steering wheel with an airbag and special gear knob and
handbrake levers complete "The Look".
And if this isn’t entertaining enough, there is a mega
Kenwood and Rockford sound system with splits, co-axials, subs
and a DVD player for those moments when you feel like getting
away from it all – in the cockpit of a radical street racer.
Potent street-legal racers like this are becoming cult items
amongst motoring enthusiasts, and for good reason. Unlike
mega-buck supercars, they are an attainable dream for many
Cars like the Sportech Turbo BMW fulfil an age-old dream – a
fairly well-disguised wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Car Torque is