Last updated May 19, 2007
The M745i is a uniquely South African model. 209 cars were manufactured between 1984 and 1986, 192 autos and 17 manuals. My one was number 109. Unlike the European and USA turbo models this one had the M88 motor, which previously had only been used in the BMW M1. Hand built in Germany the motors was then shipped to South Africa and installed in the E23 body. The only external change was BBS alloy wheels, but the interior was covered in sumptuous leather. The dyno still indicates 172hp on the back wheels. 0-60 in 8,5 sec and a top speed of 146mph.
What made the South African M745i so special was that it was the first saloon car in the world to be fitted with the very potent M88/3 24 valve motor from the M1 supercar. It made 213kW and 340Nm torque which means that, even with a 4 speed computer-controlled auto box it was very quick. These motors are basically over engineered for this application as they feature some expensive hardware like a steel crankshaft, forged pistons and conrods and a valvetrain that was rated safe at 10 000rpm. Mine still makes 172hp at the rear wheels at Reef altitude on the dyno, which shows that there has been very little degradation of the power output over 161000 miles and 22 years.
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