Forget the BMW i8! This amazing Alpina C1 318i is the most efficient BMW history


The year was 1981. The German magazine Auto, Motor und Sport organized with the Shell Kilometer Marathon, a test of efficiency. Manufacturers and individuals could attend with their modified vehicles and prove what was the most efficient. The C1 Alpina 318i was crowned king of efficiency in gasoline engines, with consumption of less than 2.7 l / 100 km. Its base was none other than a BMW 318i, which received severe mechanical and aerodynamic modifications that made even more efficient than BMW i8 .

The front grille of BMW was retained and two aerodynamic headlights were installed.

Although the information available on the Internet is scarce, it is enough to get an idea of ​​what happened. Alpina was presented the event with a specially modified version of its C1. The Alpina C1 started from BMW 323i – box E21 – and potentiated its inline-six to 170 hp, with a train of optimized shooting. Instead of using the inline six-cylinder, Alpina used the four-cylinder engine and mechanical injection of BMW 318i. A four-cylinder in its factory settings gave a moderate 105 hp.

bmw-alpina-c1-318-2 The remaining engines BMW 3 Series E21 either were or were too carbureted engine to be considered efficient. There was not even a diesel engine option in the first Series 3 BMW . Interestingly, Alpina did not modify the chassis of this peculiar C1. Neither they removed their mirrors or wipers. However, yes they added a huge fiberglass appendix to the front car, lengthening your figure in a few centimeters, improving aerodynamics very considerably.

In 1981 already had partial disconnection of the cylinders of the engine.

Under the fiberglass nose still the original nose of small series 3. The larger changes were in the mechanics of the car was. Several sources agree that the engine ran with only two of its four cylinders under low load and the rear differential force transmitting only one of the two driving wheels. The goal was to minimize friction losses from the drivetrain, more optimized now about almost 35 years ago.

bmw-alpina-c1-318-1 The fuel was cooled before reaching the propeller, also. If you look, some of the technical solutions of this prototype have started using recently in car production. Disconnection of cylinders is the most popular, with improved aerodynamics – which Alpina achieved without using wind tunnels in 1981. The result of their rudimentary experiment was quite spectacular: an average consumption of only 2.672 liters 100 kilometers.

a creditable second in the Kilometer Marathon, just behind a Golf with a diesel engine and third place also being a Mercedes diesel engine. An interesting episode in the history of BMW Alpina and it should be recalled.

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Source: Motor.es | The Petrol Stop
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