If it\’s got an engine. . .

Dorri probably likes it

1983 vs. 1983

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on November 17, 2004


And the winner is . . .

Of the considerable number of cars I’ve owned over the past 17 years, only two have been from model year 1983. My 1983 Mercury Capri GS (my first car) and my 1983 BMW 533i (my current car).

This got me thinking about the similarities and differences between these two vehicles.

They both have 6 cylinder engines up front driving the rear wheels. That’s about it for similarities.

The differences are many, as these are two cars intended for different audiences. I will focus only on the engines for now.


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The Capri’s engine is a V6 displacing 3.8 liters while the BMW’s is an inline 6 displacing only 3.2 liters. The BMW makes better use of its displacement however, making 181 horsepower to the Capri’s 112. The Capri’s V6 had no rev limiter, but you wouldn’t voluntarily rev it past 5000 RPM anyway. It sounded like it was coming apart and didn’t make any useful power when revved that high. The BMW has a rev limiter at ~6500 RPM which I test almost daily.

Why the wildly different character for two 6 cylinder engines manufactured the same year?

One clue can be found by pricing rebuilt engines for each: for the Capri: $1484. For the BMW: $3895.

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2 Responses to “1983 vs. 1983”

  1. Anonymous said

    Interesting find. My first car was an ’83 capri with the 5.0. I’m looking for a good deal on one as it was one of the fastest cars that I’ve owned (at least it could do the longest burnout). I currently have a BMW M3 and a BMW 528. The ’83 Capri was more entertaining to drive.

  2. Anonymous said

    I have a ’83 CAPRI GS 5.0 with a gentle modification of roller cam & rockers not available for ’83. It’s a fun ride!! stays with alot of the big dollar “fast cars. It doesn’t corner as well but doesn’t loose it when out-of-sorts. Found it in 1998 for $4200.00. Have spent$6000.00 for rebuild after head gasket leak. Have put 80,000mi. on it since the rebuild and it still has a lot of grunt!!

    It has been nice to save tens of thousands of dollars by having it instead of the newest thing on the block.

    ron.grooms@verizon.net

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