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The 333i was a model produced exclusively for the South African market. It used a pre-facelift shell, fitted with a 3.3 litre M30 engine customised by Alpina.



The E30 333i was a joint development between BMW SA and Alpina Germany and were offered for sale from April 1985 to September 1987. Many mechanical components are shared with the German Alpina B6, which also used the M30 big six engine. Buyers had to decide between air conditioning and power steering as only one could be fitted as standard. This can be externally identified by the presence of driving lamps in the power steering cars and grille covers in the air-conditioned units, the A/C hardware precluding the fitment of standard driving lamps.

Only four colours were available, Henna Red, Ice White, Aero Silver and Diamond Black. M-Technic 1 aerodynamics package and Alpina big brake kit were standard. Options included a sunroof and ABS brakes.

Originally conceived for competition in Group One to be pitted against the likes of other South African big capacity specials such as the Ford Sierra XR8 and Alfa Romeo GTV 3.0. The car was left without a formula when Grp1 was cancelled at the end of 1985.

Only 204 examples were made, with most of these being entered for Motorsport competition in South Africa. One vehicle was exported to BMW UK, with another 3 or 4 imported into the UK privately.


Engine Displacement Power Torque Redline Bore Stroke Year
M30B32 3.2 L (3210 cc/195 in³) 145 kW (197 hp) @ 5500 285 N·m (210 ft·lbf) @ 4300 mm mm 1986
Transmission 5 spd Getrag Sports “Dogleg”
Differential ZF limited slip (2.93:1)

(As tested by Car, Jan 1986, coastal conditions, test crew of two and full tank of fuel)

Factory Options


Main article: M30

The selected engine came from the 733i, which was chosen due to its free-revving character, and in many ways the 333i is considered to be a smaller version of BMW SA’s 745i, which was powered by the engine from the BMW M1. The design specification was intended to be similar in concept to the Alpina B6, and many Alpina parts were used.


Performance 0-100km/h (0-62mph) 7.23s Top Speed 231 km/h

Magazine Article

333iCARp1.jpg 333iCARp2.jpg 333iCARp3.jpg 333iCARp4.jpg 333iCARp5.jpg


Aero Silver


Ice White


Henna Red


Useful Websites