In South Africa, a handful of special variants were offered when BMW’s E30 3-Series was on sale. One of them is the 325is Evo 1, nicknamed ‘Gusheshe.’
Featured here in a video from Cars.co.za, the 325is Evo 1 was sold with an upgraded 2.7-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder producing a very respectable 194 hp and 195 lb-ft (265 Nm) of torque at 4,000 rpm. This engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels.
By modern standards, these figures may not seem all that impressive. However, the car is really nice to drive, with the reviewer commenting on the excellent handling and all of the feedback you get through the steering wheel. The high-revving engine also sounds excellent and the presenter adds that it is much more poised and composed than he thought it would be.
As good as the 325is Evo 1 was when it was launched, it did face stiff competition in the form of the Opel Kadett SuperBoss that was also launched for the local Group N racing championship. In the second video, the South African publication pits the two against each other and even though the SuperBoss is at a power disadvantage, with 170 hp and front-wheel drive, it’s actually quicker in a straight line than the BMW.