Sport Mode In 1987? Why Yes, Yes It Exists.
Updated: Jun 14, 2020
Here we are showcasing Wolfgang Kovac's 1987 E28 535i with factory sport mode! In the upmost rare case that every enthusiast longs for, is that it was a one owner car before he bought it. The previous owners bought this gem new in 1987 for just around $38,000! Adjusted for inflation in 2020, it comes to almost $86,000. They were a humble old couple, owning a lighting company. Meanwhile celebrating their success with this 535i. It was bought at Rallye BMW when it was in Glen Cove before moving to Westbury.
The color it came in was a rare yet subdued named Cirrusblau (Cirrus Blue). Not to be confused with Lachssilber (Salmon Silver). It's a blend of silver and blue to muster up what we see. Similar to modern day silverstone found on M vehicles. However this color back in '87 was also offered in the M5 variant. As for the 535i in this model year, there were thirteen colors to choose from.
Sport mode in modern times is seen as such a standard in some ways that we forgot what it's really like to go back to basics. Ironically some people might buy an older BMW for that better raw and natural feeling. However if they're lucky in this case they'll see that this example was one of the rare few to have sport mode.
Now the question arises. How does it work? Well it's simple really, its hydraulically controlled. The fluid going through the transmission (keeping in mind on the automatic spec'd cars), and the pressure regulator will simply just boost said pressure that controls the shift speeds and hardness. It's no Porsche Doppelkupplung slap of a gear change however it was definitely noticeable when I had driven the car for the day.
To this day BMW remains to use the Hofmeister kink in their designs. For what? Simply for more ingress and egress space. It makes most sense on sedans of course but if one was to spot a coupe of any series, it's still prevalent to this day. The design first started in the early 1960's with the 3200 and 1500 models. Long before the common 3/5 series we know of today and the last 40 years with the numerical series.
The Verdict: How does it drive in sport mode? Well I want to begin by saying that the car drives so damn well for an 80's era vehicle compared to...American counterparts. The german quality is and was evident in that car as the door shut thunk is just utterly solid. Sport mode versus not, was not really a huge difference when putting around. However at full tilt there was a noticeable difference. Some interior differences from driving other 80's era BMW's is that this car being the sport model it rocks a 3 spoke steering with the horn in the center. The 4 spoke counterpart had buttons for the horns and after some years they go bad. So naturally for enthusiasts, the 3 spoke wheel is the obvious choice.