In 1982, the E28 retained the same design as the model introduced in 1981. Claus Luthe, BMW’s chief designer, had adopted a more streamlined design to reduce aerodynamic drag. The vehicle featured the trademark twin-kidney grille, the four round headlights, and a more angular shape compared to its E12 predecessor. The body lines were sharper, and the vehicle employed the use of flush fitting glass to further its aerodynamic performance.
The interior layout was designed with the driver in mind, as seen with the center console angled towards the driver – a feature that would become a mainstay in many subsequent BMW models. Overall, the interior was made more comfortable and spacious than the E12.
The 1982 E28 came with several engine options:
- The 518 was powered by a 1.8-liter M10B18 inline-four engine producing 90 horsepower.
- The 520i utilized a 2.0-liter M20B20 inline-six engine delivering 125 horsepower.
- The 525i sported a 2.5-liter M30B25V inline-six engine with 150 horsepower.
- The 528i, with a 2.8-liter M30B28V inline-six engine, offered 184 horsepower.
All the engines were paired with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. It’s important to note that the specific engines available varied by market.
The 1982 E28 was rear-wheel drive, came with disc brakes on all four wheels, and had independent suspension – MacPherson struts in the front and semi-trailing arm suspension in the rear. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) were also introduced as an option.
Performance and Reception
The driving dynamics of the E28 were praised by automotive journalists and customers alike. The vehicle’s well-tuned suspension combined with the various engine options ensured that there was an E28 for different customer needs, ranging from the more economical 518 to the high-performance 528i.
The build quality of the E28 was another aspect that was well-regarded. BMW’s reputation for producing high-quality vehicles was upheld with the E28. The vehicle also garnered acclaim for its technological features, like the optional ABS and the introduction of the “check control” vehicle diagnostic system.