Before I get into lengthy discussion of why the E model is so special, let me clarify some confusion and misunderstanding of what the E is to the best of my current understanding:
To an Italian, any early Biturbo with a 2.5 L engine is considered an E because it was manufactured for export. The factory designated them as Es but they had no markings showing that. These were not badged with an E, they simply were an E to the Italians that could not have them.
When any American discusses a Biturbo E, they are referring to a special car that was badged with an “E” on the back. This same car was called the ES from the factory and was badged with an “ES” in Europe and other areas of export. Not to be confused with the Italian S model which had a 2.0 L engine, all ES cars had a 2.5 L engine and there were several other differences. It was produced in 1984 and 1985 (or 1983-1986) only, with the US version only being produced in 1985. There were 1480 ES models produced and 500 of those were US bound “E” cars.
All other places where I mention a Biturbo E, I am referring to the ES cars made for the US with the “E” badge on the back. The European ES model is very similar other than the badge on the rear, vents in the hood for air-to-air intercoolers I think, and the rear head-rests. I am not sure of all of the differences there, but if someone educates me, I will update this page accordingly.
The 1985 Biturbo E is a 2 door, 4 seat coupe. Rear wheel drive 5-speed manual (4-speed automatic (at least one with 3-speed automatic) was an option), 2.5 liter V6 with twin turbochargers. These cars produced, 205 bhp @ 5500 rpms and 260 ft lbs of torque @ 3500 rpms with the liquid-to-air intercoolers and 185 bhp @ 5500 rpms and 208 ft lbs of torque @ 3000 rpms without the intercoolers. 0-60 time is 7 seconds without the intercoolers and a scorching 6 seconds with them.
The other country ES model had air-to-air intercoolers fitted with hood vents that provided output between that of the liquid-to-air and that of the non-intercooled versions.
The E had a lower ride height and stiffer suspension than other Biturbos. This was accomplished by changing the struts, springs, and stabilizers and was complemented by wider wheels and tires. All this created a Biturbo with improved performance and handling and all of the extras.
Visable differences between the Biturbo and the Biturbo E include:
It was only available in two color combinations; red or silver, both with the anthracite lower panels and wheels. In addition to being anthracite in color, the wheels are 6 1/2 Inches wide instead of 6 inches like the other Biturbos of that time.
The backseat had headrests.
Spearco Intercoolers were added to all E’s imported through the California importer and were only optional on the E’s imported through the East coast importer. There were only 2 importers at the time.
The window trim had much of the chrome blacked out.
I have been told of side trim differences, and I will find pictures to show this.
The West Coast importer put a plaque on the console below the radio which showed the car number as xx of 250 (we think, a picture would be great). We think this was of the 250 which came through that importer.
At some point in the past someone asked what is the difference between the '85 Biturbo E and other Biturbos. Since I own two Es and one non-E, I was curious. I did some research and came up with the fact that there are at least 44 parts that are unique to the Biturbo E:
Part numbers 325520172, 325520345, 325520348, 325520447 323020302, 323020137 and 30811310 all relate to an E Type Vacuum Pump that either does not exist on other cars or is in some way different. I was wondering about this part because I could never seem to find it in the regular factory service manual.
The Biturbo E has different suspension parts. The list includes springs, stabilizer and struts. It is LOWER to the ground than a normal Biturbo. Parts: 316620350, 316621354, 316621355, 316621102, 316621101, 316621328 (2), 316621323 (2), 317021105 (2), 317021333 (2) and 317021347 (2).
The wheels are 6 1/2 x 14 instead of the normal 6 x 14. Part: 317221100 (4). The tires are 205VR14 instead of the normal 190VR14 (4).
The side trim molding is different on the E. Parts: 317721325 and 317721326.
The E has a different grill. The other Biturbos have a horizontal slot grill, the E has an X wire grill. Parts: 314126005, 314121109, 314121302 (2), 318321339, 318321340, 317721135, 317721136.
The E has a badge on the trunk: 318326362.
The E came with a 12VDC inspection lamp: 313121112 and 87541000.
Don't forget that the E had that two tone paint job and headrests on the rear seat.
My E parts supplement lists several hundred parts, but most of them seem to be duplicates to a normal Biturbo. I have only listed the ones that are expressly labeled as E parts.
The conclusion is that there are at least 44 parts that make the E different from standard Biturbos. Someone told me that the E came standard with the Nardi Steering Wheel, but that this should not count since the Nardi was an option on all the other cars. You can make the call on that one. Also, it is my understanding that the West Coast Importer added Spearco Intercoolers to all of their E cars, but I don't think that counts since it is not a factory part.
'85 Biturbo E