Launched in 1938, the 327 sports-tourer utilized the shortened, boxed, ladder-type chassis from the 326 saloon. Equipped with a Hurth four-speed manual gearbox featuring freewheel between 1st and 2nd gears, it allowed clutch-less changes at low speeds, complemented by hydraulic brakes on all wheels. BMW’s pushrod six, now at 1,971cc and producing around 55bhp, could be upgraded to the 328 sports car’s 80bhp engine at an additional cost.
The 328 engine, designed by Rudolf Schleicher, featured a unique cylinder head with hemispherical combustion chambers and inclined valves, maintaining a single block-mounted camshaft and pushrod valve actuation. This design, mimicking a twin-overhead-cam appearance, was known for deep breathing and was favored by British racing car constructors like Cooper in the 1950s. With a remarkable output of 80bhp, the 328 engine was notable for its performance, especially in race trim.
The 327/328, blending the advanced 328 engine with a more refined package, is a rarity, with only 428 units completed by the end of production in 1940. All chassis numbers began with ’74.’ In 1939, Autocar magazine tested a 328-engined Type 327 Sports Cabriolet at Brooklands, achieving a commendable maximum speed of 156km/h for a 2-litre car.