BMW E36 M3 Evo
The Second Generation (E36) M3 had a lot to live up to. It’s older brother, the original (M30) M3 was nothing short of a sensation. However, the new car would need to satisfy a larger audience. Gone were the box flared arches, the agressive bodykit and the 4 cylinder engine, in was a larger body, more elegant looks and a 6 cylinder inline engine. This was the First M3 to be produced in both LHD and RHD versions.
The E36 M3 was introduced in 1992. It’s 3.0 litre straight 6 produced 282 bhp in it’s european form (the US version only produced 240bhp due to stricter emissions laws), which was good enough to launch the 4 seater coupe to 60 mph in around 5.4 seconds. The engine, based on a modified M50TU unit, utilised BMW’s VANOS variable valve timing, a larger bore and stroke and individual throttle bodies, and had at the time the highest specific output of any naturally aspirated engine in the world (97bhp per litre).
In 1995 the M3′s engine was engarged to 3.2 litres 316bhp. Known as the Evolution, the car also recieved clear indicator lenses, new wheels and a 6 speed gearbox.
It’s a well balanced car the E36 M3. Equally at home doing the weekly shopping or blasting round on a track day. The howl from the engine is fantastic (even more so it augmented by the addition of an induction kit), a real supercar sound. In fact the McLaren F1′s v12 started off as two M3 engines stuck together. Well, I’m sure it was a bit more technical that that, but you get the drift, this is a classic engine and one to be enjoyed. Factor in a little money to run it, after all it’s an M car and that means parts can be pricey.
Image credits mym3.co.uk
Speeddoctor.net E36 M3 information
CarMagazine E36 M3 long term test
BMWRegistry.com E36 M3 History
Ebay 3 series buying guide
mym3.co.uk (lots of excellent M3 info)
mym3.co.uk Buyers Guide