For the six-cylinder models, the E36 was launched with the then-new BMW M50 DOHC petrol engine.

Perhaps that of a hamster? Clearly BMW didn't think much of American driving ability, and was perfectly happy to protect US M3 owners with the safety net of mild understeer. Hoping to tuck one of the last naturally-aspirated straight-six M-performance BMWs in your garage with a mint-condition early 2000s M3?

A true wolf in sheep's clothing, the M3 uses the standard 3 Series sedan as a template before adding an uprated engine, improved suspension components, and a host of other performance-dedicated parts. Face it, if you're an M3 fan on a budget, you're out of luck. Go manual. The cooling system in the E36 is a known weak point, and should be monitored carefully for leaks.

Whatever the case, all fluids in an E36 M3 should be replaced on the same regular intervals as you would any other car, and more often if you plan to track the car regularly.

Another problem area to keep an eye on is the single 19mm nut standing between you and complete engine failure. Introduced in the North American market in the 1995 model year, the E36 M3 aimed to soften BMW's highest-spec 3-series for mass market appeal.

Having spoken to several owners, the convertible model is not really recommended. Our buyer's guide will give you an idea of what to look out for. Having an M3 checked out by a reputable BMW mechanic is of course highly recommended. The E36 has a reputation for fragility, and we'll look at a few preventative maintenance items in a bit. I suppose it needs mentioning, given BMW's current model lineup, that the coupe only came with two doors. The E36 M3 is supported by a huge and varied aftermarket. Driving the Ram TRX on a Track Is Ridiculous Fun, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Lively, quick, yet very easy to drive at or near the limit, the E36 is sort of a German Miata. Which Stripped Porsche Boxster Is Right for You?

It is finished in Techno Violet Metallic over black leather and powered by a 3.2-liter inline-six paired with a five-speed manual transmission and a…, No matching results for this search. The BMW E36 is the third generation of the BMW 3 Series range of compact executive cars, and was produced from 1990 to 2000. Further, most E36s are reaching that magic age when nearly every single rubber bushing in the car is developing slop or becoming brittle. The 3 Series Compact range of three-door hatchback models were introduced in 1993, based on a shortened version of the E36 platform. Almost everything that can go wrong with the car has already happened to someone else; if you like to wrench and have an internet connection, you'll keep your repair costs down. Safety equipment available included a driver's airbag, passenger airbag (from 1993 production),[16] ABS braking and stability control ("ASC +T"). If considering an M3 as your first German car after an ownership cycle of Hondas or Nissans, there are a few things to be aware of.

There are no particular best years to look for, though the last 1999 models are occasionally in better condition simply because of the age. The E30 started shooting up ages ago, and something like a 2006 M3 with the Competition Package and a manual-transmission is already collector grade material. [20] The B3 and B6 models were powered by straight-six engines, while the B8 models were powered by V8 engines.[21]. Performance E36 Four-Doors: 1994 Alpina B3 3.0/1 or 1998 M3/4/5? However, the E36 is fairly simple to work on, and will reward an owner who doesn't mind getting their hands dirty. [23][24][25] The E36 was also built as CKD kits in the Philippines starting from 1994 up until 1997, where production halted due to the 1997 Asian financial crisis. [26] Cecotto won the Super Tourenwagen Cup for BMW in 1994 and 1998, Winkelhock in 1998.

Listen for rattles from the BMW VANOS valvetrain at idle: excessive noise may mean repair is required. Be picky: BMW sold 36,000 of these cars in the US. It's a rewarding car to own, if a little more challenging than something Japanese. However, affordable doesn't mean cheap. Having said that, the E36 M3 remains one of the best-handling cars money can buy. Here's our look at how to get most of that M3 driving pleasure while minimizing your pain. Like all older German cars, these issues can be unpredictable and frustrating. In the US, the E36 M3 sort of lives in the shadow of its predecessor, the legendary E30. Geoff Brabham and his younger brother David Brabham won the 1997 AMP Bathurst 1000 at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, Australia driving a Super Touring BMW 320i for BMW Motorsport Australia. Introduced in the North American market in the 1995 model year, the E36 M3 aimed to soften BMW's highest-spec 3-series for mass market appeal. Parts to monitor include, but are not limited to: tie rod ends, transmission mounts, sway bar end links, motor mounts, rear strut mounts, differential mounts, control arm bushings, trailing arm bushings, and the guibo (a rubber flex disc for the driveshaft). The 240hp rating means a V6 Camry will probably walk away from you in a straight line, but as a momentum car for the circuit or twisty backroad, it's excellent. BMW purists will try to keep them as stock as possible while BMW tuners will modify and change the vehicle to the extent of the owners' imagination or, more realistically, pocket depth. However, most modifications from the factory are a complete waste of time.   |  

Even though we missed out on the sweet Euro motor here in the States, the E36 M3 still remains a proper sports car. Further, check for any water in the passenger footwell as clogged drains can obviously cause electrical issues. There are a few rarer models to be aware of. At the time, it compared favorably with the Acura NSX, the Ferrari F355, the Porsche Carrera S, and the Toyota Supra Turbo – all of which are now expensive collector items. The four-cylinder petrol engines used in the E36 range were initially engines carried over from the previous generation 3 Series: the BMW M40 SOHC engine and the BMW M42 DOHC engine. Think of it as the M3 version of a 996-chassis Porsche 911 GT3. Steering rack leaks are common and perhaps less serious; coolant leaks should be a red flag. [17] Electronic climate control was also available on the E36. Road & Track participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. All in all, there are numerous potential problems with the E36. The rear shock towers are mounted on very thin metal with just two nuts to secure them. Worn bushings can exacerbate the problem, and there are weld-in aftermarket reinforcements. Essentially 1994 model-year Euro-spec cars, there were just 45 of these imported under a market loophole. Initially, the turbocharged straight-six BMW M51 engine was used in the E36 325td model. The North American model range consisted of the models listed below. Like the Porsche 911, both the E30 and E46 chassis M3s have pricing that's climbing for the stratosphere. First, and oddest, are the forty-five Canadian-spec cars that predated the M3's official entry into North America by a year. It's not clear what lifetime BMW was thinking of when they advertised lubricants like the transmission fluid as being "lifetime fluids."
The multi-link rear suspension was also a significant upgrade as compared to the previous generations of the 3 Series.

In 1993 the M50TU versions added single-VANOS (variable valve timing), which increased torque (peak power was unchanged). There are also no real deals to be had. Maintaining one is costly. Except, that is, for the E36 M3, which still continues to be overlooked by the collector market. The BMW M3 is a high-performance version of the BMW 3 Series, developed by BMW's in-house motorsport division, BMW M GmbH.M3 models have been produced for every generation of 3 Series since the E30 M3 was introduced in 1986. Also, while the E36 M3 is now depreciated to a very accessible price, parts remain pretty much as expensive as they ever were.

BMW E36 M3.

Where the boxy, rev-happy original M3 really only made sense to a hardcore track rat, the new car's smooth straight six and more ample torque made it a better daily driver. The E36 M3 was introduced in 1992 and was available in coupé, sedan and convertible body styles. In Europe, the story is a little different. In 1992, the 3.0 L BMW S50 engine debuted in the E36 M3. It was produced in coupé, sedan and convertible body styles. As one older, well-heeled owner put it, "Let's put it this way–I can have any car I want and this is the one I am keeping. Also very rare, but a known quantity, is the 1995-only Lightweight version. An ice sculpture? The temperature gauge is not particularly reliable, so if you live in a hotter climate or plan for more extreme use, an accurate aftermarket gauge would be a good investment. reset filters to show 303 listings, Privacy Notice A five-speed automatic transmission was available, and there were three body styles: coupe, convertible, and sedan. Budgeting for a full set of replacement bushings can infuse a tired-feeling M3 with something of its original freshness, and improve the handling far more than any lowering kit. 1990s Homologation Specials: 1995 M3 Lightweight or 1997 Integra Type-R? Rust is always worth checking for. Following the introduction of its successor, the E46 3 Series in 1998, the E36 began to be phased out and was eventually replaced in 1999.
The largest change is an increase in engine displacement to 3.2L, with an attendant 11 lb-ft bump in torque (horsepower remained the same).

You'd think that the interest of celebrity owners like the late Paul Walker would have caused a spike in interest, but the combination of availability and late 1990s styling means that the E36 remains relatively affordable. Autotrader has 696 Used BMW M3s for sale, including a 1988 BMW M3, a 1988 BMW M3 Coupe, and a 1989 BMW M3 Coupe. Bimmer Forums and M3 Forums both have E36-specific sections with plenty of material.

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