CAR OF 1990 BMW 3-SERIES (E36)
Towards the end of the year the second generation 3-Series went on sale, featuring a new platform and more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension. The styling was smoother, being far more aerodynamic than its E30 predecessor, and taking many cues from the E34-generation 5-Series, which arguably set the look for BMWs which would endure well into the 21st Century. Four-door saloons debuted, but a five-door estate, two-door convertible and generationdefining three-door hatch, the Compact, followed.
There was, of course, an M3 version of the E36 too, which arrived in 1992 and was considered to be a rather different animal to the E30 M3, with a straight-six S50 in place of the S14 four-pot. It arrived first as a coupé, with saloon and convertible variants following in 1994.
A year later, power grew from 286bhp to 321bhp, ensuring a 0-60mph time which was only a smidge over five seconds – in Europe at least; you can see why the Americans don’t see what all the fuss is about when their E36 M3s were pegged back to just 240bhp…