CAR OF 1990 BMW 3-SE­RIES (E36)

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

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…

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