Top Nav
Featured Image
Featured

Video: 5 Reasons why the BMW E36 M3 is better than the E46 M3

BMW 3 Series Generation E36

The BMW E36 series is the third generation of the BMW 3 Series range of compact executive cars, and was produced from 1990 to 2000.

In the fall of 1990, the international press was invited to the BMW test site in the town of Miramas. It was here, in the south of France, that the first meeting with the new generation of the 3 Series was to take place. At that time, Internet technologies, as well as an industry of autospying, have not stepped so far ahead, therefore the appearance of new model up to the very last moment remained a mystery even for journalists. However, the effect at the presentation has turned out to be even stronger. When the veil was pulled off the car under the index E36, the astonishment of gathered people had no limits!

Highlights: new independent rear suspension, debut of VANOS variable valve timing system.

If the style of the E30 was rightly called evolutionary, then the new generation of the “three” sharply changed the vector of the entire BMW design. New proportions, new dimensions, new headlights, new branded “nostrils” of the radiator grille. In a word, everything was new! Immediately presented in four-door form factor of the classic sedan (another difference from its predecessors), E36 turned out to be even noticeably larger. Not only outside but also inside. Passengers of former “three-series” didn’t even dream about such spacious couch.

But the large-scale Munich revolution was not limited to appearance and comfort. The car received a different gauge (narrower at the front and wider at the rear), as well as a completely new independent rear suspension. The kinematics of the so-called Z-axle (Z-suspension) was carefully calculated to reduce oversteer, which sometimes complained E21 and E30 owners.

The increase in size and weight was more than compensated by a line of more powerful engines. Even the base motor for the first time in the history of 3-series exceeded 100 horsepower, and the most popular versions 320i and 325i easily accelerated the car to speeds well over 200 km/h.

The design, both exterior and interior, was so successful that the 1996 restyling had virtually no effect on the car’s appearance. Only the engine lineup was affected by the changes.

Unsurprisingly, the third generation 3-Series, being larger, more comfortable, safer and faster, once again broke BMW’s sales record.

Production years: December 1990 – August 2000

Designer: Pinky Lai and Boyke Boyer

Production (units, total): 2 745 780

Top model: BMW M3

Max.power: 321 hp

Top speed: 250 km/h

0—100 km/h: 5.4 sec

Engine

Petrol:

  • 1.6–1.9 L M40/M42/M43/M44 I4
  • 2.0–3.2 L M50/M52/S50/S52 I6

Diesel:

  • 1.7 L M41 I4
  • 2.5 L M51 I6

Transmission

  • 5-speed manual
  • 6-speed manual
  • 4-speed 4L30-E automatic
  • 5-speed ZF 5HP automatic

Dimensions

Wheelbase: 2,700 mm (106.3 in)

Length: 4,433 mm (174.5 in)

Width: 1,710 mm (67.3 in)

Height: 1,366–1,390 mm (53.8–54.7 in)

Curb weight: 1,315–1,395 kg (2,899–3,075 lb)

Where to buy: Classic.com Bring A Trailer

Reviews: BMW Blog

BMW 3 Series E46 Sales Stats

BMW 3 Series E36 Specs
 
Read More
 
Read More
 
Read More

 
Read More
 
Read More