Classic Car Encyclopedia

BMW E30 M3

Apr 12, 2023

The BMW E30 M3 was a sports car that was produced by the German automaker BMW from 1986 to 1992. It was the first iteration of the M3, which is considered one of the most iconic and successful sports cars in the world.

The E30 M3 was based on the regular E30 3-Series, but it featured a number of performance enhancements that made it a true sports car. It was developed to compete in the Group A touring car racing series, which required a minimum of 5,000 units to be produced in order to be eligible. As a result, BMW decided to produce the E30 M3 as a homologation special, meaning it was built specifically to meet the requirements of racing regulations.

The E30 M3 was powered by a 2.3-liter inline-four engine, which was based on the engine used in the regular E30 3-Series. However, it was extensively modified and featured a number of high-performance components, such as a DOHC (double overhead camshaft) valvetrain and a modified cylinder head. This engine was capable of producing 197 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque, which was a significant increase over the regular E30 3-Series.

In addition to its performance enhancements, the E30 M3 also featured a number of cosmetic changes, such as a unique body kit, flared fenders, and a rear spoiler. It also had a lower and wider stance, which improved its handling and stability.

The E30 M3 was available in a number of different versions, including a convertible, a coupe, and a sedan. In total, approximately 17,000 units were produced, with the majority being coupes and convertibles.

In terms of performance, the E30 M3 was capable of reaching a top speed of 143 mph and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.7 seconds. It also had a curb weight of around 2,700 lbs, which made it relatively lightweight compared to other sports cars of the time. In total, approximately 17,000 units were produced, with the majority being coupes and convertibles.

The E30 M3 was also very successful on the race track, with numerous victories in touring car racing series around the world. It also set a number of lap records at various tracks, including the Nurburgring in Germany.