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Thread: BMW 3-Series (E30) 1982-1994

  1. #16
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    BMW 318is

    318is was a GTI-like affordable sports model in the E30 family. It was fitted with modern 1.8-litre engine (the first time mass produced BMW had 16-valve technology), sports suspensions, front and rear spoilers, checkered sport seats and black roof lining. LSD was an optional extra.

    318is was available only with 2-door sedan bodywork. The exterior color choice was limited too: two silver tones, black, white or red. Typical for BMW at the time, 318is came standard with steel wheels and ugly looking plastic wheel covers (see picture #4). But sooner or later, nearly all of 318is were fitted with cross-spoke alloys.

    In the end, BMW 318is failed its mission to beat the performance of the popular hot hatches like VW Golf GTI. Nonetheless, 318is has become very valuable and sought-after E30 model.

    Production period: 09/1989 – 05/1991
    Numbers built: 41,234
    Engine: 1796 cc inline-4
    Power: 100 kW @ 6000 rpm
    Torque: 172 Nm @ 4600 rpm
    Kerb weight: 1132 kg
    Top speed: 207 kph
    0-100 kph: 9,4 sec
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  2. #17
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    Pretty interesting the hood was so low even the I4 was canted over. I wonder if it was modular with the I6 at the time.

  3. #18
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    Ah, so good to see BMW also completely disregards the definition of sedan and coup even way in the late 80's and 90's.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
    Pretty interesting the hood was so low even the I4 was canted over. I wonder if it was modular with the I6 at the time.
    Inline-4 engines tend to have longer stroke than similarly sized I6s. I believe the M42 engine in 318is is even more inclined than the classic M20 inline-6 fitted to other E30 models.

    And no, these two engines were not related.

  5. #20
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    BMW 320i Baur TC

    In co-operation with Karosserie Baur, BMW offered roof conversion as an optional extra for the E30 models. Called TC (or "Top Cabriolet"), the main roof skin and rear window was removed and replaced with a folding canvas roof. The soft fabric roof would be split into two parts, with the division across the B-pillars. These two parts could then be individually removed.

    The TC conversion could be ordered on all E30 models. However, the Baur conversion was extremely expensive, adding about 30% to the car’s price tag.

    Although the series production of the official E30 Cabriolet started in May 1986, BMW's long history with Baur meant that the TC conversion was still available as an option for E30 models for the entirety of sedan production, finishing in 1991.

    Production period: 01/1983 – 04/1991
    Numbers built: 14,455 (all E30 Baur TC models)
    Engine: 1990 cc inline-6
    Power: 92 kW @ 5800 rpm
    Torque: 170 Nm @ 4000 rpm
    Kerb weight: 1148 kg
    Top speed: 200 kph
    0-100 kph: 9,9 sec
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  6. #21
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    The 318is was carried over to the E36 generation, if I'm not mistaken.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

  7. #22
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    BMW 325i cabriolet

    In September 1985, BMW presented two major updates to the E30 model – a new 2.5-litre engine (replacing old 2.3-litre unit) and a factory made 3-series cabriolet. However, it took about 6 months before the cabriolet reached series production.

    Unlike Baur made conversion, which used a standard 2-door sedan bodyshell, factory E30 cabriolet used heavily modified floor pan to allow the B- and C-pillars to be removed above the doorline. That is why E30 cabriolet shares very little with other E30s in terms of interior or bodywork. All E30 cabriolets had a large metal weight in the boot: a 25kg "harmonic damper" placed there to damp out vibrations caused by lack of body torsional stiffness.

    At first, E30 cabriolet was only availabe as 325i. With the 09/1987 facelift, 320i cabriolet was added to the range. Finally, in 09/1990 318i cabriolet joined the range.

    Production period: 11/1985 – 01/1993
    Numbers built: 85,426
    Engine: 2494 cc inline-6
    Power: 126 kW @ 5800 rpm
    Torque: 226 Nm @ 4000 rpm
    Kerb weight: 1301 kg
    Top speed: 217 kph
    0-100 kph: 8,4 sec
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  8. #23
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    Quality post Revo, thanks.

  9. #24
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    BMW 320is

    The 320is was a special E30 model that was sold exclusively in Italy and Portugal. It was conceived as a sportier and more affordable alternative to the more refined 325i, which was taxed heavily in Italy and Portugal due to its large capacity 2.5-liter engine. The 1990cc inline-4 engine used in the 320is is essentially identical to the 2,302cc engine found in the E30 M3 except for its shorter stroke (72.6mm versus 84mm). The 320is also shares its close-ratio Getrag gearbox with the M3. However, all other components are standard 3 Series items.

    The reason why E30 320is is not badged as an M model ultimately comes down to marketing. Unlike limited-production M3, which was created primarily as a competition machine and utilizes many unique exterior body panels and chassis components, the 320is was never intended to be a homologation special.

    Production period: 09/1987 – 11/1990
    Numbers built: 3,745 (2-door and 4-door models combined)
    Engine: 1990 cc inline-4
    Power: 141 kW @ 6900 rpm
    Torque: 210 Nm @ 4900 rpm
    Kerb weight: 1218 kg
    Top speed: 231 kph
    0-100 kph: 7,5 sec
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  10. #25
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    BMW E30 Touring

    Back in mid-1980s, BMW prototype engineer Max Reisböck became increasingly frustrated at how difficult it was to take his family and all their luggage on vacation in their regular 3-series sedan.

    His solution was to buy a wrecked 323i sedan, move it into a friend’s workshop and set about it with only his imagination to hold him back. Six months, 500 man hours and 30,000DM later the sedan had changed into Touring. It was all done in his own time, with his own tools and with no factory involvement.

    Throughout his project, though, Reisböck knew he had a looming deadline with his bosses, because his contract explicitly forbade him from creating anything that wasn’t officially sanctioned. The bosses were so impressed that they commandeered the car on the spot and poor Max had to buy a VW minibus to take his family around in.

    Two years later, in 1987, the production 3-Series Touring was launched and was almost entirely faithful to Reisböck’s original, save for a few tweaks here and there, not least of which was the famous "beer crate" dip in the load lip, created to aid access to the boot and perfectly proportioned to slide a Münich beer crate through.

    Although Max Reisböck was immensely proud of the Touring, he wasn’t in a position to buy one. However, on 2 February 1994, coincidentally his birthday, the last of E30 Touring, a 318i, came down the line and was presented as a gift to Reisböck. It was a well-earned honour, as BMW had sold more than 100,000 Tourings in the previous seven years.
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  11. #26
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    Fantastic, clean lines. What a glasshouse. Never in North America. Seeing an E30 is a rarity in Toronto now, unsurprisingly.

    Years ago, I saw an E30 M3 for sale at a prestigious dealership. It made my day.

    You guys in Europe see any kicking around anymore?

  12. #27
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    Oh yes, plenty of them are still around. Some people are using them as winter beaters. Modifying E30 is very popular too.

    However.

    Good, solid examples in original condition are rare sight indeed. Unsurprisingly, most of these survivors are convertibles.

  13. #28
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    Here as dailies they are rarer and rarer as time goes by.

    As an affordable, popular classic though they are plentiful.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

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