|BMW 3 Series (E36)|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Compact executive car (D)|
|Layout||Longitudinally mounted front-engine, rear-wheel drive|
|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)|
|Predecessor||BMW 3 Series (E30)|
|Successor||BMW 3 Series (E46)|
The BMW E36 is the third generation of the BMW 3 Series range of compact executive cars, and was produced from 1990 to 2000. The initial models were of the four-door sedan body style, followed by the coupe, convertible, wagon ("Touring"), hatchback ("Compact") and the rare BAUR TC4 body styles in later years.
The E36 was the first 3 Series to be offered in a hatchback body style. It was also the first 3 Series to be available with a six-speed manual transmission (in the 1996 M3), a five-speed automatic transmission and a four-cylinder diesel engine. The multi-link rear suspension was also a significant upgrade as compared to the previous generations of the 3 Series. All-wheel drive was not available for the E36, unlike the previous (E30) and successive (E46) generations.
The high performance E36 M3 is powered by the BMW S50 or BMW S52 straight-six engine (depending on country). The E36 M3 was introduced in 1992 and was available in coupé, sedan and convertible body styles.
Following the introduction of its successor, the E46 3 Series in 1998, the E36 began to be phased out and was eventually replaced in 1999.
Development of the E36 began in 1981 and the exterior design was heavily influenced by aerodynamics, specifically the overall wedge shape, headlight covers and smaller wing mirrors. The lead designers were Pinky Lai and Boyke Boyer.
The body styles of the range are:
Safety equipment available included a driver's airbag, passenger airbag (from 1993 production) and side impact airbags in later models, ABS braking and stability control ("ASC +T"). Electronic climate control was also available on the E36.
The four-cylinder petrol engines used in the E36 range were initially engines carried over from the previous generation 3 Series: the BMW M40 SOHC engine and the BMW M42 DOHC engine. In 1993, the M40 was replaced by the BMW M43 SOHC engine and the M42 was replaced in 1996 by the BMW M44 DOHC engine.
For the six-cylinder models, the E36 was launched with the then-new BMW M50 DOHC petrol engine. In late 1992 the M50TU versions added single-VANOS (variable valve timing), which increased torque (peak power was unchanged). In 1995, the BMW M52 engine replaced the M50TU, resulting in the 328i model replacing the 325i and the addition of a new mid-range 323i model (powered by a 2.5 litre version of the M52).
|316i||1990-1994||M40B16 4-cylinder||73 kW (98 hp) at 5,500 rpm||141 N?m (104 lb?ft) at 4,250 rpm|
|1993-1999||M43B16 4-cylinder||75 kW (101 hp) at 5,500 rpm||150 N?m (111 lb?ft) at 3,900 rpm|
|318i||1990-1993*||M40B18 4-cylinder||83 kW (111 hp) at 5,500 rpm||162 N?m (119 lb?ft) at 4,250 rpm|
|1993-1998||M43B18 4-cylinder||85 kW (114 hp) at 5,500 rpm||168 N?m (124 lb?ft) at 3,900 rpm|
|318is||1992-1995||M42B18 4-cylinder||103 kW (138 hp) at 6,000 rpm||175 N?m (129 lb?ft) at 4,500 rpm|
|1996-1998||M44B19 4-cylinder||181 N?m (133 lb?ft) at 4,300 rpm|
|320i||1991-1993||M50B20 6-cylinder||110 kW (148 hp) at 5,900 rpm||190 N?m (140 lb?ft) at 4,700 rpm|
|1993-1998||M52B20 6-cylinder||190 N?m (140 lb?ft) at 4,200 rpm|
|323i||1995-1998||M52B25 6-cylinder||125 kW (168 hp) at 5,500 rpm||245 N?m (181 lb?ft) at 3,950 rpm|
|325i||1991-1992||M50B25 6-cylinder||141 kW (189 hp) at 5,900 rpm||245 N?m (181 lb?ft) at 4,700 rpm|
|1993-1995||M50B25TU 6-cylinder||245 N?m (181 lb?ft) at 4,200 rpm|
|328i||1995-1998||M52B28 6-cylinder||142 kW (190 hp) at 5,500 rpm||280 N?m (207 lb?ft) at 3,950 rpm|
|M3 (Euro spec)||1992-1995||S50B30 6-cylinder||210 kW (282 hp) at 7,000 rpm||320 N?m (236 lb?ft) at 3,600 rpm|
|1995-1998||S50B32 6-cylinder||239 kW (321 hp) at 7,400 rpm||350 N?m (258 lb?ft) at 3,250 rpm|
|M3 (U.S. spec)||1995||S50B30US 6-cylinder||179 kW (240 hp) at 6,000 rpm||305 N?m (225 lb?ft) at 4,250 rpm|
|1996-1999||S52B32 6-cylinder||320 N?m (236 lb?ft) at 3,800 rpm|
|318tds||1994-2000||M41D17 4-cylinder||66 kW (89 hp) at 4,400 rpm||190 N?m (140 lb?ft) at 1,900 rpm|
|325td||1991-1996||M51D25UL 6-cylinder||85 kW (114 hp) at 4,400 rpm||222 N?m (164 lb?ft) at 2,000 rpm|
|1996-1998||M51D25TUUL 6-cylinder||85 kW (114 hp) at 4,800 rpm||230 N?m (170 lb?ft) at 2,000 rpm|
|325tds||1993-1996||M51D25OL 6-cylinder||105 kW (141 hp) at 4,800 rpm||260 N?m (192 lb?ft) at 2,200 rpm|
|1996-1998||M51D25TUOL 6-cylinder||105 kW (141 hp) at 4,600 rpm||280 N?m (207 lb?ft) at 2,200 rpm|
Initially, the turbocharged straight-six BMW M51 engine was used in the E36 325td model. In 1993, the 325tds model was released, which added an intercooler to the M51. In 1994, the 318tds model was introduced, powered by the four-cylinder BMW M41 turbocharged and intercooled engine.
The E36 was produced with the following transmissions:
All models are rear-wheel drive, since the E36 was not produced with all-wheel drive (unlike its predecessor and successor).
The hatchback ("Compact") models use a rear semi-trailing arm suspension based on the older E30 3 Series design. This was done in order to save space due to the truncated rear end of the hatchback.
The 3 Series Compact range of three-door hatchback models were introduced in 1993, based on a shortened version of the E36 platform. The model code for the hatchback body style is "E36/5" and the model range consisted of the 316i, 316g, 318ti, 323ti and 318tds.
A modified version of the E36 platform was used for the 1996-2002 Z3 roadster (model code E36/7) and coupé (model code E36/8).
The North American model range consisted of the models listed below. The 318i models were powered by the BMW M42 engine, which was used in the 318is model sold in other countries.
Local assembly of complete knock-down (CKD) kits was used for cars sold in Uruguay (until 1991), Egypt, Mexico, and Thailand. The E36 was also built as CKD kits in the Philippines starting from 1994 up until 1997, where production halted due to the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
Joachim Winkelhock competed in the British Touring Car Championship with the 318i and 320i from 1993 to 1995, winning the title in 1993. In the same year, Johnny Cecotto won the German ADAC GT Cup driving an E36 M3. Cecotto won the Super Tourenwagen Cup for BMW in 1994 and 1998, Winkelhock in 1998.