BMW 3 Series (E36)

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BMW E36
328i Coupé
Automotive industryBMW
Production1990–2000
PredecessorBMW E30
SuccessorBMW E46
Car classificationEntry-level luxury car / Compact executive car
Car body style2-door Coupé
2-door Convertible
3-door Hatchback
4-door Sedan (car)
5-door Station wagon
Automobile platformFR layout
Internal combustion engineOtto engine engines:
1.6L Straight-4
1.8L I4
1.8L I4 Multi-valve
1.9L I4 16 valve
2.0L Straight-6 24 valve
2.5L I6 24 valve
2.8L I6 24 valve
3.0L I6 24 valve
3.2L I6 24 valve
Diesel engine engines:
1.7L I4 Turbodiesel
2.5L I6 Turbodiesel
Transmission (mechanics)5-speed Manual transmission
4-speed Automatic transmission
5-speed automatic
RelatedBMW M3
BMW Z3
1998 E36 328i Coupé
1996 M3 Coupé
1994-1996 BMW E36 convertible (US)
1997-1999 BMW 323i convertible (North America)
E36 Wagon
318ti Compact
Georgia State Patrol 318i
E36 3-Series sedan (US)

The E36 Automobile platform was the basis for the 1991-2000 BMW 3 Series Entry-level luxury car / Compact executive car. It was the successor to the BMW E30 and was eventually replaced by the BMW E46 in 1999. The 4 door models were discontinued for 1999. Replacing it was the all-new E46. The 2 door E36 was still made for the 1999 year. So in 1999 you could only choose between a 2 door E36 and a 4 door E46. In 2000, the E36 was officially discontinued. The E36 was introduced in late 1990 (1991 model) for Europe and as a 1992 model for US and Canada.

The E36 experienced enormous success in the market. It laid strong foundations for the success that the BMW E46 experienced in subsequent years.

Also known as the "Dolphin shape", the E36 was sold from 1991 through 1999. It employed the "Z-axle" multilink suspension in the rear which had been proven in the Z1. DOHC engines were used across the range, with VANOS variable valve timing introduced in 1993.

The four-door E36 was sold from Autumn, 1991, in the United States but the E30 coupes were retained until well into 1992. The E36 convertible was delayed until 1994. The hatchback 318ti Compact was introduced in 1995, was very popular in Europe, but it was not very successful in North America. The BMW Compact was identical to the regular E36 sedan from front bumper to A-Pillar. Everything else was unique, namely its rear semi-trailing arm suspension, based on the old E30, instead of the Z-Axle Multilink employed in all other E36's. The Z3 and M Coupe have similar rear suspension setups as well. The "Touring" station wagon was sold in Europe from 1995, but was not offered in the United States.

The 2.5 L M50B25 used in the 325 models was replaced in 1996 with the 2.8 L M52B28, creating the 328 line. Another 2.5 L engine, the M52B25, was reintroduced for 1998 but the cars were sold as 323 rather than 325.

The 4-door 3 Series models were replaced after 1998 in the US, while the 2-door models lasted through 1999.

Contents

Non-US models


Each model is followed by its particular engine code.

Sedans

Name Volume Engine Valvetrain Fuel Output Torque Engine code 0-100 km/h,s Top speed Years
316i1.6 L (1596 cc, 97 cu in)Straight-4SOHC 8VPetrol100 PS (99 hp/74 kW) @5500 rpm141 N·m (104 lb·ft) @4250 rpmM40B1613.1191 km/h (119 mph)1990–1993
316i1.6 L (1596 cc, 97 cu in)4cylSOHC 8VPetrol102 PS (101 hp/75 kW) @5500 rpm150 N·m (111 lb·ft) @3900 rpmM43B1612.7195 km/h (121 mph)1993–1998
318i1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in)4cylSOHC 8VPetrol113 PS (111 hp/83 kW) @5500 rpm162 N·m (119 lb·ft) @4250 rpmM40B1811.5198 km/h (123 mph)1990–1993
318i1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in)4cylSOHC 8VPetrol115 PS (113 hp/85 kW) @5500 rpm168 N·m (124 lb·ft) @3900 rpmM43B1811.3201 km/h (125 mph)1993–1998
318is1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in)4cylDOHC Multi-valvePetrol140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) @6000 rpm175 N·m (129 lb·ft) @4500 rpmM42B1810.2213 km/h (132 mph)1992–1996
318is1.9 L (1895 cc, 116 cu in)4cylDOHC 16VPetrol140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) @6000 rpm180 N·m (133 lb·ft) @4300 rpmM44B1910.2213 km/h (132 mph)1996–1998
320i2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in)Straight-6DOHC 24VPetrol150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4700 rpmM50B2010.0214 km/h (133 mph)1991–1994
320i2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4200 rpmM52B209.9214 km/h (133 mph)1994–1998
323i2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol170 PS (168 hp/125 kW) @5500 rpm245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @3950 rpmM52B258.0231 km/h (144 mph)1995–1998
325i2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol192 PS (189 hp/141 kW) @5900 rpm245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @4700 rpmM50B258.0233 km/h (145 mph)1991–1993
325i2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol192 PS (189 hp/141 kW) @5900 rpm245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @4200 rpmM50B258.0233 km/h (145 mph)1993–1995
328i2.8 L (2793 cc, 170 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol193 PS (190 hp/142 kW) @5300 rpm280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @3950 rpmM52B287.0240 km/h (149 mph)1994–1998
M33 L (2990 cc, 182 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol286 PS (282 hp/210 kW) @7000 rpm320 N·m (236 lb·ft) @2600 rpmS50B306.0250 km/h (155 mph)1992–1998
M33.2 L (3201 cc, 195 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol321 PS (317 hp/236 kW) @7400 rpm350 N·m (258 lb·ft) @3250 rpmS50B325.5250 km/h (155 mph)1995–1998
318tds1.7 L (1665 cc, 102 cu in)4cylSOHC 8VDiesel90 PS (89 hp/66 kW) @4400 rpm190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @2000 rpmM41D1714.4182 km/h (113 mph)1994–1998
325td2.5 L (2498 cc, 152 cu in)6cylSOHC 12VDiesel115 PS (113 hp/85 kW) @4800 rpm222 N·m (164 lb·ft) @1900 rpmM51D2512.0198 km/h (123 mph)1991–1996
325td2.5 L (2498 cc, 152 cu in)6cylSOHC 12VDiesel115 PS (113 hp/85 kW) @4800 rpm230 N·m (170 lb·ft) @1900 rpmM51D2512.0198 km/h (123 mph)1996–1998
325tds2.5 L (2498 cc, 152 cu in)6cylSOHC 12VDiesel143 PS (141 hp/105 kW) @4800 rpm260 N·m (192 lb·ft) @2200 rpmM51D2510.4214 km/h (133 mph)1993–1996
325tds2.5 L (2498 cc, 152 cu in)6cylSOHC 12VDiesel143 PS (141 hp/105 kW) @4600 rpm280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @2200 rpmM51D2510.4214 km/h (133 mph)1996–1998

Coupes

Name Volume Engine Valvetrain Fuel Output Torque Engine code 0-100 km/h,s Top speed Years
316i1.6 L (1596 cc, 97 cu in)Straight-4SOHC 8VPetrol102 PS (101 hp/75 kW) @5500 rpm150 N·m (111 lb·ft) @3900 rpmM43B1611.3201 km/h (125 mph)1993–1998
318is1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in)4cylDOHC Multi-valvePetrol140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) @6000 rpm175 N·m (129 lb·ft) @4500 rpmM42B1810.2213 km/h (132 mph)1992–1996
318is1.9 L (1895 cc, 116 cu in)4cylDOHC 16VPetrol140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) @6000 rpm180 N·m (133 lb·ft) @4300 rpmM44B1910.2213 km/h (132 mph)1996–1999
320i2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in)Straight-6DOHC 24VPetrol150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4700 rpmM50B2010.0214 km/h (133 mph)1992–1993
320i2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4700 rpmM52B209.9214 km/h (133 mph)1993–1999
323i2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol170 PS (168 hp/125 kW) @5500 rpm245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @3950 rpmM52B258.0227 km/h (141 mph)1995–1999
325is2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol192 PS (189 hp/141 kW) @5900 rpm245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @4200 rpmM50B256.9233 km/h (145 mph)1992–1995
328is2.8 L (2793 cc, 170 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol193 PS (190 hp/142 kW) @5300 rpm280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @3950 rpmM52B286.7236 km/h (147 mph)1995–1999
M33 L (2990 cc, 182 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol295 PS (291 hp/217 kW) @7000 rpm323 N·m (238 lb·ft) @3900 rpmS50B306.0250 km/h (155 mph)1993–1995
M33.2 L (3201 cc, 195 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol321 PS (317 hp/236 kW) @7400 rpm350 N·m (258 lb·ft) @3250 rpmS50B325.5250 km/h (155 mph)1995–1998

Convertibles (Cabriolets)

Name Volume Engine Valvetrain Fuel Output Torque Engine code 0-100 km/h,s Top speed Years
318i1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in)Straight-4SOHC 8VPetrol115 PS (113 hp/85 kW) @5500 rpm168 N·m (124 lb·ft) @3900 rpmM43B1810.5194 km/h (121 mph)1994–1998
320i2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in)Straight-6DOHC Multi-valvePetrol150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4700 rpmM50B2010.6211 km/h (131 mph)1993–1994
320i2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4200 rpmM52B2010.6211 km/h (131 mph)1994–1998
325is2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol192 PS (189 hp/141 kW) @5900 rpm245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @4200 rpmM50B258.6229 km/h (142 mph)1993–1995
328is2.8 L (2793 cc, 170 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol193 PS (190 hp/142 kW) @5300 rpm280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @3950 rpmM52B287.7230 km/h (143 mph)1995–1999
M33.2 L (3201 cc, 195 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol321 PS (317 hp/236 kW) @7400 rpm350 N·m (258 lb·ft) @3250 rpmS50B325.6250 km/h (155 mph)1996–1998

Touring (Wagons)

Name Volume Engine Valvetrain Fuel Output Torque Engine code 0-100 km/h,s Top speed Years
316i1.6 L (1596 cc, 97 cu in)Straight-4SOHC 8VPetrol102 PS (101 hp/75 kW) @5500 rpm150 N·m (111 lb·ft) @3900 rpmM43B1613.2191 km/h (119 mph)1997–1999
318i1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in)4cylSOHC 8VPetrol115 PS (113 hp/85 kW) @5500 rpm168 N·m (124 lb·ft) @3900 rpmM43B1811.7197 km/h (122 mph)1995–1999
320i2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in)Straight-6DOHC Multi-valvePetrol150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4200 rpmM52B2010.2212 km/h (132 mph)1995–1999
323i2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol170 PS (168 hp/125 kW) @5500 rpm245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @3950 rpmM52B258.3223 km/h (139 mph)1996–1999
328i2.8 L (2793 cc, 170 cu in)6cylDOHC 24VPetrol193 PS (190 hp/142 kW) @5300 rpm280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @3950 rpmM52B287.4230 km/h (143 mph)1995–1999
318tds1.7 L (1665 cc, 102 cu in)4cylSOHC 8VDiesel90 PS (89 hp/66 kW) @4400 rpm190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @2000 rpmM41D1714.5179 km/h (111 mph)1995–1999
325tds2.5 L (2498 cc, 152 cu in)6cylSOHC 12VDiesel143 PS (141 hp/105 kW) @4800 rpm260 N·m (192 lb·ft) @2200 rpmM51D2510.5206 km/h (128 mph)1995–1996
325tds2.5 L (2498 cc, 152 cu in)6cylSOHC 12VDiesel143 PS (141 hp/105 kW) @4600 rpm280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @2200 rpmM51D2510.5206 km/h (128 mph)1996–1999

Compact

Main article: BMW Compact
Name Volume Engine Valvetrain Fuel Output Torque Engine code 0-100 km/h,s Top speed Years
316i1.6 L (1596 cc, 97 cu in)Straight-4SOHC 8VPetrol102 PS (101 hp/75 kW) @5500 rpm150 N·m (111 lb·ft) @3900 rpmM43B1612.3188 km/h (117 mph)1994–1999
316i1.9 L (1895 cc, 116 cu in)4cylSOHC 8VPetrol105 PS (104 hp/77 kW) @5300 rpm165 N·m (122 lb·ft) @2500 rpmM43B1911.9190 km/h (118 mph)1999–2000
318ti1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in)4cylDOHC Multi-valvePetrol140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) @6000 rpm175 N·m (129 lb·ft) @4500 rpmM42B189.9209 km/h (130 mph)1994–1995
318ti1.9 L (1895 cc, 116 cu in)4cylDOHC 16VPetrol140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) @6000 rpm180 N·m (133 lb·ft) @4300 rpmM44B199.9209 km/h (130 mph)1995–1998
323ti2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in)Straight-6DOHC 24VPetrol170 PS (168 hp/125 kW) @5500 rpm245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @3950 rpmM52B257.8230 km/h (143 mph)1997–2000
318tds1.7 L (1665 cc, 102 cu in)4cylSOHC 8VDiesel90 PS (89 hp/66 kW) @4400 rpm190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @2000 rpmM41D1713.9175 km/h (109 mph)1995–2000

US/Canada models


  • 318i, 318is, 318ic (1992-1995) M42B18
  • 318ti (1994-1996) M42B18
  • 318i, 318ti (1996-1998) M44B19
  • 320i (1994) M52B20
  • 323i, 323is, 323ic (1996-1998) M52B25
  • 325i, 325is, 325ic (1992) M50B25
  • 325i, 325is, 325ic (1993-1995) M50TUB25
  • 328i, 328is, 328ic (1996-1998) M52B28
  • M3 (1995-1999 coupe, 1997-1998 sedan, 1998-1999 convertible) S50B30US and S52 (1996-1999)

Other platform applications


BMW made an entry level version of the E36 called the BMW Compact, a three-door Hatchback. This platform is often referred to as the E36/5. In the United States/Canada market the car was sold as the 318ti and was equipped with a 1.8 L, 139 Horsepower M44B19 engine and was priced at USD23,000 in 1995. In 1996 the 1.8 liter engine was replaced with 1.9L putting out 138 bhp (103 kW) and Convert/ft.lbf of torque. Ostensibly due to slow US sales of the E36/5 Compact, the E46 Compact was not sold in the United States.

A modified version of the E36 platform designated as E36/7 was used for the BMW Z3 roadster in 1996-2002. The modification for the BMW Z3 Coupe was designated as E36/8.

Even though the BMW factory was producing its own E36 convertibles, the Karosserie Baur "Top Cabriolet" conversion was still available, possibly out of respect for the long association of the two firms.

Success

Among BMW enthusiasts, the E36 platform is considered one of the best BMW designs of the past 20 years. Sales figures for 3 Series coupes, sedans, and convertibles were at all time highs in North America and Europe. BMW achieved a strong market identity and presence due to the E36's high quality and "really fun to drive" character. The car is however criticised by some for departing from the previous E30 model, which was lighter, smaller, and considered to be more of a pure-bred sports car by enthusiasts.

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