BMW 3 Series (E36)

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BMW E36
328i Coupé
ManufacturerBMW
Production1990–2000
PredecessorBMW E30
SuccessorBMW E46
ClassEntry-level luxury car / Compact executive car
Body style(s)2-door coupé
2-door convertible
3-door hatchback
4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
PlatformFR layout
Engine(s)Otto engines:
1.6L I4
1.8L I4
1.8L I4 16 valve
1.9L I4 16 valve
2.0L I6 24 valve
2.5L I6 24 valve
2.8L I6 24 valve
3.0L I6 24 valve
3.2L I6 24 valve
Diesel engines:
1.7L I4 Turbodiesel
2.5L I6 Turbodiesel
Transmission(s)5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
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.

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
316i 1.6 L (1596 cc, 97 cu in) 4cyl SOHC 8V Petrol 100 PS (99 hp/74 kW) @5500 rpm 141 N·m (104 lb·ft) @4250 rpm M40B16 13.1 191 km/h (119 mph) 1990–1993
316i 1.6 L (1596 cc, 97 cu in) 4cyl SOHC 8V Petrol 102 PS (101 hp/75 kW) @5500 rpm 150 N·m (111 lb·ft) @3900 rpm M43B16 12.7 195 km/h (121 mph) 1993–1998
318i 1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in) 4cyl SOHC 8V Petrol 113 PS (111 hp/83 kW) @5500 rpm 162 N·m (119 lb·ft) @4250 rpm M40B18 11.5 198 km/h (123 mph) 1990–1993
318i 1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in) 4cyl SOHC 8V Petrol 115 PS (113 hp/85 kW) @5500 rpm 168 N·m (124 lb·ft) @3900 rpm M43B18 11.3 201 km/h (125 mph) 1993–1998
318is 1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in) 4cyl DOHC 16V Petrol 140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) @6000 rpm 175 N·m (129 lb·ft) @4500 rpm M42B18 10.2 213 km/h (132 mph) 1992–1996
318is 1.9 L (1895 cc, 116 cu in) 4cyl DOHC 16V Petrol 140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) @6000 rpm 180 N·m (133 lb·ft) @4300 rpm M44B19 10.2 213 km/h (132 mph) 1996–1998
320i 2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4700 rpm M50B20 10.0 214 km/h (133 mph) 1991–1994
320i 2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4200 rpm M52B20 9.9 214 km/h (133 mph) 1994–1998
323i 2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 170 PS (168 hp/125 kW) @5500 rpm 245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @3950 rpm M52B25 8.0 231 km/h (144 mph) 1995–1998
325i 2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 192 PS (189 hp/141 kW) @5900 rpm 245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @4700 rpm M50B25 8.0 233 km/h (145 mph) 1991–1993
325i 2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 192 PS (189 hp/141 kW) @5900 rpm 245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @4200 rpm M50B25 8.0 233 km/h (145 mph) 1993–1995
328i 2.8 L (2793 cc, 170 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 193 PS (190 hp/142 kW) @5300 rpm 280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @3950 rpm M52B28 7.0 240 km/h (149 mph) 1994–1998
M3 3 L (2990 cc, 182 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 286 PS (282 hp/210 kW) @7000 rpm 320 N·m (236 lb·ft) @2600 rpm S50B30 6.0 250 km/h (155 mph) 1992–1998
M3 3.2 L (3201 cc, 195 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 321 PS (317 hp/236 kW) @7400 rpm 350 N·m (258 lb·ft) @3250 rpm S50B32 5.5 250 km/h (155 mph) 1995–1998
318tds 1.7 L (1665 cc, 102 cu in) 4cyl SOHC 8V Diesel 90 PS (89 hp/66 kW) @4400 rpm 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @2000 rpm M41D17 14.4 182 km/h (113 mph) 1994–1998
325td 2.5 L (2498 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl SOHC 12V Diesel 115 PS (113 hp/85 kW) @4800 rpm 222 N·m (164 lb·ft) @1900 rpm M51D25 12.0 198 km/h (123 mph) 1991–1996
325td 2.5 L (2498 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl SOHC 12V Diesel 115 PS (113 hp/85 kW) @4800 rpm 230 N·m (170 lb·ft) @1900 rpm M51D25 12.0 198 km/h (123 mph) 1996–1998
325tds 2.5 L (2498 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl SOHC 12V Diesel 143 PS (141 hp/105 kW) @4800 rpm 260 N·m (192 lb·ft) @2200 rpm M51D25 10.4 214 km/h (133 mph) 1993–1996
325tds 2.5 L (2498 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl SOHC 12V Diesel 143 PS (141 hp/105 kW) @4600 rpm 280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @2200 rpm M51D25 10.4 214 km/h (133 mph) 1996–1998

Coupes

Name Volume Engine Valvetrain Fuel Output Torque Engine code 0-100 km/h,s Top speed Years
316i 1.6 L (1596 cc, 97 cu in) 4cyl SOHC 8V Petrol 102 PS (101 hp/75 kW) @5500 rpm 150 N·m (111 lb·ft) @3900 rpm M43B16 11.3 201 km/h (125 mph) 1993–1998
318is 1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in) 4cyl DOHC 16V Petrol 140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) @6000 rpm 175 N·m (129 lb·ft) @4500 rpm M42B18 10.2 213 km/h (132 mph) 1992–1996
318is 1.9 L (1895 cc, 116 cu in) 4cyl DOHC 16V Petrol 140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) @6000 rpm 180 N·m (133 lb·ft) @4300 rpm M44B19 10.2 213 km/h (132 mph) 1996–1999
320i 2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4700 rpm M50B20 10.0 214 km/h (133 mph) 1992–1993
320i 2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4700 rpm M52B20 9.9 214 km/h (133 mph) 1993–1999
323i 2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 170 PS (168 hp/125 kW) @5500 rpm 245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @3950 rpm M52B25 8.0 227 km/h (141 mph) 1995–1999
325is 2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 192 PS (189 hp/141 kW) @5900 rpm 245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @4200 rpm M50B25 6.9 233 km/h (145 mph) 1992–1995
328is 2.8 L (2793 cc, 170 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 193 PS (190 hp/142 kW) @5300 rpm 280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @3950 rpm M52B28 6.7 236 km/h (147 mph) 1995–1999
M3 3 L (2990 cc, 182 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 295 PS (291 hp/217 kW) @7000 rpm 323 N·m (238 lb·ft) @3900 rpm S50B30 6.0 250 km/h (155 mph) 1993–1995
M3 3.2 L (3201 cc, 195 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 321 PS (317 hp/236 kW) @7400 rpm 350 N·m (258 lb·ft) @3250 rpm S50B32 5.5 250 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
318i 1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in) 4cyl SOHC 8V Petrol 115 PS (113 hp/85 kW) @5500 rpm 168 N·m (124 lb·ft) @3900 rpm M43B18 10.5 194 km/h (121 mph) 1994–1998
320i 2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4700 rpm M50B20 10.6 211 km/h (131 mph) 1993–1994
320i 2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4200 rpm M52B20 10.6 211 km/h (131 mph) 1994–1998
325is 2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 192 PS (189 hp/141 kW) @5900 rpm 245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @4200 rpm M50B25 8.6 229 km/h (142 mph) 1993–1995
328is 2.8 L (2793 cc, 170 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 193 PS (190 hp/142 kW) @5300 rpm 280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @3950 rpm M52B28 7.7 230 km/h (143 mph) 1995–1999
M3 3.2 L (3201 cc, 195 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 321 PS (317 hp/236 kW) @7400 rpm 350 N·m (258 lb·ft) @3250 rpm S50B32 5.6 250 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
316i 1.6 L (1596 cc, 97 cu in) 4cyl SOHC 8V Petrol 102 PS (101 hp/75 kW) @5500 rpm 150 N·m (111 lb·ft) @3900 rpm M43B16 13.2 191 km/h (119 mph) 1997–1999
318i 1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in) 4cyl SOHC 8V Petrol 115 PS (113 hp/85 kW) @5500 rpm 168 N·m (124 lb·ft) @3900 rpm M43B18 11.7 197 km/h (122 mph) 1995–1999
320i 2 L (1991 cc, 121 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) @5900 rpm 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @4200 rpm M52B20 10.2 212 km/h (132 mph) 1995–1999
323i 2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 170 PS (168 hp/125 kW) @5500 rpm 245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @3950 rpm M52B25 8.3 223 km/h (139 mph) 1996–1999
328i 2.8 L (2793 cc, 170 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 193 PS (190 hp/142 kW) @5300 rpm 280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @3950 rpm M52B28 7.4 230 km/h (143 mph) 1995–1999
318tds 1.7 L (1665 cc, 102 cu in) 4cyl SOHC 8V Diesel 90 PS (89 hp/66 kW) @4400 rpm 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @2000 rpm M41D17 14.5 179 km/h (111 mph) 1995–1999
325tds 2.5 L (2498 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl SOHC 12V Diesel 143 PS (141 hp/105 kW) @4800 rpm 260 N·m (192 lb·ft) @2200 rpm M51D25 10.5 206 km/h (128 mph) 1995–1996
325tds 2.5 L (2498 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl SOHC 12V Diesel 143 PS (141 hp/105 kW) @4600 rpm 280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @2200 rpm M51D25 10.5 206 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
316i 1.6 L (1596 cc, 97 cu in) 4cyl SOHC 8V Petrol 102 PS (101 hp/75 kW) @5500 rpm 150 N·m (111 lb·ft) @3900 rpm M43B16 12.3 188 km/h (117 mph) 1994–1999
316i 1.9 L (1895 cc, 116 cu in) 4cyl SOHC 8V Petrol 105 PS (104 hp/77 kW) @5300 rpm 165 N·m (122 lb·ft) @2500 rpm M43B19 11.9 190 km/h (118 mph) 1999–2000
318ti 1.8 L (1796 cc, 110 cu in) 4cyl DOHC 16V Petrol 140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) @6000 rpm 175 N·m (129 lb·ft) @4500 rpm M42B18 9.9 209 km/h (130 mph) 1994–1995
318ti 1.9 L (1895 cc, 116 cu in) 4cyl DOHC 16V Petrol 140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) @6000 rpm 180 N·m (133 lb·ft) @4300 rpm M44B19 9.9 209 km/h (130 mph) 1995–1998
323ti 2.5 L (2494 cc, 152 cu in) 6cyl DOHC 24V Petrol 170 PS (168 hp/125 kW) @5500 rpm 245 N·m (181 lb·ft) @3950 rpm M52B25 7.8 230 km/h (143 mph) 1997–2000
318tds 1.7 L (1665 cc, 102 cu in) 4cyl SOHC 8V Diesel 90 PS (89 hp/66 kW) @4400 rpm 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @2000 rpm M41D17 13.9 175 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 bhp 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 Template: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 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.

External links