Image credits: © BMW.

1996 BMW M3

1996 BMW M3 1996 BMW M3 1996 BMW M3
Coupe
Chassis #: WBSBG9321TEY72239
BMW re-introduced the M3 to the North American market via the six-cylinder E36-platform variant for the 1995 model. The M3 was a true four-seater production car that was devastatingly quick with crisp handling.

This example was produced in April of 1996, the first year of the venerable 3.2-liter S52 inline-six cylinder engine became standard equipment. The powerplant offered 240 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque, an increase from the previous 3-liter's 255lb-ft.

This car has been given a number of upgrades including four-wheel coilover suspension with adjustable ride height, a stainless-steel cat-back exhaust system, 18-inch AC Schnitzer wheels, and a K&N air filter. The car is a sunroof-equipped example.

In 2013, the car was offered for sale at the Bonhams Auction in Scottsdale Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $7,000 - $10,000 but was unable to find a buyer willing to satisfy its reserve. It would leave the auction unsold.


By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2013
1996 BMW M3 1996 BMW M3 1996 BMW M3
Coupe
Chassis #: 102292
This car is one of the specially prepared BMW M3 race cars that won both the 1997 and 1998 Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championship in SportsCar GT-2 category for production-based cars. This car and its teammates won 17 straight races in these seasons. This chassis won its class at both the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1998 and the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1997.

Based on the popular high-performance M3 coupe, these purposeful machines were equipped with race-tuned versions of the 3.2-liter inline 6-cylinder production engine. Removal of normal road equipment such as air conditioning, audio system, anti-lock braking system, sound insulation, interior etc. reduces vehicle weight to around 2360 pounds contributing to a favorable power-to-weight ratio in their racing class. Engine power reaches a peak of 425 horsepower; with top speeds ranging up to 175 mph, according to gearing selected for specific race tracks.

Among drivers that campaigned the M3's are Pete Halssmer, Derek Hill, John Paul Jr., David Donahue, Mark Duez, Dieter Quester, Hans Stuck, Boris Said III, Mark Simo, Justin Bell, Peter Cunningham, and Bill Auberlen.

The BMW Motorsport department was tasked with designing and building a powerful, lightweight derivative of the three series. The purpose of the M3 was to compete in the FIA Group A racing. Over five-thousand examples were hand-built by BMW Motorsport.
The first series M3 was based on the E30 platform and was introduced to Europe in 1986 and the United States a year later. The first series stayed into production until 1990 and offered with a variety of motors, including a 238 horsepower engine. In a short amount of time, the E30 M3 scored thousands of victories making it one of the most successful touring machines in history. Under the hood of the M3 lurked a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with a twin-cam four-valve head with Bosch fuel-injection and rated at 192 horsepower. The 2850 pound vehicle with five-speed manual transmission could go from zero-to-sixty mph in less than seven seconds. The top speed was 140 miles-per-hour.

In 1992 the second generation M3, based on the E36 platform, was introduced at the Paris Auto Show. BMW Motorsports started with the M50TU engine used in various E36 and E34. The bore and stroke were enlarged and the intake was modified to include individual throttle bodies. A new variable valve timing system on the intake camshaft, called VANOS, was adapted to the engine. The engine, dubbed the S50, was capable of producing over 280 horsepower.

The Motorsport department continued the modifications by adapting a new suspension with firmer shocks and springs and larger anti-roll bars. Twelve-inch vented disc brakes provided excellent stopping power, while the M-tuned variable-ratio steering provided an instantaneous response.

Aesthetically, the E36 M3 was similar to the regular three series with only a few distinctions. The exterior of the M3 had a front air dam, aerodynamic side mirrors, and deeper side valance panels while the interior had an M shift knob, M instrument cluster, and M sport seats. An M-Technic rear spoiler could be purchased as a dealer option, giving the vehicle a very sportier look.

The E36 M3 did not reach US soil until 1994. Even when it did it was outfitted with a special American version of its potent engine, which was dubbed the S50 B30 USA. Throttle bodies had been removed to lower compression and the continuous VANOS was replaced with a two-stage one. This lowered the cost but also lowered the horsepower, now producing 240.

In 1995, a ZF 5HP18 five-speed automatic transmission was offered on the M3 as optional equipment. During the 1994 to 1995 model year, around 10,000 USA and 18,500 non-USA versions of the M3 were produced.

BMW went a step farther in the performance department with the introduction of the M3 Lightweight introduced in 1995. It was built for competition, having shaved 200 pounds from the standard E36 M3. The inside was void of amenities including air conditioning, rear seat, and radio. There were only 85 sold in the United States, all were quickly sold.

In 1996 BMW had learned much through its support of the McLaren super car. This translated to a new, larger engine using a Double VANOS system making the intake and exhaust camshafts continuously variable. The engine was called the S50 B32. In Europe, the 3.2-liter engine was producing over 320 horsepower while the American version stayed at 240. A Getrag six-speed manual transmission was matted to the engine. The brakes were ventilated discs and 12.4 inches in size. The steering was M-Tuned rack and pinion with variable power assist. Weighing 3150 pounds, the car could accelerate from zero through sixty mph in 5.6 seconds. A four-door version was offered.


By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006

The story of an exception: the BMW M3 is 25.

The anticipation began in August 1985. That summer Germany's automobile magazines built up their readers' expectations for the fastest 3 Series BMW of all times. The key data revealed a sports car that would punch way above its class: 200 hp, top speed in excess of 230 km/h, sprint from a standing start to 100 km/h inside 6.7 seconds. However, the story was that 'the most dynamic BMW 3 Series drivers' would have to wait until mid-1986. The pundits were right on that count. But one prediction missed the mark by a mile: anyone who 'wants to be in the A Team needs to be turbocharged under the bonnet'. Not true.

The BMW M3 became the most successful touring car in motor-sport history. The M3 project was launched just a few months earlier. Production of the M1 mid-engine sports car had already been discontinued for some time and BMW CEO Eberhard Kuenheim commissioned a design for a successor, almost as an aside, according to legend. After one of his regular visits to Motorsport GmbH in Munich's Preußenstraße he said, almost as he was leaving: 'Mr. Rosche, we need a sporty engine for the 3 Series.' His aspiration was in good hands. Motorsport GmbH with its managing director of technical development Paul Rosche had demonstrated its expertise with the legendary 5 Series saloons driven by M engines as well as developing the Formula 1 turbo engine that powered Brazilian Nelson Piquet to win the World Championship in the Brabham BMW in 1983.

The new 3 Series engine had something in common with this: the crankcase. It originated from volume production and actually formed the basis for the two-liter engine with four cylinders. Four cylinders meant less weight and high torque, an ideal platform for a sports engine in the projected displacement class. Naturally enough, the series four-cylinder engine was much too tame for a sports engine. A comprehensive power boost was called for in order to turn the plucky daily workhorse into an athletic and sporty power unit. The BMW design engineers increased the displacement to 2.3 liters and applied a formulation that had already achieved significant successes over a period of many years: four-valve engineering. There was also another reason for the decision to opt for a four-cylinder engine and not adopt the six-cylinder engine introduced in the BMW 3 Series. The longer crankshaft in the big engine started to vibrate much earlier than the shorter four-cylinder shaft. The design engineers, therefore, designed the crankshaft drive of the BMW M3 with sufficient torsional stability to achieve 10,000 revolutions a minute and more. By comparison with the four-cylinder engine installed in the series vehicles, this represented an increase of more than 60 percent. The rated speed for the road version of the BMW M3 was still significantly below the critical range at 6,750/min and therefore offered sufficient scope for further developments.

1996 BMW M3Paul Rosche recalls: 'We started work immediately. One advantage was that the big six-cylinder engine originally had the same cylinder gap as the four-cylinder engine. We therefore cut two combustion chambers off the four-cylinder head of the M88 and bolted a panel over the hole on the rear side.' This meant that the new four-cylinder engine had a second forebear. The six-cylinder engine that had initially created a sensation in the M1 and had meanwhile transformed the M635CSi into one of the fastest coupés in the world. Paul Rosche: 'Whether you believe it or not – we had created an outstanding four-cylinder engine for the 3 Series within the space of two weeks. Únder the development name S14, this engine was to generate headlines in sport and in volume production over the years to come. One Sunday, I drove to von Kuenheim's flat and gave him the car for a test drive. When he came back he said: 'Good, I like it.' And that's how the M3 came into being.'

Source - BMW

The Champion in Touring Car Racing. 25 years ago the BMW M3 started its unique series of victories.

1996 BMW M3
In August 1985, a rumour surfaced in motor magazine Auto-Deutschland which emanated from a new sports car. An A Group Car from BMW that was a thoroughbred racing car according to the rules but was also to be produced in a version licensed to drive on open roads for everyday use. Speculation about this dream car that could take to normal roads and was intended for the 'Most dynamic among BMW 3 Series drivers' was right on target. But the pundits missed the mark about the motor-sport car by a mile on one prediction: They were convinced that anyone who 'wants to be a key player in the A Team needs to be turbocharged under the bonnet'. Not true. The BMW M3 had a naturally aspirated engine. And it became the most successful touring car in the history of BMW.1996 BMW M3
The M3 project was launched just a few months earlier. Production of the M1 mid-engine sports car had already been discontinued for some time and BMW CEO Eberhard Kuenheim commissioned a design for a successor, almost as an aside, according to legend. After one of his regular visits to Motorsport GmbH in Munich's Preußenstraße he said, almost as he was leaving: 'Mr. Rosche, we need a sporty engine for the 3 Series.' His aspiration was in good hands. Motorsport GmbH with its managing director of technical development Paul Rosche had demonstrated its expertise with the legendary 5 Series saloons driven by M engines as well as developing the Formula 1 turbo engine that powered Brazilian Nelson Piquet to win the World Championship in the Brabham BMW in 1983.

Power source: a four-cylinder engine with 2.3 litres displacement and four-valve engineering.


1996 BMW M3
The new 3 Series engine had something in common with this: the crankcase. It originated from volume production and actually formed the basis for the two-litre engine with four cylinders. Four cylinders meant less weight and high torque, an ideal platform for a sports engine in the projected displacement class. Naturally enough, the series four-cylinder engine was much too tame for a sports engine. A comprehensive power boost was called for in order to turn the plucky daily workhorse into an athletic and sporty power unit. The BMW design engineers increased the displacement to 2.3 litres and applied a formulation that had already achieved significant successes over a period of many years: four-valve engineering. There was also another reason for the decision to opt for a four-cylinder engine and not adopt the six-cylinder engine introduced in the BMW 3 Series. The longer crankshaft in the big engine started to vibrate much earlier than the shorter four-cylinder shaft. The design engineers therefore designed the crankshaft drive of the BMW M3 with sufficient torsional stability to achieve 10,000 revolutions a minute and more. By comparison with the four-cylinder engine installed in the series vehicles, this represented an increase of more than 60 percent.

Paul Rosche recalls: 'We started work immediately. One advantage was that the big six-cylinder engine originally had the same cylinder gap as the four-cylinder engine. We therefore cut two combustion chambers off the four-cylinder head of the M88 and bolted a panel over the hole on the rear side.' This meant that the new four-cylinder engine had a second forebear. The six-cylinder engine that had initially created a sensation in the M1 and had meanwhile transformed the M635CSi into one of the fastest coupés in the world. Paul Rosche: 'Whether you believe it or not – we had created an outstanding four-cylinder engine for the 3 Series within the space of two weeks. Únder the development name S14, this engine was to generate headlines in sport and in volume production over the years to come. One Sunday, I drove to von Kuenheim's flat and gave him the car for a test drive. When he came back he said: 'Good, I like it.' And that's how the M3 came into being.'

Contrary to the situation with the mid-engine sports car, the BMW M3 was not going to be crafted by hand in small batches. This car was to be produced as a mass-production automobile on an assembly line. It was destined to compete in near-production touring car motor sport, or more precisely as a Group A racing car, defined as a 'production car', of which at least 5,000 units have to be built within the space of twelve consecutive months in accordance with Annex J of the international automobile sport regulations.

1996 BMW M3
300 hp for competitive racing.

However, many of them immediately disappeared again into garages and workshops to be given a new outfit. After all, the M3 had been designed as a racing car, and this was the time to prove that it really could 'race'. A World Touring Car Championship was held for the first time in 1987. And that was exactly what the M3 had been built for. But not quite in the guise in which it was seen on the streets. Instead of 200 hp, the 2.3 litre engine delivered up to 300 hp at 8,200 rpm in the racing version. This put it on a par with the BMW M635CSi. BMW didn't line up on the starting grid with its own team but supported a number of famous racing outfits like Schnitzer, Linder, Zackspeed and Bigazzi. Drivers like Markus Oestreich, Christian Danner, Roberto Ravaglia and Wilfried Vogt took the wheel, and Annette Meeuvissen and Mercedes Stermitz were the first women drivers.


Roberto Ravaglia in the M3: first World Touring Car Champion.

The first race for the 1987 World Touring Car Championship started in Monza on 22 March 1987 – and ended with a sensation. All the M3 cars were excluded from the placings. The vehicles were checked under chaotic conditions and disqualified because of sheet-metal thicknesses that were allegedly contrary to the regulations. BMW appealed but the sports tribunal decided that the appeal had been lodged too late. There was no longer any talk of infringements of the rules. All the brouhaha naturally didn't have any effect on the result of the championship. At the end of the season, Roberto Ravaglia was standing on the podium as the first World Touring Car Champion. But that was only the pinnacle of the success list. Wilfried Vogt took the title of European Champion. Altfried Heger came in second – both driving a BMW M3. In 1987, the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) also went to the new BMW M3, with Eric van de Poele behind the wheel. Moreover, the most sporty 3 Series car was also winning competitions off the race track. An M3 crossed the finishing line in first place in the Corsica Rally and secured a victory for BMW after a gap of 14 years in a race for the World Rally Championship.

24 Hour Race: M3 one-two victory on the Nürburgring.

In 1988, the BMW M3 continued the success story and took the national titles in France, England and Spain. In the following year came another victory in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM), this time with Roberto Ravaglia in the driver's seat, alongside wins at the national championships in Belgium, Holland, France, Italy, Finland, Spain, Sweden and Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, the displacement had been increased to 320 hp and the BMW M3 drove the competition into the ground. Belgian driver Marc Duez battled his way through the Monte Carlo Rally with an M3 and took eighth place as best driver in a car without a four-wheel drive. The sensational one-two victory in the 24-hour classic on the Nürburgring crowned this series of successes in 1989 with the driver combinations Pirro/Ravaglia/Giroix and Heger/Grohs/Manthey.

Playing with displacement: the right engine for each race.

The M3 had a commanding presence on the international touring car racing scene for five years. It became the most successful touring car of all times by winning the two champion's titles in the European Touring Car Championship and twice in the German Touring Car Championship. There were also numerous further victories and championship wins at international level. Depending on the competition rules, the four-valve engine had to be adapted to national regulations. For example, the capacity for England was limited to 2 litres while for Germany and France it was raised to 2.5 litres with effect from 1990. This enabled the four-cylinder to deliver up to 355 hp. In the version with the biggest capacity, the engineers of BMW M GmbH went up against the limits of what was feasible. In order to make full use of the 2.5 litre limit, they not only increased the stroke of the 2.3 litre unit from 84 to 87 millimetres, but also increased the cylinder bore from 94 millimetres to 95.5 millimetres. This reduced the width between the cylinders to just 4.5 millimetres. But success proved the development engineers right. The engines withstood the stresses and strains of touring-car racing even at maximum output without any problem.

1992: the first BMW M3 with a six-cylinder engine.

The year 1992 saw the birth of a completely new M3, this time with an advanced six-cylinder engine. Once again, Motorsport GmbH developed a version for competition in record time. In April 1993, the new M3 was due to line up at the start of the first race for the German Touring Car Championship (DTM). But due to discrepancies in the new regulations, BMW changed its strategy and instead set up a BMW M3 GTR in the striking design of a starting flag and entered the Warsteiner ADAC GT Cup organised by the German Automobile Association. The six-cylinder now generated 325 hp, the car weighed 1300 kilos in accordance with the regulations. A strong BMW team lined up at the start with Johnny Cecotto and Kris Nissen, and Cecotto ended up taking the championship at the end of the season. However, this was the end of the motor-sport chapter for this M3 GTR for the time being. Changes in the regulations meant that the potent 3 Series had no realistic changes of victory any more.

The BMW M3 GTR: the most powerful M3 ever.

BMW only returned to motor sport as a works team with a BMW M3 seven years later. In 2001, the first starting flag came down for the new BMW M3 GTR powered by a 450 hp V8 engine. The most powerful M3 ever set benchmarks in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with its four-litre engine and raced in a quartet: Team BMW Motorsport entered two cars under the management of Charly Lamm and two other cars were raced by the American BMW Team PTG run by Tom Milner, who hailed originally from Germany. The coupé took seven victories in ten races, six of them were from pole positions. BMW works driver Jörg Müller won the driver's championship in the GT Class, BMW Motorsport won the team placings, and BMW became constructors' champion in the company's most important export market.

But the advanced BMW M3 GTR also caused a sensation in Europe. Two each of these eight-cylinder racing cars lined up at the start of the 24 Hour Race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and on the Nürburgring in 2004 and 2005.The result: In both years, BWM took a one-two victory on the Nürburgring, and class victory went to BMW in Spa in 2004.

In 2009, the next generation of the M3 started in the American Le Mans Series. The V8 engine was beefed up to 485 hp and entered the Twelve Hour Race at Sebring for the first time. The successes meant that the M3 was also raced in Europe in the following year. It lined up at the start of the 24 Hour Race on the Nürburgring, in Le Mans and in Spa-Francorchamps. The result: outright victory on the Nürburgring – for the 19th time – and class victory in Spa.

And the next winner will soon be on the starting line in 2012. BMW will be back at the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) with three teams and the new BMW M3 DTM.

Source - BMW

Concepts by BMW

BMW Monthly Sales Volume

December 2019
35,746
November 2019
31,213
October 2019
25,440
September 2019
27,467
July 2019
23,015
June 2019
31,627
May 2019
27,109
April 2019
23,816
March 2019
32,228
February 2019
23,558
January 2019
18,102
Additional Sales Volume Data


Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1996 M3
$38,950-$286,000

Model Year Production

#1#2#3BMW
2001Jeep (455,417)Ferrari (792)
2000Ford (965,029)Pontiac (573,805)Chevrolet (547,294)
1999Ford (918,040)Honda (733,878)Chevrolet (609,100)142,810
1998Ford (878,405)Honda (751,032)Chevrolet (561,218)115,407
1997Ford (913,440)Honda (722,431)Chevrolet (650,820)177,166
1996Ford (1,036,048)Honda (680,711)Pontiac (541,844)64,231
1995Ford (1,012,818)Chevrolet (665,955)Honda (643,336)64,231
1994Ford (1,220,512)Chevrolet (651,647)Honda (650,105)65,806
1993Ford (1,026,338)Chevrolet (692,116)Honda (608,149)65,806
1992Ford (922,488)Honda (648,745)Chevrolet (647,227)63,618
1991Honda (659,659)Oldsmobile (474,837)Nissan (405,147)63,646

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