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Car video reviews:

Body style: Coupé (two-door)
Segment: Premium Coupe

The first generation of the 3-Series was introduced in 1975 and came after the successful BMW 02 Series, a car that wrote history in the German car company.

And the first 3-Series was the most successful BMW series.

The motorsport industry in the early '70s was crowded with Italian, British, French and German cars. Swedish brands also had something to offer with. But while some car-manufacturers were more concerned about large coupes, grand-touring cars and supercars, BMW focused on light vehicles that could serve as daily drivers and also be able to offer some satisfaction on the tracks.

The first generation of the 3-Series featured the so-called “shark-nose” with a rearward angled front grille. The first models featured two rounded headlights. The 2.0-liter and above engines were fitted with twin-headlights design while the other featured just two round headlights. The three-box design vehicle was offered only with two doors and it was available in a top-cabriolet version that was built by the custom coach-builder Baur.

Inside, there was room for four passengers and, depending on the engine option, the instrument cluster featured a tachometer or an analog clock. The dashboard was tilted toward the driver position.

The car was offered with a standard 4 or 5-speed manual transmission and some engine options were offered also with a 3-speed automatic. The top-model was the 323i version that featured a mechanical fuel injection system developed by Bosch. The 323 was offered with a choice of three different manual gearboxes, one with 4 and two with 5-speed, one with a dog-leg pattern.

BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 1975 - 1983 67 Photos
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BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 1975 - 1983
  12 gasoline engines
  • 315 4MT (75 HP)
  • 316 4MT (90 HP)
  • 318 3AT (98 HP)
  • 318 4MT (98 HP)
  • 318i 3AT (105 HP)
  • 318i 4MT (105 HP)
  • 320 3AT (122 HP)
  • 320 4MT (122 HP)
  • 320i 3AT (125 HP)
  • 320i 4MT (125 HP)
  • 323i 3AT (143 HP)
  • 323i 4MT (143 HP)

BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 315 4MT (75 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  315 4MT (75 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1573 cm3
Power
55 KW @ 5800 RPM
75 HP @ 5800 RPM
74 BHP @ 5800 RPM
Torque
81 lb-ft @ 3200 RPM
110 Nm @ 3200 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
15.3 gallons (57.9 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
95.7 mph (154 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
14.8 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
165 SR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
171.6 in (4359 mm)
Width
63.4 in (1610 mm)
Height
54.3 in (1379 mm)
Front/rear Track
53.9/54.3 in (1,369/1,379 mm)
Wheelbase
100.8 in (2560 mm)
Ground Clearance
5.7 in (145 mm)
Cargo Volume
16.2 cuFT (459 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.47
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2226.7 lbs (1010 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3174.6 lbs (1440 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
22.4 mpg US (10.5 L/100Km)
Highway
26.1 mpg US (9 L/100Km)
Combined
26.7 mpg US (8.8 L/100Km)

BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 316 4MT (90 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  316 4MT (90 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1573 cm3
Power
66.2 KW @ 6000 RPM
90 HP @ 6000 RPM
89 BHP @ 6000 RPM
Torque
92 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM
125 Nm @ 4000 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
15.3 gallons (57.9 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
99.4 mph (160 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
13.8 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
165 SR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
171.6 in (4359 mm)
Width
63.4 in (1610 mm)
Height
54.3 in (1379 mm)
Front/rear Track
53.9/54.3 in (1,369/1,379 mm)
Wheelbase
100.8 in (2560 mm)
Ground Clearance
5.7 in (145 mm)
Cargo Volume
16.2 cuFT (459 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.47
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2248.7 lbs (1020 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3174.6 lbs (1440 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
24 mpg US (9.8 L/100Km)

BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 318 3AT (98 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  318 3AT (98 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1766 cm3
Power
72.1 KW @ 5800 RPM
98 HP @ 5800 RPM
97 BHP @ 5800 RPM
Torque
105 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM
142 Nm @ 4000 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
15.3 gallons (57.9 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
99 mph (159 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
13 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
3-speed automatic
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
185/70 HR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
171.6 in (4359 mm)
Width
63.4 in (1610 mm)
Height
54.3 in (1379 mm)
Front/rear Track
53.9/54.3 in (1,369/1,379 mm)
Wheelbase
100.8 in (2560 mm)
Ground Clearance
5.7 in (145 mm)
Cargo Volume
16.2 cuFT (459 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.47
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2271 lbs (1030 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3175 lbs (1440 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
19.6 mpg US (12 L/100Km)

BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 318 4MT (98 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  318 4MT (98 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1766 cm3
Power
72.1 KW @ 5800 RPM
98 HP @ 5800 RPM
97 BHP @ 5800 RPM
Torque
105 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM
142 Nm @ 4000 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
15.3 gallons (57.9 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
103 mph (166 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
11.9 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
185/70 HR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
171.6 in (4359 mm)
Width
63.4 in (1610 mm)
Height
54.3 in (1379 mm)
Front/rear Track
53.9/54.3 in (1,369/1,379 mm)
Wheelbase
100.8 in (2560 mm)
Ground Clearance
5.7 in (145 mm)
Cargo Volume
16.2 cuFT (459 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.47
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2249 lbs (1020 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3175 lbs (1440 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
24 mpg US (9.8 L/100Km)

BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 318i 3AT (105 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  318i 3AT (105 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1766 cm3
Power
77.3 KW @ 5800 RPM
105 HP @ 5800 RPM
104 BHP @ 5800 RPM
Torque
107 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM
145 Nm @ 4000 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
15.3 gallons (57.9 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
103 mph (166 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
13.2 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
3-speed automatic
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
165 SR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
171.6 in (4359 mm)
Width
63.4 in (1610 mm)
Height
54.3 in (1379 mm)
Front/rear Track
53.9/54.3 in (1,369/1,379 mm)
Wheelbase
100.8 in (2560 mm)
Ground Clearance
5.7 in (145 mm)
Cargo Volume
16.2 cuFT (459 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.47
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2293 lbs (1040 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3219 lbs (1460 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
25.3 mpg US (9.3 L/100Km)
Highway
23.8 mpg US (9.9 L/100Km)
Combined
26.4 mpg US (8.9 L/100Km)

BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 318i 4MT (105 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  318i 4MT (105 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1766 cm3
Power
77.3 KW @ 5800 RPM
105 HP @ 5800 RPM
104 BHP @ 5800 RPM
Torque
107 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM
145 Nm @ 4000 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
15.3 gallons (57.9 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
106 mph (171 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
11.5 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
165 SR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
171.6 in (4359 mm)
Width
63.4 in (1610 mm)
Height
54.3 in (1379 mm)
Front/rear Track
53.9/54.3 in (1,369/1,379 mm)
Wheelbase
100.8 in (2560 mm)
Ground Clearance
5.7 in (145 mm)
Cargo Volume
16.2 cuFT (459 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.47
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2271 lbs (1030 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3219 lbs (1460 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
22.6 mpg US (10.4 L/100Km)
Highway
25.8 mpg US (9.1 L/100Km)
Combined
26.4 mpg US (8.9 L/100Km)

BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 320 3AT (122 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  320 3AT (122 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
1990 cm3
Power
90 KW @ 6000 RPM
122 HP @ 6000 RPM
121 BHP @ 6000 RPM
Torque
118 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM
160 Nm @ 4000 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
15.3 gallons (57.9 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
109 mph (175 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
12.4 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
3-speed automatic
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
185/70 HR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
171.6 in (4359 mm)
Width
63.4 in (1610 mm)
Height
54.3 in (1379 mm)
Front/rear Track
53.9/54.3 in (1,369/1,379 mm)
Wheelbase
100.8 in (2560 mm)
Ground Clearance
5.7 in (145 mm)
Cargo Volume
16.2 cuFT (459 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.47
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2480 lbs (1125 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3417 lbs (1550 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
18.4 mpg US (12.8 L/100Km)

BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 320 4MT (122 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  320 4MT (122 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
1990 cm3
Power
90 KW @ 6000 RPM
122 HP @ 6000 RPM
121 BHP @ 6000 RPM
Torque
118 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM
160 Nm @ 4000 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
15.3 gallons (57.9 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
112.4 mph (181 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
10.7 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
185/70 HR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
171.6 in (4359 mm)
Width
63.4 in (1610 mm)
Height
54.3 in (1379 mm)
Front/rear Track
53.9/54.3 in (1,369/1,379 mm)
Wheelbase
100.8 in (2560 mm)
Ground Clearance
5.7 in (145 mm)
Cargo Volume
16.2 cuFT (459 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.47
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2458 lbs (1115 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3417 lbs (1550 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
24.8 mpg US (9.5 L/100Km)

BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 320i 3AT (125 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  320i 3AT (125 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1990 cm3
Power
91.9 KW @ 5800 RPM
125 HP @ 5800 RPM
123 BHP @ 5800 RPM
Torque
127 lb-ft @ 4300 RPM
172 Nm @ 4300 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
15.3 gallons (57.9 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
109 mph (175 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
11.1 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
3-speed automatic
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
185/70 HR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
171.6 in (4359 mm)
Width
63.4 in (1610 mm)
Height
54.3 in (1379 mm)
Front/rear Track
53.9/54.3 in (1,369/1,379 mm)
Wheelbase
100.8 in (2560 mm)
Ground Clearance
5.7 in (145 mm)
Cargo Volume
16.2 cuFT (459 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.47
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2359 lbs (1070 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3219 lbs (1460 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
21.4 mpg US (11 L/100Km)

BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 320i 4MT (125 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  320i 4MT (125 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1990 cm3
Power
91.9 KW @ 5800 RPM
125 HP @ 5800 RPM
123 BHP @ 5800 RPM
Torque
127 lb-ft @ 4300 RPM
172 Nm @ 4300 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
15.3 gallons (57.9 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
113 mph (182 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
9.9 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
185/70 HR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
171.6 in (4359 mm)
Width
63.4 in (1610 mm)
Height
54.3 in (1379 mm)
Front/rear Track
53.9/54.3 in (1,369/1,379 mm)
Wheelbase
100.8 in (2560 mm)
Ground Clearance
5.7 in (145 mm)
Cargo Volume
16.2 cuFT (459 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.47
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2315 lbs (1050 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3219 lbs (1460 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
25 mpg US (9.4 L/100Km)

BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 323i 3AT (143 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  323i 3AT (143 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
2316 cm3
Power
105.2 KW @ 5800 RPM
143 HP @ 5800 RPM
141 BHP @ 5800 RPM
Torque
140 lb-ft @ 4500 RPM
190 Nm @ 4500 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
15.3 gallons (57.9 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
115 mph (185 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
10.7 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
3-speed automatic
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
185/70 HR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
171.6 in (4359 mm)
Width
63.4 in (1610 mm)
Height
54.3 in (1379 mm)
Front/rear Track
53.9/54.3 in (1,369/1,379 mm)
Wheelbase
100.8 in (2560 mm)
Ground Clearance
5.7 in (145 mm)
Cargo Volume
16.2 cuFT (459 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.47
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2546 lbs (1155 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3461 lbs (1570 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
19.6 mpg US (12 L/100Km)

BMW 3 Series Coupe (E21) 323i 4MT (143 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  323i 4MT (143 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
2316 cm3
Power
105.2 KW @ 5800 RPM
143 HP @ 5800 RPM
141 BHP @ 5800 RPM
Torque
140 lb-ft @ 4500 RPM
190 Nm @ 4500 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
15.3 gallons (57.9 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
118 mph (190 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
9.5 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
185/70 HR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
171.6 in (4359 mm)
Width
63.4 in (1610 mm)
Height
54.3 in (1379 mm)
Front/rear Track
53.9/54.3 in (1,369/1,379 mm)
Wheelbase
100.8 in (2560 mm)
Ground Clearance
5.7 in (145 mm)
Cargo Volume
16.2 cuFT (459 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.47
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2502 lbs (1135 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3461 lbs (1570 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
25.6 mpg US (9.2 L/100Km)
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