autoevolution

BMW M3 Sedan (E36) 1994-1998

Segment: Lower Premium
Production years: 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998

BMW introduced the second generation of the M3 in 1992 as a coupe, and two years later, it unveiled the four-door version for it.

While the E30 M3 was available only as a coupe, the second generation was available with a four-door sedan and a convertible bodywork. Thus, those who needed a four-door vehicle that was fun to drive and sporty had the option to get one from the German automaker.

Unlike its predecessor, the second generation of the M3 was more subtle. It took someone with a keen eye for detail to distinguish an M-version from a regular one. But there were a few details that revealed the differences. For starters, the front bumper was different. Unlike its regular sibling, the M3 sedan featured an apron that sported a rectangular air intake in the middle, flanked on the sides by two small scoops and squared fog lamps. On the profile, the door mirrors were aerodynamically profiled and mounted on the bodywork with two thinner supports instead of a single, wider one. Moreover, the rocker panels were sculptured so they could divert the air from the sides and prevent it from entering under the car. Finally, at the back, the M3 sedan received a diffuser under the bumper and a wing on the trunk.

Inside, the automaker installed a three-spoke steering wheel with a small M-badge on the lower one. All versions got high-bolstered bucket seats at the front with multiple adjustments. As an option, BMW offered leather upholstery. Also standard was a high-fi sound system and an onboard computer. Worth noticing that the red line on the tachometer started at 7,500 rpm.

Under the hood, the car was introduced with a 3.0-liter inline-six engine that developed 286 PS for the European market but just 240 for the U.S. customers. In 1995, the German automaker upgraded the powerplant to a 3.2-liter displacement that led to 321 PS for European customers but the same 240 ponies for the U.S. market.

BMW M3 Sedan (E36) 1994-1998 23 Photos
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BMW M3 Sedan (E36) 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
  2 gasoline engines
  • 3.0L 5MT (286 HP)
  • 3.2L 5MT (321 HP)
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BMW M3 Sedan (E36) 3.0L 5MT (286 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  3.0L 5MT (286 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
2990 cm3
Power
210 KW @ 7000 RPM
286 HP @ 7000 RPM
282 BHP @ 7000 RPM
Torque
236 lb-ft @ 3600 RPM
320 Nm @ 3600 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
155.3 mph (250 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
6 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Ventilated Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
225/45 R17 (Front) - 245/40 R17 (Rear)
DIMENSIONS
Length
174.4 in (4430 mm)
Width
67.3 in (1709 mm)
Height
53.5 in (1359 mm)
Front/rear Track
55.9/56.7 in (1,420/1,440 mm)
Wheelbase
106.7 in (2710 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.3 in (109 mm)
Cargo Volume
15.4 cuFT (436 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
3218.7 lbs (1460 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
4299 lbs (1950 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
25.8 mpg US (9.1 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
217 g/km

BMW M3 Sedan (E36) 3.2L 5MT (321 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  3.2L 5MT (321 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
3201 cm3
Power
236 KW @ 7400 RPM
321 HP @ 7400 RPM
316 BHP @ 7400 RPM
Torque
258 lb-ft @ 3250 RPM
350 Nm @ 3250 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
155.3 mph (250 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
5.5 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Ventilated Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
225/45 R17 (Front) - 245/40 R17 (Rear)
DIMENSIONS
Length
174.4 in (4430 mm)
Width
67.3 in (1709 mm)
Height
53.5 in (1359 mm)
Front/rear Track
55.9/56.7 in (1,420/1,440 mm)
Wheelbase
106.7 in (2710 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.3 in (109 mm)
Cargo Volume
15.4 cuFT (436 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
3218.7 lbs (1460 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
4299 lbs (1950 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
13.9 mpg US (16.9 L/100Km)
Highway
31.3 mpg US (7.5 L/100Km)
Combined
21.3 mpg US (11 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
263 g/km
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