The BMW 3 Series is a range of sedans and coupes designed by the German manufacturer BMW. This series takes over in May 1975 from the BMW 2002, taking up most of its features, while adding many evolutions, especially in terms of engines. The Series 3 was once the smallest model manufactured by BMW, before the place was taken by the Series 1 in 2004. It is also the best-selling model in the world in 2005 in the category of mid-range luxury cars. , accounting for almost 40% of sales by the German manufacturer1. On September 10, 2015, the Munich factory brings out the ten millionth Series 3 (all generations), it is a 320d imperial blue2.
The BMW 3 Series is Semir Gerkhan’s car in the German Cobra Alert series since 1995. The E36, E46, E90 and F30 versions are successively used. Only the E90 and F30 versions are equipped with the M Sport Pack according to seasons and episodes. It is incidentally the most damaged and destroyed car of the whole series, in all its versions.
The first series 3 appeared in 1975 to replace the 1502, 1602, 1802 and 2002 (E10 / E20), which it takes some engines. It will be produced in two-door version and motorized by gasoline blocks. The design of the 3 series is innovative. The exterior lines are from the work of Paul Bracq and takes the style of the series 5 e12. The interior was particularly worked in habitability and ergonomics. The driving position is still a reference today. Passive safety is not forgotten with deformation zones and a reinforced cabin structure. Braking is assisted and powerful; the running gear is improved compared to the 02 series. The first models are the 316, 318, 320 carburettor and the Bosh K-Jetronic mechanical injection 320i, all equipped with the M10 four-cylinder engine.
The 3 E21 series quickly became the benchmark for compact sedans.
A new, compact-size, 1,990cc, six-cylinder engine was introduced in 1977 on the 320, this carburetor engine developing 122hp instead of the 320 four-cylinder. Then a second six-cylinder block comes to cap the range, a 2,316 cm3 K-Jetronic injection of 143 hp on the 323i. This model reaches 190 km / h and performs 0 to 100 km / h in 8.3 s.
A slight restyling is carried out in 1979, the front skirt loses its rounded shape and becomes more aggressive, side custodes and side rims are different, the rear monogram leaves the plastic plate and is applied directly on the trunk, the mirrors chrome disappear and are replaced by mirrors in black plastic, the rear lights now incorporate fog lights. In the cockpit, the center console is modified and the heating block is simplified. The instrument panel and the instrumentation differ slightly.
Rolling stock, braking, transmission, fuel tanks and cooling circuits have also evolved.
The most powerful models, 320i, 320/6 and 323i, could be identified at first glance thanks to their four-head grille with front monogram, although some 4-cylinder models have also been retrofitted. The 323i also has dual exhaust, front ventilated disc brakes and full disc brakes, struts and stabilizer bars of larger diameters.
New interior trim lines appeared in 1980 to replace the old ones, the shape of the headrests is also reviewed.
In 1980, the engine 1,573 cm3 of the 316 is replaced by the 1,766 cm3 of the 318 but with a lower power of 90 hp. Whereas the 318 is replaced by the 318i 105 hp (still with mechanical injection K-Jetronic). The 315 makes its appearance at the bottom of the range by taking the engine 1,600 cm3 of the old 316 with a power reduced to 75 horses.
At the end of 1982, the new 3 E30 series replaced the E21, only the 315 model lasted until 1983.
Some models were optionally equipped with monobloc wheels in BBS or 13-inch Alpina aluminum. A five-speed gearbox with the first lower left, called “sport” could equip the optional 323i. A self-locking differential bridge at 40% on the first models then at 25% was also proposed. Power steering, air conditioning, sunroof, five-speed “economy” gearbox, three-speed automatic transmission, Recaro sports seats, various steering wheels, fog lamps, headlamp washers, power seats imitation leather … could also equip the vehicles of the range. Discoverable models could be acquired in concession although realized by the coachbuilder Baur.