If there's one car that would make it's stamp on the late 80's and early 90's of european motorsport, it was the BMW E30 M3. Taking victories in various touring car championships, such as BTCC, DTM and the 1987-only World Touring Car Championship, as well as proving it's worth as a successful rally car, winning the ADAC Rallye Masters as recently as 2012, the only car that would seem to stop it, was an even better M3.
BMW released the E36 M3 in 1992, and it was clear that this was the machine to follow up on the success of the E30. The E36 base model had been produced since 1990, and as of such it was easy for BMW to use these models to gain knowledge as to how the M3 could be improved over the E30.
They didn't have to wait long for success. Powered by a 3-liter, 24-valve, 6 cylinder engine producing 286 horsepower, the E36 would go on to take victories in numerous racing events, including the 24 Hours of Spa as well as a diesel version winning the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, marking the first time a diesel car had won a major event. This boosted the cars reputation as the ultimate race car, until it was replaced by the E46 in 2000. As with the E30, one could argue that this car ended it's life in the fast lane too early.
Wrote by Morten Pedersen