BMW e30 Roll Cage

E30’s racing pedigree

The E30 was, from its launch, an atypical saloon car. Although it could do anything a saloon car is required to do: carrying five people and their luggage, making the school run in the morning, then getting to work in comfort, peace and quiet, the E30 somehow let you know that underneath its simple but beautiful design lays more than a regular car. BMW e30 Roll CageBMW engineers made that obvious when they launched the M3 a car than had no rival for many years. The M division proved even more this car’s potential by wining many important events from the era, like the touring racing championships from Germany, Italy, Great Britain, France and other countries, ant the world title in 1987, or the 24 hour Spa race, Guia race and even a rally stage, Tour de Course, in a time when the rally world was dominated by all wheel drive cars.

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Tuning the E30

As all this publicity around the model was created, every man that takes driving as one of life’s pleasures, began to want a sporty, fast E30. The M models were rare, and very expensive, and the Alpina, Hartge or Schnitzer tuned car were even harder to find. Read more »

BMW e30 Audio Systems

When you are passionate about your E30, and you try to modify it to suit your personal taste, apart from the paint scheme, engine upgrades, lowered suspension, you will think, at some point, about a better sound system. BMW e30 Audio SystemI’m sure you fancy a drive in the night, with the volume tuned just right, on an open, flat road.  So, let’s see what you will have to come across if you think about improving the acoustic experience in your E30. But what should you do? Buy some expensive HI-FI, or a better exhaust?

Back in the 80s audio tuning wasn’t a very popular practice among car enthusiasts, so if you bought a car back then, you would probably stick to the original stereo and speakers.  The E30, a car that could either reasonably priced and discrete, or a loud beast that devoured hundreds of kilometers of highway,  kept this principle, in some way, even if we’re talking about the sound system. Read more »

BMW E30 Alternative Fuel

Nowadays, when the fuel price went sky high, all car manufacturers try to come up with efficient solutions. More and more manufacturers have an hybrid model in their offer, BMW E30 Alternative Fuelbut these cars don’t have great success at the customers, due to the high selling price, they’re not very convincing performance and the rumors that are spread by people who studied the problems, who say that these cars do more harm to the environment in the long run, because of the battery manufacturing process. So, some private tuners and manufacturers took the matter in their hands and began developing their own ideas on an ecological car.

Some of them used older cars a platform to start from. Since we’re talking here about BMW E30s, let’s see what can be done if you choose this old model to build your eco friendly vehicle. Read more »

BMW E30 318 iS vs VW Golf GTI

318 iS – a response for the Golf GTi or a new idea?

BMW e30 318is vs Golf MK2 GTI

The popular, performance car era  began briefly after the launch of the VW Gti in the summer of 1976. This particular model is one of the most appreciated cars in the history of motoring. Combining good performance with a decent price, it instantly became a hit. But, its small size and funky looks made it more popular among the young drivers, and people that just enjoy a good drive, while the well off business men desired something bigger that fitted better their financial status. Here BMW came to help, with its E30 318 iS that had to win the fight with the second generation of the mighty GTi. Read more »

BMW e30 Engine Types and Power

The BMW E30 is a cult favorite car. When it left the factory it had various types of engines under the bonnet, that suited every driving style. BMW e30 EnginesHowever, most of us when we think about an E30, have in mind a powerful 325i or a cabriolet, and of course, a state of the art M3. But the E30 had even diesel engines in option, though the petrol powered engine offer was much more generous, but the two diesel engines became famous for their reliability and fuel economy. So, let’s begin to describe the models.
First of all, the stock engines, that were sold in higher numbers:

M10B16 – It had a 1573 cm³ four cylinder engine, that developed 75 hp at 5800 rpm. It was produced between 1982 and 1987 and had no catalytic converter on the 316s model. On the 316i because of te catalytic converter it had 2 hp less. It was the entry level model, with the least powerful engine, but enough for the lightweight body of the car. Read more »

BMW e30 M Power

A brief history of the “M” badge

It all began in 1972, when a small number of BMW employees were designated to work on the manufacturer’s racing program. BMW e30 M PowerIt was called Motorsport (M) and the cars badged with the distinctive red, blue and purple stripes dominated touring car, Formula 2 and Formula 1 competitions in the 60’s and 70’s. The 1.5 liter turbocharged engine, put in the Formula 1 cars developed 1200 hp, an astonishing value for its size. This model made Nelson Piquet become the only Formula 1 driver to win the F1 Championship in a BMW engine car. But they didn’t stop here, and decided to make their products road legal, and to sell them to the public. Read more »

BMW e30 M Technic

What does M technic mean?

BMW e30 M Technic

The M E30 was the car that set up the M madness, it was the first M model from BMW that remained in the heart of all passionate drivers, and gained in short time cult status. Although it is a rare model, and at the time of its launch a pretty expensive car, also, I don’t think there is any true petrolhead that won’t recognize it immediately he sees it.  So, because of its price and rarity not many people could afford one, not even nowadays, when it is just a piece of motoring history. That’s why BMW tried to plant the M3’s spirit in other models of the range. One of those models is the E30 318is that although it has no M badge on its body, still gathers the main ingredients that make the M3 the brilliant car that it is: speed, power, the feel of absolute control. But, because the world was so obsessed with the M E30, BMW decided to offer a bit more of the M feel on its normal E30s. Read more »

BMW e30 324d

Have in mind that…

BMW e30 324dThe BMW E30 had a large engine option list, and most of them were petrol powered units, that with the help of the sharp handling made the E30 a driver’s car, and a cult favorite, that remains even nowadays a very appreciated car by many classic car fans and tuning specialists.  But, we cannot ignore the other two engines that BMW offered for the E30.

Read more »

BMW e30 318is

The old athlete

The long lasting career of the E30 model was possible because even from the beginning the car was a quality product, but also because BMW knew how to improve it periodically and launch new models, that were even better than the original.

BMW e30 318is

One of these models is the 318 is that was launched in 1989. This model used the M42 engine, that is the most modern power unit used in a E30, and was also used on his  successor, the E36. The M42 is a DOHC straight four engine, that uses the block from the M40 but with double overhead cams, higher compression ratio, and uses a timing chain. Engine’s specs are very impressive, it develops from 136 to 140 hp at 6000 rpm and delivers 175 Nm of torque. This figures are very good for a normal aspirated engine from the late 80s, and the fact that it was used also on the successor of the E30 proves that is was a well built, reliable unit.

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BMW e30 Rare Models

BMW E30 rare models

Back in the 80s and in the beginning of the 90s, the BMW E30 was a very popular car sold in many numbers, in Europe, North America, and even in South Africa. The engine offer was pretty big, and the body styles available could suit any lifestyle. e30 BaurThe classic, sedan body was the one that the buyers appreciated the most, there for you can see plenty of them on the streets even today. The touring version wasn’t sold in North America, so if you live there, you will consider it to be a true rarity. On the other hand, the M3 version of the E30 is very well known by any true car fan, but the chances that you will see a genuine model passing by on the road, are minimum, as very few of them were sold. Few people know, but the E30 also came in other shapes than the saloon, touring, or convertible. In the next part of the article, I prepared a selection of what I find to be the rarest E30s in the world. Take a look at them, and see which one of them you would like to own. Read more »