BMW 3-Series – A Brief History For Buyers

The BMW 3 Series is a vehicle that is popular across the Globe and it made BMW an Auto Industry giant. A brief history of the 3 Series is highlighted below.

1600-2002 – 1966 to 1976
BMW almost faced bankruptcy with the 1500 and the decision was taken to launch a smaller family saloon and delivered the 1600-2002 series that itself become an auto legend proving to be a big success for the German carmaker. The BMW 1600 could reach 60mph in 13 seconds and the BMW 2002 Turbo was the first European turbo-charged power plant.
Thousands of the 1600-2002 series rolled off the production lines until its demise in 1976 – what followed would not only amaze the motoring world but BMW also!

BMW 3 Series – 1976 to 1982
What followed was the BMW 3 Series, Wbseries Media a car that rewrote the rules for the compact saloon. The early models came with 1.6 and 1.8 litre engines but thanks to a weight of just over 1000kgs a lively drive was guaranteed.
The launch model was the BMW 320i with a four cylinder engine giving 125bhp with independent suspension.
At the 1977 Frankfurt motor show the BMW 323i was launched with the first of the six cylinder engines. The six cylinder produced 143bhp and with the help of cutting edge electronics helped the deliver an average of 21mpg. The cars success amazed BMW and by the close of 1982 over one million BMW 3 series had left the factory.

BMW 3 Series – 1983 to 1990
The second generation BMW 3 series left other cars in its segment far behind. It was lighter, had increased interior space and a larger range of more powerful engines than the first generation.
The straight-six cylinder 2.5-litre unit developed 171bhp – just 50bhp less than a 2008 BMW 325i two-door coupe and was capable of 135mph.
More was to come at the 1985 Frankfurt motor show in when BMW revealed the very first M-powered 3 Series – the BMW M3.
The M3 established BMW’s reputation as the number one manufacturer of cars for drivers! This car won every single Touring Car Championship in the world in the late 1980’s.
The second generation reached just over two million units produced during its production run.

BMW 3 Series – 1990 to 1998

The third-generation BMW 3 Series proved to be another huge seller for the Munich-based carmaker. The design saw massive improvements in engineering and chassis development including the latest design of the Z rear axle set-up.
An array of body styles were launched, including the Touring estate, four door, convertible and coupe – the rebadged two door model. The real anticipation was for the hardcore M3 in a fresh, new body.
BMW didn’t disappoint with a high-revving 3 litre six cylinder producing 286bhp in favour of the old 2.5 litre. In 1995 the M3 Evolution was produced with a 3.2 litre six cylinder engine producing a massive 321bhp giving a 0-60mph of 5.4 seconds.
And while this M3 may have lacked the racing pedigree of the original, it was a hit with buyers. More than 2.7 million third generation 3 Series were sold, and of these, 70,000 were M3s.

BMW 3 Series – 1998 to 2005
This generation of 3 Series boasted a full 12cm of extra legroom than the original model and continued the massive success built by the previous generations and as proof more than three million fourth generation BMW 3 Series were sold.
The fourth generation BMW 3 Series was to prove the power of diesel to the world with the BMW 330d delivering 184bhp and more than 40mpg. Also the 320d with its 2 litre 150bhp engine became the biggest selling vehicle in BMW’s range.
The fourth generation BMW M3 came with a 3.2-litre straight-six unit developing 343bhp giving a 0-60mph in 5 seconds with a top speed of 155mph.


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