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1988 BMW M3

When the era of the M1 drew to an end, the BMW M3 entered the scene in 1986. With the launch of this compact two-door car, BMW followed for the first time a consistent path of parallel development of production and motor sport cars: The road version, 5,000 units of which had to be made available within one year to gain approval as a touring car, was designed, right from scratch, in such a way as to meet racing car requirements. It was tailor-made to A group specifications.

All this resulted in a triumph for BMW. Right from the beginning, the snow-white racing car in the typical BMW Motorsport colours scooped huge numbers of trophies, victories and titles: Driving the M3, Roberto Ravaglia from Italy won the Touring Car World Championship in 1987. This was the first and only world title bestowed in this vehicle category.

The high-performance saloon, whose four-cylinder four-valve engine produced a maximum output of 195 bhp, featured a catalytic converter as standard. It set the course of future motor sport. In the following five years the M3 dominated the touring car racing scene and became one of the most successful touring cars. Also, the road version achieved undreamt-of sales figures, with more than 17,100 units of the first M3 sold. Due to this outstanding success of the most sporting BMW 3 Series car, it did not come as a surprise that the M3 interpretation recurred in later generations of the BMW 3 Series.

1988 BMW M3 Gallery

See full 1988 BMW M3 Gallery here

In Detail

type Series Production Car
built at Germany
price $ $ 34,000
engine Water Cooled, Inline-4
valvetrain DOHC, 4 Valves per Cyl
displacement 2302 cc / 140.5 in³
bore 93.4 mm / 3.68 in
stroke 84.0 mm / 3.31 in
compression 10.5:1
power 143.2 kw / 192.0 bhp @ 6750 rpm
specific output 83.41 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 147.69 bhp per tonne
torque 230.5 nm / 170.0 ft lbs @ 4750 rpm
body / frame Unit Steel
driven wheels Front Engine / RWD
front tires 205/55VR-16
rear tires 205/55VR-16
front brakes Vented Discs w/Vacuum Assist & ABS
front wheels F 38.1 x 17.8 cm / 15.0 x 7.0 in
rear wheels R 38.1 x 17.8 cm / 15.0 x 7.0 in
steering Rack & Pinion w/Power Assist
f suspension MacPherson Struts w/Coils Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspension Semi-Traling Arm w/Coils Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
curb weight 1300 kg / 2866 lbs
wheelbase 2565 mm / 101.0 in
front track 1412 mm / 55.6 in
rear track 1425 mm / 56.1 in
length 4346 mm / 171.1 in
width 1679 mm / 66.1 in
height 1369 mm / 53.9 in
transmission 5-Speed Manual
gear ratios 3.83:1, 2.20:1, 1.40:1, 1.00:1, 0.81:1
final drive 4.10:1
top speed ~228.5 kph / 142.0 mph
0 – 60 mph ~7.0 seconds
0 – 100 mph ~19.8 seconds
0 – 1/4 mile ~15.4 seconds

Auction Sales History

1989 BMW M3 WBSAK0300K2198332 – sold for $96,250 A highly original example of this increasingly desirable model, the M3 we present here comes to the market having resided in two of the country’s most discerning collections of the marque. Both custodians chose it for its remarkable condition, which can in modest terms be described as unspoilt; to the trained eye it might even be categorized as being ‘as new’, as it has covered an actual mileage of just a whisker over 10,700 miles. It barely looks as though those have even been accrued.
Auction Source: 2015 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams

1989 BMW M3 “Evolution Sports Saloon” – sold for €17,000 Exported from Germany to the USA in 1989, this M3 went to Japan in 1998 and was restored there to a very high standard in 2005. The M3 came to the UK in March 2010, since when it has been owned by the current vendor, and currently disoays atotal of circa 90,000 kilometes (approximately 56,000 miles) on the odometer. (It should be noted that although 1994 is recorded as date of manufacture on the accompanying Swansea V5C document, the car was actually made in 1989, this issue should be resolved by the time of sale). Described as in generally very good condition, with excellent body and paint, the car also comes with sundry bills and MoT/tax to June 2013. Hartge split-rim wheels and a Nardi steering wheel are the only notified deviations from factory specification (original BMW wheels with car).

Auction Source: 2012 Goodwood Revival Sale by Bonhams