1996 BMW M3


1996 BMW M3

1996 BMW M3

BMW M upgraded the engine in the M3 following the release of the ‘3.2’ at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show. Many of the changes to the engine reflect the lessons learnt creating the V12 for the McLaren supercar which was essentially two S50 engines forming a V. The new engine, called S50 B32, was larger and featured the Double VANOS system. This system made both the intake and exhaust camshafts continuously variable. Small changes to the S50 included a second oil pump, larger inlet valves, graphite-coated conrods, lightweight pistons and a new BMW/Siemens MSS50 engine management system.

Attached to the new engine was a Getrag six-speed manual transmission. In 1997, BMW Europe added a Sequential M Gearbox (SMG) as a option which was quite a substantial technology for the period. The system used an electronic clutch and hydraulic cylinders to automatically engage each gear. Following a push or pull on the gear lever the SMG system could change gears in as little as 0.4 seconds.

retained the same ratios as the Getrag box.

retained the same ratios as the Getrag box.

American 3.2

Like the 3.0 M3, the American M3 was detuned compared to the rest of the world. The S50 B30 USA was replaced by the S52 which was an evolution of the M52 found in the 328i and 528i. This engine produced 240 horsepower which was the same as the USA spec car released in 1994. The American cars did not come with the six speed transmission and retained the ZF Type C five speed manual.

In Detail

price $$40 000 USD
engineS50 B30 Inline-6
positionfront Longitudinal
aspirationNatural
valvetrainDOHC, 4 Valves per Cyl w/VANOS Variable Timing
fuel feedSequential Electronic Fuel Injection
displacement3201 cc / 195.3 in³
bore86.4 mm / 3.4 in
stroke91 mm / 3.58 in
compression11.3:1
power236 kw / 316.5 bhp @ 7400 rpm
specific output98.88 bhp per litre
bhp/weight219.79 bhp per tonne
torque319.97 nm / 236 ft lbs @ 3600 rpm
body / frameUnit Steel
driven wheelsRWD w/25% Limited-Slip Differential
front tires225/45ZR17
rear tires245/40ZR17
front brakesInner Vented Discs w/ABS, Two Piece Floating Rotors
rear brakesInner Vented Discs w/ABS
front wheelsF 43.2 x 19.0 cm / 17.0 x 7.5 in
rear wheelsR 43.2 x 21.6 cm / 17 x 8.5 in
steeringM-Tuned Steerin Rack w/Variable Power Assist
f suspensionMacPherson Struts wSprings, Dampers Anti-Roll Bar
r suspensionMulti-Link Z-Axle wSprings, Dampers Anti-Roll Bar
curb weight1440 kg / 3175 lbs
wheelbase2700 mm / 106.3 in
front track1422 mm / 56 in
rear track1445 mm / 56.9 in
length4432 mm / 174.5 in
width1709 mm / 67.3 in
height1336 mm / 52.6 in
transmissionGetrag 6-Speed Manual
gear ratios4.23:1, 2.51:1, 1.67:1, 1.23:1, 1.00:1, 0.83:1
final drive3.15:1
top speed~250 kph / 155.3 mph
0 – 60 mph~5.6 seconds
0 – 100 mph~13.0 seconds