Is there anything more iconic than an E30 M3 on track? Before you haters answer that question, consider that the E30 M3 is easily considered to be one of the best sports cars ever built, despite having room for four people while being a daily driver.
The E30 M3 was a homologation special created for Group A Touring Car racing but designed to do one thing: win races. Developed by BMW M, the engineers took the same basic unit-body shell as the standard E30 but equipped it with 12 different and unique body panels for the purposes of improving aerodynamics. “Box flared” wheel-arches in the front and rear were added to accommodate a wider track with wider and taller wheels and tires. The only exterior body panels the standard model 3-series and the M3 shared were the bonnet, roof panel, and sunroof, a design philosophy that still holds true today.
The engine design was based on various BMW parts: basic block layout from the M10 4-cylinder (found in the 2002 and 320 series) over bored and reinforced to similar specifications of the BMW M88 inline-six. The valve train and head architecture from BMW’s M1 and, later, M6 inline-six cylinder was adopted for aggressive breathing.
When you add both of these elements together, you get a Touring car legend. Having won numerous championship titles:
- World Touring Car Championship; 1 title (1987)
- European Touring Car Championship; 2 titles (1987 and 1988)
- British Touring Car Championship; 2 titles (1988 and 1991)
- Italia Superturismo Championship; 4 titles (1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991)
- Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft; 2 titles (1987 and 1989)
- Australian Touring Car Championship; 1 title (1987)
Today, you can see countless E30 M3 still performing in club races as well as BMW Car Club track day events throughout the world and at some of the best tracks in the world.
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