The E30 M3 and E46 M3 sit at the top of the car collectors’ list, but there is one M3 that is often overlooked: E36 M3. The neglected child of the M3 family is likely of the most understated sports car BMW has ever built.
The E36 comes from a time when BMWs were known for incredibly precise and communicative steering and purity of driving. With a free revving inline-six engine, 5-Speed manual, a limited-slip diff and rear-wheel drive, the E36 M3 was the car to drive.
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But weighing more than the BMW E30 M3 and being less powerful than the E46 M3, the E36 M3 was not as highly praised as the other M3s and therefore it never really developed a cult among the enthusiasts. On the other hand, the E36 has that rebel mentality built into it and many people tend to ignore the E36 before coming back to own one.
The E36 M3, from 1996-1999 has a 3.2 liter I6 engine, making 240 hp, a limited-slip differential and could hit 60 mph in 6 seconds. The North American model wasn’t the fastest or most fun, but it’s still a great car to drive, especially at the price point nowadays.