1991 BMW M3 Sport Evolution - The Quarter Million Dollar Unicorn?

One of the only 51 units sold in UK

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When BMW designed the M3 E30 it wanted to have a racing sedan that can also be driven on the road. When it was unveiled at the 1985 Frankfurt Auto Show, the model was very well received. In a very short period of time, it also scored many victories in various racing series, making the M3 E30 became one of the most desirable BMW models out there.

The first Evolution model was launched in 1988, and then in 1990, the most powerful model in BMW’s E30 3 Series was added to the lineup. It was, of course, the M3 Sport Evolution, with only 600 units being produced worldwide, out of which only 51 units were built to UK specifications.

What’s special about the BMW M3 Sport Evolution?

1991 BMW M3 Sport Evolution - The Quarter Million Dollar Unicorn?
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The M3 Sport Evolution was built with input from Paul Rosche - the guy responsible for the engine development in BMW’s Formula 1 racing team at that time. While the base M3 E30 was powered by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower, for the Sport Evolution version the displacement was increased to 2.5 liters.

While on paper this may sound like an easy job, it actually required a lot of work. First of all, the cylinder bore was increased to 95 mm (from 84mm), the valves were also enlarged and a long-stroke crank was added. As a result, the displacement went from 2,305 cc to 2,467 cc.

1991 BMW M3 Sport Evolution - The Quarter Million Dollar Unicorn?
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A small bump in power was also obtained after all this work: the M3 Sport Evolution ended up delivering 238 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 177 pound-feet of torque at 4,750 rpm. These numbers ensured that the Sport Evolution is not only the rarest E30 model but also the most powerful one.

On the exterior, the Sport Evolution models were distinguished by enlarged front bumper openings, an adjustable multi-position front splitter, and a rear wing. The interior on the other hand offered one-piece racing seats.

The Sport Evolution was only offered in two exterior colors: "Brilliant Red" and "Glossy Black."

How about this specific unit?


The unit that will be auctioned by Siverstone Auctions is one of the 51 units delivered to UK. It is finished in a very cool looking Brilliant Red exterior paint combined with a Sport Evolution cloth interior. The model received a 360 mm AC Schnitzer steering wheel and special suspension - but the original parts are also available with the car.

The model was first registered in 1991 and then in 1996, it went to the current owner - a BMW franchise owner and a good friend of the original owner. It has been regularly and correctly maintained by a combination of BMW main dealers and AC Schnitzer UK distributor - with papers to prove it.

1991 BMW M3 Sport Evolution - The Quarter Million Dollar Unicorn?
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It shows only 65,000 miles on the odometer, and according to the seller, it is in excellent condition.

The estimated price is £130,000 - £180,000 ($160,000 - $222,000 at the current exchange rates), but you shouldn’t be surprised if it will end up selling for a lot more.

Source: SilverstoneAuctions

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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