This BMW 320i is one of the most successful touring cars from the 1990s

The BMW 3 Series is now one of the most iconic compact cars out there and much of its fame came from the early generations and their involvement into motorsport. The first-generation E21 model spawned a cool Group 5 race car that replacement the 3.0 CSL, while the second-gen E30 model kickstarted BMW’s successful campaign in touring car racing.

The E30 M3 had a very successful career in this field and the third-gen E36 arrived in 1990 to take it further. If you’re too young to have seen the E36 touring cars in action back in the 1990s, the folks over at TNT Video just released an onboard video with Marco Iacoangeli behind the steering wheel. And it’s a feast for the eyes and ears.

Although this car comes straight from the D2 touring car championships of the 1990s, it has been modified for hillclimb racing. For starters, it features an S14 engine instead of the usual M50 offered in the production 320i model or the S50 and S52 that powered the M3 versions.

The S14 is also from an M3 car, but it was offered in the second-generation E30 model. This specific 2.5-liter four-cylinder powered the most potent iteration of the E30 M3, rated at 235 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.
Take a Ride Onboard This BMW 320i D2 Superturismo
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In this car, it was tweaked to deliver a whopping 380 horsepower through a Hollinger sequential gearbox. And it seems to be pretty quick.

Brief BMW 3 Series E36 history

1992 - 2000 E36 BMW M3 Review
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The third-generation 3 Series, also known as the E36, replaced the iconic E30 in 1990. The styling was decidedly more modern, as BMW adopted rectangular headlamps with integrated turn signals and a body with slightly rounded off edges. Both gasoline and diesel engines were offered, including four- and six-cylinder mills.

Just like its predecessor, it was available in two-door coupe, two-door convertible, four-door sedan, and five-door wagon versions. However, this generation got a compact model that was essentially a hatchback version with a shorter wheelbase. This car was a predecessor to the 1 Series we know today.

1992 - 2000 E36 BMW M3 Review
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The M3 version of the E36 arrived in 1992. It featured a 3.0-liter inline-six engine, so it was the first M3 to not feature a four-banger. In 1995, BMW introduced an updated 3.2-liter inline-six mill. The M3 spawned many limited-edition models, including the GT, Evolution Imola Individual, Lightweight, M3-R, and M3 GTR.

The E36 also replaced the E30 in touring car championships around the world. BMW won the British edition from 1993 to 1995 and the German championship in 1993. It also won the Super Tourenwagen Cup in 1994 and 1998 and the Bathurst 1000 in Australian in 1997. The E36 was also the first diesel car to win the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, in 1998.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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