E30 M3 Evo II


The E30 M3 truly is the “ultimate driving machine”, and whilst today it is not the fastest M3 (all subsequent M3’s have been faster on paper) there are many cars, including later M3’s that it can embarass on a track or twisty back road. The M3 has it’s origins in touring car racing from the 1980’s when BMW wanted a challenger for touring car racing the world over, and they built it in the form of the M3. With a 2.3 litre 16 valve engine producing from 195 to 220 bhp (the later 2.5 litre making 238 bhp) specially developed chassis and body parts the roadgoing car really was a homologation special. The E30 M3 is still (as far as I am aware) the most successful touring car ever made, still winning races today! The car was raced by BMW Motorsport as well as many other teams of the day including AC Schnitzer, Prodive, Zakspeed to name just a few. It was most successful in track racing but also had some limited success in rallying.    



Build Date: 24th May 1988. Colour: Nogaro Silver Metallic (243). Engine: In-line 4 cylinder (S14), cast iron block with aluminium DOHC/16 valves. 2302cc (bore 93.4mm stroke 84mm) CR 11:1, 98 RON fuel required 220 BHP (162 kW) at 6750 rpm, 181 ft/lb of torque at 4750 rpm.

Evo II Differences:

Major differences from standard E30 M3: Lighter flywheel, different camshaft profiles, revised ECU Map, revised air box, revised pistons, stiffer valve springs and larger intake openings. Transmission: Front engine rear drive, final drive 3.15:1 with 25% limited slip differential. Gear ratios: 1st 3.72, 2nd 2.40, 3rd 1.77, 4th 1.26, 5th 1.00:1. Body as E30 M3 with the following differences: Light weight rear and side window glass, lighter plastic mouldings for the boot lid, front and rear bumpers and bumper supports. Additional front chin spoiler and secondary spoiler on boot lid. Brake cooling ducts in lieu of fog lamps. Kerb weight: 1200Kg. Drag coefficient: 0.33. Wheels and tyres: Alloy BBS 7.5 x 16 with 225/45 ZR tyres. Interior: Unique Bison silver leather and check cloth combination (cloth - 0305) plus driver’s foot rest.


This particular Evo II has been almost fully restored with a full respray, re-trim, refurbished wheels, engine and gearbox rebuild. When looking at M3’s there are a few key areas you need to look at, specifically the scuttle area around the base of the windscreen, the front jacking points, the bottoms of the front wings and underneath the battery tray at the back (there are others but the scuttle panel is the most expensive to replace). The engines and gearboxes are generally very reliable but listen out for a very loose timing chain and get this replaced if there is no known history. An engine rebuild can cost in the region of £5000 if done by a professional and a gearbox in the region of £2000. As my car doesn’t do many miles I do the simple oil and filter changes myself to keep the costs down but more thorough checks such as an Inspection II would be entrusted to a BMW specialist.



Engine: 2.3L, 4 Cyl DOHC, 220 bhp

Performance: 0-62 in 6.7 and 151 mph

Time owned: 1988 - Current

Bought for: £27,000 + options in 1988

Mileage owned: N/A

Parts/Servicing costs: Standard BMW specialist rates from Inspection - Inspection II.

Insurance: £200 with 3000 mile restriction.