Throwback Thursday: BMW E30 3 series

Today is throwback Thursday, the special day of the week when Art of Gears looks into the past at some of the most popular, rarest and historic motors. This weeks throwback article is the BMW E30 series.

The BMW E30 was first launched in Germany in 1982 as a performance upgraded vehicle to the BMW E21. This BMW was compact and changed the car industry with it’s design and shape.

Production started the same year as the car was launched and lasted 12 years until 1992 with more than 2 million individual units being manufactured and sold.

This BMW featured a 1.8L four cylinder engine which was capable of accelerating from 0-60mph in 9.4 seconds with around 84bhp. However as the years went on BMW changed the engine and by the time production ended, the M3 E30 was capable of 238bhp.

In 1986 BMW went the extra mile and decided to create the BMW E30 M3 which was based on the standard E30. This upgraded performance motor featured a 2.3L engine and had a similar body shape and rear spoiler type as the Mercedes 190E.

Even though over 2m units were produced, purchasing one today that has been unmodified and preserved is quite difficult as only around 5,000 remain in the United Kingdom. However the figures for the vehicle being used on the roads at this time will be significantly lower.

When the BMW E30 was first released in 1982, it had a price tag of around £25,000. Purchasing a BMW in 2023 can cost around £12,000.
However,  the upgraded version (BMW E30 M3) has seen an increase in the price within the last few years. The average price of a BMW E30 M3 can cost around £80,000 – £100,000 compared to the price in 1986 which came in at almost £30,000.