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      02-10-2022, 11:53 AM   #1
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E36 US spec M3 is the one to buy

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Not sure if this was posted or not but here's a nice vid on the E36, specifically why the US spec was "better" than the Euro spec

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      02-10-2022, 12:12 PM   #2
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"The U.S. E36 is the M3 to have" | Jason Cammisa Revelations on Hagerty

Description from the publisher that accompanied the above video is below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hagerty
Within BMW circles, it's a commonly held belief that the U.S.-spec M3 wasn't a "real M3" because it didn't have a real M engine.

The 1995 M3 used a 3.0-liter version of the regular 325i's straight-six — whereas European cars used a special 3.0-liter straight-six with a Independent-throttle-body cylinder head taken from the McLaren F1. The horsepower difference was 240 hp (US) versus 286 PS (DIN.)

To make matters worse, the 1996 and later U.S. M3 used a 3.2-liter that also made 240 hp, whereas the Euro car got a 3.2-liter with 321 PS.

The primary reason for the US engine was financial — the E30 M3 was a sales failure in North America, and BMW NA didn't want to risk another one. The E36 M3 was a bargain — unlike the E30 M3, which was a buzzy, four-cylinder homologation-special race car, the six-cylinder M3 did everything better than the 325i. And instead of an $8000 price premium over the base car, the M3 cost just $3000 more.

The US car was a huge sales success, selling three times the number of cars BMW anticipated. And BMW NA then convinced Germany to add a 4-door sedan, and it outsold even the coupe. The reason - it was a handling high watermark for BMW, a perfectly balanced sports car with a real back seat and daily usability.

The Euro M3 engines were fizzier than the US — the S50B30 revved to 7280 rpm; the S50B32 3.2-liter revved to 7600 rpm. They made amazing noises — but also suffer from some big maintenance issues that the lower-stress U.S. engines don't: spun bearings being the biggest.

Most importantly, in a drag race between the U.S. and Euro cars in this video (both 3.2-liters), they were dead even to 60 mph — and stayed that way through third gear, leaving Cammisa to conclude that the more reliable U.S. car, especially in sedan form, is the E36 to own.
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      02-10-2022, 02:25 PM   #3
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Another great video from Cammisa and Hagerty. I always will have a soft spot for the E36 (both M and non-M versions) being that it was my first Bimmer. So much fun, and it seems that E36 prices are finally ticking upwards as more and more great examples start to disappear.
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      02-10-2022, 04:02 PM   #4
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Maybe the one to own for an American, but I want my ITBs in an NA M car...

Here's a 3.2 Evo with just a Supersprint exhaust, more than keeping up with a 440iA.

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      02-10-2022, 05:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagon View Post
Maybe the one to own for an American, but I want my ITBs in an NA M car...

Here's a 3.2 Evo with just a Supersprint exhaust, more than keeping up with a 440iA.

Well, they are available now. Granted I think they are the probably the same as they were new now. Or put in a more reasonable S54 .
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      02-10-2022, 07:23 PM   #6
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What a great insightful video. His videos are super well done

I've owned mine for almost 10 years and I've considered selling it many times to fund other M's or a Porsche and I've yet to be able to do it. This car, out of all the M's I own, is definitely the car that's so much more than its performance on paper. What no one ever tells you is that this car has got really good torque at midrange. Never got into it and thought it was slow. As a matter of fact, it's got just the right amount of power that you can really redline through the first few gears and enjoy.

Ironically, this is the least maintenance heavy car I have (apart from crappy interior) but also the only one that's ever left me stranded when the slave cylinder blew

This video just highlights everything. Long live the US M3:


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      02-10-2022, 07:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W/// View Post

This video just highlights everything. Long live the US M3:
In only the best color. NBD
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      02-10-2022, 07:50 PM   #8
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I miss my E36M3 and he's right. It was a bargain. I traded in my less than 1 year old 325i b/c it was cheaper to buy the E36M3 than start messing w/325i "upgrades".
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      02-10-2022, 09:51 PM   #9
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I have owned my 97 E36 M3 from new,60,000 mostly trouble free miles. I may be buried in it.😎
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      02-10-2022, 10:04 PM   #10
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Awesome video.
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      02-10-2022, 11:05 PM   #11
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They’re great track cars for sure! My buddy has a full track spec one and whoops my e92 every time. For now
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      02-11-2022, 06:29 AM   #12
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Surprised he mentioned the abysmal interior quality. That's the main reason I plan on offloading mine come spring time. Just not a nice place to spend time.
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      02-11-2022, 08:03 AM   #13
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Maybe an unpopular opinion here
Had they offered the S54 E36 in the US say the last 2 model years, people are going to be listing after that one
Look at price difference and desirability between the early z3 M and the S54 Z3M or the og N55 M2 and S55 M2
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      02-11-2022, 10:09 AM   #14
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Talking

Jason - Bro - cool and insightful vid....buuuuuuut the very best part was the end credits where you had the driving.

I replayed that at HIGH volume - that was super cool.


Cheers,
Merlin
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      02-11-2022, 10:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikkagtr View Post
Maybe an unpopular opinion here
Had they offered the S54 E36 in the US say the last 2 model years, people are going to be listing after that one
Look at price difference and desirability between the early z3 M and the S54 Z3M or the og N55 M2 and S55 M2
I agree with you that 23 -25 years later we'd be lusting after it. Nowadays people are lusting after every 90's era car.
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      02-11-2022, 05:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagon View Post
Maybe the one to own for an American, but I want my ITBs in an NA M car...

Here's a 3.2 Evo with just a Supersprint exhaust, more than keeping up with a 440iA.

That's much faster than I would feel comfortable going in an E36. You can just watch the twitching steering wheel at those high speeds.
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      02-14-2022, 07:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikkagtr View Post
Maybe an unpopular opinion here
Had they offered the S54 E36 in the US say the last 2 model years, people are going to be listing after that one
Look at price difference and desirability between the early z3 M and the S54 Z3M or the og N55 M2 and S55 M2
I don't necessarily disagree with you here, but IMHO, the US E36 M3 still holds its own. I also have an S54 powered car in the garage, and I agree the US S52 doesn't provide the same high revving experience, but it's still a wonderful engine. And it's a fraction of the price to maintain that engine than than the S54 or S65.

I also view it this way. The E39 M5 is considered the best M5 ever made, but that car also had a redline of 7k-ish RPM and a steering box, which on paper is kind of lazy next to the S54 and the S85 that came after it. Still a good car though (although not my favorite).
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      02-14-2022, 08:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W/// View Post
I don't necessarily disagree with you here, but IMHO, the US E36 M3 still holds its own. I also have an S54 powered car in the garage, and I agree the US S52 doesn't provide the same high revving experience, but it's still a wonderful engine. And it's a fraction of the price to maintain that engine than than the S54 or S65.

I also view it this way. The E39 M5 is considered the best M5 ever made, but that car also had a redline of 7k-ish RPM and a steering box, which on paper is kind of lazy next to the S54 and the S85 that came after it. Still a good car though (although not my favorite).
It is funny how much shit people give the S52, but not the S62. S62 has the same redline, similar hp/l-- it's every bit as half assed as the S52, yet because there was no euro high revving S60B50, everyone is fine with it.

... I actually enjoyed my S52 e36 M3 more than my S50B32 e36 M3. To me, the great thing about the e36 M3 is how much fun you can have at relatively low speeds (could actually drive it hard on the streets), and the S52 was an important part of that.
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      02-14-2022, 09:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
It is funny how much shit people give the S52, but not the S62. S62 has the same redline, similar hp/l-- it's every bit as half assed as the S52, yet because there was no euro high revving S60B50, everyone is fine with it.

... I actually enjoyed my S52 e36 M3 more than my S50B32 e36 M3. To me, the great thing about the e36 M3 is how much fun you can have at relatively low speeds (could actually drive it hard on the streets), and the S52 was an important part of that.
There's something nice about being able to rev out through 3 gears and doing highway speeds, having enjoyed a great I6 sound and not worrying how much damage you just did to the rod bearings haha. Only worry would be how many clips just popped out from the interior and exterior of the car
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      02-14-2022, 09:35 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W/// View Post
There's something nice about being able to rev out through 3 gears and doing highway speeds, having enjoyed a great I6 sound and not worrying how much damage you just did to the rod bearings haha. Only worry would be how many clips just popped out from the interior and exterior of the car
lol.

My brother had an immaculate e36 M3. Spotless.

... one day he opened the door. Metal frame opened, door card stayed behind. It felt like the quintessential e36 M3 moment to me.

Though he might not have had rod bearing failure, he did ultimately lose the engine to the oil pump nut. Amusingly (since S52s are generally pretty reliable), that's the only engine failure either of us has experienced.
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      02-14-2022, 09:44 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
It is funny how much shit people give the S52, but not the S62. S62 has the same redline, similar hp/l-- it's every bit as half assed as the S52, yet because there was no euro high revving S60B50, everyone is fine with it.

... I actually enjoyed my S52 e36 M3 more than my S50B32 e36 M3. To me, the great thing about the e36 M3 is how much fun you can have at relatively low speeds (could actually drive it hard on the streets), and the S52 was an important part of that.
I'm not saying it is bad per se, but there's always that thought in the back of your head that there's something better
That would bother me
But I'm also that min/max guy who will look for items in loot hunt games that have prefect rolled stats , and even if it is off by 1 max , I'll still keep looking
Not that that 1 less than max rolled damage weapon is bad
But only ow there's one out there that is 1 better
So to me that one is BEST
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      02-14-2022, 11:39 AM   #22
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Minus the cruddy glue and crappy wiring they were overall great cars, and made an average driver a very good driver on the track.
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