The E36 M3 is powered by the BMW S50 straight-six engine and it was the first M3 to use a six-cylinder engine.
A key difference between the “European specification” M3 and the North American M3 is the less powerful S50B30US engine used in the North American M3, which was rated at 179 kW (240 hp) and 305 N⋅m (225 lb⋅ft).
In order to raise the performance of the S50B30 engine, BMW created the new S50B32 to make the E36 M3 faster and more dynamic. It became the most powerful engine in the M50 series . Engineers installed new forged crankshaft (with a piston stroke of 91 mm), and diameter of cylinders were increased to 86.4 mm. Connecting rods with graphite coating (length 139 mm), lightweight pistons (piston compression height – 32.3 mm) were used. The compression ratio increased up 10.8 to 11.3. For the first time, continuously variable valve timing system was used on intake and exhaust camshafts – Double-VANOS on BMW engines. Diameter of inlet valves is increased to 35 mm, diameter of exhaust valves remained the same, stem diameter decreased up 7 mm to 6 mm. Dual mass flywheel, exhaust system changed. The intake system became thicker and shorter. Individual throttle bodies were used. The result – Maximum power output of 236 kW; 317 bhp (321 PS) at 7,400 rpm and 350 N⋅m (258 lbf⋅ft) of torque at 3,200 rpm.
Although the North American version M3 engine was also upgraded to the 3.2 L (195 cu in) BMW S52 at the sametime, power outputs of 179 kW (240 hp) was remained unchanged. However, torque was increased to 320 N⋅m (236 lbf⋅ft). The manual gearbox remained a 5-speed, despite the European version being upgraded to a 6-speed unit.
Disclaimer: Features and specifications of this vehicle are compiled from public sources which is trusted to be reliable. Rennsport Automobile has made the best effort to ensure accuracy of the information displayed above but accepts no responsability for errors and/or omissions which may have been presnted in this information.