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Questions and answers about the BMW E21

Foto ©BMW Group

What is the BMW E21 and when was it launched?

The BMW E21, also known as the BMW 3 Series, is a D-segment passenger car that was designed by BMW to replace the 2002 series models. It was launched in 1975.

Who designed the BMW E21 and what are the salient features of its design?

The celebrated designer Paul Bracq was responsible for designing the BMW E21. This model is characterised by its flat nose, timeless appearance and chrome bodywork details.

What were the successors to the BMW E21?

After the BMW E21, the saga continued with models such as the E30, E36, E46, E90 and F80, all of which sought to surpass the fame of the E21 and continue the evolution of the 3 Series.

Which engines were used in the BMW E21 and what were their characteristics?

The BMW E21 featured M10 and M20 engines. The M10 engine was an inline four-cylinder block with a production run that lasted from 1961 to 1988. On the other hand, the M20 engine was an inline six-cylinder that was in production from 1976 until 1994. Both engines offered a balance between power and fuel consumption.

What were the powertrain options available on the BMW E21?

The BMW E21 offered carburettor options, such as the Solex 32/32 DIDTA and the Pierburg 1B2, and injection options, such as the Bosch K-Jetronic and the Bosch Jetronic.

What additional equipment could be added to the BMW E21?

Some of the optional equipment available for the BMW E21 included metallic colours, aluminium wheels, sunroof, power steering, air conditioning and more.

What was the gearbox configuration of the BMW E21?

The BMW E21 came as standard with a 4-speed manual gearbox, but there were also options such as the ECO gearbox, the Sport gearbox and a 3-speed automatic gearbox.

What details and curiosities stand out in the BMW E21?

Some details and curiosities of the BMW E21 include its electric rear-view mirror system, the inclusion of a digital clock in the rev counter, the illumination of the instrument panel by orange lamps and the distinctive design of the nose and headlamps.

What was the best-selling model in the BMW E21 range?

The best-selling model in the BMW E21 range was the 316, which was available in different versions with a total production run of 337,024 cars.

What was the first model in the BMW E21 range to be launched on the market?
The first model in the BMW E21 range was the 320, which debuted in 1975.

Which sporty version featured prominently in the BMW E21 and what characteristics set it apart?
The most prominent sporty version of the BMW E21 was the 323i. It was characterised by its fuel-injected inline six-cylinder engine, which offered greater power and performance compared to other versions.

What was the power and performance of the BMW 323i engine?
The engine of the BMW 323i was an inline six-cylinder with an output of approximately 143 horsepower (hp) and offered remarkable performance for the time, with a top speed of around 190 km/h (190 mph).

How long was the BMW E21 in production?
The BMW E21 was produced from 1975 to 1983, with a total of approximately 1,364,039 units produced.

What was the body style available on the BMW E21?
The BMW E21 was only available in a two-door body in both coupé and convertible versions.

What influence did the BMW E21 have on the design of later 3 Series models?
The BMW E21 laid the foundations for the design of the 3 Series and established styling characteristics that were retained in later models, such as the double kidney grille and round headlamps.

What was the first BMW series to bear the name “3 Series”?
The first BMW series to carry the name “3 Series” was the BMW E21, which marked the beginning of a successful line of BMW vehicles.

What transmission options were available in the BMW E21?
The BMW E21 offered 4- and 5-speed manual transmission options as well as a 3-speed automatic transmission.

Which was the most powerful model in the BMW E21 range?
Answer: The most powerful model in the BMW E21 range was the 323i, with its inline six-cylinder engine and an output of approximately 143 hp.

What improvements were made to the BMW E21 during its production run?
During its production run, the BMW E21 received improvements such as the introduction of electronic fuel injection systems, more standard equipment and adjustments to the exterior and interior design to keep up with the trends of the time.