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What are the specifications of the BMW 3 Series (E21)?

BMW 3 Series (E21): The beginning of a legend

The BMW 3 Series (E21) is a vehicle that was produced from 1975 to 1983 and marked the beginning of the BMW 3 Series. This model became an instant success due to its advanced engineering features, aerodynamic design and excellent on-road performance. In this article, we will explore the technical specifications, history and features of the BMW 3 Series (E21).

Technical specifications of the BMW e21

The BMW 3 Series (E21) featured a monocoque body construction with four-wheel independent suspension. The base model had a 1.6-litre inline four-cylinder engine, capable of producing 75 horsepower. However, BMW also offered more powerful versions of the E21, including a 1.8-litre inline four-cylinder engine and a 2.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine. The six-cylinder engine could produce up to 122 horsepower.

The BMW 3 Series (E21) also featured a four-speed manual transmission, although an optional three-speed automatic transmission was offered for those who preferred the convenience of driving without manual gears. The top speed of the 3 Series E21 was around 180 km/h and it could accelerate from 0-100 km/h in around 11 seconds, depending on engine configuration.

History of the BMW E21

The BMW 3 Series (E21) was presented at the 1975 Geneva Motor Show and was the successor to the BMW 02 Series. The design of the E21 was largely based on the BMW 2002 Turbo, a sports model that had been very popular in Europe in the 1970s.

Although the E21 was an immediate success, its production was affected by the oil crisis of the 1970s. Oil prices soared and many potential BMW buyers began to look for more fuel-efficient vehicles. Despite these challenges, BMW managed to produce more than 1 million units of the E21 before it was discontinued in 1983.

View complete history of the BMW E21

Features of the BMW E21

The BMW 3 Series (E21) featured a sporty, aerodynamic design with flowing lines and a sleek silhouette. The model also boasted a luxurious and well-appointed interior that included leather seats, a centre console and a selection of high-quality audio options.

One of the most notable characteristics of the E21 was its agile and sporty handling. The model featured four-wheel independent suspension, giving it excellent responsiveness on the road and precise handling. In addition, the body design allowed excellent visibility from the driver’s seat, further enhancing the driving experience.

ModelYEARENGINEPOWERTORQUE
3151981-19831.6 L M10, carburator I455 kW (75 PS) 5,800 rpm110 N·m (81 lb·ft) 3,200 rpm
3161975-19801.6 L M10, carburator I466 kW (90 PS) 6,000 rpm123 N·m (91 lb·ft) 3,000 rpm
1980-19821.8 L M10, carburator I466 kW (90 PS) 5,500 rpm140 N·m (103 lb·ft) 4,000 rpm
318i[a]1980-19821.8 L M10, injection I477 kW (105 PS) 5,800 rpm145 N·m (107 lb·ft) 4,500 rpm
3201975-19772.0 L M10, carburator I480 kW (109 PS) 5,800 rpm157 N·m (116 lb·ft) 3,700 rpm
320/61977-19822.0 L M20, carburator I690 kW (122 PS) 6,000 rpm160 N·m (118 lb·ft) 4,000 rpm
320i1975-19772.0 L M10, injection I492 kW (125 PS) 5,700 rpm172 N·m (127 lb·ft) 4,350 rpm
323i1978-19822.3 L M20, injection I6105 kW (143 PS) 5,800 rpm190 N·m (140 lb·ft) 4,500 rpm