1996 BMW M3 Evolution 3.2 from UK and Ireland


Ultimate Driving Machine?


Small oil leak!! Now fixed.

Clutch hose (updated with steel braided hose)!

General Comments:

OK, lets get the facts and figures out the way:

321BHP, 0-60 in 5.3 seconds, top speed electronically limited 155mph, derestricted, capable of touching 174mph!! Average mpg 19-20 around town, 35mpg on a run.

Outstandingly fast in a straight line!! Makes 200hp cars seem slow in comparison (Type R's, Cupra's, 182's etc), however can be more than a handful on a wet/damp B-road. If you're too enthusiastic in these conditions, you'll end up sideways (you've been warned).

Ride is a bit on the harsh side, but needs to be given its performance.

Interior build quality is what you would expect of a car costing £38,000 new in 1996. The leather seats wear well, mine still like new!

Mine is also fitted with full Schnitzer kit and 18" Schnitzer split rim alloys, although my wife thinks it's a bit of a pimp mobile!

Heating system's a bit awkward to use (simple fan switches would have been sufficient), but the dual climate control works great!

The car pretty much drives like most BMW's I've had - smooth, quiet, refined. It's only when you floor it, that the Vanos opens up, giving you instant, pinned to the back of your seat acceleration. Not only that, it gives it you in all 6 gears!! 155mph comes up in no time, and is achieved effortlessly, showing how the car is capable of much more if unrestricted!

The Ultimate Driving Machine? You bet it is!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th August, 2006

19th Aug 2006, 02:14

Yes, that I can believe. I saw a 1997 M3 wrapped round a lamp post the other day when it was wet, and it didn't look nice at all.

24th Aug 2009, 03:23

It definitely makes 200bhp cars look very slow, eg Type Rs, Golf r32.

8th Mar 2010, 01:56

You would hope that a 321bhp coupe would make 200bhp cars look slow.

What's news about that?

1996 BMW M3 Evolution Convertible 3.2 from UK and Ireland


Excellent all rounder


Things gone wrong: sticking hood on occasions, slight water leaks between hood & top of the A-pillars, air conditioning not working (not yet fixed, but who cares when the hood is down?)

General Comments:

I've owned my 1996MY E36 Evo convertible for a year & I'm still enjoying it!

Having previously owned E36 M3 coupes (3.0 then 3.2), the most noticeable difference is the inferior ride & handling. It's still good, but the reduced body stiffness is very noticeable. The performance is still great, albeit 9/10ths of the coupe. The dynamic trade off is more than worth it when the hood is down on a hot sunny day! I'm averaging 27MPG, which is good considering it's performance potential. I keeping hold of it until E46 M3 prices drop to my level. Overall a great car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th November, 2003

18th Dec 2005, 01:44

You sold your "400hp Skyline" for a car you hadn't even test driven, and by telling us the horsepower of your previous car it seems you are implying that you may know how many horsepower an M3 is, which you know is less.

Probably won't go as good.

17th Aug 2009, 09:07

The 400HP Skyline is not a standard car. The turbo will have been changed to a larger one and hence there will be a lot of lag. The M3 being NA will not show this lag and has a very good and flat torque curve.

18th Aug 2009, 07:26

I've had turbo cars and let me tell you the M3 is way better, no issues with lag, great noise and picks up speed instantly in any gear. Overall package I reckon.

1996 BMW M3 Evolution 3.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


Very infrequent (4 times in 1 year) stalls when sat in traffic for long periods of time.

General Comments:

Amazing performance just sullied by a slight lack of torque below 3000rpm. Awesome brakes and grip. On the limit handling is fairly easy to control. Seats can be a little on the hard side for very long journeys.

Expensive to insure (group 20+20% loading) but very reasonable servicing costs and reasonable fuel economy. Had to have a replacement passenger door fitted after someone reversed into it and found out that the specialist M parts can take some time to be delivered.

On the whole I'd recommend it to anyone who's an enthusiastic driver and without a doubt its the best car I've owned.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th August, 1997

7th Dec 2004, 12:13


I have a bmw e36 m3 evo, I spun the car on a public road only going 45mph, the car spun out of control and could not be stopped. I am very shocked,a car of this calibre should have better handling. I was shocked by the lack of tire grip on the road, also why was the earlier models not equipped with a traction controlled device!

14th Jun 2005, 08:16

To the first commenter, I can only advise one thing. Sell your car immediately and buy a 316i. Then get it restricted.

The M3 is clearly wasted on you.

29th Aug 2005, 16:41

Ever hear of opposite lock!

8th Oct 2005, 08:16

To the guy who spun his M3, join the club mate I'm currently on my second m3 evo, I put the first one through a farmers fence after getting exited on a wet round about, you soon learn the hard way how ferocious a evo can be in the wet.

But that said I wouldn't wish for traction control in an evo, getting that arse hanging out is what its all about!


8th Sep 2007, 04:27

Ha ha ha. I think this bloke would have trouble in a golf kart!