The BMW E30 was a compact executive car produced by BMW. It was the successor of the BMW E21 in 1983 and was replaced by the BMW E36 in 1990. BMW continued to produce the cabriolet (convertible) E30 well into 1993 and the Touring remained in production until 1994 when the E36 touring replaced it. The M3 cabriolet was never officially offered for sale in North America; it was offered only for the European market.
The BMW M3 was first introduced on the E30 platform. A widened version of the E30 front suspension and the drivetrain from the E30 325i were used in the BMW Z1 roadster.The E30 3-Series was produced in four body styles, a four door saloon, a two door saloon, a five door estate (marketed as the "touring"),a three-door estate also called "Touring", and a two door convertible. A Baur cabrio was also available. The 325ix was produced from 1988 to 1991, and featured all-wheel drive. It was available as a two-door (coupé) or a four-door (sedan) and as touring. The BMW M3 utilised a widened and heavily redesigned and restyled variation of the 2 door body style. The M3 shares few parts with other E30 models, however many M3 parts can be used on the other body styles and are interchangeable offering the consumer an OEM "upgrade". These parts consist of control arms, control arm bushings, steering racks, etc.
The primary distinctive feature of the BMW E30 models produced for the North American market in 1984-1987 are the elongated front/rear aluminum bumpers. These bumpers are commonly known as "diving boards." In 1988, the anodized aluminum bumpers were shortened by revising the cover/fillers and shortening the shocks. In 1989 the aluminum bumpers were replaced with shorter body-color plastic bumpers.The cars were powered by a range of inline 4 cylinder (BMW M10 , BMW M40 , & BMW M42) and inline 6 cylinder (BMW M20 and BMW M21) engines, with both petrol and diesel power. Torque output for the engines ranges from 140 N·m (100 lb·ft) torque for the 1.8 L (1766 cc) 4 cylinder engine, to 230 N·m (170 lb·ft) torque from the 2.7 L (2693 cc) 6 cylinder petrol engine. The E30 BMW M3was fitted with a high-revving 4-cylinder engine (BMW S14) which produced 175 kW (238 PS; 235 hp) in its final European-only iteration.
|320is (2 door)||1988–1990||2,542|
|320is (4 door)||1987–1990||1,206|
|325i (2 door)||1985–1991||113,906|
|325i (4 door)||1985–1991||83,080|
|325e (2 door)||1983–1988||114,498|
|325e (4 door)||1983–1988||74,789|
In addition to the famous M3 there were other special models of the E30. For Portugal and Italy only, due to their VAT penalizing cars with bigger engine, a special model was created: the 320is. This model was produced both in 2 and 4 door versions and was equipped with a detuned M3 motor. It was the same S14 engine but with a displacement of 2.0l and a power output of 192 hp (DIN). The 320is shared the same dogleg Getrag 265 gearbox of the non-US M3 while it had a limited slip differential with the same 25% lock up rate but with a closer ratio. All the 320is were left hand drive and without catalytic converter; ABS and power steering were also fitted as standard equipment. The saloon version appeared in the dealers' showrooms on September 1987 while the 2-door version arrived on March 1988. The 4-door was equipped with 14" alloy wheels and foglights only, while the 2-door model was further equipped with the complete M-Technic II Aero package (identical to the one fitted to the UK-spec 325i Sport and available as an accessory on all other E30 3 Series models), which consisted of a deeper front airdam, additional lower side body panels, an extended valance under the rear bumper and a two-piece rear spoiler. In addition, the two-door E30 320is sported body-colour side mirror housings, shadowline (dechromed) window trim and 14-inch cross-spoke alloy wheels. The springs, shocks and anti-roll bars of all two-doors (as well as four-doors produced from September 1989) are of the more aggressive "Sportfahrwerk" specification. The interior of the 320is was identical to that of other 3 Series models with the sole exception of its unique instrument cluster that utilized the same M3 dashboard with integrated oil temperature gauge at the bottom of the rev counter instead of the econometer present on all other E30s. The car was sold for three years only and produced in 3748 examples (1206 saloon cars, 2542 2-door cars)  and for this reason is now becoming a collectors' item.
BMW South Africa's Motorsport division created the 333i in 1986 by fitting the 3210 cc M30 "big six" ("M30B32" of the 733i E23/ 533i E12/ 533i E28/ 633CSi E24) engine to a 2-door E30. The resulting 333i was a major success in saloon car racing in that country and is now a collectors' item. These cars, built with help from Alpina in Buchloe, Bavaria, Germany, featured some interesting compromises like forcing the buyer to choose between air conditioning (vital in South Africa) or power steering (because of lack of space due to the large M30 engine). They were only built in small numbers in 1986. BMW South Africa provided the following specifications for the 333i: Powerplant - M30B32 6 Cylinder 3210 cc 145 kW (197 PS; 194 hp) at 5500 rpm. 285 N·m (210 lb·ft) torque at 4300 rpm. The cars were fitted with a 5 speed manual gearbox and limited slip differential. Braking was enhanced by 296 mm (11.7 in) Alpina dual ventilated grooved front disc brakes. ABS was optional. The cars were fitted with J7x16 Alpina wheels and Pirelli P7 (195x50VR16)tyres. BMW provided performance figures were impressive, with a top speed of 228 km/h (142 mph). 0–100 km/h in 7.4 seconds, and a standing kilometer in 27.7 seconds at sea level. Actual South African Car Magazine road test figures were a top speed of 231 km/h, 0–100 km/h in 7.23 seconds and a standing kilometre in 28.08 seconds. The test was carried out with a driver, passenger and a full tank of fuel. Approximately 210 of these cars were produced.
CAR MAGAZINE JAN '86 - BMW 333I
Later when it became clear that South Africa would not be getting the M3, the 325iS was created. Initially this was merely a 325i 2-door fitted with a bodykit and a close-ratio gearbox (improving acceleration at the expense of top speed and economy), but more changes were made to keep the car competitive in South African saloon car racing. Nevertheless, these cars were always sold to the public. This resulted in the 325iS of late 1990. By now several body panels were made of aluminum and the M20 engine grew to 2.7 L and now produced 145 kW (194 hp) and a 0-62 mph in a mere 6.9 seconds as claimed by BMW South Africa. Due to increased competition in the production car race series it was competing in, another version was released in late 1991 called the 325iS Evo. The main revisions were a front aerofoil to smooth underbody airflow, shorter stiffer springs, thicker rear anti-roll bar and changes to the throttle body, exhaust manifold and inlet valves. It produced 155 kW (211 PS; 208 hp) and BMW South Africa claimed a top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph) with a 0–100 km/h in 6.9 seconds. It did win the 1993 Group N race series under Robbie Smith and set various track records in the process.
CAR MAGAZINE - MAR '91 - 325i Mk1
CAR MAGAZINE - DEC '91 - 325iS Mk2
The cabriolet version continued to be built to the end of April 1993 and.....
the touring version continued to be built to the end of February 1994.
source : wikipedia.org, histomobile.com, bimmerforums.com,