BMW M3 Engine

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The BMW M3 series of cars raises the performance of the traditional BMW 3 series. The engine responds quicker and with more power. The car handles with greater precision because of improvements to the suspension and braking systems, and BMW improved the body with enhanced aerodynamics. The car competes well with cars of the same size from Mercedes and Audi.


The engine of the M3 from 1985 until 1992 was a 2.3 liter, four cylinder engine with characteristics similar to the inline, six cylinder M88 engine which include an aggressive intake configuration. It featured a double overhead camshaft and produced 197 horsepower and 177lb-ft. of torque. BMW successfully raced the M3 with this engine in rally and touring events. BMW sold 8,661 M3 models in Europe and 4,996 in the United States.

In 1992, BMW changed to a straight six cylinder engine with a 2.9 liter displacement in Europe. This M3 model went on sale in the United States in 1995 with a slightly larger engine at 3.0 liters that produced 240 horsepower and 225 lb-ft. of torque. The 1996 – 1999 years saw a slight increase in displacement to 3.2 liters. The horsepower stayed the same but the torque grew to 240 lb-ft.

BMW brought out a new 3.2 liter engine for the M3 in 2000. Power jumped to 333 horsepower and 262 lb-ft. of torque. This engine pushed the M3 from zero to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds and 13.0 seconds for the quarter mile. It was one of the most powerful naturally aspirated engines ever produced by BMW. Road and Track magazine chose the 2006 M3 as the staff’s favorite sports car ever produced.

Used M3 series engines are reasonably plentiful, easy to remove and replace and strong enough to give good dependability after the swap. The best way to find one is to contact a used engine broker who knows the reliability of the sellers. Do your homework before choosing a garage to work on your car. Get a written estimate and make sure the cost does not exceed the value of the car. Ask the motor supplier for the vehicle identification number so you can look at the history of the vehicle it was removed from.