Both the version of the BMW E36 M3 GT offered in Europe and the BMW E36 M3 Lightweight sold in the USA, which in principle except for the interior fittings (the US lightweight had no so-called “VADER seats”, and also the upholstery fabric the seat is not made of leather but made of fabric, the same as in the later BMW E36 Compact special model “Young Heart”) and the engine (the US lightweight had not got the S50B30 with 296 hp but the S50B30US because of the exhaust gas standards in force in the USA 240PS) are identical. Except for a few details, such as the rear spoiler with integrated third brake light, which is only available in the US version, which was never featured in the M3 GT, these vehicles do not differ in either the body or the chassis. The buyer of a US M3 received a conversion kit for the racetrack. This included another oil pan, the distances and the stiffening cross from the E36 convertible, as well as corresponding instructions for installing and using the parts supplied.


The interior of an original BMW E36 M3 Lightweight           


 Here the interior of a later special model E36 Compact


The BMW E36 M3 Lightweight was delivered to the USA.


The adjustable strut bars are basically the same, but the US M3 has “BMW MOTORSPORT” engraved on its strut bar, while the EU version only has a small recess for a small “/// M” sticker.

The strut bar of the BMW E36 M3 Lightweight


The strut bar of the BMW E36 M3 GT


Since the oil pan in the EU version was already installed ex works, the EU version only had to do without the stiffening cross from the convertible and the corresponding assembly instructions.