General information about the BMW E36 Convertible

The BMW E36 Cabrio was announced to the international press in February 1993 with press release 3/93 and presented at the Geneva Motor Show on March 2, 1993. Production had already started and the delivery of the 2nd generation BMW convertible with the designation E36 began immediately. Many are now wondering, 2nd generation convertible? … Well, the first 02 convertible and all convertibles that preceded the E30 convertible were not built directly by BMW, but by the Baur company. They initially obtained the vehicles as 2-door sedans for the convertible vehicles directly from BMW and then converted them. BMW later sold these convertibles under the name Baur Cabrio itself through its own dealer networks as part of a contractual cooperation with Baur. The BMW E30 Convertible was therefore really the first convertible that BMW built in its own factory in Munich. Therefore, the E36 convertible was the 2nd generation of convertible.

This is the original and full press release from BMW regarding the announcement of the BMW W36 Convertible:

Below we have listed the original sales brochures that BMW AG had advertised the E36 convertible to its customers at the time:

This is the very first sales brochure that was on display at authorized BMW dealers in 1993:

This was quickly followed by this brochure, here the M3 E36 convertible was also offered for the first time, under the motto “Realizing a vision”:

Previously in 1995 BMW built some real special models for the convertible models, such as the special model “Rene Magritte” or the special model “Paul Klee”, which we have already listed in other articles here on our website and not here want to go into more detail, but want to refer to these posts.

Most of the special models that were offered by BMW consisted of simply taking equipment packages that you normally had to pay dearly for at extra cost, such as the Exclusive Package or the Sports Package, and then packed them, so to speak, “free” and without Surcharge in the vehicle equipment. These vehicles were usually simply produced and sold. As a rule, because even during such an “offer” the customers who wanted to buy a vehicle while the vehicles were being produced and the offer was valid, also had the option of booking or deselecting additional equipment features that were not included in the special offer concerned themselves. You could also z. B choose styling 24 rims or a CD radio. It is therefore really difficult to differentiate whether this is really an actual special model or just a “special offer”. With a few exceptions, the equipment variant does not really provide any reliable information as to whether we have a special model or not.

The E36 convertible special models variant 1 to 9 south / south-west are also equipment variants that could be ordered with existing equipment packages that could be ordered for all vehicles at an additional cost. BMW only specified the variants here. E.g. with variant 1 exterior color Cosmos black interior red. This could then also be combined with e.g. bi-color leather from the individual list. The customer decided not to buy variant 1 as a special model for the “special model”, but was sold the variant depending on the exterior color that he selected when ordering. So he did not know whether he would order or get a variant 1 or a variant 8 .. Therefore, these variants are not really special models in the actual sense, in which parts were installed that were only available in these models, but the The term “special offers” would actually be the correct term. This is also the reason why there are no sales brochures for these vehicles, e.g. for the special model Rene Magritte.

In March 1996, BMW officially announced with press release 28/96, which is listed below, that from now on the BMW E36 convertible would only be built with the 3.2 liter engine and 321 hp and optionally the SMG gearbox (sequential mechanical gearbox ), which BMW was the first automobile manufacturer to offer as a special option in series vehicles ex works.

From the BMW E36 convertible were in total


Units built, this number includes all vehicles (right and left-hand drive, as well as all engine variants including the M3 convertible.)

In each case:

45,044 units of the 318i convertible

4,645 units of the 318is convertible

30,565 units of the 320i convertible

15,530 units of the 323i convertible

38,805 units of 325i convertibles

49,841 units of 328i convertibles

12,114 units of M3 convertible