Officially, everything actually began with this internal dealer notification, which BMW had sent to all BMW dealers in 1993.
In the middle to the end of 1993, BMW M GmbH announced the release of a limited edition of the BMW E36 318Is for homologation with the above-mentioned announcement, with which BMW wanted to participate in the ADAC CUP FISA Class II regulations for 2 liter vehicles. The 318Is / 4 variant, i.e. the sedan variant, was to be issued as a so-called required homologation series in a total of 2500 units. These vehicles can be identified by the chassis number. The last 7 digits of the chassis number of these special models all begin with the letters “FK” followed by 5 numbers.
The BMW E36 Class II was only available in 6 colors. These were Cosmos black color number 303, Alaska blue color number 367,, Dakar yellow color number 267, Boston green color number 275, light red color number 314 and alpine white color number 300.
The rarest 318 Is Class II is the one in white. Only 17 vehicles were delivered in the color alpine white (300). Exactly 121 vehicles were delivered in bosten green (275), in Dakar yellow (267) 306 vehicles, in light red (314) 321 vehicles, in Alaska blue (367) 538 vehicles and in Cosmos black (303) 1197 vehicles.
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all 2500 vehicles ever built, as well as their equipment ex works, colors, etc. are listed.
From April 1994 to June 1994 the special model 318iS Class II / 4 was built, which was only available as a sedan. A homologation series of 2500 pieces, starting with the chassis number FK03771 to FK06696, of which officially according to BMW, 1500 pieces were built in Germany (in fact, 1600 pieces were built in Germany) worldwide for the STW series. These vehicles were built at the same time as the M3 GT, which was produced in an even smaller number of 356 units, and inherited some visual features from it. In addition to the standard M package, an “M lip” with so-called GT corners / GT flaps was also installed on the front bumper. Furthermore, the two-part rear spoiler of the M3 GT was adopted. The 318is “Class II” reaches a top speed of 213 km / h and completes the sprint from 0-100 km / h in a spectacular 10.2 seconds, which is actually what every average small car can achieve today. An M aerodynamics package with adapted front spoiler, side skirts and a new rear spoiler promotes good driving performance and increased driving dynamics, also due to reduced lift. The “BMW Motorsport International” logos in the bumper strips are eye-catching! Round-spoke light-alloy wheels with 225/55 ZR 16 tires and the Nürburgring-proven, lowered M sports suspension provide a sporty finish. Inside, sports seats offer the best lateral support, an airbag sports leather steering wheel with a leather rim provides the right grip at the wheel. The color of the interior fittings on all Class 2 black M3 SA0470. Otherwise, the customary special options available for all E36 models could also be ordered. The rims could also be ordered in a different design, the 16-inch rims in style 18 were installed as standard.
The M42 is a gasoline engine with four-valve technology developed by BMW. This had four cylinders, two overhead camshafts, a displacement of 1795 cm³, an output of 100 kW (136 hp) at 6000 rpm and delivered a torque of 172 Nm at 4600 rpm. The compression was 10.0 – the engine therefore had to be operated with Super 95 octane. Instead of the toothed belt that was popular in those years, it had a timing chain for the valve train and a “static ignition distribution” with four ignition modules; a fault-prone ignition distributor was no longer available.
Before the M42, BMW engines with four-valve technology were only used in motorsport, such as in the BMW M1, M635 CSI and M3, etc. The M42 was the first four-valve engine that BMW implanted not in a high-priced M model but in a mass-produced vehicle .
From autumn 1989 it was presented as the 318is in the face-lifted BMW E30 body. The car was only offered with two doors – tighter seats, M-Technic sports steering wheel, Shadowline, 15 ″ wheel trims, front and rear spoilers, M-Technic sports suspension and disc brakes on the rear axle were standard.
It was later installed in the E36 in the 318is sedan, coupe and the compact version 318ti and, thanks to the modified intake system, it now developed 103 kW (140 hp) at 6000 rpm and had a torque of 175 Nm at 4500 rpm.
The direct successor to the M42 is the M44 (BMW M44-B19). It had the same power, but a larger displacement of 1895 cm³ and a higher torque of 180 Nm
The World Automobile Federation FIA (FERDERATION INTERNATIONAL DU SPORT AUTOMOBILE) approved the BMW E36 318Is Class II for groups A and B for these groups on July 1st, 1994 under the approval number A-5526. This registration certificate is listed below.
With the following brochure, BMW offered the special model BMW E36 318Is Class II to its dealers and sales partners: