BMW 3 Series Through the Years

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BMW E21 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series started off as a 2 door sedan, rear wheel drive (RWD), with the code name E21. Launched in 1975, the E21 was equipped with inline 4 and 6 cylinder engines (engine codes M10 and M20 respectively) with displacements ranging from 1.6 to 2.3 liters.

Engine power started at 75 horses with the 315 version, a detuned 316, and peaked at 143 horsepower with the 323i. It featured four and five-speed Getrag manual transmissions, as well as a three-speed ZF automatic gearbox.

The interior featured the same design as the bigger 5 series E12, where the center console was angled towards the driver. In fact this design became BMW's trademark for decades.

In 1979 BMW made a small facelift, essentially to the interior with a different dashboard and new seat fabrics. In the exterior the chromed side mirrors were replaced with plastic and the front spoiler was redesigned.

Options included air conditioning, electric windows and mirrors, central locking, power steering, 25% limited slip differential, sunroof and others.

The end of the E21 was in 1983 and in total were made over 1.3 million cars.

© Ultimate Specs

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