|3 Series - E21 (1975 - 1984)|
3 Series - e21 (1975 - 1984)
Ready to replace the 02 series and the first step into the world of the 3 series BMW, a phenomenon found all over the world nowadays.
With the introduction of the so called e21 BMW would make a start in making high-end and durable, but still affordable, BMW's.
In 1975 the 316, 318 and 320 were introduced, all having 4 cylinder engines (M10) with respectively 90, 98 and 109 horsepower.
The 316 and 318 both had single headlights, while the 320 had double headlights, which should provide a more sporty look.
At the end of 1975 the 320i was introduced, having a the same 4 cylinder M10 engine, but with a mechanical fuel injection, giving the engine of the 320i a boost to 125 horsepower.
Though the car was newer then the 02 series, the new e21 3 series with a 2 litre engine weren't a match for the 2002tii.
This wasn't because the engine was performing worse, but because the e21 was much heavier in weight.
With the introduction of the new M20 6 cylinder engine the fast successors to the 2002 were born.
In 1977 the 320 and 320i were replaced by the newer 320i and also the 323i was introduced.
Both of the cars carried the new M20 6 cylinder engine, which delivered 125 horsepower to the 320i and 143 horsepower to the 323i, which had an engine capacity of 2316cc and K-jetronic fuel-injection.
By the end of 1979 the e21 was given a facelift:
The chrome screw-on side mirrors were replaced by integrated and electrically operated ones, the deep front spoiler was changed and so was the dashboard.
For the 323i, the twin exhausts were placed more to the sides.
Also all the 6 cylinder powered e21's received a digital clock in the rev counter.
In 1980 BMW replaced the 318 by the 318i, which now had fuel injection and 105 horsepower.
The replaced 318 was now called the 318 and had 90 horsepower.
After introducing a high-end e21 in 1977 (the 323i), BMW also thought of the people with a lower budget, who still wanted to own a 3 series and the 315 was introduced in 1981.
This model had no chrome around the windows and the 4 cylinder M10 engine only produced 75 horsepower at 5800 revs per minute.
After the 315 was introduced in 1981 the e21 range wasn't widened any more.
At the end of 1982 the new 3 series was introduced, called the e30.
In 1983 the e30 was available at the dealer, this was also the last year for all e21's but the 315, which lasted until 1984.