The E36 M3 has always suffered from the ailments of being the middle child. Despite its abilities the E30 shot to stardom in the collector world, with the E46 playing catchup despite the E36 being the successor to the original.
As Henry Catchpole explains in this Carfection YouTube video, however, there is one such E36 that’s snuck behind enemy lines, and it’s even better than the standard version. This version was picked for their current series, as it was a homologation special, unlike the standard E36 which came to fruition thanks to the success of the original.
The dark green E36 you see here is the exceedingly rare GT version, which sports a whole host of upgrades that only the true E36 fans will notice. Just 346 examples were produced making this one exceedingly rare beast. No right hand drive versions were offered, either. Some may contest this point, but the right hand drive variants had what was known as the “GT Optic Pack” or “GT Individual” fitted, which offers some subtle differences to the true GT, like this 1994 version.
The car featured here offers the full blown GT package, which offers a list of beguiling engine modifications in addition to the chassis and aesthetic upgrades. The compression ratio is increased to 10.8:1 with a new intake manifold, along with a host of minor upgrades to the Vanos management and a BMW Motorsport oil pan, to name a few.
Despite the plethora of upgrades, power is only bumped to 295-horsepower at 7000 RPM. That said, the GT sits at 30 kilograms lighter than the standard car, in part thanks to changes parts such as aluminium doors. Typically M3’s are restricted to the famous 155 mile per hour wall, however the GT does away with such trickery, and even with a shorter final drive, the car can be propelled to a staggering 171 mile per hour top speed. Not bad for a 25 year old 3 series in disguise.
On the exterior one will notice some subtle differences over the standard car, such as adjustable front spoilers, clear indicator lenses and a rear wing. The wing potentially being the most intriguing, as the down force pressures exerted from the part at high speeds is enough to eventually break the boot release. Now that’s some force.
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