In the E36 model range, alongside the traditional model offering only two versions were made for the driving enthusiast: the well-known Motorsport-built M3, and the less-known but today very sought after, four-cylinder 318iS.
Similarly to its predecessor – the 318iS E30, the idea of the iS suffix was to create a sporty, road going car build for race car homologation purposes. Whilst the E30 318iS cars in perfect condition tend to fetch prices well above the 20 000 euro mark, the E36 in original and unmolested condition still remains a more affordable vehicle, even if its presence on the used car market is rarefied now than five to six years ago. No wonder, as the E36 range, introduced in 1990 is now thirty years old, and becomes by many understood as a real classic. The 318iS is quick – with dynamics similar to the 6-cylinder 320i, but with better distributed weight and a performance-built (reinforced pistons, sport induction) rev-demanding M42-coded engine, delivering 140 horsepower, and peak torque at 4500rpm – it is certainly the best compromise for a budget drivers' BMW one could look for in the reasonable price range.
Offered up for auction is a truly unique opportunity to buy a really unmolested, preserved in perfect condition and low-mileage E36 318iS coupe. First registered in January 1998 in Spain, this coupe left the factory in the very rare combination of Arctic silver for the exterior matched with an Amaretta Boa Black interior with Avus Blue seats and side inserts (code E7AV). As for the optional equipment specification, this E36 is stuffed with sought-for options such as M-sports suspension, S715 code M-aerodynamics package, velour mats, sport seats, sport steering wheel and bi-zone electronic climate control. It remained in the hands of its first owner for 19 years, then it was sold to France, and then it became a part of a large car collection in Poland. Its documented mileage is only 74 000 kilometres and historical documentation from when the car was new is also present.
On the exterior the 318iS presents very well, with almost no defects on the body and plastic parts. The car shows no rust, and had only a minor paint refresh performed several years ago in Spain, which translates into very good paint measurements: Most of the car is under 190 microns, with only one small element of the right rear fender in the 280-380 micron range. All plastics present very well.
Inside the car, except for two small unstuck cloth surfaces inside the door upholstery everything is in absolutely perfect – as new – condition. From plastic buttons to the seat upholstery, the whole interior is preserved like in a time capsule. Everything is like it should in terms of touch and in terms of quality. No elements were replaced. The E36 is fitted with a period correct radio that was installed on the car in 1998.
On the mechanics side, an oil service was performed before summer, and all the elements – engine and underbody (pictures provided) are in fantastic condition.
The car is certainly a joy to drive, and finding an unmolested, factory-correct E36 318iS today is almost impossible. This is one of the rare opportunities to do so.
|Engine||1.895 ccm, 140 PS, I4|
|Steering||Left Hand Drive|
|Layout||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Color - exterior||Arctic Silver|
|Color - interior||Boa Black/Avus Blue|
|Miles/Kilometers shown||74.000 kms|
|Chassis / VIN||WBABE71050ES43742|
|Location - Country||Poland|
|Location - City||Warsaw|
• 2-door coupe body type; • RWD (rear-wheel drive), manual 5-speed gearbox; • gasoline (petrol) engine with displacement: 1895 cm3, advertised power: 103 kW / 138 hp / 140 PS (ECE), torque: 180 Nm; • characteristic dimensions: outside length: 4433 mm, width: 1710 mm, wheelbase: 2700 mm; • reference weights: base curb weight: 1260 kg; • top speed: 213 km/h (132 mph) (declared by factory); • accelerations: 0-60 mph 9.6 s, 0-100 km/h 10.2 s (declared by factory)