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1995 BMW E36 M3 LTW

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Between 1995 and 1998, BMW was running an E36 M3 GTR in the American IMSA championship and finding some serious success. In hopes of spinning this into a marketing opportunity, BMW built a limited edition E36 M3 for just the North American market. But the car that resulted was far more than just an M3 with some stickers, known as the Lightweight, this E36 M3 shed 200 lbs from a standard M3 Coupe and was one of the best driver’s cars of its era. BMW hasn’t given a solid number as to how many of these Lightweights were produced but the accepted figure is somewhere between 120 and 126 cars.

This particular example has graduated from the EAG Rejuvenation Program with over $21,000 invested. Full set of photos and roadmap able to be provided to any interested client!

All of the E36 M3 Lightweights (LTW) are finished in the same shade of Alpine White, with M-colored blue/purple/red flag graphics wrapping around the front left and rear right fenders. Showing 93,917 miles, this car is in outstanding condition and is the most pure variant of the LTW M3s. Due to some crash and durability regulations, the M3 LTWs couldn’t come from BMW with items like the rear wing, front cross brace, and strut brace mounted upon delivery as they were seen as intended for “competition use only.” Because of this, BMW tapped Tom Milner’s Prototype Technology Group in Westchester, VA, to distribute these pieces. As the official BMW race team, they were able to supply these parts to the new owners and could assist in the installation as well. The beautiful Style 24 wheels and the rear decklid spoiler are straight off the Euro-market E36 M3 GT, as are the aluminum doors and adjustable front splitter.

Although the visual differences from a standard M3 are apparent on the exterior, where you really notice the weight savings is on the interior. Gone are the leather-wrapped “Vader” seats that are typically associated with the E36 M3, and in their place, adjustable sport seats which would have typically come wrapped in leather with the “Luxury” package. But in the Lightweight, they are instead wrapped in Anthracite cloth, with Hurricane fabric inserts and feature fully manual adjustability. The center console and passenger airbag trim are crafted from carbon fiber, as are the bespoke kickplates with BMW Motorsport badging. Some of the most significant weight savings came out of the center console- gone is the stereo and its speakers, and in its place sits a plastic blanking plate- although some LTWs have had the stereo re-installed, sans music is how this car should be enjoyed. Also, the three large climate control dials are missing something featured in ever other US E36: a button to turn on the air conditioning. Removing the AC takes a massive amount of weight out of the car while also making the engine happier to rev, thanks to fewer ancillaries on the front pulley system. All of the interior changes mean that every drive in an E36 M3 LTW has you focusing on the job at hand- enjoying a great twisty road or your favorite race track.

Powering the M3 LTW is the standard version of the US market S50B30US, which was fitted with a freer flowing exhaust. Power rating stayed the same, with peak horsepower of 240 horsepower and peak torque of 225 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm. Power was then sent through a 5-speed close-ratio manual gearbox built by ZF to a shortened rear end, which was dropped from 3.15 to 3.23 for the Lightweight. The suspension was improved with stiffer springs and dampers from the European E36 M3, which give the car a great stance and make it handle even more neutrally.

We have long been fans of the E36 M3 LTW at Enthusiast Auto Group and have had quite a few of these rare cars come through our doors over the years. A standard E36 M3 is such a sublime driver’s car, with the Lightweight upgrades, it turns a great driver’s car into a truly world-class one.

Our price $119,990
Mileage 93917 miles
Body Coupe
Exterior Color Alpine White
Interior Color Anthracite Cloth
Engine 6cyl 3.0L S50
Drive 2 wheel drive
Transmission Manual

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