The BMW M3 Sport Evolution Was Way Different From the Standard Car

Aiming for DTM glory in the late '80s, German carmakers took their homologation specials very seriously. The M3 Sport Evo might be the finest of the bunch.

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BMW

When BMW had to build 5000 M3s to homologate the car for Group A competition, the resulting road cars shared nothing but their hoods with the standard E30's boxy body. Then, BMW needed a race car with a bigger four-cylinder and 18-inch wheels, so it created the Sport Evo. Only 600 were made, just in 1990, and the M division's list of modifications over a standard E30 M3 is fascinating.

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This had to continue, and AMG was tough competition.
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For starters, the Sport Evo sits 0.39 inches lower than the previous evolution, on 16-inch wheels. Its front fenders were also made taller to take 18-inch wheels for racing. It's on wider tracks with the front anti-roll bar linked to the struts, and a beefier one at the rear. BMW tripled the steering caster angle as well, throwing in stronger wheel bearings, stiffer springs and uprated shocks to complete the handling package.

The S14B25 four-cylinder, BMW's iron block engine with a head based on that of the M1's straight-six was stroked to 2.5 liters with a new crankshaft. The engine also got larger inlet valves and sodium-filled exhaust valves, with a larger exhaust manifold, more aggressive camshafts, and extra oil nozzles to help cooling those pistons. The result was 238 horsepower at 7000 rpm, with a slight decrease in torque compared with the standard M3. BMW used red spark plug cables to make sure you noticed if you popped the hood. In Europe, the M3's gearbox remained the dogleg variant of Getrag's 265 five-speed, with America and Japan getting a regular H-pattern.

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CarfectionYouTube

The Sport Evo had thinner glass, a more open grille and extra cooling ducts replacing the fog lights, but its most amazing feature is the adjustable rear wing. Choose between Monza, Normal and Nürburgring settings, and have a blast!

How does a one-owner E30 M3 Sport Evo feel today, and what makes this example different from the other 599 BMW built? I'll let Carfection's Henry Catchpole guide you through that:

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