Launched in 1982, the new BMW series 3, which is known as the E30, succeed to the E21. With 2 or 3 doors, sedan, break or cabriolet, petrol or Diesel, no less than 40 different versions of the vehicle were proposed. In 1989, a sporting version appeared with the name of 'M3' ('M' for 'Motorsport'). Produced at first in order to rival with Mercedes-Benz for the German championship races DTM and in group A, it was finally (and fortunately) victim of its own success and produced on a large-scale (18 000 copies). Its 4-cylinders engine with 16 valves of 2.3 (195hp) then 2.5 (from 215 to 238hp) and its efficient chassis make the M3 E30 a perfect machine to win competitions. In over 12 years, more than 2 300 000 BMW E30 were sold. Today, the most sought after, apart from the M3, are the cabriolet and the coupé in version 2.5l.