Bigger and more dynamic than the previous versions, the third generation of the Series 3, called E36, arrived at the beginning of 1990. Produced during almost 10 years, it was once again proposed in different car bodies : sedan, break and cabriolet. A coupé and a Compact version (22cm shorter) came to complete the range. The version 'M3' ('M' for 'Motorsport') also arrived from 1992 with a 6-cylinders in line of 3.0l developing 286hp, remplaced during its career by a 3.2l of 321hp ! This fabulous version M was the first to be equipped with the variable dual distribution system (VANOS) on the intake and the exhaust, which gave it a better capacity (power and torque to all plans) without equal. The production of the M3 came to an end in 1999 with 71 000 sold copies of this ultra sporting version. The last BMW E36 left the production lines in 2001.