The 3 Series is a range of compact executive cars created and produced by German car company BMW. This series of vehicles started production in 1975 and it served as the successor to the BMW New Class. The 318, which comes in different sub models, was part of the 3 Series’ second and third generations—E30 and E36 respectively—which were manufactured from 1982 to 2000. Here’s a quick look at the different incarnations on the 318 through the years.
1982-1987: BMW 318e
The first BMW 318 car was introduced to the market in 1982 with the 318e. This car was in production for five years and it was powered by a 1.8 L M10B18 I4 engine that could churn out up to 104 hp. This L-Jetronic fuel injections engine was considered advanced for its time, having an 89 mm bore and 71 mm stroke.
1988-1992: BMW 318i
Over 89,637 units of BMW 318i cars were produced under the second generation (E30) of 3 Series vehicles. The 318i was launched alongside the 316 and just like most 318 cars, the 316 was also powered by an M10 engine. However, this particular variant used a carburetor instead of fuel injectors. This made it an inexpensive, entry-level alternative to the 318. The BMW 318i was powered by a 1.8 L M40B18 I4 engine, which utilized a Bosch Motronic 1.3 fuel injection system and could churn out up to 111 hp.
1989-1992: BMW 318is
The release of the 318is coupe in 1989 was closely followed by the launch of the 318i sedan and 318ic convertible. During its 3-year run, about 41,234 units of the 318is rolled off the assembly line. This coupe is powered by a chain-driven 1.8 L M42B18 I4 engine that could churn out up to 138 hp. This was the most modern engine at that time, utilizing a Bosch Motronic 1.3, hydraulic valve adjusters, and individual coil packs. This model was also known for having excellent weight distribution, so it was always compared with the more popular BMW M3.
1992-1995: BMW 318ic
The third generation of BMW 3 Series cars arrived in the U.S. and in Canada in 1992 and lasted until 1999. The 318i and 318is were carried over from the previous generation while a new sub model—the 318ic—was also introduced to the North American market.
1995-1996: BMW 318ti
In 1995, BMW released a hatchback body style for its 3 Series vehicles, starting with the 318ti. This particular model became very popular in Europe and it was even released in a special Touring estate edition.
1996-1999: BMW 318i and 318ti
On the last years of the 318, two models remained in the American market—the 318i and 318ti. These models were equipped with the M44B19 engine that was accompanied by the Bosch M5.2 fuel injection.