1990 - The third generation; in 1990, the four-door sedan marks the launch of the third generation. The car boasts a high level of elegance and innovative technology. It has also become significantly larger and more spacious. The two-door version follows in 1992, but this time as an extremely elegant coupé. Just a few months later, BMW adds two further highlights – the new convertible and the new BMW M3. With the BMW 3 Series Compact of 1994, BMW designers succeed in realising yet another conceptual innovation. It appeals predominantly to fans that attach importance to economy, without wishing to forego dynamics and comfort. The tailgate of the 4.21-metre long BMW is a particularly practical feature.
The new six-cylinder models are equipped with two camshafts and four valves per combustion chamber. The power units in the coupé version feature for the first time VANOS variable camshaft control, a new technology that enhances the torque curve, lowers fuel consumption and emission levels and allows engineers to increase compression. Two further newcomers are the 325tds featuring a six- cylinder diesel engine including turbocharger and intercooler as well as the first four-cylinder turbo diesel under the bonnet of the 318tds. At the turn of the year 1994/95, BMW also adds a lightweight aluminium crankcase to the six-cylinder engines.
Source: BMW press