The BMW 3 Series with internal designation E30 has a very special place in the hearts of automotive enthusiasts. For many, it’s the best-driving model of the Bavarian brand in its entire history. People love it so much that prices of M3s from the E30 family are sky-rocketing - so much so that a naked body shell costs $30,000. If you are not willing to spend a fortune on a performance car from the 1990s, there’s always another option.
Castro Motorsports is a BMW-specialized repair and tuning shop from Los Angeles that has built an amazing M3 wagon replica based on a stock 316 from 1991. A new video from the AutotopiaLA channel on YouTube details the project and here’s what you need to know in short before watching the video.
Gallery: 1991 BMW 316 Touring Supercharged
Under the hood is a supercharged S54 BMW engine, which has been heavily modified and now delivers approximately 470 horsepower (350 kilowatts)… at the wheels, which should mean the engine itself produces close to 540 hp (403 kW). A mighty impressive number for a sexy retro wagon that weighs about 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms). It’s also worth mentioning that the six-cylinder engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, sourced from a 2001-2006 330i.
Moving to the suspension, it’s a mix of different BMW models but the most important thing is that it’s been modified to a five-lug setup. This allows it to use larger M3 (E36) brakes. The car now sits on 215/40 R17 wheels, wrapped around BBS Style 19 wheels from a 2001-2003 BMW 5 Series. Funnily, while the cabin has received air conditioning and sports leather seats, it’s still using its stock manual windows all around.
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The video’s description says that the car “looks like a cool grocery getter but it makes 470 hp at the wheels and handles/brakes/drives like a pure sports car” and we can’t think of a better way to describe it. Enjoy!