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From digest.v6.n265 Sun Feb 23 06:30:04 1997
From: Filippo Morelli <bilge_at_East.DELFIN.COM>
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 22:58:58 -0500 (EST)
Subject: <M3> Re: 88M3 vs. Evolution


Where do we start? Off the top of my head (and I only know this because the E30 M3 site is, so we've been shoving this info in our heads)

[bummer, I'm missing the April 1990 Roundel, where the car was featured]

First of all, the 1988 M3 Evolution *is not* the Sport Evolution, which came out in early 1990 (which is the most highly tuned of the E30 M3s)

The 1988 M3 Evolution was a European only car, to my knowledge. The car is typically rated at 220hp and 180ft/lbs of torque, which is an increase of 25hp over the American E30 M3 and 10 ft lbs. of torque, respectively.

M3 Evolutions typically have a few differences, including a deeper front spoiler with a horizontal splitter (for front downforce), as well as an adjustable rear lip spoiler. Small goodies, such as Evolution door sills (with ///M3 embossed) and dead pedal are standard. They may also have an illuminated shift knob, though I'm not sure if this was a Sport Evolution feature only and/or a commemorative M3 feature.

There are a couple of other points, though I can not verify them. I belive 1988 Evolutions came with 16x7 wheels (made by BBS), which may very well have been the same as E28 M5 wheels (???). The airbox and/or valve cover had Motorsport colors.

If you are going to consider purchasing an Evolution in the U.S., I recommend boning up on some very key points:

  1. Verify whether Evolutions were ever, in fact, imported through BMW NA.
  2. If not, does the car have valid paperwork (EPA and DOT waivers). In

    the late eighties, it became difficult to bring in "gray market" cars.

  3. The Evolution for 1988 is fairly easy to replicate over the counter.

    Parts are still available. I would want to know what the ~500 car production run VINs were.

Finally not to dissuade you, but if the car for sale is a real Evolution (that passes the above 3 items), I supsect that it's a top dollar item. If you are looking for an E30 M3 for daily driving, the changes in this car are not significant enough to warrant the potential added expense, IMHO. I suspect whoever buys this car (unless the price is equivalent to a normal E30 M3) will be a collector (someone not driving the car daily).

BUT, if you have money to burn ;-) and the car checks out, great!

Hope this helps,


p.s. Anyone with differing facts, please let me know.

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