318 (E21 model)
BMW 318 (E21 model)
BMW's trend-setting replacement for the 2002. Built from 1972 to 1982 as a saloon or convertible.
The original standard tyre was a 165SR13, with later cars having the option of a 185/70HR13 on a wider 5.5 or 6 inch wide wheel.
The original BMW 3-Series was the E21, which went into production in 1975 in left-hand drive form only; the first right-hand drive E21s wouldn’t arrive in Britain for several months. There were 316, 318, 320 and 320i editions, all powered by four-cylinder engines, but in 1977 the four-cylinder 320 was replaced by a six-cylinder edition. Incidentally, six-cylinder and two-litre cars have four headlamps, while lowlier editions feature two.
A facelift in 1979 brought a fresh nose with a larger air dam, a revised dash and more generous equipment levels, then from 1980 the 316 was fitted with a 1.8-litre engine. At the same time, Baur started to sell a cabriolet edition of the 320 and 323i.
From 1982 all E21s were fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox, then the final car was built towards the end of the year with the second-generation 3-Series (the E30) taking over.