If you are a BMW enthusiast, you have no doubt seen or maybe at least heard of the elusive BMW E30 M3 pickup. Below we will go over its history and some fun facts about this iconic vehicle created by BMW M. Make sure to check out the picture gallery below to supplement the post information.
Why was it created?
In 1986, the BMW motorsport division used the vehicle as a means to haul work equipment and parts around the area which is now the present-day BMW M Division in Garching near Munich. Additionally, the one-off project offered an opportunity for placement students, graduate trainees, and apprentices to assist in the construction. This allowed them to gain hands-on experience as well as free up resources for the full-time staff in the department.
Why was it based on an E30 convertible?
According to Jakob Polschak, the head of vehicle prototype building and workshops at BMW M Division at the time, there are two major reasons a convertible chassis was used. The biggest advantage was that the convertible already had existing bracing built into it given that there was no top for rigidity. Consequently, this extra bracing makes it an ideal candidate for a truck without a traditional coupe top. The second reason was an existing E30 convertible in perfect condition was available for their disposal.
It is important to note that although the vehicle is referred to as the E30 M3 pickup, it does not have the classic boxed fenders like the M3 Coupe. Ironically, BMW did manufacture a production version of the M3 convertible which did have the boxed fenders. The M3 Convertible was not manufactured until May 1988 and thus, not around during the genesis of the M3 pickup idea.
What engine was used in the E30 M3 pickup?
Originally, the E30 M3 pickup was fitted with the 2.0L S14B20 motor found in the Italian market E30 320is. Power output was 192hp (141kW) and 155lbft (210Nm). This lower displacement motor was created to avoid higher taxes upon registration.
Later, the 2.3L S14B23 motor was fitted, which was the same motor found in the base model E30 M3. Power output was 200hp (147kW) and 177lbft (240Nm).
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How many were manufactured?
Only one E30 M3 pickup exists. There is evidence of BMW wrapping the truck in red for use in promotional content during Christmas, but this is the same vehicle as the original white one shown below.
When did the E30 M3 pickup retire from service?
The E30 M3 pickup had a 26-year run hauling parts for the M division, spanning from 1986 to 2012. The one-off vehicle was replaced by an E93 M3 Convertible modified to be a pickup. Unlike the E30, this M3 pickup has the original widebody fenders.