After six years of development the second generation of the BMW 3 series was launched in September, 1982. Klaus Luthes design team has undergone a great effort to give the 3 Series a much more modern, dynamical and streamlined design without creating a harsh contrast to its predecessor E21. Their masterpiece was to make the car look longer and lower although its was slightly shorter and and had the same wheelbase and height as the E21 had.
In fact, the technical changes were much bigger than the design changes might make believe. The front axle was a completely new design, the rear axle received lots of modifications. The drag coefficient was reduced by 10%, the front axis lift even by 38%. Even the vehicle's weight could be reduced while its load capacity was increased.

Unitl December, 1993 at Munich and Regensburg 2.339.251 units were manufactured

There was an enormous number of E30 versions; BMWs official production list includes 23 pages of E30 subtypes. It was available in every body version you could think of: as two door sedan (now denominated Coupé by BMW), four door sedan, Touring, two cabriolet versions (Baur-TC2 dnd BMW-cabriolet), as roadster (the Z1 started its career as a E30-subtype), as Alpina, as M3-sportscar... About 45% of all cars regitered in the 3 Series Club are E30 models.

Collector's premium choice are BMW 318is, 325i, 325eta, 325iX, 325i Cabriolet, M3, special editions and Touring. Accessories most wanted: leather seats and sunroof.