Tuesday, April 2, 2013

5k: CoM3pact:1995 BMW 318Ti with M3 Swap

The BMW E36 318Ti was an attempt by BMW to capture a share of the sport compact market.  Forward of the B-pillars the 318Ti was standard E36, but in the back it used the old E30 semi-trailing arm rear axle, a trait shared with the Z3.  The 4-cylinder powered hatchback/luxury/sport car inhabited its own space in the market place with no real direct competition, but didn't sell well and was phased out of the US market by 1999.  Find this 1995 BMW 318Ti with an M3 drivetrain swap for sale in Folsom, CA currently on ebay at $4,500 with zero bids and 5 days to go.

The 318Ti was an attempt by BMW to resurrect some its its former glory by bringing back the Ti name, first used on the 2002Ti.  It was powered by a modest 1.8 liter inline-4 that gave it less than sporting acceleration, but the handling combined crisp E36 steering with a tail-happy E30 rear.

The owner of this Ti lost the crude 4-banger and installed a smooth inline6. The S52 is a 3.2 liter DOHC sweetheart that puts out a US specific 240 horsepower and 236 ft-lbs of torque.  The US version S52 isn't quite as much of a beast as the Euro version (at 321 hp) but its longevity is undeniable and power level is a great mate to the E36 chassis.

The seller states that the AC and climate control functions - an unusual and welcome feature for a car with an engine swap.  The inside looks clean in the photos provided.

What this seller has done is essentially create a 5-seat version of the M-coupe - and we think it could make a great daily driver for a small piece of pocket change.

See another M318Ti? email us here; tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. Not a fan of poseur ///M badging whatsoever, but the ///MTi is a clever rebadging that I can get behind in this case. Tail-happy is right; flogging my friends ratty e30 in the HS parking lot at 2am remains a fondest motoring memory...

  2. "Drive Type: LEFT" I think maybe the answer was supposed to be "RWD"

    Did anyone follow this? "hose from p/s tank, and left door to be re keyed coolant tank or sensor not sure and find the leak in the evap I smoke tested it a work There are no leaks I can find. The light only come on after I have been siting idling for more than 5 minute" Not the clearest listing.

    No word on the drivetrain mileage (assuming the 214K is on the chassis), but regardless, that might hold back the bidders a bit. If you appreciate what this car is - and enjoy your rear end trying to pass your front end regularly - $4500 might seem like a reasonable price to pay.

  3. Love it, would actually be interested to buy it if it was a local car and not have to spend extra dough to transport it home.

  4. Original 4 banger was not "crude" when introduced in 1991 in 1.8 liter version. but state of the art: individual coil ignition, latest Bosch engine management, etc. Rev-happy, with fairly high specific output. Slight bump to 1.9 liters for 318Ti. It just had bit much weight to push around.

  5. This certainly looks like a lot of fun for the money. This era of M3 is a wonderful car to drive and is about the only way to make a 3 series ti entertaining in my humble opinion. Unless of course a LS swap had been performed.


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