4-cylinder E21

E21 Production Models


When BMW launched the E21 back in 1975 they supplanted the 02-series which only had 4-cylinder engines. Therefore the most likely step was to equally introduce a range of 4-cylinder engines: 3 of them carburetted with an additional fuel-injected top-model as a direct successor to the 2002tii.

In keeping with the new nomenclature of BMW models they were designated to become the 3-series.
They were called:
316, 318, 320 and 320i.
Special attention is to be given to the correct pronounciation as in "three-sixteen".

Later the carburetted 318 was succeeded by an injected version, the 318i. In turn the 316 was upgraded as well and received the engine previously installed in the 318, making it in fact a 316 (1.8).

In 1977 BMW dropped the two-litre four-cylinder engines in favor of the 320/6 and the 323i. The 316 and the 318 continued the four-cylinder presence.

As a result of the energy crisis which hit Europe in the mid-seventies and in order to boost sales in the lower market segment BMW introduced a stripped down E21 version in 1980 called the 315. This was the E21 with the lowest power ouput and its 75 DIN hp did not do any wonders with its heavy weight.