Originally Posted by JackD
All BMW "M" cars are manual tranny's, thats one of the prerequisites. Thats why there is no X5 M version.
actually, the 96-99 M3 sedan with the "luxury" package was available with a closer than normal ratio 5sp automatic transmission, as well as the 97-99 M3 convertible. the only M-cars with autos (full ones anyway).
on the sedan, they were available from 96-99, thankfully mostly in manual. they were all the 3.2L OBD2 engine. a great engine if youre gonna leave it mostly stock or add a supercharger/turbo.
but my favorite e36 are the 95s, mostly because they are OBD1 which allows for much easier engine tuning with cam swaps and the like, i like the peaker 3.0L inline 6 myself, and the 95s came with 235 width tires on all 4 corners and a more agressive rear swaybar making it a more neutral handling car, whereas the 96-99 used smaller fronts and larger rears along with a smaller rear swaybar to dial in more understeer as they felt it was "safer". blah.