In 1985 BMW would release the first edition of the BMW M3 that would go on to become one of the worlds most successful racing cars and most acclaimed model for the driving enthusiast. The story goes that BMW's Chairman of the Board Eberhard von Kuenhiem gave the go ahead for the development of a new engine to be used with the current 3 series specifically for Group A racing.
The task of developing this engine was taken up by the Technical Director of BMW Motorsport, Paul Rosche. Rosche's team initially began developing a new motor from the current engine blocks that BMW had been using. They ended up basing the new motor on the 2.0 liter 4 cylinder M10 block. The 4 cylinder was chosen over a 6 cylinder option that was also being looked at due to the noticeable imbalances in the 6 cylinder at higher rpm. After just a 14 days of development a prototype of what would become the S14 engine was released. The new motor would produce a phenomenal 195 hp, pushing the car form 1-100km/hr in 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 146 mph.
When the first edition M3 was finally released in Frankfurt it was almost an entirely different car from the standard 3 series. Featuring boxed fenders to allow the installation of wider and taller track tires coupled with larger brakes from BMW's 5 series. The rest of the body was featured an aerodynamic design that further set it apart form its non performance brothers. Too keep up with racing advances and maintain Group A eligibility two evolution models and one sport model would be released. The Evo 1 would produce 197hp, the following Evo 2 would produce 217 hp. The Sport model would be released in 1990 and feature a whopping 235 hp, pushing the 0-60 mph time down to 6.1 seconds with a top speed of 154 mph.
The E30 m3 would go on to be one of the most winning race cars in history. Taking home both the European Touring Car Championship and the German Toruing Car Championship multiple times. The car would gain an astounding 4 consecutive wins at the grueling 24 hours of Nurburgring from 1989 to 1992. BMW would also claim victory 4 times at the Spa 24 hour race over the 8 years of E30 M3 racing.