E30 320is (S14)
Production Data
Special Versions
Colors and Upholstery
Production Versions
AK95: European-spec (Italy + Portugal only) two-door, 03/1988 through 11/1990
AC95: European-spec (Italy + Portugal only) four-door, 09/1987 through 07/1990
What makes the E30 320is unique?
The E30 320is is a special 3 Series model that was sold exclusively in Italy and Portugal in order to take advantage of the reduced taxes in those countries for cars with engines that displace two liters or less. It is powered by a 1990cc version of the four-cylinder S14 engine developed by BMW Motorsport for the E30 M3 and also shares its close-ratio Getrag gearbox with the M3. However, all other components are standard 3 Series items.
Where was the E30 320is built?
The E30 320is was built on the normal Regensberg assembly line alongside the other 3 Series models.
If the E30 320is is powered by an M engine, why is not badged as an M model?
The reason the E30 320is is not badged as an M model ultimately comes down to marketing: Unlike the limited-production M3, which was created primarily as a competition machine and utilizes many unique exterior body panels and chassis components, the 320is was never intended to be a homologation special. It was conceived instead as a sportier and more affordable alternative to the torquier and more refined 325i, which was taxed heavily in Italy and Portugal due to its 2.5-liter engine.
Production Data
How many versions of the E30 320is were developed?
BMW developed the E30 320is only in non-catalyst, left-hand drive form and exported it exclusively to Italy and Portugal. Both two-door and four-door body styles were offered.
How many of each version were produced?
AK95 ((ECE-spec two-door, LHD): 2,540* produced from 03/1988 through 11/1990
AC95 (ECE-spec four-door, LHD): 1,205 produced from 09/1987 through 07/1990
*includes one pre-production example produced 11/1987
What changed during the production of the E30 320is?
There were no mechanical changes to the E30 320is during the three years that it was produced. However, there were a number of minor cosmetic and equipment variations that also apply to every E30 3 Series model built during the same period.
What makes the two-liter S14 engine unique?
The two-liter S14 engine in the E30 320is is essentially identical to the 2,302cc version found in the E30 M3 except for its shorter stroke (72.6mm versus 84mm) that yields an overall displacement of 1,990cc. Like all S14 engines, it combines the basic four-cylinder block from the M10 family with a four-valve head derived from the one used on the six-cylinder M88 and S38 motors. Special features of this engine include individual throttle plates for each cylinder, machined intake and exhaust ports, and a crankshaft with eight counterweights. Like the M88 and S38, the S14 does not have hydraulic lifters, and thus requires periodic valve adjustments.

The two-liter S14 is rated at 192 hp (DIN) at 6,900 rpm and 155 lb/ft of torque at 4,900 rpm. This is down slightly compared to the non-catalyst, 2.3-liter S14 used in the E30 M3 which is rated at 200 hp (DIN) at 6,750 and 176 lb/ft of torque at 4,750 rpm.

The S14 engine fitted to the 320is has an identical appearance to the unit found in the E30 M3 and thus shares the "BMW M Power" inscription on its cam cover.
What kind of gearbox does the E30 320is have?
Like the European-spec E30 M3, the sole gearbox for the E30 320is is a close-ratio Getrag 265 five-speed manual with a "dogleg" shift pattern and the following ratios: 3.72 (1), 2.40 (2), 1.77 (3), 1.26 (4), 1.00 (5). This is mated to a shorter (compared to the M3) 3.46:1 rear axle ratio with limited-slip differential.
How is the suspension of the E30 320is different from that of a standard E30 3 Series?
Like all E30 3 Series, the suspension of the 320is consists of a MacPherson strut/semi-trailing arm design.However, the springs, shocks and anti-roll bars of all two-doors (as well as four-doors produced from 9/89) are of the more aggressive "Sportfahrwerk" specification.
What kind of steering does the E30 320is have?
The 320is uses the standard E30 power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system with an overall ratio of 20.5:1.
What size brakes does the E30 320is have?
The E30 320is shares its braking system with the six-cylinder E30 models and thus is equipped with 10.2-inch (260mm) vented disc brakes in the front and 10.2-inch (260mm) solid disc brakes in the rear. ABS was fitted as standard equipment.
What are the factory wheel and tire sizes for the E30 320is?
The E30 320is is equipped exclusively with 195/65VR14 tires. These are mounted to one of two different alloy wheel designs, both of which were shared with other E30 3 Series models: The 6.5x14-inch cross-spoke wheel (standard on the two-door) or the more plain 6x14-inch alloy (standard on the four-door).
How is the exterior of the E30 320is different from that of a regular 3 Series?
The exterior of the 320is can only be identified from other E30 3 Series models by its "320is" badging on the trunk lid, though this could be deleted upon request. (The curved dual exhaust tips are also unlike those of any other four-cylinder 3 Series but are shared with the six-cylinder E30 325i.

The exterior of the four-door E30 320is is otherwise the same as any basic E30 sedan, equipped as standard with only fog lights and 14-inch alloy wheels. However, front and rear spoilers, Shadowline (dechromed) exterior trim, plus the sportier 14-inch cross-spoke alloy wheels, were offered as extra-cost options.

The two-door version of the E30 320is is further equipped with the complete M-Technic II aero package (identical to the one fitted to the UK-spec 325i Sport and available as an accessory on all other E30 3 Series models), which consists of a deeper front airdam, additional lower side body panels, an extended valance under the rear bumper and a two-piece rear spoiler. In addition, the two-door E30 320is sports body-color rearview mirror housings, Shadowline (dechromed) window trim and 14-inch cross-spoke alloy wheels.
How is the interior of the E30 320is different from that of a regular 3 Series?
The interior of the E30 320is is identical to that of other 3 Series models with the sole excpetion of its unique instrument cluster that utilizes the same tachometer with integrated oil temperature gauge as the E30 M3, but lacks the red needles and M logo between the two main dials. Also, the gear shift knob is of the older non-ergonomic design that was phased out on other E30 3 Series models (with the exception of the M3) in September, 1987.

The interior of the four-door E30 320is is quite Spartan, offering only the basics such as power mirrors, central locking, power front windows and a rear-window defroster as standard equipment. The two-door model adds map lights in the rear view mirror, sport seats, a three-spoke leather-wrapped M-Technic steering wheel and a leather shift knob, all of which were also available on the four-door as extra-cost options.

Factory options for both two-door and four-door versions of the 320is included: air conditioning, manual sunroof, power sunroof, interior headlight adjustment, BMW Sound System, heated front seats, digital clock with outside temperature display, on-board computer, rear headrests, rear sunshade and leather upholstery.
Special Versions
Were any official special editions of the E30 320is ever produced?
Though BMW never offered any official special editions of the E30 320is, it is worth noting that 29 identical Alpine White II examples were produced specifically for use in the Portuguese Mobil 1 Trophy Series. These cars had none of the available 320is options and further lacked power windows (normally standard) to make them as light and basic as possible. After delivery, they were equipped with all the required safety equipment, as well as AC Schnitzer software, intake, exhaust, suspension and wheels. When the series ended, many cars were returned to their original stock condition for street use.
Color and Upholstery Selections

The following chart lists all regularly available paint colors for the E30 320is.

Black 086 AC9509/1987 through 07/1990
Cinnabar Red 138 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 08/1989
Bronzit metallic 139 AC9509/1987 through 07/1990
Diamond Black metallic 181 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 11/1990
Delphin metallic 184 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 11/1990
Cirrus Blue metallic 189 AC9509/1987 through 08/1989
Royal Blue metallic 198 AC9509/1987 through 08/1989
Burgundy Red metallic 199 AC9509/1987 through 08/1989
Salmon Silver metallic 203 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 08/1989
Malachite Green metallic 205 AC9509/1987 through 08/1989
Atlantis Blue 207 AC9509/1989 through 07/1990
Alpine White II 218 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 11/1990
Luxor Beige metallic 219 AC9509/1988 through 07/1990
Mineral Blue 231 AC9509/1987 through 08/1989
Granite Silver metallic 237 AK9509/1989 through 11/1990
Sterling Silver metallic 244 AC95, AK9509/1989 through 11/1990
Azure Blue metallic 294 AC9509/1989 through 07/1990
Brilliant Red 308 AC95, AK9509/1989 through 11/1990

The following chart lists all regularly available upholstery colors for the E30 320is

Anthracite cloth 0269 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 11/1990
Silver cloth 0270 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 11/1990
Indigo cloth 0271 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 11/1990
Havana cloth 0272 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 11/1990
Natur cloth 0273 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 11/1990
Black leather 0203 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 11/1990
Silver leather 0292 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 11/1990
Indigo leather 0293 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 11/1990
Natur leather 0295 AC95, AK9509/1987 through 11/1990
Cardinal Red leather 0296 AK9503/1988 through 08/1989
Crimson Red leather 0324 AK9509/1989 through 11/1990