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1988 BMW M3 Evolution II

While as of late I have not been a huge fan of the early M3 market or the resulting insanity involving all-things E30, I have to admit a very soft spot for the box-flared high-revving wonder. I’ve loved the E30 M3 since I first learned of their existence; trips to the track in the early 1990s with my father only heightened my respect for what was really one of the few track-ready cars out of the box. Back then, it wouldn’t be uncommon for half or more of the instructor group to be zipping around the track in one of the many M3s that would turn up to hot lap. I even remember one of the first times I got to lap around Lime Rock was in a M3. On the back straight (No Name, which ironically is named and isn’t a straight) I looked over at the first kink in horror as the driver, a soft spoken friend of my father’s, whipped the M3’s engine into a frenzy above the indicated redline. Surely, pistons would emerge from the hood in just a moment – but they didn’t, and with reckless abandon he flung the car into the uphill, barely lifting off the throttle for turn-in, then cresting the hill with a touch of opposite lock and the wheels spinning. That’s what the M3 did – it turned otherwise normal, law abiding individuals into hooligans. But it was because of the natural balance, the race-bred motor and the success on the track that this car encouraged you to drive it at 10/10ths. Or even, occasionally, 11/10ths – plenty have encountered hard objects in their lifetime. But now, these cars are no longer the go-to track rat they once were; they’ve become collector royalty – and few are as collectable as the special editions like this Evolution II:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M3 Evolution II on eBay

Year: 1988
Model: M3 Evolution II
Engine: 2.3 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 98,061 mi
Price: $100,000 Buy It Now


This is one of only a few EVO2s in the United States. The M3 was homologated for DTM and they had to make 5000 production cars to do so. They needed up making 19,000. But every year in racing things improve, engine, aerodynamic etc… so if manufacturers want to incorporate those changes they don’t have to make another 5000 production cars, only 500. These are EVO models, and this car is the EVO2.

It has a unique engine putting out 220hp with higher compression pistons, bigger cam, manifold, and engine management. The engine is also uniquely painted motorsports colors of red, white and blue. In addition there is a lighter flywheel, unique front and rear spoiler, and lighter bumpers and trunk reducing weight 22 pounds. It also has larger 7.5×16 EVO wheels.

The interior is unique to the EVO2, with plaid cloth centers and leather bolsters. There is a plaque with the number of 500 EVO2s, door sill plates and footrest. They interior is unlike any other M3.

This EVO2 went through a cosmetic restoration in Europe before I purchased it. But once I brought it to the US, I did a full suspension restoration, tuneup, brakes etc… and had any issues with the beautiful Macau Blue paint dealt with and had the car detailed. It is now in excellent condition, mechanically and cosmetically. I did not do anything to the interior, which is in good condition for its milage. I have driven the car several thousand miles since I bought it and every issue that came up has been addressed.

These EVO2s are almost impossible to find now. In the last year and a half they have been gobbled up by collectors. The last one I saw for sale about a month ago was 89,000 euros or about $105,000. It had 145,000km and this one has 157,000km. I have included a screen shot below.

The EVO2 has a clear Nevada title.

Here is a description of the EVO from the M Registry:

What distinguishes an E30 M3 Evolution II?
The E30 M3 Evolution was followed by the E30 M3 Evolution II, 500 of which were built in the Spring of 1988. (NOTE: This model is officially known simply as the “M3 Evolution”, since BMW M considers the 505 examples of the first M3 Evolution produced in 1987 as a slight variation on the regular M3 and not a separate edition in its own right.) Unlike the first Evolution, the E30 M3 Evolution II received significant mechanical upgrades to its S14 motor (identifiable by unique valve covers in white with tri-color Motorsport stripes). New pistons raised the compression to 11:1 (from 10.5:1), the air intake was improved, the flywheel lightened and the engine management revised. Power increased to 220 hp and 181 lb/ft of torque, both at the same rpm as the standard non-catalyst S14 motor. The close-ratio Getrag 5-speed manual gearbox carried over unchanged, though the final drive was reduced slightly from 3.25:1 to 3.15:1. Larger 7.5×16-inch alloy wheels with 225/45ZR16 tires, normally an extra-cost option on the standard M3, were fitted as standard to the Evolution II. However, there were no alterations to the suspension or brakes.

The exterior of the Evolution II can be easily identified by its deeper front airdam, additional rear lip spoiler on the trunk lid and front brake cooling ducts in place of foglights . In addition, thinner window glass, plus a lightened trunk lid and bumpers, reduced weight by 22 pounds. The E30 M3 Evolution II was offered only in three exclusive exterior colors: Misano Red (236), Macao Blue metallic (250) and Nogaro Silver metallic (243). The sole interior choice was Silver cloth with matching leather bolsters. Both the front and rear seats were fitted with the tri-color M lapels (as used on the E28 M535i/M5), plus an M foot rest and door sill plates with the “M3” insiginia were included. Finally, a special dashboard plaque denoting the specific number of each example out of 500 was fitted to every Evolution II. All features from the normal M3 option list were also offered on the M3 Evolution II at extra cost, with the exception of the green-tinted windshield stripe, which was standard equipment.

Is this a $100,000 E30? It just may be. We saw a 17,000 mile Europameister edition in Macau Blue hammer for a stunning $86,000 back in November. That car appeared near new, and slightly better condition than this Evo II; that said, the Europameister was really just a loaded normal M3 in a special color with a plaque. The Evolution, on the other hand, was a specially turned up example to help BMW secure more race wins. In the holy trinity of the legendary three DTM cars from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, all three had evolution models to continually push the boundaries and it’s these Evo models that are most sought and valued. They’re also very, very rare to find, especially in the U.S.. It may take just the right individual to be in the room to hammer this car at $100,000, but if a streetable M3 is going to do it, this is probably the one.



  1. MDriver
    MDriver March 9, 2015

    I dunno something just does not ring true with this car….
    little things that for an EVOII should not be…silly but it always has me wondering..

  2. grbbenny
    grbbenny March 10, 2015

    I brought an Evo II into Canada in 2008 and had a great time with it. However, it took months and months to finally find a buyer for it in 2011….for $31K. Makes me a little sad when I see what they sell for now. Just another in a long line of ill timed sales!

  3. Fred
    Fred March 10, 2015

    i enjoy most of the cars you guys find (i do not enjoy the VW campers/vans :>) to put on this site.
    The back stories and or memories are just as enjoyable to read as reading about the cars.
    keep up the great work!

  4. Carter
    Carter March 10, 2015

    Thanks very much Fred!

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