The E36 M3 may be one of the most accessible enthusiast cars ever built. With a long production life that began in 1992 and ended in 1999, the E36 is proof of the phrase, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” While the model did see minor upgrades over the years, the car essentially remained the same. In total more than 70,000 units were produced, including the sedan and convertible. Under the hood was a high-revving inline six-cylinder and a five speed (in U.S. models). The E36 M3 was touted as an unassuming car that could be daily driven by the masses yet still deliver exciting performance for enthusiasts.
The E36 codenamed M3 is the second model generation of the BMW M3 that replaces the 1991 BMW M3 (E30). Compared to its predecessor, which was only offered as a two-door sedan, the E36 M3 was offered in three body styles that included sedan, coupé and convertible to cater to a larger demographic. All models were replaced by the E46 in 2000.
The E36 M3 entered the United States in 1995, following the 325is M-Design that debuted in 1994 to test market demand for a high-performance sports car, although the North American M3 had a less powerful engine than European models. The Forza series features the European market model.
The European market M3 sports a 3.2 litre inline-six engine codenamed S50B32, a heavily upgraded variant of the M50 engine from regular production models. The S50 was bored out to 3.2 litres and equipped with individual throttle plates, continuously variable valve timing (VANOS), lightweight pistons and other detail optimizations. The result is a power output of 321 hp (239 kW) and 258 ft·lb (350 N·m) of torque.
Handling and ride performance were improved by reinforced front axle components and a multi-link suspension at the rear. The E36 M3 was also upgraded to four-wheel vented disc brakes to offset its weight increase of 653 lb (296 kg). It is also one of few BMW M cars with a 50/50 weight distribution.
The Horizon Edition combines strong handling attributes with equally impressive straight-line performance. Based on a 50/50 weight distributed chassis and featuring a sharper steering angle than the standard M3, it offers very forgiving drifting capabilities that makes it especially suitable for drift beginners.
It is also up to par with most S1 cars in terms of speed due to being able to hit 236 mph (380 km/h) as top speed, far higher than what its speed statistic of 7.6 would suggest.
The Forza Edition is the Forza Motorsport 7 rendition of the Horizon Edition variant with a 20% credits bonus as a primary boost and an additional 20% credits bonus for every third Good Drift.
Although its visual appearance has been largely carried over from the Horizon Edition, it has no engine swap preset and offers performance homologated to B 524 instead.