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Staff Cars: Dan's E36 318is

BM soon to be joined by a hot new, high-revving project!

1998 BMW 318is coupe in silver with Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 alloy wheel
She's a sweet daily - but it's time to kick Millsy's M3 in the ass!

In my humble opinion, the BMW E36 318is is a cracking little coupe, and this one is definitely a keeper. But, with a new, much-more-Maxable project on the horizon, the handsome BM has all the mods it needs to be a great daily. And that will be her role from now on.

Sure, this one doesn't have one of those sexy straight-6 motors that BMW do so well, and it definitely doesn't have an M-badge. I could make it look like an M car with all the M kit and a fresh paint job, but, truth be told, for me, this E36 isn't that ripe for modding in a stand-out, pops hard on Insta kinda way. That's for the next project - something that's a bit of a Max icon - with hot mods to make it pop like a Tyson left hook. More on that car soon.

Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 alloys in matte black. Light, strong and motorsport sexy

So, a quick recap on the mighty little BM:

Modifications from a standard car:

  • 17-inch, Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 light alloy wheels, in matte black

  • Falken tyres. Seem to be good all-rounders

  • Rear wheels spaced out by 5mm

  • Bilstein shocks and dampers for a lower, firmer ride

  • Powerflex bushes - rear subframe and lower control arms

  • ECU re-flash: +15bhp to 155bhp / + 25Nm of torque to 200Nm

  • Simoni Racing panel filter

  • OEM E30 318is clutch and flywheel - lighter flywheel

  • Lots of new OEM bits to button her up nice and tight

The pros:

  • Owned it for three years - from 68,000 to 80,000 miles

  • Never missed a beat and great fun to drive, especially with the bigger wheels and uprated suspension

  • Handsome coupe looks - gets nods from classic BM fans - and my mum

  • Slides under the radar with cops (cos it's not very fast!)

  • Could be made to look super sexy with an M makeover

  • Value going up, not down. Which is nice

  • Low miles car with a classy original interior in great shape

The cons:

  • Not that fast. Remap made a bit of a difference, but it's real expensive to get good power out of these, and that cash could be better spent on a more tuneable engine

  • No LSD. Not the end of the world when you're only rocking 150bhp, but a diff would be nice. Hard to find a factory one and aftermarkets are pricey

  • Not that Maxable. Probably too much of a 'classic' shape to really go to town on, unlike, say E46s, which mod up a treat (don't tell Millsy I said that!)

All in all, a great car then, and one that will defo be staying in my MAXERS garage. But, with Millsy's E46 M3 to deal with in a MAXERS project car face-off, it's time to get something faster, meaner and more tuneable. I'm going back to my Jap roots - after this BMW blip - and there will be tears... from Millsy, as he eats my dust!

Did someone say VTEC, yo?!

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