1998/1999 BMW 318is Sport (Australia)

John Avis by | March 22, 2017 | E36

In 1998, near the end of the E36 life, BMW Australia introduced a limited edition version of the 318is called the "Sport".
In 1998, near the end of the E36 life, BMW Australia introduced a limited edition version of the 318is called the "Sport".

Being the last of the series, they had stability and traction control and side airbags which were mounted in the doors.

One of the main features of the Sport was the M3 style body kit, including front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and side mouldings. The only obvious difference between M3 and 318is Sport was that the front bumper on the Sport had horizontal bars as opposed to the mesh insert on the M3, and the wheels which were 16" radial styling (style 32) with 225/50 tyres.

Clear indicator lenses were also fitted. Sport models were available in a limited range of colours, including some not available before. There were two shades of black, a silver, Avus Blue and, probably the rarest colour, Sierra Red.

Inside, Sport models had half cloth/half suede leather sports seats available in two colours - red or blue. The rear seats were fitted with head restraints. Black headlining and pillar trim was used, instead of the usual grey.

Mechanically there were no changes over the regular 318is.

I have seen some Sport models with additional options like full black leather, rear spoiler, and different console trim. Also, despite the mention of the M Sports steering wheel in the brochure for this model, my own 1998 Sport came with the regular 3-spoke steering wheel.

In 1998 the Sport models were $2,000 more than the regular 318is, with the manual Sport priced at $58,950 and automatic at $60,650. The Sport was available through 1998 and 1999.

Below is a six page brochure produced by BMW Australia for the Sport.

BMW 318is Sport brochure page 1

BMW 318is Sport brochure page 2

BMW 318is Sport brochure page 3

BMW 318is Sport brochure page 4

BMW 318is Sport brochure page 5

BMW 318is Sport brochure page 6

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by Matt | December 16, 2017

I just bought a '99 model of one of these and it's great!!



by JB5 | January 25, 2019

Late to the party but I've just bought a jet black one of these (1998 model). The seats aren't leather at all but the door cards are (?), but I have the M-Sport steering wheel and a rear spoiler. Go figure.



by John | January 26, 2019

I've seen at least one other with leather door trims but the half cloth seats. I'll gladly swap my cloth for your leather :) That brochure says they come with the M Sports steering wheel but mine had the regular wheel (since improved).


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About me

I am a bit of a 3 series fanatic, having owned a couple of E30s and a few E36s, plus a few parts cars. I like the combination of the compact size, good performance and handling, and that they are more sports sedan than an impractical and extrovert sports car. This blog is a place to share my experience and knowledge.


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