BMW M3 Convertible was fitted with a power-operated hood as standard. It also featured innovative safety technology. BMW’s rollover protection system provided occupants of the convertible with innovative protection unknown in previous convertibles.
In combination with the extremely rigid frame design of the windscreen, two roll-over bars integrated behind the headrests of the rear seats provided protection for passengers if the car rolled over. Sensors monitored the position of the vehicle and released the locking mechanism of the roll-over bars once the limit values were reached. A spring-action mechanism rather than a pyrotechnic device forced the bars out.
The newcomer had an enhanced power pack under the body to ensure that high power could be effortlessly transformed into sheer driving pleasure. The convertible weighed some 80 kilos more but this only exerted a minimal effect on performance. The open-top M3 required precisely 6.2 seconds for the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h. The top speed was the same as the coupe, electronically limited at 250 km/h.
When production ceased in 1999, 12,114 units of the BMW M3 E36 Convertible had rolled off the production line.