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BMW 315

BMW cars archive - the 1930's

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Visit also: 1931 BMW 3/15 DA 4 | 1932 BMW 3/20 PS | 1933 BMW 303 | 1934 BMW 309 | 1934 BMW 319 | 1935 BMW 3/15 Ihle Type 600 / 800


The Type 303, the first BMW car with a six-cylinder engine, had only been in production for a year before its place on the market was taken by the 315 model. Apart from a more powerful engine this resembled the previous model in technical specification, appearance and equipment. BMW's engineers had increased the engine's displacement to 1.5 litres and raised the power output by four to 34 horsepower, making the BMW 315 the company's first model to break the 100 km/h top speed barrier.


1934 - 1937 BMW 315 technical specifications
Type
315 Saloon, Cabriolet, Tourer, Limo/Cabriolet, (Some Frazer Nash-BMWs with English Coachwork)
315/1 Sports Roadster
Engine
Code
-
-
Displacement
1490cc
1490cc
Cylinders
6
6
Fuel type
Gasoline
Gasoline
Power
25kW | 34HP
30kW | 40HP
Torque@RPM
-
-
Performance
Top Speed
100km/h | 62mph
120km/h | 75mph
Acceleration
0-100km/h
0-60mph

-

-
Fuel Consumption (l/100km | mpg)
City
-
-
Highway
-
-
Combined
-
-

Dimensions
Length
3900mm
3900mm
Width
1440mm
1440mm
Height
-
-

General
Units produced
9765
230 (15 rhd)
Cost at production start
3,950 Reichsmarks | 4,100 Reichsmarks (Tourer version)
5,200 Reichsmarks

Source for technical specifications: bmwhistoricmotorclub.co.uk.

After modest beginnings as an automobile manufacturer with a small car built under licence from another company, BMW had secured a prominent position by 1934 among the large number of car producers in Germany at that time. Despite obvious chassis problems on the Type 3/20 PS, this was BMW's first in-house design and over 7,000 were sold. This was followed in 1933 by the first really modern BMW car with a six-cylinder engine, the Type 303. As well as the pleasing, modern body and the fine level of quality, this car's greatest appeal lay in its six-cylinder engine, which as well as being very unusual in this class of car was one of the smallest in the world with only 1.2 litres of displacement. A year later, this model was replaced by the Type 315 which differed only in having a larger swept volume and four horsepower more. At the Berlin Motor Show, BMW presented not only this saloon but the prototype of a sports roadster with strikingly beautiful styling, powered by a 40-horsepower engine with three instead of two carburettors. The public were so impressed by this Type 315/1 that BMW decided to go ahead with small-volume series production - also influenced by the desire to boost its image in the prestigious world of motor racing. From the summer of 1934 onwards, the attractive BMW 315/1 became available for the by no means insignificant sum of 5,200 Reichsmarks. The series model differed from the prototype in its headlight arrangement and side air grilles instead of the original curved slots. The panelled-in rear wheels emphasised the sporting, elegant style of the two-seater with its emergency rain top. With a top speed of 120 km/h, the 315/1 Roadster was among the most serious sports cars of its time. In numerous major races in Germany and abroad, the BMW 315/1 always came in either first or in the top placings. It was with this car that BMW's success story in motor racing really began. Only 230 cars of this model had been produced by mid-1935.

BMW 315 production numbers and type of body:

  • 4881 saloons/sedans
  • 2281 two-door convertibles
  • 1378 soft-top saloons/sedans
  • 137 open four-seaters
  • 20 sports convertibles
  • 1 roll-top saloon/sedan
  • 837 chassis for special bodywork to be fitted
  • 230 BMW 315/1 sports roadster



Source: BMW Group Archive

Visit also: 1931 BMW 3/15 DA 4 | 1932 BMW 3/20 PS | 1933 BMW 303 | 1934 BMW 309 | 1934 BMW 319 | 1935 BMW 3/15 Ihle Type 600 / 800

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