In Reply to: Wonder why they didn't just sell 2L M3s in Italy posted by Jon on December 19, 2001 at 17:29:49:
First is the target market, I think the 320is and M3 are aimed at different markets. A bespoilered, wide fendered body with stiff suspension would appeal to a smaller market than the standard E30 body. Plus the 320is was available in 4 door guise.
Second could be due to costs, Im quite sure it is more expensive to produce an M3 than a standard E30 due to the special parts of the M3.
Third, maybe a 2L E30 M3 would dilute the E30 M3 "image". You would have a slightly less powerful M3 with exactly the same body, it would be a regression to offer this less powerful version. This would be a complete opposite to the usual practice of offering more performance as a particular car model progresses. And the price difference between a 2L and 2.3L (in Italy atleast) would probably kill off sales for the 2.3L. Plus the M3 would now be less exclusive because of the proliferation of these less expensive 2L versions.
There are probably a few more reasons, or maybe all of my above assumptions arent even close. Well, your guess is as good as mine.