From the early days of racing-inspired luxurious automobiles to at this time’s track-ready sedan, BMW M3’s historical past is stuffed with icons. From its roots in German touring automobile racing, it has retained a way of motorsport theater for 37 years and counting. Be taught extra about every technology of the legendary BMW M3 and comply with its development over the previous three a long time.
E30 M3: 1986 – 1991
The primary BMW M3 got here solely as a coupe or convertible, not like the four-door fashions we see at this time. A 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine cranked out 192 horsepower within the first M3 fashions. By 1989, output had elevated to 212 horsepower, accelerating to 60 mph at 6.5 seconds. Flared wheel arches, sport suspension, and upgraded brakes differentiated the primary M3 from its 3-Sequence cousin. At present, first-generation M3 fashions exceed six-figure values in good situation, with low costs at round $75,000.
E36 M3: 1992 – 1999
The follow-up to the profitable E30 M3, the E36 is gaining reputation amongst trendy fans. It’s extremely reasonably priced nowadays, with costs starting from beneath $20,000 to round $40,000, relying on the situation. The E36 was the primary BMW M3 in historical past to make use of a six-cylinder engine, making use of a 3.0-liter unit to ship 240 horsepower. The First US fashions arrived in 1995, simply earlier than an engine improve ushered within the second half of the E36 technology. From 1996 by means of 1999, the E36 used a 3.2-liter straight-six to spice up torque, whereas whole horsepower remained the identical. It might speed up to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, almost one second sooner than its predecessor.
The E36 was additionally the primary technology of the M3 to get a four-door variant. The primary of these fashions arrived in 1997.
E46 M3: 2000 – 2006
Nicely-known for its look because the hero automobile in Want for Velocity: Most Wished, the E46 M3 is an icon in at this time’s fanatic circles. The M-tuned 3.2-liter inline-six lastly obtained a horsepower enhance, creating 333 horsepower and dropping a half second from the dash to 60 mph.
Whereas the six-speed stick was the usual package, the E46 was the primary BMW M3 in historical past to supply an computerized transmission. The SMG drivelogic transmission was a single-clutch paddle-shifted computerized, which claimed shift occasions as quick as .08 seconds. At present, a clear E46 M3 will go for between $25,000 and $35,000, whereas a number of immaculate examples have exceeded $70,000 at public sale.
E90/92/93 M3: 2008 – 2013
The fourth-generation BMW M3 ushered in an period of sport-luxury automobiles, although it additionally added heft to the previously-nimble platform. This was very true of convertible fashions, which noticed marked drops in acceleration and dealing with as a result of added weight. That mentioned, to today, it’s the lone BMW M3 to sport a V8 engine, with a 4.0-liter unit making 414 horsepower. The fourth-gen M3 can also be the primary to make use of a dual-clutch computerized transmission. This seven-speed cog set improved zero to 60 mph acceleration from 5.0 seconds to 4.8 ticks. At present, when you’re trying to purchase an E92 M3, put aside not less than $40,000 for a top quality instance.
F80 M3: 2015 – 2019
The introduction of aluminum and carbon fiber meant that the F80 M3 lastly misplaced some heft when in comparison with a earlier M3 technology. It’s the first BMW M3 in historical past supplied completely as a sedan, because the coupe and convertible fashions had been spun off to create the M4. The V8 from the fourth-gen was scrapped for a twin-turbo six-cylinder mill producing 425 horsepower. As soon as once more, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and six-speed guide had been obtainable to get your energy to the bottom. Acceleration to 60 with the DCT flew by in simply 3.9 seconds. For 2016, a Competitors variant was launched, growing horsepower and sharpening the suspension for extra centered efficiency. Whereas it isn’t difficult to search out an F80 M3, you’ll wish to put aside not less than $50,000 for one with respectable mileage.
G80 M3: 2020 – Current
The most recent BMW M3 has grow to be a little bit of a lightning rod, ushering in a brand new period of BMW design that has many fans divided. The pig snout nostril is reviled as being hideous however is important for correct airflow to the twin-turbo six-cylinder engine. It spits out a staggering 473 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque and is the primary M3 obtainable with all-wheel drive. Competitors fashions up the ante even additional, delivering 503 ponies and 6 extra pound-feet of torque.
BMW M3 historical past: a legacy of excellence
For almost 40 years, the BMW M3 has meant the top of day by day driving efficiency. Every technology has a legion of adoring followers. In terms of the M3, there aren’t any mistaken solutions. Even higher, there are a number of nice methods to purchase into this legacy of motorsport theater, no matter funds.