The BMW M3 is the legendary sports car from BMW. Originally started with the 1st generation M3 launched in 1988, the M3 has proven over time and thru 5 generations as the top tier sport sedan car money can buy. What is the secret of the BMW M3? First you start off with the basic 3-series coupe (or sedan depending on the model), and you add in all sorts of sporty bits and pieces to make it a super sports car. You add in more powerful engines the current F80 generations twin-turbo inline-6 engine. Or the previous E90 generation with the screaming V8 that revs to 8,500 rpm. Then you add in special suspension parts, wheels, brakes, rotors. You add in a special exhaust – now a signature dual exhaust on each side. You also add in special exterior features that are signatures of the BMW M3 including a power dome on the hood, front dam, side skirts and rear diffusers. You tighten up the steering, and max out the interior with the best options on the 3-series. You give the option of sports bred dual clutch transmission known as M-DCT. That is your BMW M3.
The current F80 BMW M3 is a monster. With 420 hp and 400 lbs of torque, the BMW M3 can get its torque at 1,700 rpm and can ripe to maximum speeds at any gear. With lower weight, BMW has made the current BMW M3 the best sports sedan in the world. But would we consider it the best M3 ever made? No.
Unfortunately the BMW M3 has a distinctive past. The original E30 M3 that started it all, has what some consider the best chassis ever made for a car. While the engine only produces less then 200 hp, it was all about weight and weight balance with that car.
Then you had the previous generation, the E90 M3 which went the high hp route with a 4.0 V8 that produced 416 hp, and 300 lbs of torque. All the torque was on the high end, and reached once you hit 5,000 rpm, all the way to the peak of 8,400 rpm. The engine in this car was an masterpiece and something BMW will never make again with the current CAFE regulations in the USA.
But the title of the best must go to the BMW E46 M3 which is destined to be the most classic BMW M3 of them all. Not too big, and not too small the E46 M3 was perfect. With a ripping 333hp inline-6 engine in a light 3,300 lb frame, the E46 was the last of the analog M3s. With less electronics, hydraulic steering, a perfect footprint, amazing engine (would be considered the best if the S65 V8 didn’t exist), flared fenders, and a classic design – the BMW E46 M3 takes the crown.
Here is more info on the BMW M3 History.
Unfortunately the current M3 is so large that the BMW 2-series shares the same shape and size as the E46 BMW M3 from 10 years past. That is why many seem eager to see the upcoming BMW M2 to see if that is the true future successor to the BMW M3 name in spirit if not in brand. Only time will tell.
Here is what the new BMW M2 will look like:
To learn more about the BMW M2 and the BMW m2 go to this site.
For now if you are interested in purchasing a BMW e46 M3, there are many different websites to look for them. Sites dedicated to the BMW e46 M3 include M3forum.net, e46fantantics.com and of course BMW CCA website. Take a look and if you’re lucky you’re find a classic in waiting for you.