The BMW M3 is the Ultimate Driving Machine and is now into its 6th generation with the BMW M3 2021 model, including for the first time ever the M3 Touring, it really is the halo of the BMW brand and rightly so after securing multiple motorsport racing victories.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane at the evolution of the M3.
BMW M3 - E30 1986 to 1981
The E30 M3 was the first M3 ever made, and for those die hard BMW fans out there, you will already know that the M3 shares very few body panels with the E30 3 Series. Everything else was totally new including the suspension and gearbox - also known as the dog leg gearbox.
The E30 dominated Touring Car Championships in the late 80s and became an extremely successful saloon car competing against AMG Mercedes and Sierra Cosworths.
Limited edition models such as the Roberto Ravalli were made with only 25 units making it to the UK. So if you own one of these models you are very lucky indeed! The 215 bhp from the inline 4-cylinder 2.3 engine and weighing 1200 kg, the E30 wasn’t about the engine or power but the handling, grip and driving experience.
BMW M3 E36 1992 to 1999
Available in a saloon, coupé and convertible variations and the first of many to feature a straight six engine which was only available previously in M5 and M6 models.
This engine features vanos. This is when the driver goes above 5000 rpm, the cam profile changes and then the power is felt! The 0-60 is approximately 6 seconds, so at its release this was a luxury car with speed, but not so focused on dynamics and handling like its predecessor; the E30.
BMW M3 E46 2000 to 2006
Some say that this M3 feels completely different to the previous M3 models because it sounds better and drives better, has a tighter chassis, better dynamics and better engine, making it the Ultimate Drivers car - the complete package.
The straight six, 3.2 litre engine and 338 bhp delivers a 0-60 of 4.8 seconds, which at the time, was considered a very impressive 0-60.
BMW M3 E90/E92/E93 2007 to 2013
The biggest change to this generation M3 was the 4.0 litre V8 with 414 bhp, which makes this M3 very fast. The V8 sounds amazing - compared to the E46 this was a whole new level. This M3 came as standard with 6 speed manual gearbox but there is the option to have a 7 speed MDCT gearbox, which made gear shifting quicker.
BMW M3 E90
BMW M3 E92
BMW M3 E93
This M3 is limited to 155 mph with a 0-60 of approximately 4.8 seconds, but with the MDCT gearbox 3.9 seconds have been reported. The luxurious interior makes this a car for all purposes. It’s refined, smooth and usable so you can use it from popping to the shops to motorway drives. It really does do everything brilliantly.
BMW M3 F80 2014 to 2018
The first M3 with a Twin Turbocharged straight 6 engine, this was a significant step up from the previous M3 models and the first time the Twin Turbocharged engine had ever been used. The power from this M3 was astonishing with 425 bhp with a fast and agile gearbox. BMW put lots of focus on making this generation M3 as light as possible so lots of carbon fibre was used as well as improving the aesthetics of this model.
With a 0-62 in 4.1 seconds and a top speed limited to 155mph, the revs and acceleration of this model are impressive. Perfect for normal driving you can enjoy comfort and luxury but with some quick button changes you can change the damper settings, gearbox aggression and steering and you've got yourself a track ready car.
BMW M3 2020 / 2021 onwards
And now we have the M3 2021 model, also known as the G80 with sales due to begin in 2021. This model will be powered by the BMW S58 turbocharged straight-six engine delivering 510bhp from the 3.0 litre engine.
This is the first time that All-Wheel Drive has been available on an M3 and - the first time this model will be available as a M3 Touring model. Four brand new exterior colours will be available for this M3 - Sao Paulo Yellow, Skyscraper Grey, Isle of Man Green & Brooklyn Grey. We cannot wait to drive this car for ourselves!