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BMW M3: A brief history of the best badges of all

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The M3 nameplate is one of the most famous in the performance car world, and BMW has unwrapped the new M3, the boldest and most powerful model for wearing this nameplate.

It’s important to understand how important the M3 is to performance car enthusiasts and the BMW itself, while new cars may grab the headlines.

Undoubtedly, let’s look back at the most important “M” car archive ever …

Original: E30

The BMW 3 Series has been the company’s medium-sized executive saloon since 1975, but buyers had to wait until 1985 for the German manufacturer to create the hot version of the M3. Initially written in pens to allow BMW to compete in the Touring Car Championship, only 5,000 had to be produced to meet regulations, but eventually nearly 18,000 were planted. Shipped from.

Although fairly slow by modern standards, the E30 M3’s 200bhp 2.3-liter petrol engine can reach 60mph in 6.5 seconds. In the Sport Evo version, the power increased to 238bhp during its lifetime, and today’s example is easily 50,000, if not more, even though everything is provided by the factory with a left steering wheel. Worth a pound.

Box type: E36

A forgotten piece of the M3 jigsaw puzzle, the E36 M3 was introduced in 1992 as a more upscale, luxurious yet heavier version of BMW’s already acclaimed sports model. For the first time, buyers were able to get the right handle version and the new saloon body type to sit with the existing coupe and convertible.

The output increased to 282bhp due to the increase in size of the 3.0-liter gasoline engine, and the output was increased to 316bhp due to the increase in size of the 3.2-liter unit due to the revision of the 1996 model. An automatic gearbox will also be introduced for the first time.

Return to form: E46

BMW has returned to its coupe and convertible body style with the E46 M3, launched in 2000. Thanks to its luxurious interior, it has become more luxurious again. As a convention for all M3s, the output has increased again from 3.2 liter units to 332bhp. Arguably the most famous of all E46 M3s is the CSL (short for Coupe Sport Lightweight). This is a model reminiscent of the original 3.0 CSL model of the 1970s.

To date, this is the only time BMW has used a full “CSL” nameplate, and BMW has upgraded to a large number of carbon fiber components, stripped interiors, and engine to 355bhp. The only downside was that all CSL models came with an automatic gearbox, but today’s great CSLs are easily worth £ 60,000 (three times the price of a standard M3), but that’s it. It certainly doesn’t prevent it.

V8 engine: E92

Previously, the M3 always used a 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder engine, but with the E92 model introduced in 2007, BMW used a 424bhp 4.0-liter V8 to increase the number of cylinders to eight. This reduced the 0-60mph time to 4.6 seconds, making it the fastest M3 ever.

The saloon body style has been revived and continues to be sold with coupes and convertible models, with many special editions celebrating the company’s achievements in motorsport. These include the DTM Champion Edition and CRT, but the most memorable E93 M3 is the GTS. This is a bright orange and light M3 with a larger 444bhp 4.4 liter V8 engine, which is essentially a road truck car.

Confusing: Become M3-M4 F80 / F82

So far, BMW has created a 4-series to replace the 3-series coupe, but this generation of M3 has changed dramatically. Therefore, while still having the M3, this nameplate was reserved for the 4-door model, and the M4 is currently sold in the form of a coupe and convertible. That’s not the only complexity. BMW will return to the 6-cylinder for these new cars and turbocharge the M3 for the first time. The latter is controversial.

The power stays at much the same level as its predecessor, producing 426bhp, or 444bhp for later “competition” models. This proves to be the most popular. Beyond this generation, the M3 and M4 are also fairly chased by special editions such as the CS and DTM champion edition “30 Jarre” models celebrating the 30th anniversary of the M3.

But the hottest in the lot was the M4 GTS. This is a special edition focused on trucks that have a roll cage and increase output to nearly 500bhp.

New: G80 M3 / G82 M4

The new BMW M3 and M4, announced today, are arguably the boldest ever, and the large front grille could split opinions like a knife slicing butter. However, the 6-cylinder engine remains, and purists will be pleased that there is no sign of electrification. Two variations are offered, the Standard Model and the competition, the latter producing 503bhp, making it the most powerful M3 ever.

But what’s important about this new M3 is the fact that it will be available as an estate car for the first time in history. This has been fun for BMW several times (up to the concept car), but it will only be realized by 2022, and it will be the first time to get a properly practical M3.

Ted Welford

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