M3 Celebrates 25 Years of Production

Staff - CAP staff
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If you've never had the pleasure of piloting an M3 through a twisting, undulating roadway, you've been missing out on one of life's greater pleasures. Now an auto enthusiast icon, the BMW is celebrating 25 years of production.

The sportiest version of BMW's already sporty compact model, previously only available as a two-door Coupe and Convertible, the 1986 M3 sported a peaky 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine good for close to 200-hp, plus a Getrag five-speed manual gearbox and unique final drive. It featured some 5 Series parts swapping for the suspension and brakes too, as well as a totally upgraded and stiffer body structure with totally new aero enhancements and new panels such as a deep front air dam, a massive rear wing, and "box flared" wheel-arches to integrate a wider track and meatier wheel and tire package; only the hood and sunroof were shared with the standard E30 3 Series. The look was radical, and the car is now a collectors' item.

M3s that followed became much more powerful thanks to inline six-cylinder integration (the current car is well over 400hp thanks to a high-revving V8 that's actually lighter than the previous six), but were more conservatively penned, staying closer to their 3 Series donor models. In later years a sedan was added, and now the M3 is offered in Sedan, Coupe and retractable hardtop Convertible guises.

Competitors have attempted to match the M3 for performance, and some have offered and still deliver more power, but no direct competitor has knocked BMW's 3 Series flagship off of its "ultimate" four-seat sport sedan/coupe/convertible perch when it comes to the subjective points of road feel and balance.

The M3 has been a track favourite too since day one, and continues to best rivals in Touring Car races each weekend, amongst other motorsport events.

So Happy 25th Birthday to BMW's now legendary M3! 

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Convertible, Sports Coupe, Sport Sedan, BMW, M3, Compact,

Organizations: BMW

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