Bmw m4 2003

Bmw m4 2003 DEFAULT


The M3 is BMW’s most extreme compact sports coupe and sedan. Based on the 3-series, M3s receive unique and more-powerful engines, different suspension parts, larger brakes, and subtly re-skinned bodies. In production since the mid-Eighties, the first M3 arrived in North America for the 1988 model year.

Several generations of M3 followed, each bringing more performance and power, but throughout, the M3 has remained a car aimed at the enthusiast heart; great on a track, comfortable while blasting along at autobahn speeds, and easygoing enough to run errands and commute in. Practical and fun, if you need one car that does it all, it’s hard to beat an M3.

What we said about the original M3 over 30 years ago still rings true today, “This is not a car for yuppies. This is a car for us.” Car and Driver, November 1987, "1988 BMW M3"

First Gen (E30)

bmw m3 evo e30


• Built as a homologation special with bespoke fender flares.
• Its 2.3-liter inline-four was derived from the M1 supercar.
• Now a full-fledged appreciating collector's item.

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Second Gen (E36)

bmw m3 e36


• Sold in much higher numbers than its predecessor.
• The first M3 to come with an available four-door body style.
• The North American version got a neutered engine with less power.

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Third Gen (E46)

bmw m3 csl e46


• Hit 60 mph in less than five seconds.
• The exhaust has a particularly metallic rasp.
• Some consider it the best-driving M3 ever.

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Fourth Gen (E90)

2008 bmw m3 e90


• The only V-8-powered M3 ever made.
• Heavier than its predecessor, but thoroughly more modern.
• Arguably the best-sounding M3.

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Fifth Gen (F80)

bmw f80 m3


• The first turbocharged M3.
• Received specific fender flares, wheels, and bumper panels.
• The first M3 to come exclusively as a four-door sedan.

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Sixth Gen (G80)

bmw m3 2021


• The newest M3.
• Can be optioned to 503 hp, making it the most powerful M3 ever.
• Questionable front end design.

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Generation One (E30): 1986-1991

While the first M3 debuted at the Frankfurt auto show in 1985, it didn't arrive in the U.S. until 1987 for the 1988 model year. Born to race in the European Touring Car Championship, the street-going M3s were built to comply with the mid-80s FIA Group A rules that required that at least 5000 street-legal copies of the race car. Today, BMW claims the E30-based M3 is the winningest touring car in history.

Built for competition, the E30 M3 sports a number of changes when compared to standard E30 coupe. The M3 wears flared fenders to cover wider tires, its nose has a lower air dam and its tail is higher to improve aerodynamics. Even the M3's rear-window angle was altered (compared to your standard E30) to help manage airflow. So much had to be changed for the M3 that the only exterior body panels it shares with the regular 3-Series were the hood and the roof. Inside, it's mostly standard E30 trim, with some special, race-oriented touches like a gauge cluster that displays oil pressure (instead of mpg), a steering wheel with BMW M-stripe accents, and unique patterns adorning M3s with cloth seats, among other small changes.

The M3's high-revving 2.3-liter four-cylinder S14 engine used a block similar to a four-cylinder 3-Series, but the M3 received its own dual-overhead-cam, 16-valve cylinder head. Output for U.S. models was 192 horsepower, so this M3’s 6.9-second time to 60 is unlikely to win many modern drag races, and it isn’t much quicker than a contemporary 325i. Outside the United States, the S14 engine grew to 2.5-liters for the special-edition "Sport Evolution" models (built from the 1989 model year on), with output rising to 235 horsepower for the final incarnation of the M3, known as the "Sport Evolution 2."

European models are now old enough to be imported into the United States under rules that allow cars more the 25 years old to come in, but some states (like California) require emission compliance to register the car.

European models with the close-ratio five-speed gearbox have a “dog leg” shifter with first gear located down and to the left. U.S. market cars use a wide-ratio box with a conventional shifter pattern.

While E30 models are known to be robust, the M3’s solid lifters demand periodic valve adjustments. Look also for wear on suspension pieces and the points where they connect to the body.

Rust isn’t a problem for cars from the sunshine states, but snowbelt cars can be affected. Look for spots where water is likely to puddle; along the windshield’s base, in the channel along the trunk rim, along the sunroof's seals, and along body seams.

Look for modifications made for track use. Aftermarket chips and other components may make the E30 M3 better on a track, but stock vehicles are often more desirable to collectors.

Of Note:

  • 1987 – The M3 “Evolution” went on sale outside the United States with a revised cylinder head. Power ratings did not rise on the road cars, but the engine changes were needed to keep pace in racing. This is not widely considered to be unique model by enthusiasts, though BMW officially labels it as such after building roughly 500 examples.
  • 1988 – The M3 "Evolution II" appeared in Europe with revised spoilers and bigger wheels and tires. The engine was massage with increased compression, a revised air intake, and tweaked engine management software. These cars are easily identified by their valve covers, which feature three painted stripes of the BMW M livery.
  • 1988 — BMW produced only 786 M3 convertibles in the E30 generation. None were exported to the United States by BMW. However, they are now among the most valued M3s.
  • 1990 – The "Sport Evolution II" model was produced featuring thinner window glass, adjustable spoilers, bigger wheels and tires, and lightweight body work. It inherited the larger, 2.5-liter engine from the "Sport Evolution" model, but the Evo 2 further pushed its output to 238 horsepower. No, the Evo 2 wasn’t exported to America either.

Generation Two (E36): 1992-1999

Built primarily for the street, rather than a homologation special, the second-gen (E36) M3 sold in much higher numbers than its predecessor. Despite its more-pedestrian roots, the M3’s handling and performance lived up to the name. Car and Driver named it the best-handling car at any price in 1995.

Americans had to wait until the 1995 model year for the E36 M3, and when it arrived, it had a less exotic engine than the rest of the world enjoyed. While Europeans received a high-revving S50 3.0-liter inline-six with 286 horsepower, Americans got a 240-hp 3.0-liter version of the engine in the 325i. Enthusiasts were skeptical of the lower-performance engine, but the American M3 was still capable of hitting 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. A four-door M3 arrived in 1996, and a convertible debuted for 1997. In 1996, BMW bumped displacement to 3.2 liters to increase torque, but the 240-hp number remained unchanged. A five-speed automatic also debuted in 1996, but the automatic adds over a second to the zero-to-60 time. Plentiful and reasonably reliable, the E36 M3 is usually the most affordable of all M3s.

This is the first M3 to use the VANOS variable valve timing technology. Seals on the solenoid that operate the system will wear and fail.

Expect to replace most of the cooling system at about 60,000 miles. That includes the water pump, hoses, radiator, and seals.

Differentials are another possible failure point. U.S. models used a smaller differential than the more powerful European versions.

While the E36 M3 still looks contemporary, the youngest ones are now a quarter century old. If the handling doesn’t seem up to snuff, it’s very likely that the rubber in the suspension hasn’t been replaced. Changing bushing and worn out suspension components will restore the car, but will be expensive.

Rust isn’t a major problem in cars from warm-weather areas. But every used car should be thoroughly inspected for rot.

Of Note:

  • 1994 – A year before the E36 M3 went on sale in the United States, 45 examples of the European-spec M3 with the full 286 horsepower were sent to Canada. That’s a large country just north of the United States. Finding one of those 45 would at least be a great conversation starter.
  • 1995 – The M3 GT is offered in Europe with up to 295 horsepower. It was only available painted in British Racing Green or silver, and is now eligible to be imported into the United States under the 25-year rule. The GT came with lightweight door skins and a swath of green leather in the center of its microsuede seats.
  • 1995 – At the tail end of the E36 M3’s first model year in the U.S., BMW offered 126 Lightweight models (85 for the U.S. and 31 for the rest of the world). Lightened and refocused for the track, the Lightweight is the rarest and most desirable of the U.S. E36-generation M3.
  • Manual M3s command a premium over the five-speed automatic. While the automatic doesn’t have the issues of the later single-clutch automated manual, the E36’s conventional automatic saps performance and acceleration.
  • Generally, the two-door M3s have the highest values. Sedans and convertibles are worth slightly less than the coupes.
  • The E36 interior isn’t nearly as nice as what the brand put in the contemporary 5-series and 7-series. The cheap plastics crack and fade, glovebox doors sag, the center vents pull away from the instrument panel, and the LEDs in the radio and HVAC displays often fail.

Generation Three (E46): 2000-2006

Unlike the E36 M3, the E46 M3 brought all the good stuff from Europe to the U.S. market. Attractive in coupe and convertible form with flared fenders and unique bodywork, the sedan version sat out the E46 generation. A naturally aspirated 3.2-liter inline-six with 333 horsepower allowed the E46 M3 to hit 60 mph in less than five seconds.

The engine boasts an 8000-rpm redline and pulls hard throughout the rev range. Unfortunately, this six lacks the smoothness of the E36’s engine. The exhaust has a particularly metallic rasp that some may find distasteful. While powerful, the engine suffers from rod bearing issues.

Avoid the clunky single-clutch automatic (SMG) at all costs and go for the manual. While it’s possible to convert the SMG to be a manual, you’re better off starting with the manual version.

The E46 M3 also has a harsher ride than any M3 before or after it. It’s borderline unbearable on the optional 19-inch wheels. Despite that, many consider the E46 the best-driving M3 ever made, with impeccable balance and a splendid interior layout.

A strong seller, about 85,000 of them were built.

The E46 M3’s S54 engine can experience connecting rod bearing failures, so change the oil more often than the onboard computer demands. A 5000-mile interval is cheap insurance. The engine uses a specific 10W-60 oil.

All E46 rear subframe mounts are prone to cracks and very expensive to fix. A thorough inspection of the subframe requires it to be removed. Reinforcement kits are available.

Avoid the Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) automated transmission. This is literally the manual six-speed transmission converted to computerized operation. Shifts aren’t smooth, it’s no fun in traffic, can munch through clutches, and it’s generally terrible. The only bright spot with the SMG system is that it can be converted into a six-speed manual.

Of Note:

  • 2003 – Europe got the exotic, lightweight M3 CSL model inspired by BMW’s CSL racing machines of the 1970s. But they’re Europe-only and won’t be legal in the United States until 2028. Be patient.
  • 2004 - 2006 – Many of the CSL’s lightweight components were incorporated into the M3 Competition Package offered in America between 2004 and 2006. That included a quicker steering rack and an Alcantara wheel to operate it, larger cross-drilled brake rotors and unique 19-inch wheels.

Generation Four (E90): 2008-2013

The fourth-gen M3 brought the V-8 engine to the M3. And what a V-8. Purpose-built for the M3, the 4.0-liter V-8 offers up 414 horsepower and an 8400-rpm redline. This is arguably the best-sounding M3 ever made.

That special V-8 thundered and pulled in a way that its predecessors could not match. The V-8 weighed 33 pounds less than the previous inline-six, but the E90 generation is heavier than its predecessor. Despite a carbon-fiber roof panel on models without a sunroof, the coupe coupe weighed about 200 pounds more than before. The new chassis improved the ride, but kept the track-ready potency intact, even with the added weight.

As before it was offered as a two-door coupe, two-door convertible, or four-door sedan. Subtlety? Even the hood bulges. BMW sold it with a six-speed manual and an excellent seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Like the E36, the E90 has depreciated to tantalizingly low price levels. Snagging one with higher mileage for under the price of a new Miata is easy. But there are still some things you should be aware of.

The V-8 engine is robust and reliable. Mostly. Be on the lookout for any indications of connecting-rod or main-bearing wear. Also be aware of any faults from the two throttle actuators that can trigger the main ECU’s limp-home mode. Parts are very pricey for this one-off engine.

• Don't expect it to be easy to fix if something does goes wrong. This M3 is thoroughly more modern than any of its predecessors, meaning lots of computers and electrical systems all intertwined.

It will burn oil. Lots of it, if you explore the car's upper rev range often. It takes expensive 10W-60 weight, too. Make sure to have some stashed in the trunk in case you ever get low.

Models equipped with iDrive-controlled infotainment and settings can be avoided and should be avoided. The system is largely reliable, but if you can avoid the dated displays, menus, and terrible user experience you should definitely do that. Plus, the instrument panel won’t have a big ugly hump for the display in it.

Of Note:

  • 2010 – What is perhaps the meanest of all M3s appeared this year in the form of the M3 GTS. Practically built by hand, the GTS came with a titanium exhaust system and a stripped-down interior that included a standard roll bar and omitted the rear seat, it weighed about 100-pounds less than other M3 coupes. But the M3 GTS’ most exotic feature was a version of the V8. Enlarged to 4.4-liters and making 450-horsepower, the GTS cost nearly twice as much as a regular E90 M3. None were officially exported to the United States. It was available in any color you wanted, as long as that was orange. Only 135 were built.
  • 2011 – BMW produced 67 four-door versions of the GTS wearing the name M3 CRT. These E92-generation specials were not brought to the States.
  • 2011 – BMW adds a Competition Package to U.S. M3s. With it, the M3 is lowered by millimeters, and changes to the stability control system facilitate more aggressive cornering before the system intervenes. New 19-inch wheels come along with that package as well.

Generation Five (F80): 2014-2018

The The inline-six returned to the M3 with the F80 generation, but this time with two turbochargers and 425 horsepower in regular trim while later “Competition” versions made 444 horsepower. What didn’t return were the coupe and convertible as BMW rebranded those as M4s to match their 4-series compatriots. Again six-speed manual or seven-speed automated transmissions were offered. C/D tested a 2016 Competition model with the dual-clutch transmission and ripped to 60 mph in a stunning 4.0 seconds.

Power came from the “S55” version of BMW’s twin-turbo inline-six engine. This is the first production M3 with a turbocharged engine. Unlike its high-revving predecessors, the turbocharged enabled an easily accessed and fat torque curve. Torque peaked at 406 pound-feet at a low 1850 rpm and stayed there until way up at 5500 rpm.

Both six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch (DCT) automatic transmissions were available. The six-speed may be more fun, but the DCT shifts quicker than humanely possible and offers launch control for easy and repeatable acceleration runs.

As this is written, these are recent machines. Used cars instead of established classics. Many of the problems that come with age and mileage aren’t fully known yet. And since they’re all sedans, the more-exotic variations on the M3 themes are now M4s.

• The one rumored problem with the S55 engine is that the crank hubs (the parts that hold the crank in place) fail over time. Careful inspection of this component is necessary. The internet is ablaze with accusations that this problem is a fantasy created to sell unnecessary aftermarket solutions for it. Hey, time will tell.

• Turbocharged engines are amenable to tuning through computer tweaks. Look out for re-flashed programming that can produce big dyno numbers but destroy everyday driving friendliness and longevity. Many of these cars are still under the factory warranty, and screwing with the engine will void that guarantee.

Of Note:

  • Carbon ceramic brakes were a pricey option on the M3, but might be worth seeking but if you plan to take your M3 to the track. They shed heat better, fade less, last longer, and are built to take abuse.
  • 2016 – This is the first year for the Competition Package that brought with it a modest power bump, larger wheels and tires, and revised programming for electronic limited-slip differential.
  • 2016 – BMW issued a special 30th anniversary edition of the M3 covered in Macao Blue paint and including the Competition Package, special M-Sports seats, and every other desirable option. Both manual and dual-clutch automatic transmissions were available and production was limited to 500 worldwide.

Generation Six (G80): 2021-?

The G80 is the newest entry into the M3 lineage. Like the previous car, an M4 coupe and convertible means the M3 is sedan only for the G80. Under the hood sits a twin-turbo straight-six dubbed the S58, available in a base 473 horsepower tune or a hopped-up 503-horsepower Competition guise. Go for the standard car, and your transmission is a six-speed manual as standard. Opt for the Competition, and you'll get an eight-speed automatic.

The M3 and M4 are the first M cars to use the company's new massive vertical grille design, which debuted on the 2021 4-Series. Our staffers aren't exactly fans, with associate editor Mack Hogan calling them "heinously ugly" in our track review. That being said, we like the proportions of the four-door M3 better than the sometimes-awkward-looking two-door M4.

The engine is gushing with power in both base and Competition trims, delivering a fat, meaty torque curve throughout the rev range. The steering, in typical BMW fashion, is devoid of any real feel. It is, however, one of the most direct and accurate racks put into an M car in recent memory. We also love the car's front-end grip and balance.

What we don't like is the car's overall heft. It makes everything too distant to be fun. And while we're glad BMW offers a manual gearbox, the one in our M4 tester had an unsettlingly light clutch pedal and a rubbery shifter that was tough to shift quickly.

It's also worth noting this is the first M3 to be available with all-wheel drive. An M-tuned xDrive option will become available in summer 2021 for Competition models, set to perform similarly to the trick system found in the current M5 and M8.

As for reliability, well, there's no telling at this point. The car is brand-new. We'll update this article when we hear from owners about their experiences.

Of Note:

  • The G80-generation M3 is the first M3 to be offered in a wagon body style. Unfortunately, because Americans don't buy wagons, that variant is not going to be sold in the United States.
  • Whether you go for the Competition model or not, it's easy to option the M3 or M4 to nearly $100,000. We suggest avoiding expensive add-ons like the $8150 carbon-ceramic brakes and $4700 carbon exterior package.
  • One must-have option are the M carbon bucket seats. They cost $3800, but the lateral support and low-slung mounting points mean a much-improved driving experience. Just be weary of the high thigh bolsters.


Built from 1987 until 1991, the original M3 is the version that has attracted the most attention from collectors. It’s the rarest generation and the homologation aspect of its creation adds to its mystique. A total of 17,970 first-gen M3s were built—17,184 two door coupes and 786 cabriolet convertibles. The convertible never made it stateside. In the U.S., a naturally-aspirated 2.3-liter, DOHC, 16-valve four-cylinder engine with 192 horsepower powered all of them and they’re all manuals. The E30 is not only the rarest of the M3s, it’s also the only one powered by a four-cylinder engine.

The most collectible M3s of all five generations are the “Evolution” and other lightweight models optimized for racing use. While these cars were never imported, many are now old enough to be legally brought to the U.S. for road use. These semi-exotic M3s were built in small numbers, have more power, sport exotic features, and were more expensive when new.

The Ones to Get

  • A mere 786 E30 M3 Cabriolets were built and none for North America. Three separate E30 M3 Evolution series were issued and are as rare as they are coveted. The Sport Evolution M3 was the last of the series, only 600 were made.
  • In 1995 a mere 85 E36 M3 Lightweight coupes were built for the United States market and another 31 for the rest of the world. They weighed a little less than the regular M3 coupe, but the powertrain remained unchanged.
  • M also produced 350 M3 GT models with tweaked engine programming to boost engine output to 295-horsepower. All these were painted British Racing Green and none were sold in the United States.
  • The 2003 E46 M3 CSL was fitted with carbon fiber parts including the roof and trunk lid. Thinner rear window glass saved curb weight and the car's 3.2-liter straight six was massaged to make more power. The U.S. didn’t get the CSL, but instead received the M3 Competition, which borrowed the look and a few of the chassis changes of the CSL, but didn’t get a power boost.
  • King of the E92 generation is the 2010 M3 GTS coupe. It was 275-pounds lighter than standard and the V8-engine was stroked from 4.0- to 4.4-liters adding 40 horsepower in the process. BMW also produced 67 four-door versions during 2011 wearing the name M3 CRT. These E92-generation specials were not brought to the States.
  • With the two-door coupe now an M4, the F80 generation M3 sedan wasn’t the focus of competition modifications. Still, there was an M3 CS that came with extra power and a stiffened suspension.

Notable Issues / Problems

  • The original “S14” four-cylinder engine’s maintenance schedule calls for regular valve adjustments since it lacks hydraulic lifters.
  • The E46 M3 notoriously finicky and unsmooth single-clutch (SMG) automatic is complex and expensive to fix. An automatic to manual conversion is a common, if pricey, solution. Always check the rear subframe for cracks, before purchasing.
  • A few E46s had soft bottom-end bearings, although most have likely been replaced with a harder material by now.
  • E90 M3 cars have proven robust. But the V-8 is unique, many of the systems are complex, and parts are exotic-car expensive. There’s no such thing as too much preventative maintenance.




BMW M3 Generations

Generation One (E30): 1986-1991
Horsepower: 192
Torque: 170 pound-feet 
MPG: 15/26/18 (city/highway/combined)
Weight: 2857 lbs
0-60 mph: 6.9 seconds 
vMax top speed: 141 mph
Engine: 2.3-liter inline-four

Generation Two (E36): 1992-1999
Horsepower: 240
Torque: 225 pound-feet 
MPG: 17/25/20
Weight: 3180
0-60 mph: 5.6 seconds
vMax top speed: 137 mph
Engine: 3.0-liter inline-six

Generation Three (E46): 2000-2006
Horsepower: 333
Torque: 262 pound-feet 
MPG: 15/22/17
Weight: 3450
0-60 mph: 4.7 seconds
vMax top speed: 155 mph
Engine: 3.2-liter inline-six

Generation Four (E90): 2008-2013
Horsepower: 414
Torque: 295 pound-feet
MPG: 14/20/16
Weight: 3552
0-60 mph: 4.3 seconds
vMax top speed: 155 mph
Engine: 4.0-liter V-8

Generation Five (F80): 2014-2018
Horsepower: 425
Torque: 406 pound-feet
MPG: 17/26/20
Weight: 3580
0-60 mph: 4.1 seconds
vMax top speed: 155 mph
Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six

Generation Six (G80): 2021-?
Horsepower: 473
Torque: 406 pound-feet 
Weight: 3830 lbs
0-60 mph: 4.1 seconds (estimated)
vMax top speed: 155
Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six

All specs shown are U.S. market base models.


Critical Reception

“This is not a car for yuppies. This is a car for us.”
Car and Driver, November 1987, “1988 BMW M3”
“Whether I was running it around Hockenheimring, tooling through the city, or opening it up on the Autobahn, the BMW felt right at home. With just enough gear selected, the power rolls on beautifully, and the engine pulls like a demon."
Road & Track, October 1991, “Clash of the Teutons: BMW M3 Sport Evolution vs. Audi Coupe S2 vs. Mercedes 190E 2.5-16 Evo II”
“The engine is an absolute gem. This ferocious, screaming motor hurtles the M3 down the road with an urgency that now rivals the world's best sports cars from Porsche and Chevrolet. BMW estimates the M3 will hit 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds and will eat up a quarter-mile in 13.5 seconds.”
Car and Driver, December 2000, “2001 BMW M3”
When will the madness stop? When will we have enough power? It should be a clue that we have plenty when powering along the Autobahn, the new BMW E92 M3 hits an imaginary brick wall at 161 mph. It can clearly go faster, but doesn't think we should.”
Road & Track, December 2007, “2008 BMW M3”
The big news for this fifth generation of M3 is the return of the inline-six. The M3 might have started with a four back in 1986 and worked up to a V8 in 2007, but the straight-six, the quintessential BMW engine, is the engine that we most closely associate with the M3.”
Road & Track, May 2014,“2015 BMW M3 and M4”

Features and Performance

For enthusiasts of ultimate automotive performance, it’s a magic name: BMW M3. Combining the all-around excellence of the BMW 3 Series with the spectacular performance and handling prowess that could only come from BMW M, the M3 is the formidable BMWsports car that has won - again and again - the accolades of the world’s motoring critics while providing its buyers with real performance and equally real practicality. Less than a year ago, BMW M, creator of all things M, brought forth a new M3 - an all-new generation of this legendary sports car.

As has been traditional with the M3, it was the coupe model that appeared first; a convertible variant followed soon thereafter. Predictably, the independent experts took notice. In a June 2001 comparison test of the M3 coupe and a key competitor, Car and Driver declared the M3 the winner. "Incredible engine, sweet steering, silky gearbox, hi-fi driving experience" was how the magazine characterized BMW M’s new ultra-performance coupe.

In another comparison test, pitting the M3 against two key rivals, Automobile Magazine (May ’01) gave the BMW the edge and characterized it thus: "The BMW is a more tactile car, more responsive and fractionally quicker. It’s a bigger challenge to drive, and that, ultimately, makes it a more rewarding purchase."

In August ’01, Motor Trend compared the M3 coupe with two sports-car competitors and concluded, "It’s ironic that the M3 can do all that it does so extremely well and still be a four-place machine with a useable back seat and a real trunk."

And in its July 23, 2001 issue, AutoWeek found that the M3 convertible would outperform BMW’s own 0-60-mph time (5.1 seconds, vs. BMW’s claim of 5.4 sec.). "But numbers can’t measure the grins this car elicits. We’re talking ear to ear. Toss it around a turn or through some cones and you’re in danger of grinning the whole top of your head off. Around here, we call the M3 simply ’The Car.’ Says a lot, no?"

For 2002, these new-generation M3s begin a second model year with several evolutionary changes and a revolutionary new transmission option:

- The optional Xenon headlights, now Bi-xenon, encompass low and high beams, vs. just low beams before.

- Also optional is a new automatic control that switches on the headlights and related lighting according to ambient light conditions.

- An in-dash CD player is newly standard.

- Radio-station presets are now included in the Vehicle and Key Memory system. When a particular user unlocks the M3 with his or her remote, the presets last set by that user are re-captured.

- Also new inside is Titan Shadow trim, with a graphite-like color appropriate to the M3’s high-technology character.

- The available BMW Onboard Navigation System, encompassing GPS navigation and many other useful functions, has been updated with a larger, easier-to-read color monitor and optimized controls.

- Topaz Blue Metallic, has been added to the exterior color selection, Fern Green Metallic discontinued.

- The biggest news is the Sequential Manual Gearbox, offered as an option on both M3 models. Building on technology that is now virtually universal in Formula 1 racing cars, SMG affords sports-oriented drivers a means of absolutely optimizing performance - or making driving more effortless, according to the driver’s wishes.

With this new engine and the also new 6-speed transmission, the M3 achieves true sports-car performance. Factory data for the European version indicate acceleration from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in around 5 sec.; 80-120 km/h (50-75 mph) in 4th gear takes just 5.9 sec., indicating that this engine delivers not just brilliant performance through the gears, but also usable response at everyday driving speeds. Top speed is electronically controlled to 155 mph.

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Value of classic BMW M3 cars continue to go up. From the E30 to the E36 M3, all these models are now commending a pretty penny. But what about the E46 M3 generation? Is that turning into a future classic? If we were to judge by recent sale prices, yes. Take for example this pristine 2003 E46 M3 painted in the iconic Laguna Seca Blue color which just sold on a Bring-a-Trailer for $90,000.

Showing just over 16,000 miles, this 6-speed E46 includes lots of modifications – OEM CSL exterior components, Brembo brakes, JRZ RS1 coilovers, adjustable sway bars, 19” RAC RG4 wheels, Recaro Sportster CS seats, a Beisan Systems VANOS unit, and Turner Motorsports subframe reinforcements. Additional exterior mods include a European-spec front bumper and brake ducts.

A BMW Inspection II was reportedly conducted at 14k miles in 2017, and the car was acquired by the seller in early 2019.

6 Reasons to own an E46 M3

The interior features are pair of leather-trimmed Recaro Sportster CS seats with heaters linked to the factory switchgear. Other upgrades include an AutoSolutions short shift kit and CSL door panels, which feature carbon fiber inserts covered in clear protective film.

But it’s truly the engine that makes the E46 M3 a special car. The E46 M3 came with a 3.2 liter inline-six engine developing 333 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. It could hit 0-60 in 5.1 seconds and had an electronically controlled top speed of 155 mph. The I6 in the E46 M3 is one of the better one’s BMW ever made. With its Double VANOS variable valve timing and 7,900 rpm redline, the 3.2 liter screams through the rev range with smooth and linear power.

It also makes a fantastic sound doing it.

[Top Image: European Auto Source]

Laguna Seca Blue BMW E46 M3 HRE 540 Wheels Image 9 830x553
Review: 2002 BMW M3 (Manual)

The First Ever BMW M4 CS: Sporting Appeal, High Performance for the Road and Track-Proven Dynamics.

  • Special-edition BMW M4 CS arriving at U.S. dealerships in 2018.
  • High-performance TwinPower Turbo 3.0 liter engine yields 454 hp, 442 lb-ft, 0-60 mph of 3.8 seconds (preliminary) and a top-speed of 174 mph.
  • BMW M specially tuned DSC, ABS, Adaptive M Suspension, Active M Differential, 7-speed M DCT and M Servotronic steering for increased dynamics.
  • Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time of 7 minutes 38 seconds, super-sports car territory.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ April 19, 2017 … BMW announced today at the 2017 Auto Shanghai the first ever BMW M4 CS, an exclusive special-edition model produced by BMW M GmbH. The BMW M4 CS lines-up between the BMW M4 Coupe with Competition Package and the uncompromisingly track-focused BMW M4 GTS. The 3.0-liter high-performance engine raises the output of the BMW M4 Coupe by 29 horsepower, to 454 hp. The state-of-the-art M TwinPower Turbo technology allows the BMW M4 CS to dip below the four-second mark for the 0 to 60 mph sprint, stopping the clock at 3.8 seconds (preliminary) while the standard M Driver’s Package raises the electronically limited top speed to 174 mph. With its two mono-scroll turbochargers, charge air cooler, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-VANOS fully variable camshaft timing, the inline 6-cylinder engine aims at higher echelons of performance and efficiency. More aggressively styled, the first ever BMW M4 CS continues the decades-long tradition of successful M special editions, which began in 1988 with the E30 BMW M3 Evolution. The first ever BMW M4 CS will be built at the BMW plant in Munich and will be available at U.S. dealerships in 2018 with pricing announced closer to market launch.

M-DCT Transmission and Competition Package suspension standard.

The first ever BMW M4 CS is equipped as standard with the 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) with Drivelogic. This cutting-edge transmission has a separate oil cooler and allows for gear changes in factions of a second with no interruption in the flow of power in both automatic and manual mode using the shift paddles on the steering wheel or the center gearshift lever. The long seventh gear helps keep revs low and minimize fuel consumption.

The suspension of the first ever BMW M4 CS largely mirrors that of the M4 with Competition Package. The suspension links and wheel carriers at both the front and rear axles are made from forged aluminum and are therefore extremely light, keeping unsprung masses low, improving driving dynamics. The BMW M4 CS is fitted as standard with Adaptive M suspension whose geometry has been tuned to deliver optimized performance on both the road and track. The first ever BMW M4 CS has also been honed on the most demanding test track of them all for high-performance sports cars: the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife. Its ’Ring lap time of 7 min. 38 sec. puts the CS in the super-sports car territory.

Ensuring the best possible grip in all driving conditions are the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system – which includes M Dynamic Mode (MDM) – and the Active M Differential. The control systems for the Adaptive M suspension, DSC and Active M Differential have been tuned to suit the dynamic requirements of the BMW M4 CS, as has the set-up of the electromechanical steering. The driver has the option of adjusting the steering and suspension settings to their personal preferences by selecting one of three driving modes (Comfort, Sport and Sport+) at the touch of a button. While Comfort mode is particularly well suited to normal road conditions, city driving and short journeys, Sport will be the mode of choice for drivers looking to push on twisty country roads. For drivers heading out to the track, Sport+ mode will pave the way for the fastest lap times, adjusting all the relevant systems to deliver the best possible dynamics. Should the driver get a little too excited, DSC will intervene in an instant. More experienced drivers will find that M Dynamic Mode (MDM) provides a perfect balance of electronic assistance, allowing controlled drifts while still retaining DSC active, ready to intervene if necessary.

The light-alloy wheels (front: 9 J x 19, rear: 10 J x 20) designed exclusively for the M4 CS and fitted as standard with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires (front: 265/35 R 19, rear: 285/30 R 20) are at home at the racetrack.

Exclusive M interior and exterior design.

The driver-oriented interior of the BMW M4 CS places all controls at the perfect location. Lightweight M sports seats trimmed in leather/Alcantara sets the dynamic tonality that extends to the door panel trim made from compacted natural fibers and featuring lightweight door pull loops. The hood – with its characteristic air outlet rearwards of the powerdome – and roof are made from the lightweight, extremely rigid and high-tech carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP).

Standard features on board include automatic climate control, Navigation and BMW HiFi audio system adapted to the signature acoustic demands of the BMW M4 CS.

The BMW M GmbH designers have given the first ever BMW M4 CS looks that reflect the car’s high-performance potential. The signature feature of its prominent front end, complete with cutting-edge twin LED headlights, is the front apron with large, three-section air intakes. These feed an ample supply of cooling air to the high-performance engine, transmission, and the fade-resistant M compound brakes with four-piston fixed calipers at the front and two-piston fixed calipers at the rear. The new model-specific front splitter is made from carbon fiber exclusively for the M4 CS special edition. In the interest of aerodynamic efficiency, it teams up with the rear diffuser carried over from the BMW M4 GTS and the newly designed, exposed carbon-fiber Gurney spoiler lip on the trunk lid to minimize lift. Innovative rear lights with OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology introduced by BMW M GmbH exclusively for the M4 CS and M4 GTS provide a distinctive look. The front splitter, Gurney and rear diffuser, together with the long CFRP hood, M exterior mirrors and muscular wheel arches, allow the first ever BMW M4 CS to cut an extremely dynamic figure, even when it’s standing still.

The first ever BMW M4 CS

Technical Specifications


No of doors/seats


Length/width/height (unladen)






Track, front/rear



Ground clearance



Turning circle



Fuel tank capacity

approx. l


Engine oil



Weight, unladen, to EU (excl. driver/incl. driver)



Luggage comp capacity



Air resistance

cd x A

0.36 x 2.25


Config/No of cyls/valves


Engine technology

M TwinPower Turbo technology: two mono-scroll turbochargers, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing, Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing







Compression ratio




RON95 – RON98 (rec.)

Max output

[email protected]

[email protected]

Max torque

[email protected]

[email protected]–5380

Electrical System



69/Luggage compartment




Driving Dynamics and Safety

Suspension, front

Adaptive M suspension with aluminum double-joint spring-strut axle and M-specific elastokinematics

Suspension, rear

Adaptive M suspension with five-link axle in lightweight aluminum construction

Brakes, front

M compound brakes, vented, with four-piston fixed calipers

Brakes, rear

M compound brakes, vented, with two-piston fixed calipers

Driving stability systems

Standard: DSC incl. ABS and M Dynamic Mode, CBC (Cornering Brake Control), DBC (Dynamic Brake Control), Dry Braking function, Start-Off Assistant, Active M Differential linked to Integrated Chassis Management (ICM)

Safety equipment

Standard: airbags for driver and front passenger, side airbags for driver and front passenger, head airbags for front seats, three-point inertia-reel seatbelts on all seats with belt stopper, belt latch tensioner and belt force limiter


Electric Power Steering (EPS) with M-specific Servotronic function

Steering ratio, overall



Tires, front/rear

265/35 ZR 19 98Y

285/30 ZR 20 99Y

Rims, front/rear

9 J x 19 Light Alloy

10 J x 20 Light Alloy


Type of transmission

7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) with Drivelogic

Gear ratios I



























Final drive




Acceleration 0–60 mph



In 4th/5th gear 50–75 mph



Top speed


174 2)

BMW EfficientDynamics

BMW EfficientDynamics standard features

Brake Energy Regeneration, Electric Power Steering, Auto Start Stop function, Optimum Shift Indicator in manual shift mode, intelligent lightweight design, on-demand operation of ancillary units, li-ion battery; map-regulated oil pump, differential with optimized warm-up behavior, aerodynamics (underside paneling, front spoiler, trunk lid with Gurney)

1) Preliminary

2) Electronically limited, with standard M Driver’s Package

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 341 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 152 BMW motorcycle retailers, 127 MINI passenger car dealers, and 36 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

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2003 bmw m4


Motor vehicle

The BMW M3 is a high-performance version of the BMW 3 Series, developed by BMW's in-house motorsport division, BMW M GmbH. M3 models have been produced for every generation of 3 Series since the E30 M3 was introduced in 1986.

The initial model was available in a coupé body style, with a convertible body style added soon after. M3 Sedans were available during the E36 (1994–1999) and E90 (2008–2012) generations. Since 2014, the M3 has been solely produced in the sedan body style, due to the coupé and convertible models being rebranded as the 4 Series range, making the high-performance variant the M4.[1][2]

Upgrades over the regular 3 Series models include engines, handling, brakes, aerodynamics, lightweight materials and various interior upgrades.

E30 generation (1986–1991) [edit]

Motor vehicle

The first BMW M3 was based on the E30 3 Series and was intended to be a homologation special to satisfy the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft and Group A Touring rules, which required a total of 5,000 cars to be built.[4] It was presented to the public at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show, and began production from March 1986 to June 1991.[5][6][7] The E30 M3 was mainly produced in the coupé body style, but limited volumes of convertibles were also produced.[8]

The front splitter,[9] the rear apron, sill panels, as well as changes to the body in the area of the rear window (C-pillar) and the bootlid improved the aerodynamics.[10] For aerodynamic reasons, the rear window was flattened and the tailgate was made of light, glass-reinforced plastic raised by approximately 40 mm for better air flow.[4] The changes over the rear of the car resulted in lower lift forces and better straight-line stability. In addition, the windscreen was glued in – not, as with the other E30 models, framed with a window rubber and piping. As a result, the M3 achieved a relatively low drag coefficient of Cd=0.33 instead of Cd=0.38 as in the standard 3 Series. The only exterior body panels the regular 3 Series and the M3 shared were the bonnet, roof panel, sunroof and inner door panels.

The brake calipers, rotors and master cylinder were unique to the M3 model.

The transmission was a Getrag 265 5-speed manual. European models were outfitted with a dogleg version with close ratios and a 1:1 ratio for fifth gear. North American models used a traditional shift pattern and had wider gear spacing with an overdriven fifth gear.[10] A clutch-type limited-slip differential was standard equipment.

In 2004, Sports Car International named the E30 M3 number six on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1980s. In 2007, Automobile Magazine included the E30 M3 in their "5 greatest drivers cars of all time" under their 25 Greatest Cars of All Time.[11]


The S14 DOHC inline-four engine

The E30 M3 used the BMW S14 four-cylinder engine, a high-revving DOHC design with a head closely based on that of the BMW S38 six-cylinder engine and the block from the BMW M10 four-cylinder engine with a 7,250 rpm redline.[10][12] In countries where the M3 was sold with a catalytic converter, the initial versions were rated at 143 kW (195 PS; 192 hp) and had a top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph).[13] In countries where a catalytic converter was not fitted, the engine was rated at 147 kW (200 PS; 197 hp).


Differences from the regular E30 models included:

  • 5-stud wheel hubs
  • offset control arm bushings in the front suspension, for increased caster angle
  • aluminium control arms
  • revised front strut tubes with bolt on kingpins and swaybar mounted to strut tube, similar to the E28 5 Series
  • front wheel bearings and brake caliper bolt spacing from the E28 5 Series

Special editions[edit]


In 1989, the sportier "Evolution" model (also called "EVO1") of European M3s were upgraded to the 158 kW (215 PS; 212 hp) (as introduced on the Ravaglia special edition model), increasing the top speed to 240 km/h (149 mph).[13] Non catalytic converter "Evolution" model (also called "EVO2") introduced in 1988 was rated at 162 kW (220 PS; 217 hp).[14] Other changes included larger wheels (16 × 7.5 inches), thinner rear and side window glass, a lighter bootlid, a deeper front splitter[15] and an additional rear spoiler. A total of 505 cars were produced, including 40 sold in France as the "Tour de Corse".[16]

Sport Evolution[edit]

A more powerful and lighter "Sport Evolution" model (sometimes referred to as "EVO3"), with a limited production run of 600 units, was produced with an upgraded 2,467 cc (150.5 cu in) engine rated at 175 kW (238 PS; 235 hp) at 7,000 rpm and 240 N⋅m (177 lbf⋅ft) at 4,750 rpm.[16][17] The top speed was increased to 250 km/h (154 mph).[13] Sport Evolution models have enlarged front bumper openings and an adjustable multi-position front splitter[18] and rear wing. Brake cooling ducts were installed in place of front foglights.

Ravaglia and Cecotto editions[edit]

In April 1989, the Ravaglia and Cecotto limited editions were released, both named after Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM) racing drivers. Power was increased to 158 kW (215 PS; 212 hp) with a catalytic converter.[14] Cecotto Edition production consisted of 480 cars, plus 80 cars for the Swiss market de-tuned to 155 kW (211 PS; 208 hp) to meet Swiss emissions limits. The production run for the Ravaglia Edition consisted of 25 cars.[16]

M3 Pickup prototype[edit]

In 1986, BMW produced an "M3 Pickup" prototype pickup truck, based on the convertible model. The M3 Pickup used the narrower body of regular E30 models and was originally powered by the 2.0-litre version of the S14 engine from the Italian-specification M3. It was used by BMW M as a transporter for roughly 26 years before it was officially retired in 2012.[19][20]

Production volumes[edit]

Total production of the E30 M3 was 17,970 cars.[16][21]

AK01Euro spec147 kW (200 PS; 197 hp)5,187
AK05143 kW (195 PS; 192 hp)4,591
158 kW (215 PS; 212 hp)1,506
AK07175 kW (238 PS; 235 hp)600
AK03US spec143 kW (195 PS; 192 hp)5,300
BB01Euro spec147 kW (200 PS; 197 hp)136
BB05143 kW (195 PS; 192 hp)174
158 kW (215 PS; 212 hp)476


The E30 M3 competed in many forms of motorsport and was highly successful in touring car racing. In full race trim, the 1988 M3's 2.3 L (140 cu in) naturally aspirated engine was rated at approximately 221 kW (300 PS; 296 hp).[22] The E30 M3 won the 24 Hours Nürburgring five times (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1994) and the Spa 24 Hours four times (1987, 1988, 1990 and 1992), often competing against cars with significantly larger or turbocharged engines.

To keep the car competitive in racing following year-to-year homologation rules changes, homologation specials were produced and sold in limited volumes. These include the Evo 1, Evo 2, and Sport Evolution, with upgrades including weight reduction, improved aerodynamics, taller front wheel arches (to allow 18-inch wheels to be used in DTM racing), bigger brake ducts and more power output from the engine. With the introduction of the 2.5 L evolution engine into racing in 1990, power increased to approximately 279 kW (379 PS; 374 hp).[23]

The M3 also competed as a rally car, with Prodrive-prepared examples contesting several national championships and selected rounds of the World Rally Championship between 1987 and 1989. By the latter year, the cars, based on the regular M3, were equipped with six-speed gearboxes and were rated at 221 kW (300 PS; 296 hp). The M3 was not very competitive with the four-wheel drive cars on loose surfaces, but it was a very effective car on asphalt. Its most notable success was a victory on the Tour de Corse in 1987, driven by Bernard Béguin.


  • World Touring Car Championship; 1 title (1987)
  • European Touring Car Championship; 2 titles (1987 and 1988)
  • British Touring Car Championship; 2 titles (1988 and 1991)
  • Italia Superturismo Championship; 4 titles (1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991)
  • Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft; 2 titles (1987 and 1989)
  • Australian Touring Car Championship; 1 title (1987)
  • Australian 2.0 Litre Touring Car Championship; 1 title (1993)
  • Australian Manufacturers' Championship; 2 titles (1987 and 1988 – both shared)
  • AMSCAR Series; 2 titles (1987, 1991)
  • Irish Tarmac Rally Championship; 1 title (1990)
  • Japanese Touring Car Championship; 7 titles in JTC-2 (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993)

E36 generation (1992–1999) [edit]

Motor vehicle

The M3 model of the E36 3 Series was released in November 1992 and was initially available as a coupé only, with a convertible version added in 1994. A sedan version was also added in December 1994, to fill in the gap caused by the lack of the M5 sedan model between the end of E34 M5 production in 1995 and the launch of the E39 M5 in 1998.[citation needed]

In September 1995, a facelift version of the coupé was introduced. Changes included the engine displacement increasing to 3.2 L (195 cu in), the manual transmission upgrading from a 5-speed to a 6-speed,[24] different wheels and clear indicator lenses. The facelift changes were applied to the sedan model in November 1995 and the convertible model in February 1996.[25] The kerb weight of the 1996 M3 coupe in European specification is 1,515 kg (3,340 lb).[26]

The facelift also saw the introduction of a 6-speed "SMG" automated manual transmission,[27] the first time an automatic transmission was available on an M3 outside the United States. The SMG transmission was praised for its fast shift times and operation in performance situations, but criticised for behaviour in everyday driving situations.[28]

In 1996, BMW M hand-built an E36 M3 Compact prototype as an M-car which would appeal to younger customers. It included various performance and styling features of the E36 M3, including the 3.2-litre S50 engine. The M3 Compact was reviewed in the German magazine "Auto Motor und Sport",[19][20][29] but never reached production.


The E36 M3 is powered by the BMW S50 straight-six engine. It was the first M3 to use a six-cylinder engine, which has since been used the majority of M3 models (albeit in turbocharged form since 2014).

In most countries, the initial 2,990 cc (182 cu in) version generated 210 kW (286 PS; 282 hp) at 7,000 rpm[30] and 320 N⋅m (236 lb⋅ft) at 3,600 rpm. North American models (except for the limited edition Canadian "M3 Euro-Spec" model) used the less powerful BMW S50B30US engine instead.

The facelift models in late 1995 were upgraded to a 3,201 cc (195 cu in) version of the BMW S50 engine, generating 236 kW (316 hp) at 7,400 rpm[31] and 350 N⋅m (258 lbf⋅ft) at 3,250 rpm.[32] North American models used the less powerful BMW S52 engine instead.

Special editions[edit]

M3 GT (Europe)[edit]

In 1994, BMW produced the limited-edition M3 GT as a racing homologation special for Europe,[33] in order to compete in the FIA-GT class II, IMSA GT and international long-distance races.[34] A total of 356 cars were produced, all in left-hand drive for mainland Europe. The UK received a special GT trim limited to 50 cars with only the cosmetic upgrades of the homologation special.[13]

The engine was the European-specification S50B30, which was upgraded with larger camshafts and a higher compression ratio, resulting in peak power of 220 kW (295 hp) at 7,100 rpm.[35]

All M3 GTs only came in one single colour, "British Racing Green". Other changes include a deeper and adjustable front splitter,[36] higher rear double wing, aluminium doors, wheels measuring 17 x 7.5 inches at the front and 17 x 8.5 inches at the rear, stiffer front suspension, a cross-brace and a strut brace. The M3 GT is approximately 30 kg (66 lb) lighter than the regular M3 and has a derestricted top speed of 275 km/h (171 mph).[34]

M3 Evolution Imola Individual[edit]

1998 BMW M3 Evolution Imola Individual

The M3 Evolution Imola Individual is a limited-edition variant of the M3 (50 for the United Kingdom). The engine and performance characteristics of the car were unchanged from the 1996 European M3, and a special exterior and interior colour combination was chosen by BMW UK: "Imola Red" (405) paint with Nappa leather seats in Imola Red and Amaretta suede bolsters in anthracite. It also included side airbags, the M3 GT Class II rear spoiler, front class II corner splitter extensions, electric seats, and double-spoke polished alloy wheels.

Prior to the release of the Imola Individual there was a pre-production model made which was used as the basis of the special edition. It featured the Class II front splitter[37] and rear spoiler, special order Imola Red paint, special order Nappa leather and Anthracite Amaretta suede interior, SMG gearbox, GSM phone kit, headlamp washers and double-spoke polished alloy wheels.[38][39]

M3 Lightweight (US)[edit]

M3 Lightweight

Following the introduction of the E36 M3, racing teams in the United States began pressuring BMW for a homologation version in order to compete in sports-car racing.[40][41] As a result, the 'M3 Lightweight' was introduced in 1995. The cars came without a radio (although the speakers were installed and the car pre-wired for the radio), air conditioning, leather seats, tool kit or a sunroof. The doors have aluminium skins. There is no underbonnet insulation blanket, and the boot only has carpet on the floor. The under body insulation is thinner and there is special carpeting to lower weight. Overall the changes resulted in a weight 91 kg (200 lb) less than a regular M3. The wheels are 17 inches in diameter, with a width of 7.5 inches at the front and 8.5 inches at the rear. The tyres fitted were 235/40ZR17.[42][43]

Powertrain changes included the removal of the top speed limiter and a shorter differential ratio (3.23 compared to 3.15). Suspension upgrades consisted of shorter springs from the European-specification M3. Before being sold, the M3 Lightweights were sent to Prototype Technology Group Racing in Virginia for final preparation, which included the front and rear Motorsport flag decals, and "trunk kit".[44] In the boot there was a dual-pickup oil pump (from the European-specification M3), front strut bar, lower cross-brace, spacer blocks to raise the rear wing, and an adjustable front splitter.[45] Each owner was given a 1-page legal document to sign acknowledging that any installation of boot items voided the new car warranty.[citation needed]

All M3 Lightweight cars were produced in the "Alpine White" exterior colour, with the Motorsports flag decals on the left front and right rear corners of the car. There is a fixed wing on the bootlid, some carbon fibre interior trim, and the badges on the side moulding and dash read "BMW Motorsports International".

Although BMW promised to build approximately 100 cars, BMW never released the production numbers of M3 Lightweights built. However, it is estimated that approximately 125 were built.[46]

Canadian Edition[edit]

Prior to the release of the North American specification M3, BMW Canada sold 45 of the European specification M3s. At the time, BMW North America was opposed to importing the E36 M3 (due to its high price and the poor sales of the previous M3). The Canadian Edition M3 was imported using a loophole that allows low volumes of Norwegian-certified cars to be sold in Canada.[47] Despite a high price of nearly $60,000 CAD,[48] all 45 cars were sold in 3 days in early 1994. As with other European specification M3s, these 45 cars had the 213 kW (286 hp) version of the S50 engine, oil temperature gauge and glass headlights. Each of the Canadian Edition cars has an individually-numbered plaque on the glovebox which reads "S50 B30 Limited Production Canadian Edition".[49] The cars also have a numbered engraved plaque in both the glovebox and the custom leather case which holds the owner's manuals.

When the North American specification M3 was released in 1995, it was initially not available in Canada. Sales of the North American M3 in Canada began in 1997.

M3-R (Australia)[edit]

In order to race in the Australian Super Production series, fifteen M3-Rs were sold by BMW Australia in 1994. With a power output of 240 kW (322 hp), the M3-R is the most powerful production E36 M3. Four of the cars were used for the race series, while the remaining eleven were sold to the general public. Buyers were required to possess a CAMS motorsport licence in order to purchase an M3-R.

The cars were delivered to the workshop of the Frank Gardner racing team for final preparation. A bolt-in FIA-approved roll cage was a factory option. Suspension upgrades consisted of new springs, adjustable struts and rear perches. Engine upgrades consisted of AC Schnitzer camshafts, dual pickup sump, an oil restrictor in the head and a cold air snorkel into the air filter box replacing the left hand foglight.

Other changes included four piston front brake calipers, a shorter (3.25:1) differential ratio, the driveshaft from the M5, a twin-plate clutch, a non-functional rear seat, no air conditioner, a deeper front splitter[50] and a larger rear spoiler. The cars were individually numbered with a plaque fitted to the centre console near the handbrake.

M3 GTR (Germany)[edit]

The E36 M3 GTR is the road-going version of the competition machine built to compete in the 1994 ADAC German GT Cup Touring Car series.[51][52]


Production of the E36 M3 began in September 1992[53][54] and was discontinued in August 1999.[55]

The majority of cars were produced at the BMW Regensburg factory in Germany; however, a small number of low compression right-hand drive cars were assembled at BMW's plant in Rosslyn, South Africa.[56] In total, 46,525 coupés, 12,114 convertibles and 12,603 sedans were produced.[57] The sedan ceased production in December 1997, the coupé ceased production in late 1998, and the convertible ceased production in December 1999.[13]

North American models[edit]

Despite being released in other countries in 1992, the E36 M3 was not sold in the United States until 1995. A key difference between the "European specification" M3 (sold in the rest of the world) and the US M3 is the less powerful S50B30US engine used in the US M3, which was rated at 179 kW (240 hp) and 305 N⋅m (225 lb⋅ft). Other notable differences included an optional 5-speed ZF 5HP torque-converter automatic transmission,[58] suspension changes,[citation needed] and single piece brake rotors (instead of floating rotors). The changes were made in order to reduce the price of the M3, as the US dealers believed the European specification M3 would be too expensive to sell well.

In November 1996, the engine was upgraded to the 3.2 L (195 cu in) BMW S52,[59] with the same power outputs of 179 kW (240 hp), but with torque increased to 320 N⋅m (236 lbf⋅ft). The manual gearbox remained a 5-speed, despite the European versions being upgraded to a 6-speed version.

US sales figures include a total of 18,961 coupés, 7,760 sedans and 6,211 convertibles.[60]


The introduction of the E36 M3 coincided with BMW's withdrawal from the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM), resulting in BMW focussing instead on the 318i and 320i models in the Super Tourenwagen Cup. Nonetheless, the E36 M3 competed in many motorsport events. In 1993, the E36 M3 GTR won the German ADAC GT Cup, driven by Johnny Cecotto.[61] The M3 GT competed in the European FIA GT Championship.

In the United States, the Prototype Technology Group (PTG) Racing in Virginia ran the E36 M3 in the IMSA GT Championship. In the 1996 IMSA GT Championship, the M3 won 4 races in the GTS-2 class and BMW won the manufacturer's championship.[62] In the 1997 IMSA GT Championship, the M3 won 8 races in the GTS-3 class, with BMW winning the manufacturer's championship again and Bill Auberlen winning the driver's championship.[62] In the 1998 IMSA GT Championship, the M3 won 5 races and BMW won the manufacturer's championship in the GT3 class. The same year, the M3 won 4 races in the GT2 class.[62] The M3 also competed in the 2000 American Le Mans Series, taking one win in the GT class.[62]

In Australia, the M3-R competed in the Australian GT Production Car Championship.

E46 generation (2000–2006) [edit]

Motor vehicle

The M3 version of the E46 3 Series was produced in coupé and convertible body styles. The E46 M3 is powered by the S54 straight-six engine and has a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time of 5.1 seconds for the coupé, with either the manual or SMG-II transmission.[63][64] The skidpad cornering results are 0.89 g for the coupé and 0.81 g for the convertible.[65][66] The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).[64] The kerb weight is 1,570 kg (3,461 lb).[citation needed]

The available transmissions were a Getrag 420G 6-speed manual transmission or a SMG-II 6-speed automated manual transmission, which was based on the Getrag 420G.[67] The SMG-II used an electrohydraulically actuated clutch, and gear shifts could be selected via the shift lever or paddles mounted on the steering wheel. The SMG-II was praised for its fast shift times and racetrack performance, but some people found its shifts to be delayed and lurching in stop-start traffic.[68]

Total production of the E46 M3 was 56,133 coupés and 29,633 convertibles.[69] The cars were assembled at the BMW Regensburg factory in Germany, and production was from September 2000 until August 2006, for a total of 85,766 cars.[70]

An M3 Touring station wagon prototype was built to evaluate the feasibility of building an M3 model on the existing platform of the E46 station wagon (especially the integration of the M3's wider rear wheel arches onto the wagon body). The prototype did not reach production.[19][20]


Main article: BMW S54

The 3.2 L (200 cu in) S54 engine is the final evolution of the BMW S50 naturally aspirated straight-six engine. The S54 is rated at 252 kW (343 PS; 338 hp) at 7,900 rpm, 365 N⋅m (269 lb⋅ft) at 4,900 rpm, and has a redline of 8,000 rpm.[63] As with most M engines, the S54 has individual throttle bodies for each cylinder, with electronic throttle control (drive-by-wire) operation of the throttles being a new feature for the S54.

Development and launch[edit]

Concept design of the M3 began in 1997.[71] The head of exterior design was Ulf Weidhase and the head of interior design was Martina Bachmann.[71]

The M3 was previewed at the 1999 International Motor Show Germany[72] as a concept,[73] resembling the final production version very closely. The final production version was first introduced in October 2000 at the Geneva Motor Show,[74] with the new 3.2 L S54 M-tuned inline-6 engine.

Special editions[edit]



The BMW M3 CSL (Coupe Sport Leichtbau, meaning 'Coupé Sport Lightweight')[75] is a limited edition version of the M3 that was produced in 2004, with production totalling to 1,383 cars.[76] It was available in two colours: "Silver Grey Metallic" and "Black Sapphire Metallic".[77]

As its name suggests, an emphasis was put on reducing weight. The CSL has a kerb weight of 1,385 kg (3,053 lb), 110 kg (243 lb) lighter than the regular M3.[78][79][80] Structural weight reduction measures include the use of glass-reinforced plastics in various structural points in the car,[79] a roof constructed from carbon fibre reinforced plastic (reducing kerb weight by 7 kg (15 lb) and, more importantly, lowering the centre of gravity),[77][78][81] body panels constructed from carbon fibre[78] and thinner glass for the rear window.[82]

The boot floor cover was made of lightweight fibre-board (not cardboard as infamously described on the Top Gear television show). The CSL discarded a large proportion of the M3's sound insulation, the electric seats, the navigation system, the air conditioning and the stereo (the latter two were able to be re-added as no-cost options).[79][83] The interior includes fibreglass front racing bucket seats,[78] a fibreglass backing for the rear seats,[78] and carbon fibre for the centre console, door panels, door trim and head-liner.[77][78] The steering wheel has just a single button which activates the M track mode, instead of the buttons for cruise control, stereo, and phone controls on the regular M3.[77] The CSL retained the 50:50 weight distribution of the regular M3.[78]

The wheels were increased in size to 19 inches. BMW took the unusual approach of supplying the CSL with semi-slick tyres (Michelin Pilot Sport Cup).[77][84] These tyres provided high grip levels once warmed up on a racetrack, but poor performance on wet roads and when below their operating temperature.[85][86] A warning label was included in the CSL to inform drivers about driving in cold or wet conditions. The brakes were upgraded with larger floating rotors at the front and larger pistons at the rear.

The suspension system was revised with stiffer springs, upgraded shock absorbers and a quicker ratio for the steering rack (14.5:1 vs 15.4:1 on the regular M3).[78][87] The electronic stability control was retuned and an "M track mode" was added, allowing higher thresholds before the system intervened.

The engine used in the CSL had increased output over the regular S54 by 13 kW (17 hp) and 5 N⋅m (4 lbf⋅ft) over the European M3. This is due to the use of sharper profile camshafts, a bigger air intake a with carbon fibre manifold, a refinement of the exhaust manifold, and slightly different exhaust valves.[77][87] The top speed was electronically limited as standard, but buyers with a current motorsport licence could order the CSL with the speed limiter removed.[87] The sole transmission available was the 6-speed SMG II automated transmission,[87] with revised software resulting in shift times of 80 milliseconds.[77]

The aerodynamics were also revised, including a carbon fibre front splitter[88] that improved downforce at high speeds by 50%,[78] and a carbon fibre rear diffuser. The front bumper had a distinct hole that is used to draw cool air into the newly designed air intake.[78] The bootlid was redesigned to incorporate a raised lip, unlike the regular M3 where one is simply added onto a flat boot.[78]

Competition Package / CS[edit]

In 2005, a special edition was introduced which used several parts from the CSL. This model was called the M3 Competition Package (ZCP) in the United States and mainland Europe, and the M3 CS in the United Kingdom.[74] Compared to the regular M3, the Competition Package includes:

  • 19-inch BBS alloy wheels: 19 in×8 in at the front and 19 in×9.5 in at the rear.
  • Stiffer springs (which were carried over to the regular M3 from 12/04).
  • Faster ratio steering rack of 14.5:1 (compared with the regular M3's ratio of 15.4:1) as with the CSL
  • Steering wheel from the CSL
  • M-track mode for the electronic stability control, as with the CSL.
  • The CSL's larger front brake discs (but with the regular M3 front calipers) and rear brake calipers with larger pistons.
  • Alcantara steering wheel and handbrake covers.

The engine, gearbox, and other drivetrain components are the same as the standard M3.

GTR road car[edit]

M3 GTR road car (scale model)

In order to homologate the M3 GTR for racing, a road version was produced in 2001. BMW claimed to offer 10 cars for sale to the general public, at the very high price of €250,000,[89] but only 6 cars were produced, of which 3 were development prototypes.[90] The road cars were built alongside the GTR race cars in the special vehicles department of BMW's Regensburg Plant.

As with the race car, the GTR road car was powered by the 4.0-litre P60 V8 engine. The engine retained the race cars' dry sump oil system and was slightly detuned from 331 to 285 kW (444 to 382 hp) at 7,000 rpm.[91] Top speed was 295 km/h (183 mph). The transmission was a six-speed manual and the differential was the same variable locking unit as used in the race car.

The dry weight was 1,350 kg (2,980 lb).[citation needed] Weight reduction measures included a carbon fibre front bumper, rear bumper and rear wing.

The 2005 video game Need for Speed: Most Wanted featured the M3 GTR on the game's cover art as the protagonist's car in a custom blue-and-white livery. In the game, the car is well known as the main antagonist (Razor)'s car. [92][93][94]Road & Track, who collaborated on the first Need for Speed video game, described the game's custom M3 GTR as being "so iconic that fans still recreate the livery in real life." Once searched about the M3 GTR, Nearly 85% of the results will relate the car to Need for Speed: Most Wanted.[95]

North American models[edit]

The North American models used the same S54 engine as in other countries (unlike the previous generation, which used lower performance engines in the United States). Due to minor differences in specification, the United States models were rated at 248 kW (333 hp) and 355 N⋅m (262 lb⋅ft), resulting in an official 0−60 mph (−97 km/h) acceleration time of 4.8 seconds for the coupé version (with either the manual and SMG transmission). As in other countries, top speed was electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph)[96][97]

The CSL model was not sold in the North American market.[83]


M3 GTR racing version

In the United States, the E46 M3 competed in the 2000 American Le Mans Series GT category and finished third in the championship. The straight-six engine was viewed as uncompetitive compared to the Porsche 996 GT3, therefore BMW began to develop a new M3 racing car based around a more powerful engine. The resulting E46 GTR racing car was introduced in February 2001 and was powered by a 330 kW (443 hp) version of the 3,997 cc (4.0 L) P60 V8 engine.[90][98] With a more powerful engine than the straight-six powered M3 versions (which were outpaced by the competition), the GTR won the 2001 American Le Mans Series GT category, driven by Jörg Müller.

The eligibility of the GTR was the subject of controversy, with some rival teams believing that the GTR was an in-house prototype vehicle rather than a production model available for purchase by the general public. The ALMS homologation rules for 2001 required the M3 GTR road car to be sold on at least two continents within twelve months of the rules being issued, which BMW claimed to fulfill by stating that 10 GTR road cars were available for sale. The ALMS rules were altered for 2002, now requiring that 100 cars and 1,000 engines must be built for a car to qualify without penalties. The GTR road car was never intended for production on this scale, so BMW withdrew the GTR from competition at this point.

In 2003, the M3 GTR returned to competition at the 24 Hours Nürburgring, with two cars run by Schnitzer Motorsport. The GTR won the 24 Hours Nürburgring in 2004 and 2005,[99]) and competed in the 24 Hours Spa.[100]

E90/E92/E93 generation (2007–2013) [edit]

Motor vehicle

E90/92/93 M3
2008-2010 BMW M3 (E90) sedan 04.jpg
Production2007—July 2013
Body style
Engine4.0—4.4 L S65V8
Wheelbase2,761 mm (108.7 in)
Length4,582–4,618 mm (180.4–181.8 in)
Width71.0–71.7 in (1,803–1,821 mm)
Height1,377–1,448 mm (54.2–57.0 in)
Curb weight1,580–1,810 kg (3,483–3,990 lb)

The M3 model of the E90/E92/E93 3 Series range was powered by the BMW S65 V8 engine and was produced in sedan, convertible and coupé body styles. The E9x is the first and only standard production M3 powered by a V8 engine as its successor would revert to using a straight 6 engine. In the standard M3, the S65 engine rated at 309 kW (420 PS; 414 hp) at 8,300 rpm[101] and 400 N⋅m (295 lb⋅ft) at 3,900 rpm.[101]

Initially, the M3 was produced with a 6-speed manual transmission. In April 2008, the E90/E92/E93 M3 became the first BMW to be available with a dual-clutch transmission when the 7-speed Getrag "M-DCT" transmission was introduced as an option.[102]

The official 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration times for the coupé and sedan are 4.6 seconds with the DCT transmission (4.8 seconds with the manual transmission)[103] and 5.1 seconds for the convertible.[104]

The E90 and E92 versions received many positive reviews, including "the greatest all-around car in the world",[105] "the finest car on the market, period"[106] and "the best, most complete car in the world".[107]

Development and production[edit]

Total production of the E9x M3 was 40,092 coupés, 16,219 convertibles and 9,674 sedans.[108] Production of sedan models finished in 2011,[109] with coupés remaining in production until July 5, 2013.

Body styles[edit]

The first body style to be introduced was the coupé, which was previewed at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show[110] and introduced in production form at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show on 12 September.[111] The coupé version uses a carbon fibre roof to reduce weight and lower the centre of gravity. In 2010, the coupé and convertible versions received a minor facelift, which included revised LED tail-lights and minor interior trim pieces but it did not get the updated headlights from the regular series.[112]

The E93 convertible version was introduced shortly after the coupé and uses a power retractable hardtop. The leather seats in the convertible version are treated with a coating to reflect sunlight, in order to reduce their tendency to become uncomfortably hot with the top down.[113]

A sedan version was introduced in 2008 and was the second (along with the E36) M3 by generation to be produced in a 4-door body style.[114] The sedan has the same drivetrain and similar external styling as the coupé, however the lack of a carbon fibre roof contributes to a weight increase of 10 kg (22 lb) compared to an identically equipped coupé.[citation needed]

The official kerb weights for the 2008 European-specification models (with manual transmission) are 1,580 kg (3,483 lb) for the coupé, 1,605 kg (3,538 lb) for the sedan and 1,810 kg (3,990 lb) for the convertible.[115][116][117][118]

Special editions[edit]

Competition Package (ZCP)[edit]

The "Competition Package" (sometimes known as ZCP) version was released in 2010. The changes related to the suspension and electronic stability control and consisted of:[119][120]



BMW announced the M3 GTS in November 2009 and began production in 2010. The GTS was designed as a "road-legal clubsport-oriented model" and produced only in the coupé body style. Changes over the regular M3 include an upgraded engine, reduced kerb weight, revised suspension, upgraded brakes and adjustable aerodynamics.

The GTS uses an engine enlarged to 4.4 L (269 cu in) which has a power output of 331 kW (444 hp). The sole transmission option was the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (M-DCT) and the official 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) acceleration time for the GTS is 4.4 seconds.[122]

The car weighs 136 kg (300 lb) less than the regular M3, due to a lighter centre console and door panels, polycarbonate side and rear windows, a lack of rear seats and the removal of acoustic insulation.

Suspension changes include adjustable camber angle and ride height, a rigidly mounted rear axle and revised dampers. The front brakes were upgraded to 6-piston callipers with 18 mm (0.7 in) larger rotors, and the rear brakes were upgraded to 4-piston callipers with 18 mm (0.7 in) larger rotors. Aerodynamics are adjustable via the front apron and the angle of the rear wing.[123] Production was limited to 135 cars, which sold out quickly.[124][125]


The M3 CRT (Carbon Racing Technology) was a special edition of the M3 sedan that was produced in 2011.[126] The CRT was powered by the same 4.4 litre version of the S65 engine as the GTS, however it retained a higher level of luxury features compared to the track-focussed GTS. The CRT used a carbon fibre bonnet and front seats to reduce weight, resulting in a kerb weight approximately 150 lb (68 kg) lower than an equivalently specified version of the regular M3 sedan.

Production was limited to 67 cars, all numbered with a plaque on the dashboard. The official 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) acceleration time was 4.4 seconds.[127]

DTM Champion Edition[edit]

BMW Motorsport returned to the DTM in 2012, and 54 "DTM Champion Edition" cars were built to commemorate the BMW M3 winning the championship.[128] The unique features of the DTM Champion Edition consisted of visual changes to associate the car with the DTM race car, such as the "Frozen Black" paint colour, stripes over the roof and bootlid, carbon flaps, a gurney flap and matte black wheels. Interior changes included carbon fibre for some interior trim items, an "M Power" logo embroidered on the handbrake grip and a numbered plaque with Spengler's signature and the text "DTM champion 2012" above the glove box. All cars were produced with the dual-clutch transmission.

Lime Rock Park Edition (US)[edit]

BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition

In the United States, the M3 Lime Rock Park Edition was produced for the 2013 model year. A total of 200 cars were sold, all coupés painted in the "Fire Orange" colour. Performance changes included a carbon fibre front splitter[129] and rear spoiler, a ride height lowered by 0.4 in (10 mm), a faster steering ratio, higher thresholds for the electronic stability control and a lightweight exhaust system. BMW claims the same engine power output as the regular M3, however, when marketing the lightweight Inconel-titanium BMW Motorsports Exhaust to stock M3 vehicles, BMW claims that the system adds about 5 hp (4 kW).[citation needed]

The interior of the Lime Rock Park Edition includes a plaque reading "One of 200".[130]

Frozen Edition[edit]

Due to the GTS version not being available in South Africa, BMW developed the BMW M3 Frozen Edition in 2009. The engine was upgraded to generate 330 kW (443 hp), due to an AC Schnitzer intake manifold and changes to the engine management system.

Twenty-five Frozen Edition cars were produced, all with exterior colours of either "Frozen Black" or "Frozen Grey".[131]

Competition Edition Frozen Silver[edit]

In 2012, BMW announced this edition with 40 to be built for US and 100 for Europe.

Built to commemorate the 40th anniversary of BMW's M Division, each model came with "Frozen Silver Metallic" exterior paint. According to BMW, the colour is a special matte paint that adds a metallic lustre to the vehicle. The interior has black leather and palladium silver accessories.[132]

M3 Pickup Prototype[edit]

The M3 Pickup is a one-off custom variant of the M3 which was based on the E93 M3 convertible and publicly announced on April Fool's Day in 2011. It was used as a workshop transport vehicle for BMW M GmbH, replacing their E30 M3 pickup version after 26 years of use.[19][133] The vehicle was assembled by M GmbH's employees, as well as interns and engineering students.[134]


The E92 M3 saw BMW return to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) after a break of 20 years. In its debut season in 2012, the M3 won the drivers championship, the manufacturers championship and five out of ten races for the season.[135][136]

In endurance racing, the BMW Motorsport/Schnitzer Motorsport M3 GT2 won the 2010 24 Hours of Nürburgring, driven by Jörg Müller, Augusto Farfus, Pedro Lamy, and Uwe Alzen. The M3 also qualified 2nd at the 2010 24 Hours of Spa and led the race until being forced to retire in the final hour due to suspension failure. The M3 won the GT2 category in the ILMC 2010 1000 km of Zhuhai in China.

A GT4 version of the M3 was introduced in 2009 and competed in various races, including finishing third in the GT4 SP10 class at the 2009 24 Hours Nürburgring,[137][138][139] and winning its class at the ADAC Westfalenfahrt race at the Nürburgring in April 2009. In July 2009, BMW Motorsport released an M3 GT4 model for sale to private teams and drivers.[140] The official kerb weight was 1,430 kg (3,153 lb) and changes to the 336 kW (451 bhp) were claimed to be minimal.[141] For the 2010 24 Hours Nürburgring, the "Balance of Performance" required the M3 to not exceed a power output of 287 kW (385 bhp) and to have a minimum weight of 1,400 kg (3,086 lb).[142]

Schnitzer Motorsport M3 GT2

In the United States, Rahal Letterman Racing entered two factory-backed E92 M3s in the 2009 American Le Mans Series season, competing in the GT2 category. In 2011, the BMW achieved a 1-2 finish in the 12 Hours of Sebring. In the 2011 American Le Mans Series GT class, BMW Team RLL swept all categories, winning the GT manufacturer, team and driver championships. In 2012, the M3 won the GT class at the 12 Hours of Sebring. The #79 M3 GT2 that competed at Le Mans became the 17th BMW Art Car after it was decorated by Jeff Koons.[143] The M3 GT2 was succeeded by the BMW Z4 GTE in 2013.

F80 generation (2014–2019) [edit]

Motor vehicle

The M3 version of the F30 3 Series was designated the F80 and was produced from 2014 to 2018.[144] The F80 M3 was powered by the BMW S55 twin-turbocharged straight-six engine, therefore being the first turbocharged M3 model. Despite the smaller displacement than the V8 engine used by the previous generation of M3, the switch from naturally aspirated engines to turbocharging resulted in peak power being increased from 309 to 317 kW (420 to 431 PS; 414 to 425 hp), and peak torque being increased from 400 to 550 N⋅m (295 to 406 lb⋅ft).

The official 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph) acceleration times are 3.9 seconds with the M-DCT transmission and 4.1 seconds with the manual transmission.[145] Top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph) but an optional M Driver's package raises this to 280 km/h (174 mph). The kerb weight is 1,621 kg (3,574 lb).[citation needed]

The F80 M3 was unveiled, alongside the F82 M4 (its coupé counterpart), at the 2014 North American International Auto Show.[146]

In 2016, a Competition Package became available for the M3 and M4. Changes included an increase in power to 331 kW (450 PS; 444 hp), revised tuning of the electronic differential and the electronic stability control ("DSC"), suspension upgrades and new front seats.[147][148] The official 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) time was 4.0 seconds with the dual-clutch transmission.[148]

Body styles[edit]

The F80 generation of M3 was produced only as a sedan, following the company's plans to split off the 4 Series coupé and convertible from the 3 Series.[149] To minimise weight, the roof is made of carbon fibre and the bonnet and front quarter panels are made from aluminium.[150]


The F80 M3's design was updated in (summer) 2015 for the 2016 model year and in (march) 2017 for the 2018 model year. In the former, the taillights were given LEDs, and in the latter, the headlights were restyled and also given newer and more angular LEDs.

Special editions[edit]

M3 Pure[edit]

The Australian-only M3 Pure model was sold as the base model, being cheaper than the regular M3.[151] The M3 Pure has the engine, exhaust and suspension from the Competition Package. Exterior trims include black badges, front grilles, side grilles and exhaust tips, while the interior trim uses a combination of leather and cloth.

M3 CS[edit]

An "M3 CS" special edition was produced in 2018 with an upgraded engine rated at 339 kW (454 hp) and 601 N⋅m (443 lb⋅ft). The weight was reduced by 50 kg (110 lb)[citation needed] through use of a carbon fibre front splitter,[152]Alcantara interior parts and thinner glass for the side windows.

Production of the CS totalled 1,200 units.[153]

M3 Velocity Edition[edit]

In 2018, BMW produced 20 M3 Velocity Edition models that were only available for purchase to military members stationed in Stuttgart, Germany.[154] The Velocity Edition is equipped with the Competition Package and is only available in the "Fashion Grey Metallic" colour. A laser engraved dash/engine strut denotes the number of 20 cars made.


With the M3 model now being solely a sedan body style, the motor racing activities switched to the M4 (F82) coupé.


Production ceased in October 2018, due to the extensive changes required to meet the WLTP emissions regulations.[155][156] However, the M4 model remained in production.

G80 generation (2020–present) [edit]

Motor vehicle

The full M version of the G20 3 Series, powered by the BMW S58 turbocharged straight-six engine that debuted in the G01 X3 M.[158][159] All-wheel drive (xDrive) has been announced as being optional on the new M3,[160] which would represent the first time that an M3 has used a drivetrain layout other than rear-wheel drive.[161] A manual gearbox will be available only with rear wheel drive.[162] It will also be available as a Touring (estate) model, marking the first time BMW has offered an M3 Touring.[163] The BMW M3 G80 is on sale as a 2021 model, with the initial prototypes tested at the Nürburgring alongside the BMW M4 G82. It was officially unveiled on 23 September 2020 alongside the new M4. M performance parts are also available which includes a wing, side skirts and exhausts.

On sale Model Power Torque Curb Weight Top Speed Drivetrain
3/2021 M3 353 kW (480 PS; 473 hp) 550 N⋅m (406 lb⋅ft) 1,705 kg (3,759 lb) 250 km/h (155 mph) 290 km/h (180 mph) with M driver's package RWD
3/2021 M3 Competition 375 kW (510 PS; 503 hp) 650 N⋅m (479 lb⋅ft) 1,730 kg (3,814 lb) 250 km/h (155 mph) 293 km/h (182 mph) with M [164]drivers package RWD
8/2021 M3 Competition xDrive 375 kW (510 PS; 503 hp) 650 N⋅m (479 lb⋅ft) 1,780 kg (3,924.23 lb)[165]250 km/h (155 mph) 290 km/h (180 mph) with M driver's package 4WD

Production volumes[edit]

Version E30[21][16]
Convertible78612,114 29,63316,219


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2015 BMW M4 Coupe (431hp) - DRIVE \u0026 SOUND (1080p)


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