Celebrating 30 years of the BMW M3 in style

30 May 2016 - 13:33 By AFP Relaxnews

The BMW M3 30 Years M3 may not have the catchiest of names, but anyone lucky enough to get their hands on one will be too busy marveling at its performance to give its moniker a second thought.

The BMW M3 “30 Years M3
The BMW M3 “30 Years M3" pictured alongside the original 1986 M3
Image: ©BMW Group

The standard M3 is no slouch so for this special edition BMW's engineers have retuned the engine to deliver an extra 19hp, which in turn shaves a whole 0.1 seconds off its 0-100km/h time. It can now do the sprint in just four seconds flat.

To make the most of this extra power, the Adaptive M Suspension (which is an optional extra on the standard M3) has also been reworked significantly with new dampers and springs and differential. BMW says that the changes give the car even more clearly defined ‘comfort', ‘sport' and ‘sport+' settings.

©BMW Group
Inside the BMW M3 “30 Years M3"

Changes to the cabin include special sports seats that are equally adept at offering support while cornering at speed and offering comfort when grand touring. The dashboard is finished in carbon fiber, the seat belts have been embroidered with the BMW ‘M' stripes and seats and arm rests are wrapped in a two-color full leather Merino trim.

From the outside, the new model distinguishes itself via unique forged alloy 20-inch wheels, black chrome tailpipe and front grille trim, and exclusive Macao Blue metallic paint.

Standard-setting model

When it debuted in 1986, the original M3 rewrote the rules regarding sports sedans and set in motion a performance arms race between BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Jaguar that continues to this day.

And while this competition has led to some wonderful AMG-tuned Mercedes and some ludicrously potent RS Audis, over the past three decades the BMW M3 and its M4 coupe cousin still set the benchmark.

The BMW M3 30 Years M3 follows hot on the heels of another special edition M car, the M4 GTS, also built to mark the model's 30th anniversary. However, while the GTS is the most track-focused yet road legal car in the company's history, the anniversary M3 is all about every day, every situation automotive enjoyment.

And, despite being less potent, the M3 is set to be more exotic. The GTS is capped at 700 examples whereas the anniversary M3 is limited to just 500 examples globally when it goes on sale this summer.