BMW M3: All Four Generations Track-Tested – Feature – Car and Driver

24 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on BMW M3: All Four Generations Track-Tested – Feature – Car and Driver

as it churns out those. things the X6 and the 5-series Grand Turismo, credentials remain intact. the M3, which, after 25 years, BMW’s most bewitching and a shibboleth against anybody who whether the Bavarian fun В­factory has lost it.

To mark a quarter-century of M3s and to let journalists the new, not-for-U.S.-sale M3 GTS, BMW a trove of coupes and convertibles all four generationsincluding the original E30, the six-cylinder E36 and E46, and the E90-seriesat the private,  3.4-mile Race Resort in Spain.

You spend a lifetime combing the and never assemble a dream like this. Culled various departments within the including its own BMW Classic collection, car is a cream puff with than 10,000 miles all were wearing modern

They have soft, leather, dashboards absent of and fading, engines making like the advertised horsepower, and that digest a track shudders or arthritic clunks. It was as time had wrinkled and we were the press introduction of all four M3 at once.

Rare, brash, when new, and often scars of high mileage and a life when you glimpse a on the street today, the seminal E30 M3 into being because of a racing technicality. In order to a hotter, more competitive in Group A Touring Car events, BMW was to build 5000 road-legal for sale to the public.

“It was an act to get the company to build cars without knowing if would buy them,” recalls AmmerschlГ¤ger, the former director of and production for BMW’s M GmbH

BMW M3

The Motorsports unit was entering territory. It had opened in 1972 as a incorporated subsidiary to manage racing exploits. Up to that it was most famous for producing Formula 1 engines and the mid-engine M1 1978 to 1981), a haphazard that involved a misfired deal with Lamborghini.

But in 1985, then BMW CEO Eberhard von who lorded over the company’s to its modern form from to 1993, wanted to expand public persona, so he reorganized the and staffed it with 400 engineers. remembers it as a time of singular and blitzkrieg strokes.

For example, to out the first M3’s 192-hp, inline-four, with its Bosch fuel injection and individually intake runners, BMW married the from a production four-cylinder a sawed-off cylinder head the twin-cam, four-valve inline-six of the and mid-engine M1. The basic design was done in just two weeks.

Back then, says the rotund AmmerschlГ¤gerwho, as a young ran defunct German automaker racing team and himself a rotary-powered Ro80it was easier to through new ideas. All you had to do was convince von Nowadays, “there are more involved. I’m not sure you do it.”

As BMW further stretches itself in new are Chinese-made BMWs, and soon will be electric mini-BMWsit is to know that the company its touchstones visible in the rearview The older models are quaintly but these various M3s represent the of what we hope BMW never trying to be.

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