The Ultimate Guide to Every BMW M3

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The Ultimate Guide to Every BMW M3

The first BMW M3 debuted under the sparkling lights of the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1985. As Bavaria’s newest homologation racer sat gleaming on the show floor, did BMW’s own executives anticipate the passion this boxy sedan would inspire?

Heck no. But after more than thirty years of continuous production, the M3 feels as vital to BMW as the roundel itself. Now the introduction of the M3’s sixth generation offers an opportunity for reflection. So R&T gathered an ultimate low-mile example of each generation – from dealers, private owners, and BMW’s own museum – and lined them up nose-to-tail along Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course’s pit lane.

The track’s parade of curves offered something for each M3 to sink its teeth into. On a circuit that favors neither raw power nor nth degree adhesion, the intricacies of each generation emerged. After two days at Mid-O, and a few runs missiling along nearby backroads, our love for BMW’s purist driving machine was renewed and subtle nuances long ignored became obvious.

This Road & Track Generation Guide is less a sterile comparison test and more a misty-eyed celebration of Bavaria’s finest, which saw light at that Frankfurt show so long ago, then wormed its way into our hearts forever.

For the full story and history, check out this article from Road & Track.

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