BMW knew that this handbuilt and costly super-saloon would appeal to buyers in their 40s and 50s, many of whom wouldn’t be turned on by big spoilers, wide arches and associated trinkets.
Even the rear spoiler was an option, while buyers could choose to delete the M5 badge from the boot lid.
A convertible version signalled a shift from pure racing to a luxury product.
The second generation E36 M3 highlights this move upmarket, presenting a more refined take on the performance saloon model.
That it was built on standard production lines and not at BMW’s M Gmb H plant only serves to highlight this point.
If any car was fit to wear the legendary badge, this was it.We’ll also give a special mention to the M3 CS, a kind of halfway house between the M3 and the CSL.The BMW 1 Series M Coupe – or 1 M Coupe – was an unlikely hero.At launch, the E28 M5 was the fastest production saloon car in the world, with a 0-60mph time of 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 153mph. In common with the E28 M5, the development of the E30 M3 was driven by a desire to mess with the head of Mercedes-Benz, both on the track and on the road.
By the time it was unveiled at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW was already playing catch-up, with the 190E 2.3-16 unveiled a year earlier.
All of which means that you could save money by ‘investing’ in a brand new BMW M2.