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Car reviews - BMW - 3 Series - M3 coupe

Overview

Mention M3 to an enthusiast and the accolades start pouring forth

BMW logo16 Jun 2002

M3 - never has such a small name packed so much punch. A performance yardstick against which other sports coupes have been measured for more than 15 years, M3 is the product of BMW M division's considerable engineering might and its belief in the compact, straight-six coupe philosophy. For the benefit of driving enthusiasts everywhere, the third generation version is a slap in the face for those that predicted the E46 M3 would be overweight and lack the hard edge for which the original became famous. On the contrary, M3 MkIII is an automotive masterpiece, substantially raising the bar for BMW's own six-pack supercar concept by offering even greater performance, more poise and a bigger dose of passion than ever before. If ever there was proof the Munich maker has not been resting on its formidable laurels, the new M3 is it.
Model release date: 1 May 2001 to 1 September 2007

Previous model

BMW E36 M3

Released: June 1994
Ended: June 2000
Family Tree: 3 Series

The second generation E36 version was the first M3 to be sold Down Under, arriving here in June, 1994, as a 3.0-litre six-cylinder packing just 210kW. Two years later, in February, 1996, it received a 3.2-litre six producing 236kW, along with a six-speed manual transmission, while an SMG version appeared in May, 1997. Discontinued after six years in June, 2000, the E36 M3 was not replaced by the current third generation E46 model for almost a year, in May, 2001. The original (four-cylinder) E30 M3 was released in Europe in 1986 and sold there in coupe, convertible and sedan guises.

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