There's no question about it, the M3 is one of only a handful of cars on just about every enthusiast's dream list for the last twenty years or so. The reason for that is simple: It uses the BMW 3-series-the best sports sedan in the business-as a starting point, and trims the fat even farther.
Since the first M3 debuted in 1988, it has grown in just about every way, and the new M3 is no exception. It has twice the amount of cylinders as the first M3 and more than twice the horsepower. Luckily, it doesn't weigh twice as much weight.
That means this M3 will be the fastest one yet. We're still waiting for BMW to release final numbers, but under the hood resides a 4.0-liter V-8 that we expect to make about 415 horsepower. That's 115 more horses than the twin-turbo 335i, which is already almost as fast as the last generation M3.
It used to be that quick cars made 115 horsepower - not 115 more than other ridiculously fast cars. Here's to wretched excess! Sign us up.
The production car will look very similar to the concept shown at the 2007 Geneva Auto Show. Changes relative to the coupe include the power dome hood, unique front and rear fascias, rear diffusers, a carbon fiber roof, and the vented front plastic fenders. In fact, the only body parts the M3 shares with the standard 3-series coupe are the angel-eye headlights, taillights, doors, deck lid, and glass.
The nineteen-inch, sixteen-spoke forged alloy wheels should make it to production, and we expect they will be connected to the high-revving V-8 by way of either a conventional six-speed manual transmission or a new twin-clutch unit a la DSG. SMG is, thankfully, dead.
But the M3 is very much alive.