0 comments / Posted by Marvin Roane

Evolution of Power: BMW M3 Generations

The Icon: Past Meets Present

The M3 is considered an automotive icon. For over 35 years, its name has become synonymous with performance, and can be considered a textbook definition of the ultimate driving machine. We had the pleasure of gathering each generation together and celebrate the amazing machine known as the M3. From the E30 all the way to the G80, let's get to know a little more about these awesome cars.

1988 BMW E30 M3

Birth Of The Legend: The E30

The E30, the one that started it all. When BMW wanted to dive into DTM Group A racing, they decided on their best selling model, the 3 series, and the rest is history. In order to meet the homologation requirements, 5000 road going models needed to be created rather than a single one off. Originally powered by the S14 B23 4-cylinder, the car was known to be a very pure and raw driving experience, as practicality was not a priority since it was a homologated race car. Nick Abadijiev was lucky enough to get a hold of a pretty fine specimen. Nick was kind enough to bring out his 1988 E30 M3 and it was definitely a real head turner. A very tasteful build, that was a feast for the senses, it definitely commanded respect.


1999 BMW E36 M3

The Next Chapter: The E36

The E36 was BMW’s second go of the M3. No longer a homologation special to qualify for racing, BMW instead decided to make it an upmarket trim. Now powered by the S50 B30 straight-six 3.0 liter, BMW wanted to up the stakes. Initially a coupe only, the E36 was also the first time a sedan was available. Jay Patel is no stranger to the E36, after having owned a few different ones in the past, but his ’99 Dakar yellow definitely sets itself apart. Jay has opted to keep a more oem+ look and has kept it more or less stock, other than a set of lowering springs. Being inside of his E36 is like a look back in time.


2003 BMW E46 M3

Third Time's the Charm: The E46

The E46 is well known to many, especially if you played Need For Speed Most wanted. Being the cover car, it was the introduction to the M3 that started the fascination for tons of people. With its very distinct exhaust note, you can’t help but notice this car. Powered by the naturally aspirated straight 6 3.2-litre S54 motor, producing a very impressive 338 hp, the E46 was very unique and at the time was BMW’s most powerful production car ever produced. Dzenan Pilav is very familiar with just how fun the E46 is, with his 2003 Phoenix Yellow manual transmission example. Don’t let the looks fool you either, this isn’t some garage queen. Over the last decade Dzenan daily drives his E46, and has travelled across 13 states to move to Florida with all his belongings in the back, driven to Canada, and so much more. The M3 just continues to soldier on and looks great doing it.


2013 BMW E92 M3

Time To Go Big: The E92

2007 BMW decided to try something new. For the most recent 2 generations, the M3 was known for its 6-cylinder naturally aspirated power plant. But for its 4th outing, BMW decided to throw their S65 V8 into the mix thus giving birth the the E9X M3. This generation was the first and last of the standard production V8 powered M3. Initially only produced in a 6-speed transmission, this changed in 2008 with the very first dual-clutch transmission in a BMW. This was also when iDrive premiered in the M3. Aleko Pouzbouris brought out his 2013 Interlagos Blue E92 M3, and pictures just doesn’t do this color justice. His car has seen a lot of track time at places like the FIRM and Sebring, and it looks great doing what it was built to do.


2018 BMW F80 M3

Shift Into Turbo: The F80

The F80 M3 was when BMW decided to drop being naturally aspirated and tossed a turbocharger in the M3. With the return to the smaller form factor of a straight-six, the S55 Twin Turbo charged engine was pushing 432hp at its initial inception. This was later upped to 450hp with the competition model. This was also the first time BMW decided to push the M3 as a sedan first, and split the coupe and convertible into the M4. Armin is no stranger to the F chassis BMW, coming from an F30 340i. His Black Sapphire metallic M3 with its coral red interior looks fantastic rocking his 19 inch Brada CX2’s. 


2021 BMW G80 M3

Heir To The Throne: G80

Last but not least, the G80 M3. It was definitely controversial when first unveiled, as many feel it was a wild departure from BMW’s previous design language. But BMW was out to make a statement. Powered by the S58 turbocharged straight-six, which is the high performance version of the beloved B58, producing an astonishing 510hp on the Competition version, the G80 is the most powerful M3 ever produced. Justin Welty, owner/founder of UroTuning, he has definitely been converted to BMW after driving and buying his G80. After owning several VW’s and Audi’s, the M3 managed to leave a lasting mark.


To learn more about these drivers as well as see more of these fantastic cars, click below or head over to our YouTube Channel and see the full BMW M3 Generations showcase!


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing

Can't find what you're looking for?
Odds are we can get it! Click Here Now