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The latest-gen 2021 M3 certainly offers scintillating performance. But for many BMW fans, it doesn’t have the ‘feel’ that older models like the E92 M3 delivered. And this week on Bring a Trailer, there’s a chance to experience those sensations firsthand. But the car listed isn’t just a BMW E92 M3: it’s a 2012 BMW M3 Coupe Competition.

The BMW E92 M3 Competition Package makes “a fun ride…sinfully addicting,” MotorTrend says

A blue 2011 BMW M3 Competition Coupe
2011 BMW M3 Competition Coupe | BMW

Even among M3s, the 2008-2013 BMW E90 M3 is fairly special. That’s because, unlike every other M3, it doesn’t use an inline-six engine, but a V8. And it still delivers a driving experience on par with the 2021 model.

Plus, while the current-gen M3 is only available as a sedan, the 2008-2013 E90 was also available as a coupe and a convertible. The former is referred to as the BMW E92 M3 and offers the same kind of driving experience as the sedan. But in 2011, BMW thought it could make the E92 M3 even better. And so, in a repeat of what it did on the E46 M3, it released a Competition Package, MotorTrend explains.

If that name sounds familiar, it’s because the 2021 BMW M3 and M4 have Competition variants, too. However, the 2021 versions come with extra power as well as a slew of other performance upgrades. In contrast, the BMW E92 M3 Competition has the same 414-hp 4.0-liter V8 as the standard car. And the same six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

But while the BMW E92 M3 Competition doesn’t have more power, it does have other performance-sharpening features. It has a 0.4”-lower ride height as well as re-tuned adaptive dampers and a reprogrammed stability control system. And apart from 19” wheels, that’s it. On paper, that doesn’t seem like much. However, the Competition Package genuinely makes the BMW E92 M3 “better than ever,” Car says.

True, in the extra Sport Mode, the ride is on the firm side. But the payoff is “a zealously surefooted machine” that MT describes as “a Hellfire missile rewired to turn in mere inches.” And BMW E92 M3 Competition is just as daily-drivable as the standard car. Little wonder Car and Driver dubbed it a “master of the track and road.”

The 2012 BMW M3 Coupe Competition on Bring a Trailer

A white 2012 BMW M3 Competition Coupe in a parking garage
2012 BMW M3 Competition Coupe | Bring a Trailer

The 2012 BMW M3 Coupe Competition currently listed on Bring a Trailer is a manual example. But the Competition Package isn’t the only thing it offers.

In addition to the Competition Package, this 2012 BMW E92 M3 has xenon headlights with washers, rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, and a sunroof. Inside it has leather upholstery, heated front seats, navigation, satellite radio, automatic climate control, and a rear sunshade. And outside, the blue brake calipers squeeze cross-drilled rotors.

The black-leather-upholstered front seats and carbon-fiber-trimmed dashboard of a 2012 BMW M3 Competition Coupe seen through the open doors
2012 BMW M3 Competition Coupe front interior | Bring a Trailer

This 2012 BMW M3 Competition Coupe is a fairly stock example. The only modifications are the carbon-fiber hood vents, mirror caps, and side markers, as well as a ceramic coating and paint protection film. Bring a Trailer notes that this car has a few paint blemishes, a broken rear ashtray lid, and a title lien. But it has a zero-accident history and less than 87,000 miles on the clock.

Plus, the seller has addressed several key maintenance items. The brake fluid and cabin air filter were replaced in October 2020. And the oil was changed roughly 200 miles ago. Also, crucially for the S65 V8 in the BMW E90/E92/E93 M3, the seller replaced one of the throttle body actuators. That’s a known failure item on these engines, BMW Tuning explains. The seller also notes that the engine’s had no rod bearing issues, another known S65 problem.

It’s one of the best-driving luxury sports cars available at a bargain price

As of this writing, this 2012 BMW M3 Competition Coupe is listed on Bring a Trailer at $24,000 with two days left in the auction. That’s slightly below the average BaT range of $30,000-$40,000.

Although this E92 M3 isn’t perfect, it’s a well-maintained example of a car that’s constantly praised for its handling and livability. As always, it’s recommended that potential buyers get a pre-purchase inspection. But this car seems like a driving enthusiast’s bargain.

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