When the first M3 came out in 1986, its destiny and design were controlled by BMW Motorsport GmbH, and it served as a performance showcase more than anything else. At the time BMW was trying to see if it had the hoden to make a sports car that could compete in the trifecta of World, European, and German Touring Championship (DTM) racing classes. Long story short: It worked, and today the original M3 is regarded as one of the purest sports coupes of all time.
So to celebrate its anniversary, 500 versions of a celebratory edition M3 are being released as the “30 Jahre M3,” which means 30 Years M3. Out of this limited lot, only 150 will land in America, and in true M3 fashion, they can either be had with a manual transmission for $83,250 or a Dual-Clutch automatic for $86,150.
Available in Macao Blue metallic paint, the 30 Jahre is the first M3 to rock this color since the final and most powerful version of the first generation, the Sport Evo M3. This tasteful nod to the old school also features BMW Merino leather in two-tone black/fjord blue with color-matching contrast seams, and a high-gloss shadow line inside. The car’s kidney grille, rear M3 badging, and sports exhaust system come in a black chrome touch further highlight the M3’s elite pedigree.
Extra touches include bespoke “30 Jahre M3” logos inside, exclusive gills bearing the logo, and unique doorsill plates. In true modern performance fashion, a healthy amount of interior trim pieces are carbon fiber pieces, and the interior is punctuated by more black chrome, and gorgeously embroidered anniversary headrests.
But paint and design details aside, the special edition car also comes with BMW’s renowned Competition Package, and an engine output that has been reinforced with 19 extra horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. This means the 30 Jahre M3 packs 444 horsepower altogether, and paired with Adaptive M suspension, it will likely take the world-famous M3 performance to the next level.
Other unique go-fast features include stiffer springs, retuned dampers and stabilizers, and the remapping of all three drive modes, including Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. Not to mention a reworked active rear differential for even more grip and tighter gearing, while BMW’s new Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) does its job to inspire even more confidence in the corners.
All that power meets the road with special 20-inch forged alloy rollers in a 666 M star spoke mesh design, which are staggered for superior rear-wheel grip and styling. Put it all together, and the 30 Jahre M3 hits 60 miles per hour in just 3.8 seconds with the optional 7-speed M double clutch transmission, while the manual comes in at a solid 4.
According to BMW, all U.S. models will come equipped with its new Driver Assistance Plus Package, which includes blind spot monitoring, active driving assistance, side and top view cameras, and speed limit information. Buyers can also tack on extra goodies like the Executive Package, which features head-up displays, a heated steering wheel, rearview camera, heated rear bench, parking assistance, wireless charging, as well as adaptive LED lights and automatic high beams. The BMW 30 Jahre M3 will arrive at select U.S. dealers this month, and if they aren’t all spoken for by now, you bet your ass they’re going to go quick.