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  • The BMW M3 Ute is ugly but at least it’s interesting
  • The M3 truck got a 420 hp V8 and manual transmission
  • BMW lost their way and the M3 Ute was foreshadowing

Recently, BMW has turned a corner. At least from a design perspective. Their new models are bold, buck-toothed, and controversial. While the BMW M4 is ugly because physics said so, aesthetics can’t always give way to speed. That’s something the brand seemed more conscious of a decade ago. But, perhaps this BMW M3 pickup truck is a weird bit of foreshadowing we didn’t catch till now. It’s ugly as sin, but dammit it’s cool as hell too.

What is a Ute?

A white E92 BMW M3 pickup truck
The BMW M3 Ute | BMW

Clearly, this M3 truck was inspired heavily by the Holden Commodore Ute of Australian fame. A ute is a truck, yes, but minus a few key things. For starters, utes usually don’t have any real ground clearance to speak of. They’re generally low to the ground and based on cars. That means they aren’t body-on-frame like some trucks. Obviously, that also means they’re significantly smaller than their larger full-blooded pickup cousins. But that doesn’t stop them from being cool.

While the idea of a ute spawned in turn-of-the-century America, the idea is now almost wholly unique to Australia and New Zealand. Famously, they’re vehicles built “to go to church on a Sunday and which can carry pigs to market on Mondays.” That certainly sounds like the heinous BMW M3 pickup truck we’re discussing. So how did this M3 ute come about?

The BMW M3 pickup truck is an even more practical sports car

A rear 3/4 shot of the BMW M3 pickup truck/sports car
The M3 truck is more sports car than truck | BMW

It turns out, this isn’t even the first time BMW has turned an M3 into a truck. That trend began with the E30 generation truck you see below. The E92 generation BMW M3 you see above was converted into a ute as a sort of continuation. Like the E30 one below, this E92 ute never saw a showroom floor. It’s simply a “design exercise” by the Bavarian brand, much like the BMW M3 Touring of circa 2004. But don’t let the practical ute body fool you. This thing is fast.

Like the E92 M3 it’s based on, this “truck” packs a naturally aspirated 420 hp V8 mated to a 6-speed gearbox that spins the rear wheels. And, just like the E30 truck before it, it comes complete with tonneau cover. The roof panels can also be removed. Frankly, this might be the only targa top truck in the world. Obviously, 420 hp is a big number, helped tremendously by the replacement of the rear with a truck bed. BMW says it’s 110 lbs lighter than an E90 M3 convertible of similar vintage.

These M3 models are as fast as they are rare

A group of prototype M3 models, including an E30 truck
BMW also made an E30 M3 pickup truck | BMW

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The result of that big motor and reduced weight is a top speed of 186 mph. So sure, this BMW M3 truck might be ugly, but at least it’s interesting. That’s certainly something that can’t be said of the brand’s current M3, which has had an icy reception, to say the least.