The Last Of The M3Ohicans

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
the last of the m3ohicans

It is with dewey-eyed sentimentality that the autoblogosphere is treating the final example of the BMW M3. After nearly a quarter century as the world’s benchmark for performance coupes, the last E92 has rolled off the line.

It will be odd getting used to calling it the “M4”. Nobody is a bigger advocate of automotive realpolitik than I am, and the notion that the M3 should remain a featherweight 4-cylinder homologation special is something that exists only in the minds of Auto Forum Product Planners. Nevertheless, it’s hard to ignore the constant progression of the M3 in terms of size and weight, even as its performance envelope received a commensurate bump along the way. That same journey also saw the M3 go from being a hardcore sports car into a commodity top-spec 3-Series for white-collar professionals and an 18th birthday gift for very fortunate adolescents. The good news is that there should be plenty popping up off-lease in a few years, provided they aren’t all wrapped around a tree.

An interesting side note: for about half the cost of the E92 M3, you can get a 128i, which still has a good-old naturally aspirated I6 making 230 horsepower and weighing roughly 3200 lbs – about the same as a North American spec E36 M3. Even with a few options added on, you could have a 128i daily driver and a nice E30 M3 track toy for the cost of an E92 M3. And in my opinion, both are much closer to what I’d want out of a BMW than a 3500 lb paddle-shifted V8 sedan.

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3 of 39 comments
  • Ash78 Ash78 on Jul 11, 2013

    Magua frowns on Chris Bangle's shenanigans.

  • White Shadow White Shadow on Jul 11, 2013

    As a former M3 owner myself, I have to admit that the latest generation is a great car. But I won't be sad to see it go, simply because of the car that is replacing it. Turbos are wonderful things and a turbocharged M3 has always been a dream until now. This new car is going to be an absolute beast, no doubt about it. And BTW, the M3 will still exist....but it will be 4-door only.

  • Damon Thomas Adding to the POSITIVES... It's a pretty fun car to mod
  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.
  • Lorenzo In Massachusetts, they used to require an inspection every 6 months, checking your brake lights, turn signals, horn, and headlight alignment, for two bucks.Now I get an "inspection" every two years in California, and all they check is the smog. MAYBE they notice the tire tread, squeaky brakes, or steering when they drive it into the bay, but all they check is the smog equipment and tailpipe emissions.For all they would know, the headlights, horn, and turn signals might not work, and the car has a "speed wobble" at 45 mph. AFAIK, they don't even check EVs.
  • Not Tire shop mechanic tugging on my wheel after I complained of grinding noise didn’t catch that the ball joint was failing. Subsequently failed to prevent the catastrophic failure of the ball joint and separation of the steering knuckle from the car! I’ve never lived in a state that required annual inspection, but can’t say that having the requirement has any bearing on improving safety given my experience with mechanics…
  • Mike978 Wow 700 days even with the recent car shortages.