BMW celebrates the M3's 30th birthday with a powerful present
The BMW M3 has been around for 30 years, which means it's time for a party. Forget the candles and cake, though, because the company's engineers have gifted us the limited-edition M3 30 Jahre to celebrate.
Unlike BMW's 30th birthday celebration for the M5, the M3 hasn't been given a huge shot of extra performance. Instead, the 30 Jahre has the same 331 kW (444 hp) as the Competition Package M3, which is enough to shoot it to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just four seconds. That's not slow, but it's slightly disappointing that the limited-run special isn't faster than a garden-variety car with the right option boxes ticked.
As well as stealing the Competition Package engine, the 30 Jahre has been fitted with its revised springs, dampers and stabilisers. The new suspension hardware works with a revised ESP program and the car's tweaked active differential to tidy up the M3's slightly edgy on-limit handling, as well as allowing owners to deploy that turbocharged power without fear of flying backwards through a hedge.
The whole package sits on 20-inch wheels wrapped in rubber measuring 265/30 at the front, and 285/30 at the rear.
The 30 Jahre might be blessed with two extra cylinders and 158 kW (212 hp) more power than the 1986 E30, but that hasn't stopped BMW from trying to highlight the connection between the two family members with Macao Blue paint. The metallic finish was an option on the E30, and is standard on the 30 Jahre.
Thankfully, that's where the retro-styling touches end. BMW has fitted the 30 Jahre with the bucket seats from the Competition Package M3, albeit with a unique color combination to set them apart from non-special edition cars. There are also unique badges on the dashboard to highlight the car's exclusivity.
Just 500 M3 30 Jahre Edition cars will be built, each commanding a €10,000 (£7,600/US$11,103) premium over the €78,440 (£59,595/US$87,080) Competition Package M3. The car will launch mid-year to coincide with the signing of the first M3 sales contract 30 years ago.