Still the benchmark. Forever the best.
It all started in the early 1980s when BMW had the genius and somewhat crazy idea to give its then second generation 3 Series steroids. Take a mainstream, yet driver-focused rear-wheel-drive coupe and up its output courtesy of a different engine. Then hand it over to a bunch of equally nuts German chassis and suspension tuning specialists. What was created? God's Chariot. The competition has tried but never quite hit the bull's eye; it's not easy to outgun the Almighty's daily driver and weekend track toy.
Nothing much has changed over the years and today's fifth generation M3 (now a sedan only), on sale since 2014, remains the all-inclusive premium high-performance sedan the competitors both loathe and admire. Want an M3 coupe or convertible?
It's called the M4 now, but no matter, the M3 can fit the entire family comfortably and satisfy its owner's driving addiction. We recently spent some time with the 2017 BMW M3 with the M Competition Package, a $4,750 option that celebrates the M3's 30 anniversary. It's worth the extra dough because power is increased from 425 to 444 hp and you'll also benefit from the Adaptive M Suspension and 20-inch forged alloy star-spoke wheels. All told, our tester M3 came to $80,030. Expensive? Yeah, but you get the complete package: performance, luxury, and, above all, history and heritage. Special thanks to Niello BMW-Sacramento for letting us film the car.