M3 models have been derived from the E30, E36, E46 and E90/E92/E93 3 Series, and sold with coupé, sedan and convertible body styles.
Based on the 1986 model year E30 3-Series, the first M3 was introduced with a 2.3 L I4 engine.
The E36 M3 debuted in February, 1992 and hit the dealers’ showrooms in November that year; it was the first M3 powered by a six-cylinder engine, displacing 2990 cc and developing 282 hp. Initially available as a coupé only, BMW introduced M3 convertible/cabriolet and saloon/sedan versions in 1994.
The E46 M3, first introduced in October, 2000, appeared worldwide with the new 3.2 L S54 M-tuned engine. At the time of the car’s introduction, this engine had the highest specific output naturally aspirated engine ever made by BMW, producing 333 horsepower and 365 Nm (269 lb-ft).
The BMW E46 M3 CSL (coupe sports lightweight) was a limited edition version of the M3, with only 1,400 cars being produced for its 2004 model year run.
The fourth generation BMW M3 was announced on the 2007 Geneva Auto Show with the BMW M3 concept. Just as the previous M3 generations all introduced a completely new engine, the fourth generation M3 did the same: the BMW S65 engine was introduced. This S65B40 is a naturally aspirated, high revving 4-liter V8 (based on the S85B50 5-liter V10 that powers the E60/E61 M5 and the E63/E64 M6 to date), delivering 414 horsepower at 8,300 rpm, with peak torque at 400 Nm (300 lb-ft) at 3,900 rpm, which represents a power increase of 22% over the E46 M3.
Now, with the M3′s 25th anniversary just around the corner, BMW releases a series of commemorative videos showing all the M3 generations in all their glory.
Our sources indicate that the BMW M3 GTS will be launched during the 25th anniversary event, followed by some laps around the famous Nurburgring.