Ben Barry of Car Magazine in the UK, had the unfortunate luck to drive a collection of BMW M’s heritage cars, from E30 through to E92. While at attending the M3 GTS launch at Ascari racetrack in southern Spain, Car Magazine had the unique privilege to experience the history of the M division when it comes to the 3 Series family.
Jealousy is an understatement of the feeling we were having as we were reading through his review, since some of these vehicles like the E30 M3 Sport Evo have been our dream cars for quite some time now.
So, let’s take a look at some of his words:
“When it comes to dream garages, I have a terrible lack of imagination. Dream classic? E30 M3 Sport Evo – the last of the first M3s with the bigger 2.5-litre engine. Family car? Early E36 M3 saloon – the one with the softer suspension, smoother 3.0-litre engine and slicker five-speed gearbox. Dream track car? E46 M3 CSL – you know the CSL, right? The lightweight grey or black one with the SMG gearbox and carbon roof? I’d love one of those. Dream daily driver? New E92 M3 coupe – supple ride, awesome comfort, great engine, brilliant chassis.
I couldn’t quite believe it when I arrived: there before me, lined up, was my dream garage. All of the M3s were museum pieces, the vast majority showing under 10,000km, and all were simply left in the pitlane with the keys in the ignition. A load more lurked in an underground garage. It was without doubt the most complete, most immaculately presented collection of M3s in the world, and here was BMW M essentially handing the keys to complete strangers – Spanish! Greeks! – at a fast racetrack that most of us didn’t know. Crackers.
I started with the E30 Sport Evo, a black one with just 7000km. Yes, it feels slow these days, the four-cylinder engine is a bit coarse, and that dog-leg gearbox takes some getting used to, but the steering is superb and – the best bit – the front end just goes where you point it. No understeer, no sense of weight pulling you wide of the apex. It just points and points and points until you ask to much of it and, eventually – through momentum rather than power – it oversteers.”