I’m not sure if you’ve heard but it’s the 50th anniversary of BMW M this year. I think BMW may have mentioned it once or twice already but it’s hard to tell. Anyway, in those 50 years, BMW M has made a lot of cars, many of them were incredible. So Autocar decided to craft a greatest hits sort of car by driving many of them and then mentally building the perfect M car out of their individual parts.
Among the cars that they drove were the original BMW M1, the E30 M3, the E46 M3 CSL, the E92 M3 GTS, the F90 M5 CS, and even the BMW i4 M50. Then, after each drive, they discussed what they loved most about the car and tried to figure out which parts of each car they’d like to cherry pick for their perfect M car. It didn’t have to be specific mechanical components, as they also took themes and ideas, such as engine layout or body size. Then, they built their perfect M car.
Some of the things they discussed were engine type. They decided, after driving all of those cars, that a naturally aspirated inline-six was the way to go and it was the M3 CSL that really sold them on its engine. The M1’s brilliant 3.5-liter I6 was also in discussion. Interestingly, after driving all of the cars, the transmission choice they landed on wasn’t a manual but instead a dual-clutch auto and their reasoning was interesting.
After it was all said and done, they had a render made of what their perfect M car would look like and it’s interesting. We’ve all done the same thing in our heads, right? We’ve all gone through the history of BMW M and come up with our perfect mix if historic M Division parts to craft the perfect Bavarian brew. So in the spirit of Autocar’s test, and to have some fun, I’ll do one and you come up with your own in the comments.
My perfect M car would have the body of an E28 M5 because I love a good sedan. I like the idea of being able to use the car everyday and still have some fun. So that’d be where I started. Then, I want he E46 M3 CSL’s astonishing inline-six engine. I want a manual gearbox, even though Autocar’s reasoning for eschewing one is valid, probably from the E46 M3. And lastly I’d like a fancy electronically controlled limited-slip rear diff, like the one on the E92 M3. So Autocar listed their perfect M car, I gave you mine, now you all create yours.