Life begins at thirty, or so they say, but if that infers that the preceding 29 years are nothing more than “misspent youth”, then think again. There’s nothing at all “misspent” about one of Germany’s finest and fastest four-wheeled exports which has thrilled us, assaulted our senses and ferried our kids to school in equal measure for the last 29 years.
Following its debut on home soil at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show, the first generation of what would become one of the greatest supercar slayers of all time took to the road. The BMW M3 had arrived, and commutes to work, trips to the grocers, or indeed the school run would never be mundane again.
The original iconic super saloon turns thirty this summer and to mark that milestone, BMW has unwrapped and unveiled a very special birthday present in its honour. Limited to just 30 examples, one for each year of the M3’s lifespan, the exclusive special edition BMW M3 30 Jahre is a lovingly crafted nod to perhaps the ultimate David among goliaths.
From the Frozen Silver metallic paint to the forged 20-inch star spoke M wheels, this special edition M3 is not one to get lost in the saloon crowd. Black chrome tailpipe exhaust trim complements the M3 30 Jahre’s bristling array of carbon fibre extras, from the front splitter and mirror caps to the rear diffuser and spoiler.
However, in the adrenaline-pumping spirit of each of its five predecessors, the BMW M3 30 Jahre Edition has a pretty formidable bite to back up its bark. Kitted out with BMW’s M performance Competition Package as standard, the limited-run M3 30 Jahre squeezes an extra 19bhp out of its mighty 3.0-liter twin-turbo heart, boosting overall output to a sizzling 450bhp. Maximum torque remains at 406lb/ft with top speed electronically pegged at 155mph, but the 30 Jahre will now devour 0-62mph in just 4.0 secs, that’s 0.1 seconds quicker than the current fifth generation production model.
A 7-speed M dual clutch gearbox calls the shots, whilst tweaked adaptive M suspension, an active M differential on the rear axle and Dynamic Stability Control will keep this supercar in sheep’s clothing pinned to the asphalt no matter how hard you throw it into the corners.
Delve inside this most extravagant of birthday presents and the M performance fanatic in you will feel right at home. The “30 Jahre M3 1/30” stitching that adorns the headrests of the M Sport front seats as well as carbon fibre instrument panel trim leaves you in no doubt as to the rarity of the beast, whilst more subtle touches like BMW M strips woven into the seatbelts lend the M3 Jahre a little extra persona of its own. The steering wheel and gear selector come wrapped in Alcantara leather as standard along with infotainment toys such as the 16 speaker surround-sound audio system plus all the usual M3 gadgetry.
If you’re quick enough to the cheque book, one of the 30 commemorative BMW M3 30 Jahres can be yours from £82,675. Sales won’t officially start until summer 2016, marking exactly 30 years since the very first M3 was snapped up by one rather lucky and unsuspectingly prophetic petrol head.