The very first BMW M3 was produced in 1988 and since then this car has grown and improved on every revamp. With a 4 litre V8 engine, and 420bhp this latest 2008 version of the M3 car has some serious power under the bonnet.
This latest model is a four door saloon that brings to life a version of the M3 that families can enjoy. It still has the same wonderful engineering, but now with added practicality. About two years ago BMW did try releasing a saloon, but it didn't go down too well selling less than 1000 units during the whole time it was on sale. So why is this one going to do better? Well people's priorities have certainly changed recently, people are now looking at high performance cars and wanting them to be practical as well as fast. They want something that is fun but that is also suitable for daily driving and this is what this car provides. With the four doors, you've got better access to the back seats, but the performance is still high end with a 0 – 62 of just 4.9 seconds (let me just mention that the coupe manages it in 4.8 so a slight difference but not much).
BMW's Efficient Dynamics technology comes into play in the M3 as in all their cars, and in this instance, that means brake energy regeneration, a gear shift indicator, and intelligent alternator control – this disconnects the alternator unless it's needed). Limited to 155mph maximum speed, the car manages a combined mpg of 22.8 and 295/km CO2 – not bad when you consider we're dealing with a supercar! The iDrive controller also gives the driver various options to tweak the response of the car.
As with all their cars, BMW have given this car many safety features such as six airbags that come as standard, and assorted electronics controls such as stability control. The boot floor and rear structure have also been strengthened to protect occupants better in the event of a rear impact, and if the M3 brakes hard, there is an additional array of lights that come on to warn drivers behind.
At around £49,500 the four door saloon is roughly £1,500 cheaper than the coupe, and as mentioned you do get better access to the backseats, as well as a fifth seatbelt and slightly more legroom in the rear of the car. You also get an extra 20 litres of boot space, and the performance of the car is hardly altered, so it seems that unless you never plan on traveling with more than one adult passenger, you might just as well opt for this newest addition to the M3 range.