Originally launched in 1988 as a homologation special bred for the track, the M3 developed in the 1990s with the 1993 E36 3-series. The combination of refinement, handling, plus awesome power made it immensely sellable. A MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension did most of the work, but wide 17-inch (432mm) alloys and ultra-low profile tyres sharpened the car's steering without compromising ride quality. The powerplant was very high-tech, featuring twin overhead camshafts and BMW's VANOS variable valve timing to improve low-end torque whilst allowing 7,500rpm, even though the torque peak was much lower. Helping make the most of the power was a six-speed manual gearbox and traction control, but even with the latter switched off, the car remained very controllable in a slide. Few sports coupes have offered such performance and practicality.
BMW M3 Specifications
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