I released a new print today of BMW's legendary E30 M3.
In the mid-1980s, to meet the challenge posed by the newly introduced Mercedes 190E 2.3-16, BMW decided to campaign its E30 3-series sedan in Touring Car racing. As such, the company had to homologate 5,000 race cars for sale to the public. The result was the first BMW M3, a high-revving yet reliable car, perfectly suited for any real-world street or track.
This was a driver's car. Handling was superb, very neutral. Any tail-happy slide could be kept in check by the application of the throttle and a bit of opposite lock.
The M3 didn't have massive amounts of power, just 192 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque, but it was light, just 2,850 lbs. As a result it offered balance and composure that can't be matched by todays heavier, more powerful cars.
The driving experience wasn't mediated by a slew of electronic aids. There were no menus to navigate, no preferences to set. Skid correction came in the form of your hands turning the wheel. Traction control was your right foot.
This kind of car won't be made again. Consumers want to many gadgets. Regulators want too many safety devices. Many people consider it a once-in-a-lifetime car, not a finicky, impractical sports car, but a useable performance sedan with a trunk and a backseat that rewards skills with thrills all day long.
The E30 M3 earned its legendary status and it's one of the best road cars you can buy.
To see the E30 M3 in action, have a look at this video of Patrick Snijers driving one in the Rally Manx, 1988. The car literally flies. It's some of the best driving that I've ever seen.