While BMW itself is celebrating 100 years in the car business, one of the company’s most significant models is marking an important anniversary as well. It’s been 30 years since the first BMW M3 debuted in Europe and won the hearts of enthusiasts worldwide.
To commemorate the occasion, BMW is unleashing a “30 Jahre M3” (30 Years M3) special edition. As previously announced by BMW, production will be limited to 500 units worldwide. The carmaker now says 150 of those cars will come to the United States. Unlike many other special editions, the 30 Jahre M3 gets some genuine performance upgrades in addition to the obligatory cosmetic changes.
Under the hood, the 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged inline-six gets a boost to 444 horsepower, 19 more than the standard M3 and the same as cars with the optional Competition Package. Torque output is unchanged at 406 pound-feet. Like other M3 models, the 30 Jahre is offered with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch unit.
BMW says the 30 Jahre M3 will do 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds with the dual-clutch transmission, and 4.0 seconds with the manual. Those times match the Competition Package M3 and are both 0.1 second improvements over the standard car. The 30 Jahre also gets new springs, dampers, and stabilizers, as well as retuned software for the three driving modes (Comfort, Sport, Sport+), Active M Differential, and stability control.
Visually, the 30 Jahre M3 is distinguished by a special Macao Blue paint color inspired by a color offered on the legendary E30 M3 Sport Evo model, plus a two-tone leather interior, model-specific 20-inch alloy wheels, and special badging. U.S.-spec models get the Driver Assistance Plus Package as standard equipment. It bundles safety features like blind spot detection, side and top-view cameras, and speed limit information.
The 150 U.S. cars will be available later this month. Pricing starts at $83,250 with the manual transmission, and $86,150 with the dual-clutch gearbox (plus destination). Exclusivity doesn’t come cheap, apparently.