11 of the BMW M3's coolest ever details | Top Gear
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11 of the BMW M3's coolest ever details

Let's celebrate the little things in this non-definitive list, shall we?

E36 BMW M3
  • The beauty of life lies in its detail, at least according to a faintly nauseating meme we once read online.

    And thus, the new BMW M3 Competition and BMW M4 Competition filled our eyes with a plethora of details; of creases and tailpipes and… actually, it was mostly those enormous grilles.

    Admittedly, that’s just one really quite massive detail on a sports-saloon (and coupe) full of interesting details. But we’re not here to talk about those (click the links above to read TG's reviews), we’re here to talk about random cool things on M3s from the past via the medium of this definitely not exhaustive list.

    Because only by looking back will one sustain repetitive neck injuries, according to an inspirational meme we just made up.

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  • The E36 BMW M3’s mirrors

    The E36 BMW M3’s mirrors

    We’ll start with that most prized treasure of Nineties tea-leaves: the highly desirable wing mirrors from the E36-generation M3. Say what you like about the car – it’s good, despite what the Nomex brigade might say – its mirrors were just excellent.

  • The E46 BMW M3 CSL’s wheels

    The E46 BMW M3 CSL’s wheels

    Surely this doesn’t require a search-engine-pleasing explanation of, say, 50-100 words? They’re just amazing. Incidentally, also beloved of those who operate outside the law.

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  • The E92 BMW M3 GTS’s rollcage

    The E92 BMW M3 GTS’s rollcage

    The Very Serious GTS decided against rear seating for passengers and instead came with some scaffolding at the back. Yes, putting a rollcage inside a car that’s not a racing car is a bit too serious, but we’ll forgive it because a) big V8, and b) slidey.

  • The E30 BMW’s really amazing front arches

    The E30 BMW’s really amazing front arches

    The car motoring enthusiasts get all worked up about sports a very simple but inalienable truth: flared wheelarches look sweet on small saloons. We could have gone to town on basically every facet of the E30 M3 and its details, because let’s face it: We Are All That Motoring Enthusiast.

  • To hell with it. The E30 BMW M3’s rear wing, too

    To hell with it. The E30 BMW M3’s rear wing, too

    Especially the one on the Evo II.

  • Basically, every single detail on the E30 BMW M3

    We should probably move on.

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  • The E46 BMW M3 CSL’s carbon airbox

    The E46 BMW M3 CSL’s carbon airbox

    Now, we all know and admire the CSL’s wonderful straight-six, but equally wonderful is the way it gulps in massive great lumps of air, via a marvellous carbon airbox. M cars are special, yes, but the CSL is more special than most.

  • Every modern BMW M3’s quad tailpipes

    Every modern BMW M3’s quad tailpipes

    The first two M3 generations never benefitted from having an extra pair of pipes at the back, but the E46 ushered in a now trademark feature, and – barring the odd misstep (looking at you, Very Weird M Performance Part) – it is an excellent one.

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  • The E46 BMW M3’s cool side vents

    The E46 BMW M3’s cool side vents

    Tacky if you graft them onto your 320d with dodgy M badging on the back, perfection when slotted beautifully into the swollen arch of an E46.

  • The E92 BMW M3’s bonnet vents

    The E92 BMW M3’s bonnet vents

    Very angry indeed, you’ll agree.

  • The F80 BMW M3’s carbon strut brace

    The F80 BMW M3’s carbon strut brace

    Last, and by no means least is the F80 M3 (indeed, there's nothing ‘least’ about that spiky bugger). A fine, fast car, with all the M car hallmarks, and a new one – a delightful carbon fibre strut brace that wrapped around the engine bay. Now that’s art. Possibly.

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