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Long-term review

BMW M3 Competition – long-term review

£74,000 / as tested £87,000 / £1,260 PCM
Published: 15 Sep 2021

Is green paint the new black?

There’s an Instagram account that proliferates, publicises, and promotes green cars. You may have seen it – it’s called @makegreengreatagain. If not, I’d recommend checking it out and getting endlessly lost in the emerald hues while scrolling on the bog. 

And our G80 M3’s colour sure as hell gets attention. You’d think its controversial face would be the main talking point for the public, but the colour has become the go-to ice breaker. 

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“What colour is that?!” they ask.

Depending on my mood and state of sarcasm I often say ‘green’.

“But what type of green?”

“Isle of Man Green.”

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“It’s amazing!”

Sure is. But it’s a funny colour. It’s luscious and rich which stands out but isn’t shouty. In bright sunlight it pops into a strong shade of PGA fairway grass clippings. But in low light it’s a darker, more ominous sort of sweaty frog’s skin tone. 

Traditionally, green isn’t associated with the stock BMW colour palette. I can’t actually remember the last launch colour which was the result of mixing blue and yellow together. Green is normally reserved for BMWs that have been put in witness protection: Alpinas. But there are memorable ones that have been slathered in green, like the E36 M3 GT in non-metallic ‘Individual British Racing Green’. Or the E9’s rare ‘Turkis Green’. 

"On the one hand, green is a conservative colour.” Marcus Syring, head of design at BMW M said when asked about it. “But Isle of Man Green is also full of life; it's not a conservative green like what we call Huntsman Green in Germany. Especially when you see it in the sunshine, it's an active colour.”

If you’re not one of the many who salivate at the sight of the green paint, don’t worry. BMW has you covered in many ways, as you can get your M3 (or M4) in many, many, many colours thanks to something called the BMW Individual Manufaktr Visualizer. Here you can step away from the standard palette of 12 colours (including the standard reds, blues and retina searing hi-vis Sao Paulo Yellow) and unlock 100 or so really quite wild colours – including oddities like Zanzibar II. And if you don’t like any of those lairy or subtle tones, then there’s always black. 

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