So well known, you can simply refer to it as the M3, without any mention of it being a BMW; it’s a given. The iconic brand has written itself into the history and record books, and has now been around for 30 years. And to celebrate the 3 decade milestone, BMW announced at its M Festival on Nurburgring grounds, a limited edition model, the M3 30 Jahre.

While the limited edition model does offer a few new trinkets, BMW’s engineers have used the same 331kW (444HP) engine fitted in the Competition Package M3 (released earlier this year). Still powerful, it comes as a slight disappointment after the M5’s 30 anniversary saw it’s limited edition model with additional performance over other variants. Instead, most of the changes and additions to the 30 Jahre is cosmetic, which includes an exlusive Macao Blue metallic paint (similar to the original E30), High Gloss Shadow Line with black chromed tailpipe trim, embroidered front headrests, full leather Merino trim seats, and the words “30 Years M3 1/500″ on the carbon fibre interior trimming. Optimised features from the Competition Package includes new springs, dampers, and stabilisers, as well as 30” M light-alloy wheels with 666 M star spoke design with mixed tyres (front: 265/30 R20, rear: 285/30 R20). The Adaptive M suspension and optional 7-speed M double clutch transmission gives increased performance, reaching 0-100km/h in just 4 seconds.

A Brief History

The M3 was announced in 1985, but was officially launched and tested for the first time in 1986, under the badge BMW M GmbH. The 2.3l, 16-valve, twin-cam four engine delivered 147kW. The plastic bumpers, side sills and boot lid weighed just 1200kg. This combination yielded an impressive 0-100 in 6.7 seconds at a maximum speed of 235km/h. Still impressive by today’s standards.


Pre-orders for the M3 30 Jahre will start in August, and will be arrive on the dealership floors in October. Only 500 units will be available worldwide, with 30 made available in South Africa. I doubt we’ll get to see any on showroom floors on our shores, with assumptions that all 30 will be sold before the launch date. While no official pricing has been set in South Africa, the limited edition model will set you back an additional €10 000 in Germany over the Competition Package (R1 031 118 manual, R1 080 992 auto).

A few does after the announcement, BMW released its first advert for the limited edition M3.


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