Edition 35 Jahre
With the BMW M Festival Coming up soon, we thought it appropriate to review 2 of our favourite M’s, the E36 and E46 BMW M3’s.
35 years ago, BMW Motorsport GmbH created a new vehicle category. The first high-performance sedan combined the driving dynamics of a sports car with the comfort and functionality of a top-ofthe-range 4-door vehicle. Given the name of BMW M5 and powered by an in-line 6-cylinder engine from the mid-engine sports car BMW M1, the new model started an impressive career in which it is currently the BMW M5 Competition (combined fuel consumption: 10.6 – 10.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 241 – 238 g/km) that sets the pace.
Today the BMW M5 is the world’s most successful high-performance sports sedan, continuing to draw its fascination from the racing expertise of the company that is known today as BMW M GmbH. To mark this anniversary, BMW M GmbH presents a special edition of the BMW M5 which has the most powerful engine in the model’s history under the bonnet – with an output of 460 kW/625 hp – along with a range of thrilling design and equipment features. The BMW M5 Edition 35 Jahre will be produced in a limited series of 350 units and will be available worldwide from July 2019.
Over six generations, the driving dynamics potential of the BMW M5 has continuously increased, but the high-performance sedan has constantly remained faithful to its character. As an independent model based on the BMW 5 Series, it offers that crucial extra in terms of performance that authentically expresses a passion for racing. The high-revving concept of the engine, the distinctive suspension technology harmonised perfectly with the high level of engine power and the M specific design features to optimise cooling air intake and aerodynamic properties guarantee driving properties that are defined by maximum dynamic performance, agility and precision – as is typical of the BMW M5.
The resulting M feeling and the exclusive character of the high-performance sports sedan come to life with particular intensity in the BMW M5 Edition 35 Jahre.
The point of departure for the configuration of the Edition model is provided by the BMW M5 Competition, in which racing-inspired performance reaches a whole new dimension in a sedan. This is due to the V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo Technology, a maximum output of 460 kW/625 hp and a maximum torque of 750 Nm along with the particularly direct engine connection, the distinctively configured suspension technology, the all-wheel drive system M xDrive and the Active M Differential in the rear axle transmission. The driving experience offered by the BMW M5 Competition is defined by powerful thrust, optimum traction, outstanding ride stability and handling that can be controlled precisely at all times. It completes the sprint from standing to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds, passing the 200-km/h mark after 10.8 seconds.
The exterior and interior of the BMW M5 Edition 35 Jahre are as impressive as its driving performance figures. Particularly high-quality M design features developed especially for the Edition model and BMW Individual fittings give the vehicle the status of an exclusive collector’s item. Its striking appearance is particularly ensured by the BMW Individual special finish in Frozen Dark Grey II metallic which has a special pigmentation to create a silk matt surface impression Newly designed 20inch M light alloy wheels in Y spoke design and the colour Graphite Grey were created exclusively for the Edition model. In addition, the calipers of the standard M compound brake system are finished in high-gloss black. The M carbon ceramic brake system is optionally available with brake calipers finished in gold.
In addition to M multifunction seats and the BMW Individual Merino full leather trim in black with beige contrast seams, particularly exclusive interior flair is created by the trim finishers in aluminium carbon structure gold anodized – which is presented here for the first time. These finely structured, exclusively shimmering surfaces are to be found in the area of the instrument panel, the door trim sections and the centre console. Door sill finishers bearing the inscription “M5 Edition 35 Jahre” and a lasing engraving with the inscription “M5 Edition 35 Jahre 1/350” on the cupholder cover in the centre console are further distinguishing marks of the Edition vehicles.
Man’s progress through the ages has some significant steps that stand out through history. For the sake of time and understanding let us just define the steps that matter most. The move from cave dwelling into brick and mortar, food foraging in the forest to food selection from Woolworths and third and most importantly to motor aficionados, making use of horse and cart for transportation to our present day modern motor vehicle. In the third and final step, progress can be broken down further and this is where it starts getting complicated as the millions of motoring fans have thousands of personal steps that will be a highlight for each of them. However, for those that have had the privilege of experiencing the BMW M3 in those early 1990’s, this was not a step but more a giant leap. The shove in the seat feeling, the cat like handling and the aural delights were just some of the details that stand out. A simple recipe of using an average saloon fettled into a track weapon that was seriously quick and accessible to just about anyone.
DRIV3R.world spent some time reviewing the E36 and E46 BMW M3’s... The E36 M3 is the lighter version as well as the one with less power. Less power does not make it any less fun and with little electronic wizardry, by far the purists choice. The handling is also more preferable and
brings grins a plenty on a range of twistys. The 2 door, German spec model seems to be the more attractive example and produced 210 kW from the 3.0 litre straight six. The later 4 door comes with the uprated 3.2 litre engine which is always going to be a more practical choice. However, word is out and prices are appreciating quicker now that the coupe is in short supply.
The E46 M3 is the full fat version with electronic gizmos and a setting for almost anything and everything. The SMG gearbox brought an added F1 like feel to the thick rimmed leather steering. Never mind that the gearbox was brutal and a smooth gear change was difficult to master. Overall it was wider and the wheel arches were distinctly blown for added aggression. The M3 was becoming all grown up but still hugely fast. The 0-100 times were a second quicker than the E36 M3... at 5.2 seconds, we were entering supercar territory back then and this was an average Joe’s daily driver. Handling was up there with the best and it also felt very luxurious while it soaked up the undulations very well cocooned in leather everything. The ultimate in the E46 and possibly the best M3 ever made was the very rare CSL. If you can find one today, expect to pay over a R1m for a good example.
Manufacturers have moved on to producing more dual clutch paddle shifters yet for the diehard fan that has the ability and talent, and wants to experience constant feedback there is no other choice than a manual. Hence, when choosing a BMW M3 to collect, it’s got to be a 2 door E36 manual, German spec. It’s a rare thing, a dying breed and a forever car for that dream garage.