What was the last real M3? Ask several BMW enthusiasts, and you’re likely to get an array of different answers, many of which may to err on the side of something older. The story of the BMW M3 is long and somewhat complex, and isn’t anywhere close to being over yet. Like any model that’s survived longer than a few generations though, and made it through the transition from yesteryear into modernity, the M3 has had to keep current with the times, and each successive model is a testament to this.
In a recent video by BMW CCA sponsor Hagerty, automotive journalist Jason Cammisa takes the viewer on a veritable crash course, explaining how and why the M3 came to be, and what’s happened over the five generations that have been produced since the E30. Those who’ve noticed the growth of the M3 from a compact car into something that’s larger than the first few generations of M5 aren’t off base or pedantic in their observations, but it’s important to view the model through the lens of the changing environment in which it exists.
Since its inception, the M3 has been an aspirational BMW model; the type we gaze at through the glass of whatever we happen to be driving when one passes by. Unlike many other cars which invoke similar emotions, meeting the hero that is the M3 isn’t a disappointing experience. If anything, the M3 has long exceeded its reputation, and the latest iteration, the G80, doesn’t disappoint.
Hagerty is putting out some of the most compelling content in the automotive world right now, and during a time when many of us have understandably been asking what’s going on with BMW, the video does a lot of explaining.—Alex Tock
[Photo courtesy of BMW AG. Video courtesy of Hagerty on YouTube.]