BMW M3 – Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed

BMW M3 – Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed


It was only supposed to be a race car, but
became the envy of every garage in the world. It’s just a variant of another model, but
it’s the most famous line its maker has. And the company that made it only sold it
because they had to. This is everything you need to know to get
up to speed on the BMW M3. (8-bit music plays) (Inhales) In the early 80s, Mercedes upended the German racing scene when they turned their little
190 compact sedan into a monster. Even with a detuned Cosworth engine, the updated
190 E 2.3-16, yes, somebody decided that that was a good name for a car, absolutely obliterated
speed and endurance records, and made Mercedes the go-to badge for the prestigious DTM race
series. This was a home-grown German series, and all
the major German manufacturers wanted to win it both as a way to make their brand stand
out, and just, you know, stick it to each other. So when the new Mercedes seized the DTM crown,
BMW stood up and was like “Nein!” BMW CEO Eberhard Keuenheim decided they needed
to put a cooler engine into their 3 Series if they ever wanted to win the DTM again. But who could do such a thing? Well, turns out BMW happened to have a motorsport
division, called M. For motorsport. That’s how German they were. “It is for motorsport. What should we call it?” “What if we call it M.” “Oh Hanz das
is GENIUS.” So han, so smart. Now up to this time, the M division only worked
on racing-spec cars. And really, that’s all Keuenheim wanted:
a racetrack version of the 3 Series that could spank Mercedes’ butt on the circuit. Just like my dad used to spank my butt when
I ate too much of the Christmas jam! But there was a problem! Homologation! To qualify for the racing series that BMW
wanted to enter, the homologation rules required that BMW produce at least 5,000 units of the
car. The racing leagues didn’t want companies
to produce track-only hypercars, they wanted modified versions of street-legal cars. Because of this rule, they were going to have
to make this new 3 Series available to… ugh… the public. BMW’s sales department didn’t think there’d
be enough demand to justify a 5,000-unit production. But Mercedes’ challenge would not stand! Keuenheim damned the torpedoes and just decided
to greenlight production anyway. And so, M was off to the races, quite literally! The first order of business was to build an
engine, and as it turned out, Bimmer’s motorsport division knew a thing or two about building
pretty good engines. They grabbed the six-cylinder inline motor
from their earlier M1 sports car, but found that it was too heavy for the little 3 Series. Solution? Cut off two cylinders! Very German. With a now four-cylinder block, they threw
in the rest of the parts and went from zero to working prototype in just two weeks. It took my dad two weeks to go buy cigarettes
one time and these guys build one of the best racing engines ever? Wow! Engine done, now it’s time for the body. Hey, it’s a 3 Series, it already had a body,
right? Well, yes, it did. And M threw away all but four panels. Every single other part was resculpted to
be more streamlined, efficient, and aerodynamic. Plus, M then retuned the suspension. And the throttle. And the brakes. Basically, it was as far from the standard
car as you could get while still claiming they were related. Kind of like your brother who looks suspiciously
like Mario Lopez, my mom was an extra on “Saved by the Bell” just saying. The end result in 1986 was a BMW 3 Series
designed for space travel. Armed with its new 200hp straight-4 engine,
with steering tuned by grandmasters of the Nurburgring, the new car went like a bat out
of hell on the straights and turned on a dime in the corners. BMW obviously wanted to make a good car, but
even they couldn’t have known just how good the end result would be. There was no real grand innovation here, no
new invention that changed cars forever the car just perfected being a car. just like I perfected whatever it is I do. What would you say my job is? All it needed was a name! Remember, this is the company that called
their motorsport division: M. With that kind of creativity, guess what they called their
M-designed 3 Series? If you guessed “M3,” you have no imagination
at all. Also, you are 100% correct. The M3 did its job pretty damn well: it won
a truckload of race trophies, and against BMW’s expectations, it actually sold all
of its 5,000-production run. In fact, it sold another 5,000 on top of that. And then another 5,000. And then another 3,000! What that’s ridiculous. BMW couldn’t believe that people actually
liked an awesome car. Who knew? Because of the unexpected popularity, the
Bavarians made a few variations, like the Evolution and Sport Evolution models. And they even made an M3 pickup truck! Seriously. Granted, it never went into mass production,
but the M Division kept the concept truck and used it for another twenty-six years. Man I would love to sit on the tailgate of
that M3 truck and crack a cold weihenstephaner, arm around my mausi , chugging on sauerkraut
and schupf noodle and kugels. Why are noodles dessert? All told, the original M3 became an icon of
its era, and remains a halo car to this day. Here’s the thing though: that original,
E30 M3 was always meant to be a race car. It didn’t have many features, the interior
wasn’t great, and it didn’t exactly scream “luxury.” Like this: Luxury! So when the time came to update the M3 to
match the 90s 3 Series, Munich decided to make the car feel more like a proper BMW. When the E36 M3 launched in 1992, it had a
plush interior, a standard equipment range, and a much more restrained exterior. So long box-flares, mom says you gotta go,
go on, get out of here. I never liked you anyway. You were just too good for this world. But ze Germans still got a little bit kooky,
ja? They put back the two cylinders they’d cut
out of the original engine, so that even though it looked modest on the outside, it was a
straight-six rocket on the inside. And what an engine it was: at 282hp in 3L,
it had the best hp/L ratio of any naturally aspirated car at the time! The US, for reasons unknown, got saddled with
a detuned version of the engine. As always, f*** us, right? I mean we’re America, we don’t like fast cars,
do we? “America f*** yeah!” While the original E30 might have a lock on
enthusiasts’ hearts, the E36 is the M3 that set the direction for all future models. The next model, the E46 in 2000, was to the
M3 what the M3 was to the 3 Series not all that different, but perfect. Rocking the last naturally aspirated straight-six
in the line’s history, it produced 338hp, over a hundred more than its predecessor. Otherwise, it was just an M3, right? Well, yes. But better. The E46 was the true juggernaut of the M3
range, with over 85,000 units sold worldwide. Remember when BMW didn’t think they could
sell 5,000? Road and Car magazine called it their favorite
sports car of all time. All time! That is all of the time! Again, the E46 didn’t invent a new technology,
it just did car well. Really, really well. And the GTR version had a big stonking V8
engine in it. But BMW wouldn’t do that to the M3 again,
right? Mein Gott! That sounded Scottish. For the E90 model in 2007, BMW made the V8
the standard and only engine option for the M3 Who cares about subtlety, just go big, dammit! Mid-way through this generation’s run, BMW
refreshed it as the E92. Which was exactly like the E90. Only better. And with a sedan variant. For some reason, the convertible got a whole
new version number, as the E93. But that’s not what the people wanted: what
the people really wanted was another M3 pickup truck. And they got one! Literally one: BMW built another concept truck,
because apparently someone still thought this might be a good idea? In 2014, BMW updated the M3 to the F80, and
with it, split the brand in half. The new M3 was only available as a four-door
compact sedan; the two-door coupe was spun off as a brand new badge, the M4. This was because… I guess the even numbers are two doors, and
then the odd numbers are four doors unless it’s a six then it can be both or I have no
idea why. Nobody does, it’s the exact same thing. Did I mention my name is Javier now? Either way, the new M3 returned to the good
old straight-six, this time with two turbochargers. That’s right, the Ultimate Driving Machine,
a pure distillation of driving excellence, has gone turbo. And electric steering, too. Purists didn’t like the sound of these changes,
but none of that put a cramp on the M3’s style. Because when it released, the F80 was considered
yet another Munich masterpiece, a 425hp monster with a top speed of 174mph. Almost three times as fast as a Tyrannosaurus
Rex. If they had these in Jurassic Park, brrr no
problem the movie would be like five minutes long. After all this time and five different generations
the new M3 is still the king or queen of its class. For thirty years, the BMW M3 has proven that
sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel: you just need to make the best wheel. From the E30 on the race track, to the F80
on the road, the M3 has no single reason why it’s the best. It just is. Just like me dad. That’s everything you need to know to get
up to speed on the BMW M3. This episode was filmed in front of a live
studio audience. (Cheers). Also, still trying to buy that Lambo. Please send me a dollar. If we get one then we’ll do whatever you guys
want us to do to it. Some people are sending in money, I got two
dollars now, so I only need 79,998 more. As always don’t forget to like, comment, subscribe,
share. Thanks for watching Up To Speed. (burps).

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