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Underrated: BMW E92 M3

9 months ago

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Steve Sutcliffe | Journalist


28 September 2023

At the time we said it was too heavy and maybe a bit too sensible. We said it wasn’t quite a proper M3. How could it be with a 90-degree V8 in its nose instead of a high-revving, metallic-sounding, competition-based straight-six?

And so for a while the E92 M3 was regarded as a disappointment. On its debut in 2007, some of us even accused it of being an imposter compared with what we’d known and loved before.

This was a common theme whenever one M3 was replaced by the next. We, the motoring press, said it when the E36 replaced the ‘legendary’ E30. Then we said it again when the E36 (which by then we’d grown rather fond of) was superseded by the heavier and ‘clumsier’ E46. So it was kind of inevitable that the V8 would receive the same treatment when it first appeared – this time because it was deemed too civilised beside its lighter, more agile predecessor (which of course we’d become quite attached to by then) and because it felt more like an M5 than the real thing at the time (of which more next week).

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