BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92

The Ultimate Jeopardy

"These two cars don't even seem to be from the same DNA band"

"The E30, it's all concerning the drive. The E92, it's all concerning the iDrive"

The early 1970’s were the sunrise of a new age for BMW; an era to power and pursue the ongoing success of the company. M3 and God will help you, depending on the well-known Arab saying. Although this is far from perfection - to try two powerful driving forces - it does not diminish our zeal to unveil the history and evolution of the German sports car benchmark. 

The Journey
The high temperatures in Dubai are something people get used to when living there. Although the chilly weather was extended by mistake till the month of April, it was definitely gone when our journey began.

On a long weekend from Thursday till Sunday, we got the all-new 2012 BMW M3 E92 to test drive. We planned to do an untraditional comparison to show the evolution between the first generation M3 E30 and the actual generation M3 E92. We called our friend Bruno Touma, who owns the first generation M3 E30.

1986 BMW M3 E30
The gorgeous styling and angular, fussy fender, dashboard facade absurdly slanted in the direction of the driver so the passenger feels like an addendum, the extravagant "M" badges and the faultless motorsport heritage - it is nothing else than the 1986 BMW E30 M3, perhaps the most significant M vehicle in BMW Motorsport Division of all time.

2012 BMW M3 E92
Sitting alongside is the 2012 BMW E92 M3, three platform generations removed from the E30. The E30 M3's razor-sharp boundaries have given way to the E92 M3's curves, and the new car is better in each dimension. The once simple interior is soaked with gadgetry and the E30 M3's i4-cylinder engine has been doubled both in cylinders and displacement for the E92.

The "M" Marvel Embarks
The BMW M3 debuted in 1986 with a 200-hp version of the new engine. More iterations of the M3 quickly followed as BMW sought to homologate new parts for the racetrack.

Around 18,000 coupe and convertible M3s were built before the E30 was replaced by the E36 in 1992. Now blessed with an inline-6 and looking less like a refugee from the racetrack, the BMW E36 M3 represented BMW's move to make a street-legal and street-friendly high-performance BMW 3 Series. Eventually a sedan version of the car joined the lineup and an automatic transmission became part of the program.

The E36's replacement, the E46 M3, was even more successful, selling 85,741 units from 2001-2006. More visually extroverted than the E36, the new M3 also had more power, producing 333 hp from its inline-6. The sedan version was dropped from the lineup because of production complications, and the purer M concept ultimately produced the lightweight 2004 BMW M3 CSL.

The M3 CSL was the zenith of the six-cylinder M3s. When the new-generation E92 M3 appeared in 2008, it boasted a high-revving 3,999cc V8 that developed 414 hp. This is the 2012 BMW M3 that sits before us today, an embodiment of just how far compact sport sedans have come in the last quarter century.

Verdict
This head-to-head evaluation of the 1986 BMW E30 M3 and 2012 BMW E92 M3 came such as the below:

Straight, good judgment says that the E30 M3 is an icon for the truthfully committed. The actuality, nevertheless, is rather dissimilar. If you can live without A/C and cup holders for your morning coffee, then the first M3 would be outstandingly easy to survive with, even today. But who actually can in the Middle East?

Temporarily, the fourth-generation M3 of wears the same name tag as the first generation but shares little else. While the original M3 was born to race, the current M3 is an endeavor to outfit a race car in legally for the streets.

At the end of our journey we simply saluted these M3s for what they are: two grand cars, 26 years apart and the years are still running.

  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (1)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (10)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (11)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (12)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (13)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (14)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (15)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (16)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (17)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (18)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (19)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (2)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (20)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (21)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (22)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (23)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (24)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (25)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (26)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (27)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (28)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (29)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (3)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (30)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (31)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (32)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (33)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (34)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (35)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (36)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (4)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (5)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (6)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (7)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (8)
  • BMW M3 E30 vs. BMW M3 E92 (9)

Subscriptions

Raed

Autoshows Calendar

Upcoming Articles

  • Global Drive: 2018 Rolls Royce Phantom
  • Global Drive: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
  • Global Drive: 2018 Jaguar XJR575
  • Editors' Choice: Range Rover Velar
  • Editors' Choice: Lexus LC500h
  • Editors' Choice: Peugeot 3008
  • Editors' Choice: Cadillac CT6
  • Special Feature: Renault Zoe Electric