A few days before the market launch of the sixth generation of the BMW M3, the G80, M GmbH allows an interesting look at the worldwide sales of the previous five generations. The sports car icon from Garching, without which M GmbH would be hard to imagine in its current form, can look back on an extremely exciting development with numerous changes. In the 35 years since the introduction of the BMW M3 E30, not only the technical framework, the market environment and thus also the expectations of customers have fundamentally changed, but also the sales potential for a mid-range athlete. While 200 HP caused a sensation in the middle class in 1986, today it is almost regarded by some as a basic requirement for automobile locomotion.
The blatant progress in terms of performance naturally also had an impact on the engine concept, which changed several times over time: the high-revving four-cylinder first became an in-line six-cylinder, before the E90 / E92 / E93 generation, the only M3 version to date, upgraded to a V8 Sucker sat. With the fifth generation, the turbocharger finally came into the BMW M3, whose two-door variants were henceforth in the show room as the M4. The growth in size is also impressive: while the BMW M3 E30 extended to less than 4.35 meters, the fifth generation with the internal code F80 was 4.67 meters. With the sixth generation G80, the length of the BMW M3 has now increased to almost 4.80 meters. However, the enormous increase in weight compared to the first generation is not primarily due to the larger body dimensions, but to the enormous increase in safety measures such as airbags and other components relevant to driving safety, such as u. Airbags, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist, night vision camera, to name a few. This requires more control units and components and thus more electrical cables. No wonder that the more and more installed components are accompanied by significantly higher weights than in 1986. Despite all the other changes, the basic recipe for driving pleasure remained practically constant: the most balanced weight distribution possible and rear-wheel drive have not been discussed so far. However, the rear-wheel drive in the G model variant was changed to four-wheel drive, which is not least intended to improve driving safety.