BMW’s celebration of 50 years of its M division, which will take centre stage at the Goodwood Festival of Speed next month, has been expanded to not only the M4, but now also the M3.
Following the reveal of the M4 CSL last week, Munich has taken the wraps off of the 50 Jahre BMW M models unveiled on the exact date the M division got commissioned in 1972.
Essentially an aesthetic overhaul varying from market to market, the M4, which will come to South Africa unlike the M3, will get the same enhancements as the European model, albeit with some differences.
Although set to ride on the same double-spoke M forged alloy wheels measuring 19-inches at the front and 20-inch at the rear, the South African M4 50 Jahre BMW M will only be offered in a single colour; San Marino Blue with the wheel spokes finished in Matte Gold Bronze.
All South Africa bound M4’s will be finished in San Marino and have the gold alloy wheel spokes as depicted by the European Imola Red model.
In Europe, a broader range of hues are available; Carbon Black, Brands Hatch Grey and the pictured Imola Red contrasted by Orbit Grey as well as the mentioned gold wheel spokes.
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Inside, the differences between the European and South African models, bar the location of the steering wheel, is unchanged and comprises Edition 50 Jahre BMW M door sills, a commemorative M4 Edition 50 Jahre BMW M number plaque on the centre console and Edition 50 Jahre BMW M headrests on the standard fare M Carbon bucket seats.
Five of the 500 M4s will be coming to South Africa
Being based on the M4 Competition, the M4 50 Jahre BMW M remains otherwise unchanged underneath and up front with outputs of 375kW/650Nm from the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six S58 engine.
While available with rear-wheel-drive and a six-speed manual gearbox in Europe, for South Africa, drive will be routed to all four wheels via the xDrive all-wheel-drive system through the eight-speed Steptronic gearbox.
Embroidered headrests of the M4
Though not disclosed, expect the same limited 290 km/h top speed as the M4 Competition and 0-100 km/h time of 3.5 seconds.
Limited to 500 units worldwide, a total of five M4 50 Jahre BMW M have been confirmed for South Africa with pricing likely to start at around R2.2-million to R2.5-million when compared to the conventional M4 Competition’s R2 000 797 sticker.
Historical Techno Violet and Deep Interlagos Blue have both been revived for the M3 50 Jahre BMW M.
As for the M3, whose allocation of 500 units will all be heading to North America, the more prominent exterior additions include the 20-inch wheels finished in Orbit Grey, BMW Motorsport logos inspired by the 1972 original on the bootlid, bonnet and wheel caps, a carbon fibre front splitter and carbon bootlid spoiler.
Also included is the option of having either carbon or titanium tipped exhaust outlets, the carbon fibre reinforced plastic roof and a two brake options; the standard M Compound stoppers with black, red or blue calipers or the carbon ceramic brakes with gold calipers.
All 500 M3s will be sold in the United States and nowhere else.
The biggest departure from the standard M3 though are the five colour options, all derived from past generations.
They include Cinnabar Red from the original E30 M3, Techno Violet that featured on the E36 M3, Deep Interlagos Blue the E46 M3 offered, Fire Orange III the North American only E92 M3 Lime Rock Edition came in, and Limerock Grey that had been an option on the F10 M3 CS.
BMW Motorsport tri-colour features on the M3s headrests.
As it will go on sale in July, the M3 50 Jahre BMW M will join the standard M3 in receiving BMW’s new Curved Display that combines the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with the 14.9-inch iDrive infotainment system incorporating the new 8.0 operating system.
Bespoke to the M3 50 Jahre BMW M though is the Edition 50 Jahre BMW M door sills, M3 Edition 50 Jahre BMW M number plaque on the centre console and two seats options; the M Sport or M Carbon bucket, both trimmed in black Merino leather with the M tri-colour badge on the headrests.
Edition 50 Jahre BMW M door sills the M4 also gets.
As a way of rounding the M3 50 Jahre BMW M off, a 50 Jahre BMW M suitcase is included. Made out of Makrolon Polycarbonate, it sports a 50 Jahre BMW M logo on the front and can handle 42-litres of luggage.
Pricing kicks-off at $96 695 (R1 524 913) but as mentioned, only for the States and nowhere else.