It’s 2007 and BMW have gone a bit mad. They’ve shoe-horned a 5 litre V10 into E60 M5 and now they decided the M3 needs a V8. The 4litre S65 engine develops 414hp with a stratospheric redline of 8400rpm. This is a car that you work hard, rowing through gears as it really comes alive as the revs build. I had this cars rival the B7 RS4 which also starred a naturally-aspirated V8 albeit larger (4.2 litres) and heavier thanks to its Quattro system. I love the RS4 as I had two of them but I will admit they’re the “safer” option thanks to the 4wd. The E92 is like a hyper-active puppy on a hardwood floor , endlessly wagging its bottom and spinning from the rear. The noise from the S65 is thunderous like a pissed off Norse god who’s trodden on a plug. I would opt for the manual transmission over the DCT as I feel this would be a weekend car for me instead of a daily driver , this car belongs on a twisty backroad or a racing track. I’ve seen several examples now dipping below the £15k mark with under 80k miles and electric damper control (EDC) there are even a few cars wearing the gorgeous competition wheels and carbon fibre goodies.
The E92 was the purists choice of the Bunch, the RS4 was a great daily driver and the C63 was just an overpowered lunatic with an automatic gearbox. The M3 has aged gracefully over the 13 years or so and I think with the competition wheels a bit of Alcantara and carbon fibre you’ve really got a complete package. It’s been said the S65 has an appetite for rod bearings but I’ve also seen many cars on the market that’ve had this issue rectified which is no surprise given its high revving nature. I’ve a very very big soft spot for the M3 as it was always a car I wanted to own, I only ended up with the RS4 as M3 insurance quotes at 21 were quite frankly offensive. I love the cars split personality, when you’re out of sport mode and just want to get somewhere it can be quiet and refined. Albeit very thirsty along the way. You can drive this car with precision and accuracy and it’ll respond well especially with the dampers in the sport setting (if EDC was selected). You can also act like a Yob and tear your Michelin’s apart at the seams should this be your choice, who doesn’t love a donut for Instagram?
I think the interior has aged remarkably well. BMW have this style of leather that always feels taught and wears immensely well with a matte sheen to it. the I-drive system doesn’t feel too dated either and I like the functionality of it. Running costs aren’t to high other then it’s decimation of fuel. BMWs staggered servicing structure makes it easier to live with In my opinion. Brakes aren’t expensive when compared to the RS4s floating bell front set up and unless you’re tracking it consistently the discs and pads are more than up to the challenge. The E92 is the last of the naturally aspirated M cars so if revving out and rowing through the gearbox is your style or driving this car will engage and excite you. Keep aside a couple of grand for any maintenance you may need and you’ll have a very sorted drivers car to enjoy. If you’re feeling brave there are even supercharger kits available should 600hp and a manual gearbox be your ideal recipe for carnage.