What are collectables?
These are cars of special interest and therefore deserving of preservation. Not necessarily old, yet they exist in a defined quantity, either because the manufacturer has decided so, or because their production is stopped. Then, they take advantage of features that make them especially desirable: an engine, a chassis, a design, or a concept. Finally, they are likely to see their rating increase. An additional argument to collect them before everyone else!
Why is the BMW M3 V8 collectable?
Of the six generations of M3, the E90 (or E92 coupe and E93 convertible) is the only one to have a V8. High performance, this block is also the last to remain atmospheric among sports BMWs, thus exuding a type of pleasure that will not be found anytime soon. Capable of more than 8,000 rpm, it is accompanied by a remarkably developed chassis and everything is wrapped up in bodies that avoid any caricature …
If Chris Bangle managed to shake up BMW's styling codes in the early 2000s, for the 3 Series E90, he must have put water in his schnapps. No question of taking reckless risks with the brand's best-selling model! Classically made, the replacement for the E46 did not surprise anyone when it was released in 2005. Observers still note the slight drop in the quality of the finish, which the installation of an improved iDrive multimedia system does not compensate for. to that of the Series 7. In fact, it is the same as that of the small Series 1, released just before the Series 3 and designed simultaneously, thus sharing a large part of its technique. Any? No. The 3 recovers at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show a sporty version M3, announced by an almost final concept in Geneva a few months earlier.
Based on the E92 coupe launched in 2006, this M3 surprises purists: it is the first to be equipped with a V8. This engine is not, however, completely new. If it has nothing to do with that of a 540i, for example, it is ultimately nothing more than an M5 E60 V10 with two cylinders amputated. Which is not infamous, far from it! Indeed, this 4.0 l dry sump develops some 420 hp, a cavalry never seen on an M3. Better still, despite its increased displacement compared to the 6-cylinder of the M3 E46, it weighs 15 kg less than the latter while offering 77 additional hp, without resorting to any supercharging. To do this, it pushes the breaker back to 8,400 rpm, increases its compression ratio to 12.0: 1 and equips itself with a double Vanos, acting on the four camshafts. A superb business card!
On the transmission side, it is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential that locks up to 100% and is controlled electronically.
This beautiful mechanism would be nothing without a good chassis: all the settings are adapted (including the setting of the springs and the shock absorbers), the tracks widen, the silentblocs become firmer and the arms are carved out of die-cast aluminum. As an option, there is a controlled damping. The whole thing wraps up in a discreet but largely modified body, between the subtly inflated fenders, the hood with a boss and the roof in plastic reinforced with carbon fiber. The M3 E90 is very well received, despite a price of € 72,900 (current € 84,000). In 2008, it adopted a very modern M-DKG seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, while being available as a convertible (very heavy) and a sedan (with a metal roof). Technically, the M3 will then change little, especially benefiting from a Competition Pack in 2010.
It will still be entitled to a few limited series, first the spectacular GTS in 2009. Lightened (omission of rear seats and air conditioning), this pushes its engine to 4.4 l and 450 hp. Produced at 250 units, it was followed in 2011 by the CRT, a sedan with the same propellant. 67 copies only! Finally, the Competition Edition celebrates the end of the M3 E9x at the end of 2012, without mechanical changes.
This effectively leaves the scene in 2013, manufactured at 65,985 units, an honorable score but lower than that of its predecessor.
How much does it cost ?
Fairly widespread, this M3 has largely fallen. It can be found from € 25,000 in a convertible, the least popular version because of its overweight and less rigidity. At this price, the mileage is around 150,000 km.
In coupe and sedan, access is more at € 28,000, with a counter also showing around 150,000 km, the box being the M-DKG. The latter having ended up representing 90% of sales, the manual, which is rarer, is no longer expensive.
To fall under 100,000 km, add 4,000 €, and count 45,000 € for 50,000 km. Prices going up. For the limited GTS and CRT versions, it will be more like 170,000 € …
Which version to choose?
For sport, we will avoid the convertible and we will favor the models equipped with the Competition Pack which lowers the suspension by 10 mm and provides a front bumper blade as well as specific 19 rims. Then, manual gearbox or double clutch? The first provides immense pleasure, the second speed in gear changes: it's up to you.
Obviously, it is first the GTS and especially the untraceable CRT. Then, a manual coupé with the Competition Pack, in perfect condition, unmodified and showing less than 50,000 km. Finally, let's mention the Competition Edition, limited to 450 copies and dressed in matt gray.
What to watch?
BMW has had the greatest difficulty in shedding major flaws. Like for example the weak connecting rod bearings, which affected the M3s over three generations: E36, E46 and therefore, E9x. This is also the main weakness of the latter, so the rectification requires 1,500 to 2,000 €. Then, the interior finish shows a decline compared to that of the E46. Finally, the rear axle can become noisy, especially under heavy use on the track, which is not abnormal.
Fortunately, the M-DKG transmission proves to be significantly more reliable than the old SMG III, as long as it is changed regularly. In short, at the cost of rigorous and expensive maintenance, the M3 E9x is capable of very high mileage without major breakdown.
Very finely designed, the M3 E92 has hardly aged. Outwardly. Because in the cabin, the integration of the central screen seems outdated. We console ourselves with a fairly good finish, and especially the seats and a remarkable driving position. Surprisingly, the very well-damped suspension is comfortable on rough edges, so that when driving everyday, this M3 seduces with its smoothness, especially with the M-DKG gearbox. Then, we exceed 4,000 rpm. And there, the BMW changes face: the engine reveals its rage, and pushes like hell up to 8,400 rpm of the switch. All while screaming, what happiness! It's well worth a few bearings every 80,000 km… It is perfectly supported by a fast, responsive and smooth gearbox.
Then, on the chassis side, you can set the firmness of the steering (pleasantly informative) and the damping, in addition to the responsiveness of the engine and the gearbox. Well configured, the M3 delights with its balance and grip, without ever being vicious as long as we keep in mind that it is a propulsion of 420 hp, once we have disconnected the ESP. Besides, she agrees to drift healthily if we do not take it like a nag. Above all, its damping is just perfect, which is rare with BMW: the car hugs the road instead of trying to level it, so never let itself be destabilized by a bump.
Still, the brakes, with desperately floating calipers, if they prove to be powerful, still lack endurance: we were attached to curious traditions at BMW …
Finally, consumption. The E92 is more fuel-efficient than the E46, averaging 12 l / 100 km. Nothing dramatic.
The youngtimer alternative
BMW M3 E36 (1992-1999)
Unlike the legendary E30, the M3 E36 receives a 6-cylinder in-line, a fabulous 3.0 l of 286 hp. Then, despite everything, it wants to be more versatile, so it is more comfortable and receives a 4-door version. Finally, its performance remains demonic since on the 1,000 m standing start, it challenges the Porsche 964, while costing 320,000 F, or 170,000 F less! As a result, the M3 looks like a bomb but also a bargain. In 1995, it adopted a 3.2 l block of 321 hp coupled to a gearbox now counting 6 reports and no longer 5. More performance, less consumption, in short, only good! At the end of her career, she is even entitled to a single-clutch robotic gearbox, which is very unconvincing however. Available in many limited series (GT, Cecotto …) it was a great success (over 70,000 units) but found itself, when its price fell, in unscrupulous hands. Results, good copies are rare. From € 18,000.
BMW M3 E92 (2008), technical sheet
- Engine: 8-cylinder V, 3,999 cc
- Power supply: electronic injection
- Suspension: McPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar (AV); multi-link axle, coil springs anti-roll bar (AR)
- Transmission: 6 manual or 7 dual clutch gearbox, rear-wheel drive
- Power: 420 hp at 8,300 rpm
- Torque: 400 Nm at 3,900 rpm
- Weight: 1,580 kg
- Maximum speed: 250 km / h (manufacturer data)
- 0 to 100 km / h: 4.9 s (manufacturer data)
> To find a used BMW M3 E92 / E93, go to the La Centrale website.